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…