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The Guardian has perpetrated misinformation against Ethiopians

By LJDemissie
June 13, 2021

“Trying to pick the most notable lies from Donald Trump’s presidency is like trying to pick the most notable pieces of junk from the town dump.” – Daniel Dale, CNN

“IF YOUR TIME IS SHORT”

  1. “The war [in Tigray] began last November, when federal soldiers entered Tigray alongside Eritrean forces, claiming the objective was to arrest the elected regional government and leaders of the TPLF for rebellion.”
  2. The campaign [in Tigray] has become increasingly repugnant. The US has criticised Abiy for ethnic cleansing. Numerous massacres of civilianshave been revealed, and rape of women and girls has been systematically carried out to “cleanse the blood line”, as soldiers have reportedly said, and break spirits.”
  3. “Civil infrastructures, such as hospitals, water facilities, schools and universities have been direct targets of bombings and looting, with the aim to destroy capacity to govern.
  4. “Prime minister and Nobel peace prize laureate Abiy Ahmed stated that a nation on its way to “prosperity” would experience a few “rough patches” that would create “blisters”. This is how he rationalized what is alleged to be genocide.”

The professor’s prejudice led him to be a deceiver

Taking advantage of the Guardian, an influential daily newspaper, need to fill the pages, Professor Kjetil Tronvoll has spread bold-faced “lies and deceits” of Tigrayans peasants’ tragic situations. He metastasized the below malicious falsehoods in the world against the Ethiopian National Defense Force, its Commander in Chief PM Abiy Ahmed, and by extension, Ethiopians, including Tigrayans:

Tronvoll is “professor of peace and conflict studies at Norway’s Bjørknes University College, Oslo”, according to the Guardian. I read his article titled, “The Nobel committee should resign over the atrocities in Tigray” on the Guardian’s news website. Since the Guardian said the piece was written by a professor of peace and conflict studies, I had high expectations of reading an objective article.

However, I found the article pretty disappointing because it is nothing but subjective. The piece is littered with ridiculous lies of deception, distorted facts and indefensible claims. Even worse, Tronvoll’s ravings disclosed his blatant prejudice against Ethiopians, particularly the Ethiopian Military Force’s servicemen and women and their Commander in Chief, PM Abiy.

Tronvoll claimed: “The war [in Tigray] began last November, when federal soldiers entered Tigray alongside Eritrean forces, claiming the objective was to arrest the elected regional government and leaders of the TPLF for rebellion.”

This claim is lie of deception because the TPLF reportedly conducted Lighting War a.k.a. Blitzkrieg against Ethiopian National Defense Forces’ (ENDF) Northern Command in Tigray.

By the way, the Free Dictionary said, Blitzkrieg means “A swift, sudden military offensive, usually by combined air and mobile land forces”.  IWM said Blitzkrieg is a “method of offensive warfare responsible for Nazi Germany’s military successes in the early years of the Second World War.”  “These techniques were used to great effect in 1939, when the Polish Army was destroyed in a series of encirclement battles…” “Blitzkrieg was a far less useful tactic. Despite a late attempt at the Battle of the Bulge in 1044, Blitzkrieg could not save Germany from her ultimate defeat in 1945.”

According to the Ethiopian government, the objective of the war in Tigray was to be a law enforcement operation because the TPLF’s juntas’ Special Forces simultaneously attacked ENDF’s Northern Command’s 200 bases and “… seized an array of weapons, including rockets and missiles…” Personnel and inhabitants of the bases said the juntas’ Special Forces, after they controlled the bases, among others, raped Ethiopian servicewomen with military knives and cut off their breasts off their chests. They also cut open a stomach with a military knife and pulled out the fetus.

The bases were in use for two decades to protect Tigrayans from Eritrean military forces.  The below evidence strengthens the Ethiopian government’s statements:

On November 25, 2020, Human Right Watch reported  that “The TPLF, the ruling party administering the northern region of Tigray in Ethiopia, acknowledged that it took over the assets of the Ethiopian military’s Northern Command based in Tigray…“.

On March 05, 2021, NPR reported “What led up to the current conflict?” is: “The two sides called each other illegitimate in the lead-up to the TPLF attack on the Sero base. In response, the government sent the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, backed by soldiers from the Amhara region, which borders Tigray.”

On March 13, 2021, Bloomberg reported “Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered an incursion into the north on Nov. 3 after regional forces attacked a state military camp there, the culmination of months of tension between the federal government and provincial authorities. While Abiy declared victory on Nov. 28, fighting has persisted and the United Nations warns there is a growing risk of starvation”.

Tronvoll claimed:  The campaign [the law enforcement operation against the TPLF] has become increasingly repugnant. The US has criticised Abiy for ethnic cleansing. Numerous massacres of civilians have been revealed, and rape of women and girls has been systematically carried out to “cleanse the blood line”, as soldiers have reportedly said, and break spirits.

These are distorted facts and unsupported accusations. As an example, he didn’t present evidence for his assertions “rape of women and girls has [have] been systematically carried out to “cleanse the blood line”.

Although it is known one isn’t expected to disprove one’s unproven accusation, to justify, this critic reviewed contents of the three hyperlinks which Tronvoll included in his claim. One of the hyperlinks is to an article titled, “Bodies are being eaten by hyenas; girls of eight raped’: inside the Tigray conflict”. The article was written by Tracy McVeigh, who is “the editor of the Guardian’s global development desk, and editor of foundations and philanthropic projects”, according to the Guardian.

McVeigh said that she obtained statements from an anonymous Ethiopian woman who was working in Tigray. McVeigh also stated the woman told her: “Rape is happening to girls as young as eight and to women of 72. It is so widespread, I go on seeing it everywhere, thousands. This rape is in public, in front of family, husbands, in front of everyone. Their legs and their hands are cut, all in the same way.”

First of all, fair people would give the benefit of the doubt to those who say they are victims of, especially sexual assaults, police brutality and war crimes. Besides, it is known that “Eyewitness testimony has long been considered among the most powerful pieces of evidence that can be presented in a criminal trial. Eyewitnesses, sworn to honesty on the stand, are generally afforded much credibility…”

So, we must praise the anonymous Ethiopian witness for her courage to speak up for the victims. We should commend McVeigh for reporting the woman’s account on behalf of victims of rape. And also we might as well salute the Ethiopian government for acknowledging crimes, including rapes and massacres were committed and for arresting suspected criminals and charging them.

However, to get down to the nitty-gritty of finding the absolute truth about anonymous Ethiopian woman witness account that Ethiopian soldiers committed mass rape, we should ask the anonymous woman the question of how it was possible for her to eyewitness thousands being raped in a war zone, without her being attacked by the rapists and the murderers. We must also raise the question if men are capable of raping thousands in public. Would Ethiopian servicewomen turn a blind eye while their garrison’s servicemen rape civilian women, including an eight-year-old girl and a 72-year-old woman?

Tronvoll claimed: “Civil infrastructure, such as hospitals, water facilities, schools and universities have been direct targets of bombings and looting [by the Ethiopian military force], with the aim to destroy capacity to govern.”

This is malicious falsehood. It is propaganda intended to lay the blame on the Ethiopian National Defense Force, and by extension, PM Abiy for destruction of civilian infrastructures in Tigray during the law enforcement operation. Tronvoll’s goal in spreading this malicious falsehood is to implicate Abiy’s administration has committed war crimes.

One of the reasons normal people hate a war is due to collateral concerns. It is an undeniable fact that the TPLF’s evil tyrants have used civilian infrastructures as armories and fortifications. And it is also known that the TPLF’s Special Forces destroyed civilian infrastructures, including in Amhara region of Ethiopia as the Special Forces retreated to the mountains; for example:

First, on November 26, 2020, the BBC reported “Pro-government accounts say the Ethiopian military controls Aksum airport – but this does not appear to have prevented Tigray special forces [Special Forces] mounting an attack and disabling the runway in the past few days.”

Second, on December, 15, 2021, the Jakarta Post news website reported the following: “residents of Bisober village in the Tigray region Ethiopia say”, “the first sign of the conflict came seven months ago, when members of the Tigray Special Forces took over the village’s elementary school, which had been emptied because of the coronavirus pandemic. By early November, when the first shots were fired, some 250 pro-TPLF troops were encamped there, digging trenches behind classrooms and storing weapons in what was once the principal’s office.”

Third, on May 28, 2021, Human Rights Watch reported “All warring parties in Tigray have been implicated in the attacking, pillaging, and occupying of schools since the conflict started, Human Rights Watch said today.”

Tronvoll claimed:  “Prime minister and Nobel peace prize laureate Abiy Ahmed stated that a nation on its way to “prosperity” would experience a few “rough patches” that would create “blisters”. This is how he rationalised what is alleged to be a genocide [genocide].”

This unsupported accusation is the dumbest lie of all because it revealed Tronvoll’s blatant prejudice towards PM Abiy. To explain, on March 23, 2021, Associated Press in its article titled, “Ethiopia’s leader says atrocities reported in Tigray war” reported the following:

“Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also admitted, after repeated denials by authorities, that troops from neighboring Eritrea have gone into Tigray, where their presence has inflicted “damages” on the region’s residents.”

He said “Reports indicate that atrocities have been committed in the Tigray region,” Abiy said in an address before lawmakers in the capital, Addis Ababa.

“War is “a nasty thing,” he said, speaking the local Amharic language. “We know the destruction this war has caused.” He said soldiers who raped women or committed other crimes will be held responsible, even though he cited “propaganda of exaggeration” by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the once-dominant party whose leaders challenged Abiy’s legitimacy after the postponement of elections last year.”

 

This article is dedicated to victims of the TPLF’s juntas instigated law enforcement operation in Tigray, Ethiopia.

 

The writer, LJDemissie, can be reach at LJDemissie@yahoo.com

1 Comment

  1. Subject: “The Guardian has perpetrated misinformation against Ethiopians” By LJDemissie,
    JUNE 13, 2021.

    Humble Commentary, 13 June 2021
    One can’t help wondering why human beings, with all their natural intellect bestowed upon them, indulge onto circumstances against their own interest. Let us focus on Tigray. Tigray, at this moment is faced political crises and glaringly shocking poverty. And it is shocking to realize that the phenomenon happens to Tigray shockingly and repeatedly as a way of ‘existence’ as opposed to normal ‘living ‘. The first question that popes out of our mind is: Why does it happened? Why is it that Tigray is repeatedly faces poverty at the same time? Let us concentrate on the current situation in Tigray. WE see the usual poverty and amazingly glaring political disturbance. Are the ordinary Tigrayans spell bound by some mysterious natural problems and poverty? THAT IS CRAZY!!! We should have another sane and sober reason why the good people of Tigray are subjected to such strange phenomenon — repeatedly

    How about focusing on individual charlatans who care about themselves way above the ordinary simple people, In Tigrigna, it is called Hamed Hafash >>> translated as ‘collector of the dust’. So fittingly exact, crewel as it is. Yes, the shrewd smart-aleck individuals are tuned to themselves for themselves for eternity. In simple words, they don’t give a damn about the people but ONLY upon themselves. The History of Mankind attest that fact, based on historical devastating evidence. Hitler killed himself rather than to be caught alive; others hide like mice >>> always hiding until the atmosphere is calm and, without an iota of shame, they come out of their holes and claim to be the leader of the people with all their egotistic ambition. Sad to say, our African leaders — a few of them loaded with doctor of philosophy degrees from Western Universities — are dedicated to themselves without a sign of shame. They are completely devoid of consciousness, rightecousness and basic human decency.

    At the END, we should also be fair and point the finger at ourselves too who are leading convenient, comfortable and secured life abroad, enjoying freedom of speech and written expression [like I am doing now] on any subject matter at any place. It is the greatest freedom that our parents, our friends and in totality the ordinary Africans back in our dear dark Africa are not lucky enough to enjoy Life. We are blessed to be in countries who believe in Liberty, Freedom, Equality, Justice and independent way of Life. Warning:: I am NOT talking about HEAVEN & ANGELES.

    Dear Readers: I wish you good luck with practical realties in your adopted countries, without any sense of guilt. After all, the reality of our situation has a lot to do with the notorious colonial adventure to our Lands. As a Jamaican couple carried a sign in Piccadilly Square in London, England :
    “ WE ARE HERE BECAUSE YOU WERE THERE”. Fantastic, immortal words that I will NEVEr forget. That was a long time ago. THE END

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