by Amanuel Biedemariam
Ethiopia is facing the most dangerous times in its history. The pressures are mounting by the second.
In a manner unheard or unseen anywhere, and in a manner uncharacteristic of world leadership that traditionally tries to quell fear while trying to send messages that express the presence of calm and stability during turbulent national times; the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn told the BBC that Ethiopia is sliding towards civil war.
Moreover, General Tsadkan Gebre Tensay top member of the ruling clique who once served as a Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Armed forces penned, “short of radical change of course for Ethiopia, or implosion of chaos,” will engulf Ethiopia.
The situation all over Ethiopia is dire and getting worse. On Friday, August 5, 2016 ESAT reported developments that showed the situation Gondar escalating to an all-out civil war. Ethiopian (TPLF) Agazi forces are shooting unarmed protestors. The pictures displayed are grotesque. Young men shot dead on the streets. Burning tires on the streets. Streets blocked with stones to stop vehicle movement etc… are indicators of what is to come next.
On August 6, 2016 demonstrations triggered violent reaction by government forces that lead to killings of unarmed civilians all over Ethiopia.
This is the reality in Ethiopia today and it is not unique to a specific region. The volatility is so dangerous that Ethiopians are looking to be armed in order to defend themselves from the wrath of the Agazi troops that are terrorizing the people.
The approach that the minority clique takes to quell the revolt is based on desperation, out of fear and extremely dangerous. The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front is using brute force to stop the movement. And these violent responses have exacerbated the situation, hardened the resolve of the people and it is forcing Ethiopians to arm in self-defense.
Violence, coercion and propaganda will not and cannot solve issues of governance, inequality, regionalism that favor one-region over all others, forced-takeover of land, identity issues and countless grievances that people are resisting at the risk of their life. However, violence is TPLF’s only game to maintain its hold on power.
This is done with impunity because the ruling minority clique from Tigrai is the mercenary conduit for the West led by Washington. As mercenary army, the TPLF is eager and happy to impose its presence (current adventure is South Sudan), and go everywhere it is called upon.
That is the reason for the silence of Washington and others that tout human rights when they think it can suit their needs yet give blind eye to the real crimes against humanity being committed on the people of Ethiopia by the regime they fund.
This is truly a crisis situation unfolding. Yet, the supporters of the regime and particularly in the diaspora are failing to grasp the realities on the ground. They are in denial, in constant spin mode truly trying to mask the realities in the ground with falsities and misleading hubris-laced-propaganda on a daily basis.
What is happening in Ethiopia today is a result of years of abuse by the minority Tigrayan ruling clique called Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) operating under the umbrella of the EPRDF.
-The leadership core is made up of Tigrayans that led the TPLF when the TPLF fought Mengistu Hailemariam’s forces to liberate the people of Tigray and ascended to power with the help of Eritrea in 1991.
-Since 1991, Ethiopia has been represented by Tigrayan leaders in all aspects of the nation’s governance. The economy, the military, political power, diplomatically and all other aspects of leadership is under the control of TPLF. Handful Tigrayans control the entire military apparatus be it the air force or the ground forces. The list of names in leadership in the Ethiopian armed forces has been detailed by many, countless times.
-In 1997-98, After the TPLF ignited war against Eritrea; the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forcefully deported Eritreans from Ethiopia en-mass and displaced over 80,000 Eritreans forcefully. The TPLF took over their properties while Ethiopians watched in horror.
-The war took the lives of tens of thousands of Ethiopians that were used as canon fodders by the TPLF. Countless Ethiopian soldiers from Oromia region and other places were the victims of the ill-conceived military strategy that led many to their early graves or left them maimed. Worse yet, their corpses and the families never received the honor they deserved.
-In Gambela, natives were forced out of their lands to clear space for agro-industrial multinational corporations and, when the people Gambela resisted it led to mass killings that forced Genocide Watch to alarm the world of the genocides the TPLF committed.
-The minority TPLF regime has committed waves of killings in many villages in the Ogaden. The TPLF has torched many villages and rendered a vast area of the Ogaden inhabitable. According to Genocide Watch, “Swedish Television’s Africa correspondent Johan Ripås presented video evidence that shows that whole villages have been emptied of inhabitants through executions and mass flight from terror.”
-Countless Killings in Oromia, brutal repression and Killing in the Amhara, Somali and all regions in Ethiopia; forced takeover of land in Oromia and Amhara regions is a fact of life that is playing out on a daily basis.
-The TPLF has ignited unnecessary war against Eritrea that took the lives of over 20,000 Eritrean youth and countless atrocities in Somalia since December 2006. TPLF’s actions have made life for the people of the region extremely difficult.
-Countless Muslims dead and languishing in Ethiopian prisons for demonstrating against unwarranted interference on their religious affairs.
-In 2005, 2010 and 2015 the minority Tigrayan regime held sham elections and used it to reject true voice of the people. In 2005, countless innocent demonstrators that protested rigged election results were shot point blank by TPLF forces. Kinijit party won the election and instead of office the leaders of the party were sent to prison.
The atrocities and human rights violations are countless to detail. There are countless statements of rebuke by elected officials in the US, human rights organizations, international organizations, witnesses of the atrocities and testimonials of the victims.
Delusions of Grandeur
In reaction to the demonstrations taking place in Gondar, on July 14, 2016 the Tigraionline.com released editorial with a header, “A stern reminder to the Ethiopian Federal government,” that stated,
“We would like to remind the Ethiopian Federal government it has the responsibility of all its citizens no matter where they are. What we saw in Gonder this week is a massive failure by the federal and state security forces to detect and stop criminals before they caused so much damage to people and businesses.” Emphasis added.
It goes further and warns the Federal Government,
“The day the patience of the people of Tigrai runs out, they will take matters into their own hands and things will turn really ugly. That is what our enemies are wishing and salivating for. The terrorist groups have infiltrated the government from top to bottom and agitating people to take criminal actions. The despicable criminal acts in Gonder are not about democracy, it is not about identity, and it is not about justice, instead it is about greed for power.”
The mouth piece of the Tigray people’s Liberation Front Aigaforum.com and Tigraionline.com have been churning countless such diatribe for years while at the same time trying to paint rosy pictures of Ethiopia that denies the realities of the situation on the ground.
However, the statement above is revealing because it exposes how privileged and entitled they feel to the point of demanding protection for their businesses and properties from the federal government. According to Tigrai Online, Aiga and their supporters, the demonstrating are,
“Terrorist elements supported by Ethiopia’s arch enemies that try to manipulate normal minor problems in our society. Groups like Gim-7 motivated by personal gain will do what their masters order them to do including tearing apart the country if they can.”
How on earth can they feel that their properties and businesses are far more important than the rights of people rising up all over the country? How is it possible that they feel they can run their business as if the situation is normal when people are literally at war against the TPLF?
Aiga, Tigrai online and their supporters feel this way because they know that the federal government is theirs and as such they deserve special protection from those demonstrating for their rights.
This reveals that the pro-Aigaforum TPLF do not feel that they are a part of the Ethiopian people.
Moment of Truth for Tigray
The people of Ethiopia are fed up and they have decided to get rid of the minority apartheid regime of TPLF EPRDF. There is nothing anyone can do about it. It is now a matter of survival for the people of Ethiopia. It is a choice between life or death. The TPLF is a deadly force that aims to kill. As a result, it is a situation, either kill or get killed. That is the reality in Ethiopia today. Ethiopians have made a decision to stand after 25 years of butchery by a minority Tigrayan regime. And it is foolhardy to think that one can enjoy life as usual amidst the turmoil.
Aigaforum and Tigraionline have been misleading the people of Tigray with falsities and by raising Ethiopian flag when it suits them while pushing for Weyaniai-Tigray Agendas and Tigrayan patriotism in the background. They push Tigrayan and TPLF agendas in every post.
The article finishes with the warning,
“If some people think the TPLF or the people of Tigrai are weak it would be a deadly mistaken assumption with a horrible consequences. The people of Tigrai are stronger than ever and will defend themselves at any cost. If the federal government has made a decision which part of Ethiopia should be in what state, it should be enforced without any exception. If some people in Wolkayit don’t want to live in the State of Tigrai, they should move to wherever they feel comfortable not the other way around.”
Ethiopia is in danger of civil war. The kinds rhetoric stated above can only help escalate tension and lead to civil strife.
Where is the heart of the people of Tigray? At this critical juncture, is the heart of Tigray with the people of Ethiopia or, the TPLF? Are they for peace? Will they choose to believe that they can become an island of prosperity using force while surrounded by turmoil? Are the websites Aigaforum and Tigraionline the voices of the people of Tigray?
This is a moment of truth for Tigray and the clarion call for justice has sounded.