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HomeOpinion“The War In Tigray”- Yosief Ghebrehiwet & The TPLF

“The War In Tigray”- Yosief Ghebrehiwet & The TPLF

By Wondimu Mekonnen
February 05, 2021

Yosief Ghebrehiwet introduces himself as:

“Prolific writer, active critic and activist. He is committed to a more humane Eritrea, fighting for justice and freedom. His educational background is in philosophy and psychology.”

Wow! Look at that! Even William Shakespeare did not give himself such a high regard to himself. Other people who read and appreciated his work and gave him. Prolific writer, eh?  My understanding of a prolific writer is one who produces fruitful, well balanced, unbiased, verifiable and captivating piece to read. Do we get that from Yosief Ghbrehiwet? No, not really.

Yosief Ghebrehiwet is obsessed with Ethiopia’s downfall. He just can’t write enough about his own burning desire to see Ethiopia fail and yet he is not an Ethiopian as evidenced from his own account above in quotation. For him, the failure of Ethiopia brings him much more pleasure than the success of Eritrea. What is wrong with this man? 

The writer sets up himself as a rational person, from which he launches his attack on Ethiopia Then immediately goes into his never-ending unsubstantiated accusations of Ethiopia. For him, Ethiopia is just “wrong”. Now he has fallen out with his President, Isaias Afeworki, and he moans about him too.  

The writer, Yousief Ghebrehiwet, doesn’t want to mention at all the 27-year Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) brutal administration of Ethiopia, where so many people were killed in captivity, maimed, women raped in prison, even men sodomized, unheard before in the history of the country. Rape seems the national sport of the TPLF. On November 2019 a staff reporter of reported how the women in Tigray took to the streets to protest the widespread of rape by the TPLF officials. Even today, they are carrying out the same crime, wearing Eritrean soldiers’ uniform which they produced at Almeda Textile factory before fleeing the scene, and blame on Eritrea. Recently, thousands of such uniforms were discovered in the abandoned factory. Now when it comes to the recent event that triggered battle, Mr Ghebrehiwet is mute about the cowardice slaughtering of Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), Northern Division, stationed there for almost 20 years to protect the people of Tigray from possible Eritrean aggression in the post May 1998 to June 2000 war. The attack on the ENDF was reported by the BBC , condemned by the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Tobor P Nagy and US Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael A Raynor and US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo  but justified  only by Sekoture Getachew, the TPLF spokesperson who himself was killed on 07 January refusing to surrender, and seems to be accepted by the writer as a justifiable act. 

Kassahun Melesse of Oregon University puts it clearly on FP of 19 November 2020, just two weeks after conflict started, how the TPLF dominant control had slept out of its hand after 27 years in the driving seat, and resorted to violence to regain to regain it which brought up its dooms day as follows:

“That dominance is something the TPLF is willing to fight to preserve, as evidenced by the decision to carry out what a top TPLF official described as a “preemptive strike” against the federal army’s Northern Command, triggering the current conflict. The risk now is that the TPLF’s persistent and increasingly audacious actions could make Abiy’s peaceful reforms impossible and thereby make a violent transition inevitable.”

Two years prior to the massacre, those victims were ordered to leave Tigray in 2019, move to the South, but the TPLF officials called on the people to come out and prevent the soldiers from leaving by instructing women and  children to lie down in the middle of the road. That was then. Today the TPLF supporters living abroad are using the same tactic by lying down on main roads (እምበር ተንከባላይ) to gain attention of the West. 

It is well understood, amongst Ethiopians that Mr. Ghebrehiwet has developed such an aversion towards the Amhara “elites”. His hatred for the Amhara seems to emanate from the knowledge of who the Amhara are.  They are the backbone of Ethiopia who preserve her history and stand against the dreams of evil wishers like him. In his early years of scribbling on his undying love for Isaias Afewerki, he almost elevated the president to a sainthood that defeated “evil Ethiopia”. The same writer has now reduced Isaias Afewerki to the level of the devil himself, because Afeworki and Abiy became friends, an obstacle to his dream of destruction of Ethiopia. Boring! Why do I sense this is the same person who wrote 30-page garbage in February 2000 to my two-and-a half page open letter to NAACP? You just read the first 10 pages of his incoherent writing and you’d start yawning and by the 11th page you either get up to prepare yourself a cup of coffee or just junk the garbage and move on to use your valuable time for something else. Simply writing a long-winded article, trying to stretch the unstretchable facts to fit in with one’s misconceived imagination does not make a good story. As we say, an ounce of truth overweighs tones of false lies.

His latest piece is “The war in Tigray: Abiy, Isaias, and the Amhara elite”. Anyone who doesn’t know him would try to read it to see if there is any substance in what he says. Nothing new! It is rather the same useless boring narration. The usual “Amhara elite” bashing cry, the spice that, he thinks, could add taste to his unattractive writing. He doesn’t even have a clue that Tigray is one of the provinces of Ethiopia, but something like an independent country. He likes them because the TPLF has been the headache of Ethiopia for 46 years. TPLF’s removal from the scene means his hope evaporated into the thin air. What a nightmarish scenario to him!

He bashes the Norwegians for giving Nobel Peace Prize to Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali. He thinks he didn’t deserve it. He was probably expecting Dr Abiy would not raise the smallest finger on the TPLF for the sake of protecting his Nobel Peace Accolade. Dr Abiy is a very tolerant person who begged the TPLF to come back to their parliamentary seats for more than two years, regardless of the gangsters’ insults and humiliating rants. They totally undermined the Ethiopian people and their prime minister.  The TPLF even defied the central government and held its own election ignoring the federal parliament decision of postponing the national election, following the suggestion by the Electoral Commission, due to the deadly virus COVID 19. Let me ask one simple question. Is there a clause, in the granting of a Nobel Peace Prize to a country’s leader, that prevents him from defending his country in  case of an attack, or deploying forces to maintain peace and order in his own country when a group of criminals destabilize the region? Didn’t President Obama, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner send his special force into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden in 2011? Should Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner never have sent an army into Tigray to restore peace and order and let the TPLF get away with the cowardice murder of almost 36,000 ENDF members, let them overrun the Amhara region  and march on to Addis to take power again against the wishes of the Ethiopian people? Yosief Ghebrehewet wishes so! He is lamenting the death of TPLF leadership, who raised up guns to fight and pleading with the Norwegians  to call back their Nobel Peace Prize because Abiy stopped the TPLF from getting away with the crime committed against humanity, to mention just a few, murdering unsuspecting innocent soldiers, carrying out genocide in Maikadra and Humera, incarcerating thousands and launching provocative missiles against neighbouring nation and region. 

How about justice for the 100o or so civilian victims massacred at Mai Kadra by the TPLF solders, the act of which was condemned by Amnesty Internal? After boring his readers to death which he abruptly mentions about this only towards the end, downplaying and portraying it as a smoke screen! 

He goes on a bit too much about “Abiy of Ethiopia, Isaias of Eritrea and the Amhara nationalistsbut no mention of 7 or 8 unprovoked rocket attacks on the neighbouring State of Eritrean capital, Asmara, which was condemned throughout the world. He doesn’t mention any of the rocket attacks on the densely populated cities of Gondar and Bahr Dar at all. Just because he fell out with his president, it amazes me how he shifted his allegiance from Eritrean patriotism to an ally of a mortal enemy of Eritrea, the TPLF. That is the nature and tradition of traitors everywhere anyway.

He also talks too much about the Amhara nationalist’s crime against the Tigrayan. However, he doesn’t want to mention what the TPLF did to the Amhara for 27 years. He doesn’t talk about how the TPLF portrayed in its Manifesto of Republic of Tigray that Amhara are the primary enemy of the people of Tigray. He doesn’t want the world to know how indigenous Amhara territories like Raya, Welqait Tegede, Dansha and Humera were annexed and incorporated into Tigray, how the people were imprisoned in underground bunkers and perished there. 

A picture containing outdoor, tree, person, people
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People of Welkait coming out to celebrate their freedom from the TPLF

In September 2016, the TPLF sent two of its security officers and burned down 400 shops as reported in the Ethiopian Reporter Newspaper of 17/09/16 in the city of Gondar. Both were captured while planning to cause further fires to reduce Gondar to ashes, arrested with bombs and combustible materials in their hands later on. The Guardian of 27 December 2017 tells us how the TPLF sent its security men into the city of Gondar to kill Colonel Demeke Zewdie, the leader of Welkait Amhara. He was saved by the people of Gondar who managed to stop the assassination, and the assassins themselves were killed in the shootout.  That was when the downfall of the TPLF started. 

The writer doesn’t say anything about how Amhara prisoners were kept in the cage with wild animals such as hyenas which tore them apart alive. In their latest attack, after massacring the soldiers of the ENDF Northern Division in their beds, the TPLF marched straight to the border of the Amhara region to overrun it and clear their way to Addis Ababa. However, the Amhara who had been victimised in the past did not only stand their grounds but also pushed them back and reclaimed the territories that was annexed 29 years ago from them. The writer intentionally avoids mentioning how criminal supporters across Ethiopia were secretly instructed to murder any Amhara found in their enclaves while TPLF was in power and governing Ethiopia for 27 years. Despite all that evidence, the surrendered Tigrayans were cared for by the Amhara and the wounded TPLF’s ordinary soldiers were treated in the hospital of the Amhara region. In short, the tyrant TPLF killers were portrayed as victims, but Amharas victims by the TPLF for 27 years were portrayed by the guy who calls himself a “prolific writer” as aggressors. There is no animosity between the ordinary people of Tigray and the Amhara, but the mortal enemy of two people are the traitor Tigrayan Mafia group called, the TPLF. That was why, while the TPLF was calling on the people of Tigray to come out and die for them, they gave them cold shoulders, leaving them on their own to rush to the rugged mountains alone with their tails between their legs.

Yosief Ghebrehiwet doesn’t let anyone to know the brutality of the TPLF. The crimes of the gang are not limited to Ethiopia, it does cross the border. The “prolific writer” doesn’t say anything, about how they sent assassins to neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Djibouti and murdered opposition leaders or kidnapped and brought them back into their custody. For instance, Andargachew Tsige, an international air passenger was kidnapped from Sanaa Airport on 23 June 2014 and brought back to Ethiopia and caged in solitary confinement for three years guarded only by TPLF men. Then they moved him to Kaliti Prison, caged him with two criminal inmates on death-row on murder charges and still his cell being managed by a TPLF security man called Berhane.  These details were written by Andargachew Tisge himself in his Amharic book “የታፋኙ ማስታወሻ”.

The guy has no shame whatsoever. He even dares to talk about oppressed Oromos. If there was oppression against the Oromos, it was carried out during TPLF 27 years rule. Actually, on top of their confrontation with the Amhara, it was the subjugation of the Oromo, that happened to be the last straw that broke the camel’s back, the movement that toppled them out of power and forced them to hole up in Makale.  Their current doom was led mainly by the Oromo Generals, like Berhanu Jula and Bacha Debele. What is he talking about? Oromos do well know and remember what the TPLF did to them. According to Seye Abraha, the former TPLF army leader’s account, Oromiffa (the language of the Oromos) during the TPLF rule had become the lingua franca of the prison. On 2nd January 2021, millions of Oromos throughout Oromia took to the streets to support Dr Abiy, to condemn the criminal TPLF and its surrogate OLF Shane, which was trained, armed, and financed by the TPLF, to overthrow the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Does that look like the Oromos are currently oppressed by one of their own?

He had said a lot about President Isaias Afewerki. I don’t want to comment about Eritrea and its president, because it is an independent state now. It is none of my business. All I would like to tell this sworn enemy of my country is, to take off his dirty hands out of my country’s affairs, Ethiopia.

The self-contradicting campaign of TPLF supporters and this guy is amazing. On one hand they systematically report how TPLF fighters destroyed tens of thousands of Ethiopia soldiers, nobody to tell the story. On the other hand, they demonstrate in cities of the world and calling to save the people of Tigray from joint force of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalis, South Sudan, United Arab Emirates and probably more. They lie down and roll over on the streets and show dramatic performance, claiming that was how women, children were abused. While they are doing all that in the United States, one wonders if there is a rule that prevents people from spreading the Covid-19 virus social distances and waring face masks. Regardless of the remnants of the TPLF gangsters and Yoeiph Ghebrehiwet’s lies alluding to “genocide in Tigray”, the Ethiopian Government has taken a great care to minimize civilian casualties unlike the TPLF criminals, who shot rockets at civilians on the densely populated cities of Bahir Dar and Gondar.  

The TPLF is bent on lying. There was a video chat between TPLF activists which was intercepted by an eavesdropping Eritrean . Below is transcription of that in English:

“When we report about situation in Tigray, we need to do so using vivid images. It does not matter if the images are related to recent fact or not.

For instance, if we use the image of a young girl and say she was raped in Adiggrat in Tigray, and if those who want investigate the atrocities go there to verify our of events, for sure they will find something much worse than what we reported …

They will not be going to bother to remember to check if the initial report was accurate or not. We simply have to flood the media with gruesome stories regardless of whether they are true or not because whatever we write will be documented and becomes the standard narrative.”

Mr. Ghebrehiwot should stop from feeding on lies like this. If he wants to be treated as a he claims to be, he should stop being self-obsessed and abusive towards Ethiopians. His tones of lies would not change what has been happening in Tigray. Tigray is free from the TPLF. Nobody shades tears for the mafioso gangsters, that destroyed infrastructures while retreating with no regard whatsoever for the people. Roads were bulldozed. Bridges were broken. Airports were ploughed. All that was with the intention to prevent aide from reaching Tigray. Unfortunately, the writer, Mr. Ghebrehiwet, is shrouded by lies he is provided with by remnants of the criminal gang and his own blurred imagination and cannot see that there is an issue in his actions.  He should take a deep breath. He should take this fact with a glass of water and pinch of salt. TPLF is finished! There is no war in Tigray anymore except the sporadic action of criminal, including 10,000 inmates released from prison to harass and terrorise the people. The battle is now to establish peace and order, on how to rebuild Tigray which was left ransacked by insensitive TPLF. 

Back off!









[9]Andargachew Tsige “Yetafagnu Mastawesha (Amharic) 2020

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  1. The writer doesn’t know much about Yosief Gebrehiwet. had he done his homework and looked in the background he would have discovered that Yosief was, untill as recently as before the war in Tigray, a staunch supporter of Ethiopia against Eritrea. he wrote many lines of Appologia of the defunct imperial rule of Eritrea. it is not accurate to claim that he has fallen out with his President Isaias Afeworki, since yosief was never a supporter of the regime in Eritrea neither a supporter of the Eritrean independence. he was for Ethiopia through and through.


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