As unrest subsides mobilization for war reported in north

While mobilizing for war in the north, TPLF says “Ethiopia is on the path to destruction”

borkena
July 9, 2020

The security and economic impact of the unrest in Addis Ababa and the Oromo region of Ethiopia following the death of singer Hachalu Hundessa is devastating. There are even those who lost several family members. The destruction of property to investment is unprecedented – especially in Shashemene and Ziway cities which are within a range of 250 kilometers distance from the capital Addis Ababa.

Although triggered by the singer’s death, everything seems to be planned in coordination with political stakeholders to the disability of Ethiopia (internal and external ones).

The execution phase of the destruction needed a heartless and savage youth group from among those who call themselves “Qeerroo” – this was a group that played a positive role in the Oromo region of Ethiopia during the struggle against Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) dominated government that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne.

This same group is now being used as a tool for a savage massacre against non-ethnic Oromos in the region whenever needed. The killing started in less than an hour after the death of the singer was heard, and later spread to forty districts claiming at least 256 people. Ten more people are killed in the capital Addis Ababa. Nearly 300 others are wounded, and many of them are anticipated to have a long-term disability.

TPLF points a finger on “Unitary Group” at Arat Kilo palace

On Wednesday, the TPLF leadership, which is now confined to North Ethiopia, issued a statement regarding the current situation in the country.

It asserted, as reported by DW Amharic service, that Ethiopia is heading to destruction, and conveyed messages to the people of Tigray, to “nations and nationalities”, to the Ethiopian’s in the Diaspora and to the international community as well.

The core message in the statement is “The unitary dictatorial group at Arat Kilo palace is the only responsible group for what has happened, and what is happening in the country.”   For TPLF, the group is behind the assassination of Hachalu Hundessa.

Furthermore, it made a claim that “economic, social and political victories that people’s nations and nationalities achieved through years of struggle,” is snatched by what it calls “Unitary Group in Arat kilo.”  It certainly is a reference to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government. 

In reality, essentially all those with considerable political power either at the federal or regional level were, in fact, part and parcel of the TPLF led government in the past 27 years.  They were, including TPLF leaders, together under the umbrella of EPRDF coalition until they parted ways in November 2019 when all the coalition members except TPLF merged to form a single party Prosperity Party. Yes, Abiy Ahmed’s government has appointed some technocrats (some from the Diaspora and some from locally) but they are not political positions – at least on face value. 

The more dangerous claim on the part of TPLF is one that alerts people in north Ethiopia regarding impending war. “The group that is holding power at the Federal level is plotting not only against TPLF but also against the people of Tigray.” And it called on the people of Tigray to standby for a decisive fight. 

Ethnic Tigray opposition groups like the Tigray Democratic Movement shunned the claim by TPLF as mere and usual propaganda. However, the leaders in the region have undertaken several rounds of conscriptions and as many as 250,000 young people are reportedly trained and armed.

TPLF and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) New Alliance

When TPLF was about to end seventeen years of guerrilla warfare in the early ’90s, it attempted to force a coalition with the radical Oromo Liberation Front group.

Less than two years down the road the political alliance crumbled over what was said to be rivalry overpower.  OLF had to leave the country and a significant portion of its army was lost during the struggle with TPLF after the collapse of Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam’s government.

At the height of its power (when in absolute control of the federal government) TPLF got OLF listed as a terrorist group internationally. It was after Abiy became Prime Minister in 2018 that OLF was allowed to return to the country.

There have been rumors that TPLF and OLF are forging new alliances against what they call “unitary group.” In the days after the assassination of Hachalu Hundessa, the new alliance came to the surface. Veteran OLF leaders like Lencho Letta seem to be on the same page with Abiy’s Ahmed’s strategy to achieve results for the Oromo people – their political constituency – obviously purely ethnic in character although he radical Oromo ethnic nationalists are now disowning Abbey as an Oromo.  

Some observers tend to hold the view that Hachalu Hundessa was killed because he was speaking out against the new alliance between those who paint themselves as leaders of the “struggle of Oromo people” and TPLF forces.

The alliance, noticeable on social media activism and other media outlets, some of which government took off the air this past week, became open after government hinted that TPLF and OLF joined hands in planning the assassination of the singer in a way to trigger large-scale disability in the country.

Nigussu Tilahun. Photo : DW Amharic

Abiy Ahmed’s government Action

Press Secretary in the office of the Prime Minister, Nigussu Tilahun, officially announced, in a press conference on Wednesday, that TPLF has a leading role planning the assassination.

“Government is running out of patience. It will continue to take strong measures against those working on the disintegration of the country,” he said.

So far, the government shut two media belonging to TPLF. Oromia Media Network, whose owner is linked to the killing of a policeman and possible involvement in the killing of Hachalu Hundessa- as many seem to think, is also shut.

Calls for ethnic cleansing were transmitted live on OMN. Most of the people killed in the Oromo region of Ethiopia were killed only because of their ethnic background.



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