The Nobel committee should resign over the atrocities in Tigray
The war on Tigray in Ethiopia has been going on for months. Thousands of people have been killed and wounded, women and girls have been raped by military forces, and more than 2 million citizens have been forced out of their homes. Prime minister and Nobel peace prize laureate Abiy Ahmed stated that a nation on its way to “prosperity” would experience a few “rough patches” that would create “blisters”. This is how he rationalised what is alleged to be a genocide.
Nobel committee members have individual responsibility for awarding the 2019 peace prize to Abiy Ahmed, accused of waging the war in Tigray. The members should thus collectively resign their honourable positions at the Nobel committee in protest and defiance.
The committee justified awarding the Nobel to Ethiopia’s premier for his “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”. Today, Eritrean forces, along with Ethiopia’s federal and Amhara regional state forces are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in what Abiy characterises as a “law enforcement operation” in Tigray.
Numerous massacres of civilians have been revealed, and rape of women and girls has been systematically carried out
The war began last November, when federal soldiers entered Tigray alongside Eritrean forces, claiming the objective was to arrest the elected regional government and leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front party (TPLF) for rebellion. The Tigray leadership withdrew from the regional capital, Mekelle, into the mountains, with thousands of combat-ready troops. It was clear from the outset that war was inevitable, as Tigrayans would not submit to the centralising policies of Abiy, which they believe undermine their constitutionally enshrined autonomy.
The campaign has become increasingly repugnant. The US has criticised Abiy for ethnic cleansing. Numerous massacres of civilians have been revealed, and rape of women and girls has been systematically carried out to “cleanse the blood line”, as soldiers have reportedly said, and break spirits. Civil infrastructure, such as hospitals, water facilities, schools and universities have been direct targets of bombings and looting, with the aim to destroy capacity to govern.