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Tigray Forces Enter Mekelle City

For a critical media consumer, various media outlets are meant to serve as a way to arrive at the truth as rapidly as possible. As well, to learn more about a particular subject matter of interest. Today, I woke up to write an article on the subject of genocide in Gambella, Ethiopia under the watchful eyes of the late PM Meles Zenawi, back in 2003. The fast developments of Tigray military forces roaring into Mekelle, and Ethiopian military forces vacating Tigray landscape, was a monumental game changer. No matter from what angle that one chooses to look at it, it is a major event that one must reckon with, idea-wise.

Although, matters are fluid now in that one never knows what direction the course of events will lead. One thing is for sure: I was completely wrong in my assessment of declaring that TPLF was dead. The dead part can easily be misconstrued with the wishing harm to the people of Tigray. It was not. There needs to be a clear distinction here that the reference is with the archaic idea that TPLF represented and still the people of Tigray must contend with moving forward. My reading of the events led me to make erroneous conclusion. Fairness demands it. Decency compels it. I admit that my assessment and my evaluations were wrong. Without any equivocation, I say kudos to the people of Tigray. This is a major milestone toward peace, one hopes, not toward vengeance, retribution, so the vicious cycle doesn’t continue unabated. Hopefully, cool heads will collect their heels and come up with what will help the people of Tigray to recover from the verge of starvation.

It’s prudent to remember that Western countries tend to place pressure behind the scenes. It was done in London and in Atlanta, Georgia back in 1991 when EPLF/TPLF and the Derg had to be pressured to cut a deal to minimize bloodshed. There could be a deal behind the scenes that we are not privy to. At this point we know one thing for sure: Tigrayans are in control of their territories. There may remain some disputed areas to the North of Tigray, South of Tigray, and West of Tigray. These will be details to be dealt with when the dust of war settles. Prime Minister Abi Ahmed appears to have been given a face-saving measure, the same could be the case for the Tigrayan forces as well.

The raid and counter-raid have been the established history of the region for as long as the Abyssinian land existed. Today is no different. The Eritrean Raasi so-and-so defeated the Ethiopian Raais so-and-so, or vice versa, can be repeated a100 times over, by merely changing the applicable names, we will arrive to the current war, Raasi Abiy Ahmed, the Raasi of Tigray… Raasi Isaias and Raasi …so on and so forth. Can there be a way out from this habituated, knee jerk reaction of raid and counterraid? Of course, there can be if these so-called leaders leave their egos in their respective pockets and speak in terms of the people they should genuinely represent. Moving forward, what path would the people of Tigray choose? So far, from the last seven months or even prior to the current war that’s winding down, there were and are at least four blocks of stakeholder within Tigray proper:

(1) The independence blocks
(2) The Remain with Ethiopia blocks
(3) The anarchist blocks who will go on the vendetta binge

(4) The Tigray-Tigrinya block

Depending on which block the people of Tigray choose, they will face formidable challenges. If the first one, for example, then, issues of access to the sea will be the number one monumental task that the people of Tigray will have to negotiate either with Sudan, Eritrea, or Djibouti, or all. If they choose number 2, then, within the Ethiopian government framework they can negotiate whatever the Ethiopian parliament is able to negotiate that favors its bottom line as a country. Number 3 one hopes will be fringe elements that can be contained by a democratic means. Number 4 will be the most complicated one as the stakeholders in Eritrea under the current regime will be seen not only as a non-starter but as non sequitur as well. The border issues with Eritrea, the Amhara region, and Sudan will have to be addressed. What will be the new frontier for Tigray that it must, by necessity, define and redefine its position vis-à-vis these bordering sights of contentions we will come to know soon.

As a way of concluding the thoughts shared below, the prompting of this article emanated from reading one of Saleh Gadi Johar’s responses, which penetrated the subject matter in one short paragraph that I am using as a concluding remark for this article. Thank you, Saleh, for this thoughtful idea:

“Throughout the struggle[ing] era, Eritreans were victimized by Ethiopian soldiers and [their] militia[s] [were] picked from all Ethiopian ethnic groups. We [he is speaking here as former combatant in the struggle era] understood they were forcibly conscripted, and we never promoted ethnic hate[red] despite all the clear indications. People say that soldiers show their ugly nature during wars but the honorable actions of […] soldiers in times of war are often forgotten. I think you should see the Eritrean conscripted army of school children and innocent village people. They are forced just like Ethiopian conscripts [who] were forced during the struggle [for Eritrea’s independence]. The elites who initiate wars and spread hatred will be gone but the people have to live as neighbors forever.”

________

Raasi: a traditional Abyssinian military commander (equivalent to a lord or duke)
EPLF: Eritrean Peoples’ Liberation Front
TPLF: Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front

About Beyan Negash

Activist, a writer and a doctoral candidate (ABD) in Language, Literacy, and Culture at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Beyan holds a bachelor of arts in English and a master of arts in TESOL from NMSU as well as a bachelor of arts in Anthropology from UCLA. His research interests are on colonial discourse and post-colonial theories and their hegemonic impact on patriarchy, cultural identity, literacy development, language acquisition as well as curriculum & citizenship. The geopolitics of the Horn of Africa interests Beyan greatly. His writings tend to focus on Eritrea and Ethiopia. Beyan has been writing opinion pieces at awate.com since its inception (1 September 2001).

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  • Bayan Negash

    Selam Awatawyan,
    Here is a professional Eritreans with extensive experience on matters of diplomacy, foreign policy, from whom one will learn a thing or two. The link below is the interview. It may not be to the liking of some but the man does not mince his words while remaining professional. Oh, did I say he holds a PhD and has written a book on Eritrea.

    ኣምባሳደር ዓንደብርሃን ወልደጊዮርጊስ፡ ብዛዕባ ኣብ ትግራይ ዘሎ ኩነታትን ፖለቲካዊ ኩነታት ኤርትራን ኢትዮጵያን ብዝምልከት ትንታነ ሂቡ ኣሎ። እዚ ቀዳማይ ክፋሉ ኮይኑ ካልኣይ ክፋሉ ኣብዝመጽእ መደባትና ክቐርብ’ዩ።” ሰራዊት ትግራይ ናብ ትግራይ ምእታዉ ምኽኑይ’ዩ ምኽንያቱ፡ ዘይተወደአ ዉንዙፍ ጉዳይ ዶብ ስለዘሎ፡ ካልኣይ እቲ ንብዙሕ ክፋል ናይ ኤርትራ ዘጠቓልል ሕልሚ ዓባይ ሪፑብሊክ ትግራይ ምፍጣር ስለዘሎ እዞ ህላዌኣዊ ስግኣት ንቐጻልነት ሏኣላዊት ኤርትራ ስለዘሎ’ዩ።”

    https://www.sbs.com.au/language/tigrinya

    • iSem

      HI BNB:
      I have not listed to the interview but this quote is confusing “ራዊት ትግራይ ናብ ትግራይ ምእታዉ ምኽኑይ’ዩ ምኽንያቱ፡ ዘይተወደአ ዉንዙፍ ጉዳይ ዶብ ስለዘሎ፡
      And about conflating hate of IA and TDF crossing the border is also misleading and the so is the dream of Abay Tigray. Here is why:
      First no justice seeker is advocating for TDF to invade Eritrea otherwise that makes hypocrites of us: why advocate for that while condemning Eri invading Tigray. the question that is not captured by this PFDJ pro is that what should TDF do if EDF under IA becomes a threat. Tigray was not a threat to Eritirea during this war, IA to score his own personal grudges he commanded our brothers and sisters to collaborate to invade Tigray and any one, and especially any justices seeker must unequally condemn . The new Amhara/ IA alliance supporters in this forum are hypocrisies, they do not want Tigray to defend itself from EDF/IA aggression that is the question.
      Also what is up with this fearmonger of abay Tgray, a far fetched nightmare by this pro and some here. We like it or not there will be reconfiguration in our region because we have failed to keep it, we got our independence but we are not able to keep it as we are still enslaved by our own, It seems it is ok for this pro, like others here to be enslaved by your own. Tinderbox that Ethio is, it is a matter of time that there will realigned, what we should hope for is the realignment is peaceful. In other wordse, so what if it happens, provide dit leads to peace and prosperity. If the argument is such things will not lead us to peace, fine, if it is for racist reason to segregate Muslims and create Chrstian only state, then, the argument is fine, but to cuddlee IA’s Eritrea, this failed Eirtrea, this murderous Eritrea as if this Eritrea is God’s creation, as if it is the qudesse qudusan while it is contaminated by IA and PFDJ is disingenuous, ridiculous
      what I do not understand is this: Eritrea is under the grip of IA, and a secure Tigray is safe heaven for Eritreans, we can even go there from her and enjoy some of our culture and our language is good thing, so why are ppl praying for the eradication of Tigray, is that on behalf of IA grudge. Like the independence that only elevated IA careers and did not do anything for our lives this war, this invasion only satisfies IA’s ego and quenches his revenge. There is nothing in it for Eritrea
      BNB we need to convene

  • kokhob selamone2

    Dear all,

    -TPLF is not the leader any more- this is the people of TGRAI who want to clear the crime appearing in the region.-Reyot የጦርነቱ የሀይል ሚዛን ለውጥ እና አንድምታዎቹ… ኢትዮጵያ ከዚህስ በኋላ ወዴት? ቆይታ ከያሬድ ጥበቡ እና ጎዳና ያእቆብ ጋር 06/29/21-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBpvTXV2nAE&ab_channel=Reyot

    KS,,

    • leGacY

      Hi Kokhob,
      Not only that but also they need to be brought to justice for putting the Tgrai people through this agony. Hight time the octogenarian out of touch leadership is decommissioned. But that will not happen .

  • Dongolo

    Selam all. A very interesting article ‘Ethiopia to TPLF – No More Free Lunch’.
    https://allafrica.com/stories/202107030023.html

    • Abi

      Hello Dongolo
      The court decided “ You Are Not The Father!”
      All child support payments are now suspended!!!!!
      Eviction notice to be issued immediately!!

  • Solomon Seyum

    Selamat Beyan,

    Mother of USMC Corporal Joseph M.

    https://youtu.be/cKfZ9TIYlrY

    https://youtu.be/knO8Lc8VqHI

    tSAtSE

    PS: Beyan, On Liberty, Adde suWooE and the Next Great American Novel.,..

  • Solomon Seyum

    Selamat Beyan &all,

    Happy Birthday America!

    https://youtu.be/CGdD7XEEg5Q

    https://youtu.be/XdlpOIdMMr8

    https://youtu.be/XdlpOIdMMr8

    tSAtSE

    PS: Beyan, on Liberty and the Next Great American Novel….

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    ሰላማት
    ዓለም ትውዒ ኣላ ዝበሃል
    ሓቂ ‘መስል

    ጭብጢ ‘ተደሊኻ ዘወር ኣብ ዓዋተ
    መቑሎ ከይረሰነት ቅጫ ተሰንከተ
    ጫውጫው ኮነት መሬት
    ብሰብ ዝናር መኸተ
    ኣብዘይ ቅዱስ ኲናት ‘ባ
    ክንደይ ሰብ ተሃንኮተ
    ሓቂ ዝሰነቐ
    ንሪመይ ንህዝበይ ኢሉ ዝመከተ
    ወትሩ ምስተዓወተ

    ናይ መጽሓፍ ቅዱስ ክጠቅስ ኢለ ኔረሞ በንዚን ከይንስንሰላ ገዛ ዓዋተ።
    ወሪዱኒ! ካበይ ዝመጸ ጥቕሲ። ኣይፈልጥን ምባል ክሓስም። ‘ንታይ ገበርናኩም ተለፋልፉና።

  • said

    Greetings,

    What does TPLF stand for today ? And is going to be a defining issue.

    As reported over 400,000 people in Ethiopia’s Tigray now in famine, UN warns Another 1.8 million people are on the brink of famine, officials say, and 33,000 children are severely malnourished
    an Acting UN aid chief Ramesh Rajasingham told the council that the humanitarian situation in Tigray had “worsened dramatically” in recent weeks with an increase of 50,000 in the number of people now suffering famine.
    TPLF should save Tigrayan lives. And to address and deal with the humanitarian catastrophe, and to focus on Tigrayan domestic preoccupation
    War catastrophe while transforming people’s health, , education, care and livelihoods should remain the top priority, and rebuild the infrastructure and deal with the harsh reality of Tigrayan facing famine .
    it is easy to feel defeated by the daily barrage of eight month of war ,it was very horrible and bad news coming from Tigray , Poor and powerless, Tigrayans have suffered from widespread poverty and despair .that caused by war and five million Tigrayan need aide and are still remain in dire poverty.
    Over the decades, TPLF has adapted like a chameleon. It has survived and thrived after suppression and brutal war and conflict, with Derg and Border war and invaded Somalia .Political TPLF it went vicious purges, As the case in 1984 and looming famine and political turmoil that still continuing today,
    The ultimate ambition is to seek for peace over in Tigray and greater justice everywhere in our region Otherwise,

    TPLF had to confront a broken Tigray today , a destroyed economy, and a society in deep turmoil. Tigray today the world’s poorest with basic necessity hard to get and near zero income economy—with all the enormous improvement need in human living standards, children life expectancy, education, health culture, and improve numerous other dimensions of human welfare, This results in TPLF have won the war . and the Tigrayan people found leadership Debretsion Gebremichael that could deliver them from hell ,Now thee struggle is importantly is about food aid delivery and immediately and that will play a decisive role in deciding the fate Tigrayan people. And TPLF need socioeconomic victories and that are the order of the day, They have to pick up on those issues . To the bewilderment of many of us, TPLF want to march north to Eritrea prolonging the suffering Tigrayan people.
    When it comes to TPLF foreign policy in regard Eritrea, it has been nowhere near as transformational in pre-war era and nor after war today , the same old hawkish policy and the same previous status quo, TPLF never took some courageous steps with Eritrea border issue and settle for peace however, since 2018 TPLF supposed to be local Tigray administration and have no say into Ethiopian foreign policy ,that days of former PM MZ is over and with it TPLF mighty power of bygone era , the foreign policy for Ethiopia set by government in Adidas and not in Mekelle .Border issue is settled

    We know DIA war criminal and villains ,but that is beside the point. DIA does not represent Eritrean people? And Tigray isn’t some shining beacon of hope in a dim in our region . Tigray has the relative manpower, TPLF leadership are drunk on ethnic nationalism since wining the war and believing in firepower superiority mentality. Would lead TPLF to it self distraction. TPLF are far more Machiavellian than DIA and his yes minions .

    What does TPLF stand for today, for peace or war ? There’s been disturbing signs and looking for diversion , deeply disturbing and distastefully stupid. A potential for more war and confrontations ,going for war and killing is not the solution ,and not at the cost of Tigrayan own life and thereby the present and the future is at risk . TPLF should not pursue war beyond the border of Eritrea . stay within Ethiopia’s Tigray recognized stricket border
    Eritrean people , and this is often overlooked, Eritrean citizens do not feel secure. Their borders is threatened . Eritrean are not feeling safe. even if EDF can stand and protect its the border. But this alone will not be enough to ensure Eritrean stability
    So , driven by distraction and oppression, fear. Societies across the border that have been split into opposing, irreconcilable realities. Neighbors, friends, and even family members are bitterly divided into two hostile camps, each regarding the other as paranoid psychotics, delusional fanatics, dangerous idiots, and, in any event, even mortal enemies.

    But for this not to happen in our societies, an easier solution is to avoid overt military confrontations with Eritrea ,unlike 1998-2000 Border war .Today Tigray is completely bankrupt . TPLF with no financial budget to pay for any thing and let alone defense budget. if TPLF decided go to war and mislead the Tigrayan people about issues and reason to go to war , that eventually will cost the lives of thousands of Tigrayan and Eritrean people as it did in previous border war, the question is why kill Eritrean peasants? ,for slaughtering Eritrean peasant and the children. who suffered most in the war of border And for what reason invade ,to get the head of DIA ,the war this time will be with out Ethiopian asset .

    War left a stain on TPLF in past . Tigray as of now is largely dependent on Ethiopia budget handout and for it need . It will cause Tigray already broken and to go all way more broke It is the same old Ethiopian evil empire pursued by TPLF imperial blind spots, alone this time . Tigray without being big enough to replace the old Ethiopian Empire. TPLF would not last long . if TPLF decided go to war with Eritrea it will be Illegal. “Costly.” “Divisive.” “Mistake.” Immoral ,Deception. Lies. “Based on a false premise it will win quickly . It is a blatant violation of the United Nations Charter, With all this in mind, it bewilders me not to seek for peace .

    New TPLF political vision and leadership is needed and to let not permitted themselves to be set-up for political elimination. TPLF ’d never get away with it. TPLF should climb down from the threat of conflict premised on exaggerated threats through the vehicle of verifiable peace with Eritrea and to foster a better relationship between the two people. Throughout history of Ethiopia and Tigray there has been far too much war —when will we ever learn?

  • Dongolo

    Selam all. ‘Food and fuel running out in capital of Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region’ by CNN
    https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/03/africa/tigray-ethiopia-food-shortage-intl/index.html

    • Abi

      Hello Dongolo
      Please get your facts straight. The festivities and 24/7 ጏይላ have been in full force since the withdrawal of the federal army. Military Parades and festivals with plenty of food and drinks are everywhere in Tigray. You must have missed the air show where the latest fighter jets displayed outstanding performances.
      What is in short supply in Tigray right now is Red Carpet for the continuously arriving leaders.
      DebreTsion just announced that it is a must for all the Tplf leaders to bring their own red carpets.

      • haileTG

        Hey guad Abi,

        If they can fill a stadium with no food and no fuel, I think they can beat their own record with some food and some fuel. Remember, this is a war of starvation and elimination they are faced with.

        • Abi

          ኃይልሽ አርከይ
          ጥጋብ ውድቀትንና ረሃብን ትቀድማለች ይላሉ ዘመዶችህ::

  • Dongolo

    Selam all. Tigray isolationist strategy has begun. Since withdraw of Ethiopian and Eritrean troops from Tigray, flights, electricity, fuel, telephone & internet, banking, parts supply, have been broken. Upon withdraw, several key bridge passages were destroyed. One reaps what one sows.

    • Abi

      Dongolo
      There is going to be a whole lot of shipments ready to be dumped at the borders of Tigray. We need the bridges to remain operational for a short while.
      Rumor has it people are wearing dark glasses to cover the color of their eyes.

  • AMANIEL PAULOS

    Shalom !
    Awates

    Can Paradigm shift cure Eritrean politics ?
    Alternative political discourse as choice #2

    Opinion

    What is wrong if the Two bigger Nationalities
    the Tigrigna and the Tigre lead our Eritrea
    setting as majority setting and advancing
    majority agenda for the Nation State and all
    the other 7 smaller or minor Nationalities
    participate as Minority contenders and
    promoters of minority agenda to the National
    politics of the Nation Eritrea to enrich and
    advance democratic political culture and
    participation.
    I believe that Tigrigna and Tigre should impose
    the will of the Majority as the leading political
    culture of the country and the other Minority
    BIHERAT challenge or conform to it by bringing
    or practicing alternative political culture to it
    defending and protecting their minority rights.
    That is what democracy is all about but this
    new political reality will shift Eritrea to the
    Right for good and away from Leftist political
    culture.