In the past few days, over 20,000 people have crossed over to neighbouring Sudan from Ethiopia. Why? Well, if you lived through or heard about the Biafran Civil War, then you’d understand to an extent what’s happening in Tigray, Ethiopia.
Tigray is the northernmost region of Ethiopia and houses 6% of the Ethiopian populace.
”Tensions have been building between the Tigrayan ethnic group, whose members constitute around 6% of Ethiopia’s 110 million people but have long dominated politics and business, and the Prime Minister, Mr Ahmed since he came to power in 2018 and pledged to reform the country’s politics. Last year, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Force (TPLF), refused to join Mr. Ahmed’s ruling coalition, which is seeking to transform the federal bloc that has ruled Ethiopia since 1991 into a more centralized political force.”
The war began after TPLF militias attacked an Ethiopian National Defense Force base near the regional capital of Mekelle on Nov. 4. The attack became the casus belli for Mr. Ahmed, who quickly deployed armed troops and the air force. Both sides are heavily armed. The TPLF has control of artillery, long-range rockets and weapons caches hidden across the region. Mr. Ahmed’s government declared a six-month state of emergency in Tigray and internet-access monitor NetBlocks reported that the internet had been shut down in the region and telecommunications appeared to be closed off.
More than 500 people have been killed in the conflict, according to state television, although the information blackout in Tigray makes independent verification of that number difficult and the death toll is likely far higher. More than 25,000 people from the region have fled across the border with Sudan.
What exactly is going in Africa as a whole? Everywhere you turn, it’s one form of violence against citizens from constituted authority. The last I heard of was how a President in Africa who didn’t want to give up office after two terms had manipulated the constitution to allow him run the third time, and when citizens protested, security operatives shot at them.
Why does this always happen in Africa? We complain about being sold in slavery and being colonized but we are the champions of clamping down on the freedom and right to live of our own people. We complain of being marginalized and oppressed not because we genuinely want freedom for ourselves and others like us, but because we aren’t the oppressors.
This evil must end one day, but how many more people have to die for this “freedom” they seek? Why is it so hard to do the job you’ve been elected to do as a leader?
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Ruth Chukwurah is a graduate of Linguistics from the University of Benin. Ruth has worked as a Social Media Manager and Web Content Creator for almost 3 years. She enjoys putting down her thoughts in words and sharing them with other people. Ruth’s mantra in life is to live and let live, don't judge when you haven't been in another person’s shoes. She is interested in music, movies, art and food.