The people of Tigray maybe down but not out.
● In this war, an innocent population is paying dearly for the malice and recklessness of its leaders. Regardless of TPLF's own short-sightedness and previous transgressions, Abiy's declaration of war was a stunningly irresponsible move. It has not only led to the death and displacement of hundreds of thousands of ordinary Tigrayans, but has set back any remaining promise in Ethiopia's democratic change years, if not decades. This is yet another tragic example of what transpires when trigger-happy politicians fail to properly consider asking themselves: is it really worth it?
● The heinous alliance in conducting this war that Abiy entered into with Isaias only adds to the irrationality and barbarity of the war. The potentially positive dynamic (of influencing and nudging Eritrea's closed authoritarian system towards openness) that some Eritreans hoped for when the Abiy-Isaias rapprochement began in 2018, has clearly worked in the opposite direction.
● Beyond the expected sympathy with a victimized population, we, as Eritreans, are (should be) deeply concerned with two aspects of this malicious war: (i) the criminal act of throwing a new generation of Eritrean youth into the flames of yet another unnecessary, enormously cynical, conflict; and (ii) the plight of tens of thousands of defenseless Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia who have fallen prey to atrocities coming from every corner.
As we engage in the customary partisan political football and armchair analyses, I hope we can always keep in mind the true cost of this war — the human cost.
● While many Eritreans have taken the rational stand expected from any justice-loving, well-adjusted, patriot, i.e. empathizing with the people of Tigray and condemning Eritrea's involvement in the war (esp. considering the cost being paid by the Eritrean youth), two opposing, but equally flawed, positions have emerged:
(i) The first is a slice of the Eritrean diaspora that, in its support for Tigray and the TPLF, implicitly or explicitly identifies itself with Tigray nationalism; dangerously blending and confusing Eritrean and Tigray polities and political spheres; (Some of these have even defended the loss of Eritrean refugee lives in the hands of Tigray militias, and engaged in, or justified, the divisive politics of blaming specific Eritrean ethnic groups for the war's atrocities).
We should remind this group that our solidarity with the people of Tigray is one that is extended by a SOVREIGN neighboring people. (Hence, our particular advocacy for Eritrean refugees in Tigray should not surprise you).
(ii) The other group is a segment of Eritreans (including supporters of Isaias, as well as some who oppose his regime), whose primary goal is to see the demise of the TPLF at any cost (even sacrificing young Eritrean lives). This group has been rejoicing in the military defeat of Woyane, oblivious to the human, economic and strategic cost of Eritrea's involvement in the war.
This latter group seems to have forgotten that not every political objective is worth waging a war for.
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