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Tigray must invoke article 39

Tigray must invoke article 39


Senay Tewolde




       Notwithstanding that the national oppression in all its ugly and cruel forms had been there for over a century; notwithstanding that the people of Tigray had been treated as second class citizens and suspects in Ethiopia for decades, I still find it necessary to fully disclose that such a political and historical aspiration was unthinkable and alien for me until the last few years.


     By no means, shall my honest disclosure suggest or be interpreted as an apologist because this is a conscious political decision that I am fully prepared to defend and need not to apologize for. Hoping the aforementioned will serve me as a prelude and cognizant of the fact that it is going to ruffle a few feathers, I say, yes, Tigray must invoke article 39 and invoke now.


     Why article 39? In few words, suffice it to say the Ethiopian constitution says so! Need more, please follow me.


     Never mind that Menelik compromised the lightning victory at the battle of Adwa against the invading Italians on that beautiful Sunday of March 1st, 1896 and treacherously sold half of Tigray to the invader, Italy, thus materializing the birth of the present-day Eritrea. Subsequently, what Menelik and his troops did to Tigray before returning to Addis Ababa is so egregious and heinous crimes against humanity and I have opted not to include it here.


     Never mind that Haileselassie invited the British Royal Air Force in Aden and indiscriminately bombarded many parts of Tigray throughout the month of October 1943. The most devastating bombardment that included poison gas has been the 54 bombs dropped in a single day in Mekelle, the capital city of Tigray that eventually “crushed” the 1st Woyane revolt. I leave it to my readers’ imagination how inhuman and devastating it must have been when 54 bombs were dropped in the then much smaller city of Mekelle.


     Haileselassie’s appetite to strangulate Tigray didn’t end there. He slashed the fertile lands of southern Tigray and awarded it to his son, Algaworash, the then governor of Wollo. Keep in mind that was precisely what Menelik did earlier. He sliced another fertile western part of Tigray and handed it to his wife, Taytu, as a gift.


     Never mind the complacency of Haileselassie when hundreds of thousands of Tigrayans perished from the famine of 1973-1974 while he was celebrating his 80th birthday with millions worth of champagne and cakes bought from London.


     Never mind the fascistic massacre of 2,500 civilians in Howzen, Tigray, by Mengistu’s junta on June 22, 1988; and never mind that Mengistu weaponized the draught of 1984 to punish Tigray and quell the 2nd Woyane rebellion, which ultimately inflicted a humiliating defeat on the junta.


     Never mind the call for a genocidal war against the Tigray people by ESAT aka “Eritrean Satellite Tv”, which I might add, has now officially appealed to the Eritrean government to join Abiy’s government to erase Woyane from the face of the earth once and for all. Ironically, this is the very same TV station that received accolades from Abiy.


     I could go on and on with more never minds, but it is the madness of the last two years or so that ushered in a lasting and an unmistakable lesson to many Tigrayans,  myself included.


     For starters, how would a transition to democracy begin by blaming all the ills of a country to one ethnic group, when we all know the governing body was a multi-ethnic composition? How in the world can a person, who admitted he was passing national secrets to Eritrean based Ethiopian opposition armed fronts labelled as “terrorists” by the Ethiopian parliament be a prime minister instead of bringing him to justice for treason? Sounds like a movie in the Wild West!


     Truth is a bitter pill to swallow, but I am very much comfortable to name the culprits behind all this madness and destruction of that country, Ethiopia. It is none other than those who chauvinistically lecture us that they created Ethiopia and they are the sole protectors of Ethiopia. They unashamedly make us believe of a monolithic Ethiopia with no room for diversity. So much so, these narcissists even said that human beings bow and thank their creator, God, and so should Ethiopians bow and thank the Amharas because the Amharas created Ethiopia. How delusional can one be? It is very difficult to rationally articulate the insanity of these people because it is not easy where to begin, much less end it.

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     So, the question du jour is why they are unabatedly continuing with such irrational pattern, when their action and/or inaction clearly are leading to the disintegration of “their” Ethiopia. It is because they live and pride themselves with a fake, stolen and miswritten historical account. Thus, they have to protect this manuscript by all means necessary.


     Let me start with the one and only one historical pillar that they sing and dance day and night, i.e. the legacy of Menelik. I have stated earlier how Menelik sold out parts of Tigray to Italy in exchange for rifles and few thousands of Lire. Such a treasonous act was neither the beginning nor the end of “Emye” Menelik as they fondly prefer to call him. His affinity and service to colonial powers is anathema to his predecessor, Yohannes lV.


Please bear with me to elaborate more. The root cause why Ethiopia is in this unfortunate situation when it comes to the Grand Dam Project is because of the Addis Ababa treaty signed between Menelik and Lt. Colonel John Lane Harrington, the envoy of Britain’s king, Edward Vll, on May 15, 1902. Now you have the clue why the Amhara elites steadfastly stood in opposition to the project, when the then prime minister, Meles, started it.


     Obviously, it is a known fact that the project can transform the political, social and economic livehoods of Ethiopians. But they are so wicked, narrow minded and super jealous that history will remember Meles, a Tigrayan, as the leader, who corrected the century old high treason committed by their much-touted Menelik.


     The shameful journey they marched in opposition of the dam project is beyond words. Some of their erudite went as far as appealing to Egypt to bomb the dam, while their foot-soldiers around the globe actively campaigned through their Medias, Prints and demonstrations including violence against all conferences and fundraising events. Paradoxically, what they are doing after their man, Abiy, came to power in regard to the dam is “history” in the making for anyone to witness.


     By any stretch of imagination, the Amhara elites’ unpatriotic journey is unprecedented. Remember when Dr. Tewodros, another Tigrayan, was selected as one of the finalists to lead WHO? As expected, they not only petitioned against him, but travelled to Geneva to oppose his ascendance to the Director General of WHO. The majority of Ethiopians and Africans supported Dr. Tewodros except these sick minded Amhara elites. Their hate against Tigray and its people is so trenched; they wasted no time to circulate a 2nd wave of petition to unseat Dr. Tewodros, when Trump falsely started blaming the WHO leader on the spread of COVID-19.


     Once their stooge, Abiy, came to power, here are some of their evil deeds against Tigrayans. The stoning, torturing and killing of Tigrayans in Gondar is a crime against humanity that we, Tigrayans, will never ever forget. Gondarites looted, burnt and destroyed properties owned by Tigrayans and forced tens of thousands to run for their lives with nothing at hand and ended up in the Sudan. Incidentally, I can’t thank enough the Sudanese government and its people for the warm welcome they displayed and were kind enough to safely send back our victims to their homeland, Tigray.


     The roads that connect Tigray and Amhara are effectively closed for over two years. Any merchant, who dared to cross the border to Tigray was met with physical assaults and confiscation of all his/her merchandise. Sadly, all of these crimes were committed with the full cooperation of local and federal law enforcement officials.


     The Amhara govt. has repeatedly dispatched its special forces, its surrogates, the Fannos and well-known organized bandits to infiltrate Tigray. God knows if they made it and reported back “mission accomplished”. What makes this dark history unforgiveable is the fact that Amhara religious leaders including  bishops, have given their blessings to such criminal acts. Case in point, when Ethiopia and Eritrea were at a war status quo, some Amhara religious leaders from abroad ventured to Eritrea to celebrate the death of Meles and to give a hate speech against Tigrayans. Not to be outsmarted, other ordinary Amharas were dancing at the Ethiopian embassy gates. Currently, the Amhara religious leaders have violently and disgracefully removed Tigrayan religious leaders, who were serving in the holiest Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, Israel.


     Never in our history for the last century has the unity of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church been tested until a patriarch, whose origin is from Tigray took the post. They didn’t hesitate to break away and reject his leadership. The split was in force for over 25 years until their man, Abiy, came to power and announced anartificial and boneless unity. These are the kind of people whom we are “destined” to live with. Their racial xenophobia has gone through the roofs and nothing is further from the truth that these are predators waiting for an opportune time to strike.


     Going forward, I will mention few of the concerted lies, sabotages, blackmails, fake news, false and dangerous documentaries, imprisonments and other untold crimes against the people of Tigray by their man, Abiy, whom they fanatically called him, “Mussie”, during the honeymoon.


     This man, Abiy, rushes to the media and finger points all evil deeds to the TPLF. He has jailed over a thousand Tigrayan military career officials with concocted or no formal criminal allegations. Contrary to what the whole world attested and contrary to the shining developments on the ground, Abiy, told a cheering crowd in the diaspora that Ethiopia has been languishing in the dark for 27 years before he clung to power. To belittle and if possible, to erase the 17 years armed struggle of our heroic people that brought the fascist junta of Ethiopia to its knees, he told Ethiopians that the Dergue was not defeated at all! Make no mistake- His message is tailored to his handlers, the Amhara elites and all of those remnants that have previously suffered a devastatingdefeat at the hands of the TPLF.


     Abiy dispatched a special commando force on board an Antonov to arrest TPLF leaders. His hand-picked attorney general, Berhanu, one of the most notorious corrupt government officials, indicted many Tigrayan individuals from the national security, because they were spying on the armed fronts that were based in Eritrea. Welcome to the new Ethiopia that awards jail time for diligently carrying their sworn duties to safeguard Ethiopia and its citizens.


     The 2019 Noble Peace Prize laureate, Abiy, ordered Chinese investors and diplomats to disembark from a plane en route to Mekelle, Tigray. As a student of Eritrean leader, Esayas, he probably didn’t realize the diplomatic ramification to such a jerkish decision.


     The moment he took the premiership, Abiy, instructed to all government owned Medias to disseminate incriminating propaganda with impunity. Walta TV, through its official Facebook page “broke” a story to the Ethiopian audience that the president of Tigray, Dr. Debretsion is dead. How unlawful and cruel can a state media be?


     Recently, Abiy threatened that he is willing, able and ready to use force if Tigray proceeds with its local/regional election. No doubt, this will go into history books as the first of its kind that a leader of a country lodges a war on one of its regions, because it contemplated a local election.


     Adding an insult to injury, Abiy, with a speed of a light appeared on national TV and alleged the assassination of the popular and respected Oromo artist and activist, Hachalu, was the work of the TPLF. I wonder who killed generals Seare and Gezae, leaders of the Amhara region and the father of the renaissance dam, engineer Semegnew. Following his allegation, Abiy, with a stroke of a pen ordered and dropped the two legal Medias of Tigray from air. It is safe to predict that the lunatic, Abiy, will leave no stones unturned and continue to make more illegal decisions to “cripple” Tigray.


     The most disheartening on top of all this is when the federal government and the Amhara government conspire with a foreign country, Eritrea to harm Tigray. This is an ultimate treason that no Tigrayan can allow and continue life as usual.


     As a final note, I like to remind my readers the following: 1) all anti colonial wars took place in Tigray and the present-day Eritrea and our ancestors gallantly defeated them all. Even in the much-celebrated battle of Adwa, Tigray bore the brunt of the fighting. 2) I started my writing about the Ethiopia from the era of Menelik. I have opted to leave the history of Ethiopia before him for Tigrayans and other historians with the exception of Amhara Historians. Why the exception? Because there is no boundary to their lies. They have the audacity to lecture us that Amhara created the Ethiopian alphabet, built Axum, spread Christianity, the composer and father of musical notation, Saint Yared is an Amhara, etc.


Conclusion: We, Tigrayans faithfully served and did all in our power to build Ethiopia. We heavily sacrificed our youth to dismantle the fascist military junta, who mercilessly killed tens of thousands of Ethiopians and left their corpses on the streets for display. The synonymity of famine and Ethiopia was literally erased from history books under the leadership of TPLF and its compatriots. But what wegot in return are backstabbing, subjugation, degradation, dehumanization, poverty and death. How long should we allow such a systemic perpetuation to continue? Enough is enough!!


     Therefore, the only option, in my opinion, for Tigray is to invoke article 39 and live peacefully with all its neighbors. I understand many Tigrayans may raise a legitimate concern about the other nations and nationalities, but rest assured, invoking article 39 doesn’t mean you will never ever reunite when circumstances permit. Other Tigrayans may also have a valid concern that there are marriages, children, friends and so forth. Here again, love has no nationality, race or color. So, not only will the present marriages and friendships will remain intact, and it must, but there will be future marriages and friendships. Because at the end of the day, love, marriage and friendship is a decision between two humanbeings not between two nations. The only thing I am advocating is a divorce from this untrustworthy political marriage we are in. That said, I can’t wait to see the 55th African state of Tigray, waving its flags in Finfine.


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