The Swift Chase of Fenqil (Abo Shemanes) Cheetahs and Terminal Extinction of the TPLF Dinosaurs in Ethiopia!

By Alemayehu G, Mariam

To paraphrase Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., “In the end, the people of Tigray will not remember the words and dastardly deeds of their TPLF oppressors but the silence and indifference of their Ethiopian brothers and sisters!” – Alemayehu G. Mariam

Ethiopia saved by the Cheetah Generation

For nearly a decade, I have been writing and speaking about the (Abo Shemane) Cheetah (younger) Generation saving Ethiopia.

I have also exhorted my fellow Hippos (older generation) to get out of the way and to make way for the younger generation to do the heavy lifting in building the New Ethiopia. I first laid out my arguments in this regard in 2010 by focusing on Ethiopian intellectuals and broadened it in 2013.

In June 2010, I reflected over what could happen if timely action is not taken to defuse the bottled up rage of Ethiopia’s youth under the oppressive rule of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF):

The wretched conditions of Ethiopia’s youth point to the fact that they are a ticking demographic time bomb. The evidence of youth frustration, discontent, disillusionment and discouragement by the protracted economic crisis, lack of economic opportunities and political repression is manifest, overwhelming and irrefutable. The yearning of youth for freedom and change is self-evident. The only question is whether the country’s youth will seek change through increased militancy or by other peaceful means….

In 2012, I exhorted Ethiopia’s Cheetah Generation to lead the way to national reconciliation and save Ethiopia. I concluded with metaphoric flair, “A group of cheetahs is called a “coalition”. Only a coalition of cheetahs organized across ethnic, religious, linguistic and regional lines can crash a crash of hippos and a cackle of hyenas and save Ethiopia.”

In January 2013, in my New Year’s Message, I declared, “2013 shall be the Year of Ethiopia’s Cheetah Generation.”  I affirmed it is the “Cheetah Generation  that can deliver Ethiopia from the venomous fangs of a benighted dictatorship and sweep away a decaying and decomposing garrison state built on a foundation of lies and corruption into the dustbin of history.”

In 2016, I sent a “message in a bottle” to Ethiopia’s Cheetah Generation and challenged them to become “Ethiopian Imagineers’” and build the New Ethiopia by tearing down the kilil walls of ethnicity and building bridges of humanity and equal opportunity.

In April 2018, “Ethiopian Spring”, the TPLF was washed away in a tidal wave of youth uprisings in Ethiopia just like I predicted in 2009: “The TPLF has been riding the Ethiopian tiger for nearly two decades. But one day they know they must dismount. When they do, they will be looking at the sparkling eyes, gleaming teeth and pointy nails of one big hungry tiger!”

Today, the TPLF is looking straight into the eyes of angry and hungry Fenqil Cheetahs in Tigray Region.

The TPLF can run but it cannot hide in Tigray because Fenqil Cheetahs are in hot pursuit!

Fenqil Cheetahs want the same thing all other Ethiopian youth want

In February 2011, during the height of the “Arab Spring”, I argued:

Ethiopia’s youth seek the same things as their Tunisian and Egyptian counterparts: a livelihood, adequate food, decent housing and education and basic health care. They want free access to information – radio, newspaper, magazines, satellite and internet. Above all, they want to live in a society that upholds the rule of law, protects human rights and respects the votes of the people. They do not want corruption, nepotism, cronyism, criminality and inhumanity. That is not too much to ask.

Today, in “Tigray Spring”, that is exactly what the young people of the Fenqil Movement are demanding for the people of Tigray.

The TPLF dinosaurs are looking straight into the sparkling eyes, gleaming teeth and pointy nails of millions of Fenqil Cheetahs in Tigray Region 

After the TPLF was chased out of power in 2018, without a single shot fired, its leaders scurried to Tigray to hide like rats abandoning a sinking ship.

The TPLF rats can run but cannot hide from the swift chase of the Fenqil Cheetahs.

Today, the aging, decrepit, doddering and semi-comatose leaders of the TPLF are holed up at Axum Hotel in Mekele scheming all sorts of conspiracies and planning heinous acts of terrorism.


The Fenqil Movement burst on the political stage very recently though it had been organizing underground, including in TPLF prisons, for some time.

Today, Fenqil is the tip of the spear of mass uprisings against the TPLF in Tigray Region just like the Querroo, Fanno and Zerma youth movements were two years ago in the rest of Ethiopia.

The name “Fenqil” was adopted from the nom de guerre (battle name) of Hadush “Hayalom” (“Overpowering”) Araya, an intrepid guerilla leader of the TPLF who was assassinated by TPLF leaders after they seized power. The word also means “to overthrow” or “uproot”. Simply stated, Fenqil Youth Movement aims to remove the TPLF root and branch by hook or crook.

Fenqil Youth Movement is patterned after other youth movement such as Queeroo, Fano and Zerma, which spearheaded the mass resistance to overthrow of TPLF ethnic apartheid rule throughout Ethiopia in 2018.

Fenqil is driven by objective “grievances including lack of good governance, land grab and inadequate efforts to lesson unemployment problems among the youth” in Tigray region.

Over the past several months, Fenqil leaders have been vocal in communicating a broader scope of grievances including systemic corruption, nepotism, favoritism, cronyism, abuses of power and gross violations of human rights by the TPLF in Tigray.

Fenqil leaders have publicly stated their positions and presented compelling arguments why they have resolved to remove the TPLF from power by any means necessary:

Fenqil is totally and irrevocably committed to Ethiopian unity, equality, Ethiopiawinet and democratic rule.

The TPLF is the mortal enemy of the people of Tigray, the people of Ethiopia, freedom, democracy and human rights.

The TPLF is an anti-Ethiopan, anti-Tigrean, anti-democratic criminal organization and its leaders must be brought to the bar of justice speedily.

The Tigrean people need and demand democracy, freedom and human rights NOW!

The TPLF and the people of Tigray are separate entities.

The TPLF is a Mafia-style organization led by a few families from the Adwa area of Tigray region.

The TPLF is an organization of criminals, gangsters, thieves, con men and women, hoodlums and thugs.

The TPLF is so corrupt it has even stolen foreign humanitarian aid to line their pockets while the people of Tigray starved.

TPLF cadres, supporters and bottom feeders control every element of the regional government including a spying network of informers and snitches organized in families, hamlets and neighborhoods.

The TPLF professes allegiance to federalism but Tigray is run by the “Dynastic Kingdom of Sebhat Nega.” The people of Enderta, Raya, Tembien, Shire, Agame, Wajirat and many others are vassals fiefdoms of the Adwa Mafia.

The TPLF runs Tigray region as an open-air prison controlled by a ruthless security and police apparatus.

Under the TPLF, there are more prisons, jails and detention facilities than development projects.

As TPLF leaders and their cronies drink expensive imported whiskey and cognac, the people of Tigray drink disease-ridden water.

As TPLF leaders and their cronies eat sumptuous meals, the people of Tigray live on 10 kilograms of grain provided by foreign aid safety net programs.

The overwhelming majority of Tigrean youth detest the TPLF because they are systematically discriminated and denied opportunities.

The TPLF has been hoodwinking and bamboozling the people of Tigray with propaganda about “Amhara invasion”, “impending genocide on Tigrean people by other Ethiopians” and maintaining itself in power by practicing divide and rule.

The TPLF prosecutes and persecutes its opponents and dissidents for peaceful exercise of their constitutional rights and widely practices torture and other abuses on political prisoners.

There is no rule of law in Tigray, only the rule of TPLF Mafiosi. The police, prosecutors and judges are cadres and minions of the TPLF.

The TPLF has brought shame, humiliation and enmity to the people of Tigray and degraded the glorious history of the Tigray people.

The people of Tigray are poor because the TPLF has been ripping them off for decades.

Th TPLF is the common enemy of ALL Ethiopian people.

The single mission of Fenqil is removal of the TPLF from power and bringing their leaders to the bar of justice.

The TPLF must be removed even if that means sacrifices must be paid.

Fenqil is not interested in power for itself or to replace the TPLF. Fenqil is committed to democratic self-governance of the people of Tigray without any preconditions.

Fenqil will make Tigray ungovernable for the TPLF thugs by employing civil disobedience, civil resistance and by any means necessary.

Why do I support Fenqil Youth Movement in Tigray?

I support Fenqil Movement because I agree with their critical analysis of the TPLF’s criminal history, their demands to bring those criminals to justice and their aspirations of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law for the people of Tigray.

Fenqil is doing on the ground what I have been writing about for last decade and half.

I support Fenqil movement in Tigray because I support all Ethiopian youth who aspire to enjoy basic human rights, demand good governance and aim to build an Ethiopian society where a person will not be judged by their ethnicity but by the content of their character.

I support the Fenqil uprising against the TPLF in exactly the same way I supported the Qeeroo, Fanno, Zerma uprisings to bring down the TPLF.

I support Fenqil because I believe only the younger generation of Tigreans can save Tigray.

I support Fenqil because I resolutely oppose the TPEF, the Tigrean People’sEnslavement Front.

As I have previously written on numerous occasions, I reject the myth that the fate and destiny of the TPLF is in fact the fate and destiny of the people of Tigray.

The fact of the matter is that the TPLF represents no one but its members, supporters and cronies from all ethnic groups and religions who feed at its trough of corruption.

I have always defended the ordinary people of Tigray in whose name the TPLF has committed unspeakable crimes.

I have no doubts whatsoever that Fenqil shares my belief the word “liberation” in TPLF is the greatest insult heaped on the people of Tigray.

The “TP” in TPLF stands for “Totally Paranoid” and the “LF” for “Lie Factory”.

The TPLF has been lying to, cheating, jailing and killing the people of Tigray for decades.

The TPLF should be described for what it really is: “Tigrean People’s Liberation Enslavement Front” (TPEF).

I resolutely oppose the TPLF because it is a terrorist organization listed on the Global Terrorism Database.  It is responsible for documented acts of terrorism and untold atrocities.

The last recorded act of terrorism by the TPLF was committed on August 26, 2016, although the yet-to-be documented acts of terrorism span decades.

The TPLF has committed untold crimes against humanity in the bush in Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia for over a quarter of a century while it held the mantle of power.

There is no doubt the TPLF is a racketeering mafia-type organization involved in massive corruption schemes including money laundering, extortion, infiltration of legitimate businesses, tax fraud, etc., and using a front organization called REST (Relief Society of Tigray) stolen billions of dollars in aid and multilateral loans for over a quarter of a century.

What does Fenqil want NOW?

In an interview, Fenqil Movement leader Yemane Negus passionately argued what Fenqil needs NOW is the “support of all the people of Ethiopia. We welcome help from all Ethiopians to free the people of Tigray from the yoke of TPLF oppression.”

Is that too much to ask?

I certainly don’t think so.

This the time for all good, patriotic Ethiopian men and women to come to the aid of the people of Tigray and Fenqil and free them from the cancer of the TPLF.

I want ALL Ethiopians to remember one and only one thing. When all is said and done, to paraphrase Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., “The people of Tigray will not remember the words and dastardly deeds of their TPLF oppressors but the silence and indifference of their Ethiopian brothers and sisters!”

I stand with the people of Tigray and Fenqil Youth Movement in their struggle to defeat the TPLF cancer and Covid-19 virus!

I challenge all diaspora Ethiopians to stand up on the right side of history and be counted with the People of Tigray and Fenqil Youth Movement.

My message to Fenqil Youth Movement: Fenqil Movement will eventually rid the TPLF dinosaurs from Tigray!

It is said, “One cannot teach an old dog new tricks.”

But does that adage hold true for dinosaurs?

I am fully confident that Fenqil Cheetahs in Tigray region and throughout Ethiopia are ready, willing and able to teach the TPLF dinosaurs a lesson in permanent extinction.

Fenqil Youth Movement should learn an eternal truth articulated by Mahatma Gandhi.  “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

The TPLF will parade its mercenaries in the streets of Mekele and deploy them in hamlets, villages and towns to terrorize the people of Tigray. The TPLF declared “states of emergency” to keep itself in power before it was kicked out of power in Addis Ababa. In the end, Ethiopian Cheetahs gave the TPLF a swift kick in the rear end in 2018!

That is exactly what the TPLF needs in Tigray today. After the Fenqil Cheetahs finish their chase, the TPLF will get a kick in the rear end that will land it squarely in the trash bin of history.

Fenqil Youth Movement will emerge victorious. No doubt about it. It is just a matter of time.

I say to Fenqil leaders and members in the darkest hour of the people of Tigray what Winston Churchill said to Britons in their darkest hour facing the overwhelming might of the Nazi war machine: “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Never, never, never give in to the TPLF war machine!

To be continued…


  1. The number one rule of true scholarship is that you give credit where credit is due. The highly respected African Scholar George Ayitteh came up with the Hippo vs Cheetah generation analogy. Per Forbes magazine: “In this absorbing 2007 TED Talk, erudite Ghanaian economist and renowned political thinker George Ayitteh vents his fury towards “The Hippo Generation”- a cluster of unscrupulous, impulsive and corrupt elite politicians and rulers, whose cupidity and short-sightedness has blighted the fortunes of post-colonial Africa for several decades. But Professor Ayitteh remains enthusiastically optimistic about the future of the continent, because of the emergence of “The Cheetah generation”- a breed of Africans who possess zero tolerance for corruption; who understand what accountability and democracy is. Individually, they conceptualize and execute innovative ideas that are deep-rooted in the ultimate end: The social and economic fortification of the people. Ayitteh underlines that Africa’s salvation rests on the backs of these Cheetahs.

    In the end, he calls on the Cheetah generation to aggressively seize back control of their continent and lead the African people back on the journey to socio-economic redemption.

    In short you are the symbol of the hippos the failed generation of Ethiopia.

    Thank you and have good day!

  2. The most appropriate Martin Luther King Jr. quote for this essay would have been “You will change your mind; You will change your looks; You will change your smile, laugh, and ways but no matter what you change, you will always be you.”

    “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

    “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. ”

    “There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.”

    “Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man.”

    “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

    “There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November.”

    “A lie cannot live.”

  3. The last good article you wrote was in 2013. That was the innocent days when we looked up to our elders believing like our own fathers you were for real, but little did we know then ur henchman… We wrote thank you note and were repaid with insult. since then its been downhill and uphill. A luta continua the struggle continues!

  4. The Tigrayans are great people and keepers of Ethiopia’s ancient history. But they need to rise up and force the reform of TPLF from inside or get rid of it. TPLF is the cancer of our diseased society. It’s up to the people of Tigray to save Ethiopia from itself.

  5. Tigray Democratic Party (TDP) is our hope for the future of our country to defeat once for all the TPLF and normalize and repair relations with the rest of Ethiopia and usher in a new era of peace, stability and prosperity. As our leader Dr. Aregawi Berhe, who was one of the founders of TPLF in the mid-1970s, said his party, Tigray Democratic Party (TDP), is based in the Tigray region and struggles for the freedom of Ethiopian people, equality, and prosperity! Brothers, we need your help to chive our nobel goal.

  6. “The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.”

  7. Professor, it is a wonder why you decided to write about TPLF, while the deranged Queros are burning, butchering and committing more heart-stopping crimes against Amaras, including on young children, literally committing genocide.
    “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” — Dr Martin Luther King Jr

    What to you say about the Shimelis Abdisa’s leaked audio on the Prosperity Party and OPDO working together to destroy Amaras and Amharic?

  8. Nesssannett-1st!,

    For the Queros any publicity is good publicity. Only the idiots who don’t understand that mentality, especially in the diaspora, would keep promoting them. The solution is to starve them of oxygen and not to give them more of it. The Jawar version of the Queros, which primarily means young people, need to be marginalized as a brainless, crude and low-level street gangs that belong behind bars like their leader not in society.

  9. Mintesinot,

    ወይ ዘንድሮ! አለች ቀበሮ
    ለሰው ቢናገሩ መልሶ ለሰው ጫር ጫር አድርጌ አፈር ላልብሰው ይላል አበሻ።
    ትላንት ልጄን ዛሬ እናቱን ምን ይበጃል ዘንድሮ አለ አውራ ዶሮ

    የዛሬዉ ምርጥ ምሣሌያዊ አባባሎች! Enjoy.

  10. Al Mariam,

    You do not have the slightest shame when you quote Martin Leuter king, right?

    King was not a man like you who made a criminal former spy chief, Abiy, a cult. Your cult’s party PP is committing genocide on Amaras and Chrisians. While genocide is in the making you write about another tribal junta, finkerl, to please you God, Abiy. Shame on you. As George Ayitte said intellectual prostitutes are cult makers.

  11. I agree, the burning issue is the genocide committed in the Oromia kilil. You should be part of Mr. Obang’s team to bring justice to slaughtered Ethiopians. But you are a staunch supporter of the Ethiopian regime even though thousands died and displaced because of who they are since the regime came to power. We all supported the Abiy regime.

    The Amhara elites are always a disappointment to their people who put them to school while they are suffering. Y

  12. Mr. Obang is a man of the people in a true sense of the meaning and an Ethiopian true patriot, a global citizen and a wonderful human being.

    Girma and Misrak we may disagree with AL and his confusing and conservative politics and misplaced and unnecessarily stubborn attitude, but he is a dedicated person for Ethiopia and for his cause and basically a decent individual not at all a tribalist in the mode of the extremist. At a minimum he has proven that. Please let’s stop this tribal nonsense and focus on building a new system of mutual co-existence that operates on higher levels than our tired and debilitating tribalistic state of living and governing and opining. Let’s us follow the example of Mr. Obang .

  13. To be fair Professor Al Mariam have cited George Ayitteh on many occasions as his original source and inspiration for his adopted version of the Ethiopian Abo Shemanes. Just like him never been shy from expressing view when disagree, but also have the utmost respect that Professor Al aspires to inspire, which is what we needed yesterday and that’s what we need today and tomorrow. So Girma and Misrak, don’t confuse liberty with something else.

  14. The pragmatic / psychopath Abiy Ahmed recently called on all Tigrayans to support the TPLF President / the President of the Tigray region Debretsion Gebremichael recently.

    Web results
    Ethiopia: No military action against Tigray regional state

  15. Birtukan,
    You are entitled to your opinion and I respect that. But I strongly believe that the world needs to know and be warned about the barbaric, henious crimes Queeros have committed against non-Oromo Ethiopians, including raping precious children.

  16. I was just wondering myself, why Abeye Ahmed meddling in Tigrean Ethiopians lives, and calling Tigrean Ethiopians to support the TPLF secessionist Debretsion?
    Professor Al, are you with Abeye on this matter? Is this what Abeye’s Medemer looks like? Astonishing!

  17. M,
    I totally agree with what you said about Mr. Obang:
    “Mr. Obang is a man of the people in a true sense of the meaning and an Ethiopian true patriot, a global citizen and a wonderful human being.”

    I never met him in person, but from everything I came to know about him, and from reading his peace messages, I find him to be one of a kind treasure of Ethiopia. Mr. Obang is truly a genuine honest and caring Ethiopian.
    I nominate our patriotic Ethiopian Mr. Obang for prime minister of Ethiopia.
    May God bless our patriotic Ethiopian brother Obang and and his loved ones.

  18. Nesssannett-1st,

    I have met Obang personally. He is a great guy! The first time was during an African event hosted by President Obama in DC a few years back along with others opposition leaders (I recommended) who are now serving back in Ethiopia and his warm personality and his sincere and kind words were unforgettable. Felt at home with him as if he was my own brother.

  19. Nesssannett-1st,

    I have met Obang personally. He is a great guy! His warm personality and his sincere and kind words were unforgettable. Felt at home with him as if he was my own brother.

  20. Derbew Kassa,

    አስቀድሞ ነበር መጥኖ መደቆስ አሁን ምን ይሰራል ድስት ድጦ ማልቀስ

  21. So the election next year, is Abiy running against himself since all the oppose are in prison? He is a good student of Meles.

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