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By  H.T 04-26-21

On April 17, 2021, “Eritrea told the United Nations Security Council on Friday that it has agreed to start withdrawing its troops from Ethiopia's Tigray region, acknowledging publicly for the first time the country's involvement in the conflict.

The admission in a letter to the 15-member council - and posted online by Eritrea's Ministry of Information - comes a day after U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock said the world body had not seen any proof that Eritrean soldiers have withdrawn.”


This comes after Abiy Ahmed repeatedly denied Eritrea’s involvement since the start of his genocidal war against Tigray on November 4, 2020. He did this so he could claim sovereignty and rebuff mediation by the international community. He claimed that the conflict was a domestic issue of enforcing law and order. Besides, how on earth can he claim sovereignty when he has already committed high treason by surrendering Ethiopia’s sovereignty to its arch-enemy, Eritrea’s dictator Isaias Afewerki. No, this is the case of the parable, “The Emperor has no clothes!” While the rubberstamp parliament and Abiy Ahmed’s supporters parroted his lies, the US and the EU knew better and kept on pushing for the withdrawal of Eritrean troops out of Tigray.


Meanwhile, Isaias Afewerki remained silent on the issue, allowing his junior partner in crime, Abiy Ahmed, to cover up. This bought additional time for the Eritrean forces to continue their wanton killings, rapes, destruction of properties, and lootings. Slowly, the international media and some humanitarian agencies like Doctors Without Borders started reporting atrocities. Again, to diffuse the pressure Abiy, after consultation with Isaias Afewerki, not only recanted his previous denials and admitted that Eritrean forces were involved in the Tigray war, but that now they will be withdrawn from Tigray.


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On the ground, the opposite was happening after he said this. More Eritrean troops flooded Tigray and even spilled over into the Amhara state, to help the Amhara fight against Oromo insurgents. This time the Eritrean soldiers became part of the Ethiopian army and donned the army’s uniforms. Essentially the Eritrea forces have now become paid mercenaries. The question is how does a foreign army become assimilated as a mercenary in the army of a “sovereign” country? Again, this is a game of deceit to buy more time to complete these dictators’ goal of exterminating Tigrayans and to turn Tigray into scorched earth. This has recently been confirmed by a leaked document where Isaias admonished his generals that it is not enough to loot mattresses, kitchen wares, machinery, etc., and leaving structures standing intact. He wants his soldiers to demolish all structures in Tigray. He also expressed compunction against his army for not completely executing Tigrayan youths who have now joined the Tigrayan Defense Forces to fight the invading forces.


Now, Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afewerki can claim there are no more Eritrean forces in Tigray or elsewhere. Or to fool the international community they may even show a small detachment moving back to Eritrea. However, the international community will see through their new smokescreen again and we hope that they push to insert a UN Peacekeeping Force not only to monitor the withdrawal of Eritrean forces and the eviction of the Amhara militias out of Tigray but also to provide security to humanitarian aid agencies to move freely in Tigray and provide help to the rural population who are dying from starvation and illnesses. Without the presence of the UN Peacekeeping Force, the civilian population will not feel safe to report atrocities past and present.


On April 20, 2021, UNICEF spokesperson, Mr. Elder reported several violations after his visit to Tigray. Below are the highlights:


·         “What is really emerging now is a disturbing picture of severe and ongoing child violations, there is also unfortunately an education and nutrition emergency and I saw extensive destruction to systems on essential services that children rely on.

·         the Tigray region is also in the grip of a nutrition emergency, linked to pillaging and the destruction of medical centres and costly irrigation systems which farming communities cannot do without.

·         We had a recent assessment in 13 towns and more than half of boreholes are non-functional, said Mr. Elder. “It’s important to remember that these were really advanced systems, supporting hundreds of thousands of people with generators and electrical circuitry, all looted or destroyed.

·         The UNICEF spokesperson also urged all those with influence on the military actors involved in the conflict to condemn rights abuses against civilians. “Severe and ongoing child rights violations” have been reported by victims, he said.

·         I heard traumatic stories of children as young as 14, I heard reports of gang-rapes.”


Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afewerki are lying time and time again to simply buy time to complete their mission of the annihilation of Tigrayans. These criminals know too well that the UNSC is a paper tiger most of the time. We hope that the UN itself does not eventually follow the fate of its predecessor, the League of Nations, which dissolved after 26 years, for failing to uphold its promised mandate. The UN has lasted for almost 76 years, and it has undeniably accomplished many good deeds. But at the same time, it has also demonstrably failed when it comes to using timely and forcible intervention against criminal leaders who inflict mass killings on their unarmed civilian people and use rape and mass starvation as weapons of war as is happening in Tigray in front of their eyes. Genocide is like a blazing forest fire that does not give time to waste in talking but requires decisive action immediately. Instead, the UNSC wasted time in several closed-door meetings to come up with a lukewarm statement of concern on the situation in Tigray. Shame on you UNSC, particularly Russia and China!


Nothing less than a show of force, as was applied against the Serbs in Bosnia, will redeem the international community of its complicity through its abject inaction against the extermination of Tigrayans in Ethiopia. If the UN does send a Peacekeeping Force this force should be stationed along the international border between Tigray and Eritrea for peace to reign in the region. Abiy Ahmed’s suggestion to man the border with a contingent of the Ethiopian Armed Forces will only serve as a camouflage for Eritrean forces to operate in Tigray. Moreover, the Ethiopian Army itself and the Amhara militia have committed their share of atrocities on the Tigray people and should also clear out of Tigray for the people to feel completely safe. Only an international Peacekeeping Force can bring peace to the region. In the end, there should be a truce for peace by all combatants for independent international investigators, to sort out war crimes and crimes against humanity, and for the duly elected Tigray government to be allowed to resume its administration of the region.




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