TPLF 44th anniversary celebration in Mekelle united purged faction with current leaders of the party.
Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) commemorated its 44th anniversary at the “Martyrs Statue” in Mekelle, the seat of Tigray regional state.
The event was celebrated with the motto “Yetakit 11 [February 18] is the foundation of our [Tigray’s seemingly] Unity, Security and perseverance.”
What makes the commemoration event unique this year is that the day brought together former foes within the party for the first time after nearly 18 years.
Seye Abraham, Aregash Adane, Gebru Asrat, Tsadkan Woldetensae, Tewelde Woldemedhn , among others, are seen rubbing shoulders with comrades in the party who aligned with the late Meles Zenawi to purge them from the party.
They were purged from the ethnic Tigray party in 2001 following internal split which culminated in the arrests some notable TPLF combatants like Siye Abraham, on alleged charges of corruption, who at some point was made ministry of Defense of Ethiopia and board member of Ethiopian airlines, among other responsibilities.
Gebru Asrat, was president of Tigray regional state, and had to establish another ethnic Tigray party, Arena, after he was purged from TPLF in 2000.
In this year’s celebration of TPLF’s birth day, individuals were purged from the party nearly 20 years ago are given recognition for their contribution for the party.
Debretison Gebremical, chairman of the party and president of the region, former chief of staff, Samora Yunis, and old comrades have attended the celebration in unions.
Outside of Ethiopia, supporters of the ethnic Tigray party in North America, Europe and Middle East have celebrated the 44th anniversary of the organization.
In Tigray, a 10K race was organized in 12 towns as part of the celebration of TPLF44 and a soccer tournament in Mekelle.
Tigray Regional State issued a statement yesterday for the commemoration of the 44th anniversary in which it said “The people of Tigray played their part for the respect of democratic and human rights, and for the rule of law in the past 27 years”
As well, the statement called up on its supporters for what it called “struggle against forces of destruction [ye tifat hailoch] who are working to destroy the Federal system and the constitution.”
The central committee of the party issued its own statement regarding the party. “The holiday is not just a commemoration of the journey of struggle and victory. It is also an occasion to take lesson for tomorrow,” said the statement as reported by state affiliated media – EBC.
TPLF claims that it has lost 60,000 combatants during the 17 year armed struggle against the government of Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam which collapsed in 1991. The party also claims that about 100,00 combatants have become disabled due to the war.
Ethiopians accuse TPLF of plotting to reverse the ongoing reform measures in the country by manufacturing conflicts in various parts of Ethiopia.
Tigray regional state reportedly refused to hand over former spy chief, Getachew Assefa, who is accused of egregious human rights violations. TPLF supporters were seen carrying a placard that reads “Getachew Assefa wuste newu” which could translates to “we are Getachew Assefa.”
Meanwhile, Ethiopians are commemorating Yekatit 12 (February 19) – a day during which Fascist Italy massacred more than 30,000 people in the capital Addis Ababa in just three days. Ethiopia lost an estimated 1 million people during the 5 years resistance against Fascist Italy between 1935 and 1941.
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