Former Ethiopian Prime Former sees “limited capacity” in TPLF to defeat the National army
November 24, 2020
Former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne, served following the death of Meles Zenawi until Abiy Ahmed took office in April 2018, is breaking his silence about the political development in the country – a law enforcement operation in northern Ethiopia which turned out to be a full-scale war with airstrike and rocket attacks.
In an article he published in Foreign policy Magazine, he said “I confess a TPLF dominated coalition ruled Ethiopia shrewdly for 27 years.”
He then delved into the analysis of the war between the federal government and TPLF. For him, TPLF leaders triggered an armed conflict with the Federal government to secure impunity for past and present crimes, and a power-sharing deal (with the mediation of the international community).
He also pointed out that TPLF assumed a military victory in part it has been living a creed that it is an invincible force and in part, it assumed that “…seeds of discord and division it has been sowing within the Ethiopian body politic and the army for decades, it could easily prevail in an armed confrontation against the federal government…”
As it turns out, what happened is a different story. Former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne does not seem to see a good chance for TPLF forces to defeat the Ethiopian Defense Force. He said, “The TPLF leadership and its army are actually locked in from all sides and will have limited capacity to resist the national army.”
The only assumption that worked as TPLF planned is the response from the international community, according to Hailemariam Desalegne. It foresaw that the international community would fall into “default mode of bothsidesism and calls for a negotiated settlement.”
He argued that brokering for a negotiation with an extremist force like TPLF would set a bad precedent for members of the Ethiopian Federation. “Ethiopians should not be expected to embrace such a sinister and dangerous party in the guise of a so-called all-inclusive dialogue,” is his key message for the international community.
But he advised the Ethiopian government to complete the operation quickly in a way that does not affect civilians in the conflict zone.
He had another stern message too. Reports of ethnic profiling in different parts of Ethiopia are serious issues that the government needs to act on. “If verified, this is a dangerous development and should be condemned in no uncertain terms, and the perpetrators should be brought to justice,” he said.
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