His name is Andargachew Tsege. His nick name is Andy. He is a British national with wife and children residing in London. Andy was in prison from June, 2014 to May, 2018 in Addis Ababa, following an earlier death sentence for terrorist activities. The death sentence was not carried out, however. In fact, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
During the time Andy was in prison, the British government had made several representations to the government of Ethiopia regarding Andy’s release. Some members of the British parliament and a number of British media outlets campaigned for the release of Andy. Some of the headlines at the time read as: ‘Free Andy!’, ‘British national on death row in Ethiopia, etc.’
Andy was released after he was pardoned by the country’s president. Many people were happy to see Andy reunite with his family in London, where Andy lived and worked for many years until he decided to join the Guinbot 7 guerrilla group in Eritrea, armed and financed by Africa’s North Korea leader, Esaias Afewerki, to fight against the Ethiopian government then.
However, it’s now very sad to see Andy, as a British national, working tirelessly with the dictators, Esaias Afewerki and Amhara regional forces, to perpetrate in Tigray war crimes and crimes against humanity amounting to genocide. Andy initiated and designed a road map for and facilitated the unholy alliance between Ethiopian government, Esaaias Afewerki and Amhara regional government who launched the November 3, 2020 attack on Tigray ostensibly to punish the Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) for conducting regional elections as per the country’s constitution and ensure law and order in that region.
Far from that; it was war on the entire people of Tigrai in which Eritrea, Somalia and the Amhara regional government special force participated and in which gross human rights violations were conducted amounting to genocide. Over two years into the genocidal war now, Andargachew has publically declared his opposition to the Pretoria cessation of hostilities agreement to be followed by comprehensive peace talks. He is defying the peace deal and the international call for the withdrawal of Amhara forces and the Eritrean military from Tigray.
What’s more Andy is heading as CEO the Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio (ESAT) headquartered in Washington DC. This media outlet is known for sowing hate propaganda against Tigrai and the Oromos and justifying the war and the atrocities committed and still being committed in Tigray.
Andy has been criticised in Ethiopia for advocating the closure of all government critical media and shutting down the internet, particularly in Tigrai, reflecting suppression of free expression of ideas and concealing the war atrocities from the local and international community.
Andy is now working actively with Esaias Afewerki and the Amhara regional government to ensure that the genocidal war on Tigrai continues unabetted. Recent documents leaked from the office of Andargachew and his comrade in arms, Dr Berhanu Nega, Chariman of a political party allied to Abiy’s Prosperity Party, clearly spell out Andy’s and his friend’s strategies to subdue the people of Tigrai through summary killing of people older than 7 years, rape, starvation and destruction of crops and all social and physical infrastructure.
Esaias Afewerki is bent on destabilizing the Horn of Africa causing untold human suffering and destruction. Andargachew, a British National is actively playing a great role by working closely with him, i.e. by propagating hate, promoting ethnic conflict, advising and strategizing ways and means of further violating human rights and suppressing demands for peace and democracy in the region.
The question is: Why are the British government, parliament and the media silent about the destructive role Andy is playing in Ethiopia and the Horn in general? Is a British national allowed to actively indulge in the design and perpetration of gross human rights violations and horrific atrocities in Tigrai that the UN Human Rights Council, international human rights organizations, international media and aid organizations have been exposing and that the UN, EU and the British government have all expressed deep concern about? The Ethiopian Constitution does not provide for dual citizenship of individuals. In fact, it states that any person will lose his/her Ethiopian nationality upon acquisition of another nationality.
The British government’s silence on this matter stands in stark contrast to the campaign it sustained for Andargachew’s (its national) release four or five years ago and to all the good efforts the British government is doing to stop the war on Tigrai. One wonders whether the British government, parliament and media will launch another campaign for his release in the event Andy is prosecuted and jailed for a number of years by a court of law. Andy’s activities are not different from those some British nationals played in the war in Syria supporting ISIS fighters. It is to be recalled that action was taken against such nationals. We believe that the British government should take measures to stop Andargachew, its national, from continuing to actively work for the perpetration of the genocidal war in Tigrai, working against the peace efforts in Ethiopia and from his activity of destabilizing the whole of the Horn of African in collusion with the tyrant Esaias Afewerki.