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HomeOpinionJust What Does TPLF Want to Achieve? 

Just What Does TPLF Want to Achieve? 

TPLF leaders (Photo : SM)

By Samuel Estefanous

One more time TPLF has made its intention crystal clear-it wants the guns to do the usual talking.  According to TPLF’s propaganda Czars, guns are far more eloquent and persuasive than articulate intelligent people negotiating around a conference table.

The long suffering regular folks have got unerring message to convey. The guns have been talking for far too long that it is high time the warring factions took a step or two back and did some kind of soul searching in good earnest. 

If a given system runs on the blood of the people it is supposed to serve for three generation going, there is something primordially wrong with it. After all these wars (and a sure prospect of some more coming in the pipeline) no amount of theoretical treatise or a staggering high extent of any kind of pressing practical necessity, nor  the illustrious credentials and world class distinctions of the wise people at the apex of the political hierarchy justifies maintaining the status quo.

It has to be underscored in bold letters. War-particularly any sort of Civil war- is a testament of failure. 

We cannot accept war as a regular way of life, however much it is practiced as a traditional sport of choice by a bunch of bigots feeding on the blood of their own kind. As the late Premier once noted bitterly and tearfully in an emotionally charged trembling voice…we are sick and tired of war.

At the end of the day, the widow stays alone with her emaciated kids in a cold dusty room with little in the Mesob to eat, the blind are left to fumble their ways out unaided, the maimed negotiate every inch of the distance and no one would care to offer them a ride. One has only to read the harrowing account narrated by Genet Ayele on how Menigstu Hailemariam encountered the horrors of the war at the fabled Jegnoch Amba. After visiting them, he certainly didn’t talk of them as ‘jegnoch’ but as freaks of nature.     

 Who are we saving the country for if we are set on exterminating each other to the ‘last man standing’? No, we cannot let this to go on forever.  

 As the ferenjis say ‘Something’s Gotta Give’.

1-Waging War to break Siege?

Time after time TPLF maintains that the government has held siege over the Region and it has got to break it to reach out to the whole wide world. At first most people were alarmed assuming that the government had sealed the state boundary to emasculate the rebel groups.  It would have been like draining the sea to catch the fish if the government had indeed employed such barbaric means.

But the roads are open; the sky isn’t closed except that TPLF contingents are making free flow of aid convoys difficult and in some instances near impossible. What does this tell us about the true intention of TPLF? It believes that it stands to benefit from the suffering of the Tigray people to garner international support and to foster local radicalization of the youth. 

I just couldn’t find any other credible proof to believe otherwise. What makes the previous assumption viable is the fact that TPLF has chosen to beat the war drums just when the international community is able to deliver more aid than ever. Even if the government or irregular armed forces sympathetic to the government are making the free flow of aid difficult, wouldn’t it be easier and mutually beneficial to negotiate through the relevant UN Agencies if necessary? 

If any siege is to be broken, looks like it is the siege mentality of the political leaders of the Region, who thrive on conflicts. They are victims of a dog eat dog decadent culture of governance which has corrupted a whole generation of Ethiopian politicians.  

2-A Detour pursued and maintained for far too long

 Sometimes we forget that circumstances obliged TPLF to found EPRDF in its own image. Perhaps under strong pressure from PFJD, it was forced to create a lab coalition called EPRDF with available resources at the disposal of itself and the PFJD for the simple reason to justify its continued presence beyond the historical boundary of the province of Tigray. It has to be remembered that one of the reasons why the Rome Peace Agreement with Dergue had failed was the latter’s understandable and uncompromising stand that there is no such thing as EPRDF and that practical and meaningful negotiations could only be made with the actual rebel group called TPLF.

In hindsight, I cannot but admire the wisdom and tenacity of the Dergue in its refusal to extend cognizance to EPRDF. When one considers the fact that out of the seventeen years armed struggle with the Degue, TPLF fought fifteen years within Tigrary and for Tigray, he cannot fail to understand that EPRDF was a façade to push a clandestine sinister agenda.

It is a matter of historical record that Dergue was inherently defeated after the foiled adventurous  Coup of 1989. After the ill-fated Coup, the Degue was in a state of sustained free fall and nothing could have stopped the inevitable collapse of the WPE and the government of PDRE. 

After making sure that the Dergue needed only a gentle nudge for it to crush in to the abyss, TPLF put together a ragtag Front from the broken pieces of the dying colossus itself and right away started carving out the carcass.  If TPLF had fought back the temptation to ‘own’ Ethiopia at the expense of its ‘mesmer’, it wouldn’t have shared the sad fate of its predecessor. If it had remained true to its founding vision, it would have accepted the Dergue’s offer to undertake a genuine peace dialogue to jointly determine the future of the Country. Instead of disbanding the army and the state structure, it should have tried to maintain it and it should have tried to prop up the Dergue for the good of the Nation, however bitter the pill was to swallow.  

Who would have thought the United States would reinstate the bulk of the imperial Japanese government after the carnage the latter had inflicted on it at Pearl Harbor and the greater Pacific war theater? But it kinda did, for its own good and for the good of the Japanese public. That is what seasoned and matured statesmen do.        

It is lately that the leaders of TPLF have begun to come out clean about the blunder they had made in creating a façade Front to subjugate the rest of Ethiopia. Until I heard General Teklebrehan making it unequivocally clear for us all, I had a lingering suspicion that it might not be the case the case, though. 

He was very much upset talking about the ‘historical misstep’ TPLF had taken when it crossed the provincial boundary and marched all the way to Addis. According to the General, the overwhelming majority of TPLF fighters volunteered to liberate Tigray and not the rest of Ethiopia as the latter forces were fighting them tooth and nail. That is why some contend that TPLF’s downward spiral begun at the first Congress of EPRDF in the year 1988.

What about the twenty seven odd years, TPLF had stayed in power, one may wonder…to my mind it was one extended detour maintained for far too long. All those years were lost on the people of Tigray and the rest of the Country.

The incumbent should take note, too, lest the detour becomes the main course. A seasoned level headed leader offers the olive branch, when he is in a position to ‘call all the shots’. That is the exact right time to press for negotiation. Yesterday, I was rereading Lt.Colonel Brehanu Bayeh’s memoir and folded the tome at the page where he has emotionally relived the memorable conversation the then Premier and himself had with the President of the Republic around the year 1989. 

They asked the President to break the obstinacy and negotiate to grant a Federal status to Eritrea and the others as well, if need be. Mengistu’s answer was incredibly grounded and realistic. Practically he told them that over the years, they had mindlessly squandered precious opportunities to negotiate,

‘Now if we press for a federal union in the panic state we are in, they are certain to mock us’ he had said. Let this be a lesson to the leaders, let them not succumb to shallow sentimentalism and the emotional effusions of the army of drooling advisors who are ever chasing cheap popularity to garner momentary support.  

3- Quo Vadis TPLF?   

TPLF has moved back in time to the year 1988 and is doing a phenomenal reckoning of its past and future. It has jettisoned its heavy winter overcoat called EPRDF and now it is standing clad in its own a tight fitting khaki outfits. A couple of years ago someone has asked this very question relative to EPRDF. I repeat it to TPLF-Quo Vadis TPLF?

This isn’t the time to lose the lucidity of existential questions in the haze of incomprehensible Marxists lingos. Where are you headed from here? The leaders of TPLF need to tell the people of Tigray and the rest of the Country as they would tell their respective mothers in simple clear and precise terms. This is the time for you to ‘simplify and unify’ your composition.

Surely you aren’t going to repeat the mistake of 1988 by trying to found a union of ‘federalist forces’. We were like TPLF should have known better than that the last time you tried to forge a union of mercenary forces. 

Portray yourself as the ultimate guardian of the FDRE Constitution and win the hearts and minds of ethnic based political parties thereby foment discord from distance? In that case do you yet believe the people of Tigray stand to benefit from the suffering of its kith and kin? What does TPLF intend to do on the ruins of Ethiopia? Sing ‘mesmerina haylina’? A mesmer that thrives on ruins and celebrate death is defeated at the very inception.

Break free from the greater Ethiopian polity? Alright, maybe we can stay on this topic.  Question is, HOW? TPLF isn’t the people of Tigray. Besides, every single Ethiopian has got some stake on the said question.

Hence, the need to talk and talk to the government of the FDRE even if your mouth goes dry on you and your lips crack in the process and you ear hurts like a pin is stuck in to it.

No matter what, eventually, the question of the people of Tigray is going to be resolved through dialogue, the only question is when do you chose to undertake it, now or after losing yet hundreds of thousands of lives, after the cancerous seed of suspicion and hatred is further and deeply entrenched? 

God Bless.            


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  1. Subject: Just What Does TPLF Want to Achieve? By Samuel Estefanous; May 16, 2022

    QUESTION: “Just What Does TPLF Want to Achieve?” By Samuel Estefanous,

    Humble Opinion
    a) It is very interesting question.

    b). It should lead us to the leader of TPLF {Note: We must keep in mind that in our Dear Black Africa
    the ordinary African people have no say on their own Africa.

    c). It would then force us to ask: Who is the leader? What is the motive of the leader? Was the leader
    elected by the people in a democratic manner?

    d) Asking such questions, in our dear Africa, is inherently taboo

    e) Therefore, the honest, innocent, ordinary Black Africans will keep on going at the dictate of the self
    appointed shrewed dictators.

    f) The practice is so deeply hinged that we Black Africans are tuned to follow the dictato’s whims and
    accept the order of the dictator all the way deep to purgatory

    g). Oh! By the way, African dictators have a way to save themselves through various channels named
    Colonial Forces of Powerful White Race who are interested in the Land of Black Africa — NOT

    h). If there is a strange phenomenon — that cannot be hidden — around the GLOBE, IT MUST BE THE
    ENABLERS.!?!?!?!?! PERIOD

  2. Based on the official communiques of the TPLF, its clear that the fascist leaders have the intention of declaring independence. The question will be whether the Tigray will be a viable and functioning state. Tigray is the poorest region in Ethiopia and despite the diversion of the country `s resources and economic and political empowering, the TPLF has not delivered.

  3. Independent Tigray will be entirely dependent on foreign aid and donations. But the issue will be how long this dependence will go. Tigray is very dependent on Ethiopia because it is resource poor and can not sustain itself. The most part of the resources the TPLF has been siphoning off from Ethiopia have ended up in offshore banks but I do not believe that they will be available to independent Tigray. The dream of independent and greater Tigray the TPLF leaders cherish is a tall order now.

  4. I am glad you took up the issue head on… question is how would the rest of Ethiopia entertain the idea of an independent Tigray? you see, Tigray isn’t Bahre Negash nor is it Djibouti… basically it is the genesis of Ethiopia… unless we are willing to subscribe to the Ethiopia of EPRDF, which for all practical purposes spans just under 125 years history…. what do you say?

    • Greetings, Samuel Estefanous.
      I admire your words the: “issue is head on … the genesis of Ethiopia…”
      Tigray is part and parcel of Ethiopia for time immemorial.
      Tigrayans like Emperor Yohannes and Ras Alula were part and parcel leaders of Ethiopia that no body can deny.
      Now to the cardinal question: Why would Tigrayans be denied their part and parcel land and history?
      Who is going to benefit out of throwing Tigray out of its natural territory for time immemorial.??????
      Would cutting the middle finger of a hand benefit the finger?!?!?!?

      • Dear rezen…that is why I insist that dialogue and negotiation is the only way out of the crisis, see, one has to swallow his pride to negotiate…

  5. Jamal Countess, the photo journalist, estimated the number of Ethiopian troupes killed by TPLF on the night of Nov 3 to 4 in 2020 was 8000 AT LEAST. With the help of other forces a few thousand broke through and survived but the cruelty of they way they were killed is not yet told. TPLF boasted it was a pre-emptive strike on live TV so that is just a fact. Any argument should keep that FACT in mind. I don’t think there was any gov’t in the entire history of this world that was told to negotiate with a terrorist group that killed it’s soldiers in such great number in such a short time for no apparent reason.

    Nigeria did what it had to do in Biafra and that was not right but it was understood. The times have changed to the better and Ethiopia is trying to get food to Tigre province while TPLF is blocking access on purpose and accusing the GoE which did not. If there was any intention of starving out Tigray GoE wouldn’t have spent 100 billion birr to feed Tigray for seven months and provide 70% of the aid there after. The hundreds of trucks that delivered food and medicine were taken away by TPLF and used to transport terrorists that later pillaged Amhara and Afar. Many Amhara and Afar that slaved in the middle east to buy a mini bus or a three wheeled taxi for their families to live on were robbed off their properties by TPLF, let alone the schools, factories, hospitals and clinics. What it couldn’t take, TPLF burned or destroyed. A certain western journalist on BBC(?) predicted the Amhara were going to move in to Tigray and do the same back in December 2021. And the joy in that journalist’s voice was disturbing.

    Another Ethiopian journalist that was beaten up and left for dead under a bridge in Addis Ababa years ago was telling horrific stories that was done to Ethiopian officers in the NC by same TPLF.

    There was also some clips on FB some digital TPLFs circulated amongst themselves. A second or two of those clips were shown by at least one of them on YouTube. ENDF officers were being strangled to death with wires around their necks, copying the way Ethiopian refugees were beheaded by ISIS in Libya a few years earlier. It is hard to forget that FM Adhanom , now head of WHO, wanted to deny they were Ethiopians in Libya back then or the fact he practically apologized to certain middle country’s gov’t when many Ethiopians were massacred with some help from pakistani foreign workers instead of protesting. Ethiopians don’t understand the mentality of TPLF gang at all.

    If the previous Ethiopian Army knew what it knows now about TPLF, or the people that supported TPLF out of hate for DERG, the outcome of that war would’ve been very different. May be DERG would’ve negotiated port access and left Eritrea to EPLF and concentrate on the rest of Ethiopia. In fact that was probably what the failed 1989 coup was about. Some estimated there were as much as 90 000 Ethiopian troupes in Eritrea commanded by Gen Hassan, a Mengistu loyalist. And since Eritrean tanks were seen in Addis in 1991, that scenario seems to be the better guesstimate.

    Today Eritrea with it’s disciplined massive army is a very good friend of Ethiopia. TPLF is back where it was in 1989 or worst. It is now dreaming of creating another EPRDF with the likes of Shene and a few ‘confederelalist’ Uber drivers nobody has ever heard of. The leaked zoom conference with Ephraim Isaac and retired western diplomats and Vickey’s emotional declaration and Eleni’s martial plan is what they are wishing for. Debretsion has said he’ll be seeking for compensation from Ethiopia as soon as he gets in Addis. That is the repeat of robbing all the banks in every town of Ethiopia in early 1990s by TPLF with which EFFORT was founded on and much more.

  6. If history is a lesson TPLF has never negotiated in good faith, never, not even with other political groups from Tigray, not even once. TPLF will promise anything under the sky when it is cornered to buy time or something and then break it’s words when it is out of the hole. That is the unique characteristic of TPLF everybody should know about by now. And the cruelty for it’s rivals is historical which resembles what Atse Yohannes’s sister testified to back in 1860s before the battle for the crown between her husband and her brother took place. Just like as she warned her brother pulled her husband’s eyes out with a knife after he surrendered. TPLF has killed all TLF’s negotiators in their sleep after hosting a whole day of meeting. TPLF has also killed all the EPRP POWs that were seen alive and in jail by the public only thirty years ago. Killing the ENDF soldiers in November 2020 in such a gruesome way is just another ‘tradition’ of TPLF.

    If we don’t know TPLF by now, we’ll never, ever know….In every Amhara or Afar area it occupied last year it was like a dove at the beginning and then it killed, looted and raped. Some innocents that trusted TPLF paid heavy prices with their lives and properties.

    Some of the proxy strength of TPLF comes from those who believed Ethiopia was only 125 years or less. Some regional presidents are so detached and some fools who claim to be ardent supporter of the Ethiopian cause are forming the conflict in the exact way TPLF wants them to. Those who turned 360 degrees and went back to serving TPLF again with Amhara diaspora donations are fooling a lot of people that are blinded with their opposition to the current PM or his party. Some media that lived on Amhara diaspora money have openly turned into TPLF propagandists now just like the fake FB group FENQL once TPLF started this war. The method is the same though. The TPLF members are told to visit certain YouTube channels, like they were told on FB to paint their dresses in red paint and cry rape when the FERENJ arrives, boosting the number of visits with just a click and some one-time real money might follow later depending on the skill and when the reputation is solid the fools will sustain their own enemy TPLF with their hard earned dollars.

    The choice for Ethiopians is now between a new elected gov’t they might not like for real or fake reasons and a TPLF that will be much more cruel than it was before. Probably soft like a dove at first and then extremely cruel later on as usual.
    If one really wants to know what drives the TPLF supporters, the interview Sebehat Nega gave to Dawit Kebede of Awramba times in 2018 now posted on YouTube is an eye opener. Sebehat Nega was practically against ‘fake tigre superiority’ of the fake journalist (and of the 3G Tigre youth ready to be slaughtered again) who fooled the opposition and diaspora Ethiopians back in the days. Just like the few former none Tigre-TPLF cadres who turned 360 degrees and went back to where they started are fooling Amhara again.

    It seems like TPLF is now sure many people are already ‘converted’ to it’s side blaming PM Abiy for everything and is ready to stab them from the back . Bereket Simon’s 2nd best recruit has been repeating ‘the war Abiy started’ consistently for months. The venom is left unnoticed and it will spread but not wide enough or in time to help TPLF get out of the hole it dug itself in.

    Ethiopia is an ancient country that has seen a lot and Ethiopians usually are ready to forget and even forgive after some time because they celebrate life and get immense joy from it no matter how poor they are and TPLF is counting on that for it’s own benefit. TPLF wants other none Amhara Ethiopians to believe every Amhara is their enemy and except for the language Tigre and Amhara are exactly the same in everything. TPLF went as far as degrading the very flag tens of thousands of Tigre Ethiopians died for in many battles and wars over many generations, it has no shame at all (the flag was the same color in the 15th and 16th century learned from the Turkish and Portuguese but with arabic scripts on it that were removed later on and guess where the flag haters of today got that hate from and wonder why no TPLF is waving the one with the pentagram any more in the past four years). Over 90% of Tigray province is follower of the Orthodox Tewahdo Christian faith of Ethiopia where the flag is sacred but TPLF threw that under the bus and came up with communist cadre sounding clergy to lead the second oldest church in the entire world. There are more Amhara Orthodox but percentage wise Tigre is the most Orthodox Christian.

    TPLF’s original thought behind that self-hatred might be ‘international communism with Albanian style isolation’ or trying too hard to be like Eritrea but Italians never colonized Tigray that has evolved in something dangerous over the years. It is like a mad family member thinking with a sick mind and the rest of the family is scared of her because she got a torch in her hands and some gasoline from some rich enemies that cheer her on to burn the exemplary family house and the beautiful farm that they always hated.

    • Ibro
      commendable observation…as to TPLF one more time trying to rear, re-educate, rechristen and letting an army of Judas lose on the Ethiopian public…it reminds me the classical definition of madness-doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

  7. Humble Comment
    Ibro’s Article is about 2300 words. No doubt, as the saying goese, the Writer poured his heart out.

    Now, to be very frank, those words in the Article are NOT really enough to explain the crime that has been done in Ethiopia!!! Volumes and volumes of historical pages are required to record the crimes that have been done in Ethiopia. One hopes that the ancient Ethiopia would miraculously rise-up and institute the old fields of endeavour on the fields of Sociology, Anthropology, History and inherent Law — not second to any country.

    With the above simplton background there is no question about the ability of Ethiopia to survive and stand by itself, for itself in its own mode of administration and wisdom, garnered during seemingly time immemorial. Ethiopia, with all its humility, is a pride to Africa. Consequently, let Ethiopia take care of its internal problems via matured wisdom, garnered during ups and downs of Life. Ethiopia is capable to do so, not less than the so-called superiour countries who claim to be masters of the Globe. Ethiopia — a Black African Country — shall continue to live independently with dignity and humility.

    Glory to Black Africa in totality, out of the criminology of colonial servitudes for seemingly time immemorial.
    Crime has been done over the Black Race and the WORLD kept quiet glaringly and willingly, accepting the injustice and crime without a trace of consciousness, fairness and justice. WHAT A DRY SKIN!!!! WHAT A WORLD !!!!

    And so it is up to us AFRICANS. Let us admit it: WE FAILED !!! AND WE KNOW WHY !!!! IT IS LOOKING AT US GLARINGLY — EVERY MOMENT of the DAY of our longevity. BUT LET US NOT LOSE HOPE.


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