The Queen of Sheba
December 12, 2020
Since the outbreak of the conflict in Ethiopia which was triggered by the ‘thunderous’ and pre-emptive attack of the TPLF cabal on the Northern Command of the Federal Army, the true colours of some of the reputable international media outlets and organizations are emerging. While it is expected that errors in reporting happens occasionally, the systematic and relentless attack on the Ethiopian government from multiple fronts—through outright falsehoods, twisted analysis, and even fabrication—have become an everyday reality.
These media outlets which have huge audience around the world and are held with high regard are abusing that trust—with impunity. While it is true that some of these outlets may not probably be aware of the growing trends of misrepresentation and dishonesty, they remain culpable for their mendacious reporters. Let me start with the recent report which triggered this writing.
A Treacherous Act: A Response of the State
The Ethiopian government has agreed to grant access to a humanitarian corridor to the UN to kick off its operations—with unambiguous terms on movement which the UN has duly agreed to. In total disregard to the terms and also contempt to the government, the UN staff aggressively—and treacherously—overrun two checkpoints as it drove into excluded territories. The Ethiopian military had to fire a warning shot as the vehicle was ominously breaking the third check point to stop it.
So, the most innocent, if not naïve, question now is: Who is the rude outlaw now? The UN staff or the Ethiopian Army? The answer is obvious for all fair-minded people.
That as it may, what could be the intent of this dangerous adventure by this UN staff who are yet to be identified? A lot could be speculated, but two would appear more plausible. The first one could be to create an international scenario to falsely accuse the Ethiopian government for breaking the terms of the agreement—which unfortunately was somehow achieved deviously. The second plausible reason could be to rescue the fugitives of the TPLF cabal who are now in hiding as they are being trashed everywhere.
How was the story told and sold to the world from the BBC, which apologized for its sloppy report recently, to Reuters, which many now call the mouthpiece of the cabal incessantly spewing unfavorable narratives against the government? One could visit their websites which are fraught with sensational headlines, texts, videos and graphics intended to overtly and subtly tarnish the image of the country and its Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed. And yet the TPLF cabal, which is well known for its extreme ruthlessness and most heinous military and civilian crimes, continues to be presented as an innocent victim.
To revert to the UN one more time, the prominent Ethiopian Satellite Television, ESAT, at the start of the conflict, reported the looting of the UNHCR camps by fleeing forces of the TPLF cabal. But the UN promptly discounted and vigorously denied it. It is now however confirmed that the UN camps were heavily looted by the cabal—stealing its vehicles, food, equipment, and even private staff properties such as cell phones and money. But the organization is yet to fully admit the incident and condemn the TPLF cabal to the chagrin of most Ethiopians and many observers.
To add insult to the injury the High Commissioner of the UNHCR, Michelle Bachelet, recklessely attacked and misrepresented Ethiopia—the very country which actively participates in a number of UN peace missions, as “out of control.” It is evident that paid operatives and shenanigans, who have been systematically installed by the cabal in such institutions as the UN and EU over the years, are misleading and manipulating such institutions.
The New York Times: A Deplorable Case
In the interest of exhibiting some of the deceptive narratives, this article attempts to interrogate one such story carried by the New York Times published on 10 December 2020 under a headline: “Fleeing Ethiopians Tell of Ethnic Massacres in Tigray War”.
In describing the absolute dominance of the TPLF cabal during its reign, which is admitted virtually by everyone, its reporter opted to diffidently put it as such:
The Tigray make up about 6 percent of Ethiopia’s 110 million people, and they were the arbiters of power and money in the country from 1991, until 2018, when anti-government protests catapulted Mr. Abiy to power.
The choice of the phrase “arbiters of power and money” is revealing. The cabal were not the arbiter of power and money; they were the supreme power and the absolute proprietor of the money. They unashamedly controlled both the bank and the tank, as often is remarked by Ethiopians. The recent figures by the Prime Minister which exposed the over representation of the high-ranking military officials and leaders of the cabal in the army left everyone gasping: it ranged from 50 percent to 100 percent! This obscene overrepresentation may have attributed to the daring, but disastrous, attack on the Federal Army.
The second one in the story read:
Mr. Davison of the International Crisis Group said that with Amhara security and militia forces active in Tigray in recent weeks, and with some Amhara administrators put in place there, “it appears to be a de facto Amhara occupation of territory they claim the T.P.L.F. annexed.” The move is likely to lead to violent Tigrayan reprisals, he said, as may have already occurred in the town of Mai Kadra, where human rights groups have said forces loyal to the liberation front massacred as many as 600 people, most of them Amhara.
First of all, Mr. Davison is a discredited reporter who was unceremoniously expelled from Ethiopia for his blatant and repeated partisanship in favor of the cabal. He dared as far as hinting some dubious tactical approaches to the cabal on international and social media while stationed in the capital.
Second, the My-Kadra massacre against the Amharas was committed by marauding and fleeing forces of the TPLF cabal as they were being pushed out by the army, the militia and the special forces. The reprisal was unambiguously committed by the Tigrayan cabal who massacred thousands of civilians, according to recent reports including the UN and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. But Mr. Davison opted to clutter and confuse it deliberately and criminally.
The third one in the story read:
Adding to the deadly mix are the involvement of rival ethnic militia groups. One of them is the Fano, a militia from the Amhara ethnic group. Along with Amhara regional government security forces, Fano took part in the intervention in Tigray, Mr. Davison said.
It is remarkable how Mr. Davison conveniently forgot the infamous Samri butchers of the cabal who committed the My-Kadra genocide but was quick to point out the Fano who may have been involved in helping to rescue the Federal forces under the cabal’s siege.
Pack of Lies: Cheerful Carriers
The cabal, its operatives and shenanigans mounted all kinds of disinformation, misinformation and white lies without qualms. They first declared that they downed a fighter plane brandishing a fake picture from a conflict elsewhere which was quickly debunked.
When that fabrication got exposed, they went about drawing the United Arab Emirates into the conflict by accusing it as a supplier and operator of surveillance and attack drones.
Then they peddled a rumor that top generals who are commanding the battle were killed. That was also discredited when the commanders appeared in the field in the heart of Tigray.
With all these credibility gaps and history of lies, the international media opted to disgracefully continue to carry such falsehoods. It will not be easy to trust these sources on anything from anywhere anytime soon. That trust is shattered.
Many prominent and credible international media and major institutions are letting Ethiopia down—again and again. It is therefore imperative that the Ethiopian government deploys all its resources systematically and strategically to reverse this hostile pattern—without delay.
The government must consolidate its diplomatic missions with competent, committed, and capable personnel. Diplomatic missions should not continue to be a retirement haven in recognition of a long service or, even worse, an isolation enclave for purged party and government apparatchiks.
On the other hand, citizens, both at home and in the diaspora, must proactively and persistently support the effort with their pens, keyboards, networks—and wallets.
This is a matter of serious national interest.
The Queen of Sheba may be reached at [email protected]