The ethnic Cleansing of Tigreans must end Now
Teodros Kiros 1-3-22
On February 13, 2021, in Addis Fortune, in a column entitled, “With Courage, Integrity, Ethiopia Has the Chance”, I praised Lidetu Ayalew for his courage and integrity and I wrote,
At this time, deep in the politics of bitterness and long-lasting traumas, there is a need for speaking truth to power embodied in courage, clarity and integrity that many have longed for.
Unfortunately, there have been too few, far and apart, that have had the boldness to express the pain and suffering felt by a section of the population without infusing it with further political rhetoric and acidity. There is outrage in his words – especially outrage at the silence – but there is also a sense of hope that people could yet stand up to what is right.
That person is Lidetu Ayalew, a politician whose views have been rather hard to pin into any of the entrenched opinions of the political aisles but has long been consistent. Recently, an interview that he gave to Ahadu TV went viral. In it, he calls a spade a spade, challenging Ethiopians who are either silent bystanders or vacillating politicians who refuse to recognize that when any part of Ethiopia hurts, it is eventually everyone that suffers.
I would now like to build on that article, as Lidetu does it again, and speaks truth to power with courage and clarity, his trademarks. In a recent interview with Eremias Legese of 360, Lidetu courageously and clearly articulated moral and political imperatives which can can take Ethiopia forward from total destruction. The foundational propositions are essentially two, with multiple parts. They are:
(1) The war must top immediately and
(2) a transitional government must be established to negotiate possibilities for the country.
The (1) proposition is a necessary and sufficient condition for the (2) one. We cannot move to the (2) without satisfying the (1). All the contending parties must unconditionally return to the barracks so that concrete dialogues concerning what all the warring parties need in a dialogue free of domination. The warring parties must realize that the masses who follow them are at the mercy of the selective information which they are being fed, information that has made Ethiopians to mistrust other Ethiopians to the point of annihilating those whom they think are non- Ethiopian, although historically the Axumites, the ancestors of the fierce Tigrean people, who are fighting for their lives, are the founders of classical Ethiopia as are the other nationalities who are also equally historical. Sadly, this historical Ethiopians are destroying one another by denying the contributions of the other, as Lidetu argues.
Lidetu courageously defended the rights of Tigreans to protect themselves from the annihilation and ethnic cleansing that is being aimed at them. He was equally right when he reminded Ethiopians that their leaders have built roads, highways, universities, hospitals during the 27 years of their leadership, but the existing regime is pretending that it has began from zero and is crediting itself for spreading democracy, freeing the masses to speak their minds. This is a naked lie. If anything, this regime is turning the country back to the Middle Ages with the draconian measures that it is taking by imprisoning able party leaders and any opposition which breezes.
I was proud of Lidetu when he embraced the cause of the Tigrean people who are being ethnically cleansed because they are led by the so-called Juntas. He is sufficiently wise not to box the ten million Tigreans who are put in one bag and targeted for systematic annihilation in the hands of the Eritrean regime, which in turn is instructing the current Ethiopian Prime minister to treat Tigrean, the founders of historic Ethiopia as non-Ethiopian. I agree with Lidetu when he blatantly dubbed this measure blatantly as racist. It is the existing regime, he noted, which has pushed Tigreans to the extreme left, to fend for themselves, because the existing regime, has conspired with Esaias Afework, to annihilate Tigreans, by sending millions of Ethiopians to erase them from the Ethiopian map.
Lidetu has insightfully argued that the Elites have successfully mobilized their followers to hate and mistrust one another, and the result is a collective trauma for which Ethiopians will pay a heavy price and complicate the coming to the negotiating table to save this historic East African nation, the birthplace of humanity, home to Dinkinesh, our human ancestor.
I join forces with him and urge that the stalemate cannot be solved by war, except temporarily and then return to the state of war, for which we Ethiopians are historically known. It is this state of war that has now reached a shocking level of no return. The longer the war the deeper the hate and mistrust. A state of perpetual peace, which historic Ethiopia has experienced only for a limited time can be generated only by a quest for a perpetual peace. Without this quest, the perpetual peace that Ethiopians should desire cannot be, and the time to seek it is now.
Now is the time. Or, simply, never.
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