Ethiopia: The Beginning of the End for the TPLF – The Death Knell

by Dawit W Giorgis

Tigrean People’s Liberation Front.

“The death knell of the Republic had rung as soon as the active power became lodged in the hands of those who sought, not to do justice to all citizens, rich and poor alike, but to stand for one special class and for its interests as opposed to the interests of others.”  President  Theodore Roosvelt: (Labor Day speech at Syracuse, NY, Sept 7, 1903)

Death-knell is the bell that used to ring immediately  after someone dies. Historically the first bell rung was called the ‘Passing Bell’  usually done to warn  of impending death, and the last was known as the ‘lynch bell’ or ‘corpse bell’ which is essentially the funeral toll ( Wikipedia) Today the “The Passing Bell” has rung for the TPLF and people are anxiously waiting for ‘Lynch Bell”.

The lights are out for the TPLF as the first death knell rings in the form of a series of dramatic events that took place in the last two months: the culmination of years of bitter struggle for freedom, equality,  justice and democracy. The  sacrifices were huge but finally Ethiopia is on the edge of change. After 27 years of brutal minority rule  the  curtain is  falling down for the TPLF. The TPLF had confronted a determined opposition for years while at the same time  the world  heard of hundreds being killed and hundreds  more arbitrarily detained, heard new lies, corruptions and the amassing of the wealth of the country by a few Tigrean elites. The world heard of the  murders  perpetrated by the regime, about the indiscriminate killings of children  and women. The outside world  often accepted the narrative of the government and  journalists who just saw the surface and not the abuse of power that routinely occurs beneath. The world heard and echoed the manufactured and manipulated information  that Ethiopia has become one of the fastest growing economies in Africa as the majority of Ethiopians remained to be one of the poorest people on earth. Those in power manufactured data, manipulated information and designed rules and laws to their advantage  to  make it easier for them to do and get what they want.   The EPRDF is the embodiment of evil. Though the driving force within the EPRDF is the TPLF,  at this moment one should not make a distinction  between  the two, as the EPRDF has been a willing partner and tool for the implementation  of the strategy carved out  by the TPLF. Ethiopia should not rest in peace unless the EPRDF is dismantled and the country is run by national parties whose political  programs are based on the interests  of all the people of Ethiopia irrespective of their ethnicity.

For 27 years TPLF  has systematically looted the country, destabilized  the nation and introduced ethnic politics with the sole intention to create  hate and hostility   amongst the various ethnic groups of Ethiopia to be able to stay in power forever. The first item in this strategy was to distort the history of the Oromos and the Amharas, tell lies, spread the seeds of hate amongst them and ensure that  Oromos and the Amharas wrangle over their history, borders and resources while the TPLF rules uncontested. The TPLF thrived on the differences it has created and the friction it orchestrated between the two  ethnic groups. Today the  first and the most important victory for the people of Ethiopia  is that Oromos and Amharas have come together and asserted the unity  that was there before the advent of the TPLF. The rug was pulled out of the feet of the TPLF. That was a shock to the TPLF. It knew then that it was the beginning of its end.  Through this unity Ethiopians saved their country. Now they can be certain that there will be an Ethiopia   stronger and more united than ever and successfully overcoming the challenges and  evils perpetrated  by the TPLF.

The second was the dramatic election of Dr. Abiy Ahmed, an intelligent visionary EPRDF cadre  who grew up in the ladders of the EPRDF since he was 15 years old. He was elected because of his vision for a united and peaceful Ethiopia. He got 100% support from the EPRDF parties of  Amharas and the Oromos and significant support from the South but none from the TPLF. That was a blow to the TPLF. For the first time in 27 years TPLF was not able to elect a leader of its own.  It did not vote for Dr Abiy. That was not a smart move but good for the progressive elements within EPRDF because now they know that TPLF does not support the government of Dr Abiy. The battle line has been drawn.

And the final blow that gave the Ethiopians the confidence to ring the first death knell was the passing of the HR 128 by the United States Congress on April 10. It was a severe blow. No US ally has survived such a punishment by the US congress. With the  implementation of this historic resolution Ethiopia is close to ringing the ‘lynch bell’. The US always monitors the power balance in the countries it considers its allies. Such  a bill has been in the making for years. The US had always supported the status quo with active advocates like Susan Rice, Gale Smith, Jendayl Frazer and strong highly paid TPLF lobbyists urging administration to support status quo.  Over the years there has been persistent calls to the US administration from human rights organizations, Ethiopian activists and scholars  demanding that US stop supporting this ethnocentric brutal regime. There were as many evidences as there were to-day that were presented to the US Congress and administration.  However US interest is always  guided by the balance of power in a given country. Ethiopia  was a powerful regional ally that was doing exactly what the US wanted it to do in the region. US supported it until the time came that TPLF was becoming more of a liability than a useful ally. In the case of Ethiopia it was clear that TPLF was collapsing. The balance of power was in favor of the opposition. The US  therefore it was decided to withdraw support and look forward to working together with a new dispensation.  So the tribute goes to the relentless struggle and the sacrifices of the Ethiopian people.

Today Ethiopia is also indebted to all those who worked hard to have this resolution  passed by the US Congress. It is a powerful bill because it is bi-partisan. The first in my list are Congressman Smith and Congressman Coffman and their staff. The others are those Ethiopians and  human rights organizations and activists who have testified in the Congress and exposed the human rights violations of this regime. The last but not the least are the Ethiopian human rights activists  and organizations, civic and political organizations who did a remarkable job in their relentless pressure to make sure that this day would arrive. It is a remarkable demonstration of unity which goes across ethnic and political lines.

However there are hurdles ahead. One is the Senate which will I believe not be a big hurdle. It is believed that the bill will pass with ease. Ethiopians have now to start lobbying and pressuring the State Department to begin the implementation of the resolution. People and organizations who have credible information on the murders, torture, imprisonment, corruptions, fraud, illegal transfer of funds, bank accounts and properties of regime members in and outside the country and information on organized crimes and  human trafficking committed by regime members, any conspiracy to loot and exploit Ethiopia, credible information on the resources looted by non state actors; need to be properly documented and submitted to the state department or to the US embassy in Ethiopia and to the United Nations. I believe that they might need this information to expedite the implementation of the resolution. The UN rapporteur  which has been requested to send investigative teams to Ethiopia needs these information as well. These information will be need to be provided to the  UN rapporteur when it arrives in Ethiopia.

While these are being done Dr Abiy should be very clear about certain issues.

First he should fully understand that he has been mandated by the great majority of the Ethiopian people and the international community including the US legislative and executive bodies, to lead the country to a transition period not through EPRDF but rather by dismantling the EPRDF. Dr Abiy as the Prime Minster is sitting on a power that Meles has established for himself.  The only difference is that Meles did not have   the support current PM has because he did not come to power through such a transparent EPRDF party election system that brought Dr Abiy to power. The PM should unconditionally embrace the HR 128 and promise to the Ethiopian people that he will abide both by the demands of the Ethiopian people and the request of the international community.  The US position will soon be shared by the EU and the PM will have no excuse at all to avoid this universal call for change

Second Dr Abiy should call a national conference of all oppositions in and outside Ethiopia and all ethnic groups  to chart the future of Ethiopia. The PM should face head-on the TPLF leadership and advise them not to try to thwart his efforts to dismantle EPRDF and  transform Ethiopia in a direction that the people wish to.  Autocrats fight for their survival. It would not be easy for the TPLF to abandon power and accept the dismantling of the EPRDF which has been used as its trojan horse. Non of us believe that it is going to be easy but when a leader has a  universal support it will make his work for transition easier. TPLF might prefer to fight the PM and the Ethiopian people tooth and nail to maintain the status quo. The Ethiopian people are ready for that. The PM should be ready for that as well. If Dr Abiy  has  an idea to continue as EPRDF cadre and try to maintain the  status quo through cosmetic changes he will be mistaken. We advise that he exercise courage with   wisdom and reason or else he would face the wrath of people who have waited for change for too long.

Hitler of Germany, Stalin of Russia, Duvalier of Haiti, Ferdinand Marcos of Philippines, Pol Pot of Cambodia, Mobutu of DRC, Bokassa of the CAR, Mengistu of Ethiopia  Charles Taylor of Liberia, Ghdaffi of Libya and the list goes on,  have all been crushed by the popular wave of anger of the their own people. TPLF is now close to joining that list.

In the end success  will depend on the crossing of a fear barrier by Dr Abiy and the people around him and his faith in the Ethiopian people. The Ethiopian people have crossed that fear. The question now is ‘Can PM Abiy and his team cross that fear and take the bold steps towards democratic transition?’ If he fails   he has no one to blame except himself. The people are more united than ever and they will not hesitate to continue the struggle for a final and lasting outcome.

8 comments

  1. Dear Diplomat Dawit:

    I thought addressing to you by ‘gentleman’ shows the respect I have for you as a countryman. I should have used it couples with ‘honorable’. In any case, I did not men in any disrespect and I profusely apologize if it sounded upsetting to you and hope you will find a place in your heart to forgive for that innocent mistake. It shouldn’t happen between two countrymen blessed with such a long life. And I have learned from it and hope some day we will have a chance to cross paths so we can laugh through it all.
    I called you Diplomat Dawit now. Is that also offensive? Obbo or Ato? I am in the dark now and appreciate your suggestion. I know you hate being called a gentleman and I promise I will never use it to address you.

    My opinion about the use of the terms like TPLF, Woyane or even Tigre is something I have struggling with for quite sometime now. This ethnic front was formed during the time when the people of Tigray were in dire straits. The smart alecks among them were crafty enough to use the opportunity to steer the organization according to the blue prints they had skillfully concocted. Those noble of Tigray had seen tangible results from it and went all the way sending their children to fight for the Marxist goons. We can see it even now that when we compare Tigray to Oromia and Amhara regions during the last three bloody years one can claim that it was so quiet in Axum, Adwa or Mekele you can hear a pin drop. The smart alecks have created EFFORT in the name of the people of Tigray and that outfit has become a giant corporation. I looked all over the website for any financials to no avail. I even asked one of their rabid fans for such documents still ended up with no luck. I personally believe that the majority of the people of Tigray support the TPLF and take pride in the history of the Woyane movement. If that was not the case the Meles and the Sebhats in all could have been history a long time ago and better yet during the upheavals of the last three years. Now this is what I came to grips over the recent years. I know you are so cultured that I never noticed you denigrating the people of Tigray. But the majority of Tigray consider TPLF is them; Woyane is them. I think targeting individuals would be a better alternative and productive. I am aware that there are individuals from Tigray who had realized the schemes of the sweet talking despots and escaped the ethnic dragnet but they are very few in numbers. I am also aware that some have crossed the border to form another ethnic liberation front from in the name of Tigray to fight another Tigrayan liberation front until they went back home in droves a few years ago. And they did that on the auspices of another boogieman in Asmara. That is why I put a price of two cents on my opinion. No offense intended by all means.

  2. Dear Aba Farda
    Thank you for your comments
    But one issue concerned me. I have a name and a face you can look up. Why do you refer to me as ‘that gentleman’ ? It could be subject to interpretation but I want to see that as an honest mistake
    On your two cents ; I have a question. I have been like many others been careful not to give the impression to lump the entire Tigrean people into the evils of TPLF
    I have referred to the regime and its associates as Weyane or TPLF or Tigrean elites. But the Tigrean people have not helped us We know that the large majority have become rather victims than beneficiaries. But we don’t see them protesting writing and joining the other oppositions demnding change. If people inside Ethiopia are afraid to express their opinions how do you explain the silence of the Tigreans in diaspora? That is perplexing. That is why some argue have difficulty in making the distinction between the Weyane TPLF snd then Tigrean people. It is very disturbing phenomenon that needs to be addressed by people like you
    Other

  3. Dear Teddy,

    You have the right to your opinion and I also have just as the same. That is how it works, right? Believe it or not wanton shrill and insults are not in our values. It is time more than ever that we pay attention to what others have said and so when not half seas over with emotion or whatever. You should have read by now what I have said about the gallant Qeerroos both in Oromia and Amhara regions. But sadly you did not pay attention to that. Now, if your intention is to start a pissing contest with me, no dice for you on that one since I am not in that league. I highly suggest that you take it some where else. Someone should pinch you in the lips for using derogatory terms on a person you painfully have the wrong impression about. Our culture is legendary for civility. That is until that demonic Marxism/Leninism/Maoism began taking roots among our students. Dignified discourse gave way to shrills and name calling with one leftist group turning on another. They marched right into the killing machine of Mengistu still hurling insults at each other. Mengistu made the best of them both where tens of thousands of their followers perished. Again avoid tossing insults at others you scantly know. Just don’t do it!!!

  4. Ittu Aba Farda this is for you:
    We are the proud sons and daughters of Ethiopia! We will not leave no stone unturned to be a free society, FYI we will not lean on a 1% chance! It’s up to the newly elected PM to bring change in our homeland as soon as possible or face a rapid punch from Qero, Zerma and Fano! And I hate your spineless comment! Just let you know that.

  5. My take away from the positive looking development back home is that the people of our neighbors will never see their leader asking for forgiveness as this young PM did on more than one occasion. Al-Toweel Abd-el-Sisi would rather face a firing squad or will drop dead than asking for forgiveness if he is pushed to that point. The Mao trained thug will never, ever do that. He will continue flogging his cowed towed citizens demanding black milk from a green cow until his last day on this good earth. Black Italian, figures!!!! Even Bashir of Sudan has ordered the release of all prisoners and that country has prisoners held the longest in prison in Africa possibly in the world. I am optimistic now even it is a 1% chance. I will caress and hold that 1% optimism so close to my heart and that stems from my being staunchest proponent of peaceful struggle. I have been praying for the best because I have been bombarded with the worst news for so long. I still pray for the best and now nothing but success for this young PM. The Almighty Our Creator always works in mysterious ways and we should all pray May The Almighty Save Our People!!!!

  6. First of all I would like to greet this Honorable statesman in peace. In my book his past dedicated service for our old country will always remain appreciated. I came to know this gentleman with the book he penned in the 1980s-Red Tears. I had used his book to rally employees at a sizable company I was part of in collecting donations for the victims of that raging famine then. I always read his article with due respect and this one is one of them. I came to have an impression that he is a staunch supoorter of democratic governance and like me he longs that for the glorious people who produced us all. If he allows me to have an opinion about this article would be the use of specific shoutout on a certain group. I have been watching and struggling with the same issue for a while and have come to realize that how a group managed to garner such supporters so fanatics in their support. I believe the TPLF was formed for more or less a noble cause. That is to drag the maltreated people of Tigray out of abject poverty. There was nothing wrong with that. My understanding is that the fathers and mothers in Tigray have offered their dearest possessions, their children for this cause. But during the dragged on struggle somewhat smart aleck brutes managed to steer the organization to their liking. There are millions of them still pledging allegiance to the organization and latest mistreatment in various parts of the country has driven them even father into the iron fists of the Sebhat Nega’s in all. Every time we say Woyane this and TPLF or Tigre that such wrong ‘battle cry’ is going to play right into the hands of the despots who have been fleecing and killing in the name of the noble of Tigray. I am not a politician and never had any training in that area. Whenever I make my two cents of a statement on this and similar esteemed websites, it is off my laymen observation. I am sure this honorable gentleman and others like him have the acumen to craft a plan on how to wean away the innocent people of Tigray from the goons on their back. There is no way that my own Oromos and their harmonious neighbors will ever be free without the freedom of the people of Tigray. Pragmatism should rein in shrills and outright wholesale condemnation. I also believe this is the rare opportune time to design ways on how to yank away those people from the clutches of the students of demonic Marxism/Leninism/Maoism. Let’s not make things more difficult for this young PM. As I mentioned before he sounded to have the right intentions. As we all know it good/right intentions are just that and will remain as that until they are seen impacting the affected. Just as the old addage goes – talk is cheap. Didn’t we cheer Cuba Gooding Jr. when he belched ‘show me the money’? Once again this is my two cents of an opinion and if I am deemed wrong, nothing to worry. I am a big boy and I can it. But let’s keep the discussion a civil as our ages old values taught us.

    Again, thank you sir for your past valuable service to our old country.

    Peace!!!

  7. I respect your opinion coroborated by attached link but I have made it very clear that I have no illusion that PM will be the solution. I stated that he was a cadre of EPRDF since he was 15. I also indicated that the fight will be bitter if he decides to move towards transition, take courageous steps and confront thevTPLF then he has the backing of the Ethiopian people but if he decides not to, Ethiopian people would be ready to intensify the struggle and he could be thrown into the dustbin of history. Like you said it could all be a ploy by thevTPLF.

  8. I agree with your assertion that TPLF’s years of driving wedge between the People of Oromo and Amara is finally broken by the brave people.As you have rightly stated ,finally, TPLF and her hard core cadres can not help but accept ,the unity of the two people with the rest of Ethiopians means ,Ethiopia will be there. However, your view that Dr. Abiy come to power as a result of “EPRDF’s transparent party election” is an open admit ion that the TPLF controlled EPRDF is a democratic entity. If that be the case then this claim over rides every thing you have said earlier in your piece against TPLF.

    One of the reason I disagree with the assertion above is the fact the appointment of Dr. Abiy took place in closed door meeting. How do we know if his appointment is not a response calculated by the TPLF to achieve positive result ? It is clear now the P/M is in extended tour around Ethiopia primarily to promote public relations task. Public expectation regarding the appointment of the new P/M is to directly embark in the path of reform. What we witness now is the P/M in a mission to calm the situation. There is an information gap here between public expectations ,and what it actually taking place.

    There is a good possibility , therefore, the news we have received to form such expectations during the EPRDF cession may very well be from the TPLF source .In other words, TPLF narrativecould hve played to dominated opposition news. From the governments point of view survival of TPLF is utmost important. Just prior to the resignation of P/M Hailemariam, TPLF was in precarious situation. Years of protest and armed struggle brought the TPLF at the edge of the clef and was forced suddenly to orchestrate the resignation of P/M Hailemariam. The rest is history. Ethiopia is still under the control of TPLF military command. Public protest is at stand still. Ask yourself this vital question who is benefiting from such political development? The answer is clear then, it is possible these development could be a result of planning than accident.

    Just about a week and half before the TPLF convened to appoint the new P/M the new TPLF fuhrer ,Getachew Reda, made this speech in a closed door meeting to TPLFits in Germany. Among other thing the one point he underscore is this .TPLF is guided by MESMER and she will not lay down her MESMER any time. see the link below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy8LTZ9zDk0

    This speech by Getachew Reda agree with the testimony of two anti TPLF Tegrians in the clip bellow.

    https://ethsat.com/2017/12/esat-hr-discussion-tplfs-recent-self-reform-meeting-part-2-16-dec-2017/

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