by Mekuria Gize
Medhane Tadesse wrote an interesting piece on Satenaw highlighting the flat-shift of EPRDF and tactical defeat of TPLF in the Ethiopian political landscape. In this article he ascribed the greater loss to EPRDF than to TPLF because the cause TPLF fought for remains to be there for years to come. I say the TPLF is decisively defeated and retreated to its enclave. True, the TPLF was not circled from its place in Arat Kilo and surrendered, but it sensed the developments in the country and gave a belated response of retreating back to Tigray. This did not happen out of the blue or for favouring the Ethiopian people. The much coordinated insurrection in Oromia and the stiff Amara resistance in Gonder have made TPLF sleepless. It has acquired loss in many places in many ways: the economy of the country was collapsing; foreign capital was down; foreign exchange was near zero; sister organization like OPDO and ANDM were in discontent over the continued killing of their people; Lawlessness was spreading, a clear sign the society was not normal. Had the TPLF continued the force measure to stay in power, the economy would have collapsed flat to the point unable to pay civil servants and the military personnel.
Here is the fundamental equation Medhane Tadesse overlooked. Can the EPRDF continue to get loyalty from the military and civil servants without being able to pay their wages? The answer is a big no. No civil servant is going to fold its arms and serve the TPLF while they go empty stomach. The same thing will happen for the military. The end of this quagmire would be complete encirclement of the TPLF warlords and get pulled in the streets of Addis Ababa. The TPLF were smart to retreat to Tigray without losing anything of their own. They get their budget from the federal system, their businesses all over the country are running smooth. Their factories continue to get raw materials from the rest of Ethiopia. It is a win-win solution for them.
I cannot understand why Medhane Tadesse is crying for people who overused they power to commit crimes against humanity beyond imagination. The atrocities inflicted on Amara and Oromo youth by the TPLF security is not something to say bygone is bygone. How would you spare Getachew Assefa and Kinfe Dagnew? The former is directly responsible for all deaths and sufferings in Ethiopia. The latter used the Ethiopian resources as his personal account. As a scholar, Medhane Tadesse should have been the first to request for justice to prevail. PM Abiy did not do anything painful to the political leadership of TPLF. Rather the TPLF political leadership is creating unrest in every corner of the country. Medhane Tadesse seems to be nostalgia of the days TPLF had a leading role in the Ethiopian Politics. To us when he says the significance of EPRDF has gone down, it means he is weary of the fact that TPLF role is diminished.
Medhane Tadesse thinks medemer and change being advanced by the new PM are key instruments to decrease the significance of EPRDF. By EPRDF significance, Medhane meant to say the role TPLF played in EPRDF is curtained. But what EPRDF we Ethiopians are grieving for? TPLF’s falling from its grace when the majority of the people are second class citizens? Ethiopians do not really care if an EPRDF that deprived them of their basic rights is gone to its grave yard at this time in their political history.
Medhane Tadesse is right when he says the value and principles of TPLF will remain implanted in the Ethiopian politics for years to come. Not only that, Today’s alliance will likely change in many ways while this basic TPLF political values remain the same. Medhane Tadesse continues, “due to the recent actions coalition politics, at least at the level of the EPRDF, has lost its fundamental values, organizing principles or standardized procedures.” Medhane Tadesse’s analysis here is skin depth at best on this issue. Ethiopia had never had coalition governing party. It was a gathering of pseudo political parties with an internal relationship of Ashiker ena geta. It was only one giant armed party, the TPLF that was the maker of everything in Ethiopia: the constitution, boundary demarcation, laws enacting, military and security leadership, etc). The real coalition politics is going to manifest itself from now on if democratic principles are to be the governing principles from here on. I would not be surprised to see two major coalitions, if ethnic politics is the playing field. If Oromo nationalists gain power through the ballot box the future alliance will likely be Tigray-Oromia on one front and Amara-south Ethiopia-Afar on another front. Tegaru elites and TPLF will remain against the interest of Amaras for unforeseeable future because their thesis of Ethiopianism is solely based on annihilation of the Amara.
Medhane Tadesse regrets the perpetual delegtimization and criminalization of security institutions as a weapon of political contestation. It is undeniable fact the Ethiopian military and security worked in tandem to suffocate the opposition, kill and imprison Ethiopians who demanded their rights. There is no tears we can shade now for these idiots. They have committed crime against humanity as an organised institution. The Ethiopian people are generous for not demanding military leaders to face justice except pointing fingers to selected few. Medhane should know better the sole guiding principle for a military should be keeping law and order and not imprisoning political opponents
Medhane Tadesse’s undermining of the much adored leader of Ethiopia is an insult to our intelligence. Medhane Tadesse portrayed PM Abiy an unknowledgeable and inexperienced leader when he says “populists and activists are weak at governing partly because they devour a jumbled understanding of intricate issues.” Medhane is articulating this hasty generalization simply because his cousins at Mekelle are not allowed anymore to have heavy hands in Ethiopian politics the way they acted during Hailemariam Desalegn. Our worry about PM Abiy’s leadership is he is doing too little to curb TPLF’s wild lawlessness Tegaru elites are grieving now that TPLF lost power because it did not fight tooth and nail siding injustice. Amara elites have been grieving against the 1960s Amara student activists indicating they were the Trojan horses for northerners and Oromo fundamentalists so much so creating conditions for the current misery of Amara people. Where does the truth rest on?