Tigray its background, and recent situation, historical perspectiveThe name Ethiopia was not known to Ethiopians during the Zemene Mesafint, that ended in 1855. The norther part of the present Ethiopia, namely Abyssenia or present Tigray where Axum, on the other hand were known to them. The northern part of Ethiopia is where the ancient civilization was based.
The huge monelithic obliskes found in Axum are proofs the ancient civilization of Tigray.
You may watch the video clip of the obelisks in Youtube HERE or HERE .
Abyssenia was collective name of several regions in northern Ethiopia. These regions were Tigray, Agew midir, Gojam, Shewa, Begemder and Wello. The people living in this region called themselves Habesha. The name Abyssenia comes from this word Habesha.
These regions had known selfrule for centuries. It was Atse Tewodros from Kimant (ruled 1855-1867) who forcefully succeeded to rule several regions under the name Abyssenia. His capital city was Debre Tabor.
Emperor Yohannes (ruled 1867-1889) is the last emperor from Tigray that ruled Abyssenia. His capital city was Mekelle. He had acquired the title of 'niguse negest' (king of kings) of Abyssenia, since he had several kings under his Administration. Yohannes fought and defended Abyseenia from foreign invaders (Egypt, Turkey, Italy, the Mahadists etc). He had secured the northern boundary, the Red Sea, of Abyssenia. To the south his administration didn't go beyond Shewa (in the visinity of Addis Abeba). Addis Abeba didin't exit then.
The power of Abyssenia shifted to Shewa (Amhara) after the death of emperor Yohannes. Emperor Minilik (1889-1913) from Shewa came to pwer. In his reign Minilik had commited genocide against Tigrians. In order to subjugate Tigray, he also made deal with Italy and gave northern part of Tigray (now Eritrea) to Italy.
On the other hand, he expanded Abyssenia territory to the south and created the country we know as Ethiopia now.
However, the southern peoples and nationalities never considered themselves as Abyssenians. Therefore, when Atse Haileselasee (ruled 1931-1974) came to power in the early 1930's, he had to change the name Abyssenia to Ethiopia. He also divided Ethiopia into 13 provinces inclusve Tigray.
Tigray had protested against Haileselasse and uprising (1st Woyan) took palce in 30's. Unfortunately, Tigray lost the war. The British stood with haileselasse and British Airforce bombareded Tigray and killed hundreds of thousnds of Tigriyans. Tigray caputulated.
In the early 1960's Hailesselasse made Eritrea the 14th province of Ethiopia. He could have made it part of Tigray. But that would mean the rise of powerful Tigray. Therefore, he chose to make it 14th province.
When Haileselasse was overthrouwen, Tigray rebels rose again (2nd Woyane) and fought for 17 years and overthrouw Mengistu, (Derg- military junta 1974-1991. Mr. Meles Zenawi from Tigray came to power ruled froms 1991-2012. He abolished the old provinces and established 9 regions, based on language and Ethnicity. He also facilitated the independence of Eritrea in 1991 (officially 1993). The coming of a Tigryan to power was not welcome by the Amhara, (particularly Shewa) who had been in power since 1989.
The sudden death of Meles (2012) created power vacuum. The Amhara unionists got a chance and made Mr. Hailemariam (from south who succeeded Meles) it difficult to remain in power. Thus, he resigned in 2018. He handed the power over to Mr. Abiy Ahmed peacefully.
Abiy Ahmed (2018 - now), unfortunately, is a unionist and aims to bring the country back to the old system, the type of Minilik rule. He know the Tigrayans would never accept that, thus he decided to single out Tigryans and and prohibited them to exercise selfrule, the very thing they fought and made succrefies for 17 years. He made alliance with foreign countries and Amhara regional government and invaded Tigray in november 2020. More than 600,000 armed invading soldiers were fighting in Tigray until June 2021. From June the Tigray people have the upper hand in the war and the invading soldiers are driven out of most tigray except the western part of Tigray.
However, the damage and the atrocities made by the invading soldiers Tigray are beyond the conscience of any human being. After all these attrocities and damage (genocide, ethic cleansing, use of rape and hunger as weapon of war etc) in Tigray, the indipendence of Tigray has become imminent. There is no single Tigraway at this moment who wants to remain Ethiopian.
Subsequently, if Tigray becomes independent, other regions will follow. The disintegration of Ethiopia will be the final result. Within a forseable periode Ethiopia will become history, just like Yugoslavia in the the early 1990.