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TPLF Apologist’s Crocodile Tears and Disinformation Masquerading as Academic Research

On October 3, 2023, “Just Security,” an online forum, published a paper by Mr. Mehari Taddele Maru titled: “UN Human Rights Council Should Extend Investigation Commission on Ethiopia.” (The same article was also posted on Academia.edu for wider circulation and impact).

As it can easily be corroborated by previous blogs and articles on Al-Jazeera and other mainstream media outlets, Mehari Taddele Maru is in fact a well-known TPLF apologist and propagandist who often masquerades as an “independent academic researcher and pundit’ on current events in the Horn of Africa.

The underlying aim of the misleading October 3 article in Just Security is to twist facts and events and thereby build a “plausible case” for the extension of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) mandate. This is a moot issue now as the mandate of the Commission was terminated by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in its 54th Session last week. Still, it is imperative to debunk the deceptions and subtle disinformation campaigns peddled by the author and to highlight the truth to set the record straight.

The author, in his attempt to persuade the UNHRC to prolong the ICHREE’s mandate, dismisses the Ethiopian government’s efforts regarding a “transitional justice plan” and accuses Western governments and the USA of pursuing their own geopolitical and economic interests in dealing with Ethiopian leaders. To substantiate his argument, the Maru quotes organizations, and high-profile officials, such as the United States Secretary of State.

It is worth mentioning that the Eritrean government has consistently requested evidence and an unbiased investigation. Despite constant allegations of “grave and systematic violations of international law, including war crimes, committed by the Eritrean Defense Forces”, the ICHREE has not presented a single credible piece of evidence.

Mr. Maru’s blatant bias is particularly evident in his treatment and distortion of the origins and genesis of the Tigray Wars.

The war in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia erupted when the TPLF launched a premeditated and massive military assault, dubbed as a blitzkrieg by its own senior commanders, on the night of 3 November 2020 along all the military positions of the Ethiopian Northern Command.

The purported purpose of the Insurrectionist War was to neutralize the Ethiopian army and thereby topple the Federal Government. TPLF’s war plans included escalation of its hostile expansionist agenda against Eritrea.

As it happened, the TPLF fired multiple long-range missiles on Eritrea’s capital and other civilian centers in the subsequent days. It also boasted of a war map and blueprint for the destruction of more than 100 strategic and economic infrastructures throughout Eritrea.

While these are the indelible facts, Mr. Maru deliberately misleads his audience by repeatedly peddling false and fabricated narratives.

The recycling of such false reports without any scrutiny has the potential to damage the reputation of a forum like Just Security, which positions itself for “rigorous analysis of security, democracy, foreign policy, and rights.”

Contrary to the author’s portrayal, the eviction of TPLF through a popular revolt brought hope for peace and stability within Ethiopia and the region. The TPLF, an ethno-fascist power, had wreaked havoc on the Ethiopian people and the region before declaring a revanchist war and attacking the Northern Command of Ethiopian National Defense Forces.

The Eritrean leadership and its people have consistently promoted peace, stability, and cooperation in the region, particularly with neighboring Ethiopia. These facts that are well-documented and practiced in reality.

TPLF’s reckless insurgency against the Ethiopian Federal Government and its destabilization agenda against Eritrea that is derived from its irredentist territorial claims have resulted in unforgivable and massive loss of life and destruction; with hundreds of thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars in infrastructural damage.

It is important to clarify as far as Eritrea was concerned, the 2020-2022 war was never against the “Tigrayan ethnic group”, as Mehari Taddele Maru wickedly suggests, it was a war of defense against the TPLF’s evil expansionist intension and illegal occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories. By introducing unrelated global geopolitical events, such as the Russian-Ukraine conflict, Ethiopia’s admission to BRICS etc, the Maru attempts to shift blame from TPLF’s atrocities to the Eritrean and Ethiopian governments and beyond them onto the international community in pursuit of international sympathy. This is nothing but shedding crocodile tears.

Saying this, we believe the international community has a responsibility to actively engage and ensure that both sides implement the Pretoria Peace Agreement, and in particular the TPLF must be totally and completely disarm.

National Council of Eritrean Americans (NCEA)

9 October 2023

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