Weekend Reading – BY ANDUALEM SISAY GESSESSE – Ethiopia has been major headlines of international media in the past few months. This is because of the growing tension between the federal government of Ethiopia and Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF). TPLF, which has led the arms struggle concluded in May 1991 and has been on power until the current head of the federal government of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, was elected to lead the ruling coalition in April 2018.
Though it claims to represent the 6 percent of the total 110 million people of Ethiopia, TPLF was the dominant party in the ruling coalition – Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). After coming to power the TPLF-dominated EPRDF regime has for the first time in over 3,000 years history of Ethiopia as a nation, has introduced an ethnic politics for the first time. It has written ethnicity of every Ethiopian on the national identification card – ignoring the fact that almost half of the population of Ethiopia has a mixed ethnic identity. It has forced these people with a mixed ethnicity to choose either their father’s or mothers ethnicity/tribe.
At the very beginning, the idea of ethnic politics was challenged very much by many Ethiopians, who realized that the TPLF-dominated EPRDF regime is introducing British-style divide and rule strategy, where a minority group continuously secures political and economic power in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia during TPLF era
Indeed what happened from May 1991 to April 2018 for 27 years was exactly accumulation of political and economic power within individuals from Tigray ethnic group and puppets from other ethnic groups of Ethiopia. Within the intelligence, military, police, finance and banking system, the majority – 50 to 100 percent – were led by individuals from Tigray ethnic group but loyal to the corrupt TPLF cliques.
The TPLF-dominated EPRDF regime was known for using mega projects as instrument for robbing the nation and transferring the money to major tax havens such as, London, Dubai and cities in North America and Europe.
🎬 Why has Ethiopia’s prime minister @AbiyAhmedAI started a military intervention in Tigray? Going forward, what does this mean for the country, and the broader region?@wdavison10 explains ⇓ pic.twitter.com/k3l7Aih6Y8
— Crisis Group (@CrisisGroup) November 5, 2020
Reports show that during the era of TPLF –dominated EPRDF, up to 3 billion dollars is leaving Ethiopia every year through illegal trading, money laundering, and corruption, among others.
Latest reports are now revealing that many of the big businesses owned by TPLF affiliated or indirectly owned by the TPLF cliques have also found not paying any taxes for the past few decades.
In addition to state level robbery and accumulation of wealth within one ethnic group and “yes boss” corrupt-minded puppets from other ethnic groups in Ethiopia, the TPLF-dominated regime of EPRDF was also known for grave human rights violations. It has tortured Ethiopians who opposed the regime. Within registered and unknown jails such as, in Somali region, TPLF was implicated in grave human rights violations, including amputating legs of prisoners in Addis Ababa. Reports of in jail rapes, sodomizations crimes among others, were common during the era of TPLF-dominated EPRDF regime. That was why the reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed described these crimes as state level terrorism acts immediately after he came to power and plead for forgiveness from the people of Ethiopia.
The regime has also forced thousands of political opponents and journalists and human rights activists, including the current head of Ethiopian Human Rights Commissioner Daniel Bekele to flee the country, especially after the bloody 2005 general election, where TPLF’s secrete Agazi snipers have shot and killed some 200 peaceful protesters on the streets of Addis Ababa.
We would like to alert all that PM @AbiyAhmedAli has never said these quoted words and hold @BBCMonitoring responsible for spreading disinformation. The tweet has been deleted 4 hours after spreading something that was never said. @BBCWorld pic.twitter.com/VPVeVQZRRg
— Ethiopia State of Emergency Fact Check (@SOEFactCheck) November 25, 2020
How did TPLF lost power
Losing its dominance within the EPRDF was one of the most unbearable and unforgettable defeat that the TPLF hardliners have not been able to accept since April 2018. They were so much committed and were over 100 percent certain that they will sustain their political and economic dominance in Ethiopia by electing a puppet who can lead EPRDF replacing the resigned Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn.
After few years of popular protests across the country, Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn, who was from Southern party, has announced his plan to resign. Each of the four political parties (TPLF, Oromo Peoples Democratic Party, National Amhara Democratic Movement, and Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement) have equal vote of 45 each within the EPRDF assembly which elected Abiy Ahmed as its new leader in April 2018.
The way Abiy Ahmed, who is from the Oromo party, which is one of the four member parries of EPRDF, was a surprise and completely unexpected to the TPLF leaders. Until the last minute voting of the 180 members of EPRDF, the TPLF leaders had no idea about the collaboration of Amhara party led then by Demeke Mekonnen, Oromo party led then by Lemma Megersa and some of the members of Southern party of Haile Mariam Desalegn behind their backs.
The three parties mainly have already did their calculations securing additional votes from Southern party of Haile Mariam Desalegn to once and for all end TPLF dominance within Ethiopian politics and economy for good that brings equality and justice for all 110 million people of Ethiopia.
TPLF turns against its brainchild – EPRDF
Refusing to accept its loss even after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appealed to the people of Ethiopia to forgive all those criminals who were involved during TPLF-dominated EPRDF era, the hardliners of the TPLF walked out of the ruling coalition. Some began bluffing that they will come to power back using all means including going back to the bush once again.
On the contrary some of the progressive leadership within the TPLF such as Dr. Abraham Belay and Zadig Abraha, among others have decided to join the Prosperity Party, which replaced EPRDF brining aboard the five ruling parties in the peripheral regions of Ethiopia – Somali, Afar, Gambella, Benishangul Gumz, and Harari.
After losing the central power in Ethiopia, the oldguards-led TPLF more or less has become somehow radical opposition of its own brainchild – EPRDF. It has been crying that the people of Tigray, which it uses as cover, are targeted by the federal government and cornered after peace is restored between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Even though the TPLF leaders have dominated all the political and economic power in Ethiopia for over 27 years until April 2018, they haven’t even be able to solve drinking water problem of the people living in the capital of Tigray, Mekele. They were rather busy sending the stolen wealth of Ethiopia and their family members abroad to safe zones investing billions.
But after losing their power in the federal government. Most of the hardliners of TPLF who are now wanted by the federal government for mega corruption, crimes against humanity have decided to run and hide in Mekele using the people of Tigray as human shield.
Misleading the world
One of the things these hardliners have done over the past two tears was to train tens of thousands of militia, and thousands of digital army known as, Digital Weyane, an army of misinformation. Using the billions of dollars they steal from the people of Ethiopia in 27 years, they have also managed to invest in their networks abroad by buying lobbyists, Oromo extremists, and media, among others.
Latest reports also suggest that the former foreign Minister of Ethiopia, who was one of the top member of TPLF now the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom, was also engaged in lobbying UN agencies and approaching different countries to save lives of his old friends from being prosecuted for the crimes they committed on the people of Ethiopia.
For over two years after they lost their dominance within Ethiopian politics, the TPLF leaders have also been provoking the federal government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. At times they bluff that they have over 250,000 highly trained militia and commandos who can overthrow Abiy administration in few weeks and return back to power within weeks.
TPLF makes a shameless admission to have undertaken a surprise and lightning strike on the Northern Command of Ethiopian National Defence Forces. If there were any iota of doubt left on the malicious attack perpetrated by TPLF on our National Defence Forces, here’s a confession. pic.twitter.com/5RaMVZ1BPv
— Ethiopia State of Emergency Fact Check (@SOEFactCheck) November 14, 2020
Finally during the first week of last November, they admitted launching an attack on the northern command of the Ethiopian army based in Tigray, which forced the federal government to react and save the country and its people from another round of criminal group of TPLF.
Buying into the bluffing of the corrupt TPLF hardliners, unfortunately some respected international organizations such as, International Crisis Group (ICG) and lazy foreign media reporters based in Addis Ababa who prefer assembling the twits of Digital Weyane, have been misleading the world ignoring facts about the ongoing restoration of rule of law in Ethiopia.
The funny thing is that, even after the Ethiopian National Defense Force, has set free the whole cities of Tigray region from TPLF, they are not willing to accept and report the facts on the ground. I think the biggest misunderstanding comes when they believed the white lies of TPLF oldguards, who often brag that ‘the people of Tigray are the most warriors while the rest of the people in Ethiopia are not’.
HOW OBJECTIVE IS INTERNATIONAL MEDIA REPORTING #ETHIOPIA https://t.co/3VkpXPPmld @FarahMaalimM @BBCWorld @guardiannews @washingtonpost @AJEnglish @ReutersAfrica @VOAAfrica @ForeignPolicy @TheEconomist @washingtonpost @PMEthiopia @AUC_DPA @EUtoAU @USEmbassyAddis @AUC_MoussaFaki pic.twitter.com/x801phRdkq
— New Business Ethiopia (@newBuz_Ethiopia) November 11, 2020
The fact is that though the battle against the Derg Regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam concluded in May 1991 was led by the TPLF, the gorilla fighters wouldn’t have come to power without the support of people from all corners of the country who were happy to see the regime overthrown. Thousands of gorilla fighters from the now Amhara and Oromia region and other parts of the country have lost their lives to bring TPLF-dominated EPRDF to power.
Continuing to buy the bluffing of TPLF, these media and analysis shamefully continue to mislead the world claiming that the “TPLF’s 250,000 plus highly trained militias” have strategically retreated from cities to launch gorilla fighting. Had the fight between the federal government and Digital Weyanes been on twitter, TPLF criminals could have been returned to central power in Ethiopia in the last few weeks controlling the capital, Addis Ababa. Meanwhile, the facts on the ground tells a different story.
It is now the TPLF old guards, who are kicked out of the federal government losing lection, have now lost even their capital and are hiding in caves somewhere around Hagermariam, and Tenben areas. The question now I think is, “how far do the British media and some British journalists cry on twitter and sponsored websites for the TPLF criminals creating different agendas and disseminating fake news reports?”
I can imagine that some of the British media such as, Reuters, which have all kinds of special corporate clients from states to mega corporations, may be serving the corrupt billionaires political group – TPLF – as one client. But when we see 100 percent faked story by BBC like this twit, you wonder what is happening to British media outlets, which we used to respect for their professionalism.
And You wonder and ask what is going on with the British when you see some former British journalists such as, Martin Plaut spreading all sort of misinformation and activism about the situation in Tigray region. Why these British media and individuals would are claiming that they care more for Ethiopians more than we Ethiopians care for ourselves?
Will all these misinformation campaign lead us to conclude that the British Government could be behind such misinformation campaign to save the criminal gangs of TPLF by interfering into the sovereignty of Ethiopia, the only African country which has never been colonized?
Whatever the case may be, I suggest referring history books how Ethiopians unite and become one when the foreigners think that we are divided and can be easily conquered. In a way these British media outlets and fake analysts have helped Ethiopia to prove to the world that it still has one of the strongest and highly disciplined army in Eastern Africa which has support from all its 110 million people. Had that not been the case, how come the people in all cities of Tigray welcome the army clapping their hands?
Remember: this is just a swift, police operation that will soon be over (that was more than a month ago). Now the wounded and dead pile up https://t.co/ZoQDcHGJzz
— Martin Plaut (@martinplaut) December 7, 2020
I suggest before you throw analysis or news reports to the world about Ethiopia to undermine the government of Ethiopia, which has over 3,000 years history of independent statehood, you better walk on the streets of Ethiopia and talk to the ordinary people. Don’t just assemble Digital Woyane twits and try to save your corporate client – TPLF- by any means !
Thank God! now I see that the president of ICG has admitted as we see below how they were wrong by buying into the lies of TPLF who were saying that Ethiopia will turn into bloodbath and the operation in Tigray will destabilize the whole region of East Africa.
— Robert Malley (@Rob_Malley) December 3, 2020