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Africa ethiopia

Opinion: Ethiopia and Tigray 2

This senseless ‘war’ is far from being over, but the Ethiopian Supreme Leader is declaring victory.

As far as I know, war can take any twist. When one side thinks they have seen it all, the other side might just be preparing to unravel mayhem.

Thanks to Abiy’s refusal to dialogue with those he described as TPLF criminal elements, the war drags on. Abiy, the Ethiopian Federal leader is mindful that Tigrayan combatants are ready to fight till death. So his victory declaration is an obvious hoax. On the other hand, Gebremichael is tactical – retreating into the hilly terrain with his boys to continue defending their homeland. Let me digress for a while; at one time, both leaders wine and dine together. So what went wrong, will it be sheer greed or personal grudge?

I firmly believe Abiy could resolve this issue as he had the Eritrean border matter. With this war, Abiy has proved that he is an intolerant leader. TPLF, on the other hand, had withdrawn from direct brawls with Federal troops. They are slowly turning the conflict into a guerilla war. Abiy, a former military staff, must realise that guerilla warfare can go on prolonged.

Before now, Abiy was Ethiopia’s transformative leader, bringing significant reforms to the nation’s economy. Last year he was awarded the Peace Prize for his role in settling Ethiopian-Eritrean border issue. But this prejudice and intolerance for Tigray’s leadership downplay all his achievements.

That brought another question to my curios-self: was Abiy trying to encircle Tigray by making peace with Eritrea? I’m disappointed that he would let sentiments and grudge get the better of him. All African leaders need to take a lesson from Mandela’s life. Abiy should quickly summon the Tigrayan political leadership for dialogue. After all, they are his people, and he their leader.

To prove himself a good leader, he should listen to the yearnings of the Tigrayan people. Tigray is an Ethiopian federating unit and pro-Ethiopia. Suppose Tigray was Abiy’s tribe, would he use extreme force against them? The answer is glaring. I am thankful that the TPLF has not declared their independence. This shows that they still consider themselves Ethiopians. All they want is to be heard, and their demands met. Will that be too much for the Ethiopian Federal Government to hearken to?

Ethiopia has been an authority in African political, economic and cultural leadership. I’m not pleased with the ongoing war. It might destabilise the region and Ethiopia’s shaky economy. It is a bad thing for Abiy’s government, as he is praised for expanding Ethiopia’s economy, he will also be remembered for how he destroyed a portion of it in a few months. The war is not over yet. We don’t know what may come out of it. Well, Abiy’s youthful vision and commitment to Ethiopia’s general welfare is applaudable, but this brutal way of resolving issues won’t be forgotten in a hurry. Abiy should end the war by asking the TPLF for dialogue. Now that Federal soldiers are in control of Tigray’s capital city, he should ask the TPLF leaders to surface for discussion or does he have something to lose? He should ask the AU or UN to arrange one. If this unnecessary war continues, the blood of innocent children, women and men will haunt the two heady leaders. I support dialogue – a peaceful resolution, one that will involve all Ethiopians.

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