For years, Alex de Waal, a professor at Tufts University, has glorified the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF), and has emboldened their attacks on Ethiopian people and the democracy they are aspiring to establish.
In response, this week, close to 20,000 Ethiopians have signed a Change.org petition and hundreds will joined a protest in front of Tufts University on Thursday to denounce de Waal’s recent comments and acts that are considered offensive by many Ethiopians. Notably on November 17, 2021, he made a disingenuous and hateful statement about Ethiopia and its people.
Here is a direct quote from the video “those angry and defrauded citizens of what is today the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, those who dreamed of becoming subjects of a revived great Ethiopian empire ….face your day of reckoning, face the collapse of those dreams, the exposure of those lies, face them”. These disingenuous and disturbing words coming from the Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation run against the tenets of any peace foundation or higher education institution. Instead of promoting peace and reconciliation, de Waal misuses his office to sow discord amongst brothers and sisters.
Before this recent comment, de Waal worked in cohort with the TPLF, a political organization listed in the United States Homeland Security's database as Tier III terrorist organization. While government institutions and agencies are symbols of national unity and cohesion, it is unfortunate that institutions such as Tufts University, with lofty aims and intentions, are used as surrogates for the TPLF's acts of terror.
The solicitation by Alex de Waal calling for TPLF to overthrow the government of Ethiopia undermines peace and the forty five million Ethiopians (80% of qualified voters) who democratically elected their government.
The terror and the worrying statistics across the Northern part of Ethiopia prove that TPLF is on the wrong side of democracy. There have been mass executions of more than 5000 people by TPLF in Mia-Kadra massacre, Chena massacre, Kombolcha massacre, Kobo massacre, Gailcoma massacre and Agamsa massacre.
The massacre of 400 civilians in Gashena was just reported on December 4, 2021. In the same week, on December 2, a report from the town of Chifra indicated the complete destruction of 57 hospitals and health centers with an estimated $100 million damage. Even the UNESCO heritage Lalibela churches have not been spared in the TPLF invasion.
Furthermore, De Waal vilified the people of Ethiopia, labeling them as genociders and strongly making sinister statements that their country as they know it should be erased from the pages of history. His opinion favors one ethnic group and vilifies the other, especially animating the TPLF to cause more damage and destruction against Waal's disfavored people.
If a random layperson had made the statement, it would not have made that much dent. However, his position and the Institution he represents make his speech more weighing. What is disturbing about Alex de Waal is that he represents a public institution supposed to promote peace and stability around the globe, including Ethiopia. Taking sides to one side of the conflicting parties is unprofessional and dangerous to a humanitarian expert, as he can, and he is using the university's platform to promote his hateful rhetoric.
His statement was dragrotary and offended millions of Ethiopians who have nothing but reverence for Tufts as an Institution. However, De Waal's comments were against public academic institutions' principles.
Watch Professor De Waal's recent derogatory remark in the video below.