One can easily match exactly the nature of atrocities occurring in Ukraine by Russian forces to those that have taken place against the Tigray and are still happening in Western Tigray and other areas of Ethiopia. Why is there a delay in recognition of what to most observers is patently obvious? With Tigray civilian deaths authoritatively estimated to be at least 500,000 the loss of human life in Tigray is much greater then Ukraine so far.
Both United States President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken have declared that Russia committed outrageous war crimes on Ukraine by attacking residential dwellings, schools, hospitals, markets, and other civilian targets. Additionally he noted the detention, rape, and arbitrary killing of civilians by Russian forces often as they retreated from oncoming Ukrainian advances. This list of infractions against civilians matches exactly to what the Tigray have suffered from Ethiopia and Eritrea.
From the very beginning of the Ethiopian and Eritrean war against Tigray a hallmark of their actions have been directed to civilians. Fleeing civilians where shot in the back as the forces approached Mekelle. At least 120,000 Tigrayan women were raped and mutilated by soldiers who told them this was an official part of intended action to Tigray including spreading HIV infection. Numerous international highly respected organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch documented these violations. Farms, homes, businesses, factories, schools, and health care facilities have been destroyed. Tens of thousands of Tigrayans are presumed dead killed for nothing else but being Tigrayan. Even the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights complained to Ethiopia that indiscriminate bombing of civilians was wrong and should be stopped. They are currently awaiting reports from “specialists” to make further determinations.
Yesterday the British Parliament openly discussed the issue of Ethiopian and Eritrean genocide against the civilian population of Tigray. Without opposition the clear terms of war crimes and genocide were used to describe actions of Ethiopia and Eritrea. This included the use of famine and blockade of humanitarian supplies as a weapon of war.
Although the United States expelled Ethiopia from the African Growth and Opportunity Act because of human rights violations by Ethiopia the United States has delayed officially calling Ethiopia and Eritrea actions “genocide”. Most analysts speculate that this delay is being used as a bargaining tool to persuade Ethiopia to cooperate with a cease fire and unfettered humanitarian access to famine stricken Tigray. Meanwhile Ethiopia has only allowed one convoy of 20 trucks has come while the need for over 100 trucks a day is necessary to minimally relieve the famine. The likelihood that the call to truce was only a temporary ploy while Ethiopia and Eritrea mobilize forces for new attacks on Tigray has been hypothesized by many analysts. The lack of further convoys support this idea.
Although it is important the United Nations international investigation be carried out there is no justification at this point for the United States to delay further what is clearly inevitable in urgently declaring Tigray genocide. Every human life matters.