least 100,000 people have been slaughtered, more than
a million of people have been displaced, and more than
one billion dollar has been squandered in the two years
war, the guns are now silent on the Ethiopian-Eritrean
border. Even before the guns were silenced, there were
questions raised about the causes and the necessities
of the war. After the dust of the war settles, after
jingoism wears out, after adrenaline drops to its normal
level, and after the cost of the war -- both in terms
of human life and material destruction are accounted
for -- there will even be more questions of accountability
that those who led all of us to this abominable state
of affairs will have to answer. And as usual there
will not be any answer, there will not be any accountability,
and those who lost their life for nothing, yes for nothing,
will be forgotten, just like millions before them who
died fighting the fights of the ruling elites. And
business will continue as usual, as if nothing happened.
Ethiopian rulers want to convince us that the war was
imposed upon them and that they were waging a war of
self-defense, and defense of sovereignty. They even
want to tell us that the culpability should rest on
the one who shot the first bullet. Given their claim
that this is a border war relating to the Yirga triangle,
and even for a moment accepting that the war was started
by Eritrea, was the sacrifice made to secure this land
justifiable? Is there no limit to the sacrifice that
one should make to defend borders? How much life is
one life too many to sacrifice to get lands as unimportant
as Badme? Was there not some other way of dealing with
the problem? Would it not have been better to have
tried to resolve it through political peaceful means
whether it takes ten or fifteen years? Were all venues
of conflict resolution mechanisms exhausted? Mind you,
from Ethiopian standpoint, we are not talking about
an enemy that came to overrun the whole country, or
came to colonize the whole country or even a substantial
part of the country. It is understandable that there
are situations when countries or peoples take a conscious
decision of sacrificing a lot to defend or acquire their
liberty. There are times when huge sacrifices could
be justified. But the big question is, does this war
from Ethiopian angle fall under such a situation?
the enormous number of lives wasted simply to gain control
of a very small wasteland, the answer is a resounding
NO. It is totally insane, no it is in fact criminal
to go to total war over this land and sacrifice this
many lives and squander this amount of resource. No
amount of propaganda, no amount of politicking, no amount
of brains washing can whitewash this. Countries do
have border conflicts, but do not immediately go to
full-fledged war, they can clash on the border, but
they do not take that into total war. They negotiate,
arbitrate, take time until emotions settle, opt for
a cooling period, etc, etc,. But the Ethiopian leaders,
as if they have been waiting for that opportunity, when
Eritrea took over the contested land, promoted the border
conflict overnight into a full-fledged war. Instead
of exhausting all the venues of resolving the conflict,
they frustrated all means of peaceful resolution by
using different tactics, some skillful some crude.
For peace, rational nations, go extra miles, they do
not jump the gun whenever there is a minor conflict.
war has proved to us what we knew all along about the
TPLF government. This is a government known for its
total disregard for human life. This trait has been
the hallmark of the TPLF even before they came to power.
No sacrifice is too much sacrifice for them to get what
they desire. May be this had been their strong side
before they came to power and when they were fighting
against Mengistu. Their policy and move never takes
into consideration the saving of human lives. Human
lives is for them, simply something you can use and
dispense with to achieve your goal. This attitude,
when you come to power can be extremely dangerous.
It is if you understand this trait of the TPLF that
you can understand how in the world they went into the
war when more than 8 million people were starving.
What made their action even more obnoxious and inexplicably
cruel and criminal is the fact that they chose to go
to war instead of saving lives. What more can clearly
demonstrate where they stand on their priorities!
cruelty of TPLF has in fact contributed one more criminal
method of warfare to world history. Use thousands and
thousands of disfranchised subjects as minesweepers
in a warfare in order not to expose your core army.
Let them go and blow up themselves, and you will move
your army after that. This is the TPLF contribution
to method of warfare. And this is the lesson that Oromos
and other southern ethnic groups learned from this war.
Our hope is that it will not be imitated in other parts
of multiethnic societies around the world. We know
the best way of avoiding this is by making the TPLF
accountable for their criminal act. But the question
is how, and who can bring them to justice? For healing
to exist there should be justice, there should be accountability,
and without these there will not be lasting peace!!
Let us pray for that day to come and come soon!
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