In days gone by prior to alternate platforms for the news being available and the advent of social media, western media had enjoyed a monopoly on reporting the news and had for years exploited this monopoly to cultivate the image of western media being the bastion of truth and honesty. However, with the wide spread use of the internet providing an alternative to the western media, many around the globe have come to see western media for what it is, a well oiled propaganda machine designed to initiate and propagate conflict in Africa by distorting the truth.
One such example is Channel4 News of the United Kingdom. After being given access to the Tigray region of Ethiopia, rather than report about the truth on the ground, it chose to spin a story about allegations of rape and the presence of Eritrean troops in Ethiopia, which revealed how little the correspondent knew about the history of the region and the reality of the current situation. Had the correspondent been either knowledgeable or interested in the truth, he would have no doubt mentioned the fact that the TPLF prior to launching its unprovoked attack on the Ethiopian Army had been making both Eritrean and Ethiopian army uniforms in its textile factories, in order that its fighters and militia could commit crimes against humanity masquerading as Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers. Furthermore, had the correspondent done an unbiased check of the background of the situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, he would have been aware that thousands of hard core criminals had been clad in Eritrean and Ethiopian army uniforms and released into the community — just before the TPLF had made a dash for the mountains — to commit all sort of crimes on the civilian population, crimes that included the rape of women.
Anyone with a modicum of knowledge about life of women under the Tigray People Liberation Front ( TPLF) would cringe when the Channel4 reporter, Mr Jamal Osman, unabashedly claimed that the crime of rape would have been investigated and the perpetrators would have been brought to justice had the TPLF still been in charge.
Of course if Mr Jamal Osman had bothered to do the minimum of research before he presented his over sensationalised piece, he would have known that incidents of rape under the TPLF were so high, that as recently as 2019 women in the region had come out on the streets to protest against the wide spread practice of rape in the region. Even the BBC had recently covered the story of a local TPLF official escaping any sort of justice despite having found to have sexually abused no less than fifty married women.
Again if Jamal Osman had bothered to look into the murky past of the TPLF, he would have come to realise that while in power the TPLF had routinely used the rape of both women and men, to degrade and subjugate entire populations, especially in the Somali region of Ethiopia — a region close to the heart of Jamal Osman.
To try and portray these women as victims of Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers, and absolve the TPLF of the crimes it has committed is to deny them justice.
What is sad to see is the women being prompted by persons behind the camera to make the allegations, a ploy that has been widely used by the TPLF. If Jamal Osman or Channel4 has any integrity, they should make available the entire interview if the women, so that the world will have a chance to know what really happened and if a crime has indeed been committed, to identify and bring to justice the men responsible for this act of brutality
If any group has used rape as an instrument of war, it is the TPLF as in the past it has routinely used this hideous crime to inflict psychological and physical anguish on its victims.
The TPLF’s past is a clear indication of what it is capable of and the crimes that it has committed against Humanity are well documented and available to anyone who is interested in the truth. But it is doubtful if reporters like Jamal Osman and organisations like Channel4 are remotely interested in the truth. But for those that are interested in the truth rather than advancing a hidden political agenda, there is no doubt that it is the TPLF that has to be held accountable for any violations of human rights in the Tigray region and more so, for using rape to further its political agenda.