Western officials and pundits never stop trying to drive a wedge between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Their screams that Eritrea must get out of Ethiopia have grown louder and louder every day since Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed a peace agreement to end the two-year civil war. The US should get out of Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and outer space before it brings an end to life on earth, but of course that’s not on the table. Instead we hear that the Ethiopian peace agreement is likely to collapse if Eritrean troops don’t leave Ethiopia. Biden, Blinken, and rabid pro-TPLF Congressmen like Brad Sherman, D-CA, continue to threaten Ethiopia, but even more so Eritrea, with sanctions.
On October 31st, thousands of Congolese in Goma, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu Province, protested the war of aggression waged by Rwanda and Uganda’s M23 militia, which has reportedly tightened its grip on surrounding countryside. One sign read “Rwanda and Ouganda Is Killing in DR Congo,” and Congolese activists are using the hashtag #RwandaIsKilling. Mambo Kawaya, a civil society representative, told AFP, “We denounce the hypocrisy of the international community in the face of Rwanda’s aggression.” Nowhere is this hypocrisy more vivid than in the contrast between the US/Canadian/EU engagement in the Ethiopian and Congolese conflicts. As Ethiopia nears victory in its war with the US-backed, insurrectionist Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), huge crowds of Ethiopians have taken to the streets to protest US intervention and demand respect for Ethiopian sovereignty.
The Ethiopian and Eritrean armies now seem close to winning a two-year war with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF,) a US-backed clique that ruled Ethiopia brutally for 27 years, from 1991 to 2018. As I write this, on October 24, 2022, Ethiopian and Eritrean forces are in control of most major cities in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region. They are reported to have surrounded Mek’ele, the Tigrayan Region’s capital, but it’s not clear whether or not they are inside. On Saturday, October 22nd, huge crowds rallied for Ethiopian sovereignty in Addis Ababa and across the country, holding up signs that read “No More to a Proxy War,” “USA Respect Ethiopian Sovereignty,” and “No Intervention in the Name of Humanitarian Aid.” Establishment outlets including the Associated Press and Bloomberg News felt compelled to report the rallies.
Events in Ethiopia continue to rapidly develop. Ethiopian federal forces have taken control of a string of major towns and cities in Tigray Region in recent days, and they are now reported be on the outskirts of Mekelle, the regional capital. The city’s airport, located some kilometers from the heart of the capital, was taken over by federal forces on Tuesday evening following fierce fighting. Meanwhile, high-level delegations from both the Ethiopian government and the TPLF have reportedly flown to South Africa for much-anticipated peace talks. Like all conflicts, the one that has been raging in northern Ethiopia during the past two years has been fought both on the ground and along the information front. Within the latter battle, a recurring, ever-present element has been disinformation.
Ethiopian diaspora across the Western world is condemning the US and the EU for “emboldening” the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which resumed the war in the northern part of the country on August 24, ending the truce initiated by the federal government in March. “Deploring the International community, in particular the UN, United States and the EU Member states, for their continued sympathy” towards the TPLF, the Ethiopian Advocacy Organizations Worldwide (EAOW) passed a resolution on Friday, September 2. The EAOW, a consortium of 18 organizations representing Ethiopian nationals in the US, Canada, UK, South Africa, and 11 European countries, condemned the TPLF’s alleged systematic large-scale forced conscriptions – including of child soldiers – in the northernmost State of Tigray.
As I scroll through my cell phone snapshots, I come across one taken several days ago from the back seat of a bajaj, aka “tuk tuk,” one of the three-wheeled blue taxis in service all over Ethiopia. Drivers decorate these vehicles with their favorite decals, including the phrases “#NoMore” and “It’s My Dam,” images of Ethiopian Emperors Menelik and Tewodros, and the image of Bob Marley. The driver of this bajaj had affixed a red, green, and gold “RASTA” decal to one side of his front window and a red, green, and gold cannabis leaf decal to the other. Emperor Haile Selassie gave land to a Rasta community in Ethiopia, but smoking the sacred herb is still illegal. This is one of many things I still don't understand here.
The discovery of mass graves and underground prisons in Ethiopia has exposed the crimes of the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front or TPLF, the U.S. puppets who tyrannized Ethiopia for 27 years with divide-and-conquer ethnic politics from 1991 to 2018, when a popular uprising forced them from power. The TPLF then retreated to Tigray Region and, in November 2020, started the ongoing civil war by attacking the national army’s Northern Command. US officialdom and both state and corporate media in the US have since described the Ethiopian conflict as the government's persecution of the Tigrayan People’s Front and the Tigrayan people. Biden’s USAID Chief and arch warmonger Samantha Power warned of “Tigray genocide” and the usual humanitarian war scenario began to unfold.
I’m writing from Ethiopia, where the war that began in November 2020 continues, with the US backing their former puppet, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), who ruled Ethiopia with an iron fist from 1991 to 2018, when they were finally overthrown by a popular uprising. The TPLF started the war by attacking the national army's five Northern Command bases in Tigray on November 3rd and 4th, 2020, but the West’s dominant state and corporate press narrative quickly became that Prime Minister Abiy had started the war by sending troops into Tigray, alleging the attack as his excuse. This was one of many early indicators that the US, the NATO nations, and their press were backing the TPLF. I’ve been here for eleven days.
The motives behind US aggression towards Ethiopia have not been altogether clear. Is it simply that they lost their long standing puppet government led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front? Competition with China? Or is it the regional Tripartite Agreement between Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia, which poses too much independence from US global hegemony? Ethiopia borders both Eritrea and Somalia, and Eritrea has made its Red Sea ports available to Ethiopia since leaders of the two countries negotiated peace in 2018. Together, Eritrea and Somalia share a combined coastline of 2,672 miles in one of the most strategic corners of the world, on the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) Secretary-General and overseer of the UN’s global coronavirus response, has established a shadow relief operation that sidesteps the authority of Ethiopia’s sovereign government and directly coordinates with his political allies in the country’s civil war. The alleged actions by Tedros, which have come to light through leaked audio conversations of UN workers, constitute a violation of UN code, which stipulates staff maintain neutrality and refrain from intervening in the affairs of member states. A participant in the leaked discussion also states that Tedros tried to replace the UN’s top coordinator in Ethiopia with someone willing to advance his political objectives.
The #TigrayGenocide Twitter campaign first appeared on November 4, 2020, the same day that Tigrayan soldiers within the Ethiopian National Defense Force surprise attacked their fellow soldiers in the country’s Northern Command Base in Tigray Region. There’s no way the Ethiopian government could have mounted a genocidal response in a matter of hours, but #TigrayGenocide was already trending. The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and its supporters had obviously been prepared to seize the narrative, claiming victimhood and blaming the Ethiopian army that they had just attacked. CNN and its foreign correspondent Nima Elbagir then launched an all–out campaign to convince the world that the Ethiopian government was committing genocide against the Tigrayan people.
On December 23, Ethiopian government’s Minister of Communication Service, Legesse Tulu, announced that all parts of eastern Amhara and the entire Afar state have been liberated from the occupation of the US-backed Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The TPLF, which started the civil war in November 2020 by attacking a federal army base in Tigray state’s capital city Mekelle, had invaded these two neighboring states after the federal government’s unilateral ceasefire on June 29.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has announced that it will withdraw its forces to “give peace a chance.” This marks a key milestone in the civil war it started in November 2020. Why was the TPLF forced to retreat? What prospects lie ahead for the country? Elias Amare, editor of Horn of Africa TV, explains.