Monday, October 3, 2022
HomeOpinionTPLF’s Third Offensive Should be Its demise!

TPLF’s Third Offensive Should be Its demise!

What needs to be done to Remove TPLF As a National Threat?

Neamin Zeleke (courtesy of author )

Neamin Zeleke

Credible Intelligence sources and contacts have confirmed that TPLF has deployed over five army (each army has 30 ,000 combatants) to launch its third round of offensive against Ethiopia. It has organized more 150,000 men and women, mostly ragtag militia, to plunder Amhara and Afar lands and supply the war machinery as it advances towards major towns in Wollo, Gonder, and Afar. Without a doubt all indicators by now prove that the TPLF has used the last several months to conscript all able-bodied residents, train, rearm, reorganize, and stockpile food and fuel. Indeed, they are now stocked with fuel and food that got into Tigray from WFP and USAID, including 570,000 liters of fuel it robbed from WFP warehouse at gunpoint. Credible sources have reported, as recently confirmed by Prime Minister Abiy, that during the 5-months humanitarian truce declared by government of Ethiopia more than few airplanes have landed in Shire with sophisticated weaponry supplied by foreign powers determined to destabilize Ethiopia. 

When it planned and launched out the brutal slaughter of 1000s of soldiers and officers of the Northern command during, the initial strategic objective of the TPLF was to march to Addis Ababa and regain power by force. That objective has never shifted and remains the central objective in its subsequent military adventures. TPLF’s objective has always been to regain power and enjoy its repressive dominance over the rest of Ethiopians. But at the current stage, the TPLF has only two options left to survive as a totalitarian political force in Tigray. Either the TPLF must gain significant military victory to force a transitional government with the support and intervention of foreign powers. Or it must use a limited military victory as bargaining power to regain Wolkayit, the areas which it annexed from the former province of Gonder which it demographically reengineered including the massacre of thousands of Amhara of the locality. Both are not tenable options for the government of Ethiopia and short of this the TPLF cannot survive politically.

Now, the TPLF Nazi like war machinery has launched offensives on several fronts in Amhara lands. It is moving fast, using the same human wave offensive supported by deception, psychological warfare, and coordinated media campaigns. They have also employed sleeper cells to create confusion and division within Amhara towns to demoralize the people just as they did in earlier offensives. 

So, what needs to be done?

  1. A country of over 110 million people cannot afford to live under constant threat of war by a rebel group whose leaders have vowed to destroy it if they are unable to return to power and continue as overlords of Ethiopia. TPLF did not launch the offensive to lift “the siege against Tigray” as it claimed. It launched the offensive to get political concession that it would not get through an internationally mediated negotiation. TPLF is only interested in achieving one of two outcomes: To regain power and rule the country as it did before or, if that is not feasible, to create an independent Tigray incorporating vast territories of Amhara. Its pipedream does not end there, it will seek to effect regime change in Eritrea and gain control of the Red Sea and dominate the horn of Africa.
  1. The peace overtures of the Ethiopian government and the international community have failed. It is also clear that TPLF has no interest in facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid. Quite to the contrary, it has used humanitarian aid to fuel its war effort. The government of Ethiopia has a legal and moral obligation to free millions of its citizens who are suffering under the tyranny of a rebel group. The leadership of the government must also shed a lingering illusion that a durable peace is attainable with a group that is delusional about itself in relations to them, often with contempt and arrogance towards both the political and military leadership of Ethiopia often reflected in the pronouncement of TPLF’ s leadership. Not only TPLF suffers from arrogance but suffers from a pathology of Tigrayan exceptionalism and a false narrative of Tigray military prowess. Indeed, old habits die hard.
  1. As the timeless adage has it, you fool me once shame on you; you fool me twice shame on me! First and foremost, Prime Minister Abiy must lead a massive mobilization effort to deal with TPLF for the last time. Ethiopia cannot afford to wait until the TPFL Nazi like machinery captures Dessie and march on to Debre Sena, Noth Shoa like it happened in 2021. Every available resource should be deployed to avert such a scenario. Minimizing the threat akin to the view of political and military leaders after the military withdrawal from Tigray and waiting to take all the necessary measures until the last minute will once again exact a huge cost in human lives and infrastructure to the vulnerable population in the Amhara and Afar regions. We must learn from the mistake committed in 2021 by not mobilizing until several months after a series of major towns and cities in Afar and Amhara regions were ransacked and devastated by the invading and marauding TPLF hordes. 
  1. Therefore, this time around, the Ethiopian Government should step up its effort to mobilize, arm, train, and create well-regulated militia in Amhara and Afar regions to operate as a civil defense force that fights alongside the federal army and reinforce the Amhara special forces and fano. We must arm all vulnerable localities in North Gonder and Wollo, Afar as that is the best way to counter and defeat the TPLF’s human wave of terror, atrocities, and plunder.
  1. The Ethiopian Air Force should start taking bolder actions targeting TPLF’s war machinery by hunting and destroying training camps, fuel depots, military infrastructure, command posts and specific leaders responsible for planning and executing belligerent actions that claimed countless lives.
  1. The Federal Army should be prepared to take the offensive to Tigray. Military strategists say the best defense is offense. Ethiopians in Amhara and Afar must never again bear the senseless loss of life, massive rape, destruction, and terror they endured in past two TPLF offensives. 
  1. We need to take the war to the TPLF on all fronts. The strategic goal must be to remove TPLF as a national threat finally. The objective should not be to enter Tigray and place it under the federal force. The population must be empowered to transition to a peaceful coexistence with the rest of Ethiopia, free of the tyranny of TPLF. The government must draw lessons from its past missteps. 
  1. In sum, the goal should be to break the backbones and enablers of TPLF and its war making machinery. 
  1. A massive mobilization and coordination of logistics is essential, and the government should ask the public to take part in the war effort in every way possible. 
  1. The government must improve its intelligence capability, particularly as it relates to elements that supply support to TPLF in various Amhara and Afar regions. What was the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) doing when IDPs were in Wollo? TPLF deployed them in taking over Kobo. This is because the Intelligence and security agency did not collect intelligence within the IDPS, recruit, carefully watch, analyze, and prepare threat assessment and preparedness for all scenarios. This serious threat was not taken seriously, and work not done. 

We can say in fact most security challenges in the county are due to the lack of capabilities for strategic intelligence, analysis, and robust operations. Since the reformist government came to power in 2018, NISS is now led by former INSA people with technical and electronic intelligence capabilities. But not when it comes to the requisite strategic intelligence and analysis capabilities. For 27 years the NISS was dominated by TPLF operatives, as the PM himself said it ran like “a family house” not an institution. Therefore, it is quite understandable that 4 years are not sufficient to build a very robust Intelligence and security agency that can mitigate threats in proportion to the plethora of threats within and without. 

  1.  Immediate steps must be taken to fill the gaps and build a robust institution capable of employing human intelligence and conducting intelligence assessment and analysis and supply strategic intelligence. Technological capability and technical intel are not a replacement to the other capabilities. Recent experience of great powers’ humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan despite their superior technical abilities to collect intelligence should serve as a lesson. There are many capable Ethiopians with depth experience who can assist the government. It is time to invite them to help. The insecurity and fear seen by NISS officials by not inviting former intelligence professionals to support them even during the most serious threat Ethiopia faced shall await another time, as this is not the moment to dwell on postmortem. In contrast, the ENDF which took advise from many directions serious was able to deploy, however, limited, the vast resources of the former armed forces officers and non -commissioned officers to serve , at various capacities and places, in providing military training, technical skills,  and military advice during the most serious threat TPLF posed in 2021 and as well as to the effort underway to build a highly disciplined and professional defense force of Ethiopia.  
  1. The government must consider entering a formal strategic military alliance with the State of Eritrea, conduct joint military training and begin to draft a framework for regional security that includes other neighboring states. The Ethiopian Government has allowed TPLF to set the political agenda of each day repeatedly. It must pre-plan and set agendas and frame issues in advance for domestic and international advocacy and public debate. Again, there is a wealth of knowledge and expertise among Ethiopians in the diaspora and many unused experience and skills within the country who can assist in this regard. The government should take advantage of these vast human resources and capabilities.
  1. Ethiopian Ambassadors, deputies, and diplomats numbered in hundreds around the world must prove that they have learned from the darkest days of Nov 2020 and later months. As everyone recalls our diplomatic missions, with few exceptions, were in disarray and lacked robust engagement both on international media and social media to stand for and articulate what happened and debunk the global onslaught against Ethiopia. 
  1. Therefore, they must be active on all fronts including social media. At this stage only few Ambassadors and diplomats are visible actively engaged in setting the tone, debunking false narratives, and articulating Ethiopia’s narratives in social and international media. A repeat of 2020, lack of robust engagement and offensive diplomatic and narrative is unacceptable. Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions must not continue to be places for retirement and diplomats who do not have the requisite capabilities, confidence, and competence to serve the national interest. Just remain staffed with lame ducks earning salary and benefits from the hard-earned foreign currency of Ethiopia as the foreign and diplomatic services became during the TPLF dominated government pre – 2018. 
  1.  TPLF is a threat to Ethiopians who long for peace, democracy, equality, and freedom. TPLF poses an existential threat to our country, Ethiopia. The government must actively and aggressively dispel the wrong perception that TPLF is weakened and therefore it is not a major threat. 
  1. Ethiopians in the country and diaspora must stand in unison regardless of political differences. There has been an active campaign to divide and disunite Ethiopians. Our national unity and survival are beyond partisan politics. Grievances of one kind or another kind must not be a pretext not to rally behind the defense forces, regional forces, and militia of Amhara and Afar regions. 

I conclude by reiterating the following points for the government’s consideration. Opening multiple fronts into Tigray; sustained drone and plane attacks against military targets including the leaders; reconsidering the conditions of for negotiations and improving public relations to all stakeholders.

Neamin Zeleke is a longtime advocate of democracy and a former leading member of a major Ethiopian opposition group. He lives in VA, USA.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. I have heard from people that Debre and his cabals have used the momentary in the conflict to lick and heal up the wounds they suffered during the previous conflict. It is rumored that the recruitment of able bodied men and women was in full swing by coercion. The estimate is they may be able to swell their rag tag force to at least a million men/women. They will use these young men and women in the terrible tactic of human waves. We should never forget that Debre and his comrades are well read individuals. They know the longer they sit in Mekele surrounded by an enemy made of 110 million people the closer will come their last days riding on the backs of those upright people. They also know they will not win this war and it will bring about their last day on this good earth. They are well aware of that. So they are in a suicidal mood. They will fight to their death and will take a million of their own citizens along with them.

  2. The latest TPLF offensive in the Wollo, Wolkait and Afar areas shows the dilemma of prime minister Abiy Ahmed. He allowed unfettered access to humanitarian aid as his policy of mitigating the suffering of civilians in Tigray. At the same time the TPLF is using humanitarian aid as its military logistic and has resumed its wars. The government should now understand that the TPLF do not understand the language of peace.

  3. Well, finally these groups are talking. However, if the Tplf demise was inevitable, why isn’t the current government elected by people said, it will take responsibility to rule Ethiopia and become leader. What we know to be leadership and responsibility for a nation is, dictatorship aside ( sometimes necessary to unruly society that is for the benefit of it’s own society), societies appointing leaders to represent them for the well being of their nation and peoples economically, politically, socially and internationally.

    So going back to Tplf, why there was necessity to lose lives since the start if the war, the Amaras, Afars and the forced conscripted child, women and elderly Tigrayans when it is must to destroy the Tplf, while understanding that the government or military might have foreign pressure? We have seen from time to time the so called international aid is no longer a functional body for humanitarian aid but tools that transfer war resources to further their agenda and government is well aware of that?

    The reason it is taking its time is once again, 1. the government which had full support from Ethiopians at first, does not want the complete desolation of Tplf because, it wants to use it towards Ethiopians as a boogyman. Why does this while it had full support from Ethiopians? If it does not have confidence, this means it had its own agenda to implement policies against Ethiopians in secret. That is why.
    2 The Eritrea factor. Indeed it wants also to destroy Tplf. But which one? We know Sebhat Nega and most Tplf like Adanom have Eritrean blood. The Ethiopian government had made amends with Shabia. Right now the Tigrayans dying and forced conscripted are those Ethiopians do not want Tplf. Therefore this could be the reason, depopulating the Ethiopian Tigrayans is what Tplf currently doing and this being supported by Shabia and Ethiopian government instead of getting rid of Tplf.

  4. A clear road map to survive Ethiopia as a nation . Every Democratic Ethiopian nationalist must entertain the essence of the road map and demand the the government of Ethiopia to consider it as immediate actions.

  5. Neamin Zeleke—–> what ever you say now it is not going to save Ethiopia its a mater of time . breakup of ethiopia started when abiy ahmed invited isaias afwerki
    Neamin Zeleke p.l.s Save my comment

  6. Dear readers :

    Your thoughts are always welcomed. However, no course language and profanity will be entertained. Do your part to shape a respectful discussion environment. Very much appreciated.

    • DEAR ACCOUNT
      VERY WISE ADVICE WITH POLITENESS ___ A TRUE REFLECTION of ETHIOPIA”S WELL KNOWN ‘TCHEWANET ‘ IN ITS ROOTS TO ITS DEPTH, UNPARALLELED ANYWHERE.

  7. Amhara and Afar want to live in peace and they do not want their Churches, Mosques, farms, schools, hospitals, houses and etc., to be the battle ground of TPLF and Prosperity party government.

    If there was a real government that cares for Ethiopia with its mighty people no country would have dared going to war with Ethiopia. For the very first time in Ethiopian history a rag tag, beaten down TPLF that steals Humanitarian aid and uses young soldiers, human shield and Humanitarian aid as military logistic becomes a problem for supposedly a strong country with its might’s, military and logistics.

    This is because Abiy government has fallen weak, repressive, cheap and disgusting in every aspect. The Orommuma greedy murderers with no brain kept creating and using cheap tactics and conflicts to distract and loot land and wealth. All the economical benefit is being siphoned by one ethnic group that calls itself Oromo Prosperity Party that brought the most miserable era and impoverish country in Africa.

    Endless lies, cruelty, arrogance, ignorance, disregard for democratic values and people’s choice, lives and livelihood perpetuated by Abiy Government exposed him naked and without people’s support.

    Abiy Ahmed has not learned from his idol Mengistu Hailemariam why TPLF walked into Addis Ababa in 1991 without any resistance because people were sick and fed-up with Mengistu. Even shouting those Amhara Emperor names he hated did not save him from fleeing to Zimbabwe.

    That is inevitable to happen when people get fed up with cruel, inhuman, irresponsible, greedy, and callous government some thing will come out out of nowhere and suck out the main cause of the misery.

    After the war stopped, instead of compensating, showing sympathy, mending relationship especially with Amhara who suffered the most before and after the war (as what responsible governments do) both by TPLF and OLF Abiy Ahmed instead went back attacking, intimidating, mass imprisoning and taking comfort at Amhara sufferings and Genocide in all over Oromia Zone.

  8. THE DESTINY OF ETHIOPIA
    ________________________

    Humble Opinion, 2 Sept 2022
    a) First and foremost it is essential that one ancient fact be RESPECTED and RETAINED at any cost YES, at any cost.

    b) HERE IT IS: ETHIOPIA IS ONE ENTITY FOR TIME IMMEMORIAL and SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE ETHIOPIA, AT ANY COST.

    c) Less than the above is NOT about the ANCIENT LAND KNOWN AS ETHIOPIA.

    d) The responsibility of keeping ETHIOPIA in one INDEPENDENT STATE rests upon the PEOPLE of ETHIOPIA — NOT upon
    renegade individuals for personal grievances.

    e) Who is going to say that Emperor Yohannes of Tigray, Ethiopia, was NOT Ethiopian?!?!?!?

    f) It is obvious that HISTORY is being modified according to a private satisfaction of an individual?

    g) Where is the PEOPLE’S OPEN DEMOCRATIC and CIVILIZED VOTE to disintegrate ETHIOPIA? Where?!?!?!

    h) If the answer is NONE, then the subject is about individual renegades, opening the door for hoodlums.

    i) What is next???? IT IS OBVIOUS ADIO ETHIOPIA.
    THE END

  9. እንደምናችሁ!

    NB: Ethiopians don’t be fooled! EPLF/Eritrea has never been Ethiopia’s ally! EPLF-TPLF co-invaded Ethiopia [1991] and co-terrorized & co-looted Ethiopia [1991-1998].

    TPLF left Ethiopia paralysed to fight back by looting Ethiopia bone-dry, by killing the ENDF’s Northern Command, and by staging Ethiopia-wide sabotages using its Proxies. TPLF’s White Supremacist West (WSW) sponsors imposed Embargo/Sanctions as well!

    With these crippling punches coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, erecting Ethiopia-serving Defence Forces [DF] & Law Enforcement Agencies [LEA] in such a short time is tough. Worse, it is done while dismantling the TPLF-Serving 27-year-old institutions.

    So, it would be wise to limit the war to “Contain-Target-Degrade.” That will hold TPLF in its Cage [Tigray]. Venturing deeper in to Tigray is walking in to TPLF’s trap. TPLF’s over 250,000 well-trained & well-armed army is lying in wait for them in civilian clothes.

    At its present capacity, the ENDF can’t protect all regions. Hence, it would be wise to reinforce all local units with some various ENDF specialties. In the future, the ENDF should station its forces in such a way that its units are within 1-hour drive of each other.

    Public Safety [Warning & Alert Systems]: How would the government inform the people of Domestic Terrorists [TPLF, OLF-OLA, etc.]? Post photos of Domestic Terrorists at public places. Cameras at public places! Phones, TVs, radios, etc. at community centers.

  10. i_Mongu

    Why go far? No one is fooled! Abiy Ahmed and the Orommuma gangs are not Ethiopia’s ally?

    It is better to start working from Ethiopia before going afar. Who is daily slaughtering 2000, 600, 500, 100, 45, 150, 60, 48, 1000, 350, 280, 30, 450, 12, and etc Amharas?

    It is the the State Sponsored, Abiy Orommuma government, that never stopped slaughtering Amharas, looting Amharas, mass imprisoning Amharas, destroying Amhara owned businesses, homes, farms, that is not known for catching even ONE Oromo Amhara Genocide perpetrator.

    Eritrea, Kenya, Egypt, Sudan or any other country have never committed such atrocious gruesome crimes by targeting ethnic Amharas in such inhuman ways. On top of that Abiy never used his high position to after those Oromo Criminals nor have shown any regrets, sympathy and commitment to stop #StopAmharaGenocide and help the Genocide Victims trapped in Wellge, Oromia Zone Ethiopia.

    The silence by itself speaks loud for his content by the misery of Amhara People as is a testimony to have been part of the Genocide.

    • To Borkena.com,

      The above is not posted by me! I have never been a Petty Tiny Brain Ethnic Fanatic [TBEF] like this IMPOSTER! Abiy has never committed any genocide! In fact, Abiy was the first assassination target of the TPLF-OLF/OLA Savages. TBEFs like this are always well-versed in blaming the victim – just for a small change from Egypt & Co.

      It is Anti-Amhara TBEFs like this who get Amharas massacred all over Ethiopia by spewing anti-Amhara venom on the one hand & posing as Amhara Activists & Ethiopia Activists on the other! Such despicable THUGS are of course the Dogs of Egypt & Egypt’s White Supremacist West [WSW] masters:TPLF-OLF/OLA.

      PS: As we speak, Abiy is kicking the WSW-EGYPT-OLF/OLA’s ass! Hats off to Abiy!

      i_Mognu

  11. እንደምናችሁ!

    Neamin has raised Eritrea in his solutions. The Ethio-Eritrean neighbourly relations is essential and we should face it fair-and-square. Ethiopia shouldn’t be bullied for ever!

    Ethio-Eritrea Relations: Ginbot-7’s Team [Neamin, Andargachew, Berhanu, etc.] always portrays EPLF/Eritrea as Ethiopia’s ally/friend on many platforms despite EPLF/Eritrea’s age-old Anti-Ethiopia track record. It is a dishonest way to return EPLF/Eritrea’s favour!

    Setting the Record Straight: Eritrea was part of Ethiopia till Italy’s first invasion. At the end of WW-II, Eritrea held a unilateral UN-sponsored referendum and the overwhelming majority voted to rejoin Ethiopia. Ethiopians were never asked about taking Eritrea back!

    EPLF-ELF Secessionist Proxy War: The EPLF-ELF Eritrean secessionist Duo sprang up circa 1960. They were backed by Egypt, the Arab League, etc. The aim of the Proxy War was simple: Destabilize & bleed Ethiopia under the guise of Eritrean Liberation.

    Invasion & Occupation of Ethiopia: The EPLF-ELF Duo got their TPLF clone. EPLF destroyed its rival ELF. EPLF & TPLF co-invaded & co-occupied Ethiopia [1991]. Most Eritreans in Ethiopia served as Eyes & Ears [The Enemy Within]. So, they co-terrorized & co-looted Ethiopia till they clashed over the lion’s share of the loot in 1998.

    Eritrea’s Independence & its Ethiopia-Destabilizing Mission: EPLF’s Eritrea has been the spring board for ALL anti-Ethiopia armed groups [Ginbot-7, OLF-OLA, ONLF, etc.].

    The ‘Abiy-Isayas Peace Accord’: Isayas used the opportunity to send in as many EPLF agents as he could in 4 weeks and closed the border. This is dangerous. In Addis, there are 100-fold Eritreans than 1991. Some even operate long-distance fuel/freight tracks.

    i_Mognu / don_Q

  12. We are focused and not Distracted by Orommuma dirty evil politics but ABIY AHMED is frozen after the Gragn Mohamed Massacre of Orthodox Christians era.

    The Demon in Ethiopia right NOW is Abiy Ahmed and his Orommuma Prosperity Party that is gorging on Amhara death and impoverishment. Spilling innocent and real Ethiopians blood never bothers him.

    The lazy, greedy Orommuma mafias are building their empire by looting Amhara, property, wealth and Massacring Amharas.

    The visionless, cult of Orommuma never brought civility, peace and stability.
    Abiy Ahmed is rolling Ethiopia back to the 500 year old Orommuma pagan, barbaric nomadic invasion that destroyed and killed many Ethiopians after following Gragn Mohamed’s foot step.

    • Nice try! I wonder if even a brain-dead Amhara in a coma falls for the venom you spew!

      1. Abiy is an Evangelical Christian of mixed descent! He is from an Amhara Orthodox Christian mother and a Muslim Oromo father. Abiy’s wife is an Amhara Evangelical Christian! Where does the Character Assassin Amhara Ethnic Fanatics’ “Oromuma” fit?

      2. The Amharas who live in Wollega are a tiny fraction of the over 15 million Amharas living in Oromo Zone alone in 2019 [ youtu.be/0HjNFtaav14?t=2318 ]. On the other hand, I have never met any Oromo during my several trips to Gojjam & Gonder!

      3. Why don’t MOST ‘Amhara Activists’ NEVER mention TPLF’s Amhara Massacre at MayKadra? Didn’t the TPLF massacre over 600 Amharas in just ONE DAY in broad day light? Doesn’t the OLF-OLA kill & displace Oromos, too? Is that Oromuma, too?

      4. If Abiy’s regime is Oromuma, why did the Amharas benefit the most in under 2 years? Over 400 km of asphalt road built in Gojjam alone & Amharas received over 450 tractors with their accessories just this ending year. Oh, add the new modern farms, factories, etc.

      NB: I hate to admit it but it was the Savage TPLF that even built the first-rate Abbay Bridge-BahirDar-Gondar asphalt road [but took long & cash siphoned to cost ≈10-fold].

      5. Lest we forget, TPLF left Ethiopia with NO money & NO army. I thank Abiy for saving Ethiopia from bankruptcy, collapse, and disintegration! He also stood for Ethiopia against the Savage White Supremacist West & its Dogs [Egypt, TPLF-OLF/OLA, etc.]. Abiy is also turning Ethiopia to one of the world’s techno hubs! Take a tour of Addis…

      i_Mognu / don_Q

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