On Jan 2, 2022, Ethiopia’s national television, ETV, broadcast an Amhara-extremist’s explicit call for a genocide against Tigrayans in Ethiopia. The former UC Davis professor Tilahun Yilma compared Tigrayans to a “cancer” that should be completely removed or eradicated so it never comes back. “If even one cell survives, it will replicate and destroy [the host]”.

This is what we must do now. When we talk about cancer, in addition to surgery, the person is treated with chemicals and radiation. This is because if a single cancer cell is left untreated, that left single cancer cell will expand and affect the whole body and kill that person. Woyane is a cancer. Hence, no single Woyane should be left and we should a program to hunt and kill all Woyanes.

ETV | 2 Jan 2022

In response to the reaction of Tigrayans on social media, the former UC Davis professor sent the below email to other ‘intellectuals’ of Amhara origin. Though the former professor denied he used the term ‘cancer’ to refer to all Tigrayans, his reference to “የወያኔ ሕዝብ” (Woyane population) in the last paragraph, coupled with other pieces he wrote previously, confirms he was referring to the Tigrayan people rather than the ruling party (the TPLF).