Bahir Dar Event: A Preparation for yet Another War on Tigray
On 10 May 2022, a big event was organized in Bahir Dar, Amhara. The event was attended by federal authorities, regional states’ leaders, ENDF military leaders, opposition political parties, Amhara security authorities, religious leaders and other invited guests. The event was bellicose and the talks looked like Ethiopia fought a foreign great power and won. The event, said to be a culmination of the first chapter of the war, presented the genocidal war on Tigray as something from which Ethiopia reaped unity and produced “great” heroes. The overall spirit was to prepare the security forces and the public for yet another war.
Opening the event, the Amhara president Yilkal Kefale said “the event of gratitude and recognition is organized to commemorate the unparalleled sacrifice and heroism that our security forces paid during the existential war and to encourage and prepare them for the next campaign.”
The Amhara president concluded his speech “I am sure that you, our security forces, using this expression of gratitude and recognition as an encouragement, will wipe out the rest of the force that is a cancer to our county’s security and peace”.
Demeke Mekonen, Ethiopia’s deputy prime minister, on his part, said that there is war coming and that “the time now is when we should combine forces and not scatter it by engaging in different agendas”.
Abiy Ahmed was not present during the opening event, but he was shown on Amhara TV today awarding military leaders and giving speech.
Other Events and Preparations
Abiy Ahmed recently visited what he called military drills in undisclosed location in Amhara state. From the photos, it looks somewhere in Gondar.
Ethiopia’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Suleiman Dedefo, blamed TPLF for not grabbing the “humanitarian truce” and said the only way for Ethiopia to achieve peace is to wipe out the TPLF through war.
Since the declaration of “humanitarian truce” on 24 Mar 2022 , only a trickle of aid has entered Tigray. Tigray remains in total blockade, communications blackout and shutdown of all services. This despite Tigrayan forces fulfilling every demand from the Ethiopia and the international community. Amhara and Eritrean forces remain occupying Tigrayan territories.
There has also been some report of clashes between Tigrayan and Eritrean forces on the Eritrean-occupied Tigrayan territories. Eritrea is connected both with Amhara and Afar and has been training Amhara forces in Eritrea.
The refusal to allow humanitarian aid, the military drills, the trainings, the Eritrean attacks and this event and the call on the Ethiopian and Amhara security forces and the general public to prepare for another war make it clear that yet another war on Tigray is coming soon.