Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomeOpinionAlex Dewaal’s Intellectual dishonesty and his invisible warfare on Ethiopia

Alex Dewaal’s Intellectual dishonesty and his invisible warfare on Ethiopia

Alex Dewaal _ Ethiopia _ Mesfin Aman

Mesfin Aman
February 14,2021 

Alex Dewaal of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University is once again deceiving the world by making claims that the Ethiopian government uses famine as a weapon of war. An op-ed article, full of misinformation about the situation in Tigrai published last week on BBC Africa, questionably claimed that the government of Ethiopia is using famine as weapon in Tigray conflict. 

The article features  Alex Dewaal’s opinion, who is known for his blatant favouritism towards the TPLF. Alex Dewaal made a name for himself as an expert on the politics of  famine and regional peace. In this article, Alex Dewaal tried to invalidate any government effort to help vulnerable people through provision of basic necessities. 

What is becoming increasingly clear is that this is a part of  western media outlets and their pseudo regional experts aggressive misinformation campaign on Ethiopia’s government law enforcement operation on the rebel TPLF group. The misinformation campaign is intended to legitimize TPLF’s attack on the Ethiopian National defence force and tried to overlook the cause of the conflict.

This crusade is being led by,  among others, the Alex Dewaal, notorious TPLF’s apologists and accomplice in the untold 27 years of crimes committed against Ethiopians. In January, the long-time admirer of the TPLF and its leader the late Meles Zenawi wrote a homage for the late Seyoum Mesfin, who was one of Zenawi’s close confidants and foregin minister for two decades. He described him as “Ethiopian Peacemaker and Patriot”.

 In his statement, Alex was completely blinded to TPLF’s atrocious human rights records. He was wilfully ignorant of the TPLF’s premeditated attack on ENDF and Seyum Mesfin’s role in promoting war with the federal government. 

For over 27 years, Dewaal defended the TPLF record and tried to cover up famine under their rule. One showcase of this dishonesty is his New York Times article published on (May 8,2016) “Is the Era of Great Famines Over?”. Contrary to what he wrote then, this time on his latest opinion article “From Ethiopia’s Tigray region to Yemen, the dilemma of declaring a famine,” the same De waal tried to frame famine for political purpose, claiming that “Ethiopia has a history of famine denial.”  He cooked up false stories of “humanitarian crisis” to get sympathy from the international community and give TPLF a breathing space. He has employed several intellectually dishonest tactics, including a false analogy and appeal to emotion fallacies. The famine story is purposely used  as a way to get compassion from the audience. Furthermore, Alex Dewaal  also faces traffic deception. This is intellectually dishonest pieces used to manipulate the reader.

In his BBC article Dewaal is attempting to use a human tragedy to advance a political agenda. He uses suffering people as an input to his misinformation campaign. Many still fleeing from the gunshot, escape to the Sudan and others  waited emergency aid as Dewaal and his friends began an extraordinary and instantaneous smear campaign. Alex Dewaal’s prior publication history reveals him to be politically motivated and strongly affiliated with the TPLF leaders.  

Since the start of the law enforcement operation De waal published excessively on cunning, biased, or even illogical stories on different news outlets. The contents focused mostly on discrediting the government and bolstering the TPLF, which is intellectually dishonest. All his writing since the start of the conflict fail to apply standards of reporting method, usually in a self-serving fashion. Most of his articles choose to ignore the facts, elaborate on negative incidents. 

By doing so he is abusing the resources of a highly regarded Tufts University World Peace Foundation to advance a violent group’s cause. 

Almost all western analysts and pundits employ intellectual dishonesty very visibly on the current crisis in Tigray. Alex Dewaal and the likes lost their balance and deviated from professional ethics by turning a blind eye to TPLF’s atrocities in the country. He twisted facts to advance his own agenda or to reinforce his deeply held view on TPLF in the face of overwhelming evidence. To produce false narrative, he relied on things that support his agenda without critically verifying whether it is true or false, and conversely ignored things that might undermine his motivated outcome. 

These pseudo experts and outright liars openly waged a misinformation campaign using mostly western media outlets against Ethiopia. They are determined to control the narration and scored political advantage from the ongoing tragedy. This is all very postmodern, a version of misinformation. What is on display is a cast of mind in which facts and reality are secondary to storylines and narratives. Their aim is not truth; it is to advance the TPLF’s cause. 

The Alex Dewaal and other ‘experts’ calling for the withdrawal of Eritrean troops and international intervention in Tigray  have demonstrably reached that stage of intellectual rot. 

So their integrity is utterly discredited, proven to be wholly intellectually corrupt and yet the BBC and other western media channels refer Alex Dewaal, Martin Plaut and others as independent analysts. We also see a lot of ‘experts’, uninformed journalists & biased organisations meddling on the internal affairs of Ethiopia without facts & evidence. Ethiopians are  going to unmask the Intellectual dishonesty of such ‘experts’  through the lens of truth. 

Most western ‘experts’ on Ethiopia have used their position of authority to twist fact and develop the narrative that suits their agenda. The so-called western experts similarly attempt to curtail the contribution of academics and expertise. The recent media campaign provides us with a useful reminder of how foreign ‘analysts’ or ‘experts’ undermine Ethiopia’s national unity.

Ethiopian scholars have to counter such disinformation with evidence so the world community would be educated. The responsibility here lies on local experts and Ethiopian academics. Ethiopian scholars need to make it a primary responsibility to expose misinformation through an informed, and fact based reporting.  


From the same author : TPLF cranks up lobbying machine to misinform the world

Join the conversation. Like borkena on Facebook and get Ethiopian News updates regularly. As well, you may get Ethiopia News by following us on twitter @zborkena



  1. Well explained Mesfin. The way you wrote this sensitive matter is excellent and very comprehensive. Thank you so much. We need people like you at this difficult time for our country. Keep it up my dear.

  2. Subject: “Alex Dewaal’s Intellectual dishonesty and his invisible warfare on Ethiopia” by Mesfin Aman, February 14,2021 

    Innocent Commentary, 14 Feb 2021
    Who is Alex Dewaal?
    Does it really matter what he writes about Ethiopia — for that matter about any country ?
    In other words, what makes him special to merit a response of 1000 words !?!? He must be a very special person with a rare talent on something for the benefit of human creatures !!!

    Does being part of “the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University makes him uniquely special? Even so, it is too much of an attention to reply with over 1000 words. But then, the definition of ‘special person” needs to be understood by all.

    In any case, ETHIOPIA with its ten parts, including Tigray, has survived for thousands of years as a HUMBLY PROUD BLACK INDEPENDENT AFRICAN COUNTRY — THE PRIDE OF AFRICA.

    With that background, all the dangerous internal signs that bystanders observe must be the cardinal issue of ONE, and only ONE, ETHIOPIA, way above any other distraction on trivial matters. It is the cardnal issue of ONE ETHIOPIA as a PROUD AFRICAN NATION.

    Other entities, outside the above cardinal issue, are only expert actors for the benefit of themselves and NOTHING for AFRICA. NEVER! One of the old tactic is to divide the unity of Africans by appearing to be supporter of one against the other. That is EXACTLY what is happening in Africa for time immemorial. And there is no end to it. AFRICA IS A RICHEST CONTINENT IN THE UNIVERSE — BUT ALAS NOT FOR AFRICANS. AND WE AFRICANS KNOW IT WHY, INSIDE OUT. DON’T WE ?!?!?!?! ?!?!?!
    THE END.

  3. You said Alex did all thee Ed deception to ostensibly “… give TPLF a breathing space.”

    Wait a minute!

    According to the Prime Minister TPLF is gone, is dead. Can you give to something that is dead a breathing space?

    Get your story straight first moron!

  4. Mesfin Aman is a solo traveler in search of a way out of his Ethiopian life – suspicious, blasphemous, cowardice, and ignorance. By this post, he showed to the unlucky readers his desperation to find a ladder out of the abyss of his meaningless world. He followed the long-standing Ethiopian tradition of tearing your betters down just to feel that your fractured skull is still holding up. As if insulting and demeaning Prof. Alex de Waal was not enough, this guy calls upon his Ethiopian pseudo intellectuals to join him in his assault on independent voices. The sad news for this guy is the fact is there is no Ethiopian intellectual. There is no one to pull him out of his situation. One or two Ethiopians who understand English might dump similar garbage here. But, it will be no salvation. Mesfin Aman – if you had ever had a sense to make a friend or two from Somali, Oromo, Gumuz, Sidama, etc, it would have served you well during this difficult time. Please note that you will never become an intellectual by insulting a bonafide one. You need to stop finding solace for your ignorance and cover for depraved heart in the wrong place. If you agree with the brutality perpetrated against Tigrayans, just say so. It doesn’t take a ball to beat the fallen. Therefore, you don’t have to trouble yourself to get one. ‘Ethiopian intellectuals’ have survived without one forever. This doesn’t mean that Prof. Alex de Waal should not be changed. He should be. But the challenger needs to be able to know more than English. Of course, Amharic doesn’t count.

    • I still do not get it why character assassination continues to be an integral part of Ethiopian politics. The article is not personal ; it is a response to an attack on Ethiopia. As a matter of fact, the article is to the point and very relevant. And yes, Ethiopian intellectuals need to organize and respond! Chances are you are an ethnic nationalists hiding behind a giant name. Moderator should not tolerate a garbage writing and insults.

      • Sebuh – you seem to be a nice girl. You are right when you say that attacking someone’s character should be condemned, especially when the attacked is a person of character. Hope you understand. The problem is creatures like Mesfin Aman et al engage in such reprehensible acts. The greater problem though the practice of character assassination is in your blood. Even when you condemn the act, you engage in it. That is what makes you an Ethiopian. Your discombobulated mind does not allow clear thinking. Instead, you vainly occupy your with the honorable task of understanding the workings of a rational mind. You need a change of orientation.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here