The truth about causality as a war?Ethiopia’s case-global issues

First Causilty 3
  • View Jan LundiusStockholm)
  • International news agency

During the First World War, U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson stated that “when war comes, the first casualty is the truth.” Any armed conflict seems to prove this fact. The recent Gulf War, Examples such as the Kosovo conflict between NATO and Serbia have proved this point. And the wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Iraq after 9/11. The government’s manipulation is supported by the media’s collusion, as evidenced by the embedding of journalists in the military and uncritical public patriotic reporting of the conflict.

In his history of war news, First casualtyAustralian writer Philip Knightley said, “The era of war reporters as heroes seems to be over.” Even if global networks become more efficient and allow the world to feel their existence, it is still difficult to distinguish between true and false. . Too many vested interests are threatened, although no one can deny that every war is a disaster.

After getting very little news from Ethiopia, I remembered an interview I had with the Archbishop of Guatemala Juan Jose Geraldi Condela in 1997.He is an open-minded and joking person, responsible for a man named Restore historical memory, REHMI, which records violence against civilians during the 36-year civil war in Guatemala, especially the merciless killing of indigenous people in the country.

A year after our meeting, Bishop Gerardi submitted a report entitled Virgin mary, Never again, this is especially a curse for the Guatemalan army. Two days after the report was released, Gerardi was found killed in the garage of his villa. His skull and face were crushed, and his identity can only be recognized through his bishop ring.

In our conversation, Bishop Gerardi told me:

    When we began to preach the gospel that emphasized human rights, I didn’t know whether we were right or wrong. We must preach not only through words, but also through actions. With the support of the local rural population, we organized a development committee to build schools, clinics and community centers. I assure you that as soon as you try to improve the physical and mental health of your neighbors, especially our poorest, most vulnerable and humblest brothers and sisters, you will be unsuspectingly involved in the snare of politics and destined to become a powerful person. enemy. We started a wildfire. Soon, our missionary was murdered. The clergy did not show any respect or compassion. They called us Communists, and several of us were executed. The decapitated head of one of my priests was found on the steps leading to his church. If someone takes up a weapon…violence and injustice are inevitable. It does not matter whether the killing measures are considered fair. The result is always the same-all participants are dead and suffering, especially those poor people who happen to be innocent.

On April 2, 2018, Abi Ahmed was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia in the Ethiopian Parliament. His joining was welcomed with cheers and relief. After three years of large-scale protests, the ruling political constellation EPRDF, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, Has begun to crack. The head of government resigned, and the old guards looked for a replacement. They thought they could control it. However, when Abiy Ahmed expressed decisive action and initiated comprehensive reforms, everyone was surprised. During his first few months in power, Abi’s reputation was very high, especially in the capital Addis Ababa. His inspiring speech won applause, and his photos can be seen almost everywhere; in shop windows, on restaurant walls, and posted on cars and trucks. Large crowds marched along the main street, chanting his name, announcing that Ethiopia had been redeemed after decades of oppression.

Abi Ahmed appointed a new government composed of 50% female ministers. Thousands of political prisoners were released. The country’s anti-terrorism law, widely regarded as a tool of political repression, has now been revised. Opposition groups, including those who fled the country, are welcome to discuss the future of Ethiopia. A female president was appointed, and at the same time a democratic election and a new constitution were promised. The border between Ethiopia and Eritrea was opened, and air services between the capitals were restored.

However, by early 2020, the cheers have subsided. The prime minister’s photos have been removed and replaced by other photos depicting ancient rulers; such as the mythical heroic emperor Tewodros, the last emperor Haile Selassie, and, strangely, the blood-stained dictator Mengistu . what’s going on?

In his acceptance speech, Abiy pledged to carry out political reforms and actively promote unity among the Ethiopian people. He quickly contacted the Eritrean government to resolve the ongoing Eritrea-Ethiopian border conflict, which is a protracted conflict that often erupts in fierce wars. Freedom of the press is allowed, while state monopolies in the telecommunications, aviation, power, and logistics sectors are abolished, and competition in various industries is opened to the private sector.

Abi’s comprehensive reform attempt is a risky balancing act. Ethiopia is not a true nation-state, it is more like a group of national entities. Of the 115 million inhabitants of the country, 80 million consider themselves to belong to a different ethnic group. Since the establishment of the Abyssinian Kingdom in the Middle Ages, members of the Amharic population have become leaders of the country along with the closely related Tigray people. The largest ethnic group in Ethiopia-the Oromo people-was incorporated into Abyssinia in the 16th century. Abiy Ahmed built a bridge between race and religion.His father is Oromo and Muslim, his mother is Amhara and Orthodox Christian, and he himself is Ethiopian Church of All Evangelical Believers, Pentecostal movement. He holds a master’s degree in business administration and a doctorate in peace and security studies.

Abi initially focused on dialogue between different races and political factions, but with his reform attempts, difficulties were almost everywhere. The worst is the situation in Tigray, which borders Eritrea. For nearly 30 years, leaders in the region have successfully stimulated economic growth and expanded infrastructure through superior military power, authoritarian rule, censorship, and strict political systems, despite allowing a certain amount of ethnic/linguistic autonomy. However, after the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenaw in 2012, corruption intensified and the opposition intensified.

Abi’s economic reforms, the release of political prisoners, and the restrictions of the censorship system worries many of his Tigrana colleagues, some of whom are directly affected by the fight against corruption. Realizing that Abiy could not control, some Tigrana politicians began to move north to their hometowns instead of waiting for trial in Addis Ababa. Tigrayan’s suspicion of Abiy has increased, the main political party in the region Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) refused to join Abiy’s Prosperity Alliance, Accused him of discriminating against Tigray people, and claimed that the agreement with Eritrea was a “basically unimplemented” scam. When the elections originally scheduled for August 2020 were postponed due to the severe COVID situation, TPLF organized a regional election in Tigray and won an overwhelming victory there.

On the evening of November 4, 2020, TPLF troops broke into several military bases in Tigray, urging soldiers and officers to join TPLF. Those who refused were either subdued or killed. Weapons stocks were looted, including long-range missiles. The federal government declared TPLF guilty of treason and ordered the army to continue its offensive. Since then, Ethiopia has been swallowed by a brutal civil war.

Due to restrictions and censorship, evidence-based information hardly oozes out, and a large number of rumors dominate social media and international media. It becomes difficult to distinguish factual information from massive exaggerations and distortions. However, it is clear that both sides have committed war crimes in the fighting.

The Ethiopian government has lost the information war. There is very little communication with the international media, and the focus is on military success, while the abuse of civilians is blamed on TPLF, and Eritrea’s intervention is denied. At the same time, TPLF was able to build a wide network of sympathizers around the world during its administration, which was mobilized during the war and affected foreign politicians and international media.

TLPF troops are about to arrive in Addis Ababa, but in mid-December last year, the government gained the upper hand after deploying heavy weapons including drones provided by China, Russia, and Turkey. On December 19, the Ethiopian People’s Front announced that it was preparing to withdraw its troops to Tigray. The hope for peace talks was growing. At the same time, it also wished that the suffering of the Ethiopian people would eventually end.

I think my general description of Abiy’s reform attempts and the resulting war is as flawed as most reports from Ethiopia, because it is based on the media, my own opinions, especially the writings and reports of a friend, his knowledge And insights I respect. Let us hope for peace, and hope that Ethiopia’s internal thorny issues and relations with other countries can find non-violent solutions.

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© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedOriginal source: International News Service