PANORAMA ON ETHIOPIAN TV
In the ongoing Tigray crisis between the TPLF and the Addis Ababa army, we tried to clarify the news and rumors relaunched by official sources and NGOs which certainly do not contribute to clarifying reasons and responsibilities. Meanwhile, goes on the mystery of hundreds of UN trucks that seem “disappeared”.
“Thank you for telling the truth”, “You are among the few to highlight news hidden by other media”. The messages are many, they arrive on the main social channels sharing TV stories in Amharic language. They mention the Panorama story published last August 25th “The war of NGOs, between silences and propaganda”. Ethiopian media’s attention is triggered by what Amnesty Italian spokesman Riccardo Noury tells us on why, despite the fact that they have been following the crisis in Tigray for months releasing various reports of accusation against alleged crimes committed by the Ethiopian army and the Eritrean ally, regarding the use of child soldiers by the rebels of the TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front) the NGO has not say a word yet. Still the use of children is a war crime punishable by the International Criminal Court. <<We are unable to investigate the fact due to the difficulty of accessing to the territory >> Noury replies and the answers causes many perplexities considering that the other Amnesty reports have been prepared through testimonies collected by telephone or among the refugee camps of Sudan hundreds miles away.
This is the first official statement that Amnesty shares on the issue and it’s news. But whiten the interest rises by our story there is more: apparently we were among the few to expose how the behavior of NGOs and humanitarian agencies resembles a propaganda operation in favor of the TPLF rebels. While the Ethiopian government is being charged even in the absence of strong evidence, the responsibilities of the TPLF are systematically omitted.
Public TV Ethiopian Broadcasting Television interviews us on the “media war that US and Europe are waging against Ethiopia and our attempt to seek the truth behind the propaganda.” Speaking with journalists Shiferaw Lakew and Esleman Abey, reading the comments, it’s palpable the frustration within a large part of the Ethiopian people for not having a voice and having to watch helplessly a continuous campaign of demonization against their country. Although the TPLF has extended the conflict to the Afar and Amhara regions, causing hundreds of civilian deaths and more than 500,000 displaced persons, the complaints of the international community with the US in the lead have been quite feeble with the result of legitimizing the work of rebels and fuel the escalation of violence. The suspicion is that after the regime change operations carried out in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, United States, as a historical allies of the TPLF till 2018, could take advantage from a civil war could in order to dismiss the current prime minister and restore the old status which was much more US friendly. Instead, Abiy Ahmed, starting from the choice to go across Egypt on the long-standing story of the Gerd dam on the Nile, and to establish good relations with Eritrea and Somalia, has shown that favoring US geopolitics is not his priority.
Predictably, President Joe Biden has issued an executive order that frames new sanctions against Ethiopia which could soon be applied if “the violations of human rights do not cease and peace talks in the Northern region won’t begin”. A request quite strange given that it puts on the same level a sovereign state and a party that the US itself had already classified as a terrorist one and recognized as such also by the Ethiopian parliament. A party that along with its agenda of creating a “great Tigray”, has always refused ceasefire proposals and has used the negotiations to earn time. The other condition set by the US President is the “unconditional humanitarian access” but the aid process is currently compromised by the “disappearance” of 428 trucks operated by the World Food Program which had entered Tigray in July. “We need them in order to guarantee aid”, writes @UNEthiopia, implying that they do not know where they ended up despite being the responsible client. However, the vehicles have not disappeared into thin air and, as shown by various videos available on social platforms, it looks like they have been looted and used by the TPLF to transport its militiamen from one region to another. The UNCHR also falls from the clouds in front of another mystery concerning the discovery on the battlefield of identification cards with their logo on, which have been given to alleged Ethiopian refugees hosted in the camps in Sudan. In recent months news spread about many the fact that many of these “refugees” were actually Samri, young fighters hired by the TPLF who have now returned to Ethiopia to fight. Quite curious has been the response of the high commissioner who, while admitting that the Ethiopian refugees hosted in Sudan camps are decreasing, said they do not know where they have gone.