What Eritrea Achieved with the Peace Deal with Ethiopia

Amanuel Biedemariam

July 19, 2018             

Peace is not lottery price that you win by gambling. Peace is not something we can buy or barter to get. Peace is not something that is handed as gift. Peace is a decision, a commitment for tranquil, quiet life free from disturbance. Peace is a decision a commitment to life-free from hostilities, wars and violence.

Eritrea suffered mightily due to the unwarranted Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) aggression that held peace hostage for twenty years. The people of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, development agendas of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union were artificially suppressed from conducting regular activities for lack of peace.

The Horn of Africa was in suspense unable to conduct normal business because the TPLF hampered movement of people, goods and services. Trade was halted in the entire region because the minority TPLF regime decided to play zero-sum game to defeat Eritrea by all means. Came Ethio

What did Eritrea try to achieve and achieved with the peace deal?

The number one achievement of the agreement is “wining peace” with Ethiopia! Because peace is catalyst to development, prosperity and stability. Without peace nothing is possible. Peace requires confidence, trust and willingness. Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s call for peace with Eritrea was the right call and the response by President Isais Afewerki shows that Eritrea was waiting for the right partner. The response was swift.

To move forward with the agenda of peace and normalization however, clearing hurdles to peace was crucial. Because for peace to take hold, the implementation of the Border agreement must take center stage.

By signing the agreement, the government of Ethiopia agreed to the full implementation of the Algiers Agreement. Which means, there is absolutely no border issues with Ethiopia from this point forward. Eritrea and Ethiopia share a long boundary, 1033 Kilometers in length. From now-on none of it is in dispute. That is the second most important stage of the agreement.

By ending the dispute, Eritrea and Ethiopia will free money once squandered to protect the boundaries. Both sides can now use the resources once used for armaments to build a future. That is a major immediate achievement. Not to mention the incredible human resources both countries were forced to commit that will now be freed to help develop new found economic opportunities.

It will free the borders. Hence, traditional border control is all that is needed to enable the natural flow of goods and services. That can and will facilitate cross-border trade and at some-point, natural flow of people across borders for personal reasons. 

Because of the tone the leaders set, more than ever, peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia is possible. Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s visit to Eritrea which was immediately reciprocated by President Isaias Afewerki’s historic visit, the reaction of the people on both sides was something that history will revere for a long time because the rapprochement was unlike anything the world has ever seen.  People

The outburst of affection and desire to leave the hostilities behind and look forward was simply unexpected pleasant surprise. None of us were ready for the good news to take place as fast and the way it came about. The rapprochement that took place between Eritrea and Ethiopia is unlike anything we have seen before because it touches so many issues at one time making transition from hostilities to peace-time a lot easier.

The reasons being: A) Eritrea and Ethiopia have clearly identified the obstacle to peace. B) Both people have said enough and rendered the enemy impotent. C) They were hungry for change from the suffering and acrimony. D) They wanted economic freedom and movement. E) They wanted peace to achieve their goals and aspirations.

And for the first time, the stars were aligned, and everything worked-out including the sentiment of the people.

The sentiment of the people of Eritrea was natural when they expressed unreserved affection during Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s visit of Eritrea. The outburst of emotion by Eritrean people was inspiration to the people of Ethiopia that in turn used what Eritrea did as example and received President Isaias with exceptional level of hospitality. Erppl flg

Eritreans and Ethiopians embraced each other, showed love and expressed peace-gestures similarly and expressed it by the way they welcomed their leaders. It was love-fest between two countries in a manner unseen before.

People were glued to their television sets, internet and smartphones for days on-end to witness these historic events. It was full of suspense and intrigue. The possibility that things can go wrong was in the minds of everyone. But what became immediately clear was that the people of both countries were determined to ensure the success of the visits. People took it upon themselves to protect and safeguard the festivities. It was remarkable historic achievement for both peoples. Pppl

The implementation of Algiers Agreement comes with dividends that people in both countries want and for the first time, both leaders are willing to take it upon themselves and took necessary steps to push for normalization.

The third and significant achievement of the rapprochement is the recognition of the Independence of Eritrea by the people of Ethiopia.

The independence of Eritrea in 1991, ushered the fall of Derg and the ascension of the Tigray People’s Liberation front (TPLF) to power in Ethiopia. At the time, and after bloody 17 years of the military rule of Col. Mengistu Hailemariam, the people of Ethiopia were uncertain about the transition that took place. It was unexpected change with unfamiliar leaders. 

Shocked and in denial, Ethiopia moved-on for about six years without processing the transition until the TPLF declared war against Eritrea in 1998. After the war started, it was easy to notice the pent-up emotions that was revealed, albeit deliberately stoked by TPLF in pursuit of its interest. The outburst of emotions in the streets of Addis after Badme was infiltrated by Ethiopian troops was evidence to the point.

At the time, the TPLF managed to bring all Ethiopians against Eritrea. The anger expressed then, the call to take Eritrea back and if that fails to take Assab was the bait TPLF used to keep the anti-Eritrea sentiment and campaign alive.

However, not long after the war ended, the people of Ethiopia recognized the brut nature of the TPLF and its evil agendas. Today, it is safe to say, all Ethiopians and Eritrea have identified their true enemy and have united approach on how to deal with it. And it is quite evident, the TPLF is no match for the collective power of the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia! The TPLF is an island, encircled by powerful peace-loving people on both sides.
It is ironic, for a long time the TPLF used Eritrea as wedge and to galvanize the Ethiopian people. Today, it is safe to say, the desire to get rid of TPLF gangsters is one key reason the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea came together so quickly.

The twenty-year separation, conflicts and, the no war no peace suspense and the negative impact it brought to the lives of both people was good-enough reason to look for alternative and the alternative is peace.

The people of Ethiopia had twenty years to process the fact Eritrea is a nation independent from Ethiopia. Regardless of what some revisionist tries to inculcate in the minds of the youth and the gullible; Eritrea is independent nation recognized by the United Nations as member nation.

Hence, when Dr. Abiy announced he wanted to make peace with Eritrea and followed through with announcement that Ethiopia will implement fully the Algiers agreement and expressed willingness to normalize relations;  the people of Ethiopia embraced it fully without qualifications.

Therefore, implementation of the Algiers Agreement, the call for peace and normalization of relations paved ways for the people of Ethiopia to accept Eritrea as a nation.

That culminated when both countries exchanged leaders for State visits and were both accorded warm welcome. Most significantly, they pushed for normalization quickly and reopened the Embassies.

The flag raising ceremony attended by President Isaias and Dr. Abiy will be remembered Bandera Addisas the most significant turning point in the history of both nations. Reopening the embassy is symbolic because it signifies the resumption of relations between the two countries as sovereign entities.

That is a significant achievement only made possible by unwavering commitment and sacrifices the people of Eritrea made to ensure this day happened. To underscore the significance, one must listen carefully to the announcement President Isaias made on July 13, during Sawa graduation ceremony. He said,

“The prevailing situation in Eritrea and Ethiopia is unique in that it represents the renewed freedom for the two countries.”

The battle against the TPLF and its handlers was continuation of the struggle for independence! Nothing more and nothing less. With the agreement: peace was attained, they agreed to end war, implement the Algiers Agreement, resume bilateral relations, cooperate in many areas especially security and will work for regional issues together.

Conclusion

Peace has it dividends. Travel, economic cooperation, developing bilateral relations, people to people relations, cultural, sport and related activities-based relations etc. Partnering on security matters is incredibly important in thwarting threats of any kind. What has been achieving thus fur is remarkable.

There has been some confusion on social media about the agreements and implementation of it. The reality however, the focus should be on the main issues that were at one time barriers to peace.

That is, to ensure that the borders are defined in accordance with the final and binding ruling and the second and most profound point is to ensure the people of Ethiopia recognize Eritrea as a nation, peacefully. Everything else is a plus.

The people of Eritrea have already proved that they can secure and safeguard the sovereignty of the nation. The security agreement ensures further Eritrean rights to deal with the undesirable threats from within Ethiopia if they come up. Like the extremist groups that the TPLF trained for years.

Hence, now that the Ethiopian issue is settled, and normalization is on track, the future is bright. Eritrea’s quest for freedom free from existential threats is achieved. The people of Eritrea have done incredible job establishing infrastructure and mindset ready for the next phase.

It is not complete, but, now that we-are where want to be, it is time to focus on developing the social, political, economic, physical-infrastructure and develop human resources capacity. It is time ensure Eritrea has a transparent governance structure that reflect the needs of the people. For that to happen, we must all play our roles from wherever we are by contributing whatever to ensure a bright future.

Congratulations the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia for peace. Praise to his Excellency President Isaias Afewerki and His Excellency Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed for charting a new path to peaceful coexistence.

Note: On a previous article, I wrote Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is Another Messenger of TPLF. I admit, I was wrong. And I am glad that I was because it turned out that Dr. Abiy Ahmed is a messenger of peace and love.                                      

Glory to our Martyrs!

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Ambassador Girma Asmerom Embodiment of Valor and Victory

This piece was written on October 8, 2016 to honor Ambassador Girma Asmerom. I am reposting it to honor him in the best way I can because, if there is anyone who deserved to see peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia achieved at the highest level,  it is the late Ambassador Girma Asmerom.   

Ambassador Girma was the anchor of Eritrean community in the United States. He was the glue that set the tone. He coined the phrase “Tighten your belts. ሽጥ መዓንጣ.”

He faced the Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) shenanigans in Ethiopia and challenged all their criminal activities to the day he passed at the UN and as Ambassador.

So, this is my way of saying ,we carried the torch for you. You are with us in spirit. To share the glories by remembering your undying contribution.  Because, it’s hard to forget someone who gave so much. You will be remembered and celebrated along with our martyrs. 

Ambassador Girma Asmerom Embodiment of Valor and Victory

By Amanuel Biedemariam
Ambassador Girma Asmerom’s passing is a great loss for the people of Eritrea. His life was the embodiment of selflessness, bravery, dedication and sacrifices – hallmark of Eritrean grit, stamina and doggedness that propelled the nation to independence against all odds.  Girma1

Ambassador Girma was there every step of the way to oversee Eritrea transition from arduous struggle for liberation to nationhood. Ambassador Girma wore every hat to accomplish the task of achieving independence and beyond.

After independence Ambassador Girma became a diplomat. Most diplomats of the world are trained career professionals – trained in the art of diplomacy to represent their nation. Eritrean diplomats represent Eritrea in unique ways. Ambassador Girma’s responsibilities as a diplomat was unprecedented and different because he served the people of Eritrea not only as a diplomat but as a representative to the cause they fought for decades to bring to fruition. The independence of Eritrea.

It was a symbiotic relationship between Ambassador Girma who fought for independence and wanted to ensure perpetuity; and Diaspora Eritrea that wanted to retain the hard won independence. Perfect marriage. All he needed to do was lead. And he did.

He led by example. He exemplified leadership in the humblest of ways and with humility that disarmed every one that came in contact with him. He embraced everyone with dignity, grace and made them feel at par with him. He was focused and never relented-once or, deviated from message. He was mister consistent-aware of the task-ahead and pursued it doggedly. He worked hard and he was extremely focused. In the process he ensured that people understood what he was doing and what was going on.

Ambassador Girma’s tasks i.e. assignments fell in the most hostile of environments for Eritreans and Eritrean Diplomats in the world namely Ethiopia and the US.
In Ethiopia, Ambassador Girma faced the most disgraceful and barbaric Ethiopian regime that uprooted over 80,000 Eritreans in the most horrific of ways. It was mayhem of the highest order that Eritreans faced. It was ethnic cleansing that will remain seared in the hearts and minds of Eritreans forever and Ambassador Girma was in the middle of it all.

In a manner unseen anywhere, the criminal regime in Ethiopia ransacked Girma’s residence, offices, in complete disregard for international diplomatic-norms and protocol. TPLF violated Eritrea’s diplomatic pouch repeatedly.

This took place in Addis Ababa in the middle of Africa’s diplomatic center. Yet, no one voiced outrage to the outrageous inhuman act perpetrated by the defunct criminal of Tigrian minority regime full of hatred and jealousy toward Eritreans.

A look back at these events provides unique perspective on what Eritreans endured over the last 18 years and the important the role Ambassador Girma played to lift Eritreans and their cause.

Above all, it is a reminder how calmly and eloquently Ambassador Girma managed to capture the essences of the challenges Eritreans faced and how he stirred Eritreans to stand against all the machinations designed to destroy their nation.

After he became Eritrean Ambassador in the US, Eritreans embraced Girma and he became central figure in their lives. He was accessible, and a magnet to all types of Eritreans particularly to those Eritreans that have families forcefully ethnic cleansed out of Ethiopia by the minority Tigrayan regime. He was a source of comfort because he experienced what their families experienced.

Eritrean ambassadorship is a unique responsibility. In Washington DC, no one can point to a single embassy or ambassador that deals with its diaspora communities like Eritrean ambassadors.

As soon as he arrived in DC, Ambassador Girma faced many challenges. The barrage of attacks by international mainstream media that tried to malign and sally Eritrea’s reputation. Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leadership that is determined to see Eritrea on her knees and the propaganda campaigns it waged to that end. Diplomatic challenges posed by US State Department. Above all and importantly, tending to the needs of his constituency, the people of Eritrea.

Ambassador Girma was a true leader of people. A masterful politician, motivator and diplomat who know what to do, how, when, where and why. He was brilliant, witty and funny in the process. He never took Weyane, or the TPLF which he called “WEYIN”  seriously.

He was funny when he addressed TPLF but he was on point. He managed to expose them every step of the way. He challenged them every step and became a thorn on their side. He spoke their language, understood their psyche and tendencies. He was a source of strength to Eritrean Diaspora.

Eritreans are communal people. The life of the people of Eritrea is not individual it is community based. Ambassador Girma understood it well and harnessed the power of the people every step. He conducted regular meetings with the people and communicated the issues effectively. He educated Eritrean Diaspora and showed them where the challenges lay ahead and empowered them. More importantly he showed them how to stand strong “SHE’TT MEAN’TTA” was his favored expression and it means, tighten the belt. Eritreans heeded the message and tightened their belts and marched alone with him as one.

Ambassador Girma anchored the Eritrean community in Diaspora in the most critical time and his legacy will forever reverberate. Ambassador Girma served Eritrea at the UN and other places uniquely and effectively.

His services will be missed. Above all he will be missed. He was towering figure and personality uniquely Eritrean. His experiences in life are unmatched and worthy of emulating. But it is impossible to fill his shoes.

From a star national soccer player, a scholar, to a leadership position in a revolutionary endeavor, a central figure on formulating a national media outlet Dimtsi Hafash, to a diplomat and statesman. He was a star and will remain one in our hearts forever.

Ambassdor Girma lived true Eritrean Tegadalai’s life and as such disregarded his personal life. Ambassador Girma gave his life to Eritrea until his last breath. He enjoyed the challenges, the comradery, educating, the mingling and the Eritrean life. He lived his life with a purpose. He exemplified the meaning of living life with a purpose.

Ambassador Girma achieved Eritrea’s independence and helped lead Eritrea’s effort to ensure a bright future by addressing an existential challenge posed by the minority regime in Ethiopia. He saw their demise but unfortunately it was not God’s will to see their burial.

Hence, it is incumbent upon all Eritreans to ensure that WEYIN is buried deep in the ground in his honor. It is incumbent upon all to aspire to live his legacy and ensure united Eritrean community that stands with Eritrea.

PS: every time I thanked him for his selfless dedication and hard work he always turned it around and told me ” No, Thank You. Salakum.” Meaning, because of you. Ambassador Girma Asmerom, allow me to thank you one more time with this short poem. 

Isayas Welcomes Abiy

 

   Ambassador,
Thank you does not serve you justice,
But, thank you anyway,
For there is no other way
But, I must thank you aware
Gratitude must be repaid
In deed worthy of your honor
Repay you by emulating you
Aspire to be you
In my own individual ways
Centered in the causes you lived for
To honor your life so you can live
So that we can live
Centered and anchored by Eritrea
A nation that will light your torch forever
Deservingly                                      

                     Shet Meanta Prevailed!  ሽጥ መዓንጣ                              

Congratulations for Making Peace Eritrea Ethiopia

Amanuel Biedemariam

Of all the leaders that graced Eritrea and Ethiopia none have meant as much to the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia. This is a moment in African history that will be etched as one of the most significant events because it is a turning point for hundreds of millions of people that suffered needlessly for twenty years now. 

It is hard not to look back. But, it is clear that we need to understand how to move forward by placing the past on the proper context. It is important to look ahead so we can build a future based on mutual respect, understanding, respect of the rule of law and boundaries.

I have no doubt President Isaias and Prime Minister Abiy will chart direction that is future oriented and good for the region. I am optimistic because this feels right. It feels good. And it is welcomed by all. Isayas Welcomes Abiy

There will be challenges but the challenges will be nothing compared to what we went through for over 80 years and specifically for the last 20 years.

The people of Eritrea know and understand peace. The people of Eritrea have worked extremely hard for peace. The people of Eritrea have sacrificed a great deal for peace. The people of Eritrea worked hard, persevered and sacrificed because they understood and knew that this day is inevitable.

This feels much better than acrimony, mistrust, conflict and wars. The hug President Isaias Afewerki and Prime Minister Abi Ahmed exchanged is the hug between the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Congratulations Eritrea Ethiopia. July 8 is peace day for Ethiopia and Eritrea.    

Ethiopia: Tigray, the Lava Lake of the Horn of Africa

Amanuel Biedemariam 

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), is leading the Tigray region to danger of civil strife, economic hardship and isolation. Prior to 1991, the province of Tigray was one of the poorest, most isolated hungry provinces of Ethiopia. After 27 years in power, the TPLF have positioned Tigray to become much worse than what it was prior to 1991.

Today, Tigray is like a volcanic crater filled with lava lake ready to explode, unleash it’s fiery-fury in every direction. It is isolated mountain without connection to the world trapped without direction and leadership. How did it get here?

Before it assumed power in 1991, the TPLF did one-good thing, partnered with Eritrea. That partnership propelled it to power. But as soon as it came to power, the TPLF turned on Eritrea and started a 20-year journey of conflict that led to death of countless youth displacement, hardships and economic losses.  

Certain it can bring Eritrea to her knees, the TPLF gambled on a zero-sum game and unleashed an all-out war to undo Eritrean independence in quest to become the hegemon of the region.

The TPLF exploited the war-on-terror campaign, long-standing US Ethiopia relations and colluded with Washington and unleashed a 20 year-long campaign and failed. TPLF’s actions lead to severed ties between Eritrea and Ethiopia. As result, traditional cross border exchanges, trade relations and social connection got disconnected.

TPLF’s hubris and short-sighted actions affected Ethiopia and the entire Horn of Africa (HOA) negatively. The atrocities in Somalia, Genocides in Ogaden, repression and killing in Oromo are examples of a regime out of control detached with its environs. The TPLF became occupying force of Ethiopia.

The best example of this is Gambela. Those who have not seen the documentary “Dead Monkeys Fear No Hyena,” must see to understand the depth of the penetrating impact the Tigrean led minority TPLF regime’s crimes against humanity openly.

In the name of development and growth, a national park the size of small country was given to Al Amoudi’s company Saudi Star. Which in turn destroyed the forest and turned it into farm-land that produced rice for export. In the process, the indigenous Anuak people were forced out of their homes and became refugees in South Sudan. Majority are displaced inside Ethiopia forced to live in makeshift camps outside their traditional comfort. With their traditional hunting grounds taken, they have no place to hunt and gather. And left with no choice they became workers on the rice fields of Saudi Star.

In Gambela city, the new settlers mostly Tigreans control the security, establishments, communication, transportation and all means of governance. The documentary shows with clarity, what an occupying force looks and acts like. It is a window to the exploitation and its impact on the environment and lives of the indigenous people.

These atrocities are not unique to Gambela. In June 2008, Human Rights Watch chronicled what it called, “War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in the Ogaden area of Ethiopia’s Somali Region,” and released a disturbing report that detailed shocking atrocities the Tigrean minority regime committed in the area. Quote,

“Ethiopian troops have forcibly displaced entire rural communities, ordering villagers to leave their homes within a few days or witness their houses being burnt down and their possessions destroyed-and risk death. Over the past year, Human Rights Watch has documented the execution of more than 150 individuals, many of them in demonstration killings. Hundreds-and possibly thousands-of individuals have been arrested and held in military barracks, sometimes multiple times, where they have been tortured, raped, and assaulted. Confiscation of livestock (the main asset among the largely pastoralist population), restrictions on access to water, food, and other essential commodities, and obstruction of commercial traffic and humanitarian assistance have been used as weapons.”

In Oromia, even if the trigger was the expansion plan of Addis Ababa, years of oppressive measures, exploitation of resources, mass killing, imprisonment and marginalization is what led to the revolts that pushed the TPLF to the brink. The people of Benishangul Gumuz and Omo have suffered similar fate like that of Gambela. According to Genocide Watch Malkamuu Jaatee January 2016 report,

“The direct human rights violation practices of the regime in Oromia and Southern (Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella and Omo) regions of Ethiopia demonstrate atrocities of the land grabbers. For example, human rights violations in the lower Omo valley are characterized by arbitrary arrests and detentions, beatings and mistreatment, governing through fear and intimidation, and violations of economic, social and cultural rights. The government and its police force are cracking down, jailing and torturing indigenous people and raping women in the Omo region.”The Amhara region has been at war with the minority TPLF regime in Gondar, with the flash point Welkait Tegede for a long time. On a report, “Mistaken Identity of the Amhara People and the Quest for Resistance Against TPLF,” Welkait.com, Abinet Hunegnaw wrote,

“Now the most concealed and systematic terror and genocide condoned and sanctioned by a domestic born regime against the Amhara is in full swing since 1991 unabated. The past 25 years transformed Ethiopia in a tumultuous and complicated way into a living hell for each and every Amhara. The TPLF junta of Ethiopia has identified the Amhara as the number one enemy of the Tigryan people that must be dealt with harshly until it gets into the status of a dissipated, broken and weak, minority that won’t recover to pose any challenge to a future independent greater Tigryan state. This very genocidal hatred against the Amhara is officially stated by the TPLF manifesto of 1978. Since that moment on, the Woyane Tigryan ethno centric junta opened an all-out war against the history, culture, tradition, language, political and economic wellbeing and the very existence of the Amhara people.”

Similar events have been taking place in Afar region where armed rebellion against the regime raged for years. According to reports railroads from Djibouti to Addis Ababa was disconnected by people in the region demonstrating against the regime. African Intelligence magazine reported,

“Confrontations like this are a frequent occurrence in this region, where Afars oppose being expelled from their ancestral land, being displaced and the shortage of water points for their livestock along the River Awash. So far, all their complaints to the federal authorities have been to no avail.”On April of 2014, The Afar People’s Party released a statement condemning,

“displacement of thousands of Afar pastoralists continues due to land grabbing for   Woyane affiliated investors in vicinities Afdera, Dallol, Teru and along the Awash Valley The pastoralists have been evicted to desert areas without access to water and other facilities.”Does Tigray Have a Regional Partner or Friends?
The TPLF divided Ethiopia ethnically and used the military as tool of occupation. TPLF’s military became mercenaries for hire to western led initiatives. The TPLF made billions from Western interests in Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan to mention some.

The TPLF is expansionist, opportunist entity that lacks morality, humanity, humility, a sense of nationalism and dignity. Many have said TPLF is smart organization. They say TPLF has transferred Ethiopia, look at the high-rise buildings, the economy is growing 11% and so on. However, TPLF is the dumbest group of people in the history of Ethiopia and the region.

The only reason they came to power was because of Eritrea’s support. And the first thing they did was they picked a fight against Eritrea and the Oromo. As result, they lost Eritrea as a partner and the people of Oromia have waged a struggle since.

The TPLF failed to establish partnership with all of Ethiopia’s ethnic regions. It failed to establish friendship with countries in the region with exception to Sudan because it is the only lifeline Tigray has, and Djibouti Ethiopia’s main access to sea. The TPLF is loathed by Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan.

In simple terms, Tigray is at odds on the East with Afar, on the south Welkait, and in the north Eritrea in fundamental ways. In Welkait dispute over land, in Afar dispute over land, and with Eritrea dispute over land. Everywhere in Ethiopia the TPLF is not welcome. Gambela, Oromia, Benishangul, Omo, Ogaden and everywhere else. And it is all about land-grab and the resources.

To provide perspective, we can compare the Derg led by Col. Mengistu Hailemariam and the TPLF EPRDF regime on how they handled land, and its implication to Ethiopia on a very simple level.

The Derg told Ethiopians, the land is yours and you can farm it. Land to the tiller. As result the farmers, the villagers supported Derg, chanted revolutionary slogans and supported his war efforts with nationalist fervor.

TPLF on the other hand, took away their land (known internationally as Land-Grab) and leased it to Agro-industrialist multinational corporations and turned the aborigines into migrant farm-workers in their country and own ancestral land. TPLF’s incessant appetite for land has placed it at odds with all the countries in the region and ethnic nationalities in Ethiopia.

How Did TPLF Serve Tigray?
Tigray is a mystery to the outside observer. Only the people of Tigray know how well or badly Tigray is doing. There are reports of development, new highways, universities, airports and industries. The people of Tigray, at least looking from the outside in-the-Diaspora, live dual identities. In one hand strong sense of Tigray nationalism and when approaching the national issue, they look for Tigray bent. Their websites such as Aigaforum and Tigraionline have shown this for years.  

For over 24 years, there has been silence by the people of Tigray. Little or no opposition to what the TPLF does or failed to do was aired publicly. Since the Oromo-protests begun however, there have been numerous public outcries by Tigreans at least in the diaspora.

They complained TPLF has turned Tigray into a military garrison where soldiers from all parts of Ethiopia are coming and having children with Tegaru. They complain of hardship, marginalization and thought protection from the government because they claimed establishments owned by Tigreans were targeted by demonstrators everywhere in Ethiopia and left their business and were forced to return to Tigray. Obviously, there is a precedent TPLF-set when it ethnic cleansed 80,000 Eritreans from Ethiopia. As the sayings goes; what is good for the goose is good for the gander. What goes around comes around.

The reality is, no matter how well Tigray is doing, without peace and partnership it will fail. This understanding was missing from the leaders of Tigray.

The TPLF’s grand-plan is to dominate the region and Ethiopia by controlling the Red Sea. TPLF is shortsighted and arrogantly believed it will defeat Eritrea. Their entire focus became on how to defeat Eritrea. They have targeted Eritrea militarily, socially, politically, diplomatically, economically and waged major public relations campaigns designed to vilify Eritrea, for years.

TPLF waged cultural wars and attempted to dilute Eritrean cultures as Habesha. The TPLF created a movement called Agazian movement focusing on Tigray and Eritrea. They called it Tigray Tigrigni. They aimed to weaken Eritrean nationalism using many tactics. They targeted Eritrean youth, music and ways of life. To undermine Eritrea as nation, they are coming up with all kinds of names like Tegaru Eritreans and have been making claims that Eritrea is Tigray openly. 

The campaign against Eritrea drained Tigray and placed it on a dangerous path. For their grand-plan to work Eritrea must be defeated. But that is not the case. To the contrary Eritrea weathered the storm. Tigray on the other hand is at odds with itself and Ethiopia over Badme and everything else. The trajectory is not looking good.

What Next for Tigrai?
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front misled Tigray for years. The TPLF created identity crisis in Tigray. Article 39 of the Ethiopian constitution is a reminder that the reason for the article in the first place was Tigray Manifesto of 1978 that ensured the secession of Tigray if need be. Hence, the people of Tigray have always had this in their mind when they see the future of Tigray. Celebrate Tigray   

With this in mind disparate advantage was accorded to Tigray region.  According to Jawar Mohamed,

“Ever since the TPLF came to power, there has been a greater attempt to economically develop the Tigray region before the rest of the country. It is a common belief that the economic, bureaucratic, security and religious institutions of the central government hierarchy have been monopolized by Tigrean elites.” 

They thought to develop Tigray at the expense of everyone else in the region. As the earlier comparison between Mengistu Hailemariam and TPLF exposed; Derg embraced the peasant, the masses, the proletariat. To the contrary, TPLF, an organization that is supposed to be Marxist ended up working against the masses by taking resources away from the people. 

But the gravest mistake they made was when they picked a fight against Eritrea. One thing they forgot, overlooked and underestimated is the resolve of the people of Eritrea, the brilliance of Eritrean government and her leadership. They forgot how EPLF’s long memory and far sighted approach worked. They believed their temporary partnership with the West will suffice and see them through. They thought if they brought Eritrea to her knees, control the Red Sea, they can control Ethiopia and the region indefinitely. They dreamt big.

In the process what was lost was the reality, respect for the rule of law, give and take. They believed they are above it-all, and if they cannot get their way they acted like spoiled child threw tantrums, threats and attempted to intimidate. They forgot how to communicate with respect. Their communication became a PR ploy of one-upmanship. They flexed their muscle and threatened regime change, war etc. all the time. 

This created identity crisis inside Tigray at appears. When it served them, nationally-made decisions were praised but, when they felt the decision did not go their way they rejected it.

The most glaring example of this is the latest decision by the new appointed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The announcement that Ethiopia will abide by the Algiers Final and Binding Agreement was met by heavy protests inside Tigray. In reaction to the protest, spokesperson of the Tigray region Mr. Redai Halefom, in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA) rejected PM Abiy’s declaration completely. He said we have to have dialogue with Eritrea first. 

Hence, the people of Tigray must come to grips with the reality of the situation. The TPLF has lost all its marbles one by one over the years. Its upper hand no longer exists in Washington. The people of Ethiopia fear TPLF no more.

TPLF’s economic prowess was due to the businesses it owned and international investments in various parts of Ethiopia. China announced it will scale back investments because they see what is going on in Oromia, and other places. The people have assumed ownership of their lands and resources. That denies TPLF economic advantage it enjoyed for long. The TPLF has bankrupted Ethiopia. There is no money.

There is myth that TPLF is still in control of the intelligence apparatus and military. It takes money to run intelligence, but most importantly, intelligence to what end. The people have taken over. They have assumed power.

The TPLF, Malelit, is an organization without principle full of personalities that are corrupt deceitful, embezzlers, profiteers that exploited Ethiopia and the region. Lying, cheating, deception, killing, torture is engrained deep into the culture of Weyane. The people of Tigray must come to grips with this reality quickly.

Concluding Remarks
The wars, the No-War-No-Peace campaign TPLF waged against Eritrea ended up hurting Tigray more than Eritrea. Eritrea has prevailed. Furthermore, the people of Ethiopia fear TPLF no more. Therefore, if the people of Tigray want to live in peace with the people of Eritrea, the region and Ethiopia; they must come to grips with the reality detailed in this piece. 

It will take miracle to extricate Tigray from this conundrum and place it on the right direction. But first, the people of Tigray must recognize their future hinges on one move and that is, in order to move forward they must abandon the TPLF. They must side with the people, denounce the TPLF and pray that that is enough.

This author has in numerous occasions penned the danger the people of Tigray can face if they remain on this path. 

https://www.tesfanews.net/ethiopia-tplf-dead-buried-meles-zenawi/

https://www.opride.com/2010/01/12/ethiopia-nationalism-mixed-heritage-and-its-consequences/

 June 11, 2018

Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Chief Messenger of the TPLF

Amanuel Biedemariam

Eritrea, anyone who praises Dr. Abiy Ahmed for announcing the acceptance of Badme EEBC Algiers agreement ruling is truly naïve and short sighted. Abiy is nothing but an errand boy regurgitating what TPLF tells him to say.

And those Ethiopians touting Abiy’s gestures are fooling themselves. Because the TPLF is using him to do their dirty deed. In fact, Ethiopia is in grave danger now because, after TPLF hands Badme over, Eritrea will pose no threat, supposedly. That is why they keep saying the onus is on Eritrea to reciprocate. To be good. That is why you hear them say the ball is on Eritrea’s court now repeatedly. This is design to put pressure back on Eritrea, so they can be left alone without external threat.

This move will allow Weyane to focus on Ethiopia and unleash what Elias Amare called “TPLF’s Strategy of Chaos.” They are going to unleash their arsenal to dominate Ethiopia and loot for as long as they can at best. And if they can’t, use article 39 to become independent. The biggest prize they are after is to stake a claim on Wolkait Tegede.

In the meantime, privatize whatever they can, reassume ownership via phantom rich-business people, companies and foreign entities to earn hard currency that they will in turn use to finance their evil deeds. In other words, maintain ownership of the revenue streams such as Ethiopian Airlines while the country is insolvent. 

They have bankrupted the nation. The banks are empty to the point, even the depositors are not able to withdraw their money.

On May 3, 2018, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia and Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir agreed on a deal allowing Ethiopia to own a stake in Sudan’s Port Sudan. According to Reuters, Quoting Meles Alem spokesman for Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry who said,

“The leaders of both countries agreed to develop Port Sudan together. This deal entails that Ethiopia will be a shareholder of the port as well.”

What benefit does Port Sudan give Ethiopia considering the distance? None. The TPLF made Dr. Abiy sign the agreement in the name of Ethiopia. Tigray is the only Region that can benefit from this agreement because Port Sudan is closer to Tigray while it is very far to the central part of Ethiopia. Therefore, not economically feasible for the nation. What I find interesting is the fact that little or no mention is done by Ethiopians about this.

I don’t know why, people are so gullible and willing to come up with crazy praises for Abiy someone who has been and remains agent of TPLF. Particularly, someone with Eritrean blood in his hand during the Badme war.

To bring peace and development to the Horn of Africa, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front must be dismantled, and all the party members and supporters must face the people. Because they are responsible for over 20,000 Eritrean lives, displacement and twenty years of hardship. They are responsible for countless Ethiopian and Somali lives.

June 7, 2018