September 2, 2020.
What is happening in Ethiopia today in general and on Tegaru in particular is very concerning and spine-chilling? The government of the country seems running at high speed in destroying the country and prepared to commit full-blown or full-blooded atrocities against Tegaru and others. I strongly believe that the necessary works needed before committing genocide level crime , knowingly or unknowingly, seems going for a while now. This unnerving, hair-raising and petrifying matter need serious response and action before it is out of hand.
Over the last 70 years, genocide and mass killing events have continued to occur and they are not diminishing in frequency. Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, Burundi, Syria, and Myanmar have all experienced large-scale murder operations in the last few decades, some of which could have been completely prevented. Developing a deeper understanding of genocides and mass killing events including their causes, common characteristics, predictability, and mitigation is the most important task for us as Tegaru. We need to understand that all genocides that took all over the World evolved in time. No genocide happened over night, nor did it happen due to violence. All were precededby systemic preparation and commitment. All blames, humiliations, targeted campaigns of hatred, killings, imprisonments, deprivations, etc. are the perfect pre-genocide actions and scenarios. The government Medias, the enablers and anti-Tegaru elements are doing everything to demean and humiliate Tegaru. They are all busy working on hatred and blame campaigns, so the other Ethiopians develop hatreds against Tegaru.
These works have been going on unabated for a while without an iota of reduction in intensity. The absolutist, idiotic, pathological liar who lies compulsively, unfit and tyrant dictator Abey has used demeaning words against us: yekenjibotch, tsegureliwout,wodeagerachewlak’nachew, etc. His propagandists and promotors are labeling us as badoegregnoch, kumtalebashoch, be shebetchammayemetu, corrupted, etc. They are telling the rest of Ethiopians as if the whole wealth of the country is owned by Tegaru. As recently as last month, one of Abiy’s close person said 93 percent of Addis high rises and buildings are owned by Tegarus. All these works have a direct psychological impact in changing the understanding of the masses. After all, it is the law of psychology “repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.” This is how liarscreate the “illusion of truth”. Repetition makes a fact seem truer regardless of whether it is or not. The whole purpose of all these works is to brainwash and convince the public so they can take every and all actions against Tegaru unopposed and unchallenged.
These systemic state sponsored campaigns and disinformation are the first stages of the coming of the full-fledged genocide. Hostility campaign against Tegaru is intended to push it in to racial character. Tegaru under this regime are being blamed for everything that is not working for the abiy government. These routine stigmatization and persecutions is growing from blame campaign to hatred which is being planned to help them take mass actions against Tegaru in a form of decoupling them from their employments, closing and taking away their businesses, mass incarcerations, killings etc. All of these are forcing Tegarus who are living in Addis to live in a constant state of uncertainty and fear. They are suffering from mental harm which is already being committed against them which is also part of the definition of Genocide.
One of the common characteristics of pre-genocide preparatory actions is to practice the psychology of cruelty, humiliation, blame campaigns and disinformation against the intended target.During the holocaust, Nazis referred to Jews as rats, Hutus involved in the genocide called Tutsis cockroaches. Such labeling opened doors for cruelty and genocide. The well-respected Philosopher David Livingstone author of“The less than human, why we demean and kill others” said words like “vermin”, “roaches”, “traitors”, or “animals”. When governments dehumanize and run blame campaign, they eventually will perceive the targeted subjects as the sole problems of everything. Only then can the problem liberate aggression and exclude the target of aggression from the moral community.
As a student of the Rwanda genocide, I have come to notice great similarity between what happened in Rwanda before the full-fledged genocide and what is happening right now in Ethiopia today. There is a glaring, systemic and committed campaign against Tegaru in all forms which is roadway to commit genocide. Just acampaign of genocide by itself is genocide as well,since the gap between the campaign and the actual start of the genocide is slim and thin. Because of my conviction of the similarities of the pre-genocide campaign of Rwanda and the anti-Tegaru hate and demeaning campaign being disseminated across the country, I will discuss the Rwanda genocide in brief.
It has already been almost twenty-six years since the start of Genocide in Rwanda. Given what is happening in Ethiopia and especially as Tegaru, it is a good opportunity to spend some time reflecting on one of the most horrifying and defining events in post-cold war history. This genocide had senselessly and systematically slaughtered or claimed close to one million in one hundred days. The Rwanda genocide was a systematic campaign by the Hutu majority aimed at wiping out each and every member of the minority Tutsi group. This genocide was sent into motion after it had been planned for some time. It was a directed attempt to eliminate an entire people. This genocide was a pre-planned extermination campaign and as such it was not just a wartime violence; it was rather a directed, pre-planned attempt to eliminate an entire people.Compared to the other genocides that took before, it was a different class of violence altogether.
After planned preparation and campaign against the Tustis, on April 17, 1994 the killing began. Hutu militias, most infamously the government, backed by Interahamwe went city-to-city and village-to-village slaughtering Tutsis with guns and machetes. The militias were horrifyingly efficient, using a radio station to coordinate the beginning of the campaign around the country and to tell people where “the graves were not quite yet full.” They were killing at a pace of about 8,000 Tutsi per day. The Hutus set up roadblocks and barricades and began slaughtering the Tustis minorities and moderate Hutus with impunity.
The Hutus were planning the genocide early.The International community had advance evidence and notice of the coming genocide. The USA actively discouraged the UN Security Council from authorizing a more robust deployment. The American inaction and the failure to intervene on time which the then President, President Clinton, calls it one of the greatest regrets of his Presidency, helped the genocide perpetrators to continue the carnage or mass murder.
Why the UN, the international community and USA failed in Rwanda did is very simple to answer. It was purely a lack of will to take on the commitment necessary to prevent the genocide. In comparison, the attention and response the Bosnian genocide got immediate and fast response and because of it the genocide claimed only 8,500 lives which could have been more. Why did the Bosnian genocide get quick response and immediate attention? I will leave the answer to the readers of my article.
The Hutu moderate’s effort to stop the genocide was overpowered and too late. They were caught unprepared and with zero plan. They were equally murdered along side with Tutsis for supporting them. In the first two weeks, local administrators in Central and South Rwanda, where most Tutsis lived, resisted the genocide. After two weeks, national officials removed the resisters and killed several of them. Other opponents then fell silent. Government -sponsored radio stations started calling on ordinary Rwandan civilians to murder their neighbors. The NRMD party played key leadership role in organizing the genocide.
Some lessons from the Rwandan genocide:
v During the early periods of the genocide and even during the pre-genocide preparation by the Hutu majorities there was not any reading of the coming in to being of the genocide by anyone. The innocent Tutsis were completely caught off guard, including the moderate Hutus.
v The moderate Hutus who were killed along the Tutsis acted late and become powerless.
v After the genocide was over, the International Court against the perpetrators could not get enough information of the perpetrators and there where abouts, so much so that only about thirty ringleaders of the genocide have been convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. This was because of poor documentation on the committed genocide. The tempo, kill rates, and spatial dynamics of these events were poorly documented.
v In the case of Ethiopia, if it happens, the International communities, UN, and other countries may not pay attention to the atrocities. Even if they act, it will be late as seen in Rwanda.
The role of Media in past genocides and in today’s Ethiopia:
From the Holocaust to the Rwanda Genocide, the highest role, more than any other institution even more than the governments, was played by the media. Media was used in Rwanda and Germany to spread hatred, to dehumanize people, and even guide the genocide operators toward their victims. Hate media organs in Rwanda - through their journalists, broadcasters, and media executives - played an instrumental role in lying the groundwork for genocide, then they participated in the extermination campaign.The crime committed by the media was deep and immense so much so that a special “media trial” was created under the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’s genocide. Many of the media subjects were found guilty of genocide, conspiracy, and crime against humanity by the International Crime Tribunal for Rwanda. The top media leaders who were tried separately and jointly who were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison were:
1: Ferdinald Nahiman: A professor of History and dean of the National University of Rwanda. Ferdinald also owned a radio station and was also political advisor of the government
2:Jean-Bosco: A lawyer by training and held a post of director of political affairs of the ministry of foreign affairs.
3: Hassan Ngeze: A journalist and founded the newspaper called Kangura and held the post of editor-in-chief.
All were known for framing the phrase” The graves are not full yet” to continue and refuel the mass killings. All were on counts of genocide, direct incitement to commit genocide and crime against humanity. One big thing that these people missed was that the power of media to create and destroy fundamental human values comes with great responsibility. Those who control such media are accountable for its consequences. Arthur Koestler once said “Wars are not fought for territory, but for words. Man’s deadliest weapon is language. He is susceptible to being hypnotized by slogans as he is to infectious diseases and where there is an epidemic the group mind takes over.” The Hutus listened to the radio Rwanda and acted on the information that was broadcast by KTLM that actively encouraged them to kill, relentlessly sending the message that the Tutsi were the enemy and had to be eliminated once for all. The government of Ethiopia and the media are engaging in ethnic stereotyping in a manner that is promoting contempt and hatred againstTegaru. The enemy of the country is being defined to be Tegaru. In their little mind, they are thinking like by creating a national hatred they can start mass atrocities against Tegaru without any challenge from other Citizens.
The message the Ethiopian media and the government is sending has a clear genocide intent. They both are in pre-genocide stage. These enemy of Tegaru need to be educated on what is said in the Epistle of James 3: 5-6.” …And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity, so is the tongue among our members, and it corrupts the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell”.
What I am observing in Ethiopiacurrently is a genocide in the making that is transitioning from stage to stage through exploitation of differences or divisions to hate and hate to societal conflict and to genocide. The Ethiopian government is being quickly pushed into genocide with significant assistance from the media. The Ethiopian mass media is playing an active and supportive role in facilitating the atrocities as well as an influential role in establishing the pre-condition for mass-killings planned for Tegaru. The Rwandan genocide would not had happened had the media was neutral and preached otherwise or blocked or neutralized the campaign. We as Tegaru should be ready to provide alternative sources of information. We should be very mindful that the consequences of what the media is doing against Tegaru should not be underestimated or minimized.
For us Tegaru at this time, there can be no more important issue, and no more binding obligation, than the prevention of Genocide. This threat is not less than the threat of COVID-19. It is our COVID-!9 II that requires our collective attention and action. Let us closely monitor, document, and follow up what the media is doing against Tegaru. The newspapers, the radio and the social medias are explicitly and repeatedly, in fact relentlessly, targeting Tegaru as having inherently evil qualities equating us a group with the “the enemy”. We must be ready to take the case to the international court with all our supporting documents, witness accounts, etc.
What needs to be done and concluding remarks:
Let us not be fooled by the rhetoric of we are the same people with the same history, same religion, etc. The Hutus and Tutsis speak the same Bantu tongues, practice Christianity and lived together for many years. Still, it did not save them from engulfed in genocide. Why? Because Rwanda had leaders from hell. It is not the people who commit genocide. It is the government through deception, mischaracterization, demeaning and disinformation campaign, creating a national hatred against the targeted people. It was hatred campaign that enabled the Rwanda government to conduct genocide. The Hutus did not have a reason to commit that level of genocide against their fellow citizens. It was the work of the government and the media that was going on for years unabated. If genocide was going to take place in Ethiopia, it should have happened when Abiy and the media did their documentary film against Tegaru. That infamous documentary was enough to ignite civil war and genocide. However, the great people of Ethiopia did not go to where the government and media were trying to take them in to.
The Rwanda’s genocide action was highly supported and coordinated by the radio of Rwanda. What about the works and actions of fana, esat, some social media, and the government media against Tegaru? They simply remind me the radio Rwanda before the ignition of the Rwanda Genocide.
We have no time to waste and let us wake up with a sense of urgency. Let us not minimize the situations and take them lightly. It is only with such seriousness and preparation that we can prevail and win.
Am I being unrealistic and exaggerating?
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