I believe dialogue is the best way forward.
Let me start by saying that no government, because of her privilege of power, should exercise extreme force, especially where there are options for dialogue.
I remember reading about the events that took place before the Nigerian war. The Federal Government of Nigeria and Biafran authorities were summoned to Accra to find common ground. Though the crisis still happened, there were initial negotiations and talks. If not for heady leaders, the violence could have been avoided.
In the Ethiopian case, that’s different. Tigray rebels took an army base located in their region; this is the exact reason for the federal government to start bombing. The Tigrayan authorities have expressed interest in dialogue, but the central government won’t have that.
Ethiopia is gradually slipping into civil war, and the central government denies this because it has the upper hand. I’m yet to see why it’s essential to use aerial bombardment when he had rejected calls for dialogue. Interestingly, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the peace prize in 2019 for his role in restoring peace along Ethiopia’s border with Eritrean. If he genuinely is a peacemaker as he seems, I wonder why he is bent to use force in Tigray. Tigray is 6% of the total Ethiopian population, and the landmass is one of the smallest. Abiy has clearly shown his resentment over Tigray’s leadership. He has started a humanitarian crisis and should be held responsible. Why would he reject calls for dialogue? The African Union and all democracies should ask him why he turned off the internet in the region—no more mincing of words.
Local militiamen from the Amhara region alongside the federal military now participate in the onslaught against Tigray. What makes the central government think that these militiamen won’t band up against it in the future?
What is currently happening in Tigray is a massacre, typical of Africa’s power-drunk leader’s who think that force is a better option than dialogue. It could happen to Zambia or Mali, or Bangladesh. The number of internally displaced people continues to rise each day, and Ethiopia’s neighbors are receiving refugees as this senseless violence rage on. Innocent people bear the brunt; more civilians are killed daily. The African Union should act before Ethiopia’s heady leaders destroy this beautiful African nation.