Rotten and Fractured Beyond Repair, EPRDF no More: Emergency Exit for TPLF, Now! Part IIl
By Mogos Abraham, PhD
Centre for Middle Eastern Studies
Tigrai Online, July 15, 2019
In Part I (July 19, 2018), I wrote, “Time heals time kills: there is strategic time for every action humans take”. This is what I am repeating here, spicing up my previous thoughts with the current quagmire EPRDF has created against its survival. Let me point out a few out of the multitude socio-political and economic hazards that explain the current conditions of misery, fear, risks, and uncertainties in Ethiopia:
- About four million Ethiopians are internally displaced, ranking Ethiopia first in the world in this tragic human misery.
- Two renowned Tigraian generals and several leaders of the Amhara leadership were murdered.
- In the regional states of Amhara and Oromia civilians and security personnel are being killed frequently.
- To date (from 2018 to present) a paramilitary force robbed 20 public and private banks in Oromia State.
- Soaring unemployment and inflation rates, a stagflation, characterizing a stagnant economy, reveals the fact that the Ethiopian economy is in shambles.
- The TPLF and the ADP, two of the four political entities that constitute the EPRDF, the current governing body, are at each other’s throats.
- A dangerous social distrust is prevalent throughout Ethiopia: neighbours, different ethnic groups, individuals, and even ministers of the State, do not trust one another. This reveals a widespread impotence and disillusionment in the political governance system, which is holding Ethiopia in multiple social traps. These (the social traps) are results of mutually reinforcing hazardous elements of social distrust. The most dangerous social distrust is within the EPRDF’s membership.
- Self-serving ultra-right wing religious and political groups and individuals, who live in luxurious homes with their families in America, Europe, and the Middle East (Arab States), financed jobless paramilitary hooligans to create tragic interethnic civil conflicts that left thousands of innocent people slaughtered in various localities of Ethiopia.
- With full knowledge of the Federal Government of Abiy Ahmed Ali, the Amhara State leaders closed all federal (public) highways that link the social and economic fabrics of the Amhara and Tigrai peoples. The motive force behind this wicked act was to kill all socioeconomic activities in Tigrai and subsequently to force the people of Tigrai into submission to the wishful dream of the Amhara ultra-right wing extremists. They failed miserably. These cheap human elements keep forgetting the lessons TPLF taught them repeatedly during the 17-year bitter armed struggle and after the victory. Most of them, including Asamenow Tsigie, were TPLF’s POWs (prisoners of war). They were taught how to behave with civility. They forgot and attempted to force Tigrai into submission. To their absolute dismay, Tigrai is now the most stable, secure, and prospering State. The international community is well aware of this Ethiopia’s fact; and admires the TPLF leadership.
Thus, the final outcome of the synergistic nexuses, mutual reinforcements of the above identified hazardous social elements, can only be expressed succinctly as: (a)x(b)x(c)x(d)x(e)x(f)x(g)x(h)x(i) = a failed state (e.g., Somalia, Afghanistan, and Yemen), if corrective actions are not taken urgently, God forbid: May the Almighty protect Ethiopia, as He did during her history of centuries? To get out of this tragic mess, there is a need for an effective transitional government immediately. The four entities of the ruling body should dissolve their EPRDF formally; and call for a national convention under the theme of Unity in Diversity for Ethiopia’s Enlightenment and Renaissance or any other theme of their choice. At this convention, a federal transitional government (FTG), with clearly specified mandates and service period will have to be established legally. The ultimate goal should be to hold inclusive, just, equitable, and empowering elections as soon as possible to establish a democratically elected legitimate Ethiopian government.
By-the-way, how and why did Ethiopia reach to this period of darkness? What are the forces that destroyed the great achievements that were made during the 27 Golden Years (1991-2017)? I highlight the genesis of the current darkness as follows:
Acts of Genocide and Treachery
It was shocking to hear and watch through multiple media outlets Tigraians in their own country, being harassed, bitten, and killed in cities of the Amhara Regional State. From their hideouts in Asmara, Eritrea, America, and Europe, the Birhanu Nega and Co. groups, which were legally declared terrorist organizations, built underground network of flash-mob hooligans and unleashed genocidal rampages during the months of July and August 2016 against Tigraians, who lived for generations in their own Motherland, Ethiopia’s Amhara Regional State. For the mere fact that they were Tigraians, hundreds were mobbed and massacred; their properties were ransacked and torched; and about 11,000 of them, including mothers and their children as well as the elderly, were forced to escape to neighbouring North Sudan. All these inhuman actions were carried out under the watchful eyes of Demeke Mekonen, Gedu Andargachew, and their supporters, who were determined to force Tigrai into social, political, and economic crises. However, this extreme treachery backfired at them, the traitors. They remain ashamed and humiliated.
Do you see the clear similarities between these Ethiopian tragedies and the Rwandan genocide? In 1994, savage Hutu paramilitary hooligans slaughtered about a million Tutsi and moderate Hutu. Thus, the answer to the question is “yes”. The Rwandan genocide was organized by members of the core Hutu political elite and executed by the Interahamwe[i], a Hutu paramilitary wing. This group used guns, knives, stones, and nailed-big sticks to slaughter Tutsi Community members savagely. However, the Inerahamwe failed to meet its goal of eliminating the Tutsi race. The opposite happened. The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) of the Tutsi and moderate Hutu won the war. Under the leadership of Paul Kagame, the RPF is governing a stable and prospering modern Rwanda. All traces of the Interahamwe were eliminated.
By carrying out the atrocities against Tigraians, Ginbot-7 and its supporters; Shaébia, Egypt, and some other Arab countries, had wished for tragic civil wars throughout Ethiopia, immersing the country into a quagmire of a failed state (defined above). Thanks to the far sightedness of the Tigraian people and the cool headed strategic thinking of the TPLF leadership, the deliberate provocations of the enemies of Ethiopia were quashed. The underground mob network of terror they built was destroyed; most of the terrorists were captured by the Ethiopian security forces; and those hiding in potholes in the Amhara State and those who escaped to their Eritrean hideouts were destroyed politically and socially.
Ethnocentrism that Produced Extremism
Ethnocentrism, which can be defined as wild arrogance and uncivilized behavior, is judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one's own culture. Ethnocentric individuals judge other groups, nations, nationalities, and peoples relative to their own culture and history. Consequences of ethnocentrism are disastrous. Read for example, the manifesto of the National Movement of Amhara (NaMA), which was founded on 10 June 2018 in Bahir-Dar, the capital city of the Amhara Regional State. NaMA is an extremely dangerous organization. It disparages (demeans) TPLF’s contributions to Ethiopia’s modernization. It harbors a wild wish to eliminate TPLF. It does not recognize EPRDF as a legitimate government; and it has declared ADP as an agent of TPLF.
Moreover, on 30 June 2018 (just after the ascension of Abiy Ahmed Ali to the Prime Minister’s Chair by default, accidentally) the Amhara chauvinist elements, the ethnocentrists, held a massive rally in the Bahir-Dar Stadium. This rally was full of empty Amharic bravados, unnecessary and dangerous boasting. The crowd waved the illegal flag of the Imperial era, implying Amharas are Ethiopia’s creators; and the sources of Kings of Kings. One of the laughable acts was watching a helicopter flying over the huge crowd, bearing the Imperial flag, as if the event was a declaration of victory won at battlefields, which the cowards cannot do. Another laughable scene was an Eritrean flag tied to the Imperial flag. A combination of the two flags was being waved high to the skies! What was the motive force behind the waving a flag of Ethiopia’s enemy number one? Only the traitors know the reasons of their treasonous acts.
Speeches of the Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, and the President of the Amhara Regional State, Gedu Andargachew, were perplexing. As keynote speakers, everything they read so loud was against TPLF, by extension betraying the people of Tigrai. Both of these men are still members of the EPRDF government. Their speeches were highly charged bravados, “we the Amharas!” In short, their actions were collectively a national treason, because they violated the rules enshrined in the Ethiopian Constitution. As members of the government they were expected to uphold primacy of the rule of law in accordance with the Constitution. The Ethiopian Parliament must have summoned Abiy Ahmed to explain the well-orchestrated rally, which violated the Constitutional Order. Unfortunately, impotence of the current Parliament is part of the prevailing dysfunctional governance system, which has made the EPRDF irrelevant.
Time for TPLF to free itself from the EPRDF Trap and Exit
TPLF must take immediate action. This is the right time to break the EPRDF trap by writing a formal letter of withdrawal to the Chairman, Abiy Ahmed Ali, with a copy to the Chairperson of the House of Federation, the Ethiopian Defence Forces, and other stakeholders, as necessary. No Ethiopian in his right mind wishes to work with Abiy Ahmed and Co. (Lema Megersa and many others), who have a hidden grand agenda for Oromo supremacy with the help of external forces. No true nationalist Ethiopian wishes to see tragic civil conflicts disintegrating the Motherland. Thus, this is strategically the best time for TPLF to exit out the rotten, fractured, and irrelevant EPRDF’s governance structure.
TPLF fought to liberate all oppressed Ethiopian masses of the Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples. It succeeded tremendously, beyond imaginations of its detractors – particularly the Amhara narrow nationalists and chauvinists as well as Isaias Afeworki and Co. All symbols of modernization in present Ethiopia symbolize TPLF’s sacrifices and victories. That is why the Ethiopian masses admire and respect the TPLF and, by extension, the people of Tigrai for their magnanimous sacrifices. Therefore, TPLF has a huge opportunity now to create a brand new strategy for Ethiopia’s revolutionary democratic developmental state (RDDS) with the willing Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples of Ethiopia. The framework for RDDS is multidimensional and dynamic. It provides clear strategies for fighting neoliberalism, which advocates for a socioeconomic and political systems ruled by multinational corporations that impede all activities of an RDDS. Watch out, neoliberalism is struggling to create a fragile Ethiopian state, which is vulnerable to a regime change, i.e., creating a puppet government. To avert this danger, let Ethiopia’s enemies serve as catalysts for forging a united front of all Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples of Ethiopia to win the war against all human ills in order to live in peace and harmony in a democratically united Ethiopia.
Rest in peace our martyrs for eternity!
[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_genocide, accessed 15 July 2019.