Ethiopia is an old empire that changes several names over the years. It was once called the Axum empire and it used to control most of the Horn of Africa and some parts of Arabia. Then the name changed into Abyssinia which was a smaller version of the current vast empire that extends from the Sudanese border to north western part of Kenya that has a long border with both Somaliland and Somalia. Again 1952 when emperor Haile Selassie annexed Eritrea which was the then a trustee territory, the name Abyssinia was changed to Ethiopia. Currently Ethiopia is made up of 10 semi-autonomous federal states organized along ethnic lines, and ethnic violence has soared in recent years.
Throughout its history Ethiopia has always been an expansionist, and aggressive empire that is apt on the annexation and occupation of other people’s lands. Ethiopia has always a place not suited for democratic ideals and has no history of democracy and democratic ideals at all.
Whenever some people annexed by Ethiopia try to redress their grievances the Ethiopian response was always brutal, imprisonment, aggression and brute force. In recent history Menelik, Haile Selassie, Mengistu, and now Aby Ahmed all used brute force to resolve any semblance of dissent. In the most recent history Aby Ahmed used massive military force that included undisciplined Amhara paramilitary units from Amhara state, and foreign forces such as Eritrean military, UAE drones, and even some small units sent by Farmajo to suppress, subjugate and destroy the state of Tigray that dare to hold elections and criticize his autocratic rule. Like his predecessors such as Menelik, Haile Selassie and Mengistu he is using massive military force including substantial troops from Eritrea in Tigray.
What Aby Ahmed is doing in Tigray is not unprecedented but just more massive and more extreme. It is worth remembering when in 1957 Haile Selassie brought in British air force to conduct massive airstrikes in Tigray to quash a Tigray rebellion. In those airstrikes the British colonial air force flew from Aden and bombed civilian centers in Tigray. Those airstrikes were massive but compared to what Aby is doing today in Tigray those bombings were a cake.
History will never forget what Ethiopian and foreign forces are doing in Tigray. They were kept on shelling and killing civilians indiscriminately, destroyed vital infrastructure such as bridges, hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, companies, mosques and churches. What is happening in Tigray seems to be a brutal aggression of destruction, genocide and an attempt to wipe out the Tigrayan nation form the face of the earth.
Clearly the world seems to be watching without action the brutal and genocidal aggression happening in Tigray. In the long run what Aby Ahmed will defeated the same way Mengistu has been defeated in Tigray and Eritrea, despite the massive Ethiopian and Eritrean forces he deployed in Tigray, despite, the use of massive foreign forces, indiscriminate shelling of civil areas, using rape and starvation as tool of war he will eventually be defeated and will witness, and disintegrated Ethiopia split into three or four independent states. After hundreds of years of occupation and injustice non-Abyssinian people (Cushitic people) in Ethiopia will never expect justice and democracy from Ethiopia.
The only option people of Cushitic descend has at this point is to opt for self-determination and independence. Currently Ethiopia is facing raging wars in four fronts. The most difficult one is Tigray front, the Oromo, Benshengul and the Sudanese fronts. There are other potential battles that may emerge in the coming months. The potential hot spots in the coming months will be the Somali region, the city of Dridawa, the city of Harar, the Southern Nations of Ethiopia, and Gumuz states of Ethiopia.
Prof. Suleiman Egeh is a freelance writer, Horn of Africa Political Analyst and a Senior Science instructor