BY SOLOMON DIBABA
Over the last three years of comprehensive reforms in Ethiopia, ascertaining internal peace and peacekeeping in Africa has remained one of the top priorities of the government. Structural, political and juridical reforms issued by the government had helped to accelerate socio-economic growth even in the advent of COVID-19.
Ethiopia has effectively solicited peace in Sudan and has helped to ease the border tension between Kenya and Somalia demonstrating its complete commitment to peace and development in the continent. This was indeed a reflection of the domestic policy of peace and reform that the government pursued in good faith.
Despite the inclusive and promising reforms that were introduced in the country by the Prosperity Party, the ruling party in Ethiopia, the TPLF has remained adamant to the positive calls for unity and prosperity of the country in the context of the reform. Not only did the TPLF reject the constitutional stature of the current government, it conducted an unconstitutional regional election that was made null and void by the House of Federation and waged war against the Ethiopian National Defense Force Northern Command.
TPLF’s barbaric activities which included looting of public and private properties forced the Ethiopian government to embark on a law enforcement campaign, relief and rehabilitation and reestablishment of regional and local administrative bodies in Tigray. Speaking on a recent gathering dedicated to a thanksgiving event for the media outlets for effectively covering the 6th National Election, Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed disclosed that so far the government has expended some 100 billion Birr for delivering relief supplies for needy citizens in Tigray. The Prime Minister noted that this constituted more than 10 folds of the annual budget allocated for the region.
The western media as usual is now creating another round of confusion stating that a ceasefire has been concluded between the Ethiopian government and TPLF while in reality, the government declared a unilateral ceasefire while TPLF has categorically rejected it.
Major international partners, global media companies and even the UN systems had also repeatedly underestimated massive government relief efforts which covered 70% of relief consignment to feed, shelter the displaced and provide health services to all affected by the situation. Global partners were heeding to the false propaganda spread by TPLF and subsequently joined hands in accusing the government for atrocities which in reality were perpetrated by TPLF. However, the government of Ethiopia has been demonstrating its responsibility to the safety of the people in Tigray by storing more than 400,000 quintal of relief food in the warehouses of Mekele even it pulls out the military from the region in the recent days. The government has also expressed that it would welcome relief supplies and distribution that western aid agencies have been calling for.
The same western powers were time and again asking for a ceasefire and dialogue with TPLF which was declared as a terrorist organization. They provided moral and diplomatic support for TPLF and continued to threaten the people and government of Ethiopia with unwarranted sanctions which Ethiopia continued to resist.
A couple of days back the Tigray Provisional Administration has requested the Federal Government to enact a humanitarian ceasefire in the Tigray region. The provisional administration’s request came after due consideration of the needs on the ground and following the consultations with academics, business community and religious leaders and elders from the Region. This was meant to facilitate for support for farmers in Tigray so that they can have peaceful farming season in which they can produce their food.
The federal government accepted the request and the Ethiopian army evacuated from Mekelle because Mekelle has ceased to be the center of gravity that is capable of posing a threat to the nation and the federal government. The Ethiopian army was not dislodged by the TPLF from Mekelle. The group was defeated in a 3-weeks swift conventional war while it was armed to teeth but now its military, administrative and organizational structure is obliterated and could not make the Ethiopian forces leave the city by force. External threat the army has to refocus its attention to protecting the country from another national threat, this time an external one, rather than fighting the already incapacitated TPLF.
Major partners and regional organizations including the United Nations, AU UAE, UK, US and Russia welcomed the unilateral declaration of ceasefire by the Ethiopian government.
However, the Spokesperson of the terrorist organization told CNN a couple of days back that TPLF has rejected the unilateral truce by the Ethiopian government and vowed to continue the war until “ the enemy is destroyed” This vividly indicates that TPLF has no desire for peace in Tigray but even attempts to spark a regional war in the Horn of Africa. Hence, the international community should try to understand the fact on the ground and stop one sided moral support and sympathy for this inhuman terrorist force.
The people of Tigray also need to carefully realize the interlocking relations between peace, development and regional stability for the promotion of their own well being. The boundless patience of the government upon the illegal activities of TPLF and the selfless relief support the regional governments in Ethiopia had continued to provide the people of Tigray with full humanitarian support, the support provided to them by the international community should indicate to them that the people of Ethiopia are concerned about citizens in Tigray. They are expected to denounce the inhuman activities of TPLF and demonstrate that they are part and parcel of the people of Ethiopia.
The TPLF is still bragging and leading the peoples of Tigray with a motive of cultivation hatred for the rest of the peoples of Ethiopia for no reason. there is so far nothing positive that the TPLF has done for the people of Tigray except for multiplying their misery at this critical farming season which the farmers have to utilize.
In a recent joint statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and The Disaster Risk Management Commission, the Ethiopian government has set aside 365,000 quintal of fertilizers and already 50 woredas in Tigray Region are engaged in farming their plots. Every year farmers in Tigray farm 55,000 hectares of land to produce food for the population.
TPLF cadre have been moving from village to village instructing farmers not to till their landes but join them in sabotaging the development efforts that the government has been undertaking in the region. After the army has pulled out of Mekele, the residents of the town are now busy vandalizing the development structures, hospitals and other facilties and looting has now become a mainstay in Mekele.
The people in Tigray need to verify the difference between farce and reality and refrain from emotionally charged celebrations over nothing. The army pulled out of Tigray in a planned manner and not because of any level of defeat from the ill equipped army of irresponsible and unprofessional bandits.
Ethiopia would once prevail over all upcoming and current challenges in full unison and wisdom.