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Intentionally confusing battle with human rights violation

Intentionally confusing battle with human rights violation

Kalayu Abrha 03-25-21

War is a bad thing. There is no question about that. It's not fun even when soldiers kill soldiers. However, it is a way of life in this world where humans resolve their differences mostly by the barrel of the gun rather than on the top of a table. The inevitability of war has obliged the world to formulate some rules to be strictly adhered to during military conflicts. It is not allowed to fight by means other than guns. It is sheer cowardice and satanic to use looting, rape, and hunger as a weapon to degrade the morale of the enemy force. It is cowardice because harming unarmed people does not need bravery. Even killing disarmed war prisoners is for a barbarian to do. This is the difference in the level of culture between the TDF and the invaders in Tigray.

When battles rage civilians may be trapped and harmed. This is the unfortunate consequence of war. It does need to be a scientist to know this simple fact. It is not possible to consider the death of civilians under such circumstances as war crimes or human rights violations. It is up to the parties in the conflict to avoid the possibilities of collateral damage to civilians. TDF has shown the world its elevated culture and love for its people by withdrawing from Mekelle and other cities in Tigray to minimize the damage to civilians. Surprisingly, the uncultured invaders considered this action as cowardice. They had wanted to kill half a million residents of the Capital using TDF's stay in Mekelle as an excuse.

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The death of soldiers in battle and the death of civilians in battle is not the same. The former is a norm, and the latter is a sad incident. When the civilian death happens by intention it is not only sad but also a war crime. War crime includes rape as a weapon of war. Comparing the brutal act of rape by a soldier and death of a soldier in battle is like comparing a professional boxer punched to death by his opponent in the ring and an innocent man beaten to death in the streets. If one dares to consider the former as a more criminal act than the latter, then logic is standing on its head! The professional boxer knows what could happen to him in the ring when he chooses to join the dangerous sport at the outset. There is a possibility of injury to death. Death or injury in the ring is not for the police if the match was approved by the referee as per the rules of the game.

It was stunning to hear in the Ethiopian Parliament that death of soldiers in battle was considered to be more brutal than the rape of a girl by a soldier. The fact that the entire Parliament listened to this and did not react causes helplessness in the way Ethiopia is being ruled. A soldier is hired to fight; and fighting involves a high likelihood of death. Unfortunately, this is what the job requires: readiness to die!  When a soldier senses that clouds of war are getting heavier, he/she has to be alert and expect victory, defeat, injury, and death in any hour of the day. That is unfortunately again what he/ she is paid to feel and do. A rape victim is not hired to be a rape victim. There is of course an immoral profession called prostitution where women sell their body for pleasure in order to earn a living and even to be rich. A rape victim is not a prostitute who willingly allows the violation of her body for cash. A rape victim is a woman who even could be a rich woman or a poor one, but its body is violated by coercion. Doing something as a profession and accept the consequences and something happening to someone without consent are not comparable. Soldiers killed (bayoneted) at the alleged start of the Tigray war is war does not rape. When the TDF felt that the northern army was planning to hit them any next moment they attacked. It was a conventional battle not a massacre. Mengistu Hailemariam said in 1978: "They wanted us for lunch we ate them for breakfast". No one went to court for killing General Teferi Bante; no one was sorry for them because they had plans to kill Mengistu. It was a difference in speed!

Admitting guilt is one thing that could be for the priest or for the court to handle depending on the gravity of the offense; but belittling a crime as huge as rape is inhuman to say the least. Why is rape considered as the greatest of crimes? Because it is associated with the great honor of motherhood. More than half of Humankind's values are founded on the celebration of motherhood. People lose half of what makes them human beings if they are involved in the violation of motherhood. There are thousands of churches named after St. Mary. Why does She deserve so much of reverence? The answer is simple: Because she gave birth to our Lord Christ! Every woman has the same womb which gives birth to continue human race on this planet. The women's private parts must be the most protected of all human treasures that are not violated without the consent of their owner. Trivializing the rape of women and their brutal violation by putting foreign objects in their private parts and demonizing the killing of soldiers by soldiers is a brutal murder of logic just for the sake of evading crime against humanity!


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