The November War in Ethiopia

Aksum stele in war-torn Tigray

Ethiopia was at war November–December 2020. Weyane (TPLF) began attacks on Ethiopia in Tigray in the north. Ethiopian National Defence Force (defence force) waged war so as to preserve life. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the military defended her. Leaders’ wisdom saved Ethiopia. Her warriors and prime minister were heroic; the military chief of staff was humanitarian in his Ethiopia-media interviews, concerned for women and children in Tigray. Former soldiers that I met knew him to be so.

Cowardly Declaration of War at Midnight

Who started the November War? The junta declared it in the middle of the night of 3rd / 4th November 2020. The rebels had given a rich dinner to their defence force colleagues. Some had been in Tigray for more than 20 years and were married to Tigray people. They worked harvesting crops and battling locust plagues. The TPLF murdered those members of the Ethiopian defence forces in their beds.

With tanks and trucks, the rebels ran over fleeing soldiers. They left their bodies to the sun by day and hyenas by night. White so-called humanitarian witnesses asked to see it. Defence forces showed them. They did not report this first TPLF atrocity.

Misleading Western Reporting

The Tigrayan People’s… er Leadership… uh Force

—Becky Anderson on CNN

CNN and BBC reporting was abysmal: misleading and pro-TPLF. It was also ignorant. On CNN, Becky Anderson called her sweetheart TPLF ‘The Tigrayan People’s… er Leadership… uh Force.’ She managed one word correctly: people’s.

I explained to Aussie friends that Amharic-language news reporting compared more favourably than English: the international language of lies. The way I feel about the behaviour of the West towards Ethiopia, too bad if you do not yet speak Amharic.

TPLF Atrocities: Mass Graves from TPLF Massacres in Tigray

In November 2020 in Tigray, mass graves held 70,000 Amhara members of the community. The TPLF had buried alive the elderly, women, children and babies. Rebels ran over people with trucks. TPLF atrocities were as vicious as those of the Nazis. Victims were Orthodox, Christian and Muslim.

At the localities of Mai Kadra, Humera and Welkait, the dead were farmers. They grew maize and seed oil enough to feed Africa and the Middle East. Ethiopians suspected that foreigners had encouraged the atrocities. First, the victims were mostly Orthodox in a world that was still antisemitic. Second, they were skilled farmers. In order to de-stabilise Africa and the Middle East, it was necessary to undermine food security. The people of Tigray began to starve.

The big news agencies did not report this ethnic cleansing of Amhara people. Was it because their countries were implicated? Some bodies were spray-painted with, ‘A gift from the West’.

Vanished Video

Some videos that present the viewpoint of Amhara people vanish quickly from YouTube. The massacres were under-reported by CNN and other international broadcasters. A friend of mine shouted, ‘Atrocities on both sides!’ Spouting what she had heard repeatedly in French news, she refused to hear about the burials alive.

Foreign Interference

Sneaky Alliance

The sneaky alliance goes back 35 years.

Why was I there? My own country stranded me, leaving me for dead in the middle of the crisis. When I phoned the Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa, the worker said, ‘Are you in immediate danger?’ No phone call would have been possible if I were about to die. Yet Australia flew home its pro-TPLF citizens from Khartoum in the Republic of Sudan. The African Union told foreigners to butt out, but foreign interference continued.

No Ethnic War

On June 29, 2020, Caucasians had organised some Ethiopians to riot, trying to make it look like ethnic war. However, Ethiopia is ethnically and religiously harmonious.

Interior of Ethiopian monastery with monks and priests dressed in white holding makwame canes, lit tapers and 1 playing the ceremonial drum
Orthodox Christmas service at Tsion Mariyam Monastery in Aksum, Tigray

In 2017, I stood on the women’s side of Tsion Mariyam Monastery at Aksum in Tigray. It was Genna, Ethiopian Christmas. The all-night service rotated among religions; Muslims participated with enormous grace and stamina.

In June 2020, when foreign mercenaries drove over pregnant women and smashed a whole district, Ethiopians refused to retaliate. Because that did not generate civil war, the rebels and foreign supporters brewed the November war. I am appalled at the fate of people working at Tsion Mariyam Monastery. TPLF looted it and attacked monks, female monks and other members of the clergy.

The West and Egypt, backed unseen by the UK, did not like Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River. US President Trump said, ‘Bomb it.’

In defending Ethiopia from rebels, the Ethiopian National Defence Force did what her people wanted. The junta had held power for 31 years. What did they do? They dispossessed, imprisoned and tortured anybody honest or hardworking; yet a British leader was best friends with theirs. Ethiopia’s government has not committed ethnic violence. That is the specialty of Europeans.

The West and Egypt, backed unseen by the UK, did not like Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River. US President Trump said, ‘Bomb it.’ Egyptian mercenaries came. Courtesy of international alliances, they participated in preliminary massacres of Ethiopian Jews and Christians in her west.

If Ethiopia falls, Europe, the UK and the US re-take Africa. They have wrecked their own economies and have very sick citizens even though Ethiopia all but offered a cure for coronavirus that President Trump ridiculed. Africa would be paradise for neo-colonisers.

Outsiders, leave Ethiopia alone.

My 14-month stranding in Ethiopia had its upside. She was my friend. My own country betrayed me and more than 40,000 others during the pandemic. Now it sides with those who commit crimes against humanity and break the rule of law in a land of monks & god – 13,000 kilometres away.


  • Featured image: Aksum Stele © Mesfin Tadesse 2017
  • Photo: Genna at Tsion Mariyam © Mesfin Tadesse 2017

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ianet Bastyan

ianet Bastyan

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