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One Year of Tigray Genocide as Told by Siyad Arts

Thematically arranged retrospective of some of the evocative drawings by political cartoonist Siyad, telling the story of one year of Tigray Genocide.



Trying to reflect on something as brutal, inhumane, and traumatizing as genocide even as it is ongoing seems next to impossible. And yet, as we mark a year of the ongoing war and genocide in Tigray we all feel a compulsion to take a breath and look back on the last year. From photographs to campaign posters, paintings, and other artwork the story of Tigray Genocide has been told as much in images as it has been told in words.

The evocative drawings of political cartoonist Siyad Arts offer a particularly striking chronicle. This thematically arranged retrospective presents some of his drawings published here with the gracious permission of the artist:

“kindly go ahead. I’m honoured, this is Allah given talent, so I decided to use it to make the world a better place.


War on Tigray

The declaration of war on Tigray by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on the 4th of November 2020 took many by shock. For Tigrayans the long history of embattlement in Tigray and the many hard times weathered by the people of Tigray were a source of solace, that this too would pass and that Tigray would prevail.

Atrocities and Genocide

From the very start of the war, the Ethiopian regime sought to maintain complete narrative control by imposing a total telecommunications blackout on Tigray. Even so, horrifying details – largely ignored by the mainstream media because they were not readily confirmable – of the brutal campaign being waged by the Ethiopian and Eritrean regimes trickled out.

Humanitarian Crisis and International Indifference

Even after Abiy Ahmed declared victory on the 28th of November 2020, his regime sought to control the narrative on the ongoing war and the burgeoning humanitarian crisis in Tigray. For many months the international community chose to largely believe this narrative even as atrocities committed by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces multiplied and the Ethiopian regime hindered the unfettered distribution of humanitarian aid to millions of people in war-ravaged Tigray.

The Geopoltical Context: The Tripatrate Axis of Evil

A key aspect of the war on Tigray, which is not discussed as much as it deserves to be, is the role of the tripartite alliance forged between President Isaias Afeworki of Eritrea, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, and Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmaajo) that has been so destructive to the region.

Isaias Afeworki

Of particular note, in relation to War on Tigray and Tigray Genocide, is of course the influence and full collaboration of the Eritrean dictator Isaias Afeworki in the planning and execution of the brutal attack on Tigray.

Tigrayan Resistance

The brutal atrocities committed in Tigray inspired and drove a ferocious resistance that drove back occupation forces from most of Tigray in late June 2021. Since then Tigrayan Defense Forces have continued to struggle to liberate all of Tigray and to break the siege and humanitarian blockade imposed on Tigray.

Meron T Gebreananaye is a PhD Student at University of Durham, England.

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  1. Stop killing civilians :China and UAE will hand you in later

    November 8, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    በለይቶ ማቆያ ና ካምፕ ስም የሚደረግ ግድያና ግፍ ና ዝርፊያ ይቁም፥

    Genociders, pro-PP activists inciting violence like the guy in mehal meda youtube channel, will not and can’t evade justice even if they hide in overseas . China and other countries who work with Abiy and his party members will certainly hand in war criminals .

    አንድ መታወቅ ያለበት ሀቅ ቢኖር ተጋሩን ማሰርና መረሸን የቲዲኤፍን ና ኦኤልኣን ወደ መዲናዋ የሚያደርገውን ግሥጋሴ አያወላክፈውም፥፥ተጋሩ ባያደርጉት እንኳ ብለን ብናስብ ሌላው ህብረተሰብ አራማውን ጨምሮ ነፈሰገዳዮችን አሳልፎ እንደሚሰጣቸው የተረጋገጠ ነው፥፥ባንድ ወቅት አንድ ሰው እንዲህ አለ የአማራ ብሔር አባላት በቀበሌ ውሥጥ ጥቅማጥቅም ለመቋደስ ና ሥራ ለማግኘት ብሎም በኢሃዴግ ጥምረት ውሥጥ በአባልነት ለመካተት በሀሰት ወገናውን የሚወነጅሉ እንደ ነበር የተናገረው እናስታውሳለን፥፥የተደረገውን ነው የምናካላቹ ፥ለጆሮ እንግዳምም አይደለም፥፥ብዙዎች የህውሃት አሽቃባጮች ወገናቸውን በሀሰት የመንግሥት ጠላት አድርገው የሚያቀርቡ ነበሩ፥፥ነገ ደግሞ ቲዲኤፍ ና ኦኤልኣ ሀገሪቷን ሲቆጣጠሩ ብልፅግናን ተገን አድርገው እየገደሉና ያስጨፈጨፉ ያሉ አክቲቪስቶች ነን ባይ እንደ መሃል ሜዳ ዩቱበሮች እሳቶች ን ራሱ የምሀራ ተወላጅ ሳይቀር አሳልፎ ይሰጣቸዋል፥፥የዘመመውን መቁረጥ የቆመውን መንከባከብ ሕዝቡ ያውቅበታል፥፥ስለዚህም ወገናችንን በካምፕ ወይም ለይቶ ማቆያ ስም አታሰቃዩ አትግደሉ አታስረሽኑ፥፥ህዝባቹ አሳፎ እንደሚሰጣቹ እወቁ ፥፥ይህ ሰብአዊና ተፈጥራዊ ነው ከሆነ አምላካዊ ህግና ስጦታ ጋር የመታገል ያህል ነው፥፥በደላቹ ከሰው ህሊና ከሕዝብ አዕምሮ ሊፋቅ አይችልም፥፥የናንተ ሀሰት ማለቂያ የለውም፥፥ቲዲኤፍ መነኩሴ ደፈረ ቤተክርስቲያን አፍርሶ መቅደስ ውሥጥ ተፀዳዳ ፥ወዘተ የሚሉ የፈጠራ ወሬዎችን በማሰራጨት ሕዝብን ለማነሳሳት ሃይማኖትን ያለ አግባብ አትጠቀሙ፥፥ሃይማኖት ቢኖራቹሁማ ካህናት አትገድሉም ምዕመናንን ከቤተመቅደስ ውሥጥ አትረሽኑምአታስረሽኑም ነበር፥፥ከየአድራትና የገዳማት የሚገኝ የፈውስ ቅዱስ እመት ሳይቀር ሀሽሽ ስትሉ ስም አወጣሁለት ፥፥ይህ ለቤተክርስያንያላችሁን ንቀትና ክህደት ያሳያል፥፥ሃይማኖቱን ያከበረ የሰው ጠላቱን ሃይማኖት አያረክስም የእምነት ቤቱን አያቃጥልም አይዘርፍም አያዘርፍም፥፥የፖለቲካ አስተሳሰብን መቃወም በጦር ሜዳ መፋለም ሌላ ነገርር ነው፥፥ዘር ተኮር ጦርነትና ዘር ፍጅት ደግሞ ኢሰብአዊ ሰይጣናዊ ነውው፥፥

    ትግራዋይ፥ኦሮሞ ፥ሺናሻ፥ቅማንት፥አገው ወዘተ በለይቶ ማቆያ ማግለያ ስም መረሸኑን አቁሙት በህዝባቹ በጥቅም ፈላጊ በሉት ባዳ በሉት እውነተና ክርስቲያን ለሀቅ የቆመ አማራ ሳይቀር ትጋለጣላቹ ከሕዝብ የሚሸሸግ የለም፥፥አሸናፊዎች ታሪክን ይፅፋሉ ይባላል ነገ ብልፅግና ሲነቀል ሥልጣን ከይዙት ጋር ርክና ይና ሳይቀሩ አብረው ይሰራሉ፥፥ይህ ደግሞየቅርብ ታሪክ ምስክር ነው ፥፥ከየሸሻህበት ከተደበቃችሁበት ትለቀማላቹ ፥፥በታሪክ፥ምዕራባውያን ሆኑ የአረብ ሀገራት የሀገሪቷን ኢኮኖሚ የተቆጣጠረ ማንኛውም ገዢ አካል ሆነ ፓርቲ ጋር አብሮ ከመሥራት በቀር ሌላ አላማ የላቸውም፥፥ትናንት ከህውሃት ጋር ሲሰሩ የነበሩ ሀገራት የመላው ኢትዮጵያዊ ጠላቶች ሆነው እሳት ሲያቀብሉ ይታያሉ፥፥ በታሪክ በዘር ጭፍጨፋ ያለቀ ህዝብ የለም ፥፥ግድያና ዝርፊያ ይቁም፥፥
    Governments, systems, ideologies come and go, but it is humanity which remains. — U Thant
    Hence, donot kill our people.
    Put not your trust in the princes of this world, for they will frig thee up and so shalt their governments, even unto the end of the earth. — Stephen King
    The state was made for man, not man for state. — Albert Einstein Ethiopia should not be considered an exceptional state in this planet where its people are singled out on the account of their ethnic background to serve as just figures and numbers to help others enjoy an exceptional right under a unitary state dominated by one language, one ethnic etc
    All governments need enemies. How else to justify their existence? — Edward Abbey
    Likewise,the very day Hidgef and PP grab power , they have told to their subjects that Tegaru are their enemy in order to gather the mass around them feel embraced by the people and ensure their existence and eternity .
    So long as governments set the example of killing their enemies, private individuals will occasionally kill theirs. — Elbert Hubbard This what is hapenning in finfine and the rest of the country where money mongers kill Tegaru ,Oromos, Kimant and Gumuz who share the same values, traditions , religion etc and claim to be brothers and sisters.

  2. Bring PP activists and youtubers to justice where ever they may live

    November 7, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    In defiance of the doctrines of prosperity party that achieved a cult status, Mr Dishta Gina spoke wholeheartedly and loudly to all those blinded by hate and stark madness of Abiy towards Tegaru, Oromos and other ethnic members who turn down the perilous move of prosperity party in the guise of enforcing unity and extreme nationalism . Blind partisans of prosperity party are heard of saying” this singer is a supporter of TPLF and disclosed his stance publicly”. Time and again, these supporters are exposing their ignorance and extremism by repudiating every peaceful request and have seen spitting venomous words against those who do not accept the genocidal and unitary regime led by one ethnocentric elites. Domestic jingoism is on the rise among amhara nationalists and expansionists. So-called activists are adding fuel to the fire that is already instigated and ignited by power mongers who imported an eccentric cult-like political ideology, Prosperity party manifesto. Among these criminals who are standing against their own people are “Natnael Mekonon”, Eng Abayneh Kasse, Aberl Birhanu, Mehal Meda, etc. who are constantly and tirelessly preaching and broadcasting not only hate speech, but extending their blood-tainted fingers and forwarding names of Tegaru to get massacred by killing squads of prosperity party and their co-workers.

    Nearly all supporters of prosperity party are now seen to have replaced their religious tenets and moral teachings that they had accepted and practiced for years, regardless of the kind of religion they have practiced, with genocidal and narrow ethnocentric stances that were sliced and served by prosperity party cadres to each of them without exception.
    Ethiopia is now becoming a slaughterhouse in the open air where people are murdered and killed by the mob in stark contrast to the traditional butcher erected indoors. We all peace-loving men and women kindly ask those who engaged in killings, mistreatment, robbery, and any kind of abuse against Tegaru and Oromos at this time.

    That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. Aldous Huxley You are not learning from the spiritual music, or song, nor from the sermons delivered by pastors, and imams and not even from lessons of history. History has shown that there is no invincible army, no eternal king, PM, presidents or princess, no eternal political party except eternal and transcendent God and His words. Isaiah 40:8, Job 36:26 Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable.

    Each phrase that was uttered by Mr Dishta Gina is very powerful and bears a strong message for anyone who is a benign and willing to entertain views of an outsider. Being obstinate could only lead to endless and gruesome bloodshed. One day you will lose power and popularity, and you must stop killing our people and stop pilling incalculable bloody burden upon your own people.

    Criminals, Activists, govt agents, etc. waging genocide against innocent civilians of Oromos, Tegaru, Kimant, Gumuz, etc. should be held accountable, and brought to justice and should not be freed. This crime is worse than the crime perpetrated in the war front. Exposing these kinds of people should be the task of anyone who stand with peace, humanity and scriptures. There is no biblical verse that encourage us to free a murderer and incite genocide against innocent people, children, mothers, sisters, religious men and women in the guise of unity and nationlismetc

    NO one should be killed for the sake of Ethiopia and its existence. History is a pack of lies about events that never happened, told by people who weren’t there. George Santayana

    Story of Ethiopia made by extreme nationalists could also be full of back of lies. Who knows ?? It is from Europeans and other historians that even we have come to know the name of our ex-country(Ethiopia=land of burnt faces)One says tobia , other yitobiya , itopiya etc There is no country without people who are composed of various ethnic background and linguistic identity let alone Amharic which is loan communication tools generously shared with you by Axumite men and women.

    However, we do not urge or support you to kill people, including criminals in the streets but bring them to judicial organs. Killing anyone regardless of his or her ethnicity by a violent mob or any means is not justified.

    Stop spreading hate, wherever you are and who you are, you will be brought to justice. No one could escape from people. Victory to the people who suffering under prosperity party cult-like imported ideology and its fans

  3. Stop killing our family in finfine & elsewhere in Eth

    November 6, 2021 at 11:51 am

    Greate Artist

    Everyone has a purpose in life, a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals – Deepak Chopra ( dedicated to Siyad and his work serving as voice to the voiceless Proverbs 31:8-9)

    የትግሬ አሽቃባጮች ወገናችሁን እያሳረዳቹ የኢትዮጵያ ጥምረት ሃይሎች አሸርጋጅ አፋሽ አጎንባሽ ሆናቹ አረፋቹ፥፥ብሄራዊ ማንነት ማለትም ኢትዮጵያዊነት ባዕድ አምልኮ የሆነበት አገር ና ሕዝብ እንደ አማራ የለም፤፤ሰው እየገደሉ ህፃናት እየጨፈጨፉ ለኢትጵያ አንድነት የቀረበ የሰባ ግልገል እስከሚመስል ድረስ ያን ያህል ድንፋታና እብደት፥፥ኢትዮጵያውያን ባዕድ አምልኮ የተተበተቡ እንጂ እንደሚሉት የአሥራት የእግዚብሔር ስዎች ወይም ልጆች አይደሉም፥፥ካህናቶቻቸውም የብኤልዜቡል የዳጎን አገልጋዯች መሆናውን ተግባር ከቃልና ከስም በላይ ጎልቶ እንደሚታይ በሥራቸው አስመስክረዋል ፥፥ያስተማራቸውና ለክህነት ያበቃቸው ቤተክርስቲያን ያነፀለውን ትግራዋይና ኦሮሞ ሲታረድ አንዲት ቃልን ሊተነፉሱ አልሉም፤፤ምንደኛ በጎቹን ለተኩላ(ብልፅግና)አሳልፎ ይሰጣል እውነተኛ እረኛ ራሱን ለበጎቹ አሳልፎ ይሰጣል፥፥ኢትዮጵያን ለመካድ እኮ ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ በበኩር ነት ባንዳ ከዳተኞች ሆነው ያየናቸው ጎንደሬዎችና ሌላውም ያማራ ህዝብ ነው ፈላሻ ነን ብለው ኢትዮጵያዊነትን ክደው እሥራኤላውያነን ሲሉ ኢትዮጵያን ያውም በበጎ ዘመን የለቀቁት፥፥ይህም ከአባቶቻቸው ከነሚኒሊክ ከአጤ ፎጠጤ ሃይለሥላሴ የተማሩት ና በደም የወረሱት ነው፥፥ህውሃትም ዳግም የተጋሩ አራጅ የሆነችውን ሀገር ለማስቀጠል ለስልጣኑ ሲል የተፈራረመው፥፥ ሕዝብ እየጨፈጨፉ ኢትዮጽያንና ኢትዮጵያዊነትን ለማስቀጠል ከሰይጣንና ሰይጣናዊ ፍላጎቶቹ አንከተላለን የሚሉ የብልጥግና ተከታዮች ኦሮሞና አማራ በዝተዋል፥የሚያሳዝነው ደግሞ በኦርቶዶክስና በእስልምና በሌላውም እምነት ቤቶች ስም መነገዳቸው የአምልኮት መልክ ያላቸው ሰይጣንን የሚከተሉ መሆናቸው ነው አጃኢብ ይላሉ ምን ማለትመሆኑ ባይገባንም ከሀገርና ብሔራዊ ማንት ኢዮጵያዊም ሆነ ብሔር ማንነት የሰው ልጅ አብልጠን ልናከብር ለመብቱ ልንከራከርና ዘብ ልቆም ሲገባን ልሂቃን በመሠረቱና በለጠፉልን ማንነት መናቆርና ለፖለቲካ አጀንዳ ክቡር ሰውን መገበር እብደት ነው ያውም ዘመኑ ላለቀ ፅንፈኛ ከፋፋይ አራጅ ባንዳ ያረብና ያሜሪካ ሰላይ ቅጥረኛ አቢይ ህመድ፥፥
    ትግራዋይንም ሆነ ኦሮሞችን(በተለይም ከወለጋ የመጡ ኦነግ ናቹ )እያሉ በማንነታቸውና በፖለቲካ አመለካከታቸውና በብሔራቸው በግፍ እያስደበደቡ፥እያስዘረፉ ብሎም እእያስገደሉ ያሉ በጥቆማ በመተባበርም ሆነ በመጠቆም በቀጥታም ሆነ በተዘዋዋሪ በዚህ ወንጀል የሚሳተፉ አካላት እንዲያቆሙ እንጠይቃለን ነገር ግን በአሻፈረኝነት በዚህ ወንጀል የተሰማሩ ሰዎች ሁሉ በጦር ሜዳ ከተሳተፉ ወታደሮች የበለጠ ወንጀል መሆኑ እንዲሰመርበት እንፈልጋለን ከፍርድ አታመልጡም ትቀጣላቹ ተገድጄ ነው አይሰራም ብዙዎቻቹ ይህን ምክንያት እንደ ስቴሪዮ ታይፕ ተፈጥሮአዊ እስከሚመስል ድረስ ከአለቆቻቹና ከባልደረቦቻቹ በቅብብል የተወራረሳቹት እስኪመስል ድረስ በሀሰት ስታሰተጋቡት ት ታያላቹ፥፥ይህም አመክንዮ ዘመኑ አልፎበታል፥፥ጅንታ፥አረም ፥እባብ ፥ጭራቅ ወያኔ የቀን ጅብ ወዘተ የሚሉ ቃላቶች ለህውሃት የበላይ አካላት ሳይሆን ለመላው ኢትዮጵያዊ ነኝ ባይ ተጋሩ እንደሆ በተግባር አሳያችሁን እኮ ፥፥ቃላቹ ከተግባራቹ ጋር አልተስማማም ተጣረሰ እንጂ፥፥ኢትዮጵያዊነትን ለግል ጥቅም በማዋል ሥልጣንን ለማስረዘም በማሳብ ራሳቹ አረከሳቹሁት ህውሃት ሳይሆን እናንተው ኢትዮጵያን እያፈረሳቹ ነው፥፥ኢትዮጵያዊነትን ለማዳን ምን እያረኩ ነው ብላቹ ራሳቹሁን ጠይቁት ያደረጋቹሁት ሁሉ ያራሳችሁን ጥቅምና ሥልጣን ለማስጠበቅ መሆኑ ሥራችሁ ያሳብቅባችሗል፥፥ውሸታም ነፍሰ ገዳይ የእፉኝት ልጆች(መጥምቁ ዮሐንስ እንደናንተ ያለውን በግብር ሰይጣንን ለሚመስሉ ከተናገረው የተወሰደ)
    ሰው ሌላውን እስካልጎዳና አመፅ እስካል ፈፀመ ድረስ በብሔሩና በፖለቲካ አመለካከቱ ማጥቃት አምባገነናዊና ሰይጣናዊ ነው፥፥ህውሃት እንዲህ አርጎ ነበር ለምን አልተቃወማችሁም ትላላቹ አብዛኞቻችን ተጋሩ ለውጥ የሚመጣ መስሎን በኢትዮጵያዊነት መንፈስ ቅንጅትን መርጠናል ህውሃትን ተቃውመናል፤፤እናንተ ግን በ ዘጠና ሰባት ሰውን ለሰላማዊና ህዝባዊ ሰልፍ ሳይሆን ወጣቱን ለአመፅ አነሳስታቹ አስገድላቹ በስልጣንና ጥቅም ሽኩቻ ዱባይ ተደብቃቹ ትነታረኩ ትከፋፈሉ ነበር፥ተቃውሞ ሲሆን አማራ መጥፎ መጥፎውን ለተጋሩ የሚገርመው ግን ከቅንጅት ጋር ተጋሩም ነበሩ፥፥ ማንኛውም የበሔር አባል የሆነ ሁሉ ለውጥ የማይፈልግ የለም፦፦፥

    ትግራዋይንም ሆነ ኦሮሞችን(በተለይም ከወለጋ የመጡ ኦነግ ናቹ )እያሉ በማንነታቸውና በፖለቲካ አመለካከታቸውና በብሔራቸው ምክንያት በማንኛውም የብልግና ደጋፊ ባልሆነ ሰው ላይ የሚደርሰው ግፍ እሥራት ግድያ ማንኛውም ወንጀል ይቁም፥፥ ድልና ነፃነት ለጭቁኖች ና ለተገፉ ሁሉ፥፥

  4. Zena

    November 5, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    God bless you. I have been watching your work for a year now.

  5. Tesfay Gebregziabher

    November 5, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    Thank you for all your efforts in documenting the barbarian atrocities and #TigrayGenocide committed by Abiy and his loyalists!

  6. Abraham

    November 5, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    Thank for being a voice to the voiceless. Maybe, just maybe the artwork supported narrative will help the International community understand the depth of the suffering the people of Tigray are going through.

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