Now the entire world knows a full-blown ethnic Apartheid Mafia posed as a governing political party of Ethiopia is on hand, the same people that enjoyed the fruits of its crimes of extortion, racketeering and atrocities must step up to the plate to take personal responsibility for conspiring with and appeasing the Mafia group & Associates for their own good. Anything less is an admission of being hired gun of a self-confess Mafia.
by Teshome Debalke
When the word Mafia is mentioned, the first thing that comes in the mind of an average person is crime of extortion, racketeering and assassination. The word itself originated in Sicily, a Mediterranean island of the present day southern Italy in the 19th century. The story goes, during the period the residents of the Island formed groups to protect themselves from foreign invaders. Later, they established their own justices and retributions in secret and private armies known as ‘Mafie’ to go with it. Shortly after, with nothing better to do anymore, they began extorting protection money from local landowners and emerged as collection of organize criminal clans known today as Mafia and its member a Mafioso and became generic names for every organized criminal gang and members globally.1
In many fragile states under authoritarian regimes it is common organize crime is a de facto government– controlling everything from the police to the courts and involved in all kinds extortion, racketeering, money laundering and assassinations running major industries.
But, no organize crime syndicate posed as a political party occupied a nation as the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) Mafia did. Involved in all kinds of extortion, racketeering and assassination, TPLF became the government of Ethiopia in pretext of the ethnic Nations and Nationalities led party.
Though many of its members and apologist, including its foreign enablers continued to insist it is a political party that only need reform, the little available record reviles it was established as a regional Mafia cartel and graduated in to global mafia by its own mob bosses’ admissions and actions or inactions since it occupied Ethiopia 26 years ago.
One of its ‘success’ was establishing Mafia structure by implementing make-believe ethnic ‘Nations and Nationalities’ regional government, a de facto ethnic Apartheid states it itself instigated by cloning half-a-dozen ethnic warlords to front them as leaders of ethnic political parties to divide Ethiopians from challenging its occupation, extortion and racketeering. Among the high-profile ethnic warlords cloned to sustain its Mafia occupation at present are the present toothless Prime Minster Halemariam Desalegn and President Mulatu Teshome along many ‘show-horses’ of the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPDRF) of ethnic Federalism.
The question and the dispute that kept lingering among many well-meaning Ethiopians as well as foreigners is; why it took so long and cost so much lives and resources to identify TPLF as Mafia organization as oppose a political party to end its occupation sooner.
Though there is no easy answer, the primary reasons are rooted in the willingness of cloned ethnic warlords posed as representative of their respective assigned ethnic group to rubber stamp TPLF Mafia will, the failure of contemporary Ethiopian political elites to differentiate between ethnic political party from a Mafia cartel and the double standard and indifference of the international community to the rights and liberties of the people of Ethiopia come on the top.
Therefore, the mislabeling of TPLF as a political party by all concerned not only confused and divided Ethiopians and foreigners alike as it was intended but, prevented the formation many democratic forces to end the Mafia group occupation at enormous cost to the lives, rights and resources of the people of Ethiopia and continue to do so as we speak.
A Mafia by its very nature only attracts bad ‘hombres’ to do its bidding with a mission to control the public resources by all means necessary. Unlike political party that attracts good or bad people depending the prevailing check-and-balance on their power as it is common in many countries, a Mafia is an exclusive membership club of bad hombres against everybody else with unlimited appetite for extortion and racketeering.
The famous Italian- American Mafia boss Al Capone summed up the Mafia Think saying, “you are either at the table or on the Menu”
Therefore, correct diagnosis of TPLF as a Mafia could have made significant difference how it should be dealt with from the beginning to shorten its occupation thus corruption and atrocity but, it wasn’t meant to be, thanks to the confused political elites that in one hand wanted to replicate TPLF Mafia itself, in another; couldn’t care less one-way or another beyond their individual ambitions and interest.
Fortunately, the more TPLF Mafia is exposed for what it is, thanks to political movement like Kinijit and Patriotic-Ginbot 7 Movement and proactive Media outlets like ESAT, the more Mafia bosses and associates crack to validate; TPLF is not a political party they fooled the world to believe but, a global Mafia crime syndicate by their own admission, actions and inaction Ethiopians could ever have imagined.
Despite that reality, the expectation; the self-admitted ethnic Mafia to behave as political party prissiest as half-baked intellectual elites, political operatives and clueless foreigners continue to insist for the obvious reasons. In that regard, the TPLF Mafia controlled propaganda machine and ‘parashot’ journalists of global Medias’ generated reports in reaction to the visible mass-atrocities as oppose proactive investigation of the regime did most of the damage to extend its occupation as ‘another’ despotic regime.
Therefore, the world is left recycled TPLF Mafia propaganda and parashot foreign journalists’ botched reports to figure out what the Apartheid Mafia regime is all about. In all fairness; the well-coordinated TPLF propaganda did extraordinary work making a fool out of many, including its own ignorant members as well as gullible Ethiopians and foreigners to believe; it is a political party (an elected one at that) to turn its crimes of racketeering, extortion and atrocities in to growth-and-transformation and fighting terrorism as oppose a modern Mafia robbing and terrorizing the people of Ethiopia. Prominent western Head-of-States and business leaders, including Bill Gates of Microsoft Corp and the former US President Barak Obama endorsement of a Mafia as legitimate regime didn’t help either.
For instance; René Lefort, probably the most well-informed foreign journalist about despotic regimes of the region since the 70s reflected by his many articles before, in a September 2016 article titled “Ethiopia Reaps the ethnic whirlwind” failed to identify TPLF for what it is than what it fooled the world to believe. The fact he cited most of TPLF affiliated propaganda Media outlets, including Walta Information Center, The Reporter, Ethiopian Herald, Addis Fortune… is why the reality is skewed in favor of the Mafia even to the most experienced foreign journalists. (see the list of citations on the bottom of the article).
Unfortunately, Lefort article also missed the origin of TPLF’s ethnic Apartheid agenda to divide Ethiopians along ethnic line way before it came to power in 1991 posed as EPDRF. Nor his article reflected much about what was behind ethnic “Nations and Nationalities” Regions that consist of only half-a-dozen ethnic groups of Ethiopians out of 80 plus crammed in 9 Regions to the convenient of TPLF Mafia and enablers than the people of Ethiopia.
Moreover, foreign enablers’ DNA ‘imprinted’ in TPLF Mafia ‘regime’ that afforded it diplomatic cover and financial support to sustain its crimes of corruption, extortion, racketeering and atrocities are also missing in the article. Apparently, Lefort appeared to be the causality of the same TPLF’s alternative narrative that catch the eyes of mainstream Western Medias’ attention.
Sadly, the international community’s usual double standard in assessing the regime is the foundation of why TPLF managed to evade accountability. It is also because many apathetic Ethiopian elites and opportunists ignore TPLF crimes for fear or personal interest not to see, hear and speak evil about a self-declared Mafia. Again, in their defense; the Mafia cartel controlled Media outlets flooding the airwaves and the cyberspaces with fake news and entertainment to confuse, distract and direct people, including its own brainwashed members to cover up the reality of its ‘crusade’ of dividing and robing the people of Ethiopia played significant role.
Now the entire world knows a full-blown ethnic Apartheid Mafia posed as a governing political party of Ethiopia is on hand, the same people that enjoyed the fruits of its crimes of extortion, racketeering and atrocities must step up to the plate to take personal responsibility for conspiring with and appeasing to the Mafia group & Associates for their own good. Anything less is an admission of being hired gun of a self-confess Mafia.
The ‘game’ of giving blank excuse after excuse for TPLF Mafia posed as governing political party of Ethiopia is over as the recent pre-scripted interview of the godfather of TPLF Mafia boss extraordinary confess about the real ‘DNA’ of his Mafia cartel with a make-believe journalist on a Media the Mafia itself controls—leaving members of the Mafia confused and on the run.
Quite frankly, the interview was one-hell of ‘emergency’ comedy drama in the middle of the State of Emergency declared by Mafia itself– featuring an old frail and incoherent mob boss Nega and a young and confused make-believe journalist recruited to rehabilitate the ethnic Mafia in language they hate to love. Such kinds of orchestrated dramas aren’t new and everywhere on the usual TPLF affiliated Media if one care to look. Listening to the so-called government officials and TPLF Mafia operatives posed as make-believe investors, journalists, businessmen and the like doubletalk lately would give anyone creepy feeling; the entire political, social and economic enterprise of Ethiopia are filled with cesspool of crime families running wild never seen in history of the nation.
But, the confession of the co-founder and boss of TPLF Mafia Sebhat Nega summed up the entire ‘DNA’ of the ethnic crime syndicate/mercenary the international community unleashed on the people of Ethiopia. Finally, and without any ambiguity; the mob boss admitted TPLF is no political party but, an occupying global Mafia cartel running criminal enterprises posed as the government of Ethiopia. The Al Capone of Ethiopian Mafia even went further telling the world; his Mafia cartel is doing the people of Ethiopia favors by investing and creating jobs and all those that say otherwise are ‘crazy’.
The confession coming from the horses’ mouth should be the last straw of all the excuses coming from the sorry members and apologists as well as TPLF Mafia foreign enablers. The make-believe investors and Medias as well as opposition wannabe political elites that kept their head buried in the sand for whatever pity interest they may have are also warned by TPLF Al Capone; either you are with TPLF Mafia or the people of Ethiopia or to put it bluntly, you are ‘either on the table or on the Menu’.
More importantly, operatives and apologists of TPLF Mafia in the diaspora, including the so-called diaspora investors became a seating duck for willingly and knowingly conspiring to cover up the crimes of TPLF Mafia for 26 long years against the people of Ethiopia from their haven in violation of the law they operate under with far more implications.
What is disheartening about the whole thing is; why it took so long to identify TPLF Mafia and its operatives posed as political party?
Though complex to pinpoint the reasons and identify the responsible parties, some of the blame goes right to the political elites and Media operators that supposedly took the responsibility on behalf of the people of Ethiopia in identifying the absurdity of the regime controlled by TPLF Mafia and its operatives.
The spontaneous reaction the intellectual elites express their frustration to the crimes of TPLF Mafia as they occur (the symptoms) as oppose proactive expose of the Mafia structure and the crimes of its operatives (the cause) didn’t help to end its crime spree soon either.
For instance, TZTA News in January 19, 2013 article tittles ‘The-growing-inequality-in-Ethiopia’ by Solomon Gebre-Selassie wrote;
“institutions within which the various functionaries operate are not autonomous. The higher positions in governmental departments are assigned in an ethnic-based quota system…the perception held by the public is that the bureaucrats are expected to operate in line with their ethnic affiliation…rather than the pursuit of the national interest”. As to attracting foreign capital, EPRDF has largely only managed to sell away large tracts of land in a land grab and the author states that “contrary to arguments that the country could face depleted soil, dry aquifers, and a ruined ecosystem from chemical over use, Ethiopia is leasing virgin farmlands and bestowing tax holidays and tax relief to foreign investors”. http://www.tzta.ca/2013/01/19/the-growing-inequality-in-ethiopia/
Similarly, the Ethiopian Observatory in article titled “TPLF Greed at its worst…’ by Keffyalew Gebremedhin also reinstated similar sentiment of many Ethiopian elites that are having hard-time grasping the reality of what drives TPLF Mafia warlords greed to do the unthinkable of cleaning the nation dry and robbing and committing unimaginable atrocities on her people. He wrote;
“For the TPLF people, the development of Ethiopia is mere pretense for these people. This has led to huge rights violations, massive robberies and economic imbalances, even in Addis Abeba, where most businesses, high rise buildings and most of the gated communities, such as in Bole, belong to them.
With the support of politics, the law and police and security forces, today the Tigrean members of the TPLF and their connections have hold over a third of the Addis Abeba’s lands”
More recent articles reflect the same reaction and sentiment to the ongoing crime of TPLF Mafia operatives posed as the Ethiopian government officials, investors… as oppose proactively dismantling the Mafia structure and punishing its operatives as it was supposed to be.
In fact, beyond land grab and high rises… or environmental degradation…and mass killing and displacement in a cover of State of Emergency is expected from any petty criminal group or an out of control despotic regime we see in many other countries. But, TPLF Mafia mission is beyond and above ordinary criminal or depots from the beginning. Had contemporary elites accepted; TPLF is an ethnic Mafia with mission of nothing less than rob as much and as quick as it can by controlling the political, economic and social means-and-ways and eliminating everything that prevent it from doing so, they wouldn’t react to its visible crimes that is given and expected from any Mafia cartel.
After all, the whole ethnic Apartheid ‘Nations and Nationalities’ administration instigated in the name of EPDRF in 1991 was to stage TPLF Mafia operation when the then London based Tigray Development Association (TDA), a make-believe NGO established in the 80s with multiple chapters in Europe and North America set up offices in the 8 Regions and Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa Administrations TPLF itself instigated followed by the establishment of EFFORT in 1995. The make-believe endowment of ‘Tigray’ led by none other than the infamous ‘X-TPLF Mafia’ Siye Abrha posed as EPDRF Defense Minister of Ethiopia sealed the faith of Ethiopians and Ethiopia to fall under a self-declared minority ethnic Mafia occupation. When you add the military, the police and intelligent agencies and every government agencies under TPLF Mafia operatives you find nowhere in history a government of a nation completely fall under Mafia occupation.
Ever since, key industries and service providers from Media, banking, insurance, tourism, transportation and distribution all the way to construction, manufacturing and mining are all controlled by nonother than TPLF Mafia & Associates in crime.
Such high-level crime of corruption and treason hiding behind EPDRF shouldn’t have been ignored by the ‘oppositions’ and the international community, particularly by those that rewarded the Mafia group with diplomatic cover and billions of dollars and weapons support to set up criminal operations to robe and terrorize the population.
In all fairness again, with the exceptions of dozens of foreign enablers; TPLF Mafia fooled the international community as much as it did the people of Ethiopia with elaborate propaganda scheme, PR and lobbying stunt posed as EPDRF government. Call it the bigotry of low expectation or outright ignorance and greed in the part of the international community, they chose to look the other way.
By the way, the X-TPLF Siye Abrha, that designed and implement TPLF’s Mafia plan to robe Ethiopians is in hiding and nowhere to be found to answer the tough questions why he setup a Mafia operation in Addis Ababa with his Mafia comrades and failed to account for the billions of dollars and resources stolen from the people of Ethiopia in the name of ‘Tigray’ endowment. The last time Ethiopians heard of his whereabouts he is rewarded to be the adviser of UN peacekeeping mission in West Africa. The recent nomination of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus a seating TPLF Mafia posed as Foreign Minister of Ethiopia for UN World Health Organization (WHO) top position indicates the international community love for and complicity to the Mafia group.
What happened since 1991 when TPLF Mafia operation backed by a sophisticated propaganda machine to cover it up was set up is mindboggling to imagine for Ethiopians and the international community at large as people found out too late. So far, not a single TPLF Mafia crime boss or operative nor its foreign enabler made to accountable for their conspiracy to commit crimes of the century on the people of Ethiopia.
It is abundantly clear for one-and-all by now; TPLF is a full-fledged global crime syndicate that would make the Russian Mafia an amateur by comparison. Therefore, expecting anything from the Mafia bosses to give up that easy like any Mafia cartel wouldn’t abandon lucrative extortion opportunities with enormous blood stained wealth accumulated over the years is unthinkable. Besides, TPLF warlords’ partnership with many foreigners to shield themselves from accountability as we witness them running behind foreigners crying for help.
As they say, we can talk (write) about the crimes of the self-professed ethnic Mafia group known as TPLF posed as Ethiopian political party to rob and butcher Ethiopians “until the cow comes home”. But, we must also accept the reality; a group founded as a Mafia cannot and should not be expected to do it any other way because its very existence won’t allow it. Then, why try?
The sooner Ethiopians treat TPLF as a Mafia organization it is than as just another corrupt and atrocious political party and deal with it and its operatives and those it cloned as ethnic parties and foreign enablers, the sooner the people of Ethiopia’s problem will end. Regardless, the responsibility of the crimes ultimately rests on the members of TPLF Mafia that are agonizing to make it a political party that can be reformed to continue business as the usual.
Here again, it is important the operatives and the apologists of TPLF Mafia to stop boring Ethiopians and the world by elaborate propaganda and diversion to keep an ethnic Mafia alive just because they wanted to preserve whatever blood money they may have accumulated over the years on the expenses of the people of Ethiopia. They must accept, knowingly or unknowingly conspired to commit crimes against the people of Ethiopia and take personal responsibility than hiding behind one thing or another particularly committing more crimes to cover up like cowards.
On the flipside, the rest of contemporary political elites’ refusal to collectively address TPLF Mafia operation structurally as oppose react to its daily criminal actions all these years should take some of the responsibility personally for abandoning the people of Ethiopia for a Mafia hellbent to destabilize and robe the rights, liberties, livelihood and identities of the people of Ethiopia for the last 26 long years. Each-and-every leader of political party, civic organization, Media… must also take personal responsibility for failure to call a mafia a mafia and to tell the difference between self-interest and public interest.
Therefore, there is no a single reason why the ‘oppositions’ can’t come together to rid the self-declared Mafia off the back of the people of Ethiopia to begin the lengthy process of heeling from the damages it is causing and to institute democratic rule, none. In fact, many of the political elites that reside in democratic nations where their lives and rights depended on the rule of law and accountability ignore the same to the people of Ethiopia should be ashamed for not coming together to end Mafia rule.
There are many things Ethiopians as individuals and as group, particularly those in the Diaspora can do to end TPLF Mafia rule and make those on the way of the democratic struggle.
The first and the most important of all at this juncture is to call on all Ethiopian political and civic organizations in public for unity against Mafia conference to bring our people together and stabilize the nation and end the occupation. The effort of the Ethiopian National Movement (ENM) led by four political parties are making enormous difference to that end. But, there are many things Ethiopians can do to help them achieve the goals, including identifying and demanding accountability from clandestine detractors of their efforts. The latest ‘Amhara’ drum bit coming in the late hour (ጀብ ከሄደ ውሻ ጮህ) is an example of cloned ethnic warlords to further divide Ethiopians as the best gift TPLF Mafia got to sustain it occupation since its cloned ethnic warlords’ gift to occupy Ethiopia.
The second, probably the most important and neglected of all is to identify who-is-who in the Media pushing TPLF Mafia propaganda or their own agenda against the interest of the people of Ethiopia.
The effort, primarily of the Ethiopian Satellite Television Network (ESAT), the only Media network with worldwide reach of Ethiopians and few others with limited reach are making enormous difference to expose TPLF Mafia and operatives. But, there are many things Ethiopian can do to help including, demanding accountability from all domestic and foreign medias and institutions that support or cover up for TPLF Mafia led regime.
The establishment of independent Media monitoring groups on behalf of the people of Ethiopia to sort out the empty propaganda from the reality will be the most fundamental undertaking by journalists that respect their profession. The absence of such institution not only made it possible for TPLF Mafia and many other make-believe Medias to put out unverifiable propaganda against the interest of the people of Ethiopia but, undermine those that do the right thing as the profession requires and demands. Defending the Free Press from the TPLF Mafia and other scrupulous group is the job of every Ethiopian with sound mind.
Third, public intellectuals must step forward from hiding to draw solid line on the crimes of TPLF Mafia led regime and all others by establishing independent institutions to demand basic democratic accountability from all concerned — political, social and economic institutions on the rights, liberties and livelihoods of the people of Ethiopia and punish those that violate them. Leaving such vital role of public interest and safety for interest groups is the most egregious relegation of intellectual’ responsibility of modern generation no complex articles or books and dysfunctional credential can cover.
Finally, no nation and its people ever achieved democratic rule without the Free Press and independent institutions to monitor officials and leaders of government agencies, political parties, business enterprises, civic organizations and the rest on behalf of the people ever. The collective failure of contemporary intellectual elites to demand accountability from all concerned made it not only possible for TPLF Mafia to strive in dividing, robbing and killing the people of Ethiopia at will but, many questionable parties, organizations and Medias are running amok on the expenses of the people of Ethiopia.
It is time contemporary intellectual elites take their historical responsibility seriously and sort out the good from the bad and the ugly in their mist in government, nongovernment and private institutions including Media outlets and establish law-and-order and accountability on behalf of the people of Ethiopia to end the ethnic Apartheid Mafia causing more havoc now and to prevent despotic regimes from ever emerging in the future.
Failure to do so is the # 1 reason why despotic regimes got away before and TPLF Mafias occupied the nation and doing what Mafias do best. There is no way around it.
It is about time everybody take personal responsibility for his/her action or inaction that has been missing for generations on the expenses of the rights and liberties of the occupied people of Ethiopia.
The article is dedicated for innocent Ethiopians, particularly those suffering in the small prisons of TPLF Mafia led make-believe regime.