“Arrogance is trying to convince others you’re more than who they know you are.” Albert Einstein
General Tsadkan Gebretensae in his article titled “Pertinent-issues-on-the-war-in-Tigray” published on The Elephant, attempted to reintroduce the TPLF as if it is an organization that cares about democracy, the rule of law, and Ethiopian Unity. Tsadkan claims the TPLF is fighting to preserve “Ethiopia’s Unity”, constitutional framework, and territorial integrity. For those of us who know the TPLF since its inception, the above quote is a fitting description of the TPLF. I don’t think anyone in the world needs a reintroduction of the TPLF and its atrocities committed against the people of Ethiopia. We know its purpose and we know it is one of the most destructive forces and collections of merciless brutal thugs.
First, let me make it clear, there is no war on Tigray or in Tigray, no Tigray genocide, and the government of Ethiopia cares more about the people of Tigray than the TPLF does. For those who suffer from selective amnesia, we are forced to remind them the war has been in the Amhara and Afar regions for more than five months, not in Tigray. We also need to remind them, although they ignore it knowingly, the war is against the TPLF’s brutal forces not against the people of Tigray. The allegation that Ethiopia is weaponizing starvation is also false; in fact, it is the TPLF that is using starvation as a weapon of war. As the WFP has stated, the TPLF is using more than 1,000 trucks sent to deliver food aid to Tigray to transport its fighters. It also stated it needs to purchase new trucks to transport food to Tigray because the aid delivery trucks are taken by the TPLF. All the facts indicate, it is the TPLF that has blocked food delivery routes to Tigray because it wants to use famine and the “Tigray genocide” narratives in its effort to galvanize international support to get access to the Sudan corridors. For Tsadkan to claim Ethiopia is responsible for starvation in Tigray is bogus and a political ploy to deceive the international community and gullible Tegarus. The Ethiopian government not only allowed food delivery by trucks, but it has also given authorization to the international community to deliver food aid to Tigray by air. Thus, Tsadkan’s allegations do not have any foundation in facts. More importantly, if Tsadkan and company truly care about the well-being of the people of Tigray, the TPLF leaders must surrender without any preconditions. No country in the world will allow those who attacked its military forces to go unpunished; it should not be any different for Ethiopia. The international community must support Ethiopia to enforce its laws and hold accountable those who massacred its defense force while protecting Ethiopia’s border instead of treating Tigray as a sovereign country.
The fact that the Western governments and the mainstream media are treating the TPLF as a “sovereign country” has emboldened the TPLF and prolonged this war. The lack of imagination and political myopia has made the West and its mainstream media willfully ignorant. Instead of making the TPLF accountable for its crimes, they are giving aid and comfort to a group that is designated as a terrorist group by the government. The Westerners are aware of the crimes committed by the TPLF during its 27 years reign in Ethiopia and since the reform was initiated. In addition, they are well aware of the war crimes committed by the TPLF during this conflict. The deafening silence of the West, UN, and its agencies like WHO and UNESCO is indicative of the support the TPLF enjoys from the West. Despite all the evidence, they have never acted against the TPLF and have failed to condemn the atrocities committed by the TPLF. Although they know the TPLF started this war, they are blaming the Ethiopian government, and the likes of the New York Times publish fake news to distort the truth. It is because of such support and platform that the TPLF terrorists enjoy, Tsadkan displayed his arrogance and tried to convince us and others the TPLF is more than we know it is.
With the tangled web of deceits and conspiracy from Dedebit to the White House, the Westerners are putting the TPLF and the Ethiopian government on equal footing despite the overwhelming evidence of atrocities committed by the TPLF. The West and Mainstream media were hoping and aiming for regime change in Ethiopia. They cheered, guided, supported, and encouraged, the TPLF to enter Addis Ababa. When the Ethiopian forces counterattack drove the TPLF to Tigray, the West and its allies changed their tunes and began “jumping ship.” That is the reason, Tsadkan came out from the rock that he was under and pleaded with the West to breathe life into an organization that dug its own graveyard in the pursuit of greed and power. Every effort made and support given to the TPLF could not revive the West’s objective of regime change in Ethiopia.
It is with intention of bringing back the TPLF to power the campaign of demonizing Ethiopia initiated with the so-called war on Tigray narrative coined by the Western media and the TPLF propagandists. Such a campaign is designed to attract the international community’s attention, make Ethiopia an international pariah, and undermine the Ethiopian government law enforcement campaign against the TPLF aiming to bring a regime change against the will of the people. Tsadkan’s message to the West is simple; he is saying ‘the TPLF is willing to sell the interest of Ethiopia to protect yours if you save us.’ In his article, he says “The Horn of Africa is a region where the world’s great powers all have legitimate interests. The world needs maritime security, seeks to stamp out violent extremism, and wants to avert the specter of massive distress migration driven by conflict, famine and state collapse.” This is coming from the TPLF that has been the source of destruction, famine, exile, and instability in the Horn of Africa. Tsadkan tells us “Abiy is implementing the blueprint of Isaias Afwerki.” The supposed blueprint which alleges Isaias’ desire to control the Horn of Africa does not exist. There is no supporting evidence Isaias made any attempt to control the horn of Africa in his 30 years in power. Isaias’ problem has been trying to take territories that he considers “Eritrean” by force, and learned the hard way such an attempt is futile. Tsadkan is invoking Isaias hoping to belittle Abiy and internationalize the war.
It is insane to consider the TPLF as a force of stability as Tsadkan Preaches. After 26 years of TPLF’s brutal rules, in 2017, Ethiopia was on the verge of collapse because of the hateful ethnocentric divisive policy implemented by the TPLF. From the beginning, the TPLF ruled, violating its own constitution, creating inter-ethnic conflict, hoping to be in power for a long time ruling over a divided nation. Knowing the TPLF never applied the constitution and eroded trust among Ethiopians creating the fertile conditions for enter-ethnic conflict, Tsadkan tried to tell us as if the TPLF is the guardian of the constitution and savior of the Ethiopian unity. In fact, the TPLF leaders fled to Tigray when Abiy began implementing the Ethiopian constitution paving the path to democratic governance and began a unique opportunity to usher in a new era of stability and unity in Ethiopia. The TPLF used to “winning elections’ ‘ 96% and above, and looting the country acting above and beyond the law, could not contemplate competing in a leveled political field and existing without corruption that benefited its cronies. When the tide turned against it, the TPLF chose to put its tail between its legs and run to Mekele. These brutes have been the source of pain and misery in Ethiopia and a destabilizing force in the Horn of Africa for 47 years; how can such an organization contribute to any stability?
Tsadkan’s attempt to use Isaias as a boogeyman to solicit support from the West is not surprising. He thinks the West’s hatred for Isaias Afeworki gives him an opportunity to play this card. Westerners are angry with Isaias because he refused Western aid and rejected their intervention in Eritrea’s internal affairs. Unlike the TPLF, Isais doesn’t have a submissive nature. We know Western governments don’t want independent-minded leaders in Africa. Therefore, Tsadkan is exposing the submissive nature of the TPLF and the willingness to sell Ethiopia’s interest to the Westerners if the TPLF is saved with their help. Tsadkan attempts to tell us as if the TPLF is the guardian of unity, stability, and democracy will not fool anyone. TPLF’s track record is contrary to these noble values. These are traits that the TPLF never had and will never acquire. Such a bizarre statement is laughable because we have witnessed how the TPLF divided Ethiopians, fomented ethnic animosity among Ethiopians, and how its Machiavellian policies destroyed an entire generation. The world must be reminded that the TPLF is the most hated warmongering organization in the Horn of Africa because of the brutality exhibited during its 27 years of rule and will not be allowed to return to central power. In the past, Tsadkan himself wrote multiple articles warning how TPLF’s dictatorship could lead to its demise. Tsadkan failed to mention that the TPLF was ejected from power by the people of Ethiopia and the constitution does not allow anyone to take power other than through an election. The people have enough of the TPLF because its leaders looted the nation’s meager resources, tortured, and killed the young and the brightest, and exiled thousands of Ethiopians who could have contributed to the development of the nation. This is the organization that the Western governments want to return to power.
In its deceptive rambling, Tsadkan tells us this is not 1991. Whether it is 1991 or 2021, the character of the TPLF is one and the same. That is precisely the problem with the TPLF; it never adjusted from the rule of the jungle to the rule of law. Even in this article, Tsadkan is insisting the only acceptable form of government for the TPLF is an ethnic-based doctrine that has been overwhelmingly rejected by the people of Ethiopia. The TPLF has not reformed and will never be reformed because its modiolus operand is “my way or the highway”. Such an organization needs to cease to exist if Ethiopia and the rest of the countries in the Horn of Africa are going to lead a peaceful and stable continent. The Westerners must not be short-sighted and blinded only by their selfish interest. Their current policy will backfire, and they will pay a heavy price if they continue supporting terrorist groups like the TPLF. Tsadkan’s article reveals how deeply wounded the TPLF is and screams to be rescued by trying to be “all things to all people”. This indicates the end is near for the TPLF.”
Tsadkan did not feel any shame when he said, “we [Tigrayans] have contributed to the vision of an Africa that is stable, secure and independent from external powers, whether they be Europe, America, the Middle East or Asia.” On one hand, he appears as if the TPLF is the guardian of the Western interest, and on the other hand, he is trying to portray the TPLF as if it is the guardian of African independence. This shows enormous desperation in the TPLF camp. The fact clearly shows, the TPLF served as the subservient of the Western powers. Even as a government of Ethiopia, the TPLF never had the interest of Ethiopia and her people at heart let alone Africa. In 2016, at the height of the anti-TPLF protest, the then-Communications Minister, the current TPLF spokesperson, Getachew Reda, claimed that Oromos and Amharas are like “fire and grass.” He was implying that the two communities’ political aspirations are mutually combustible and inherently incompatible. What type of government in the world utters such a reckless and hateful statement? Does this sound like the TPLF cares about the unity of Ethiopians? The TPLF is the devil we know, and the world doesn’t need any reintroduction. We know about the brutality and crimes against humanity committed against the people of Ethiopia. So far, the West has shown its willingness to stand with the TPLF and against the people of Ethiopia. The world must be reminded, again and again, this war is with the People of Ethiopia, not just the government. The Westerners must stop adding insult to our injuries by using Human rights violations as a pretext to aid the TPLF. Where were those who are shading crocodile tears now when we were slaughtered by the brutal group that they are supporting and encouraging?
The TPLF was born with the hate for Amharas; for that reason, in its 27 years rule, the TPLF was engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Amharas. Even now, when the TPLF controlled Amhara territories, it committed unimaginable atrocities against the Amhara people. Although the TPLF often talks about its contempt “for the Amhara elites”, those who found themselves in the wrath of the TPLF are Amhara peasants, innocent Amhara women, and children. Tsadkan pulled TPLF’s old playbook and used the same “the Amhara empire is coming mantra”, This will not work. Our people are more conscious and their awareness of TPLF’s tactics is greater than in 1991. It is for that reason, the TPLF was rejected. In fact, it started this war because it wants to rule Ethiopia again with an iron fist; it does not want an Ethiopia that is not ruled by the TPLF to exist. The concept of democracy, rule of law, and constitution are empty words used by the TPLF to deceive the international community and for Tsadkan to paint a rosy picture about the TPLF is shameful. No one knows better than this General that the TPLF has no democratic culture and is alien to democratic values. For an organization that has been “ruled” by one family for the last 45 years to claim itself as a savior of democracy has to be the joke of the century. An organization that does not have a democratic culture can’t implement democracy in Ethiopia.
Tsadkan claims “We [the TPLF] are fighting to protect the principles of the Federal Constitution of Ethiopia…” Really? Why didn’t the TPLF govern by following the constitution for 27 years? Where in the constitution indicates the government can torture, rape, sodomize, and extrajudicially kill prisoners? Where in the constitution states that the government can massacre peaceful protesters? I can go on describing the despicable acts of the TPLF violating its own constitution. In an article this writer published in February 2011 titled “Ethiopia, does the constitution apply to the EPRDF?” stated “The problem is not with the opposition accepting the Constitution; the problem is with the regime; a regime that continues to violate its own constitution and rule with an iron fist. A country’s constitution is supposed to be the supreme law of the land in any nation.” The constitution was merely a tool for the TPLF to silence its opposition and appease its international backers. This is well known to the Westerners; why are they now pushing our killers, rapists, torturers, and looters to come to power? How many Ethiopians’ lives are worth protecting their interest?
Tsadkan’s article indicates nothing other than how desperate the TPLF is. He simply rambled and painted the TPLF with a shiny object to cover up its rotten and despicable characteristics hoping to be saved by its Western backers. His arrogance undermines the intelligence of Ethiopians and other Africans. His “the boogeyman is coming” article simply lionizes Isaias Afeworki giving the Westerners an excuse to continue to intervene in Ethiopia’s internal affairs. The TPLF is an organization that never had the interest of the people of Tigray. This war has never been about the people but an effort to save criminal elements who are hiding behind their Tigrayan ethnicity and hoping to grab power unconstitutionally. What the people of Ethiopia want is accountability from the TPLF leaders. There is a saying in Ethiopia “A child can’t teach a mother the pain of labor in childbirth”. Tsadkan is trying to preach peace to the choir, and it will not work. Peace can be achieved only when the TPLF leaders surrender and are held accountable for the crimes they have committed. One thing must be clear. This war is not with Abiy; this war is with the Ethiopian people. There may be some power-hungry and useful idiots who organized themselves as representing a particular ethnic group. None of them has the support of most members of the ethnic group they claim to represent. Most of all, the TPLF has no wide support outside of Tigray and ethnic Tigrayans.
Tsadkan said, “We are proud of our contribution to regional economic integration including water, electricity, and transport infrastructure joining neighboring countries.” Nothing can be further from the truth. The fact shows the TPLF looted money using these projects as an excuse. The fact is while the TPLF leaders and their beneficiaries were drinking blue label Whisky and chasing women and girls, they did not even provide clean water to the people of Mekele let alone contribute to the economic integration of “neighboring countries”. It was after Abiy came to power that clean water was provided to Mekele. Most of the infrastructure building projects were designed as a way of looting Ethiopia. Most were poorly constructed, or incomplete. The purpose of the projects was to give contracts to the TPLF business organizations, members, and relatives who were incapable of completing such projects.
Tsadkan’s article was intended to give comfort to the TPLF supporters. On one hand, Tsadkan tells its supporters the TPLF is “undefeated” on the other hand it is telling its backers it needs help because the TPLF is about to be crushed. One thing is clear, the people of Ethiopia will never allow any transitional, provisional, or whatever name government in Ethiopia that is not elected by the people. The people have given their voice; any attempt to reverse the will of the people will be inevitable bloodshed. The TPLF will never be allowed to have any power in the federal government. The trajectory for the TPLF is clear; thus the Sun is beginning to set, and the TPLF will be buried in a dark hole forever.
In his rambling, Tsadkan failed to mention how this war started. One must understand the root cause of any problem before prescribing any solutions. The TPLF attacked the Ethiopian Defense Force stationed in Tigray without any provocation. This has been lost in the Western media narrative to demonize Ethiopia and provide aid and comfort to the TPLF terrorist group. Where in the Ethiopian constitution indicates for a regional government to attack the federal government? The constitution however is clear what the punishment would be for treason and those who murder their fellow citizens. If Tsadkan and his TPLF cronies want to defend the Ethiopian constitution, then they must surrender. No one is coming to save them, and no amount of bravado will help the TPLF forces. Enough young Tigrayans have died to protect the interest of the TPLF criminal enterprise. These people don’t care about Tigray, they care about their power, looted properties, and ego. If Tsadkan and company have an iota of care for the people of Tigray they need to surrender now.
Ethiopia will prevail! May God protect Ethiopia and her great people.
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