Addis Ababa special interest special interest playing car did not work. Reports of disagreement within the coalition are now public. Can TPLF win the next move; full-fledged forceful action?
The situation in Ethiopia is worsening day by day in an unprecedented manner since TPLF took over power. Although unofficially, many universities in the country are essentially closed either due to the ongoing protest against the killings of students or due to fear of ethnic violence which is what happened in one of Tigray’s top-notch institutions of higher learning, Adigrat University, where a student was thrown to his death from students’ building simply because he was of an Amhara ethnicity.
In the south-east of the country, particularly Harar region, 61 Ethiopians of Oromo and Somali ethnic heritage were massacred this past week in the latest string of ethnic violence between the two language groups. 800 houses are burned down. 14,000 residents are displaced.
It has to be noted that humanitarian crisis following reported Somali special police attack on Oromo speaking Ethiopians left over 50 civilians dead and more than 600,000 displaced in the month of September this year. That part of Ethiopia also saw tragedy on this month when Federal security forces killed five family members in their sorghum farm and fifteen others on the streets of Chelenko town when residents from the town protested the killing of an Oromo young man but government has a narrative that protesters in Chelenko were blocking road with rocks to deter the mobility of armed forces. But again, the government claims that it has formed a task force to investigate the matter – probably pretension that government is responding to a call from the international community to hold those responsible for the attack responsible.
The North Western part of Ethiopia, specially Gonder region, has been living repression for nearly two years now after the government militarized the region to suppress popular quest to restore Wolkait and Tegede regions which TPLF forcefully incorporated to Tigray. Unlike the killings in Oromo region of Ethiopia, the killings in this part of Ethiopia are not fully documented and exposed to Ethiopians and to the international community due to imposed communication blackout.
Recent killing in different parts of Ethiopia did not stop the protests as was the case in the past. Many towns in Oromo region of Ethiopia are still protesting. For example yesterday, Ethiopian Satellite Television reported protest and stay at homes in Ambo, Ginchi, Guder, Gendeberet,Bekote, Sendafa, Kena, and Sheno, among others. Most of these places are in close proximity to the capital Addis Ababa, which is not by any means content with the regime in power as it is not less repressed that the rest of the country, if not more. The movement in North West Ethiopia on the issue of Wolkait and Tegede is simmering underneath reorganizing armed struggle to withstand military adventure from TPLF generals. Surprise attacks on government forces are rife in the region. The region of Tigray and Tigray identity is seen as a champion of repression in Ethiopia by virtue of its unwavering support to the TPLF regime.
The international Community weighed accurately the gravity of the situation in Ethiopia and identified that ethnic violence has become a problem in Ethiopia, unlike the past. In its latest statement, the US embassy in Addis Ababa wrote :
- “We encourage the people of Ethiopia to uphold their admirable and longstanding tradition of respect for their country’s ethnic diversity and its tradition of peaceful co-existence, and to seek constructive means to raise concerns and resolve their differences.”
The European Union on its part issued a statement this past week and noted that the ethnic nature of recurring violence in Ethiopia is troubling :
- “Recurring reports of violence in several universities and clashes in different parts of Ethiopia are deeply worrying, in particular as regards their increasingly ethnic nature.”
The statement went a step further to advise the government on how to solve the problem : an inclusive national dialogue with all stake holders.
Individuals with a fairly good knowledge of the political situation and political actors in Ethiopia are recommending national dialogue too. Herman Cohen, former United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, tweeted the following on December 12
#Ethiopia's TPLF leadership should seriously consider requesting US Government mediation to organize a conference among all parties that will produce new democratic dispensation – before law and order collapse completely.
— Herman J. Cohen (@CohenOnAfrica) December 12, 2017
In another tweet on December 13, he reiterated the danger of military action and importance of reconciliation when he tweeted
#Ethiopia government's use of deadly force to deal with civilian opposition is first step to national disintegration. Nation-wide reconciliation exercise is urgently needed.
— Herman J. Cohen (@CohenOnAfrica) December 13, 2017
But the regime in Ethiopia seem to be interested in taking measures that would rather aggravate the already deteriorating political situation than reversing it and put the country in the right direction of unity and reconciliation.
What is standing between TPLF and the task to resolve the political problem in the country is the party’s appetite to maintain its supremacy at the political and economic expense of Ethiopians. The disintegration of Ethiopia is acceptable for TPLF if it is not able to maintain its ethno-supremacist tendency, government power and domination over Ethiopian society and economy.
As part of its last spin before embarking speculated full-fledged forceful action, TPLF tried to pull “Addis Ababa special interest” by tabling discussion in the parliament through Standing Committee for Legal Affairs.
The idea, as everyone has got it, was to entertain Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) on the issue of Addis Ababa special interest to Oromo regional state government and bring the organization into a collision course with Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) as the two parties are now functioning as allies with a potential to transform thier current form of Organization, as hinted by Abadula Gemeda when he was speaking on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) which was celebrated at Oromo Cultural Center in Addis Ababa.
To the shock of TPLF elites, Oromo region Communication Head, Addisu Arega, put a motion asserting that the discussion on special interest is not a priority for OPDO as it is dealing with matters that need urgency following the humanitarian crisis in Harar region of Ethiopia. OPDO members in the parliament supported Addisu Arega’s move and TPLF effort to play Addis Ababa as a divisive political card was killed like that.
The thrity six member EPRDF executive committee meeting which TPLF used to manipulate at will, and some times fiercely, is no longer manipulable either, accourding to emerging reports.
Now TPLF is not left with any other option except intensifying forceful action and it has already started. That is when the political problem in Ethiopia will escalate to a whole new level. It is not hard to speculate that TPLF will never emerge a winner out of it but it will drag the country to a bloody civil war.
Video Credit : EBC
Cover photo : Screenshot from EBC Video
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