(By Aynalem Sebhatu, First published 03 June 2021 at Aigaforum.com) –
The license of Isaias Afewerki to mow down Tigray to the ground, I submit, is a consequence of a delusional leader of Ethiopia who is totally blinded by insatiable personal power and the mindless Amhara political and intellectual elites who are blinded by hate and vindictive mind set. Even though it is not comparable to the Amhara political groupies, to a certain extent Abiy’s support comes from the Oromo’s political elites too. These Oromo opportunists are duped to believe that the genocidal war in the north will weaken the political collaboration of the Tigrayans and the Amhara with the imperial ambition of leading the country into the future.
The conditions which lead Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afewerki to declare genocidal war on Tigray are many and varied. In the great bulk of these conditions, this savage war is an outgrowth of Amhara chauvinism and political vengeance which defy rational explanations. Otherwise, no sane political and intellectual elite would permit the blood sucking dictator of Eritrea to literally act as an enforcer of the “law and order” as well as act as the “helping hand” of the security apparatus of Ethiopia. That is absurdly insane.
Hatred and political vengeance are the driving forces behind the uprooting of the people of Tigray upside down. By and large the killings, bombing, raping, expulsion and the looting of Tigrayans are accompanied by a conspiracy of silence, when confronted with the question, all that a majority of the Amhara elites could bring themselves to respond is that war is war, and tough on everyone. Shamelessly, some of them use “collateral damage” to describe the genocidal war.
Abiy and his enablers from the Amhara saw a tactical ally in the unhinged Eritrean dictator. Abiy Ahmed, the Amhara elites and Isaias Afewerki have established, beyond any reasonable doubt, that their hatred and intentions are to see the people of Tigray hit rock bottom. This unholy alliance was mainly driven by the ideology of hate against the Tigrayans. Beyond this diabolical motivating factor, there is not that much to say about other motivating common interests. Perhaps one may argue the other motivating factor as being the aspiration of Abiy and his Amhara political cronies’ desire to annex the port of Asseb if not the entire coast of the Red Sea.
Whenever I think about the Eritrean involvement in the Tigray genocidal war, I am dumbfounded and it still confounds me. That someone like Isaias Afewerki can not only obtain the license to invade Tigray but be cheered and nurtured by the Ethiopian political elites. It infuriates me to hear Ethiopians pledge unwavering support in the public square to the Eritrean army that inflicts such indignities and brutalities on innocent people of Tigray. It is unconscionable to see the Isaias army commit mass atrocities let alone replenishing Isaias’s arsenal with Ethiopian military assets and public support.
The Isaias army have attacked, bombed, rape, looted, killed and harassed innocent civilians where ever they are found. The Eritrean and the Amhara furies against Tigrayans is very intense and beyond rational human explanation. We all, including well-meaning Eritreans and Amhara, are struggling to explain the unexplainable deeds committed by the Eritrean and the Amhara forces on so many levels. Looking from the moral, humanistic and the sovereignty of the country, a Tigrayan is left in a very deep shock if not showing a categorical anger and hate towards Ethiopians and Eritreans in general. These dark forces have dropped enough poison by injecting into the veins of Tigrayans, no one is not sure what the future relations hold for the peoples of Tigray, Eritrea, Amhara, Oromo and the Horn of Africa in general.
Isaias and his political elites constantly invent an Eritrean identity that conforms to the Italian stereotypes of Eritreans, that they are different from their southern brothers and sisters. Eventually, they reasoned that Eritrean life appears as unrelenting struggle and sacrifice to protect the new invented identity, whether politically, socially, culturally or biologically imagined. Part and parcel of the formation of the new identity turns out to be creating a deep-seated grievance against Tigrayans and a categorical hatred against the people of Tigray. Tigrayans are roundly condemned as an excuse for the failure of Eritrean political elites in addressing the problems facing the people of Eritrea. For the young Eritreans, the new Eritrean identity became their source of strength and superiority and the Tigrayans can be blamed for all the ills of the Eritrean society.
Yet, at the same time, the political elites of Eritrea remain painfully aware that they have internalized much of the thinking of the colonizers they strongly despise. At least, they used to despise Amhara colonization of Eritrea. So they mercilessly attacked Tigrayans with the collaborating and cheerful Amhara forces, in the final and futile attempt to exorcise Tigrayan blood and culture from their “Eritrean being.” So they thought that would be a face-saving solution. Of course, their inability to think clearly (schizophrenic mental or political state) is hopelessly unbearable, and sooner or later Eritreans should realize that Isaias’s political guidance will sink the sovereignty of Eritrea to the bottom of the Red Sea. For sure, Abiy Ahmed’s open pronouncement with the Amhara aspirations of influence of the Red Sea should be taken seriously here.
For the Eritrean parents and grandparents, I could only imagine how they felt when young and old Eritreans marched to the war theater in Tigray. It must have all been like watching a train pull away down the tracks and crossing the sign of no point of return, leaving them behind with the monster of the Horn of Africa. They have been with the monster for thirty solid years and Isaias never once disappointed them in shattering their dreams. The people of Eritrea have cried, cried and cried again till they have no more tears in their eyes. Mustering all the willpower they can, they mourn silently till their body wells of tears are totally emptied and leaving a dry twinkling eye surrounded by nothing more than a blackish-brown pit. That is what thirty years of brutal dictatorship does to the human spirit and to the Eritrean spirit. How else could one explain the disappearance of the fighting spirit of Eritreans for the last thirty years?
As if thirty years of draining out the oxygen of Eritrea is not enough, Isaias Afewerki is so determined to suck and gulp the vitality of Tigrayans as soon as he could. He wished he could bring Tigrayans into submission like what he did to the people of Eritrea. Unfortunately for him, the fiercely fighting spirit of the Tigrayans are forcing him for his desperate last gasp of air. Desperate enough, Isaias’s recent thirty years of independence speech for the country sounds a eulogy of his life and, indeed, his entire henchmen.
It was difficult for most Ethiopians to unmask Isaias Afewerki’s intention at the beginning when it is draped in Abiy’s peace deal with Isaias (Nobel Peace Prize winning deal) as well as draped in Amhara chauvinism disguise than when the Eritrean dictator is a clear and present danger to the national security of Ethiopia. However, whatever guise it may appear, the difficult task for well-meaning Ethiopians must undertake is to immediately stop the war in Tigray, Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz and come to the realization of the value of national dialogue. If Ethiopians could not stop these wars that are raging in the country, the second-best solution is to find ways on how to minimize the costs of the disintegration of the county. But management of the disintegration of a country with 110 million people is not going to be a cakewalk either. Once the floodgate of disintegration opens, no one knows the bottom of the cesspool of social disorder the country is going to face.
If Ethiopians think that the reign of terror unleashed against Tigrayans by the Eritrean dictator will stay in Tigray, they better wake up. Isaias Afewerki is betting on Abiy and he has invested so much on Abiy Ahmed. His resolve is clear in protecting Abiy Ahmed’s power at any cost. He is determined to see Abiy Ahmed’s power secured in Eritrea’s image. Abiy’s leadership is tragic enough, the enabling of Abiy’s dictatorship with the blessing of Isaias Afewerki and the Amhara elites is even more tragic. I only hope these tragic political actors failed and somehow the hopes and aspirations of all the people of the Horn of Africa are restored.
Tigray will Prevail!
Eternal glory to our martyrs!