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What is TPLF’s endgame?

TPLF End Game
TPLF military leaders during a recent meeting in Mekele (Photo : SM)

By Addissu Admas

We are now nearing the year mark since the start of the war in Tigray. It appears that this most unnecessary and destructive war does not appear to be winding down soon. On the contrary, it seems destined to continue until the whole of Ethiopia is completely engulfed in it. 

Why such resolve to condemn one’s own Killil to perennial poverty and misery, and Ethiopia in a permanent state of unrest? If the TPLF truly believes that it will triumph and regain the enormous power it wielded over Ethiopia for 27 years, it must be because it is either profoundly delusional, or because it is moved by a profound malice to see Ethiopia collapse. That the TPLF was never, even remotely, accepted as a legitimate power by the vast majority of Ethiopians is not something that it was unware of. What it has done in initiating this war – and indeed it is responsible for starting this war – is to make Ethiopians more resolved than ever to fight it to the death. It may have scored a win here and there, it may have boldly penetrated deep into other Killils, it may have terrorized large swath of innocent citizens to flee to other regions. Most of all, it may have won the support of Western politicians and media. However, what it has exacerbated to the extreme is the enmity of the Ethiopians and their determination to see it completely excised from Ethiopia’s body politic.  

The initials “TPLF” stand for “Tigray People’s Liberation Front”. Now that the TPLF has for all practical purposes “liberated” Tigray, what business does it have sending waves after waves of poor, ill-trained, ill-equipped Tigrean youth to slaughter poor innocent Amhara and Afar country folk, and be slaughtered by the militias of these latter in return? Does it really believe that it will “eventually” make its triumphant entry into Addis Ababa and wrest power from the hands of a legitimately elected government? Or, has it decided that the only way that it would accept to stop its destructive forays, and negotiate only after securing vast territories of Amhara and Afar? If this indeed its objective, then it must be ready for a very protracted and most materially and politically destructive war in Ethiopia’s history. Given its sheer hatred for the government of Ethiopia, and what it stands for, I am certain that it will not back-off from seeing the country fall in disarray than renounce its destructive agenda. What it continues to do is fanning the flames of hatred between peoples who have for decades, if not for centuries, have cohabited peacefully in a territory they have shared for millennia.

The TPLF has never sought honorable and equitable arrangements with any situation it has dealt with. It has always been moved by partiality, preferment, and advancement for itself and its people rather than equity, impartiality and fairness for all Ethiopians. Despite its claimed adherence to Marxist principles, it never swayed from its deeply culturally ingrained tribalism. Ethiopians’ main gripe against it is the fact that it only sought the hegemony, advantage and prosperity of its own people. One cardinal rule that long lasting and peaceful administrations have followed in Ethiopia and elsewhere is that the ruled need to be always coopted, made part of, and sharing power in their administration. What the TPLF chose to do it what not even the most powerful colonial forces have done. That is, it reserved for itself and its people every high and intermediate positions in government, military, and diplomacy, with unspoken advantages in the economic life of the country. The rest of Ethiopians were supposed to scramble for the leftover. Does it really believe that it will win over in any shape or form the Ethiopian people after abusing them for 27 excruciating years? It should thank the Ethiopian people instead for having born with incredible patience their abuses and maladministration. Other nations would have easily resorted to a genocidal war. The Ethiopian people have been tolerant and have let the TPLF govern unchecked and unimpeded for such a long time because they believed in peace at any cost. Now the TPLF is relentlessly pursuing the politics of war with no apparent aim than setting the country aflame, and hoping to emerge in the end with the most advantage. At the point Ethiopians are now, they rather see the war continue than let the TPLF get its way, or gain any advantage whatever.

It is unclear to me whether the majority of Tigreans are on board with TPLF’s agenda and propaganda. However, it should be clear enough to them that the vast majority of Ethiopians are determined to see the end of the TPLF. Most Tigreans, I hope, see that Ethiopians still make a clear distinction between them and the party. However, those that stand to fan the destructive propaganda and unwarranted claims of the TPLF would only be inviting the enmity of the rest of Ethiopians. This, in and by itself, would be, or already is, an accomplishment for the TPLF. Every right thinking Tigrean would know that the path led out by the TPLF would only lead to the destruction of the region and irreparable enmity with the rest of Ethiopians. If, on the other hand, the Tigrean people cannot conceive a future as part of Ethiopia, it is their moral responsibility to propose as an end to this war the secession of Tigray. Nevertheless, I want to believe that most Tigreans can see through TPLF’s insanity and join Ethiopians to withhold their support to this most destructive force in Ethiopia’s history.  


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  1. Their end game? It is written in huge letters right there on the wall. Cruising all the way to Addis/Finfine, baby!!! All Debre needs are Amhara and Oromo beasts of burden to carry him and his rag tags without their feet touching the ground. A stretch limousine ride and the travel manifest shows Dessie and others as pit stops. It seems Debre has secured such beasts of burden already. Who said this is a weekend free jazz concert? It is awful bloody mayhem where people’s mood can swing from one spectrum to another spectrum in a flash. Survivalist instinct can kick in at any moment and without any sign of its coming. That is why I am from a school of thought that no amicable and lasting peace will be achieved through bloody battles but rather through peaceful resolution. There will be no hero in this stupid destructive civil war when a brother kills his brother!!! Up tempo tunes of laloye, zaraaf and geresaas are leaving rather healthy officials with sick minds. Battle cries will not make ends meet in such carnage. I guess I’m just talking to a wall!!!

  2. Tplf will continue to war until they genoicde Tigrayan peole because it is pushing West for air strike on Ethiopia that is why tplf ikeep slaughtering Tigrayans.

  3. Subject: What is TPLF’s endgame? By Addissu Admas, October 23, 2021

    Humble Commentary,23 Oct 2021
    If the 21st Century TPLF leaders are aiming for the total destruction of an ancient country around the Globe — ETHIOPIA —, they are hallucinating in their dreams. And the Spirits of the glorious Atse Yohannes and Ras Alula of Tigray, Ethiopia, would be rolling in their graves. Do the 21st Century highly educated scholars of the modern times have an answer for the horrendous loss of human beings in Afar, Gambela, Gondar, Harare, Oromia, Sidama, Somalia, Tigray and Wollo?!?!?!? Include also consequential effect on neighbours of Ethiopia & Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia Sudan .

    Cardinal Question: Who benefits out of loss of Life and disturbance upon immediate neighbours??? Needless to say, we know the answer. Don’t we!?!?!? In any case — one way or the other — it is the ORDINARY PEOPLE who would carry the burden by sacrificing their precious LIFE. And where would the initiators be under the horrendous sacrifice? We don’t know where. They have a way of hiding themselves out of danger. By the way, such people have NO consciousness what so ever. They were born void of feeling.

    And so, we are awaiting for corps of ordinary people to be buried in five feet deep graves or deliberately burned corps in similar depth. But don’t expect smart aleck charlatans to shoot themselves to death like Hitler. They just don’t have the guts. Their strength is in manipulating and lying on straight sober facie. They are expert. The Good Lord created them for a purpose that ordinary human being can never understand. I am NOT
    saying the Good Lord is hiring hackers for his proterction. OH! Lord, the creator of all, have mercy upon me. THE END

  4. Maybe it is time to take some responsibility for the actions the opposition has conducted since 1991, to begin to see why international support for them has been lost. One does not have to go a few days after May 28 when the elders of tsion were stating the US had been behind TPLFs seizure of Addis.
    And so the naïve believing what they were told marched to the US Embassy and were going to carry out what they felt was a justified attack. And so from that day forward the opposition was never a friend to the United States. And here 27 years later many of those fortunate to escape Ethiopia were outside the lawn of the Whitehouse praising Putin and calling for HandsOFF meddling . As if their very presence in Washington was not part of that very meddling.
    Much what has been said about TPLF has also been hearsay. How many of these commentators actually have had one on one experience with the TPLF? It is as if they have found a career but lack the actual training to make them really qualified. And if it is bad enough to be shouting that the USA should stop meddling in the countries affairs, it has the bold demands to start demanding the USA also continue to provide funding such as projects AGOA. If the objective is to continue that legacy of falsely accusing the USA, while still demanding preferential treatment.
    Maybe for a change the objective is to ask oneself what it was that helped create TPLF in the first place. Because if TPLF is to disappear tomorrow, Ethiopia seems to still have to deal with the OLF and the LIYU movement. And what next/
    The fact nobody here rationally question the indignity to allow Eritrea, who fought bitterly to get away from Ethiopia, access back in. When Ethiopia calls a foreigner separatist a historical friend, and the United states a historical enemy. let’s just say Ethiopia is no longer on many friend lists after this latest stunt.
    Maybe could the opposition conduct themselves in a more honorable. Because time and time again it was them that was provoking the fights with the west. And if they want to win the west, they will not do it by endangering them with the accusations made in regard to media taking bribes, NGOs arming rebels. If the evidence was not there. What was the point of making such malice statements. In a court of law, that is a form of perjury.
    unfortunately, the damage has been done. never in history has so many Americans openly pledged loyalty to a foreign adversary as Putin. The media is angry. The NGOs are angry. And the international community is angry.
    And you want to tell them they have misunderstood the realities/ The realities have been presented. Those that opposed the TPLF have shown they will eagerly lie, distort, and endanger the American people under false pretenses. And that is the example they tell America is how Ethiopia should be lead. Well, you can clearly imagine the west is not going to be helping
    that version of Ethiopia anytime soon.
    So just get ready for a war. Because Egypt, Saudi, Turkey, Iran, UAE, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan are all investing heavily right now for a battle. And when that battle is over, they will be scrambling over who gets what. USA you et will not be in those peace talks when that happens.

    • There were both Liberation Fronts that are anti Ethiopia and foreign groups that worked hard to break the good relationship between U.S and Ethiopia. In fact, the historical friendship between U.S and Ethiopia. Start the breaking relationship between Ethiopia and U.S when Ethiopia was forced to be away from U.S when those interested in breaking relationshiop between u.s and Ethiopia who are in power refused to get arms from U.S when Ethiopia was invaded by Somalia in the 1970s. Depends on who you mean the opposition.

  5. The way I see it is that Debre and his brass will continue to have the advantage of being a guerilla fighting force. They know that from the back of their palms. Their life in it goes back to the 1970’s and 80’s. They are made up of one and only one ethnic group(more than 96% in that region). Abiy’s side does not have such homogeneity. He has a country of more than 80 ethnic groups that have been rubbing each other the wrong way thanks to the sinister policy put in place for more than 29 years by Debre’s predecessors. Debre has a population terrorized with the specter of deadly famine. The memory of such horrible calamity is still fresh in the psyche of the citizens there. If this ground warfare drags on without a decisive victory by Abiy’s side it will be a matter of time before battle fatigue sets inside the ENDF. Then that Oromo soldier will just shed his uniform, toss away the weapon he was given for the fight and rush back to his village. He will not be alone. He will be joined in his AWOL by the Amharas, Somalis, Afars, Sidamas, Gambelas and the rest. Bacha and Jula can keep on telling ‘stories’ as Bagdad Bob incarnates. So Abiy and his men better come up with a better plan because Debre is poised to be at their gate soon. I pray to be wrong on this assessment I have now.

  6. Dear Editors,

    Please maintain your esteemed website to be clean from profanity. This eyal-al-souq is using profane word against me. I hope you will catch him/her and slap him/her upside the head! He/she must be one of those bigots dreaming/fantasizing about his ‘republic’. Please get him/her out of here!

    • Here is the link of the same article where you have read my message to you. I still don’t understand why you were able to see my message to you but not the person I was talking about. All you may need is just scroll up. I was talking the issue to my friend the other day he told me something I don’t want start thinking about you. In any case here is the link:

  7. Dear Editors,

    Am I sounding like a broken record to you again? My understanding is that readers come here to air their honest opinion on various topics that matter to that gem of a country that produced us all and take civil criticism in grace. They also feel secured that you will protect them from denigrating impudence thrown at them by those who grew unattended. I am a big boy and I have a skin thick enough to take sensible criticism. Believe me I have learned a lot from such criticisms. I am from the school of thought that believes learning stops when we take our last breath. I come and post my two cents of opinions not to be rudely insulted. If you can see and read this comment here it means you know who I am taking about. Please let me know.

    • Hi Ittu Aba Farda,
      As indicated previously, please pin point the comment that you found insulting. The editor does not read comments out of time constraints. it has been repeatedly mentioned that borkena is short-staffed. I hope you understand it.

      Best regards,

      • Here is the link of the same article where you have read my message to you. I still don’t understand why you were able to see my message to you but not the person I was talking about. All you may need is just scroll up. I was talking the issue to my friend the other day he told me something I don’t want start thinking about you. In any case here is the link:

      • I don’t see it now. You must have tossed it away which is the right thing to do for the sake of those upright and cultured people who produced us all. Thank you for cleaning it up. We are all in with you in such blessed effort.

    • Dear Ittu,
      I agree with you about egregious incompetence of Ethiopian website managers. Remember most are not trained journalists or even fluent in the language (hence no editorial skills). They are in these for only one thing, $$! They are not accountable to anyone. A couple of us have been for a year now regularly visiting (taking screen shots, etc) Zehabesha to see if it met basic journalistic standards. What we discovered so far was that a/ Zehabesha routinely published unsubstantiated articles to make the “hits” b/ removed articles found to be in error (instead of apologizing and correcting them) c/ removed comments when it did not fit its agenda d/ permitted slanderous articles, ethnic slurs, misogynist comments in the name of playing “fair” e/ most bizarrely, Zehabesha actually comments as public. In other words, Zehabesha did not seem to have any purpose other than publishing anything that got it hits (and $$)! Hence, articles that are decidedly antagonistic (as in inciting communal violence between Amhara and Oromo) are preferred over the informative, civil, and objective. In the end, Zehabesha is a close second to Tplf propaganda war! (In fact one article by a TPlf cadre about three months ago was posted for a week before it was taken down.) We are currently looking into copyright issues (are authors protected? are they given proper info?, etc). If you and others you know have similar observations perhaps we could come together and force the establishment of community standards.

  8. I agree with you. It reminds me of what the person in the media world I always admire said back in the early days of the 1980’s. Once Ted Turner was very honest about his intentions to found CNN. Report honest God news, pile up audience and make money. He even said that he had designed some of his charities to make money to sustain themselves so they can continue helping the needy. But these days, in this day of Facebook, Twitter and others like these two, the priority has changed. Make money first and then, may be then, help others. It makes me long for those good ole days of the 1960’s, that mentality of help the world. One of those computer scientists who is now half credited for PC systems and internet was heard to be telling others he was not there to make money but help the world. But savvy individual others like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did not see it that way. Make money and in the process make the world a better place. That was a much tempered approach different than we see today in Facebook and the likes. ‘I don’t give a damn about it as long as I make money, not just money but 9 billion in crisp US dollars in a matter 3 months’, goes the mantra of today!!! Do you think Mark cares what Facebook is doing to those black folks in Ethiopia? Make me money first and then I will think very hard about taking down incendiary pages. Who cares about those niggers anyway!!! Boy that makes my blood boil, patriot!!!

    I believe that the editors of this esteemed website are trying their best to keep it as clean as the time constraints allow them to do so. They have to make a living in the hustle bustle world of Toronto, Canada. I wish these eyal-al-souqs leave their website alone. I can’t believe to see the profane words they use against people they don’t even know and never met. Criticism should be in order and can help find amicable ways to come up with solutions only when they remain civil just like our fathers. As a young boy I had a few chances to witness community meetings in the village I spent my formative years. I remember how civil everyone was in addressing issues. I remember one of them like yesterday. It was after marauding elements came to rural villages nearby and rustled cattle. You can say everyone was in rage and up in arms. But I don’t remember anyone using profanity and curse at the raiders. Let me say the raiders were given bitter lesson they would never forget until the late 1960’s. That is how our people I remember are. Polished and cultured and that were the people and value of the old country when I left. Where did these potty mouths come from? I have refused to think them as Ethiopians. They are those with sick minds and as you and I know sick minds are very hard to read!!! Meanwhile, let’s help the dear editors keep their/our website tidy and drive the devils out of town!!!!


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