Tue. Sep 27th, 2022

By Aesop

The bombing of children in Mekelle, reminiscent of Ayder, should be addressed with action. Speaking of action, though, one may ask who is the greatest general in Africa? It was Hannibal! What did he do? He took an army and African elephants to cross the Alps mountains to conquer that Roman empire in Europe from North Africa. Hannibal defeated the Roman soldiers and surrounded their city. If Hannibal had succeeded, it would have been Carthage (Libya), not Rome (Italy) that would have ruled the world for half a century (even more, considering Africa’s resources). But Hannibal, like Alula, died in vein. How? Hannibal gave in to negotiations.

The Roman empire changed many rulers until Fabius. Fabius knew Hannibal’s superiority in military genius. So, what did he do? He deployed small forces to weaken Hannibal, offered him a peace deal, and when he accepted it, he sent his troops to Carthage, trapping Hannibal in Europe. The end of the story? The Roman empire invaded Carthage, burned down Carthage (literally), and erased (at least, tried its best) from history. Military analysts, including Tigrai’s enemies, called the siege on Tigrai: Fabrian strategy (check twitter) for this reason. Today, everybody respects the Roman empire as if no one has ever challenged it, let alone anybody from Africa.  

Tigreans are in a stage where they should refer history to check whether it was Mekelle or Finfine that was the oldest capital in Ethiopia. Yes! Mekelle was Ethiopia’s capital city two decades before Addis Ababa. Today, after 100 years, Tigrai is considered a peripheral of Ethiopia. So be it! Tigrai is not just the protector of Ethiopia but its founder. All the fabricated narratives, ranging from Solomonic dynasty (Menilik II/Isaias’s great grandpa) based off Axum, the Adwa victory (led by Tigrai’s generals), and the GERD (Haile Selassie’s idea? Really now?!) seem to be confusing many, including, unfortunately, some Tigreans. If Tigrai was marginal, then why would the entire planet rally to manage the conflict in Tigrai? Its because everybody, including Tigrai’s genocidaires, acknowledge Tigrai’s worth. I’d argue its not Tigrai’s recent military achievement, but its historic foundation capable of producing world-class minds (like Yohannes IV- read what foreigners wrote about this guy!) leaders.   

Now, Tigrai’s leaders are at stage where they must prove to Tigreans (and, nobody else) whether they’re worthy of leading Tigrai. I said nobody else because nobody will think about them in history, unless, of course, Tigreans decide to include them in history. It is high time for Tigrean leaders to remember what caused the qualm between Yohannes IV and Sudan. Who triggered his animosity with the Sudan/Durbush leader? Who stood against Meles’s development path? Surely, it was not Africans, right?! It is, therefore, high time for Tigrean leaders to realize that they are not special. Leading Tigrai entails martyrdom. It entails meeting high standard (if not exceeding) Abay, Alula, Meles, Seyoum, and Yohannes IV curved in the Tigrean psyche. Today, it is up to Tigrai’s leaders to stay accountable to nobody else except the Tigrean people.

One word on unity, by the way. Many say unity is necessary for security. That is wrong. Unity that rests on a threat cannot last as seen in Tigrai’s detractors. True unity is based on empathy- when one volunteers to put ones’ shoes on the other. When one understands the circumstances under which the other party faces, one becomes tolerant. Where there is tolerance, there is an open mind. Where there is an open mind, there is appreciation. Where there is appreciation, there is bond- which, in turn, creates trust. Accordingly, Tigreans should attempt to emphatize with their leaders, try to understand that pressure, danger, and threat they face. Likewise, its leaders should understand the hunger, sickness, and loss of their loved ones at the hands of Tigrai’s enemies. Solid unity rests on empathy, not over fear the enemy. 

Those leading Tigrai today seem to have walked over half way for peaceful negotiation. I, personally, have never subscribed to the narrative that “peace as Tigrai’s strategic interest” in the post 2018 context- when Eritrea has returned to Ethiopia. Yet, has been difficult refute this argument for moral or religious foundations entrenched in Tigrai. But, now, it is necessary to underline the fact that one must use force until Tigrai is no longer worried by aerial bombardment. A while ago, I wrote a piece entitled “Sovereignty: to secure Tigrai’s skies!” for  a reason. I argued Tigrai must use force until it is able to deploy its own air power to secure Tigrai’s skies. The best path to attain this is, as seen today, the use of force.

It is imperative for Tigrai’s leaders to use force to overthrow anybody that either bombed or dreams of bombing innocent people in Tigrai. Leaders must protect their people. Anything short of this, such as siege-based cease fire seen over the past few months, should never be entertained, let alone implemented. As Aristotle put it vividly (not trying to show off her ‘as other do these days’, by the way): “THERE ARE TIMES WHERE EVEN LIFE IS NOT WORTH HAVING!!” In desperate times, honorable men/women think about death (how they want to die), not how they wish to live (pursue worldly happiness). That is what distinguishes Yohannes IV. No Tigrean is willing to die of starvation or crave the life as the subject or slave we see in Ethiopia and Eritrea these days.

To conclude, Tigrai must use force to end this genocide. This war must culminate with a clear victor. It must attain sovereignty for no other reason but secure the wherewithal to own technological (such as airpower) tools needed to secure the skies looking down its innocent children. Anything short of this, including starvation and occupation (remember ¼ of out people are colonized) based negotiation, is not an option. Anyone, including Tigrai’s leaders, that entertains these shenanigans, will be at risk of losing Tigrai- trying to score some hand-clap from aliens known for we know what. The past few years have acquainted Tigreans the language its genocidaires speak. It is time for Tigrai to survive, rise to the occasion, for the people to respond to those who killed their children, including their sponsors, in that one language they understand; namely: the use of decisive force that will secure Tigrai’s skies.

By aiga