The Queen of Sheba
In his recent Twitter post, the Former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Mr. Herman J. Cohen, patently blurted:
PM Abiy Ahmed’s Nobel Peace Prize should be revoked. Unprecedented, but definitely called for in this case, having rejected political solutions in Tigray, and in view of the atrocities and unnecessary warfare perpetrated by his army against his own citizens.
Even before reminding why Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed received the coveted Nobel Peace Prize, let’s just lay out the facts which triggered the tragic conflict in Tigray. The savage attack on the Ethiopian National Defence Forces of the Northern Command was triggered by the TPLF cabal as charged by the Ethiopian government and corroborated by the (erstwhile) high-ranking cabal official of the TPLF which described it as a pre-emptive attack.
The Painful, but Irrefutable, Facts
The atrocious attack on the Northern Command included ethnic-based execution of officers and soldiers while on their beds; slitting throats and bodies; slashing of breasts of women soldiers; crashing prisoners with heavy trucks and spraying them with bullets as they were fleeing. After the “thunderous” attack, the cabal official bragged that the reality on the ground has now shifted and victoriously, but erroneously, declared the TPLF as invincible force, better armed and equipped than the entire Federal Forces combined.
While this remains the hard, and irrefutable fact, the distorted, and inaccurate, media stories enabled by dishonest shenanigans and hired guns, continue unabated. What is more distressing is that there seems to be no shame in doing so—and repeatedly. A good number of pundits, arm chair analysts, and paid operatives stationed in universities, thinktanks and the media have largely succeeded in twisting and obscuring facts—and effectively, but tragically, misplacing the victimhood. The power of the looted money by the cabal has evidently triumphed.
Mr. Cohen, the old guard, who brokered the infamous negotiations which installed the TPLF cabal to power in the 1980s—and rarely spoke against them during their 27-year reign of terror—now deceitfully places a blame on Abiy for rejecting “political solutions in Tigray”. One of the most pathetic arguments of Mr. Cohen for revoking the irrevocable prize, now stands as the alleged rejection of political solutions in Tigray.
Just for the sake of it: How is it that, once winners are crowned with such a prize, they are obliged to accept all political positions and proposed solutions, even when not agreeable to them? If Mr. Cohen is seriously concerned about political solutions—and problems—in Ethiopia, he has had ample opportunities—including those rejected by the cabal, one not so long ago.
The second dishonest charges against Abiy is simply distastefully tragic and painful. Mr. Cohen accused Abiy of “atrocities and unnecessary warfare perpetrated by his army against his own citizens”. Any fair observer would promptly ask: What is the “unnecessary warfare perpetrated by his Army”?
The very forces that Mr. Cohen enabled to take over Ethiopia in 1990s but butted out of power in 2018 had been camping in Tigray for two years preparing and conspiring to wage a war on the Federal Army—and the people of Ethiopia. And when they did, they massively, savagely, “thunderously” and cowardly attacked the Federal Forces—the ultimate guardian of the nation, if Mr. Cohen cares to know.
Since when and how is it that the defence of a nation, as executed by a head of its armed forces, considered “unnecessary” and “a war on its citizens”? In fact, doing otherwise, would be tantamount to a dereliction of duty of epic proportion. Mr. Cohen seems to have a diminished regard for our intelligence, unless of course, he is also “incentivized” by the cabal forces who are now scrambling for any sympathetic voice anywhere. Mr. Cohen’s spiteful tweet is not simply condescending but patently dishonest and manifestly vicious.
In fact, if Abiy was to be blamed, it would be his boundless patience towards the TPLF cabal which had been challenging him daringly; but more so, conspiring against him by openly building massive rebellious forces under his nose. One may also add his painstaking restraints from divulging the gravity of the atrocities committed by the cabal on his troops and citizens.
One may wish to ask Mr. Cohen if he has heard of the My-Kadra genocide. If he did, he may dilly-dally to find a way to pronounce it as Abiy’s atrocities.
Mr. Cohen may need to be advised to retire quietly with dignity and cease and desist from “advice” and “analysis” on Ethiopia, which he got them disastrously wrong—time and again. Alas, it may not be easy to teach an old goofy dog a new worthy trick.
In Conclusion: The Revoking of the Nobel Prize
In the interest of fact, the Nobel Peace Prize is won on a proven track record of distinction; it is thus not a down payment for a deed in the future. Dr. Abiy deservedly got the recognition for his exceptional contribution to peace making in the region, and the accord with Eritrea. In the words of the Nobel Committee, “An important premise for the breakthrough was Abiy Ahmed’s unconditional willingness to accept the arbitration ruling of an international boundary commission in 2002.”
It is interesting that—from the “deranged” leader in the highest office in the United States to those serving humanity in the atrocious trenches of the world—many have been seen to be moaning, salivating and raving about this particular prize awarded to Abiy. To be sure, while his prize is a proud moment—and accomplishment—for most Ethiopians and Africans alike, its revocation, though impossible, would be a no big deal.
The only thing the pathetic effort of the Un(Nobeling) of Abiy cannot achieve is the refund of the cash prize which he may have already dispensed with to building schools. Or else, the Nobel Committee may need to rewrite its refund guidelines in the future.
This as it may, one wonders if the Nobel Peace Committee imposes demands on its deserving graduates to turn a blind eye when an adversary is dead set to gouge it savagely, furiously—and, yes, “thunderously”. I, for one, will do.
The Queen of Sheba may be reached at [email protected]