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The Mobilization Processes Utilized by the Tigrayan Diasporas in North America: A Reflection

Tigrai Online May, 17, 2022
By Desta, Asyehgn, Sarlo Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Development, Engineer G. E. Gorfu

Summary, Conclusions, and Policy Implications

Going beyond the prevalent approach of exploring the role of the diasporas’ financial and social remittance to support relatives (i.e., the transfer of knowledge, skills, and models of business incubators), the main thrust of the study was to explore some of the economic, social, and political mobilization processes undertaken by Tigrayan diasporas in North America to subvert the genocidal war that the Ethiopian government and its allied forces have inflicted on the people of the Tigray. Additionally, the study endeavored to shed light on the projects that the Tigrayan diasporas have designed for the post-conflict rehabilitation and reconstruction of the war-torn Tigray.

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In short, the major focal points of this study were to:

Investigate the diverse range of mechanisms utilized by Tigrayan diaspora actors to recruit other diasporas from their original homelands.

Identify the mobilization processes used by the Tigrayan diaspora actors to awaken, galvanize, raise awareness, and establish the collective identity of the other latent Tigrayan diasporas by letting them know of the various atrocities inflicted on the Tigray people by Ethiopia’s federal government and its allied forces.

Pinpoint the glaring engagement strategies used by the Tigrayan diaspora’s activists to entice the other diasporas from their homelands to be involved in the reconstruction and capacity development of Tigray.

Assess some of the strategic developmental pathways that have been designed by the Tigrayan diasporas in order to integrate the internally displaced Tigrayans to their regional homeland.

A summary of the vision, mission, and objectives of the Tigrayans in North America is portrayed in Table 1.  

Table 1: Summary of the Vision, Mission, and Objectives of the Tigrayans Diasporas in North America

 

 

Tigray Development Association

Security & Justice

Tigray Communities Forum

Global Society of Tigray Scholars

Asmlash Grant Foundation

OMNA

Vision

*Make Tigray Affluent, free from poverty, and backwardness.

*Realizing a just, peaceful prosperous and civilized Tigray.

*To create and Sustain Tigrayan community

*Build a robust & knowledge-based economy and society in Tigray.

*Dedicated to changing the lives of

Tigrayans from refugee camps in Sudan and re-settle those displaced by the genocidal war in Tigray.

*Fight injustice *Advocate for peace and economic development

* Amplify the people of Tigray.

Mission

*Actively engaging in need-based projects/programs that relate to education, health, and skill development training.

*Practice the democratic process to achieve economic freedom and self-determination...  

*Practicing harmonized & cooperative social life related to education and viable economics.  

*Serve as leading and enabling hub of world-class scholarly and scientific minds and skills in multidisciplinary fields.  

 

*Strives to improve the economic well-being of Tigrayans supporting both immediate financial needs and sustainable growth.

*Protect the health and improve the well-being of Tigrayans by responding to emergency health crises and building public health capacity to prevent disease, disability, and death from communicable and non-communicable diseases.  

 

*Build a global community

*Establish resources center advocating for human rights in Tigray.

Objectives

*Target groups and communities to secure a sustainable livelihood.

  

*Creating access to credit services and gainful employment opportunities.  

 

*Familiarize target groups with new information, production techniques.

 

*Undergoing through the design and implementation of peaceful struggle.

 

*Practice knowledge -induced initiatives.

*Promote educated l and tailored advocacy, diplomatic and humanitarian activities.

*Short term Goals:

-Emergency Food during famine crisis. -Counseling and clinical management

-medicine, equipment, and health care services

-sanitary and famine hygiene products

-psychosocial support.

*Long term Goals;

-improve nutritional status

-family support

-restore healthcare facilities in Tigray

-rebuild water systems

-build healing centers

 

*Fostering stability in Tigray.

 

 A major analysis of the case studies indicates that, in earlier years, the mobilization of Tigrayan diasporas operating in North America was propelled to raise funds and assist on developmental-oriented projects in Tigray.

Since the Ethio-Tigraya war of November 4, 2020, the Tigrayan diasporas re-strategized their techniques to playing active roles in order to mobilize and sustain the collective identity of Tigrayan diasporas and make them 1) be aware by using social media and grass-roots tactics about the genocide the Abiy administration and his allied forces are committing in Tigray; 2) lead demonstrations and protests against Abiy’s oppressive regime and his allied forces; 3) raise funds and vital assistance (such as food, medical necessities, and sanitary and educational kits) from members, international development partners, and NGOs to help the war victims in Tigray and the Tigrayan refugees in Sudan; 4) organize candlelight vigils on major streets and picket line in front of city halls around the globe in order to educate the public about the atrocities that the local Tigrayans are facing; 5) be advocates and lobby host county’s politicians and international organizations to be on their side and repudiate the genocidal war that Ethiopia’s federal government and its allied forces have been inflicting on the civilian Tigrayan population; 6) be engaged in public diplomacy; 7) create a Crisis Control Network to galvanize diplomates and journalists to work against the humanitarian crisis in Tigray; 8) file cases with the International Court of Justice (ICC) about the atrocities that the Abiy government has committed on the people of Tigray; and 9) solicit Ethiopian attorneys to defend pro bono the various Tigrayans without legal representation in Ethiopian prisons (see Table 2).

Table 2: Summary of the Economic, Social, and Political Mobilization Processes of Tigrayan Diasporas

      Groups

 

 

 

Mobilization

Tigray Development Association

 

Security & Justice

Tigray Communities

Forum

Global Society of Tigray Scholars

Asmlash Grant Foundation

OMNA

Economic

*Embark on identification of potential donors,

*Organize special fund-raising events,

*Identification of potential donors,

*Organizer special-fund-raising events,

*Help internally displaced persons through financial donation, food, and shelter.

*Access to credit services

 

*Participate in fund raising activities, for example from August 2-6, 2021, raised $24,249.

 

 

 

*Build a robust & Knowledge-based economy

*Work with donors and philanthropic organizations

Around the globe

Economic development

Social

*Enlistment of members and supporters,

*Undertake information exchange of activities using different media outlets – radio broadcasts,

--quarterly newsletters,

Brochures etc.  

*Help refuges in Sudan with food, medical necessities, educating kids,

*Helping raped victims

*Defend the rights of Tigrayan political prisoners in Ethiopia,

*Campaign against injustice and humanitarian violations

*Organize a global candlelight vigil to honor all Tigrayans killed, raped, and injured by the invading forces,

 

  *Create awareness of the genocide in Tigray using social media

*Practice knowledge induced initiatives, human capital development, technology, and knowledge transfer endeavors

*Emergency

Food during famine,

*Counseling & Psychological services,

*Medical equipment,

*Health services,

*Rebuild water systems,

*Built 275 temporary housing units

*Access to educated group.

*Form platform for Tigrayan communiity

Political

*Lobbying

*Alarm the international community of potential for ethic conflict and civil war in Ethiopia.

*Advocate justice for those Tigrayan origin whose existence is threatened by forced border demarcation

*Seek the immediate release of Tigrayans abducted by Eritrean forces.

 

 

*Engaged in public diplomacy,

*Call weekly United States representatives to stop the war in Tigray,

*Establish resistance task force

*Use Crisis Control Network to get in touch with diplomats and journalists to respond to humanitarian crisis in Tigray,

*Establish connection with peers across the Atlantic,

*Establish advocacy and diplomatic activities and filled cases about Genocide with the int. Court of Justice.

 

*Access to educated and advocacy group,

Despite undergoing sleepless nights, having ideological differences, and facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the entrepreneurial Tigrayan diaspora in North America needs to be applauded for being able to mobilize the other diasporas from their homelands to be involved in different forms of galvanizing structures.

With the assistance of the drones obtained from United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, China, and Iran, the Ethiopian National Defense Forces is intermittently bombarding Tigray. Nonetheless, thanks to the heroic efforts of Tigrayan fighters, Tigray seems be on the verge of achieving of its autonomy and eventually the people of Tigray will have the right to declare self-determination—the legal right to decide their own destiny.

As the drivers of change before and during the Ethio-Tigryan conflict, the Tigrayan diasporas need play more than ever before as stakeholders in post-conflict reconstruction of Tigray. Thus, being the inevitable stakeholders and co-development actors, the Tigrayan diasporas need to play in the reconstruction and consolidation processes of their original regional homeland (See Suh-Nwji, July 17, 2013).

Though not planned until now, the sharp-eyed Tigrayan diasporas need to be proactive and focus on designing sustainable post-conflict reconstruction developmental plans that can be gallantly used for the invigoration of their war-torn ancestral homeland, Tigray.  

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