Alleged massacre in Ethiopia: Tigray crisis

Alleged massacre in Ethiopia: Tigray crisis

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tensions in the region of Tigray in Ethiopia are ongoing and many people have died in recent clashes. The thorny issues of power concentration, federalism, regional grievances, ethnicity, religion, a unitary state, and political differences all exist in Ethiopia to various degrees. Therefore, the recent bloodshed in Tigray needs to be contained and resolved before a vicious spiral of bloodletting emerges.

According to Amnesty International, a recent massacre took place in Tigray. This human rights organization said, “Scores and probably hundreds” of innocent civilians were brutally killed in Tigray.

Eyewitnesses accuse the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of committing the massacre against innocent civilians. However, the TPLF denies any involvement.

Amnesty International reports, “Scores, and likely hundreds, of people were stabbed or hacked to death in Mai-Kadra (May Cadera) town in the South West Zone of Ethiopia’s Tigray region on the night of 9 November.”

Apparently, images and videos confirm the massacre and this bodes ill for the crisis in Tigray. After all, irrespective of whoever committed the massacre – with the deed being pointed at the TPLF – it is bound to sow greater divisions and hatred.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is adamant that agitation in Tigray is threatening the nation-state of Ethiopia. Likewise, the TPLF is disillusioned by power concentration processes that challenge their vision for Tigray.

The BBC reports, “There has been long-standing tension between Ethiopia’s government and the TPLF, which controls Tigray, the country’s northernmost state, and it has boiled over into military clashes, including air strikes by federal forces.”

Abiy said, “Our law enforcement operations in Tigray are proceeding as planned: operations will cease as soon as the criminal junta is disarmed, legitimate administration in the region restored, and fugitives apprehended & brought to justice — all of them rapidly coming within reach.”

However, Abiy needs to listen to federal concerns in Tigray and other parts of Ethiopia who fear being sidelined by a unitary system of government. Therefore, new sensitive political goals need to be handled with complete sincerity – and for a shared vision to emerge.

It is hoped that Ethiopia and opposition forces in Tigray will seek a political solution outside the ongoing military confrontation. Hence, internal mechanisms in Ethiopia should strive to contain the crisis.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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