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Ethiopia Conflict By US Design – OpEd

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Supported by America and other foreign forces, including elements within United Nations (UN) agencies, The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) are attempting to overthrow the democratically elected Government of Ethiopia and regain power. This would be disastrous for the country and the region.

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The impact of the year-long conflict is devastating. Perhaps as many as three million people are internally displaced, tens of thousands have been killed; women and girls raped, property trashed, land destroyed, livestock slaughtered by TPLF fighters. At this stage it is difficult to see how a peaceful resolution can be reached; the government has said it will not enter into negotiations until the TPLF withdraws to Tigray, and the TPLF, in no position to set any conditions, are demanding Prime-Minister Abiy Ahmed steps down.

The conflict was initiated when the TPLF attacked the Ethiopian State on 4 November 2020 (perhaps with US approval): despite this, the US and her puppets (UK, EU etc) have, to the incredulity of many, stood behind the terrorists and not the government of Ethiopia, or the Ethiopian people. It is widely acknowledged that the Biden Administration is behind the movement to replace the Abiy government, and install the TPLF – a less independent (the US doesn’t tolerate independent governments), more malleable group that, in exchange for the freedom to do as they like, will once again provide the US with a foothold in the Horn of Africa.

Unsurprisingly, Jeffrey Feltman – US Horn of Africa special envoy, denies all thissaying, “we have consistently condemned the TPLF’s expansion of the war outside Tigray, and we continue to call on the TPLF to withdraw from Afar and Amhara.”

True, however it’s actions not words that count (particularly politicians words), and in light of the US response since the start of the conflict, and the State Department’s behind-the-scenes shenanigans, his repudiation appears duplicitous at best, and is ignored by furious Ethiopians, many of whom attended protests recently. Huge crowds gathered under #NoMore in Addis Ababa, Washington, San Francisco, London, Pretoria and elsewhere, demanding an end to American interference in Ethiopia’s affairs. There is growing anger among groups in other African nations, who see American meddling in Ethiopia as an attack on Africa itself, a colonial assault.

US backing

American administrations, have consistently backed the TPLF, who established close connections with the US government during their 27 years in power (1991-2018), contacts that they are making full use of now.

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It was only when, in 2018 after they were forced out of office by years of demonstrations, that the US withdrew backing and celebrated the new government led by Abiy Ahmed. But, consistent with their Support for Dictators the world over, until then and throughout the TPLF’s reign the US (plus UK and, less so, the EU) turned a blind eye, a deaf ear to the regime’s brutality, human rights violations and the anguished cries of the people.

And when the TPLF attacked the Northern Command Headquarters last November, and bases in Adigrat, Agula, Dansha and Sero, killing security personnel and stealing weapons, Washington, London and Brussels said and did nothing. This initial betrayal set the tone of the West’s orchestrated and shameful response. The US is leading the efforts of destruction and ‘transition’ – as TPLF officials and terrorist sympathisers call the move to overthrow the Government – giving the TPLF a range of practical and political support: They are believed to be sharing intelligence information about federal troop movements, providing food, water, and arms.

They consistently feed western media false or misleading information, and have repeatedly called for negotiations and a ceasefire: while this sounds reasonable and at some point a political settlement may be possible, such demands elevate the terrorist TPLF to a legitimate political group and disregard Ethiopian public opinion. The US also ignores the government-declared ceasefire in June/July, which the TPLF not only refused to respect, but, after federal forces withdrew, TPLF fighters marched into Afar and Amhara and committed a series of appalling atrocities.

At the same time as facilitating TPLF aggression, spreading their propaganda and criticizing PM Abiy’s government, the Biden Administration has imposed a series of sanctions on Ethiopia: In May visa restrictions were introduced against anyone deemed “responsible for, or complicit in, undermining resolution of the crisis in Tigray,” together with “wide-ranging restrictions on economic and security assistance”. This affects US financial support, and is potentially extremely damaging. At the same time, a request was made for the World Bank and IMF to also withhold funding. Four months later, on 17 September, President Biden signed an Executive Order, “Imposing Sanctions on Certain Persons With Respect to the Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia.” The rather vague dictate includes the Government of Eritrea as well as any “military or security force that operates or has operated in Ethiopia on or after November 1, 2020.”

From 1 January 2022 (unless there is significant change on the ground) Ethiopia’s Special Trade Status, which enables Ethiopian goods to be sold into the US free of import duty, will be removed. This is potentially the most damaging measure and threatens to cause wide-scale job losses among the poorest workers. According to Ethiopia’s Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration, it will “reverse significant economic gains in our country….We urge the United States to support our ongoing efforts to restore peace and the rule of law — not punish our people for confronting an insurgent force that is attempting to bring down our democratically elected government.”

The US is also targeting tourism in Ethiopia (in 2018 the sector grew by 48% and contributed $7.4 billion to the economy); urging its citizens to leave the country and deterring anyone from travelling there. Those who do have been warned there is a high chance they will be killed, and urged to make a will before travelling. This is blatant fear mongering. It is a coordinated effort (UK, France, Turkey, Germany and others have issued similar guidelines) to present Ethiopia as broken and dangerous and to isolate the country, and as US citizens who made the trip recently discovered, is completely false. These measures could cost the country $billions.

And in June, around the time the Ethiopian government initiated a ceasefire in Tigray, the US State Department announced “a review for a genocide determination” – by the government of Ethiopia against Tigrayans. This is utter nonsense, but represents another triumph for the TPLF and indicates the level of influence they have in Washington. The Ethiopian government is fighting the TPLF, not the people of Tigray, however, the impact on civilians in Tigray, as well as Afar and Amhara, has been devastating (largely resulting from TPLF violence) and there are some reports of Tigrayans being unduly targeted following the imposition of a State of Emergency (SoE) on 2 November.

Whilst it is important that security forces have the freedom to identify anybody working with the TPLF and to reduce the risk of random terror attack, actions such as indiscriminate arrests, risk fueling anger against ethnic groups, particularly Tigrayans (many of whom are not involved with the TPLF), and should wherever possible be avoided.

Within the chaos of conflict a powerful sense of national unity has emerged; the people have a common enemy – the TPLF, as well as the US, and western media, which has lost all credibility among Ethiopians. It is essential that this sense of togetherness is maintained and that fragmentation along ethnic/tribal lines, which the TPLF agitated when in power, is minimised. Introduced as a way to divide and rule, the TPLF’s policy of Ethnic (or tribal) Federalism split communities, enflamed resentments and fostered the creation of ethnocentric political groups, some of which, the Oromo Liberation Front e.g., now working with the TPLF in an unholy alliance, have morphed into armed insurgencies.

Stay Away USA

US administrations, self-righteous and arrogant, appear never to learn from their invasive mistakes, or recognize the degree to which they are despised in certain parts of the world. It is not a sense of global responsibility and altruistic kindness that impels the US (and other former predatory powers) to interfere in a nation’s affairs, it is self-interest, corporate gain, fear and arrogance, and is seen as such by people throughout the world; just ask the abandoned, violated people of Afghanistan, the abused Palestinians forced to live under occupation in their own land, or the millions in Iraqis whose lives have never recovered from the 2003 invasion.

Ethiopia, much to the fury of America, is now looking elsewhere for allies; China, which has a strong relationship with the country resulting from the Belt and Road Initiative, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – reported to be supplying arms – Russia and other African neighbors. The message to the US from Ethiopians and people standing in solidarity with Ethiopia is clear, ‘Stop Interfering’, ‘Mind your Own Business’, ‘We see you’. If you cannot be a friend to Ethiopia, a supporter of democracy and a Force for Good in the country, then Stay Away. Ethiopia is an ancient nation with a rich diverse culture, it has never been colonized: this fact is a source of great pride to Ethiopians, who are a deeply proud people, they will “never bow down” as one protestor put it, not to terrorists or modern-day colonialists, not now, not ever.

Graham Peebles

Graham Peebles is an independent writer and charity worker. He set up The Create Trust in 2005 and has run education projects in India, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia where he lived for two years working with acutely disadvantaged children and conducting teacher training programmes. Website: https://grahampeebles.org/

25 thoughts on “Ethiopia Conflict By US Design – OpEd

  • November 28, 2021 at 7:41 am
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    How much were you paid to write this garbage? This is nothing but a one sided news that was financed by the puppets who support Abiy and his followers.

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    • November 29, 2021 at 5:51 am
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      What’s your view? A paid agent of TPLF’s? Or your blind faith of the main stream media who took the world to a war in Iraq with a clearly false narrative. Blind leading a blind.

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    • December 7, 2021 at 3:28 am
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      TPLF and it’s cronies are the only ones who can afford to pay to have falsehoods printed or aired from the billions of “aid” money they stole from Ethiopia. Truth hurts doesn’t it? Mr. Martin is only telling the truth.

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  • November 28, 2021 at 7:41 am
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    One of few scholars who is willing to expose TPLFs propaganda, divide and rule the Ethiopian people with the support of USA corrupted officials.

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  • November 28, 2021 at 9:05 am
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    What a joke🙂 Arab countries is responsible for Ethiopian war. Saudi arabia and UAE are the masterminds . Tplf/TDF is fighting to break the siege and to self determination. TDF is neither a killer nor rapist. Before you post nonesense and fabricated lies please do research.

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  • November 28, 2021 at 10:53 am
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    what an ignorant and dangerous article backed up by no facts any only fueling paranoia and distraction in Ethiopia at a time when the country needs to be focused on peace, not scapegoating the west.

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    • November 29, 2021 at 2:28 am
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      Do you know what you’re talking about? What peace? Giving back to power to TPLF? Is that the peace you’re talking about? Why don’t you go back and read what it was like to go through 27 years of brutality by TPLF? But again, you don’t want to know the facts but just through nonsense as if you know the issue. Sad!

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  • November 28, 2021 at 12:37 pm
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    thanks so much for your investigation report thanks again you stand with truth God bless you. US is misinforming the world to destruct Ethiopia but that is impossible God will help us will defeat the US and western power pressure I Love Ethiopia love you my Prime minister Abiy Ahimed

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  • November 28, 2021 at 2:06 pm
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    Thank you for this amazing article. It covered a lot of things that happened and is still happening in Ethiopia. Thanks for telling the truth. This type of work is needed.

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  • November 28, 2021 at 3:42 pm
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    Thank you Graham🙏🏾. It’s very heartwarming to read opinions of honest people like you. The news heard- over the media is only that there’s war in Ethiopia and nobody knows why. We need writers like you to enlighten the world at this critical time. God bless 🙌🏾

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  • November 28, 2021 at 4:10 pm
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    This “opinion” piece is unbiased, then Trump is an intellectual.

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  • November 28, 2021 at 4:55 pm
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    Honourable Graham Peebles,
    To start with, I thank you very much for the analysis based on ground facts, which makes it clear how the US and western media falsified, what was obvious that the TPLF initiated the year-long war and did so many atrocities to the Ethiopian defence force and innocent civilians(inclusive the “genocide” such as in Micadra).
    Furthore more , not enough of their blind support for the US- registered terrorist group, US tries to exert undue pressure to ethiopian side, who wants to stop the destruction of Ethiopia by this brutal forces, how ever we are very friendly oriented to US and the American people.
    Finally truth will eventually win, we expect more balanced voices be heard from every corner of the world.
    Ethiopia shall prevail.

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  • November 28, 2021 at 4:57 pm
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    Thank you very much, your article said it all .

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  • November 28, 2021 at 5:36 pm
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    Bless your soul for speaking the truth and standing up for true Journalism. I wish there were a few more brave journalist in this planet and out world would be a great place.
    Thank you!

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  • November 28, 2021 at 6:08 pm
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    Interesting to read this kind of analysis.

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    • November 29, 2021 at 12:10 pm
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      It is well researched and written.

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  • November 28, 2021 at 6:22 pm
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    First of all (UN) united nations save the innocent lifes.it seems the rival parties does not want to stop fighting.

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    • November 29, 2021 at 2:49 am
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      Please get the facts before voicing an opinion.

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  • November 28, 2021 at 6:46 pm
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    Not all is lost!
    There are still people in the West who can be trusted and truthful!!

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  • November 28, 2021 at 8:31 pm
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    Happy to finally see that the truth is coming out to the wide public. Thank you Peebles. The truth was attended by bodyguard of lies, as W. Churchill once said. But truth will never fail. God bless you!

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  • November 28, 2021 at 11:30 pm
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    Why is the Biden administration fighting to throne a narrow ethnic group to power? What is the national interest for US throning TPLF? Some Biden administration officials might think TPLF is a better option for US geopolitical and economic interest. On the contrary Abiy is opening the economy for US and western companies to invest in Ethiopia. If indeed the US is trying to put TPLF into power in Ethiopia, it is really a shabby and short sighted move on strategic US interests. In my opinion present Ethiopian government has more favorable policy than the previous TPLF government for western interests. It seems people around the Biden administration are just focused in overthrowing Abiy from power. If geopolitical is the reason, why focus on Ethiopia? Chinese economic influences are everywhere in Africa and the world, why focus on Ethiopia? Why is the US focused on destroying the social fabric of barely surviving society on the face of the earth?

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    • November 29, 2021 at 12:57 am
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      1) TPLF stole over $50 billion from Ethiopia’s coffer and they are putting it to good use by hiring one of most influential (Democratic) lobbying group in DC. Remember, money talk.
      2) TPLF leaders have very close friendship with Susan Rice, Samantha Power and her husband and Gayle Smith. Particularly Smith’s friendship with TPLF leaders is very personal and started way back in the 8o’s.

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    • November 29, 2021 at 2:48 am
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      It is simple…TPLF has been, for the past 27 years, a puppet to the U.S. to do whatever it took while TPLF embezzled, conservatively $30 billion from the country. PM Abiy want mutual respect between Ethiopian and the U.S. and any transaction to be benefits to both nations but not one sided. That is not to be acceptable by the U.S.. Independent African nation is a treat to the benefit of the Western world.

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  • November 29, 2021 at 12:02 am
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    Don’t forget a few weeks ago the UN fired two whistle-blowers for saying top U.N. officials conspire with TPLF and sympathise with this TPLF.
    According to the whistle-blowers, one of the criminal gang sympathizer is none other than World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Tedros, who is also a high ranking TPLF official.

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  • November 29, 2021 at 2:40 am
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    Mr. Peebles, my at most respect for standing up for the truth against all the barrage of misinformation regarding the conflict in Ethiopia. It is only for those who’s lived through the 27 years of brutal regime of the TPLF who understand the root cause of the conflict. Unashamedly, the United States as well as other Western countries are supporting a rebel group who wants to overthrow democratically elected government. So much for lecturing the world about democracy. Again, thank you for standing with Ethiopian people and its democratically elected government of Ethiopia.

    Reply

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