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The war imposed on the Ethiopian government

By  Ezana Minas
January 6, 2021

War is the act to compel once opponent by force to fulfill ones will. It is an utmost use of force.  The TPLF through its night time assault of a major Ethiopian National Defense Forces based in Tigray, killing, wounding, imprisoning, soldiers and looting heavy artillery, rockets, Tanks and supplies bought for the defense on the country. It declared war on the Ethiopian government and on Ethiopia.

There have been more than enough signs of war mongering from TPLF for quite a while. TPLF had a stranglehold on power for 27 years. Following months long popular revolt PM Abiy came to power and TPLF never accepted the loss of the stranglehold. They tried to control Abiy by controlling key advisory posts, Intelligence, security, Top Military Brass positions, and the economy through TPLF conglomerators such as Guna, Ezana Mining, Africa Insurance, Wegagan Bank, Almeda Garments and Textile, Sur Construction, Sheba Tannery, Selam But Corporation, Mega Net, Messob Cement and building construction, Dedebit Credit and savings, Ethiopia Travel, Express Transit Service Corporation, Hiwot Agriculture, Mesfin Industrial Engineering, Star Pharmaceutical and Medical Supplies, Tras Ethiopia, Rahwa Sheep and got export, Guna Trading house, Fana Publishers and Broadcasting, Desalegne Veterinary Drug input supply company,  etc etc.

PM Abiy, with a lot of tact and patience, skillfully and successfully curbed TPLF domination and started giving real power and position to others to meet public demand and end public rebellion against TPLF. TPLF could not accept the share of the disproportionate power that does not match with population size as well as majority demand. When its ability to control Abiy and the transformation failed , TPLF resorted to destabilization activities and charging PM Abiy with being sidelining them.  This was the begging of the end of the reorganization of the Ethiopian political economy in favor of TPLF as a dominant member of the coalition of the organization that made EPDRF. TPLF saw Abiy’s dramatic reform and liberalization zeal with great deal of suspicion and edginess.  TPLF decline to join the newly formed Prosperity Party by former EPDRF Member Organizations and affiliates. They countered by breaking away from the newly formed coalition and launched a vain attempt to unite opposition forces under a new “ so-called Federalist coalition”. TPLF progressively isolated itself from the political process and adamantly opposed the postponement of the election because of COVID 19, and conducted its own election defying the government and the National election Board, It also intensified its subursine activities. It withdrew its Legislative members from the Upper House and the National Parliament. Relation soured with open defiance of the Federal government and pointed attack on the PM with extreme vulgarity. They declared that the Federal Government is no more legitimate for not holding the election and refused to recognize the government and its actions.  The Government and the National Assembly then countered by annulling TPLF election results and slashed Federal Funding significantly limiting the flow of resources only to local government to protect basic services bypassing TPLF. Therefore, since its loss of power in Addis Abba, TPLF has effectively barricaded itself in Tigray and could not accept the inevitable and adjust itself to the democratization process.

One other major factor that led to the open conflict is TPLF”s  suspicion of the Ethio-Eritrean rapprochement and Abiy’s open minded approach to peace making and cooperation. Mind you that few years ago TPLF was at the forefront of close cooperation with Eritrea. TPLF sent more than 17000 Tigrean fighters to support Eritreans at the crucial Nakfa front in the last days of Eritrean independence fighting. It was TPLF”s camaraderie and common bondage illusion  with Eritrea in and grandiose political, military  and economic plan of cooperation as well as total compromise of the integrity and interest of Ethiopia with total disregard for real politics and Ethiopian reality. It was also TPLF that escalated the 1998 border clash into a national mobilization that inflicted a heavy defeat on Eritrea. The real conflict started when the TPLF design to industrialize Tigray at the expense of the rest of Ethiopia, with the alleged goal of replication of Eritrea’s economic model, created a firestorm in the relationship between the ruling factions in each country. TPLF wanted to dominate the Ethiopian economy alone which will put Eritreans to a grate disadvantage since the two economies were highly integrated.

Ethiopians in general and TPLF in particular will be in a worst state than they were before the war in terms of usage of the national resource for development and poverty irradiation. TPLF has done irreparable damage to itself by bullying the government and causing harmful damage. TPLF made the unhappy relationship with PM Abiy government difficult causing instability and flexing its muscle and deep state control over the intelligence, military, and economic activities. It created unchecked and unmoderated tension with the Federal Government leading to extremism. PM Abiy’s government was extremely tolerant and accommodating to the extent realistically possible (despite the overall anger and frustration as well as opposition towards TPLF by the majority of the people and politicians) to avoid heightened tension and accidental conflict that could explode like a spark in a powder keg. One can see the chain of the catastrophic events that followed after TPLF attack on the Ethiopian Army northern Command. A tragic strategic and tactical error made with arrogance, idiotic miscalculations, and Military Bravado as well as a political and military mind- set not fit to this modern and complex age of the Ethiopian reality. It clearly showed byzantine thinking and lack of wisdom. TPLF leadership was totally unable to read the political fault lines in Ethiopian politics to adjust and correct its mistake to the reality for continuity and preservation of their interest. They had more than three years and accommodating PM with all the chances to adjust. However, arrogance and miscalculations ruled the days.

Unprovoked aggression should not be tolerated, particularly when it comes on the survival of Ethiopia as a nation.  No one knows better than those who are making shrill noises about peaceful negotiation that when it comes to sovereignty and survival of the nation no leader with his right mind will compromise.  Millions of people have died in the world and many countries for survival of a nation. The Ethiopian government has always wanted and tried its best with extreme tolerance to peacefully settle the political differences as well as power sharing among the different segments of the population. On the contrary its army was attacked, soldiers protecting the people were massacred, imprisoned or forced to fight their own country and to overthrow the government. Ethnic cleansing has taken place with the piousness hateful agitation and propaganda of TPLF.

Therefore, on what moral ground and legal basis does those shrill voices in the International Community  asking for negotiation are putting the Ethiopian Government and TPLF on the same scale and table?  Who broke the legal and political order? Who was confrontational in substance and style? What is the motive of both sides? What is their respective end objectives? Who has the proved greed, limitless appetite for theft and corruption as well as oppressive ideologic orientation opposing democratic reform? Who has been preparing and arming for conflict and imposition of its will after 28 years of occupational rule and total rejection by the overwhelming majority of the Ethiopian people. Why did the Ethiopian people revolted and demanded change against the EPDRF rule led by TPLF?  Is it not the TPLF that built military bases, procured and looted equipment, strategized and trained a provincial army capable of taking a national army with the anticipation of fighting to stay in power? Who created a state in the state?  Alas, TPLF leaders persuaded themselves with the illusion that they are invincible. They trapped themselves with their public rhetoric, steer up forces they could not control and created the perfect storm for an all-out military confrontation with a national army of more than a hundred million people.

Defusing tension by the international community is possible and necessary as long as those trying to get involved are open and ready to understand the complexity, the byzantine and ancient feudal intrigue of TPLF leadership, their mischief and shameless ability to lie and cheat, as well as the voracious appetite they developed to loot and exploit Ethiopia at all cost.  The Old Guards of TPLF must be put to justice.  Sophisticated diplomacy in confidence building in the art of compromise with the different segments of the population that do not want this conflict as well as pardoning and integrating the rank and file fighters to the public to start a peaceful life. Justice should be served without humiliation with international recognized practices, norms and regulations.  

The Ethiopian Politics had a darker side the last 28 years of TPLF leadership. Trouble were piling up. Acute political divisions were visible.  There were growing rebellion and continued unrest. Violent upheavals and rising ethnic nationalism were growing. Poisonous residue of 28 years rule of mutual suspicion and resentments were the order of the day. Confrontation became the preferred option for different political elites. The rhetoric became harsher. The different media whipped up hatred and ran scare stories. In all these TPLF had an exaggerated respect for its ability to steer things, for its military capability, and the level of influence it has on certain elements of the Ethiopian body politics. They preached that war was a noble and necessary part of their political survival and assembled all their military leaders, planned and divided assignment, prepared and executed.

Editor’s note : This article appeared first on People-to-People forum

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