In an Amharic statement sent to state and affiliated media today, Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) confessed that its relationship with what it calls “sister organizations” – a reference to ethnic-based parties within the ruling coalition EPRDF- is marked by bickerings and suspicion towards each other. The party has been undertaking months long appraisal and performance evaluation of the nine member executive committee. Consequently, it removed party chairman and two other members (Azeb Mesfin, widow of the late Meles Zenawi, and Beyene Mikru, vice CEO of TPLF parastatal) and elected new ones. The party also announced yesterday that it elected Debretsion Gebremichael, who is deputy prime minister of Federal government, as its chairman.
However, the statement identified neither what led to the change in the relationship within the ruling coalition nor if the problem is related to all member parties in the ruling umbrella organizations, which are fundamentally creations of TPLF, or with selected “sister organizations”. It did not hint the cause of the problem either except that it says TPLF leaders manifested undemocratic and self-serving attitude.
Erstwhile, says the statement, the relationship was based on principles, “struggle” and unity of purpose. Now it is weakened and the leadership is preoccupied with wranglings. The party added that failures of leadership within TPLF contributed to the problem.
TPLF leadership, which it accuses as self-serving, made considerable contribution to the problem by not focusing on clear policies that would ensure equitable redistribution, added the statement, and to be entrapped in a snare set up by “enemies of our federal system”
It also admitted that it failed to ensure equitable redistribution of resources to the people in Tigray.TPLF seem to think that people in Tigray did not benefit from the system as much as they should – a view which is on a collision course with growing disenchantment in the rest of Ethiopia regarding what many Ethiopians believe is a disproportional resource allocation and infrastructure development, among many other things.
The statement also makes a reference and pleas to different segments of the population of Tigray (Youth and women, intellectuals and investors, party members and urban dwellers, among others) that TPLF is aware of the mistakes it did and promises “change.”
TPLF statement also made a plea to the rest of Ethiopia. And that the party will work hard to ensure that Ethiopians are equitably benefiting from the system in the future
Activists based in Ethiopia seem to have a grasp of what the real problem is and as to what the aspirations of Ethiopians are as far as the role of government is concerned. In that sense, the reaction to TPLF statement in social media arguably reflects the views of Ethiopians.
And the reaction is, many Ethiopians need the TPLF to accept that Ethiopians have the right to desire a political change and a leadership ( including the party itself) that has caused so much problem, not just in terms of corruption but also in terms of causing human suffering and deaths of thousands of Ethiopians, should be held accountable and hand over power to the people.
Many tend to see TPLF’s statement as a renewed effort to consolidate itself to perpetuate its brute and ethno-supremacist agenda in an innovative way.
TPLF reform might work in Tigray but the view as much as the rest of Ethiopians are concerned seem to suggest that anything short of fundamental political, structural and economic changes is prone to fail to address popular demands of Ethiopians. And the problem with TPLF is that it tends to see this valid demands as works of “enemy”
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