A French researcher specializing in the affairs of the Horn of Africa denounced what he described as the “scorched earth policy” that has been taking place in the Tigray region of Ethiopia since the federal government in this country declared war on the local authorities in the region.
In an article for the French newspaper Le Monde, Rene La four said that the Ethiopian government has isolated this region from the rest of the world since the beginning of the war on November 4, 2020. He pointed out that Addis Ababa’s goal is to eliminate the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front accused of rebellion.
He stated that the federal army and its allies from the Amhara militias and the Eritrean forces were able to eliminate the political and military apparatus in Tigray, ending the traditional war between the two parties by seizing the regional capital of Tigray, Mekele on November 28, 2020.
But the vast majority, according to the author, of Tigray residents, civilians or members of the local armed forces, did not accept surrender and organized themselves to fight the “invasion” with their old weapon, guerrilla warfare.
Despite the difficulty of reaching this region in northern Ethiopia, the writer mentioned that information confirmed by the international media, the United Nations, leading non-governmental organizations and major Western powers, spoke of atrocities committed in this region.
The writer pointed out that the Eritrean and Amhara regional forces and the federal army escalated the bombing of cities and massacres, including the killing of religious leaders. He said that those atrocities included executions, mass rapes, and the destruction of camps housing 100,000 Eritrean refugees in this region.
He added that this unbridled terrorism, as he described it, was accompanied by systematic looting, which included the dismantling of entire factories and their transportation outside Tigray and the seizure of every usable vehicle, house windows and even kitchen utensils, in addition to the looting and theft of 80% of the region’s agricultural crops, according to a United Nations official. 90% of livestock, including bulls, which are irreplaceable for their importance to offspring and cultivation, were slaughtered or transported out of the territory.
In addition, about 87% of the health infrastructure has been looted or deliberately demolished, according to Médecins Sans Frontières, and of the 296 ambulances that were in Tigray, only 31 were operating in this province at the beginning of January In the past, schools suffered the same fate, water supply facilities became beyond repair, agricultural equipment was destroyed, and in short, vital means of survival and production were deliberately eliminated, according to the author.
The official goal of the federal government in Addis Ababa, according to the author, is still to get the Tigray People’s Liberation Front out of the game, which most experts doubt the ability of this government to achieve.
The writer added that the government’s inability to achieve its goal pushed it to punish all Tigrayans, inside and outside the region, and made them pay the price of guerrilla warfare and the national domination of their elite over the country for nearly 3 decades.
The writer concludes that the people of the Tigray region have been stripped of all means of advancement through the scorched-earth policy through a war that is, at the same time, civil war, revenge, and ethnic, regional and international conflict, which is, in one word, a barbaric war “out of the ordinary.”