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“People of Tigray have developed sentiment for secession” , Debretsion

Tigray was deliberately targeted for an attack and have developed sentiment for secession from Ethiopia. Opposition leaders in Tigray on the other hand accuse TPLF of weakening Ethiopia and propagating secession agenda as a political playing card

Debretsion Gebremichael _TPLF _ Tigray 
Photo/ file
Debretsion Gebremichael (Walta)

June 12, 2019

In an interview with The Ethiopian Reporter, a private local newspaper, Debrestion says “The people of Tigray have developed a sentiment for secession [from Ethiopia] due to deliberate ethnic attack targeting Tigray.”

His remark came two days after hosting Abiy Ahmed in Aksum, where he and the prime minister held a meeting with community members regarding the deteriorating condition of the Ancient Obelisk.

In a country where the government is talking about unity, Debretsion continued, mounting tendencies that affect unity and deliberate “attack against the people of Tigray” is pushing the people to the point of losing confidence in the idea of living in the system and rather demonstrating sentiment of secession.

“It is us [a reference to his party, Tigray People’s Liberation Front and leaders] who are engaging the people to push the idea that we can struggle together from within. Otherwise, people are thinking about secession… an open deliberate attack in opened on the people of Tigray. A campaign you can not expect from your government” said Debretsion.

One of the issues with which he substantiated his “targeted attack against Tigreans” assertion is laid off ethnic Tigreans from medium and low-level government positions in the Federal government. He claims they are laid off not because of lack of capacity but because of their ethnic identity.

He also said that there was an attempt to starve people in Tigray by closing highway to Tigray and authorities in the neighboring Amhara region and the Federal government knew about it. He, in fact, went to the extent of claiming “seemingly the Federal and regional authorities recognized the closure.”  He added, “That was an attack on the people of Tigray and the government is responsible for it.”

In his answer regarding the issue of former spy chief, Getachew Assefa, he said anyone who is at “fault” need to be held accountable.  While he says he supports any legal measure if there are any individuals in the government structure but that he found “allegation against Getachew Assefa is shameful in the world.” For him, it is a serious issue and former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne could be questioned if Getachew Assefa, his comrade during the 17-year guerrilla war against Colonel Mengistu as well, is questioned.  And he said that intelligence workers who are in prison need to be released.

Members of an opposition party in Tigray, however, accuse TPLF leaders including Debretsion that the organization has been working to create a sense of secession in Tigray and to weaken Ethiopia.  Abraha Desta, leader of Arena Tigray – an ethnic Tigray opposition party – in a Facebook post says that TPLF worked on secessionist sentiment in Tigray so as to enhance TPLF’s importance as bargaining power. He did not, however, say that there is no sense of secession in Tigray.

Amdom Gebreslasie, also Arena Party official, too, criticized Debretsion’s statement. “The people of Tigray will not raise the secession agenda for the sake of one criminal family,” he said and went on to quote what he says an elder person in Aksum said, “Ethiopia belongs to Tigray and Tigray belongs to Ethiopia.”

Debretsion’s party , TPLF, is a pioneer, champion and defender of Article 39 of the Ethiopian Constitution which granted ethnically instituted federal regions right to self-determination up to and including secession.

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  1. Me and my entire family, uncles, sisters brothers are all from Tigray married and kids. We all want to succeed. Their co workers want to separate. I was born I. Addis Ababa, I barely speak Tigrinya. I am a hard core Ethiopian. But these road closures on Tigray…just to starve Tigray have made me realize that it is impossible to live in this federation. There were other ways to hurt tplf, which I don’t support. Go to mekele and see for yourself. Everyone is talking about succession. Abreha delta and arena are deeply unpopular in Tigray. Everyone has shifted right. If your neighbors tried to starve you…would you want to live with them? That’s the reality. No one can blame tigreans for wanting to get out of this federation. I’m of the opinion that we cut our losses and get out. We negotiate on the disputed territories and get out. I’m not even married to a tigrean, I’m an Addis person, cosmopolitan. But if even I shift to the right…you can imagine what others in Tigray are feeling. Cut our losses and get out of this mad house federation where people are hanged upside down, where neighbors block roads to starve you and where ppl cannot tell the difference between hurting an elite and hurting the average joe. Savages.

  2. oh, right.. who is hanging who? who fomented all these chaoes? who is behind all this with looted money? And the Tigreans who are removed from position? Let’s be fair, these are TPLF cadres who were at the helm… So are you saying we continue the way it was? As to secession, መንገዱን ጨርቅ ያርግላችሁ

    what do other parts of Ethiopia miss ? No resource and all trouble….

  3. @mils
    You should be smart enough to look behind all these political games of road closure, etc…
    They are old tried methods used by TPLF to create the image that Tigray people are being attacked by the government. That way they can save their dying party as the savior of the people.
    Sadly the Tigray region is still blocked from real information because TPLF still dominates there.

  4. I am the son of Ethiopian immigrants of the Amhara tribe. I am not saying that the former Tigray dominated government had done everything right. However, it is undeniable that country was very prosperous during the previous regime. I strongly believe that blaming the people fo Tigray for the country’s setbacks is absolutely ridiculous. No wonder they are developing the secessionist mindset.

  5. Everyone accuses TPLF of doing stuff behind the scene, with absolutely no proof. This is a country that runs on rumour, conspiracy theories. All the cadres of the EPRDF want conflict so they can remain in power. But to blame TPLF for every tiny thing happening, from bank robberies to guys being hanged upside down…hmm. It is time to start looking at the mirror and see that ODP (OLF) is using the TPLF as a common hated enemy so as to distract blame from all the horrible policies happening in the country. Oh. Is it TPLF tearing down houses in Legetafo? Oh, what about GEDEO, is it the TPLF chasing away the people? Folks, the GUJI are known for cutting penises of men, even other Oromos fear them. Oh. And it is TPLF blocking roads to Harrar? Oh it is TPLF about to demolish 30,000 homes in Addis? Oh yes, TPLF put up that horrible constitution but Jawarites are executing it at top speed and the TPLF is just a rich man on a deathbed, unable to enjoy his accumulated goods. As for Tigray leaving the federation and that it is no loss to Ethiopia because it has no resources….(one comment above), you guys make me sick. It is this greediness that has led to the succession to Eritrea-love of its resources (port) but not its people (at least thats how we Eritreans perceive it). It is this greed that is at the root of Jawarites hunger for power and cause of Entitlement (Oromia is filled with resources-fuck everyone-attitude). Wisen up guys. This attitude will get you nowehere, as it has gotten Eritrea nowehere, despite being endowed with a port, a small population and all the right conditions but a horrible attitude towards its own people. We are dying like flees in the ocean, even giving birth in the ocean…beause we thought resources could save us and ego got the better of us.

  6. hi samre , self-educated politicians . What are you talking about? everything is happening bcz of amhara’s greed.It is amahra who was killing and torturing people inside prisons hoping to befriend with TPLF gangsters. Do you remember what was happening to all Tigreans and even someone who put on kongo chama was illtreated and tortured , because he was believed to be a snooper, poke his nose in . Many unspeakable crimes were committed against Tigreans. You defame and attack even Tigrean monks , bishops, there are a lot of filthy rumours spread by Amahara.

    Stop pointing your caca -tainted fingers at Tigreans .
    What was amhara elites doing to Oromos and to all other tribes back in history .Amahra tried to destroy historic accounts.

    Amhara emperors are known for genocide and kinat mikegninet metet, superstition, spalling cast , using drugs and claim to perform exorcism, etc

    for amhara killing and doing all these stuffs are wisdom descended from heaven .

    • Halefom, so what is past is past. NOw we have to move forward, or you want to dwell in the past forever and ruin your children’s lives too? anyways, the amharas have their share of mistakes, as we all do. But for the sake of our children we should come to a cease fire…or else another wasted generation. I think for this reason successin is not a bad idea for tigrai. After two couples divorce, they can become friends and many decide to get remarried to each other again. But eithout eritrea, tigrai is not viable. so you better solve your eritrean problem first, or else your amhara neighbors will block more roads. have a way out and then we can let go of our amhara brothers and sisters and one day even come together, like many amicably divorced people do.

  7. We tigrayans have suffered enough under amhara rule. We can survive without food. We can survive under any circumstance. We know how to survive and fight because we have been doing it for a long time. If war is what the Amharas want then war is what your going to get. Never forget we are warriors. And if a new country is the only thing that can protect tigrayans then secessions is the only option. We have resources in agriculture and there’s been a recent finding with oil shales deposits in Tigray. We will be fine but we know the Amharas can’t stand to see a peaceful happy Tigray.

    Ethiopia is turning into yugoslavia.

  8. If the current leaders of the TPLF are talking about secession, it does not surprise me a bit. They have been doing ‘things’ to further the accord in that direction from the day they were not greeted with roses and olive branches in 1991. The people of the old country were very happy that the blood thirsty Mengistu was gone but what they told the new comers was like ‘thank you but no thank you’. As of late 2016 there were signs that they were secretly sketching or forging or re-arranging or whatever you may like to call it, a new entity with the disgraced and blood thirsty Abdi Illey and at that time his fiefdom. Asmara was not an option then. At that time, the Somali Region for all intents and purposes had ‘seceded’ from the union. But thanks the lion cubs of Afdem, Erer, Shinile, Adigala and Aisha the goon there end up biting the dust into the slammer. These reckless leaders of the TPLF should try to come to their senses. Instead of working 24 hours to create jobs for the youth, it seems that they working very hard to create destructive war for it.

    But on the other side, the federal and regional governments should rein in on the bigots who are wreaking havoc in Oromia and Amhara regions and victimizing innocent civilians including our noble people who hail from Tigray region. It is a fact that they have been ruthlessly displaced in their tens of thousands must be allowed to return to their homes fully compensated for their losses. It may take years to compensate them fully but it should be done. The same should be done for all others who were driven out of their domiciles just because of their ethnicity. Their safety must be the highest priority and for this to happen every living, breathing bigot should be rounded up and bused to the slammer. Then throw away the key.

    Aksum of the 100 AD is legendary and that is all to it. Rome will never rise again because that was tried already and its pusher ended up swinging head down at Pizzale Loreto. It ain’t gonna happen.

  9. Tigrays divided the country into ethnic enclaves for a divide and rule policy and looted the country and brutalized the Ethiopian people for over 2 decades. Now they are whining because they’re not in power anymore.

    There will be no secession and any revolt will be put down

  10. TPLF propagandists commenting as if they speak for the people of Tigrai in this thread.
    TPLF is and has always been a parasitic organization, especially under the leadership of the TPLF clique.

    Let’s not forget that when TPLF started their agenda was to separate Tigrai from Ethiopia. From the start they blamed Amhara people.

    Unfortunately some people believe the propaganda, and some TIGRIANS DO NOT KNOW THAT TPLF STARTED OUT TO SEPARATE TIGRAI FROM ETHIOPIA in the 70s. This is Official fact. Go read their manifesto.

    As for the rest of the TPLF propagandists who know damn well that they don’t speak for Tigrians, leave the country and go abroad. Live your life. Leave the people alone.


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