By Samuel Estefanous
I was disenchanted by the very opening statement of the article, it didn’t bode well. Honestly it didn’t. It begins to read “the Ethio-Eritrean War” and goes on to say the war is actually against the people of Tigray. Thank God the war isn’t between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
He says the war has entered a new phase after the redeployment of TDF forces to the borders of Tigray, and one would naturally assume he would come up with some terms of surrender or at least a blueprint for an enduring peace in that troubled corner of the country. I mean considering the fact that he had made a disclaimer noting the article is a private reflection on his part. None of the kind!
On the contrary, it is yet another call for more saber rattling; more war mongering to wage a never ending war of ‘survival’ in his words or a consuming deadly war of attrition in fact.
I truly want to know if there is some solid pattern of thought in the said article. I couldn’t find one if there is any. Here are some self contradictory claims and plain misrepresentations.
1-After perusing the article the first definitive issue one makes out is, does the author believe or at least assume (for technical reasons) Tigray is a constitutive part of Ethiopia? Looks like he doesn’t, you see, in his words the war is in Tigray and not in the wider Ethiopia. In the General’s view this isn’t even a civil war but a war between two Sovereign powers.
Tigray is an African Nation, he retorts. According to Tsadikan, Tigray (independently of the rest of the country) has singularly germinated a native African civilization. So this is who Tsadkan is when the shell comes off and the husk is peeled? This is no ordinary Ethiopian, this was the country’s chief of staff, one of the few four star Generals the country has ever had. This article conclusively and irrefutably proves that the General is guilty of sedition beyond any reasonable doubt.
I swear to God I used to think he was increasingly veering towards the role of a moderate, erudite, broad minded and level headed academic than this hawkish middle age Samurai like figure thirsting for more blood.
This says a lot about TPLF’s enduring agenda beginning from its very inception. So all along the Front was an occupying alien force? I mean all these past twenty and seven odd years?
2- I have never made a pretense of being a fan of PFDJ; not even these days when we are supposed to sanctify it. Yet it never ceases to amaze and amuse me why in God’s good name TPLF keeps dragging Eritrea into this war? Every time TPLF forces lose a battle they are too quick to blame it on Eritrea. They would shamelessly contend that Eritreans commanders are in charge of the Ethiopian army. They tend to forget this allegation the minute they reoccupy a small foggy hill somewhere in Wollo or Gondar.
I know all that Machiavellian pseudo wisdom about the end justifying the means crap, but how could a political force breath in lies and breath out even more calumnies all its long miserable existence? How could they be trustworthy if they are incapable of telling something that exudes honesty and truth once in a blue moon?
I never expected the General would stoop so low as to repeat this baloney contention in his private reflections. Incidentally, this servile mentality of TPLF vis a vis PFDJ is so deep rooted that it is beginning to assume a ludicrous proportion. There is nothing they wouldn’t blame on it yet they venerate it like a god figure or something!
3- Going against vocal popular protest, the government of Ethiopia pulled its forces from Tigray to give peace a chance and to give some break to the unfortunate farmer of the region to recoup its remaining resources and energy to till the land during the rainy season. But TPLF mocked and declined the unilateral ceasefire offer and chose to ‘chase’ government forces to the gate of Addis, all along wreaking havoc, destroying lives and pillaging villages in a barbaric manner never seen or heard of in recent living memory. It wasn’t even a war crime; it is way beyond that, it is a diabolical sadistic act commissioned by Lucifer himself.
TPLF had irredeemably lost the little lingering respect it had won in its early days as a disciplined army which would rather go hungry for days on row than make a detour into a farmer’s abode. We were told that the only leverage TPLF had over the Derge was the respect it had shown for life and property in the lands inhabited by Amhara peasants. This TPLF/TDF is a gazillion times worse than the TPLF of the 80s.
After all these atrocities were visited upon the unsuspecting destitute villagers, Tsadikan had the nerve to suggest a political solution to the conflict. The timing makes the offer hilarious. Political solutions appeal to TPLF only when they are cornered. Whatever happened to the General’s insulting, condescending, impolite and rude rejection of a political solution only a couple of weeks ago?
4-TPLF didn’t want and try to advance on Addis Ababa, says Tsadkan. Out of curiosity, I will have to ask this, just where were their forces headed to when they arrived at Debre Sinai? en route to Nairobi perhaps?
Didn’t Getachew Reda try to make fun of us when he said you didn’t start to Shoa to eventually bivouac on Entoto hills? Okay, granted he is one big mouthed inconsequential busybody, how come the so called Central Command was unable or unwilling to reign in his juvenile Rambo wanna be ramblings?
In the same paragraph, Tsadkan admits that they had made a disorganized hasty retreat because TDF’s advanced positions and supply lines had increasingly become open targets for the ‘swarms of drones’. Not to mention the dearth of committed meaningful international backing.
It is a foregone conclusion that TDF has lost all the battles and is certain to lose the war; it was unable to withstand the aggressive counteroffensive launched by government forces. These are crystal clear facts on the ground and Tsadkan has pretty much explained the factors that double quickened their inevitable phenomenal demise- one being the decisive role played by ‘Eritrean armored divisions’ in the service of the ENDF as he had put it in so many words.
Alright, then, what is he suggesting? Negotiate terms of surrender before losing more ground and much credibility? Agree to a bilateral ceasefire agreement and maintain the status quo for the foreseeable future?
6-The government of Ethiopia has unequivocally made its intention clear to the effect that it wouldn’t advance into Tigray. If TPLF is left any remnant of honorable intention on its part, it would celebrate this God send opportunity and generosity like it never did before. But it looks like this decision of the government has blighted away its secret plans like one huge house of cards.
Instead Tsadkan is openly threatening that there is going to be a protracted lengthy war ahead of us for years and years to come.
7-TPLF retreated to Tigray burning every single bridge behind it; never making allowances for ‘peace talks’ in the near future. Like he says yes, Ethiopia is a land of multiple Nationalities and diverging interests. There is zero appetite for ‘empire building and domination of one group over the other’. However does he even realize what visions Ethiopians conjure up in their minds when they are told about the dominance of one group over the other? The bloody drawn out rein of TPLF!
TPLF has over played this card. It has played us false for three decades running, we won’t be fooled twice.
8- The deal clincher is Tsadakan’s effusive appeal to the African origin of TPLF and the mediator capacity of the AU. TPLF has mocked the African Union as a continental zombie whose only achievement has been its ability to pay a humongous amount of salary to its lazy bone employees and sweaty Chiefs. When it proved to be a reputed organization capable of moving and shaking empires, Tsadkan suddenly changed to reverse gear and is trying to warm up to the AU. Do you think the AU doesn’t file reports and organize intelligence tips? It does, and it sees right through your cheap opportunistic lip services.
If you ask me, it sure looks like one more time TPLF has emasculated General Tsadkan. He is contained in a solid capsule and he is unable to break out into the sunshine that is Ethiopia.
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