Those are the poignant and resigned responses of a mother to President Sahle-Work Zewde when the latter fought her tears back [I presume it was genuine but again, one should be excused if one dismiss it as a mere crocodile tears] as she recounted the incident today in her speech during the Victory of Adwa celebration. She said, she offered [Pads or Tampons] to a woman who was grieving the lose of her two adult children who were murdered when the genocidal war was declared on Tigray that had lasted for two long years. The rejection to the offer symbolizes the depth and scope of the extraordinary hurt Tigreans endured where no absolution can undo the damage much less right of the cuff seemingly genuine gesture like offering a tampon. 

The woman-President knew too well the systematic ethnic cleansing including the mass rape that was underway right before and after her encounter with the Tigrean mother but she had been reticent about it for a reason only known to her when she divulged one of the many harrowing incidents three years after the fact. She might as well trickle one harrowing incident down at a time come next year in the same event. The fact however remains when our mothers and sisters do not need anyone’s validation and authentication as we ourselves tell the story to the world when the enemy’s propaganda machinery is in a full gear to downplay it if not to deny it if it ever happened all together. 

The rather difficult question nonetheless remains: what can possibly bring the million Tigrean lives back to life? Certainly, not literally but figuratively, that is? No restoration of basic services, as in electricity, telecommunication, banking, airline among others can bring a million lives back to life. To be more precise, no peace agreement including the otherwise in danger Pretoria peace agreement can bring back a million lives to life. As they say, there is no prosthetic to an amputated spirit. And that was exactly what crossed her mind when she rejected the offer extended to her from the woman—President. 

The only way that can bring the million lives back to life is when Tigrean political and military leaders muster the resolve and courage and declare Tigray independent nation-state. What worse scenario can possibly happen to our people than what they have endured during the dark days of three long years? Really! The logic is deceptively simple: Can one live under the same umbrella with a genocidal state? I think not, nor do the people of Tigray! 

Paulos Irgau.