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Practical way for the UN and International community to end the conflict 

Ethiopia _ Eritrea _ TPLF _ UN war
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borkena
Editorial
Updated on October 18, 2022 at 7:36 P.M. Toronto time

Ethiopia is once again facing orchestrated political pressure from western powers over the war on the designated terrorist organization – Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Reminiscent of colonial type of power relations is now becoming an overt one with multilateral institutions like the United Nations demonstrating a commitment to play an instrumental role in perpetuating it.

In a span of one week, the United States and five of its western allies issued a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Ethiopia. The African Union called for an immediate ceasefire expressing concern over the escalation of the war. And today the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, remarked on the situation in  Northern Ethiopia conveying the same message as the United States and most of its key western allies.

The TPLF as a cause for the entire conflict is ignored. It is proven, even from the testimonial of key TPLF authorities, that the war in Ethiopia started as a response to what the TPLF called as a blitzkrieg attack on the northern command of the Ethiopian defense force in November 2020.  

Not only the TPLF started the conflict, it also exerted effort to perpetuate it until Ethiopia’s resistance weakened to a point where the TPLF could march to the capital Addis Ababa as a dominant power player.  When the Ethiopian government declared a unilateral ceasefire in July 2021 and made calls to resolve the conflict peacefully, the TPLF called it a “sick joke.”

Within a matter of three to four months after the unilateral ceasefire by the Ethiopian government, the TPLF forces carried out large-scale military operations taking control of many areas in the Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia. They massacred thousands of innocent civilians in the areas they controlled.

The TPLF leaders like Tsadkan Gebretensae and Debrestion went to the extent of declaring that the war is over, and that there will not be talk with the Ethiopian government. Their “victories” were making headlines in western media outlets. There was even a claim that the TPLF forces were taking the capital Addis Ababa.

At that point, the United States, and its western allies, were preoccupied with creating a treacherous image that the fall of Addis Ababa was imminent. They were issuing travel advisories calling their citizens to avoid traveling to Ethiopia and those in the country to leave as quickly as possible.

By December 2021, TPLF lost many battles in Afar and Amhara areas and had to retreat to the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Instead of working on resolving the conflict peacefully, it was engaged in extensive mobilization for another round of conflict.

Weeks after key western powers headed to the Tigray region to meet with the rebel leaders, the TPLF opened the third round of military attacks against Ethiopian forces on August 24.

It opened the war at a time when the Ethiopian government was expressing commitment to resolve the conflict peacefully within the framework of the African Union-led peace talk.  The western powers did not still condemn the fact that the TPLF opened another round of conflict.

Ethiopian forces managed to crush the TPLF forces within less than two months. It is now confirmed that the TPLF is retreating further from different directions as it is suffering military defeats. Now the western powers resumed conspiring against Ethiopia. From the United Nations secretary general remarks, it seems there is an intention to set Ethiopia up for an UN-led military intervention.

The western powers and the United Nations are calling for an immediate cessation of hostility and the withdrawal of Eritrean forces.  The presence of Eritrean forces in Ethiopia is not verified by an independent party and Ethiopia did not make a plea about the presence of Eritrean forces in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia and Eritrea have ended two decades long hostility not long after the TPLF lost dominant power in Ethiopia.  The  two countries, as sovereign states, have signed several treaties of cooperation and  MoU including in the security and military areas. What is the legal basis for the United Nations and western countries to call for the withdrawal of “Eritrean forces from Ethiopia.”? The United Nations has the duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of a country and also not to interfere in they way how two sovereign states are handling their military affairs as long as they are not posing a threat on another sovereign state.

Also, the Ethiopian parliament, in May 2021, designated the TPLF as a terrorist organization.  The Ethiopian government has a legal obligation to ensure that TPLF, either on its own or in cooperation with other designated terrorist groups – will no longer pose a danger to Ethiopia.  In that regard, the government seems to have carried out the offensive on TPLF with a demonstrated sense of responsibility to ensure that civilians are not harmed. 

The mantra “there is no military solution to the conflict” is misleading too. The TPLF defied all other peaceful means in pursuing radical political goals and resorted to military means. The response could only be military. The TPLF is losing the war and it means that there is a military solution to the TPLF belligerence.

It is the TPLF that has started the war, not once but three times. And the onus to end the war fully rests on the TPLF. It only takes the TPLF to throw a towel in the fighting ring admitting that it has lost it. It means an opportunity for ending the humanitarian crisis in Tigay region of Ethiopia. That is where the United Nations and the “international community” needs to act.For that matter, these entities did not even condemn the TPLF as the entity that caused the war. 

Meanwhile, it is imperative that African nations understand the importance of strengthening solidarity with Ethiopia and Eritrea against western bullies, including through the agency of the United Nations. It is very clear that western powers do have interest in maintaining colonial era type of power relations with Africa ( and the rest of the world that matter) except that they have become innovative about it. Undue pressure from the United Nations must be resisted. It is very colonial in nature.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. To the editors of Borkena
    Thanks to for a judicious and compelling editorial.
    I only wish that Western powers UN and AU officials will take heed.

  2. Subject: “Practical way for the UN and International community to end the conflict” borkena, Editorial, Updated on October 18,

    Humble Commentary, 18 Oct.2022
    Admirable Article with its typical Ethiopian characteristics of ጨዋነት in addressing the subject matter that needed to be corrected. As to the posture of the so-called Neutral Secretary General of the United Nation, let History be the JUDGE on his single-sided action that would destroy a Nation instead of cultivating PEACE and HARMONY.

    May Ethiopia succeeded in retaining ONE and ONLY ONE ETHIOPIA for EVER.

  3. Great Article regarding the current war in Northern Ethiopia and the hypocrisy of the so called Western World. Ethiopia has the Facts to her side.

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