November 13,2016Video credit : Walta
Tuat Pol Choi was a high ranking government official and governed Gambella in the final years of the administration of Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam. Before that he served in different capacities in the government.
After the fall of Derg, he fled Ethiopia and lived in Kenaya, Sudan,and Eritrea ,among others, and spent years mobilizing forces to resist the regime in power. A few months ago, and midst wide spread protest across many parts of the country, he made headline in state controlled media when he claimed that he abandoned armed struggle and returned to Ethiopia to struggle peacefully. And he was portrayed as leader of Ethiopian Unity Patriotic Front- which critics say is not existent at this point in time.
His action certainly angered many Ethiopians. People who have known and worked with Tuat Pol Choi during the years when an armed insurgency was attempted from Sudan and Eritrea were furious about him. In the Amharic edition of borkena, two parts critic of Tuat is already published by people who claim to know him closely.
Based on account from his detractors, indeed it seems the case that Tuat Pol Choi betrayed Ethiopians whom he mobilized for an armed struggle to resist the regime in power in Ethiopia. But they make the point that Tuat Pol Choi abandoned the struggle long time ago and was leading his own personal life in the western world.
Now in Ethiopia, Tuat speaks about his conception of Ethiopian history and his political view when it comes to Ethiopia. As a matter of fact,and from what he says in the video, his understanding of Ethiopian history, remember ethno-nationalist forces drew their political agenda from negativist interpretation of history of Ethiopia, is in line with the views of Ethiopians who detest ethnic politics.
With all the critics against him from his former comrades for his wrongs, he is very lucid and eloquent in his explanation of why the sovereignty and unity of Ethiopia should not be compromised for the sake of ethnic politics. Tuat is critical of ethnic politics and sees no merit in it. He seem to have a rejectionist view of political advocacy for the secession of Oromo from Ethiopia. And logically so.
In a way, his political conviction is in a collision course with the ideology of the regime in power. Will the minority Tigray People’s Liberation Front government tolerate Tuat Pol Choi in the long run is something that time will tell. But it is certainly possible to speculate based on the experiences of political leaders with pro Ethiopian dissenting views; TPLF will not tolerate him unless he is benefiting them in some ways.
Written by Dimetros Birku. Can be reached on twitter : @dimetros