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Newly released video reveals crimes against humanity by the regime in Ethiopia

September 22,2016

Video Credit : Mesay Mekonnen

Toronto – a video footage released yesterday reveals inhuman killings in Ethiopia, by the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front government,that could constitute crimes against humanity.

Mesay Mekonenen, journalist and US based Ethiopian Satellite Television news anchor, shared the video on his personal facebook page. It i believed to be video from peaceful protest in early August in the regional state of Amhara capital, Bahir Dar. Shows scores of unarmed young people shot dead by snipers deployed by the TPLF government.

Similar killings of unarmed civilians took place elsewhere in Ethiopia. Since the month of July this year only, close to a thousand Ethiopians are killed by loyal forces of TPLF government, Agazi. There are,however,indications that the figure could be much higher in light of unreported killings mainly in Amhara and Oromo regions of Ethiopia and recently in Konso region of Ethiopia.

After Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne ordered deployment of the armed force in the Amhara region sometime last week, power blackout was imposed. Phone and internet connections to the region was disconnected for weeks.

Coupled with disappearance,still unaccounted for, and detentions of thousands of young people in the Amhara region after what appeared to be house to house searches, concomitant communication blackout in Amhara region led opposition activists to speculate that the scale of attack in Amhara region is of genocidal level.

[adToAppearHere]Defections of a contingent of the army deployed to massacred civilians was reported by ESAT a few weeks ago. Some abandoned the army without traces while others fought against the very contingent that was deployed to kills civilians. A lieutenant, identified as Yilak, was killed after he waged combative battle against army contingent to which he was a part which was ordered to undertake killings in Amhara region.

United Nations Human Rights body requested the regime to investigate killings of civilians but the request was turned down by TPLF government.

Killings are still going on. This past week, Amharas who lived in the Konso area of Ethiopia for ages were massacred and their homes burned to be reduced to ashes. A new mother was apparently in one of the homes in the villages of Konso burned down by TPLF government forces.

On September 19, a record high number of Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans (read here protested to demand an end to the killings of unarmed civilians. There were similar protests in European cities. And one coming in Ottawa,Canada, this Friday.

“Anti-peace forces Versus Minority tyrannical regime

Opposition activists even with different political convictions are speaking same language when it comes to impending danger to Ethiopia ; Tigray People’s Liberation Front government is undertaking genocide mainly in Amhara and Oromo regions while projecting a tone of reform in the state and affiliated media that it controls.

There exists visible consensuses on the why of the genocide in the opposition quarter. Partly it is motivated by hate against Amhara and Oromos. And partly it is seen as consequences of desperate move to maintain a hold on power by the minority TPLF regime.

Whatever the motivation is, it is undeniable that zero sum game of Tigray Peoples Liberation Front government, coordinates with the regional government of Tigray, is causing havoc to Ethiopia and the price is usually the lives of innocent unarmed civilians including children, women and elders.

Yet, TPLF plays the politics of fear in a different way too ; Ethiopia will disintegrate if TPLF is no longer in power. This view is supported by extensive propaganda, albeit little to no effect, that the country wide popular revolt is caused by “some anti-peace forces” that are in the business of destabilizing the Ethiopia for the sake of Eritrea. How is it even possible to witness widespread protest just a year after the regime claimed 100 % of landslide victory in the national election could sound unfathomable to outside observers but not to Ethiopians. The regime lost power more than tens years ago in a landslide victory by the opposition which it over turned with a point of gun.

Who is opposing?

The regime now labelled opposition forces into two groups ; chauvinists and narrow nationalists. The first one is a reference to opposition forces who with a strong sentiment for the territorial integrity and unity of Ethiopia the latter is a reference to Oromo organization of which some were nurtured by the regime itself as a tool to counter the forces of unity of Ethiopia. Yet, TPLF itself is still an ethnic based political organization and represents,it says, ethnic Tigray which is only 6 % or less or the entire population.

Beyond party labels, demographically, the youth, as in the case of many other developing countries, constitutes majority of the population of Ethiopia. On top of unemployment and other social challenges, there is demonstrated feeling of being reduced to second class citizen in country that they dearly love so much so that there is desperation to leave the country behind at any cost. Thousands have died in African soil and in the waters of Mediterranean while pursuing the “dream” to escape from minority tyranny and problems caused by it.

“We want to have out[r]country back and be free” said a young with a note not to disclose name. The regime’s perception of this desire for change, however, is rather naive and dangerous at the same time; it’s has got to do with “anti-peace forces” At times,religious leaders are mobilized to domesticate the youth. At times, parents are told to hold their “children” not to involve in the revolt- which many tend to see as something ludicrous and insult.

What seems to be clear is that Ethiopia will never be the same for the regime in power after twenty five years of tyranny.

Written by Dimetros Biku. Can be reached on twitter : @dimetros


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