Charges, interrogations, speeches and acts by government officials show that the Abiy government considers close to three million Tigrayans who participated in the Tigray Election criminals and traitors.
Yirga Gebremedhn, an Ethiopian Airline ICT expert, was arrested by intelligence officials from his house in Addis Abeba more than three weeks ago. One of the crimes he is accused of is participating in the Tigray Election. Many other Tigrayans are jailed for the ‘crime’ of participating in the Tigray Election. For instance, Tesfahunegn Guesh, a technical manager at the state monopoly Ethio Telecom, is another one.
Among the many questions asked by security officials to Tigrayans at checkpoints and at Bole International Airport (Addis Abeba) are whether they have participated in the Tigray Election.
Woldegiorgis Teklay, a Tigrayan journalist who fled from Ethiopia recently after unbearable intimidations and harassment, said in his facebook post that he was asked whether he took part in the Tigray election. He said:
The intelligence officer at the Addis Ababa International Airport asked me if I had participated in the Tigray Election; an election held on 9 September 2020 to assert self-rule and self-determination. I got it now why they ask a similar question to many Tigrayans-in public offices, on the street, at the airport, etc.
Participating in an election has become a criminal act in the eyes of the Federal government and their enablers (Eritrea’s president Esayas Afworki and the Amhara elites) and many Tigrayans are now behind bars accused of participating in the Tigray Election.
Daniel Kibret, an extremist Amhara nationalist, advisor to Abiy Ahmed, and someone known for his anti-Tigrayan and anti-Oromo hate-preaching said recently (see video below):
The war is not on Tigrayans and portraying it as such is extremely wrong. Those who committed the crime, those who committed treason are a few. There are about five or six million Tigrayans. Those who participated in the crime are not even one million.
Daniel Kibret is a religious preacher adept at using vague language to convey dangerous messages. In this speech, despite his attempt to make the number less, Daniel is actually referring to the almost three million Tigrayans who participated in the Tigray election. He does not, however, want to say three million because the Abiy government has been pushing the idea that those who participated in the Tigray election are not as much as what the Tigray government claimed, but much less.
The Abiy government clearly sees all the Tigrayans that participated in the Tigray Election as criminals and traitors that must be punished. This means the entire adult Tigrayan population must be punished.
The indiscriminate bombings and massacres, the looting and destruction of civilian infrastructure and cultural heritages, the blockade and communication blackout, the denial of humanitarian aid and starvation of the people are justified by the view that the entire adult Tigrayan population is criminal and traitorous.