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Tigrai which way Forward?

Ethiopian Observer editorial


In a democratic society citizens are guaranteed due process of law if a government acts against them. We could go on narrating the virtues of democracy but the focus of our editorial is our Tigrai, where things stand upside down and yet a party ironically states that it is a revolutionary democrat. TPLF’s political drama has, despite its claims of Tehadeso/ renewal and its incessant admission of corruption has continued to baffle concerned Tegaru asking themselves how this injustice is happening rigorously and wondering what the future of Tigrai would be?.

People seem to be focused on fear that may result in a vacuum of leadership.  “The only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” (The first inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt as the 32nd President of the United States) our concern should not be driven by imagined/non-imagined fear but by the rule of law to be governed without intimidation by the authorities. What is going on in our community in the Diaspora and Tigrai is a fight for the soul of Tigrai. It is a fight for a choice between a treasonous political leadership on one side and a regime trying to recover the political power it lost. This political fight has been delayed for 30 years and now is catching up with us, for we failed to establish alternate democratic institutions.

Every society has its vocal minority. However, not every vocal minority has a legitimate cause or is for common cause. Some are thoroughly misguided and do not represent the consensus view. Often facts are purposely distorted to give a sectarian agenda the appearance of universality in order to sway and enlist the unsuspecting and the ill-informed. There is a potential danger in allowing a situation like this to fester. What our Tigrai needs is a great core with characteristics of selfless deeds of personalities to benefit a traumatized and angry youth, and not a third rate political manipulation of ideologically purported innuendos. The recent actions demonstrate to us and to other concerned Tigreans is the degree of the political immaturity of the leaders of our Tigrai region.

The seemingly power struggle between the leaders also demonstrate the deep seated political fault- of the serious malady that all Ethiopian politicians suffer—hunger for power as a short cut to one’s own personal material success, rent seeking, corruption and lack of governance as opposed to a power to be used in the service of the people of Tigrai to improve the living conditions of the people. Yes we all are concerned with the volatile situation in Ethiopia, and we should fight all kinds of extremists, who want to take the sovereign land but we should not be silent of the problems existing in Tigray.

The sad reality of our political situation whether we are dealing with TPLF or sectarian provincial based narrow minded political leaders or the politics of ideologically corrupt Diaspora supporters are simply a short-lived passing phenomena, but what will carry us forward and help us survive as a people and a nation is the system of unity and our zeal for our identity. Our people of Enderta and others when they lost the first Weayne revolt, the punishment that followed with the help of insiders, the imperial regime of Haileselassie  was harsh by raping and plundering and by land grab  so that our people remain oppressed, uneducated and poor. Despite this hardship with an ever conviction of fighting spirit they were able to stand firm to reclaim their steadfastness against any ploy to subdue them again. However, we must be careful not to inadvertently dig own grave or resurrect old wounds. At this juncture only a proactive stance could solve the problem and stop matters from spinning out of control.

We are cognizant that the time we are in is a very sensitive but extremely important for the people of Tigrai and they do not deserve absolutely corrupt governance which might propel civil disobedience in the face of oppressive and violent government leaders. Any measure taken should pass through informed judgment and engagement to ward off any violence and systematic abuse. When the political process is subverted and the rights of people undermined, it leads into insurrection and chaos. Tyrants who are directly involved in the command or the execution of brutal and indiscriminate violence against defenseless citizens have no political or judicial outlets and would be held accountable to the people of Tigrai.

TPLF’s corrupt old method and its sinister plan to demonize and label genuine opposition parties by unleashing their attack dogs have recently been on the attention for all.  This barefaced intimidation would unduly precipitate in major adversarial repercussions for our Tigrai. The recent interview by one of the members of the party and intramural propaganda by those old guards in different zones, woredas and kebeles of Tigray against the defenseless persons and parties is indeed a troubling assault and shows what is awaiting in Tigrai. It is necessary to look at the background before getting lost in the din created by detractors who have always hid and deny the truth. But in a region like our Tigrai, where the same tyrants make their ascension to power by means of the gun, intimidation, killing and imprisoning to rule for ever until they die is a play book for existence. Our Tigrean people are not naïve to fail to understand that the end of the TPLF gangs would take at the end a violent turn. When peaceful means are exhausted, the fate of tyrants is going to end up at the dust bin of history.

To begin with, the violence perpetuated by the paid mercenaries of the TPLF gangs against the youth in different regions of Tigrai, in particular in Enderta, Tembien Shire and Wajerat, will substantially increase and potentially lead to an endless internal feud; which will at the end reverse the unity of Tigrai.  This will certainly further isolate TPLF, and may lead to the dismantlement of the TPLF gang, where the youth will have the opportunity to govern Tigrai based on democratic participation for removing the corrupt policies of its predecessor.  Everybody knows how the parasitic and rent seeking members of the TPLF are exploiting the people of Tigrai. With a salary not enough to sustain and support barely for a week or two, the thieves have amassed enormous properties, while the people of Tigrai are languishing in dirt and poverty.

TPLF is polarizing the Tigrai society between those who support versus those who oppose its policy. It  will potentially rupture and strain the relationship specifically with its sympathizers, who would lose the special benefits and treatments they got from their masters. As we witness now TPLF will become a pariah, loathed by its friends and hated and threatened by its enemies. TPLF gangs will be foolish to assume that intimidation and prison is the answer to its long-term security and existence, or a fulfillment of its monopoly of power, by its usual divide-and-rule system.

As we have said time and time again in the past, the Tigrai-Eritrean coexistence is not one of many options, it is the only option. The people of the two kins must now choose the way of uniting their strength and cooperate as the hegemony’s in Ethiopia are out to eliminate both. They have the year’s long experience of undoing the shackles of oppression and war and are better qualified to make history of rapprochement and unity against those who would the potential enemies of their freedom and progress as an entity. We know that no one benefits from the drums of war except the opportunists and irredentists.

In the end, however, our own history shows again and again that it is only when people organize everywhere; the real change can be achieved. Our Tigrai is calling for a fundamental political change; and the only force Tigrai would count on her salvation is the collective willpower of her children from within Tigrai and not those mercenaries sent by Abiy and his cohorts. Nobody should use the present situation in Ethiopia for harassing people of different opinion. One cannot defend a barbarian by creating one’s own barbarian. Awe know pretty well the working of TPLF on how it decimated internal democracy, it purged and ostracized prominent persons from its ranks, maimed people and squandered the wealth of the people. However, this does not mean that the war to be waged against the treasonous regime in Ethiopia and the dictatorial mafia of TPLF are isolated but should be carried out in a two pronged strategy and never kneeling down to any suppression. No one should tamper on the struggle of the Tigrai people for self-rule as enshrined in the Constitution of Ethiopia, where our martyrs sacrificed for the unity but diversity.

Tigrean opposition parties must brace up as one united body for an uphill fight to replace a regime that has made numerous miscalculations and yet has the audacity to protect Tigrai. Despite, all lies by TPLF on how our Tigrai is peaceful with false facade of comfort, the degree of repression, and state sponsored intimidation is still rampant. The opposition forces are guarantee on fulfilling the aspiration of the youth to exercise its democratic and human rights. The opposition forces within Tigrai are the real bearers of democracy and you are the real aspirations and enlightenments of the bright future of the new generation and Tigrai really relies on you. We all must unmask TPLF gangs and deny it from turning this election into its usual business but save our Tigrai from dying a slow and painful death under the clutches of these brutes. The truth is that no human life should be degraded, brutalized or exploited by someone or a group from within or from the outside.

We would also like to extend our utmost heartfelt sorrow for the loss of our brother Hachalu Hundessa, a real fighter for equality and against injustice and oppression to all our brothers and sisters in Oromia and Ethiopia. You cannot eliminate ideas and people but will continue to be an inspiration for all people. He suffered during the previous regime and lost life during the present irresponsible regime.

 

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