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TPLF activists test water overtly showing penchant for secession as the party struggles to restore dominance

Two TPLF central committee members expelled

Tigray People's Liberation Front _TPLF _Meeting
TPLF chairman Debretsion Gebremichael

February 6, 2017

A decade or so ago, no TPLF elite seem to have thought that imposing economic and political domination is not sustainable in the long term. Worse, after the bold anti-TPLF protest in most parts of the country which significantly weakened the one time master’s of the ruling coalition(especially politically), the party seem to be still re-thinking possible ways of restoring a good measure of economic and political dominance.

The party completed yesterday another round of evaluative meeting in Tigray which took three days and has announced what it called “important decisions.” It is to be remembered that there was another meeting in Last week for “TPLF members outside of Tigray” and it was held in “special zone”, (Addis Ababa) a name that got many politicized Ethiopians mumbling.

The stated motto of the meeting, according to Fana which cited TPLF statement sent to the former, among other things, is to renew the ideals of “spirit of being champion of the people” in addition to discussing regional and national issues. Regionally, “good governance”, “public demands for development” and “democracy” were agenda items, according to pro-TPLF media.

One of the things that the party claims to have accomplished in the latest meeting is evaluation of leadership at zonal level. In that regard, it is announced that “corrective measures” is taken on six members of the central committee but did not give further details on that.

What is known is that four members of the central committee are to receive memo which is meant to serve as a final warning and two other members of the central committee, namely Aregash Beyene and Berhane Kidanemariam, are expelled from the central committee ( has forty-five members.)

TPLF challenges

TPLF, a party that has long lost political legitimacy, is struggling with unprecedented political crisis after its hitherto unregulated power is seemingly checked within the ruling coalition. Oromo Peoples Democratic Organization put up a stern resistance to curtail TPLF political and economic dominance.

Apart from corruption and looting Ethiopia’s resources, TPLF is perceived as an aspiring ethnic-supremacist with no real sentiment, what so ever, for Ethiopian identity. And Ethiopians feel being used.

The resistance to TPLF across Ethiopia is having a spillover effect on its supporters. What appears to be problematic is that its support base entirely constitutes ethnic Tigray and a significant portion of Tigrean speakers, which is about seven percent of Ethiopia’s population, live outside of Tigray region. They seem to be, from what information shared across social media and Ethiopian media outlets, increasingly coming under attack from angry and disenchanted Ethiopians.

TPLF response to the situation in most cases is military which is further complicating the political crisis and aggravating anti-TPLF sentiment.

Secession agenda

The party dropped its official secession agenda well before it took over power in Addis Ababa in 1991 but struggled, the mastermind being the late TPLF chairman (Meles Zenawi), to make sure that a constitutional provision for secession is included in the event that things are not working out its way.

Article 39 of the Ethiopian constitution grants what it calls “nations and nationalities” the right to self-determination including secession.

All the political resistance to it got “over EPDRF grave”, literally, kind of response from the late Meles Zenawi.

Now as it is losing ground to dominate and squeeze Ethiopia economically, a portion of TPLFites are dusting off the secession agenda. Much of what the TPLF doing in that regard is not known but its mouthpieces on social media seem to he setting that agenda on social media. They are covertly calling for secession.

Some analysts tend to think that TPLFites cadres may just be testing the water when they brought up secession agenda. But a considerable number of politicized Ethiopians in social media seem to take the agenda-setting effort seriously and the reaction is unexpected “please go ahead and do it.”

And there are those analysts who seem to think that the secession agenda by pro-TPLF activits is simply meant to keep activists in the opposition camp busy and that TPLF is in fact rushing to snatch “Ethiopian Unity agenda” from transforming parites witin the ruling coalition like Oromo People’s liberation Front. It is meant to be a new strategic approach but the goal is to restore domination and exploitation.

What if the attempt fails and the party is no longer able to manipulate Ethiopia? It is possible that TPLF could push Tigray, which is clearly gullible to TPLF agenda, along the path of secession.

What many seem to ask is whether Tigray will be at peace should it take secession path in view of so many controversial issues including land in the west,south and east of Tigray.

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