On 23 November, after three weeks of fierce fighting, the armed forces of Abiy Ahmed Ali, Ethiopia’s Oromo PM who made a pact with Islamic Eritrea, declared that they were within artillery range of the city of Mekelle, the capital of Tigray. That same day, Abiy issued a 72 hour ultimatum to the TPLF to surrender, saying to them “you are at a point of no return”. Abiy also called upon the civilian population of Mekelle to “save themselves”, or in other words to switch sides, before the artillery bombardment and the subsequent tank assault, adding there would be “no mercy” if they did not (ref. 1).
Debretsion Gebremichael, the leader of Tigray, told Agence France Presse that Mekelle was not surrounded at this time, and that Abiy’s forces were now issuing threats to buy time so that they could regroup after having suffered significant losses on three fronts (ref. 1).
Remarkably, Abiy’s forces have suffered significant losses despite a covert alliance between the Ethiopian National Defence Force and the Eritrean Defence Force, which contributed 16 divisions to this so-called internal matter of Ethiopia (ref. 2). Eritrea’s involvement means this civil war must be one of the wars of nations and kingdoms of Bible prophecy (ref. Matthew 24:6-7)!
It is not clear whether Mekelle is surrounded right now because no reporters have been allowed in the conflict area, and Abiy’s government has cut almost all phone and internet in the region.
According to Ethiopia’s state-affiliated media, several towns in Tigray have been captured by Abiy’s forces, notably Axum and Adwa, and furthermore, before retreating from Axum, the TPLF destroyed Axum airport in a scorched earth type move (ref. 3).
If Mekelle is not yet actually surrounded, then it seems to me that Abiy is afraid that Tigray might receive assistance from a foreign power, perhaps China, Russia or France, and so he would like to impress upon Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia and even the world that victory for his side is a forgone conclusion. I bring this up because days ago the government of Ethiopia bizarrely accused the chief of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, of trying to get diplomatic support and weapons for the TPLF. The government even described the Ethiopian ex-pat in Geneva Switzerland, who is of Tigrayan origin, as a “criminal” (ref. 4).
Whether Abiy’s forces are near Mekelle or not, certainly Tigray is now in effect under siege, with Eritrea blocking any path to the sea. So, militarily, the situation for Tigray appears to be precarious.
To make matters worse, for some months now, there has been a locust plague across much of the horn of Africa, damaging crops and threatening famine.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.Matthew 24:6-7
Some farmers in Adwa Ethiopia say they have never seen anything like it. The UN has described the situation as the worst locust swarm in 25 years (ref. 5). Apart from Ethiopia, swarms have also been recorded in Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia. But the impact of crop failure in Tigray to the people of Tigray is potentially devastating. The UN has described the situation as a looming humanitarian crisis.
Besides the possibility of crop failure, Abiy’s government has blocked all supply routes, frozen the funds of all banks, and also cut off all electricity (ref. 6).
The TPLF might have the numbers and the military expertise to withstand Abiy’s onslaught: before this war, most of the commandos of the Ethiopian army were Tigrayans. But of course, Tigray will not be able to last indefinitely without food and ammunition.
About the locusts, one Tigrayan farmer has said, “The federal government is not supporting us. It is trying to kill us.”
Now, I should point out, the presence of locusts in the area is a sign from God and an allusion to the prophecy of Joel 2.
Though Joel 2 is about Israel, what is happening to Tigray seems to parallel what will happen to Israel in due time.
First, the two armies that have besieged Tigray are essentially Islamic: the Oromos of Ethiopia together with the army of Eritrea. Likewise, Israel will be surrounded by ten Islamic armies, by all the people “round about”.
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.Zechariah 12:2
Second, Tigray is mountainous. Likewise, Judah which includes the Negev desert is mountainous.
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.Luke 21:20-21
Third, when some of the women and children of Tigray fled as refugees to Sudan, they fled with nothing but the clothes on their backs (ref. 7). Likewise, when them that be in Judaea are to flee to the mountains of the Negev, the military stronghold of modern-day Israel, they are to flee with nothing but the clothes on their backs, for those that do not will not survive (ref. Mark 13:14-18).
But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.Mark 13:14-19
Fourth, there are locusts in Tigray. Likewise, two types of locust will afflict Israel at the time of the end, the supernatural locusts of the 5th trumpet and the metaphorical locusts of the 6th trumpet.
And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.Joel 2:25
In Joel 2, it is prophesied that in their hour of desperation Israel will genuinely turn to God and pray for help. And only then will things change. Perhaps, Tigray will do the same.
Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God… Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.Joel 2:12-18
I think Ethiopia can be likened to Israel because the ark of the covenant was once in Tigray, and perhaps still is. According to the 14th century Ethiopian text, the Kebra Nagast, at some point the ark was carried to Axum Ethiopia. The legend makes sense because the ark was no longer in Solomon’s temple by the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Judah.
About the locusts in Tigray, reportedly at the start of this month, Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia’s northern highlands received some respite. Around then, the main swarm started to fly towards Somalia and Kenya (ref. 5). This is why I think the locusts are more a sign than anything else.
Anyway, returning to Abiy’s threat to bombard Mekelle, Human Rights Watch has remarked that any targeting of the whole city of Mekelle would constitute collective punishment and a war crime.
As a matter of fact, a few days ago, Abiy’s forces launched an airstrike against Meles Academy University in Tigray, injuring many students (ref. 8). This begs the question: how is a university a legitimate military target under the current international rules of war?
Clearly, the Geneva Conventions are no more, and in this unfolding war between Islam and the rest of the world, the rules have changed. Indeed, when the tables turn and Islam starts to lose ground, it is Bible prophecy that one third of this world will be killed through war (ref. Revelation 9:18), and Mystery Babylon the superpower that will side with the beast (ref. Revelation 13:11-18) will be nuked and utterly burnt with fire on the day of the LORD (ref. Isaiah 13:1-9).
Notice also, earlier this month, 54 Amhara women and children in the village of Gawa Qanqa were massacred with machetes by the Oromo Liberation Army, a group of Islamists in Ethiopia (ref. 9). Abiy’s government was quick to blame the TPLF, but survivors have since reported that it was the jihadists of Oromo that attacked them. The attack was possible because the Ethiopian National Defence Force had moved away from the area in order to fight Tigray.
Regarding the Oromo Liberation Army, the armed wing of the Oromo Liberation Front that has waged a war against the Ethiopian government for decades, do not forget that it was Abiy Ahmed Ali who made peace with them on behalf of Ethiopia in August 2018. Even Kenya regards the Oromo Liberation Army as Islamic terrorists.
Do not forget either that Abiy Ahmed Ali came to power as a result of widespread protests by the Oromos, who are predominantly Muslim. Had the Ethiopian government at the time forcefully stamped out the protests rather than give ground and accommodate “democracy”, none of this would be happening.
Furthermore, since he acceded to power in 2018, Abiy Ahmed Ali has been purging Tigrayans – that is to say, Christians – from all government and military posts.
Now this celebrated Nobel Peace laureate is waging a full-on war to wipe out the Tigrayans.
To this point, an internal UN document reveals that, over the last few days, Tigrayan officers and soldiers on UN peacekeeping missions across the world have been disarmed and arrested, and are being transported back to Addis Ababa, where it is feared they might be tortured or even executed (ref. 10).
The fact that Tigrayans outside of Tigray are being persecuted reveals the truth that this operation against Tigray is not a matter of “law enforcement” against a select few who had committed “treason”.
About the raid by TPLF special forces which prompted this war, the TPLF has said that they were compelled to preemptively seize what weaponry they could in Tigray after noticing that Abiy Ahmed Ali’s forces had been amassing and positioning south of Tigray for weeks, getting ready to strike them (ref. 11).
The truth is, this is not a war between the government of Ethiopia and some rebels of Ethiopia. Nor is it a war between one ethnic group, the Oromos, and another, the Tigrayans. This war is actually a war in Ethiopia between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Essentially, this war is a war between Satan and God, a war that started in heaven and that has split on to earth.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.Revelation 12:7-9
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman [Jews] which brought forth the man child… And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ [Christians].Revelation 12:13-17
Having said that, I draw your attention to the name of the leader of the TPLF: Debretsion Gebremichael. I discovered recently that Debretsion means “Mount Zion” and Gebremichael means “servant of the archangel Michael”!
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.Daniel 12:1
In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD [Michael] before them.Zechariah 12:8
The military situation for Tigray might seem precarious. But I think at some point the people of Tigray, like Israel per Joel 2-3, will turn to God.
The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.Joel 3:16
Debretsion Gebremichael has rejected the surrender ultimatum, saying his army is prepared to fight until the end (ref. 12).
It is Bible prophecy that at the appointed time the 7 trumpets will sound, and thus the armies of Satan will be defeated and destroyed.
At the appointed time, the world will be liberated from Satan.
1. ITV (23 November 2020), “Ethiopian civilians warned of ‘no mercy’ in Tigray offensive”, itv.com
2. Reuters (15 November 2020), “Rebellious Tigray forces from Ethiopia fighting ’16 divisions’ of Eritrea’s army – leader”, nationalpost.com
3. Aljazeera (23 November 2020), “Ethiopia accuses Tigray forces of destroying Axum airport”, aljazeera.com
4. SMH (November 2020), “‘A criminal’: Ethiopia accuses WHO chief Tedros of backing rebel group”, smh.com
5. Tom Gardner (16 November 2020), “How war threatens Ethiopia’s struggle against worst locust swarm in 25 years”, theguardian.com
6. Cara Anna (9 November 2020), “People go hungry in Ethiopia’s Tigray as conflict marches on”, apnews.com
7. John Sparks (23 November 2020), “Tigray crisis: No clothes, no money, no possessions. Ethiopian refugees flee ethnic persecution”, sky.com
8. SBS (20 November 2020), “Students injured in air strike in Ethiopia, rebel forces say”, sbs.com
9. The Guardian (3 November 2020), “At least 54 killed in Ethiopia massacre, says Amnesty”, theguardian.com
10. Colum Lynch & Robbie Gramer (23 November 2020), “U.N. Fears Ethiopia Purging Ethnic Tigrayan Officers From Its Peacekeeping Missions”, foreignpolicy.com
11. BBC (4 November 2020), “Tigray crisis: Ethiopia orders military response after army base seized”, bbc.com
12. AFP (24 November 2020), “Tigray leader rejects Ethiopia’s ultimatum, says his people ‘ready to die””, france24.com