“I hate when people confuse education with intelligence, you can have a Batchelor’s degree and still be an idiot”
By Wondimu Mekonnen, 02 January 2022
Intellectuals are supposed to be men of great knowledge. An intellectual possesses the ability to think in a logical manner. An intellectual is guided by his own consciousness and knowledge, by means of independent research output and not by emotions. An intellectual is an independent thinker, who is capable of thinking outside the box. takes pleasure in serious study and thought and is constantly critical of the information he /she receives….with the sole intention of defending a concrete proposition or to denounce an injustice. To be called a scholar and a professional one needs to be governed and guided by the code of ethics of that profession or defending a system of values.
One wonders how on earth the Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF) managed to create a bunch of zombie “scholars and professionals” thinking and acting in the same way as their creators, devoid of a gram of common sense. They do not seem to have an iota of elements that takes to become “intellectuals”. They are like brainless drones, distance operated by remote control by the TPLF. They are programmed like robots behaving in the way that the TPLF wanted them to behave. Just like the North Koreans are conditioned to blindly follow the Kim Il-sung dynasty, so do the predominant the so-called Tigrayan intellectuals obtain their directions from the TPLF. They are the TPLF worshippers devoid of their own thoughts and moral compass.
The Role of Tigray Intellectuals in the TPLF war on Ethiopia
When the TPLF was beating the war drum in 2020, mothers in tears[i] from all over Ethiopia travelled to Tigray, going on their knees, begged Debretsion, the president of the Tigray region, to avoid war and resolve the issues Tigray had with the central government in a peaceful manner. The president ignored them. A team of elders, including the Olympic legend Haile Gebrselassie and religious leaders, also travelled to Tigray to convince the authorities of Tigray, to avert war, but the TPLF ignored them too. Overconfidence/deceit is as dangerous as losing confidence. Many mistakenly hoped that the Tigray intellectuals would talk the TPLF out of their nightmarish madness. Instead, they became their beasts of burden, soon beating the war drums in the chorus.
Journalist Abebech Kahsay raised her observation of the role of Tigray “scholars and professionals” to avoid the war with amazement[ii]. The TPLF invited so so-called Tigray intellectuals and professionals from all over the world to lecture down to them what they were going to do with the Abiy Government in their bravado quest to dismantle Ethiopia and build the “Great Republic of Tigray”. The team of Tigray intellectuals included within them Ph.D., master’s degree holders, doctors, engineers you name it. Among them, one brave intellectual questioned the possible negative consequence of starting the war with the Federal Government on Tigray and proposed to settle the differences through peaceful means. His fear was that, if the TPLF started the war, Abiy’s Government might cut off electricity, telephone, transport, and other utilities putting Tigray in the dark. Then one of the veterans “Tegadalay” known by her nom de guerre Monjorino (Fetlework Gebreigziabher) barked back at the inquisitor with such authority: “If Mekelle would be in the dark, just for one night, do you think Addis Ababa would be in the light? If that happens, then we should be considered dead! That would never ever happen!” The Tigrayan intellectual coiled back with shame for undermining the TPLF and resorted to dancing to their tune. That is why we say overconfidence is as dangerous as losing confidence.
While the TPLF was massacring civilians, raping, looting, destroying infrastructure in Afar, and in Amhara from Northern Wello to Northern Shewa, the Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS) came up with a 7-point position[iii]. In those 7 points, they were lamenting that a genocide has been committed against the people of Tigray, which the United Nation did not find a shred of evidence such a crime was committed against the civilians on purpose. The genociders were crying “genocide on Tigray” to obscure their own crime on Amharas (Mai Kadra, Chena, Haiq, Kombolcha, Dessie, Lalibela, Northern Shewa…, on Afar, at Galicoma and Chifra. In fact, the term “genocide” has become a national hymn of the TPLF, which they have been dancing to that tune since 2005 when they stole electoral ballots and gunned down 100s of protestors on the streets of Addis Ababa. They introduced for the first time the term “Interhamwe” in Ethiopia, which forced Ethiopian intellectuals to run to google to find out what that term was exactly meant. Anyway, the so-called Tigrayan Scholars and professionals almost demanded the Amhara and the Afars to surrender at their 6th position point. They demanded to lay their arms while they were fighting, looting and, raping.
Expect more surprises from “Tigray Intellectuals”. The purpose of this article is to expose the extent of ignorance of the so-called Tigray intellectuals thinking in line with the TPLF leadership.
The cart before the horse
To the amazement of millions of people across the world, “The Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS)”, which claims to have more than 3500 members, recently surprised us on Twitter with “Position Statement on the Vital interest of Tigray”[iv], which includes three statements. Position 3e is the most bizarre statement. It reads:
“Equally essential and related to the territorial integrity of Tigray is access to international borders, and the right of access to and from the sea and freedom of transit as provided in article 125 of the Law of the Sea. These constitutional and international rights are non-negotiable vital interest of Tigray”
Doesn’t that sound like putting the cart before the horse? There is an adage in the Ethiopian proverb: “Let the common duiker be meat first” (እስቲ መጀመሪያ ሚዳቋ ሥጋ ትሁን). These guys have no clue that Tigray has been an integral part of Ethiopia for thousands of years and remains a territory of Ethiopia up until this article is written. The border of Tigray is determined by the Ethiopia Government and not by the United Nations or anybody else outside Ethiopia as a matter of fact. This is common sense. These guys act as if Tigray is an independent country. It is not. The TPLF is not in charge of the Government of Ethiopia anymore, if they have forgotten, to determine the future of Ethiopia!
Even if they manage to defeat the Government forces and control Tigray, the road to independence is bumpy and complicated as long as they wouldn't overthrow the Federal Government and reseize power. For example, look at Abkhazia, Somaliland, and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus. They have been de facto states for several decades now, but they are not recognized by the United Nations, because they couldn’t obtain recognition from the Governments of the countries they were trying to break away from. The state of Eritrea was so lucky to have a traitor Government in the image of the TPLF to oversee the Ethiopian Government by force, coming to power through the barrel of guns in 1991. To the bewilderment of the international community, they had to run on the corridors of the United Nations and African Union with dossier to beg for the recognition of Eritrea, a breakaway province of Ethiopia, making Ethiopia landlocked losing its the only two ports built with the sweat and blood of Ethiopians. Ironically, the good news is, now the independent state of Eritrea is fighting the treacherous TPLF to save Ethiopia from further dismemberment. Therefore, the Tigrayan intellectuals must wake up and smell the coffee before talking about the international border or an outlet to the sea. They have no legal or moral authority to demand that. Only the Ethiopian Government decides what to do with them, as Tigray is in Ethiopia and Tigrayans are Ethiopians throughout the existence of Ethiopia for thousands of years. They need to swallow the bitter pill.
There must be more than 3,500 Tigrayan season intellectuals, perhaps in the tens of thousands. However, their silence makes them just as guilty as the 3,500 clueless scholars and professionals as they are representing them.
The Genocide on Amhara and Afar
Six days after they started the war, realising they were losing, on 9 November 2020, the TPLF soldiers fighter started going from house to house and began massacring Wolqaite Amharas. Within a matter of hours, they hacked down 1,100 Amharas at Mai Kadra (Muchena, 2020) with the intention of cleaning hundreds of thousands of civilian indigenous Amhara from Welqit, Tegede, and Humera. Luckily the arrival of the Amhara militia and Fanno just in time stopped the massacre forcing the murderers to flee. The genociders crossed the border into Sudan, from where they are now attempting incursion to come back. Incidentally, they have now burned down the UN refugee camp[v] in Sudan and fully moved to training military camps, sponsored by the Egyptian and Sudanese Governments. Therefore, the struggle of Tigrayan elites to get back Welqait, Tegede, and Humera is a moot case to get access to Sudan. What access to the international border are they talking about? They should learn the history of Lesotho and Kingdom Swaziland, which are surrounded by South Africa and landlocked.
This group of the so-called Tigrayan intellectuals had completely forgotten how their leadership persecuted Ethiopian intellectuals such as Hailemariam (Hailemariam, 2018), Kahsay (Kahsay, 2007) who were demanding the right of Ethiopia to the sea outlet based on the very article 125 of United Nations, that she lost in 1991 when the TPLF came to power. The Tigrayan Scholars and Professionals were vilifying them then. Now, the same intellectuals are demanding for the tiny renegade province of Ethiopia, Tigray, to have an international border and sea outlet which they denied to the bigger Ethiopia for 27 years. Do they know what shame means?
Is that reason why they invaded Afar, to incorporate into Tigray? Still, had they succeeded in defeating the Afars, they need either to defeat Eritrea to grab Port of Assab, or invade and defeat Djibouti, to annex the port and incorporate it into Greater Tigray. Tigrayan “intellectual” daydreamers are devoid of intellectual common sense, blinded by TPLF propaganda, and make themselves a laughingstock.
Let the so-called Tigray Scholars and Professionals understand this! There is no international law that would take land from an independent country to let a province of a country have a sea outlet. Eritrea is an independent country since 28 May 1993, thanks to the TPLF. They lost the chance in 1993. No one has the right to award Assab to Tigray or no legal means to allow them to annex Djibouti. As for the international borders, if Tigray remains an integral part of Ethiopia, they will never ever have the legal power to claim any of those demands because the border within internal territory is defined by the authorities of Ethiopia and not an international body. There is an international law that prohibits interference in the internal affairs of any country. Ethiopia is not an exception. If they succeed to become independent, then Eritrea and Ethiopia will be their international borders! There they would have their international borders! What is the fuss about?!
In 1991, when the TPLF became the Government of Ethiopia, they took by force the historical territories of Gondar Province, Welqait Tegede, and Humera incorporating them into Tigray, so that Tigray would stretch to the border with Sudan. However, for 27 years, the people of Welqait and Humera were fighting for their rights demanding to be back with their natural blood relatives, the Amhara. The residents have gone through ethnic cleansing and suffered linguistic and cultural genocide. It is a different time now. The dream of Welqaites became the reality when the TPLF deliberately started the war and got kicked out of Welqait Tegede, Humara, and Raya. Without violating international law, no power under the sun has the right to reverse that. They have lost! They need to face the reality. Just to serve the interest of the TPLF, the people of Tigray should not be subjected to more suffering. The criminals need to be apprehended. The Tigray intellectuals need to save their place in history by trying talking sense to the TPLF rather than being considered ordinary cadres of the war criminals.
Hailemariam, Y., 2018. Borkena. [Online]
Available at: https://borkena.com/2018/05/09/dr-yacob-haile-mariam-peaceful-settlement-of-the-ethio-eritrean-conflict-is-an-idea-whose-time-has-come/
[Accessed 2 January 2022].
Kahsay, A. T., 2007. Ethiopia's Sovereign Right of Access to the Sea under International Law. University of Georgia Law.
Muchena, D., 2020. Amnesty International. [Online]
Available at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/ethiopia-investigation-reveals-evidence-that-scores-of-civilians-were-killed-in-massacre-in-tigray-state/
[Accessed 2 January 2022].