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Monday, July 22, 2024


It is true that the Tigray People are currently facing immense economic pressure and suffering from a lack of health services. Almost ten months after the signing of the Pretoria agreement security in Tigray is elusive. Dr. Mulugeta Gebrehiwot’s (Chaltu) article titled “Mekelle: A city under a lingering siege” hides these Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF) created internal problems and tends to blame the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments for maintaining the siege. Here are the real facts on the ground in Tigray.

Lack of Aid.

In line with the Tigray Liberation Front’s (TPLF) propaganda talking Points, Dr. Gebrehiwot tries to blame the Ethiopian and the Eritrean Governments for the discontinuation of aid to the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Can Dr. Gebrehiwot tell us what the 200,000-plus TPLF army has been eating for the last three years? Does TPLF grow or import food? Wasn’t TPLF that stole the food aid to feed its standing army and new recruits? In fact, the TPLF used food aid not only to feed its army and its recruits but also to control the Tigray people. After the war broke out in November 2020, it is public information that food aid was used as a precondition for conscription to the TPLF army. Families who refused to send their kids to the war were denied aid. Those who were lucky enough to receive food aid were asked to return part of what they received to the TPLF. On the contrary Tigray’s neighbor to the North, Eritrea, whom Dr. Gebrehiwot blames for stealing food aid from Tigray, rejected food aid thirty years ago and was able to secure a preliminary self-sustaining agricultural system. Accordingly, Dr. Gebrehiwot’s article is a propaganda piece to free the TPLF from its crime of endangering the Tigray people.

Lack of Security

Law and order are the fundamental pillars of any civilized society. When there is no respect for the law fairness disappears and only those who assume the helm of power are the winners. Currently not only daylight robbery of civilians but also theft of critical instruments of health institutions in Tigray is a major problem. Recently critical eye diagnostic equipment was stolen from the hospital in Quiha (near Mekelle) and patients were left with no treatment. The equipment was the only one in the whole Tigray region with a population of 6 million people. In fact, this is the fourth time a theft has occurred in the hospital in the last ten months. This happened when TPLF leaders like Dr. Gebrehiwot were in Mekelle. If a hospital can be robbed, you can imagine the magnitude of theft in Tigray. Dr. Gebrehiwot tries to paint Mekelle as a city where people sit and drink beers. The truth is Mekelle is a city where its residents rush home before 6 p.m. to escape robbery. That is an unofficial curfew set by the robbers who roam the city in the guise of darkness. The number of civilians hanged to death, attacked by sharp objects, and killed are countless. This is not a problem for Dr. Gebrehiwot who is protected by more than five guards.


Ten months after the signing of the Pretoria agreement, Dr. Gebrehiwot’s article tried to blame the Ethiopian and the Eritrean forces for the rape that happened in Tigray. However, many Tigrayan Scholars have indicated that Tigray has a big problem when it comes to the treatment of its women and girls. Rape in Tigray is common. Dr. Gebrehiwot does not talk about the over 1000 Tigray combatants who were raped and impregnated by their comrades and are currently housed in the Meles campus in Mekelle. Government officials, even the police, in Tigray use rape as part of their corrupt governance system. A police officer who raped 50 women in Tigray and was only reassigned to another region is a clear indicator of rape tolerance in Tigray. A Tigrayan renowned scholar Dr. Hargeweini Assefa, who was working in Tigray before the start of the war on November 4th, 2020, claimed that she received a report that indicated close to 300 children were raped by family members in one region of Tigray. Around the same time concerned Tigrayan women and girls conducted a coordinated demonstration in the regional capital city of Mekelle against the ill-treatment of women and girls in Tigray. Since the war started in November 2020, TPLF’s propaganda machine, Including Dr. Gebrehiwot’s article, has been widely invested in broadcasting the alleged rape of Tigray women by Ethiopian soldiers and their allies. What is unique in Tigray is any rape of women and girls that may have happened during the war is only one part of the big puzzle. The problem is bigger than that. That is why even after the Ethiopian army and its allied forces left Tigray, rape persisted unabated. Dr. Gebrehiwot does not want to talk about this because it is not in the TPLF’s Propaganda talking point.
Tigray is not out of the woods and still facing immense problems. But the causes are not the ones Dr. Gebrehiwot mentioned in his article. The sad part of the story is that the Tigray people are not even entitled to the food aid the international community donates to them. When they leave in the morning they do not even know if they are going to return home safely. The TPLF leaders, including Dr. Gebrehiwot, need to stop the politics of victimization and face the truth. Blaming others might serve as a good propaganda message but will not bring the Tigray people out of hunger, robbery, and rape by none other than their leaders and combatants. In the current trying time, only courageous and strategic leadership is needed in Tigray. If not, Tigray, which is able to import tons of beer from Addis Ababa with no problems, and its leaders who visit their families and shop for closes in Europe and North America will continue to linger in the siege mentality.
Awet N’Hafash and Eternal Glory to our Myrters.

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