Tigray administrator exposed Eritreans and wish to preserve borders flees

Although Gebremeskel Kassa ,Chief of Staff for the Interim Tigray Administration appointed by Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, supported Ethiopian action to take over the Tigray Regional state from the TPLF he  would soon become critical of Ethiopian, Amharan, and Eritrean actions in the region leading to his seeking refuge outside Ethiopia.

Gebremeskel Kassa  complained during the Ethiopian occupation of Tigray that Eritrean troops should have withdrawn from Tigray and that the violent expulsion of ethnic Tigrayans from Western Tigray was wrong. At the time the Tigray Interim Administration took power he stated emphatically that their goal was to maintain the current borders of Tigray previously ruled by the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front and not to give Western Tigray to Amhara.  He and others also pushed unsuccessfully for the Prime Minister to seek talks to resolve the crisis.

In January 2021 he told Reuters News Service that 2 million people were displaced in Tigray but Mitiku Kassa of the Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission contradicted his pronouncement with a lie that it was only 110,000. Then in March 2021 in an interview with BBC he complained that Eritrean and Amhara military authorities blocked the Tigray Interim Administration from setting up local civilian services and also blocked action to provide any law enforcement protection, health care restoration, food aid, or investigation of violations of human rights which he admitted had been done by the occupying forces.

Kassa left Tigray when the Tigray Defense Force resurged in June 2021. He joins other former Tigray Interim Administration officials who have grown increasingly critical of the Abiy Ahmed directed policy of lies, abuse, deprivation, and genocide toward the Tigray state and its population. Now he has fled Ethiopia and asking for asylum in an unnamed country after he became the subject of an inquiry blaming him as well as other officials for the military defeat. 

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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