AUGUST 7, 2016 |
While claiming to represent the people of Tigray, the TPLF commits all kinds of crimes against other ethnic Ethiopians in the name of Tigreans. Where is the heart of the people of Tigray? Is it with the people of Ethiopia or the TPLF? Are they really for peace?
By Amanuel Biedemariam,
Ethiopia is facing the most dangerous times in its history. The pressures are mounting by the second.
It is typical for the head of a state to try to calm a nation by sending hopeful messages and attempting to appease the international community with a message that assures stability. However, uncharacteristic of world leaders in a manner not commonly heard or seen; instead of projecting calmness and composure, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, told the BBC that “Ethiopia is sliding towards civil war.”
Moreover, Lt. General Tsadkan Gebre Tensae, a top member of the ruling clique who once served as a Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Armed forces, penned, “short of a radical change of course for Ethiopia, or implosion of chaos,” will engulf Ethiopia.
The situation in Ethiopia is dire and getting worse. On Friday, August 5, 2016, ESAT reported developments that showed the problem in Gondar escalating to an all-out civil war.
Ethiopian TPLF Agazi forces are shooting unarmed protestors. The pictures displayed are grotesque. Young men were shot dead on the streets, burning tires on the roads. Streets are blocked with stones to stop vehicle movements indicating what is to come.
On August 6, 2016, demonstrations triggered a violent reaction by government forces that led to the killings of unarmed civilians all over Ethiopia.
It 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 arm themselves to defend themselves from the wrath of the Agazi troops terrorizing the people.
The approach that the TPLF is taking against the revolt is a sign of desperation and fear. The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) uses brute force to stop the movement. And these violent responses have exacerbated the situation and hardened the people’s resolve.
Violence, coercion, and propaganda will not solve governance, inequality, regionalism, and a system that favors one region over all others. Ethiopians resist at the risk of their lives against the forced takeover of land, identity issues, and countless grievances. The TPLF’s only answer is violence, the only way to hold on to power.
It is done with impunity because the ruling minority clique from Tigrai is the mercenary conduit for the West/Washington. It gets away because it is their mercenary army, eager and happy to go anywhere they demand.
That is the reason for the silence of Washington and others that tout human rights when it suits their needs yet give a blind eye to the actual crimes against humanity perpetrated by the TPLF regime.
Moreover, it is a severe crisis that is likely to get worse. Yet, the TPLF supporters, especially in the diaspora, fail to grasp the realities on the ground. They are in denial, in constant spin mode, trying hard to mask the facts on the ground with falsities and misleading hubris-laced-propaganda daily.
Undeniable Facts about TPLF
What is happening in Ethiopia today is a result of years of abuse by the minority Tigrayan TPLF regime operating under the banner 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 are 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 a 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 cannon fodders by the TPLF. Countless Ethiopian soldiers from the 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 their families never received the honor they deserved.
- In Gambela, natives were forced out of their lands to clear space for agro-industrial multinational corporations. When the people of 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 the 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; the forced takeover of land in Oromia and Amhara regions is a fact of life that is playing out daily.
- The TPLF has ignited an 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 are dead and languishing in Ethiopian prisons for demonstrating against unwarranted interference in their religious affairs.
- In 2005, 2010, and 2015 the minority TPLF regime held sham elections and rejected the results after the people won. In doing so, the TPLF rejected the 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 to the office, the TPLF sent the winners to prison.
The atrocities and human rights violations are countless to detail. There are innumerable 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 Tigrai Online released an editorial, “A stern reminder to the Ethiopian Federal government,”
“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.” And, “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. 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 mouthpiece of the Tigray people’s Liberation Front AigaForum and TigraiOnline have been churning countless such diatribes 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 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 all over the country? How is it possible that they think they can run their business as if the situation is normal when people are literally at war against the TPLF, fighting for their rights?
Aiga Forum, 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 who are demonstrating for their rights. It reveals that they do not feel that they are 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 because it is a matter of survival. 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 you kill or get killed. That is the reality in Ethiopia today. Ethiopians have decided 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 TigraiOonline have been misleading the people of Tigray with falsities and raising the Ethiopian flag when it suits them while pushing for Weyaniai-Tigray Agendas with Tigrayan patriotism in the background. They push Tigrayan and TPLF agendas in every post.
The earlier referred to Tigrai Online finished with a warning,
“If some people think the TPLF or the people of Tigrai are weak, it would be a deadly mistaken assumption with horrible consequences. The people of Tigrai are stronger than ever and will defend themselves at any cost. If the federal government has decided 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 of 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.