BY A Staff Writer

Gray or grey war is a type of irregular war that is conducted in a grey space between war and peace; and between two or several countries across the world. In the Cold War era, this type of war was mostly used by countries beyond the iron curtain as a non-conventional war—i.e. against the socialist block and more particularly against the former USSR.

The basic elements of grey war which included psychological warfare, espionage, lawfare, and media warfare as well as other forms of warfare including cyber-attacks, misinformation, defamation of leadership of countries under attack and taking sides in a propaganda war which is conducted through various means. Grey warfare also includes economic sabotages, fomenting elicit financial transactions, money laundering, printing and distribution counterfeit bank notes etc. It is also a type of war that is conducted not on a physical environment in a conventional war tactics but on human consciousness and cyber space.

In the advent of the Cold War-era international order, conventional military campaigns have been replaced by hybrid warfare involving cyberattacks, information campaigns, and an array of other non-violent pressures. For instance, the US used Radio Free Europe to broadcast various propaganda messages against the then socialist countries and the entire communist bloc.

Across the world, grey wars have been conducted by great powers in the Congo Crisis of early 1960s culminating in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba and Thomas Sankhara of Burkina Fasso. Political assassinations have been executed in several African countries as a tool for regime changes and for the purpose of planting puppet military and civil administration across the continent.

The writer of this short piece attempts to throw some light on the major objectives, strategies and implementation mechanisms of the grey war on this country. The writer also deals with institutions, countries and political organizations that are waging grey war on Ethiopia.

Over the last four years, some western countries including  few countries from other region, assisted by their capobanda (ringleader)—i.e. terrorist TPLF and terrorist Shene as well as international commercial media houses have all been part of the grey war on Ethiopia for various intents and purposes.

But what are their primary objectives of plunging the country into protracted war? They have three objectives:  the destruction of the statehood of Ethiopia and balkanization of the country into smaller ethnic based principalities—through aborting the nation’s reform which has been going on over the last four years. More particularly, proponents of gray war attempts to destroy the gains made in infrastructure development, including the development of mega projects, so that Ethiopia falls under their dictates.  

Concerted deleterious propaganda war and misinformation by terrorist TPLF media propagate the spread of animosity among the various ethnic groups, posing danger on the unity and cohesion of the Ethiopian society. Fueling discord and hatred have been what terrorist TPLF has been orchestrating for many decades since its establishment. Of course, as mentioned above, this ill intention of destabilizing the country has been supported by local surrogates and international entities.   

The other area of grey war was conducted through a strategy of lawfare in which some western powers used the UNSC as a tool for accusing Ethiopia for using its own water resources only to generate electricity for its citizens. Every one knows that although the issue is under the jurisdiction of the country, the UNSC has hosted 12 sessions of various issues related to Ethiopia in gross violation of international law and the sovereignty of the country.

While terrorist TPLF has conducted a barrage of genocide type massacres, raping children and women as well as destroying infrastructures and service delivery systems in Amhara and Afar regions, it is making a futile attempt to shift the blame on the Government of Ethiopia by spreading a baseless and false propaganda.

The western media houses have cooperated with terrorist TPLF in broadcasting fake video clippings and pictures that are doctored by the terrorist itself. While Ethiopia has fully cooperated with all UN systems in the country, which the UN has confirmed this positive cooperation in food delivery to Tigray, to date, it is not known whether the humanitarian assistance transported to Tigray has delivered to the grassroots citizens. The UN agencies should have been very transparent in this regard.

In terms of cyber-attacks, Ethiopia revealed in August 2021 that it was exposed to about 2,800 cyberattacks to disrupt the ongoing development of the country. INSA confirmed that cyberattacks, which were meant to malfunction a large number of computers related to project implementation, was thwarted.

The grey war on Ethiopia has continued unabated. In his recent response to the questions raised by the MPs at HPR, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told the MPs that the government security forces have foiled six espionage and terrorist plans to destabilize Addis Ababa and create further chaos in the country.

Despite government’s offer to resolve the conflict in the northern part of the country through peace option, TPLF’s predilection for war vividly indicates that the group has no desire for peace talks.

Given the proliferation of grey war on Ethiopia, what the citizens of the country are expected to do is to stand in unison. Rather than squabbling over ethnic and ideological orientations, political parties and CSOs are expected to establish a united front to save Ethiopia from hybrid war being fought against the country.

It is important to refrain from providing the enemies of this country with a foreground that would help them achieve their objectives. The people of Ethiopia should support government’s efforts to ensure peace and stability and remain on guard against the encroachment on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.

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