Abiy’s regime is deploying the language of law-enforcement in its war against Tigray. This is not the first time it did so.
However, its insistence on this trope and the incantation-like repetition of the same by its propaganda machine and the willingly servile supremacist media outlets necessitates that this ostensibly law-centered argument be countered and exposed for the sham that it is.
First of all, no one–not any government official or a military officer, nor a single journalist– could so far point out the law that was violated by the government of Tigray National Regional State (TNRS) or by the party presiding over the government, i.e. the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF).
Secondly, Abiy’s PP group has no legal mandate, nor the constitutional-legal authority, to act as the legitimate body even in places where there is a genuine duty to do law-enforcement as its tenure has expired on the 5th of October 2020.
This makes it clear that Abiy is the one who violated the constitution to stay in power and to act illegally ever since. (When the war is over and power is restored to the people, he and his group will face justice and account for every act, decision, and speech they made ever since.)
In contrast, it is important to remember, the Government of TNRS is a duly constituted government formed by a democratically elected State Legislature. (To act against such a constitutional government is an affront on the TNRS Constitutional order and a serious violation of the Federal Constitution (which demands that the Federal Government respect its State equivalents and vice versa). (See Art 50(8).)
Third, it is Abiy’s government who has been persistently provoking the TNRS into war by issuing several statements (eg by the expired House of Federation and the defunct Federal Parliament) denouncing the TNRS election, undermining the legitimacy of the government formed thereof, and harassing the region’s officials (and ordinary Tegaru citizens) all over the country.
Fourthly, it is Abiy’s government that openly declared a war a day after launching an all-out assault on Walqayit and Rayya. This was preceded, we now know, by Abiy’s attempt to kill or arrest the TNRS officials by sending upto 500 special commando forces parachuted to Mekelle–only to be eliminated before any of them landed on the soil–on the night of the Abiy’s formal declaration of war.
Fifthly, along side the talk of law-enforcement, the regime, and its entire propaganda machine, seem to suggest that this is an operation “to liberate the Tigray peoples from TPLF.” Nothing is more laughable than hearing an unelected military junta claiming to liberate a people from its Regional Government elected by 2.8 million of its people only in September 2020. It’s a travesty.
Sixthly, law-enforcement–even when it is genuinely so–has nothing to do with deploying the army, or engaging in full-blown military operation, conscripting foreign forces (Eritreans) and equipments (UAE drones), etc. And, while we are at it, has anyine asked what the ANRS militia, Fannoo vigilante groups, ANRS Special Force and State Police Force have got to do with law-enforcement tasks of the Federal Government anyway?Seventhly, if this is a law-enforcement effort, why was it necessary to:
1. air bomb civilian sites (schools, churches, mosques, market places, etc)?
2. destroy, vandalize, expropriate, and loot private property in the region?
3. destroy public infrastructure including universities, textile factories, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, construction enterprises, etc?
4. rape, kill, and publicly torture individuals by Abiy’s and Isayas’s soldiers?
5. deny medical access to the injured and humanitarian aid to the displaced, dislocated, and disposessed?
6. block humanitarian access to refugees fleeing the war?
7. forcefully repatriate Eritrean refugees or otherwise subject them to abuse by Isayas’s soldiers?We can go on listing questions regarding the unspeakable atrocities perpetrated by Abiy and co.———
As an aside, Abiy and co. need to be told that if they want to beat TPLF out of office, then they can organize a free, fair, and competitive election and try their luck. Also, if they want the TPLF to die out as a party, then they can beat it in the hearts and minds of its constituency and make it irrelevant there. Ultimately, it is only the members who decide to dissolve their party if they think they don’t want it. It’s upto the people to reject it in the ballot if they don’t want it any more. No one can decide which party is suitable for any people. No one, let alone a criminal (and genocidal) regime like Abiy’s.
So, what do we make of the ‘law-enforcement’ chatter in the regime’s media outlets? Nothing. Just hot air, perhaps helpful to temporarily comfort Abiy and his herd in their time of grief over their current loss and their inevitable demise.A criminal group like Abiy’s is the last entity to profess law-enforcement as its career–even by Ethiopian standards.