To avoid another bloodshed, Ethiopia should devise a shrewd and decisive military and political strategy in the interest of the people of Tigray and Ethiopia by destroying the TPLF military and zeroing in on its propaganda machine. Whether the army stays or leaves, it’s essential to quash any ability of the TPLF to attack Ethiopia for the fourth time.
TPLF has committed various painful and unforgettable attacks on the Ethiopian armed forces and plotted to destroy Ethiopia from becoming cohesive and a viable nation. After many provocations and bloodshed, TPLF remains a thorn and an existential threat to peace and stability in Ethiopia. Given the history of TPLF and the nature of Tigrayans to hang to TPLF, is it worth entering Tigre to pacify TPLF and to free the people of Tigre from its stranglehold?
If the plan is to pacify militarily, it’s important to disarm TPLF and search for weapons in every location and residence so that TPLF doesn’t rise again to sacrifice Tigray youth and Other Ethiopian blood in vain. Tigre should be void of any military tools except the federal police and army, which should be in charge for the foreseeable future.
The police should be multiethnic, like the army. Ethnic policing in Tigray or anywhere is a recipe for disaster. If language is a barrier, federal forces should be trained in the local language, and federal offices should be handled in Amharic with a translator readily provided. Tigray’s new administrator must be a military, not a civilian, to quash any attempt to destroy the peace and transform lives destroyed by the civil war. It’s no longer acceptable to let any potential uprising or armed group start a guerrilla movement. Abiy allowed a ragtag group of OLF forces to go with their guns to Wollega instead of disarming and moving them to the reeducation camp; now we know the consequences of that action or inaction.
The Ethiopian armed forces have a painful choice, to take takeover Mekele or face another devastating TPLF attack at no long distance. Control of Mekele has military and political consequences. Both can be painful unless done with intelligent planning taking all the factors into consideration. Abiy appointed an incompetent administrator after defeating TPLF, and Mengistu Hailemariam vacated Tigre to let the people handle TPLF. But none of them worked.
So what is best to handle the thorny issue of TPLF and Tigre state? The Ethiopian government should employ a different and more competent military administration and be transparent to reduce TPLF disinformation campaigns. Of course, the West will make noise, but the Ethiopian military should be firm in enforcing the rule of law rather than worry about Western propaganda supporting TPLF. The ultimate objective is to protect those who are not engaged in violence in Tigre, and remove TPLF from power. This should be the supreme objective.
In her latest book, “How Civil Wars Start: And How to Stop Them”, Prof. Barbara F Walters discusses the path to civil war. In her definition, Ethiopia fits the criteria in gearing toward civil war because of how the ethnic or apartheid system is set up and the type of leadership in Addis.
The primary objective has to be to reform the system. The current system is unsustainable and needs to be changed if Ethiopia is to avoid another civil war or uprising by any ethnic group like TPLF did, possessing a powerful militia and energized ethnocentric system. The hate and the division the ethnic system created are liable to create more ethnic-driven martyrs as it did in Tigre. Currently, all ethnic groups, including the Amhara and the Oromos are motivated by the same conditions to defend their interests given the current system. Ethiopia has the option to change the system or face a perpetual civil war and insurrection, as we saw in Tigray. Further, if the conflict in Tigray is not done with a very decisive and aggressive plan, it will be a catalyst to weaken Ethiopia militarily and economically and foster other insurrections in the rest of the country.
To limit TPLF disinformation, Ethiopia should use embedded reporters, primarily Africans, Eastern journalists from Turkey, China, India, Russia, and others who are not Western lackeys. Combined with firm military control and access to friendly media to show that Ethiopia is not engaging in fabricated genocide in Tigre is critical. At the same time, Ethiopia should be able to pacify TPLF and restore a semblance of life to the people of Tigray. As a military strategy, Ethiopia should build an ally by empowering the people of Temben and other groups to counter the influence of TPLF supporters from Adwa and other areas. Encourage the rise of pro-Ethiopian parties by supporting them with resources and ironclad protection against TPLF attacks.
Using ironclad military control to protect Ethiopian troops and peaceful civilians, combined with embedded and independent media, Ethiopia should be able to triumph against TPLF and its evil intentions.
Editor’s note: The writer used a pen name to be anonymous. Views reflected in the article do not necessarily reflect that of borkena (.com)
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