Ethiopia: Tigray Democratic Party facing repression not to reach out to people in the region

Tigray a difficult place in Ethiopia for opposition parties to operate. Opposition leaders talk about unprecedented repression in the region.

Tigray _ TPLF
Mulubirhan Haile (left) and Gidana Medhin (right). Photo credit : ENA

January 2, 2019

Tigray Democratic Party (TDP) says it is unable to present alternative political views to the public in the region.  The reason is that the organization that runs the region is not allowing that to happen, according to officials of TDP.

In a discussion organized by Ethiopian News Agency in the capital Addis Ababa, TDP leaders claimed that the People of Tigray is in unprecedented repression.

Mulubirhan Haile and Gidana Medhin, both among senior leaders of TDP, a party that Dr. Aregawi Berhe is leading, say that their party has reached the point where it can no longer present ideas to people in Tigray, as reported by Ethiopian News Agency (ENA).

Members of the party are labeled with all sorts of adjectives that lure hate mongering and shaming, the leaders said.  And the party is unable to explain itself to the public to refute the allegation because they are denied a chance to organize meetings freely.

Gidana said, “At this time, there is repression in Tigray…members of Arena party is still being arrested.” He called upon people in the region, especially the youth group, to stand up for their rights.

Mulubirhan Haile believes that the Federal government of Ethiopia should stand on the side of the people of Tigray in the struggle for democratic rights. Explaining it further, he said that the Federal government has to find a way to have a consultation with people in Tigray regarding what he called “false propaganda” by Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Ethiopian News Agency said that an invitation was sent out to TPLF to take part in the discussion but it declined to attend it.

TPLF had organized two-days of public consultation in Mekelle last week. Chairman of the organization and acting president of Tigray region vowed that his administration will take measures against what it called “internal forces [apparently in Tigray] that are operating to disrupt peace and the unity of Tigray.”

He meant to make a reference to political forces operating in the Tigray region but different political views.

TPLF has announced that it will meet this week to make a final decision regarding the Prosperity Party, which was formed by three former members of EPRDF coalition and five other ally parties.

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