(By Yared Huluf)
What is the name game ? War! Who are the contenders? Just verses Unjust!
What is the essence of the game? Conquer and dominate against liberate and self-determine.
Who will win in the end? You guessed it right; the one who fight for a just cause; come hell or high water!
Why would I be so assertive about the outcome? Because the writing has been on the wall, long before!
The Government of Tigray has followed a commendable and correct path. Fight to the bitter end, wipeout invaders from Tigray. Play the game according to set rules; then release one thousand war prisoners for a start. Others would soon follow in due course once an investigation is completed, and if they are cleared from war crimes other than battle engagements they had the call of duty to attain.
If a soldier was engaged in a battle field, armed with whatever s/he was trained and skilled for and was forced to surrender, following a defeat, in accordance with international rules of engagement, and what moral conscience dictates, prisoners of war need to be treated as humanely as possible and ultimately released if they have not committed a crime.
Victors would stand on a higher moral ground if they release their prisoners sooner than later for different but related humane reasons.
Keeping war prisoners longer than necessary for fear that they may be redeployed and come back once again is a flimsy ground of vengeance. Your enemy would not be defeated because you have deprived him thousands of his man power resources when the enemy has hundreds of millions more to recruit and deploy, albeit less experienced and trained. You win because you fight a just cause. You win not only you believe you have a just cause but also your enemy believes you have the right cause he does not have.
Let the enemy dispatches former prisoners ten times nolens volens, they will surrender in as many times as they have been deployed compelled, because they know justness is not on their side.
And you cannot stop after releasing one thousand, if there still are more whose predicament was only an engagement at the battle field, just like the ones you have already released, that would not be seen as fair and just, but a political maneuver.
Likewise, prisoners ought not be regarded as kettles you could use to exchange for your side of prisoners in enemy hands. The enemy does not have the rationale and humanity. Simply put the enemy is a walking devil. Nothing good is expected from a demon. Let alone people the enemy wishes to destroy, the enemy does not care about its own soldiers he deployed now prisoners under custody if they are kept locked in or killed.
Tigray does what is right and humane, even it knows well the enemy is imprisoning and killing innocent Tigrayans through no fault other than being Tigrayans.
Some may argue why would Tigray be humane and release soldiers who came to kill and destroy? That is the crux of the matter; because we Tigrayans are humane!
Some may still argue that captured soldiers ought to be exchanged for innocent Tigrayan languishing in inhumane prisons the enemy has setup in inhospitable locations.
Such an exchange and pardonable amphiboly as it may sound, is just like exchanging of items with a robber and the robbed. Tigrayans need not have been taken prisoners in the first place for a crime they did not committed or involved. It is there where we demand the U.N. and world community put active pressure the lawless government to release!
In the end, prisoners exchange takes place, when you are dealing with war mongers takes place at a time of truce. But then it does not matter, the enemy would be compelled to free all, willy nilly whether you have prisoners or not. Why wait till such time when you could morally defeat him by letting prisoners under custody who are now rendered but less!
You win not because you have built a fortified dungeons prisoners are kept in cramped or dug up trenches but because you have a fortification of defence of free men and women fighters with body and soul as hard as a rock, no tanks, no drones, no planes would deter them to match forwards to break the enemy’s neck!