By Haile Arefayne (Ph.D.)
Now, the world knows everything about the genocidal war in Tigray. Thanks to the Tigrayan diaspora and their allies, the Tigrayan Flag has been blowing in every corner of the world accompanied by heart-rending chants like “Stop the Genocide in Tigray”, “Abiy Ahmed to the ICC”, “Isayas Afeworki to the ICC”, “Stop Using Hunger as a Weapon”, “Stop Using Rape as a Weapon”, “Tigray is Starving”, “500+ days Blockade”, “UN Act Now”, “Joe Biden Act Now”, “EU Act Now”, “AU Act Now”, ” ICC Act Now” etc.
On the 10th of March, 2021 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region as “ethnic cleansing” as he pressed for a prompt investigation, aid, and the exit of Eritrean troops. Click here to read more. Referring to the patriarch of Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church, BBC reported warnings of genocide and famine on the 29th of May 2021. Read more. The Guardian also reported warning signs of genocide in Ethiopia and called for the world to act before it’s too late. The Guardian added that genocide happens when warning signs are not heeded. CNN also reported clearly that Ethiopia was committing ‘possible genocide’ in Tigray. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in its detailed analysis of the crisis in Ethiopia on the 22nd of December 2021, announced that there’s a “Risk of Genocide and other Mass Atrocities in Ethiopia”.
On the 5th of April 2022, the United States Embassy in Asmara/Eritrea, distinctly indicated that the Eritrean forces and all parties to the conflict in northern Ethiopia have committed human rights violations.
On the 5th of April 2022, the UN Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International released a joint research report documenting gross human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law, amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated in Western Tigray between November 2020 and December 2021. Read the Document Here. The summary of the report reads as follows:
The report, ‘We Will Erase You From This Land’: Crimes Against Humanity and Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia’s Western Tigray Zone, documents how newly-appointed officials in Western Tigray and security forces from the neighboring Amhara region, with the acquiescence and possible participation of Ethiopian federal forces, systematically expelled several hundred thousand Tigrayan civilians from their homes using threats, unlawful killings, sexual violence, mass arbitrary detention, pillage, forcible transfer, and the denial of humanitarian assistance. These widespread and systematic attacks against the Tigrayan civilian population amount to crimes against humanity, as well as war crimes.
So, my question from this on is: What Else Do They Need to Know to Call It a Genocide? There’s enough evidence, if not beyond the requirements, to call the Tigray Genocide by its name- A Genocide! The allied forces (Ethiopian and Eritrean troops, Amhara forces, and other allies) raped from 8 years old kids to 80 years old women! They shot from a 1-year-old baby to a 90 years old man! They burned from dead bodies to living human beings! They destroyed from private houses to huge public infrastructures, like hospitals and factories! They looted from private properties, goods, and industries to giant governmental institutions, industries, and public infrastructures. There’s no known law of the world that’s not broken by these allied forces in the war they imposed in Tigray. Therefore, if this, with all these tangible shreds of evidence at hand, is not a genocide, then nothing is! And, if the world hesitates to act and call it “a genocide”, then it will, for sure, be documented in the history of the world as the greatest failure of the 21st century!