The Real “Junta” Leadership Resides in the Menelik Palace
Elias Dawit 03-22-21
A junta is a small group ruling a country, especially immediately after a coup d'état and before a legally constituted government has been instituted. For those following the endless lies, rumors and innuendo of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, the word “junta” is used to describe the regional government of Tigray in a transparent attempt to de-legitimize a duly elected government. And for several months, the semantic ploy successfully drove the narrative in the global media.
On November 6, 2020, The Guardian quotes Aby Ahmed as saying, “The operation in the northernmost of the nine regions of Ethiopia will continue “until the junta is made accountable by law”, Abiy said. He asserted that the “large-scale law enforcement operation” has “clear, limited and achievable objectives to restore the rule of law and the constitutional order”.
The Africa Report quoted ENDF General Tesfaye Ayenew as saying, “The ENDF and federal police were tracking the junta forces hidden in natural (mountains, caves) and man-made refuges (monasteries, villagers’ homes). Many were killed and many were arrested amongst the [TPLF] leadership. […] Because many refused to surrender, action had to be taken.”
Aljazeera wrote in a report dated December 18, 2020, “Military says it will pay 10 million Ethiopian birr (roughly $260,000) to ‘any person who knows exact location of the TPLF junta leadership”.
By describing Tigray’s regional government as a “junta,” the Prime Minister and his government fueled a false narrative of an “illegal, unconstitutional government” (the Prime Minister’s words), thus, justifying the “law enforcement operation” that, for a period of time, masked the genocidal actions against the people of Tigray.
Unfortunately for the Prime Minister and his loyal group of enablers, the facts reveal an entirely different reality that contradicts the narrative lie that for months hid the truth. In a blatant power grab, the Prime Minister delayed the federal and regional elections that were supposed to be held in late August 2020, citing the corona virus pandemic. The regional government in Tigray—the TPLF was still the majority party based on the 2015 election—objected to the delay based on the Ethiopian constitution and made the decision to hold its regional elections.
Elections were held in Tigray on September 9, 2020.
According to the New York Times, “Starting at midnight on the eve of the election, long lines of people — from hardened war veterans to young student activists — began lining up in Tigray for their chance to vote, voters and observers said in telephone interviews. Organizers marked the floors with chalk, so that voters could stand at a distance from one other. Health workers in white overalls sprayed voters with disinfectant. In many parts of the region, authorities said
nearly 100 percent of registered voters had cast their ballot hours before polling stations closed.”
The Prime Minister called these elections “unconstitutional” and “illegal.”
On November 3rd, around midnight, the TPLF pre-emptively struck at the ENDF Northern Command following a series of events and information that revealed the Prime Minister’s decision to wage war against Tigray. For three years, the Prime Minister had prepared the Ethiopian people for war against the Tigrayan people. It came as no surprise to anyone following the ruthless attacks against Tigrayans and the TPLF leadership.
Buddhism tells us that three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and truth.
The Prime Minister’s stunning lies were constructed on sand and, like all everything built on sand, the center cannot hold. The truth cannot be hidden forever. This genocide was livestreamed by courageous people with their mobile phones. Unlike Rwanda, where we depended on news reports from journalists on the ground, the Prime Minister imposed a communications blackout on the Tigrayan people—keeping the media out and blocking mobile phone and internet service for most of the war. Risking their lives for being caught recording the atrocities carried out by Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the Eritrean military, the Amhara militias and drones sent by the UAE.
There is no “junta” in Tigray. Unlike the Prime Minister and his Prosperity Party, Tigray’s government was elected by a majority of Tigrayans in a free and fair election under conditions mitigating the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
The real junta leader resides in the Menelik palace.
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