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HomeEthiopian News"We struggled to liberate Tigray, not Ethiopia," says Major General Teklebirhan Woldearegay

“We struggled to liberate Tigray, not Ethiopia,” says Major General Teklebirhan Woldearegay

Major General Teklebirhan Woldearegay was one of the top Federal government officials during the 27 years of Tigray People’s Liberation Front dominated Federal government. Now confined to Mekelle after TPLF lost domination over federal power, he says we struggled to liberate Tigray. Our struggle was not about Ethiopia.

Tigray _ Maj. Gen. Teklebirhan Woldearegay
Maj. Gen. Teklebirhan Woldearegay during interview with Tigray Media House. Photo : screenshot from video

April 26, 2020

Major General Teklebirhan Woldearegay, former General Director of Information Network Security Agency, one of Ethiopia’s intelligence apparatus, has about a two hours interview with Tigray Media House. 

He talked about Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), what he thinks why TPLF failed, and what should be the focus now for ethnic Tigray nationalists, and the influence of regional and global state actors in Ethiopia – among other issues. 

TPLF’s manifesto in the 1970s stated the establishment of ethnic Tigray republic as the primary goal of the organization’s armed struggle. However, TPLF leaders including the late Meles Zenawi denied that they struggled to secede Tigray from the rest of Ethiopia. 

Former TPLF combatant and Director of Information Network Security Agency, Major General Teklebirhan Woldearegay, bluntly said that they struggle to liberate Tigray. 

He expressed regret that one of the political mistakes of TPLF was the formation of the EPRDF coalition which Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed dissolved to form a single united party. 

Major General Teklebirhan Woldearegay was Abiy Ahmed’s boss in the Information Network Security Agency but he fired him. “I fired him because he started to become politically active,” he said. 

Asked what he now thinks of Abiy Ahmed’s government, he said that it is “telalaki” ( which could translate as a puppet government or mercenary).

He sees what he calls imperialist interventions from the western and Gulf countries. Influence from the Gulf region is also motivated by religion, he said.  “The Chinese imperialist presence is economic but it could change to a political one in the long run,” he added.

M, General Teklebrihan is one of the few TPLF elites who was in a top Federal government position for a good part of TPLF dominated administration for 27 years. Yet, he did not shy away from expressing his deeply held hate towards Ethiopia.  He made numerous negative assertions including “there has never been a state in Ethiopia.” Prime Minister’s Abiy Ahmed’s government is a “parasite,” and that “Ethiopia as a country can not be reformed.”

The focus of Tigray Nationalists should be “to be themselves,” he argues. He meant secession from Ethiopia but again he overtly said that he does not like the “secession” label.  It is added with propaganda meaning for the pro-Ethiopian camp, he says. The least that Tigray should aim for is “confederation.”

At one point he stated that TPLF lost power because of the “gravity from Menelik era institutions was heavy.” Looking back, he said, “I now regret that I learned Amharic in elementary schools.” 

The two parts interview with Tigray Media house was in Amharic. Part I and II of it are featured below : 

Video : embedded from Tigray Media House Youtube channel
Cover photo : screenshot from video

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  1. Amhara intellectuals back ward & evil thinking and acts are the once that drag this country back to poverty.but to speak about this guy he doesn’t represent the people of Tigray & tplf.he speaks a lot negative because he as an individual lost power.even he spoke about the secession of tigray from rest of Ethiopia but he was met with harsh criticism in Mekelle university discussion.

    • There was no Amhara until ethnic parties like TPLF framed it into politics.
      There was Ethiopia in which Tigrayans also took part, and Amharic was one of their languages.

      • Amharic was imposed on the people and same as Eritreans we all fought against the oppressor and fascist Derg which was decisively annihilated.
        You are telling us Amharic was our language?
        How and with which logic? It was imposed and it will never revive to be a language in Ethiopia.


  2. This guy is not a Major General”. This guy is a Major Asshole and a loser. What irritates me the most is this guy is not from Tigray. What an embarrassment calling himself a General. One major thing that Woyane did harm to us was that they gave a Doctorate Degree and a General title to morons and idiots that the young generation in the future would be embarrassed to be part of. The Italians used to name the bandas as Dejazmachs and Fitawraries knowing that the title wouldn’t be deserved by them but for political maneuvering purpose. That is what Woyanes did name this guy a “General”.

  3. I believe separation of Tigrai from Ethiopia, like Eritrea did, would be good for the rest of Ethiopia. I encourage Tigrians to follow that path. There has never been much that Tigrai contributed to Ethiopia in terms of resources, rather it had always been the opposite. TPLF contributed greatly to political instability in Ethiopia by pitching one ethnic group against another (which it continues to do even after its downfall) while keeping its own ethnic group intact to dominate Ethiopia politically and economically. Competition over who would have the right to Ethiopia’s economy was the only reason for the war between Ethiopia and Tigrai, not the barren land that is called Bademe. After Eritrea lost the war, it resorted to push for “confederation” with Ethiopia, just like this fellow suggested to establish ‘confederation’ after separation from Ethiopia. Both wanted unconstrained access to Ethiopia’s resources and markets under cover of ‘confederation’ while remaining separate politically. They both still believe Ethiopians are stupid enough to go along with their schemes, but which will/should never be allowed.

    • Please correct your comment to read : “I believe in separation of TPLF from Ethiopia…”
      The people of Tegaru are proud Ethiopians from day 1.

      • I stand corrected, if what you stated is the norm for the population. My view was based on the the 25 or so years of misery TPLF brought on Ethiopia on behalf of Tigrians, and also based on the outspoken members of the Tigrian community who supposedly support TPLF. I think if what you stated is true, Tigrians who live in freedom from TPLF yolk should come out and speak their stand, and be shoulder to shoulder with the rest of Ethiopians.

        • Tigray needs a legitimate group to represent it equally within Ethiopia, along with proper promotion of history. Ras Alula and team comes to mind.

          TPLF promotes only an ethnic agenda which pitted the Tigrayans against both its northern and southern neighbours.

    • What is Tigray without Ethiopia
      What is Amhara without Ethiopia
      What is Ethiopia without Oromia

      I think Abyssinians have acted as parasites in Oromo land. Finally, Oromos are waking up and taking control of their own resources along with the infrastructures biuld with all Ethiopian hands.

      *btw, I never met Eritreans who want confederation with Ethiopia. I think Eritreans want Ethiopians to use their ports so that they can get US dollars. That probably will amount to 3% of Eritrean GDP.

      • No such thing as Oromo land, Amhara land, etc. No one owns any land.
        There is no parasitic relationship. but rather a mutual one among many groups within Ethiopia.

    • Eritrea never wanted any confederation with Ethiopia. Ethiopia actually impoverished Eritrea by dismantling factories and destroying some advanced infrastructure, moving its educated and learned Eritreans to Ethiopia to build Ethiopia, and unleashed terrorism in Eritrea, a place it did not deserve to be in the first place.

    • PLEASE don’t mix up the “TPLF people” and the proud people of Tigrai; the latter is a group of respected Ethiopians that make the backbone of this Country with the rest of the society.

  4. Who controls ‘borkena’? I think TPLF and/or its supporters. You failed to post my comment earlier because what I stated did not agree with your scheme to swindle Ethiopians into believing you are an Ethiopian media. You are exactly the same as Tigrai on Line, and/or Aiga forum!

    • You need proper education on your history and then dims like you are expected form the land of poor mental capacity and useless boys like you.

  5. “…After Eritrea lost the war…” ??? Which war did Eritrea lose Tribeswoman (or -man) Worqu Belayeneh..?
    And spare us your generosity, Eritrea as its name indicates ( Erythros- Red Sea) owns the Red Sea and is full of Gold and doesn’t need your impoverished resources.

    The goal and purpose of Eritreans was always ONE and CLEAR. Independent State (as we always were). We didn’t have and still don’t want to have anything to do with barbaric tribesmen and tribeswomen with little notion of a nation.

  6. Worku…if you attempt to respond to these idiots and in a true sense to these pigs they will pull you down to their filthy way of thinking and stinking life styles. There is a saying that ….’don’t fight with a pig it will pull you down to the mud’.. What you should do instead is just address your thoughts to the masses and don’t try to respond to these infantile low life morons. They are retarded and there is no way you can teach them. They will come back with the same stupid song again and again,

  7. Some half baked individuals who try to spoil the present good relation we Ethiopians have with the general peace loving noble Eritreans, are those lumpens, filthy liars who failed to read writings on the wall. These hopeless individuals always try to paint Ethiopia dark colours because they don’t see any other colours. These filthy individuals still don’t believe that Ethiopia is dominant economic powerhouse the whole of east Africa. You idiots why don’t you consult world bank. Not only that you filthy people believe it or not Ethiopia is the 3rd most powerful military power too. Try, touch her at any time, we Ethiopians make you forget even your mother’s name, let alone your father’s. You filthy individuals since you are illiterate, you only know your father, your Italian Godfather, grandchild of Benito Musilini for who you have been cooking Pasta and Macoroni for 80 years. You son of thirtyfour beggars, don’t you ever speak about my country we know how to handle you beaches!!. There is amharic proverb: ” a woman sleeping on bed with a man and being f..ked, still sleeping”, did you understand you ‘test a martello’.
    Thank you. If you try to respond for this message, you will be dressed with much more. Bye for now!!.

  8. Oh I like what tekele ekaw had to say, though there is no need for so much insult. These lowly thugs are not even worth insulting. We just do the job on the ground. You know – one reason why the goon tplf is losing and taking tigray to the grave with it is because it has so-called generals (dumb, dullard, illiterate, incompetent..) at the age of 40. How can someone be a general at this age – unless by corruption. And the corruption the tplf lived in – stealing, lying, killing, maiming, cheating in exams, rewarding incompetence, OMG.. it will take years to erase this from our mind!!


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