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HomeEthiopian NewsWar is inevitable,says a Journalist originally from Tigray region of Ethiopia

War is inevitable,says a Journalist originally from Tigray region of Ethiopia

Is civil war truly inevitable in Ethiopia?

December 17,2018

Abraha Belay
Photo : SM from Abraha Belay page
Abraha Belay, who is based in Seattle, is a journalist by profession and owns, an online Ethiopian news portal.

Like some critical voices from Tigray region, he has been rejecting Tigray Peoples Liberation Front’s (TPLF) assertion that there is no distinction between this political organization and people in the region.

Now, he is sounding alarm about impending sort of civil war in Ethiopia.

“It is hard to write on such topic out of the blue. It is worrisome. It is a matter of life and death,” are the sentences with which he began his facebook update, he wrote it in Amharic, which he shared yesterday.

But the title he used was bold and to the point: “State of Ethiopian Affair is now clear, war is inevitable!”

Debretison Gemremichael, chairman of TPLF and Tigray regional state president, has been traveling to different parts of Tigray and has conveyed the message he wanted, added Abraha. Despite the pretext for his travel was visiting development projects, his cardinal mission was “to prepare people for the inevitable war,” he wrote.

Noting that TPLF’s chairman has been condemning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s reform moves, the journalist quoted him as saying “The Federal system in under deconstruction and the constitution is violated.”

Debretsion also reportedly told people in different parts of Tigray that TPLF has been “foiling attacks on itself and the people of Tigray.” And he went on to tell people in Tigray: “We are capable not just to defend ourselves but defend others.”

Speaking about the next move, president of Tigray r described it as “to fight back threat from left and right, and rescue the federal system for which we paid much”,according Abraha Belay’s writing, which may mean war.

Expressing his concern about the people of Tigray, the owner of Ethiomedia argues that it has been 40 years since the TPLF had effective control of Tigray without intervention from the center.

“Not sure if it is lack of power or ‘they will not do it’ sort of conviction on the part of Dr. Abiy’s team, there seem to be no preparation to rescue the people of Tigray from TPLF, and that is what TPLF wants. 90 percent of farmers in Tigray live subsistence life and do not know politics. If they know anything, it is TPLF’s propaganda indoctrination, and they are not aware of Team Abiy’s change for peace, democracy, justice and national dignity,” he added.

My worry is, he continued, Dr. Abiy might unknowingly repeat Derg’s, which was colonel Mengistu’s government, mistake. He reminds Abiy’s administration that Derg excessively overlooked TPLF.

And he warns that

    “…TPLF has always the habit of projecting itself as the underdog to its perceived enemies. This helps the rival not to prepare adequately because of the wrong perception that the enemy is too weak and can be dealt with easily.”

His concern with regard to the peasantry in Tigray is that it is impoverished and could be easily tricked and mobilized by TPLF. If Debretison’s team hands out a uniform and a rifle to farmers, throwing a little party slaughtering an ox, and beat the drum “Wufer Tebeges” (war song), it could be seen as a miracle from heaven for the unemployed peasantry, and may be even seen as an “opportunity.”

Some opposition politicians from Tigray region are also concerned about TPLF’s “mobilization for war” kind of activity. Aregawi Berhe was one of the founders of TPLF over forty years ago but abandoned it in the 80’s after he fell out with leaders in the party on political grounds. Now he is the leader of Tigrean opposition. Speaking to VOA Tigrigna service, as reported by Ethiopia Observer, he labeled TPLF’s assertion that “the anti-corruption campaign is targeting Tigreans selectively” as distortion of truth and reality.

He is not alone. When Andom Gebreselassie, one of the respected leaders in the ethnic Tigray opposition group, Arena-Tigray, spoke out against the TPLF leaders’ mantra that “Tigray is selectively targeted” this week during a town hall meeting in Mekelle,where Bereket Simon made a presentation, OLD TPLF ideologues like Sebhat Nega and his cohorts silenced him making noises and claps.

It seems like the war is an escape route from culpability for TPLF leaders and they seem to be capable of mobilizing Tigray for it.

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  1. The problem in Africa is simple. All African leaders with the exception of one or two (literally) are straight out self-aggrandized individuals for power and money. They can hypnotize an entire nation by rhetoric but always supported by brute force that paralyzes the entire nation in fear to its bones. And it is not limited to ordinary Africans. African Intellectuals too are the instrument of African Dictators for obvious mutual benefit. And if, by some safety reason, the Intellectuals are out of their countries, they are always at stand-bye for a safe re-entry, thus to occupy profitable positions and power. Usually, however, it does not happen that way. Hence, they vegetate in foreign countries, always dreaming for that illusive profitable position in their underdeveloped dear birth place. In the entire cockeyed process, the POOR PEOPLE of AFRICA exist [NOT LIVING] in sub-human level, waiting for their merciful ending, six feet under the ground. THAT IS AFRICA – a Continent correctly categorized as Hell for its people, but Heaven for hungry colonial countries for rich mineral resources and play ground for their hunters, as well as for another sources of richness. “CRY, MY BELOVED AFRICA”

  2. @Rezen, it’s not just a “problem in Africa,” it’s wherever poor people are desperate for a savior.
    Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Asia are a good example, race is not a marker for greed or brutality.

  3. All African people they don’t learn from the paste. They believe in what the stupid leader said. They know the wickets part of the people (they divide tribes, language, and so many things ….) The people are they take it granted what ever they said. Don’t trust any African leaders or actives . we have to speak up.
    What PUYIN says is true. “Africa is just a cemetery for Africans”. what we learn from this ?

  4. I take your point, Dodger. But it is not a consolation to us, Africans [at least, it shouldn’t be]. We, Africans, should aspire TO THE VERY BEST that WE CAN think of — not to the lowest denominator. The question will thus be: WHAT IS THE BEST for AFRICA? It is in this context that we expected our indigenous scholars of the highest education, with the top most academic degree, to be the vanguard of Africa, not as mimickers and pretenders, with fancy neckties, but as LEADERS for the enhancement of African culture, sociology, political, technological advancement etc. Alas! We failed — and failed miserably, with in-depth INFERIORITY COMPLEX. That is when we take refuge in “CRY, MY BELOVED AFRICA” being faintly aware what COLONIALISM has done to our PSYCHE from its depth.

  5. What garbage artcle you donkey Amhara will never FOOL Tigreans ever again like you did with rest Ethiopia ethnic groups. The enemy of Ethiopia are Amhara Elites and the extremist racist fascist political party. We will never forget to what you did to Tigreans living in Gondar mark these words all you donkey Amhara son’s.

  6. I must tell you something that people like you are real shame to society and also to your own country. Rather than staying inside the country and fighting for justice you are trying to derail a country which was in grip of one of the most corrupt leader in Ethiopia. He was also an Ethiopian first and Tigrian later. Did you have a stamp on your body of being Tigrian when you were born. God had sent a human being who later became a shame to fuel his own secret ambition. You are enjoying American Hospitality . Keep doing so. Since you have left your country and chose an easy life so you must shut up your mouth. All those writing mindless comments about Africa must also refrain themselves from generalisation of terms.

  7. Indeed TPLF the CANCER of the Horn will try to use its last breath to create mayhem and blood shed, Tigray people should rise up and not give in to these terrorist after all they have the worst deal of them all while the likes of Debre Tsion and clique have enriched themselves but Tigray population is as ever more poor and still collecting crumbs form aid agencies.

  8. The problem is PRIDE. And pride comes before the fall. Wait few more weeks or months. Some of these warlords will start fleeing the country. After all, they have transferred their stolen money to foreign banks.

  9. Yap same old mentality from Africa. When are we going to change for the sake of the millions. If you love war, it will come to you. Im not denying some war loving analysis but I personally will not attract by over thinking about the so called African war. Dr Abiy from my understanding is a kind of man who will not attract war even if he could not deny war is natural. This old African love for war, the primitive way of dealing with things is not the style of our PM. We will see how it goes when the people who predicted war start it and the other side is just passive and has no what so ever to go for war/ battle. One can not start war unless the other side is willing to go as well.

  10. TPLF mafias were creating a lots of damage to Tigray and innocent Tigrayans as well, as a Tigrayan I support for their arrest. But when you not arresting the mob gangs who killed and displaced Tigrayans, how in the world do you hunt a suspect criminals.

    Rule of law should be respected.

  11. TPLF is literally an organized gang, a group of bandits and criminals who currently is situated between a devil and a deep sea. TPLF wants another 27 years to lead Ethiopia and if not Ethiopia has to be erased from the map of the world. That is history. That will never happen again and TPLF who cut Ethiopia,s head and neck and who made the most populous nation in the world with out sea port is on its death bed while the people of Ethiopia are preparing its wake and burial and send it to the black hole of the universe.

  12. Dear Colleague:

    René Lefort’s message conveyed by Prof. Paulos Milkias

    After I sent the article by Ethiomedia editor: Abraha Belay which predicts war would inevitably be fomented by the TPLF, (as I did to you to gauge your response,) René Lefort, one of the foremost Ethiopianists and author of the now famous monograph Ethiopia: An Heretical Revolution, sent me the following letter. When I asked if he does not mind my sharing his views with colleagues, he replied in the typical Ethiopian fashion: “ ችግር የለም!” So, here is his rejoinder to Abraha for all that it is worth:

    Dear Paulos,

    The article of Abraha Belay is far-fetched: it relies on his own (wrong) interpretation of what Debretsion says and on his misreading of the Tigrean peasantry of today.

    I spent one week in Mekele during the first week of October. I had a lot of discussions with rank and file TPLF members: some leaders too, and also peasants around Mekele.

    Abraha writes: “Ninety percent of farmers in Tigray live subsistence life and do not know politics. If they know anything, it is TPLF’s propaganda indoctrination, and they are not aware of Team Abiy’s embrace of peace, democracy, justice, and national dignity.” That’s completely wrong. First, these peasants are certainly not as “backward” as Abraha describes them to be; (a constant error among a lot of Ethiopian “intellectuals.”). Second, they complained a lot, publicly, against the TPLF during the last years, which has been one of the factors which led to the TPLF crisis. Third, they are well aware of what Abiy has done, no more and no less than the peasants I have interviewed in the Amhara region during my last visit there. But now their position has changed. They told me and repeated to me that they fear “Amhara expansionism” (connected with Wolkait and Raya.) In that regard, they were emphatic in saying: “the TPLF is our only and ultimate shield.” Thus, TPLF could certainly mobilize the Tigreans for a possible war, but not on the grounds suggested by Abraha.

    Abraha paints the TPLF leadership as warmongers who will “inevitably” become catalysts of a civil war in Ethiopia. But at this very time,the civil war is already ragging between Oromia and Beni Shangul, between Oromia and Somalia, in the Gondar-Quemant area, etc. but certainly not in Tigray proper.

    As for Abraha projecting the TPLF as warmongers who will “inevitably” become igniters of a civil war in Ethiopia, it is far from the impression I got during my stay in Mekele. The TPLF is now clearly on the defensive and completely disoriented. It doesn’t know what to do to counter what it calls the “cornering” of Tigray. It never even dreams of gaining the commanding position it had before the ascent of Abiy to the pinnacles of power.

    Based on responses I got while there, I don’t believe, as asserted by Belay and the majority of Ethiopian politics observers, that the TPLF and Getachew Assefa, in particular, are behind all the turmoil in Ethiopia. In actual fact, the TPLF leadership are essentially grounded and are busy sorting out local disruptions and power conflicts. Thus, the TPLF, in my opinion, will not go to war except perhaps, and only, if it feels it has no other choice: It will for example definitely go to war if Addis Ababa tries to interfere in the internal affairs of Tigray which the TPLF considers its turf. It is categorically ready to resist, Addis Ababa’s attempts to impose a decision that would force Tigray to cede Raya and/or Wolkait to Gondar.



    PS By the way, it would be very interesting to disseminate information regarding the most recent meeting in Mekele in which Bereket, Sebhat, etc. participated in an “international” language If journalism is to be as professional in Ethiopia as it is expected to be. The major press media in Ethiopia (Addis Standard, Reporter, Addis Fortune, etc.) should have by now published long narratives and analysis about this meeting.


    My colleague from the Department of Political Science and International Relations of Addis Ababa University – Dr. Solomon Gofie asked me in another email communication what my personal view about Abraha’s analysis is. My response is as follows:

    Dear Dr. Solomon
    I think we can ride the impending storm and survive if our politicians move warily, but as a political scientist, I am tempted to stretch the matter a little further. The previous leadership that enriched itself through graft during the last 27 years will ultimately lose the battle but they may in the process unleash ethnic-based balkanization similar to post Stalinist Soviet Union and authoritarian controlled Yugoslavia which suddenly erupted in the wake of reform and liberalization similar to that of Abiy’s. Look what is happening in the Ethiopian Somali and Oromia regions, the Benishangul region, the Wolayta, and Sidama zones, even today in the south Borana zone. That was exactly what these nihilists planned for when they subdivided Ethiopia into Bantustans. The currently subdued cabal may face a demise but the damage would not be limited to the power hungry and greedy minions of Meles Zenawi. It will, as I am sure you agree, take the poor people of Tigray down into the Abyss of unfathomable misery which all fair-minded Ethiopians including you and I do not want!
    Paulos Milkias Ph.D.
    Professsor of Political Science
    Concordia University
    Montreal, CANADA

  13. It is greed and selfishness that drove TPLF to start past wars and the new war will be no exceptions however now the whole world respects Abiy and the Woyanes have no friends.

    The U.S. is about to sanction most of the TPLF leaders for corruption and embezzlement and Isias is ready and eager to teach them a lesson.

    Woyanes will be the biggest losers as the people of Tigray will eventually learn that they are making them a sacrificial lamb to keep their ill-gotten wealth and power.

    By the way, to strangle TPLF, Abiy need to close the roads from Addis, Sudan, and Eritrea and that may even take care of TPLF.

    At last the people of Tigray will be free and join their bretherns in Ethiopia to enjoy the reform started by Dr. Abiy to transform Ethiopia politically and economically.

  14. Distorting the realities, that the military junta DERG was removed by continuous struggle of all Ethiopians around the Country, that fact or credit was snatched by wayane of Tigray, and it was blown out of any proportion because Wayane ruled, the last 27 years, under extreme rudeness, in cruel brutal way, nobody dare to tell the true.
    It is a well known fact that the people of Tigray led by Wayane, and backed by Eritrean liberation front, cover the lion share, mainly because better organized and the backing of the Eritrean force.
    We shouldn’t make any mistake about those struggles and the fall of one man rule dictatorship Mengistu’s, it was considered like a dead man walking, in its final stage, because of the resistance across the Country.
    Wayane walked into the capital Addis Abeba welcomed as Hero, but that genuine welcoming heart from the city dweller never been accepted by wayane as a sign of peace. it didn’t took them long before they start vindictive measures against the city dweller and all across the Country.
    Today as a deja vus, a war drums is being beaten again, everyday in the province of Tigray, a never ending animosity, hostility against its own brothers, not too long ago 80000 brothers sisters died not to far, north of their province.
    This time they want and they have an ardent, warm-blooded desire to face their west, south and eastern brothers, for a war where no body will come out winner.
    For 27 years because their fear, they amass huge military war machine in one province Tigray because of their fact-full guilt.
    The rest people, in Ethiopia land will never declare war against the innocent poor people of Tigray, known to be God fearing Ethiopian, always victimized by its so called Tigrean intellect. Similar situation also successfully avoided once before, in the past.
    They’re telling everybody that, they posses a proven track record about winning against their own brothers, in actuality they have none, when it comes against true invading enemy.
    We beg you to give it up, enough is enough, we had had too many death and bloods on our soil, be your own judge, before the dooms day.

  15. It is amahar who want to invade tigray . And this tribe is know in robbery and massacre if you study the history of Zerayacob and Fasilides and other . they claim they do it for the sake of thier religion and Church but historically it was false. It was out of greed and barbarity they killed many in debrebirhan and Gondar.Amhara also claim to be the mother of Ethiopian culture and creator of Ethiopianism by stealing the history and patent of Tigray or other provinces.Amahra handed down metet and ganen mesab and other sorts of evil to the country .

  16. Weldu yeken jib,Luke you always nag people because you have no heart and brain , nobody here accuses people as whole ,I love tegaru sad my family too ,but your likes are empty headed try to go school or ask your family how to respect that is why people’s are angry and ask for war just because of your likes mr .yeken jib.

  17. I came few weeks ago from Ethiopia. What i have observed was Ethiopians are making ready for a Civil war, People from outside my not understand what is really happening. It is sad to see when a poor country like Ethiopia will go to bloody civil war again.

    I thought the next war in Ethiopia will be war against poverty and backwardness and I became a part of that by investing in sectors where it is going to bring social and economical development but that was all a nice dream.

    God bless the people of Ethiopia and the country

  18. Regime change from Zimbabwe to Iraq has done little to remedy the pressing problems that are ubiquitous to developing economies. TPLF has long been a magnet of criticism and yet, when asked about about the “Day After” scenario, critics cannot offer a competing vision that has worked elsewhere. Ethiopia is a deeply impoverished state and it has been, irrespective of whether it was ruled by autocrats, dictators or aspiring democrats. The very least that people need is security.

  19. Ethiopians, Ethiopian-X and Friends of Ethiopia…Please, please stop fanning the flame of hate and violence. Let love and peace reign over Ethiopia. Ethiopia is tired…she no longer have the blood to shed.


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