Tigray government says it is not against the change in Ethiopia while defying and acting lawless towards the federal government
Prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration is facing a serious challenge related to enforcing the rule of law as state and non-state actors are taking the law into their own hands with the aim to achieve their own political goals.
In addition to Somali regional state in the Eastern parts of Ethiopia where dozens of Ethiopians were killed and more than 10 churches burned by special forces (Liyu Hail) and Youth Group’s organized by the region’s president (now detained), Tigray regional state proved to be one of the state actors that posed a threat in terms of resisting federal power and embracing lawlessness which is believed to have intentions of reversing the ongoing reform and political change in the country.
Some senior military generals and former top political leaders currently residing in the region are linked to some of the ethnic based violence in different parts of the country.
On July 31, DW Amharic reported that 40 highly armed men dressed in Ethiopian Federal police uniform were “besieged” as they landed at Alula Aba Nega international airport in Mekelle.
As it turned out, and as reported by BBC, they were members of Federal police force on a mission to detain some of the former senior government officials involved in alleged criminal activity.
In stead of cooperating with the Federal government to defend to the rule of law and the constitution by extension, Tigray regional state rather decided to overpower the Federal police force and detain them – obviously ignoring the sovereign power of Abiy Ahmed’s government. The ground to arrest them was that they “entered Tigray region without the permission of Tigray government.”
The Ethiopian government did not issue a statement regarding the situation nor Ethiopian state media reported about the development although it was on BBC Amharic news.
Yesterday, the same news source reported in Amharic that Tigray region released members of the Federal Police Anti-Terrorist forces and they are reportedly in Addis Ababa.
The source added that the they were detained at “Federal Camp” – seemingly Federal military barrack in the region. And observers say Tigray regional state does not have constitutional power, what so ever, to do that.
BBC Amharic cited the region’s communication head, Redai Halefom, to report that the Anti-Terrorist Task force was “unnecessary since there was nothing that is out of control for the regional government nor the regional government requested help from the Federal government.” The Federal government Anti-Terrorist Task Forces need to have a special order to be in the region, he implied.
“We had to communicate with the Federal government to figure out why they came to Tigray and were made to stay until we reach common understanding with the Federal government,” he added. Now that there is no point for their “stay” in Tigray, we have decided to send them back, Redai Halefom spoke to BBC Amharic. Despite the power to, it seems unlikely to that the Federal authorities flew to Tigray region of Ethiopia without informing relevant authorities in the region and Ethiopians have been questioning the way the regional authorities acted.
Last week, the regional government was engaged in public relation work seemingly to convince Ethiopians that Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is not against the change in Ethiopia.
In a press statement on the “situation of the country”, TPLF Chairman and head of Tigray regional state, Debresion Gebremichael, said, “TPLF will never be a hurdle for change in the country.” His party would rather be ” supportive of reform or change agenda so long as it is based on the constitution of Ethiopia.”
Debresion added that his party is in “good shape” to bring about fundamental change as decided by the party’s central committee.
Meanwhile, there seem to be a sentiment among some political activists that TPLF is playing dead but should never be trusted. They call for the government to take stern measures against corrupt members of TPLF and bring them before the law.
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