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TPLF should give an ultimatum to EPRDF and the FDRE government sooner than later

By M Gettaw
Tigrai Online, Nov. 22, 2018

Deputy President of Tigrai state in Ethiopia accused the Ethiopian federal government working with outside forces to attack Tigrai

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‘We are in a war footing against backward thinking and those devising to attack TPLF and Tigray’, Getachew Reda, on his 11/21/18 interview with Betty on LTV 

The ferenjis’ say the irony is rich. I found this perfectly appropriate to describe the current situation in Ethiopia. The richness of the irony can be described by the following,

Whereas the TPLF led EPRDF that created the homegrown technology conglomerate METEC is being accused of treason, the ‘new EPRDF’ is praised for a real estate proposal which we don’t even know if it will be materialized

Whereas the TPLF led EPRDF that bravely started a flag hydropower dam project which is progressing towards its completion is condemned, ‘new EPRDF’ that is orchestrating to stop the flag project is praised

Whereas the TPLF led EPRDF that made Ethiopia one of the fastest growing economies cutting poverty by 30% is condemned, the ‘new EPRDF’ that brought displacement/homelessness to over 1.2 million of Ethiopians within 6 months of its tenure is seen as panacea

Whereas the TPLF led EPRDF that brought constitutional order and respect to self-identity (individually and as a group) is tarnished, the ‘new EPRDF’ that is interfering in the sovereign regional administrations and on the verge of dismantling the constitution is respected

Whereas the TPLF led EPRDF that kept the sovereignty of Ethiopia from foreign interference through bold policies and strong leadership is condemned as treasonous, the ‘new EPRDF’ that is opening the country for interference by foreign powers and coordinating with historical enemies of Ethiopia to stop flagship projects is celebrated

I could list many more contrasting things but I don’t want to bore you. But, why are many Ethiopians falling for this rosy rhetoric of the new Premier which clearly won’t bring sustainable and meaningful change to the country? In fact, on the contrary, it is leading to disintegration, displacement, death and destruction of property of thousands of Ethiopians. Especially, the Amhara elite seem to be riding in a dream horse assuming that they can take over the government apparatus once the TPLF is pushed out. They have been openly writing on the need to partner with anyone who can help their cause of attacking TPLF (including with Isayas who has shown great enmity to Ethiopia both rhetorically and in action) with the wrong assumption that those partners cannot mount any meaningful challenge when they decide to take over the government- not a bad dream but very corrosive and destructive!

Another irony is the lack of decisiveness by the TPLF to forcefully respond to all the allegations and to give ultimatum to leave the EPRDF coalition. The TPLF has the responsibility to respond to the following key questions which are consequential to the people of Tigray who are its main political constituents.

Does the TPLF want to share accountability for all the egregious decisions that are being made by the naive PM and his team? 

Does the TPLF want to take responsibility for the dismantling of the constitution and the federal system which is being orchestrated by the chairman of the coalition that it gave its vote?

Does the TPLF want to share the blame for the displacement and killings of Ethiopians throughout the country and particularly its main constituent Tegaru?

Does the TPLF want to share the blame for the selling of Ethiopian territory by the naive PM?

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From the recent interview of Getachew Reda on LTV, it seems that TPLF is still in communication with the Premier and EPRDF at several levels. However, we have never seen the Premier or any official of his government addressing the many concerns of the Tigray people who are being victimized at several levels. The blockage of federal roads, the killing and attack on Tigrawot in several places, the daily war mongering by groups in the Amhara region with tacit support by the regional government and open support by the Amhara media. These need to be directly addressed by the Premier the same way he is addressing other old issues that he thinks will give him a political gain. Otherwise, the TPLF should put an ultimatum to leave the coalition and risk isolation from all sides (including the Tigray people) if it continues with the current low key response (as if things are okay). It will also assume the blame for all the current ills of the country by association. In fact, the recent aggression and rhetoric by the Premier clearly indicates that he is ready to even do further damage to those who thinks are not supporting his government. The jailing has started and it could escalate if not deterred sooner.

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I would call for the TPLF to give an ultimatum to the ‘new EPRDF’ and the Premier to stop all the unconstitutional and harmful actions by the EPRDF government or risk the ending of the coalition and hence his legitimacy. It is becoming clear that the southern party is splitting into several parties and the other two parties are also joining forces with historical enemies of the EPRDF. It is becoming obvious that, EPRDF is going to cease to exist sooner or later but taking a fast action might minimize the damage that could be incurred by the Premier and his government on TPLF as well as Tegaru. I call upon every member of the TPLF that is involved in the Federal government to consider whether to leave the coalition sooner than later since that would deny the Premier the mandate he is enjoying.

I also call upon my compatriots to keep a record of names, pictures and videos of the journalists and government and party officials who are doing the dirty job of the Premier and his team. There will be another day where these people have to account for their actions! I firmly believe in the adage, the only constant in life is change! 

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