By Yonas Biru
As Feltman Stated, this is not 1991. Even in the best of circumstances, TPLF or TPLF associated governments cannot govern. TPLF is the most hated party in Ethiopia for good reason.
In 1991, five primary factors played in its favor to exert its governing power by force.
- The Oromo tribal region was sympathetic with TPLF, expecting to benefit from tribe-based politics.
- TPLF enjoyed the support of the Eritrean People Liberation Front (EPLF).
- The people of Ethiopia were completely disarmed by Dergue, with no means to mount armed resistance.
- The political environment was not poisoned by tribal rivalry and unmitigated hate.
There was no organized political group with a meaningful power base to resist the TPLF led government before it consolidated its power.
Fast forward to 2021
- Oromo sees TPLF or TPLF led coalition ascendence to power as a significant loss to the Oromo led coalition.
- TPLF is weakened by war and EPLF is its enemy not a friend.
- Every part of Ethiopia is heavily armed, many with advanced machine guns, particularly in the Amhara and Oromo regions – the two primary rivalries for power.
- Tribal animosity is beyond poisonous particularly between Amhara and Tigray and Tigray and Oromo. Today, Tigrayans’ accuse the Amhara of genocide. The Amhara accuse Tigray, Oromo, and Benishangul of Genocide. Benishangul and Kimant accuse Amhara of Genocide
- Afar accuse Tigray of genocide. Somali and Afar and Somali and Oromo accuse each other of genocide.
- There are tons of already organized groups to resist.
If TPLF and its cheerleaders think that TPLF can pull EPRDF 2.0, in 2021, it shows not only their utter misunderstanding of the dynamics in play, but also signifies their unmitigated stupidity.
TPLF has already initiated a civil war in Dessie and Kombolch where it used civilians as a clandestine extension of its army. Armed civilians were involved in murdering other civilians, after TPLF took control of
Kombolcha and Dessie. If civil war breaks out nationwide, the group that will suffer the most will be Tigrayans.
Ethiopians need to be united. There is no alternative but a negotiated settlement. I have written many articles stating that the US’s and EU’s intervention is myopic and dangerous, not only for Ethiopia but also for
Africa as well. It was titled “How US’ and EU’s Myopic Intervention in Ethiopia’s Conflict Will Destroy the Continent” It is a Google Search Away.
But one thing is true. Their interest is to end the war to maintain the integrity and stability of Ethiopia. Their persistent push for a negotiated settlement was not only politically right but also morally right.
Here is my article titled “Beyond Ethiopian Intellectual ኡኡታ: The Logic Behind US’s Intervention in Ethiopia.” Google it.
The narrative peddled by a large swath of Ethiopia’s intellectual clan that the US is after a regime change or submission by Abiy to serve America’s interest is utterly stupid. It is time to understand not only the internal dynamics but also the geopolitical dynamics.
We have a very narrow window of time to avert a civil war. If it happens, Peltman was right that it will make the civil war in Syria like a child’s play.
As a matter of urgency the government needs to initiate discussion with Oromo opposition forces and do it through the Gedda system to make it politically costly for the Oromo opposition to refuse. The government must announce its call to the Oromo opposition public. If they do not cooperate with the government, they will lose the Oromo people forever. OLF believed in the TPLF in 1991 and the entire Oromo population suffered. Will OFC repeat it? Let the Oromo people know this in real time.
As a matter of urgency, Amhara intellectuals who for three years accused the PM of being anti-Ethiopian publicly call all Amhara to be united and rally behind the PM without any precondition or equivocation.
Most importantly, the intellectual class must push all parties to engage in a negotiated settlement. Be it because of fear, favor or desire, the people of Tigray are solidly behind the TPLF. The call for total destruction of TPLF was stupid from the get go. I have said this all along. I will say it again.
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It started by Abiy’s last year – when he announced that the Ethiopian forces were going to invade Tigray, I remember leaders around the world asking him to have talks first. He was adamant and refuse to even entertain the idea of talks with Tigray. Now the result is there for all to see. It’s because of Abiy’s thirst for power – he wanted to be the all powerful one.
Well said sir. Lucid, broad, rigorous thinking with minimal propaganda bias to backup your seemingly constructive conclusions. Ethiopia needs such brutally honest discourse.
Like a hard punch in the chest by a loving friend, to wake up from delusions.
Borkena would do well to follow your lead.
You forgot to use the word Negotiation in your title on stopping the TPLF. Some may misconstrue your excellent article as supportive of expanding the very civil war you wish to end.
I have no doubt that the US & European leaders are trying to in good faith to solve the political issue in Ethiopia. However, as all ethnic groups have a strong political advocates the Amhara’s are the only one who don’t have a real party that represent their interest. Whether we like it or not Ethiopia as we know has gone forever. Any political settlement will only favour anti Ethiopian forces. The Amhara elites should wake up from it’s deep coma & start organising a vanguard party to protect the national interest of the Amhara nation. I will not support the idea of supporting Abiye Ahmed as he is the most incompetent PM in the entire history of Ethiopia. Abiye & his PP has to go for the peace of Ethiopia.