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Ethiopia: Bloody Burden of Tigrai

By Mogos Abraham, PhD Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, Canada
Tigrai Online Dec. 15, 2020


We had enough everyone! Enough is enough! Although its origin is traced to Tigrai, now, this ancient land called Ethiopia, populated by a majority of uncivilized entities, is outdated. It has outlived its relevance for the 21st century as a nation state. Those backward entities have made Ethiopia irrelevant in all aspects of life. The current Ethiopia is a land of genocide of extreme savagery. Thus, this is the right time for Tigrai to exit out of this darkness.

History provides us all socioeconomic and political justifications beyond any reasonable doubt to exit out of this primitive existence in darkness. History matters very much in organizational development of societies. History is a source of knowledge; and knowledge is power. Tigrai had to bear the heavy-bloody burden of protecting Ethiopia’s territorial integrity. What did Tigrai gain? Nothing, loss, not gain, not even appreciation and some words of thank you! To the contrary, multiple conspiracies to exterminate Tigraians from the land called Ethiopia continue to be hatched, supported by external forces. Rooted in fear and hatred, Minilik II of Shewa started these genocidal acts of extreme savagery. Let us have a brief look at the evidence, the history.

First, please have a firm grip on the meaning of genocide: “Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people with specific national, racial, or religious identity in whole or in part. The United Nations’ Genocide Convention, which was established in 1948, defines genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such" including the killing of its members, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately imposing living conditions that seek to "bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part", preventing births, or forcibly transferring children out of the group to another group. The Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, and the Rwandan Genocide are commonly cited glaring examples of genocide. Now, follow me through the Ethiopian pathways to a dark history to Section [8] where I highlight Tigrai’s bright future.


[1] The selfless patriotism of the King of Kings Emperor Yohannes IV: Against Minilik’s machinations of deception, treachery, and betrayal, the King of Kings, Emperor Yohannes IV, demonstrated his patriotism, leadership skills, and military prowess against all Ethiopia’s enemies. His trusted and famous general, Alula Aba-Nega, was instrumental for all the victories. Alula’s army routed well-equipped Egyptians, led by European and American mercenaries, at the following battlefields: (a) in 1875 at Gundet; (b) in 1876 at Guraé; (c) in 1880 at Senhit; and (d) in 1887 at Aylet. Again, on January 26, 1887, Ras Alula’s military scored a decisive victory at Dogali, where Italian invaders were annihilated. The Italians decried their humiliating defeat at Dogali as “The Dogali Massacre”. Note that all these battlefields are part of today’s Nation State of Eritrea, sold to Colonialist Italy by Minilik of Shewa.

The King of Kings died on Mar. 12, 1889 at Metema, in today’s Amhara Regional State, while defending his beloved country, Ethiopia, against the Mahdists of Mahdi Mohammed Ahmed of Sudan. By sacrificing his life, Emperor Yohannes IV instilled an enduring pride, patriotism, and heroism in all Ethiopians. It is reported that the Emperor was struck from behind on his neck by a bullet fired from an area where an Ethiopian army was serving as “a rear guard force”. That is, the Emperor was assassinated, while leading and ordering his army to move forward to the enemy’s frontline. Who assassinated the Emperor? What secret deal did Minilik of Shewa made with the Italian Colonialists that motivated him to assassinate the Emperor? This and similar research questions are assignments for the young Tigraian generation to uncover and record the truth in Tigrai’s history books. The cruelty, treachery, and cowardice of the Amharas must be told and recorded.

[2] The ultimate betrayal:  While Emperor Yohannes was fighting all of the above highlighted wars; Minilik was making secret deals with the Italian Colonial Government and other enemies of Ethiopia to sabotage Emperor Yohannes’ efforts. Shortly after they were subjected to a humiliating defeat in 1887 at Dogali in the hands of Alula Aba-Nega, the Italians agreed in a secret treaty to supply Minilik with 5,000 Remington rifles and money; and to recognize him as a sovereign power in return for his promise to assist Italy’s colonial expansion to the northern Ethiopian frontier, the Bahire-Negash. Between 1885 and 1895, a total of 189,000 weapons were imported into Showa. Very quickly, just within two months after the death of Emperor Yohannes IV, Minilik claimed the Ethiopian Imperial Throne; and he recognized the Italians’ sovereignty over the Ethiopian northern frontier, which they (the purchasers) named Eritrea, right after the Treaty of Wuchale was signed on May 2, 1889. This was the root cause of the Eritrean struggle for an independent statehood.

Deservedly, our Eritrean brothers and sisters succeeded in achieving their freedom after a protracted bitter struggle. Unfortunately, however, their victory did not usher-in freedom of choice, rule of law, peace, and prosperity. Eritreans are living in an immeasurable misery under the tyranny of a goon called Isaias Aferworki.


[3] Haile-Selassie and the First Woyane Patriots:  Emperor Haile-Selassie, King of Kings, the Lion of Judah, from the Tribe of Judah, the Solomonic Dynasty (it is not funny, it was his official title), ruled Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974, with an iron fist of vengeance, most of it directed at the Oromo and Tigraian peoples. Absolute political power was vested in him. Because the 1931 Constitution was deemed not giving enough power to him, a new constitution was enshrined in 1955. This constitution declared Haile-Selassie as a descendant of King Solomon of Israel and Ethiopia’s Queen of Sheba of Tigrai, although he was a Harari (I think?). His absolute monarchical-feudalistic power was exercised through appointment of officials; control of the armed forces and foreign affairs; and oversight of the judiciary. Parliament was given power to approve treaties, but the Emperor had the final say: he was empowered to dissolve the Parliament.

Haile-Selassie used various policy instruments of intimidation, humiliation, assassination, and assimilation against Tigrai, Oromia, and other nations, nationalities, and peoples. Some of his policy instruments included: (i) heavy taxes imposed on the peasantry to be paid in cash; (ii) declaring Tigrigna, Oromigna, and other languages of nations, nationalities, and peoples illegal for any formal communications (e.g., legal-justice processes, education, health, local citizen contractual agreements, birth and marriage certificates, and other cultural services); (iii) imposing strict rules and regulations to ensure Amharic was the only language of communication; and (iv) kidnapping, assassinating, and arresting key Ethiopian patriots who questioned his absolute power. This systemic oppression led to birth of a well-coordinated force of the First Woyane Tigrai. In January 1942, at the battlefield of Quobo, three British officers and hundreds of Haile-Selassie’s soldiers, trying to collect forced tax in cash, were killed. It took Haile-Selassie and his British advisors 30,000 Shewan soldiers, from April to July 1942, to regain the upper hand over the First Woyane Patriots. The whole region of Raya, Azebo, and Wejerat was devastated; and severe fines, in both livestock and money, were imposed to impoverish and to force the Patriots and the peasantry into submission.

However, Haile-Selassie’s punitive measures did not kill the fighting spirit of the Patriots as well as the oppressed Tigraian masses. The rebellion got stronger than ever before. Blata Haile-Mariam Reda, who was a gifted inspiring leader, used the rainy season of 1943 to organize his forces. After celebrating the Ethiopian New Year on September 12, 1943, the Patriots went on the offensive. They moved victoriously to the strategic locations of Quiha and Enda Yesus, overlooking Mekelle, which was quickly captured. Haile-Selassie’s officials fled. Blata Haile-Mariam declared victory at Mekelle with the following motto:

“Our governor is Jesus Christ
And our flag that of Ethiopia
Our religion is that of Yohannes IV

People of Tigray, follow the motto of Woyane” (emphasis added).

After the humiliating defeats of his army, Haile-Selassie requested and received help from the Royal British Air Force to mercilessly bomb a marketplace at Mekelle during a market day in October 1943. This collaborative brutality, using a foreign air force, was crime against humanity. It was beyond the capacity of the Patriots. The immeasurable human, animal, and material losses of that crime remain unknown, very hard to estimate. A memorial monument for that massacre is an overdue recognition of one of the many dark days of Tigrai. It requires an immediate attention of all concerned. I trust the new Government of Tigrai will consider all historical events and locations to be immortalized for next generations to learn from them on the justifications for declaring an independent Nation State of Tigrai.


[4] The Marxist-Leninist military junta of Mengistu Hailemariam versus the shinning victories of the Second Woyane, the TPLF:  In an attempt to force Tigrai into submission, Mengistu Haile-Mariam’s military junta committed horrifying terror on Tigrai over the 17-year period of armed struggle against its rule of terror (1974-1991). The most savage act it committed against humanity was at the market town of Howzien on June 22, 1988. “The Ethiopian air force bombarded the town for the whole day by airplanes and helicopters; and killed more than 2,500 civilians”. Moreover, the regime’s counterinsurgency and social control policies imposed on Tigrai turned the drought of 1984/85 into a tragic famine, starvation, and hunger. The final outcome, however, as it is well known worldwide, was the shinning victory of the TPLF/EPRDF on the historic day of 28 May 1991. This miraculous victory was achieved against an enemy, which was armed to the teeth, described as black Africa’s sophisticated-strongest army. Well, it did not possess the guts and military techniques to match to the prowess of the TPLF’s military science, which was crafted by Meles Zenawi and his comrades.

[5] Puppetry and national treason of Abiy Ahmed Ali: A puppet is a person under the control of an external-political power. Puppetry, therefore, is being a tool to serve external powers. Coached by external powers, political puppets are extreme opportunists, who emerge in times of national crises. Political puppets know very well the cultural norms and values of the masses; possess an insider-information on strictly protected secrets on national political structure and functions (e.g., of the EPRDF); and are shrewd manipulators, capable of delivering oratorical speeches of hate that dehumanize other citizens, who stand on their way to political power. They are more than willing to be hired as double agents to work for external powers for dollars and fame; and are always willing to sale their own motherland. These personal traits describe Abiy Ahmed Ali very clearly. He being a Muslim-Protestant Preacher should tell us a lot about the oxymoronic traits of this crook-goon.

The genocidal-mob lynching of Tigraians in the Amhara Regional State: Abiy Ahmed Ali’s national treason is so serious. Capital punishment, legally authorized hanging publicly, is justified for such national treason. As an intelligence officer of the Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service, Abiy Ahmed Ali gave crucial Ethiopia’s national security information to all enemies of Ethiopia, including Isaias Aferworki, Ethiopia’s enemy number one; the Egyptians; the terrorist group called Gunbot-7; and many Arab nations that dream to make Ethiopia an Islamic republic. He made Ethiopia highly vulnerable to various covert activities of her enemies.

As an insider-intelligence officer, Abiy Ahmed Ali coordinated a team of traitors called Team Lema, comprising himself (Abiy Ahmed), Lema Megersa, Gedu Andargachew, Demeke Mekonnen, and Kasa Teklembirhan , the then Minister of Federation, who was mandated to ensure wellbeing of all citizens. This team conspired and designed a strategy in collaboration with Isaias Afwworki, Gunbot-7 of Birhanu Nega, and many other traitors. Their strategy was to destroy the heroic-fighting spirit of Tigraians by killing innocent civilians as many as possible. To that end, an underground network of flash-mob of hooligans was paid thousands of dollars to unleash genocidal rampages against Tigraians in Bahir-Dar and Gondar during the months of July and August 2016. For the mere fact that they were Tigraians, they were mobbed and massacred; their properties were ransacked and torched; and more than 11,000 of them, including mothers and fathers as well as their children, were forced to escape to neighboring Sudan, under the watchful eyes of Gedu and Demeke, who were leaders of the Amhara Regional State.

In addition, Abiy Ahmed Ali planned and implemented assassination of the Head of the Ethiopian Armed Forces, General Seare Mekonnen and his best friend, Brigadier General Gezaé Abera; and ordered mass arrest of Tigraian military officers and civilians. All these genocidal acts of cowardice were intended to force Tigrai into submission. The traitors failed miserably; and to our pleasant surprise the so called Team Lema has destroyed itself forever, demonstrating ineptness of the traitor group. By contrast, Tigrai is now stronger than ever before. The genocidal acts of cowardice and cruelty the traitors committed will be recorded in history books of the modern Nation State of Tigrai.

[6] The Current Predicaments of Ethiopia, the Making of an Ignorant and Mad Prime Minister: Ethiopia is witnessing tragedies of national betrayal far worse than those of the eras of Emperor Haile Selassie and that of Mengistu Hailemriam’s military junta. Patriotism, the love and emotion for the Motherland, and the spirit to stand and face all odds to liberate own motherland, has been eroded under the leadership of the Muslim-Protestant Preacher and an absolute liar and double talker, Abiy Ahmed Ali, a brand new puppet of the West and the Arabs. This person, an absolute egocentric with no sense of strategic directions to govern a country of multiple nations, nationalities, and peoples, is destroying Ethiopia. Ethiopians have lost their hope, pride, identity, and civility. Out of hopelessness, citizens are slaughtering one another like wild animals. More than five million Ethiopians remain internally displaced, making Ethiopia the world’s number one in this particular human misery. Now, Ethiopia has met all the characteristics of a failed state. Every corner of the country, except Tigrai, was under Military Command Post until Mr. Ali’s declaration of war on Tigrai on Nov. 03, 2020. Being under military command post means soldiers are authorized to kill any disobedient citizen. In its recorded history, Ethiopia has never seen this type of tragic-political failure.

How did Abiy Ahmed reach the position where he is now? A brief on the complex international conspiracy is warranted. It all started when Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (PMMZ), the Great Leader, an architect of the Ethiopian Federalism and the principles of Democratic Developmental State, refused to submit to the pressure of the so called Washington Consensus, primarily the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). WB and IMF wanted to impose neoliberalism, which advocates for a perfectly competitive free market economy that can be dominated by American and European multinational corporations, exactly as they do in many other poor nations to perpetuate chronic poverty, which subjects them (the poor nations) to remain perpetually dependent on the West. PMMZ was too smart to handle for the West. Not only that he was the Great Leader Ethiopia had ever had, PMMZ was a well-respected spokesperson for the African continent at global forums on genuine sustainable development. He was a true internationalist, who advocated eradication of global poverty through collective actions of all nations, poor and rich.


When WB, IMF, and the governments of the West refused to give financial assistance to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), PMMZ declared his trust in the deeply rooted nationalism of all Ethiopians. During the ceremony of laying the Cornerstone for the GERD, PMMZ declared:  the natural endowments ours; the human ingenuity ours; the labour power ours; and the financial sources ours, the GERD will be a bequest with our signatures for many Ethiopian generations to follow (paraphrased and translated Amharic speech). The unanimous support he received from every Ethiopian citizen was very inspiring. GERD was started and reached the stage of more than 75% of the total work to completion before the passing of PMMZ and Engineer Simegnow.

At what stage is the GERD now? I really do not know. I only know that during his political power honeymoon visit to Cairo, Abiy Ahmed Ali promised the Egyptians shamelessly to either slow or “kill” the GERD by swearing in Arabic in front of the international media. He swore to meet all Qur’anic Rules (strict Islamic Rules), repeatedly guided by the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, to “kill”, or “delay” the GERD’s work indefinitely or meet all conditions the Egyptians want. The video of this historic event of national treason is posted everywhere in the social media.

[7] Declaration of genocidal war on Tigrai:  On November 4, 2020, Mr. Ali formally declared war on Tigai. Before his declaration of war, Mr. Ali used a variety of instruments to intermediate and suppress Tigrai: (a) denied foreign investors the right to invest in Tigrai; (b) denied Tigrai its share of the national budget; (c) imprisoned thousands of Tigraians for no reason, except being Tigraians; (d) assassinated the Ethiopian Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff, General Seare Mekonen and his best friend, Brigadier General Gezae Abera; and (e) made multiple conspiratorial agreements with Isaias Afeworki and many other enemies who harbor jealousy-based hatred of the TPLF, because of its successes in all aspects of leadership. These and many similar actions of suppression created conducive conditions for declaring the barbaric-genocidal war. Immediately after Nov. 4 declaration of the war, Mr. Ali took the following actions: (i) declared a State of Emergency that allowed his security forces to take “all” measures against the Nation of Tigrai; (ii) restricted freedom of movement of anyone from Tigrai inside Ethiopia; (iii) denied Tigraians freedom to travel out of Ethiopia; (iv) authorized profiling and dismissing all Tigraian civil servants from positions where they earned incomes to sustain their families, a baric cruelty; (iv) conducted a massive deployment of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces to Tigrai; (v) mobilized the Special Forces, the State Police, the militia, and civilian volunteers of the Amhara National Regional State to join the invasion of Tigrai; (vi) authorized the Ethiopian Air Force to bomb Mekelle, including Mekelle University; (vii) airlifted thousands of Ethiopian troops from Addis Ababa to Asmara, Eritrea, to facilitate the invasion of Tigrai from the northern front; (viii) allowed hundreds of thousands of Eritrean forces, forces of an enemy foreign nation, to invade Tigrai along with the hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian forces; and (ix) in an apparent collusion with Isaias Afeworki, Mr. Ali allowed a non-African foreign army to attack Tigrai by crossing Ethiopia’s international border. This violation of Ethiopian sovereignty involved attack drones provided by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The drones bombed Mekelle and several other towns of Tigrai.


The tragic consequences of this barbaric war are immeasurable: (a) Thousands of civilian were killed and continue to be killed to this day; (b) social and economic infrastructures, factories, and public and private properties were destroyed; (c) more than 50,000 mothers, children, and the elderly have fled to Sudan to save their lives being refugees. Given all these tragic consequences, however, Mr. Ali failed miserably to achieve his grandiose goal of: (a) depopulating Tigrai; (b) killing the Tigraian patriotism and determination to annihilate and bury any enemy that attempts to invade Tigrai; and (c) defeat the TPLF – among his many wild dreams, including being King of Kings, Emperor Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia.

[8] The Destiny of Tigrai: What is the future of this land of glorious wealth of history? The answer is to call a spade a spade, i.e., to announce authoritatively and loudly that enough is enough. Tigrai will forge its own pathways to security, peace, and prosperity. A strong Democratic Republic of Tigrai (DRT) will be declared soon. Being ready to learn from my compatriots, I am expressing my deeply rooted wish by taking the liberty to suggest this brand new name of DRT for our independent nation state of Tigrai. Self-determination is our God given entitlement. This is well articulated in Article 39, Sections (1) to (5) of the Ethiopian Constitution. We will use it! We have to throw away the heavy-bloody burden of responsibility to nurse an outdated-sick Ethiopia.

Tigrai will be a multidimensional center of gravity regionally: (i) geopolitical strategic location; (ii) the infinite wealth of history and culture; (iii) highly productive young generation; (iv) the wealth of renewable and non-renewable natural resources; (v) the huge potential for tourism industry; (vi) the densely populated and strongly bonded homogeneous social capital; (vii) fiercely nationalist and highly disciplined population; (viii) highly respected and feared military might; (ix) an enabling effective political governance system; and much more will make Tigrai an African Israelite-Tiger.

Eternal Glory for Our Martyrs!


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide, accessed 13 Dec. 2020
  2. This is an updated version of my piece of 15 Sept. 2020, titled: Out of Darkness to a Bright Future of Glory: Birthday of a Modern Nation State of Tigrai.
  3. Henze, P. 2000. Layers of Time: A history of Ethiopia. St. Martin’s Press, New York.
  4. “Our governor is Jesus Christ
    And our flag that of Ethiopia
    Our religion is that of Yohannes IV
    People of Tigray, follow the motto of Woyane”[] (emphasis added).
  5. Human Right Watch/Africa, Nov. 1994, Vol. 6, No. 11, provides substantial details of the atrocities.


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