“African Solution to African Problem” is not obviously happening thanks to the belligerent and hegemonic United States. It is hassling the peace talk that is going on in South Africa. What it is after in Ethiopia at this time is to ensure that the rebel group TPLF, which dominated the power for nearly three decades after it took power in Addis Ababa in 1991 partly because of extensive U.S. support, is not gone for good.
With the TPLF in power, in the United States, it is safe to assert, achieved much of its cultural interest by way of demolishing the Ethiopian culture beyond recognition to the point that it was possible for a corrupt and hate-mongering clique like the TPLF to rule the country for nearly 27 years.
Unlike China which is primarily interested in economic cooperation, targeting the Youth to effect culture change, where it is possible, has turned out to be, seemingly, a key to the United States’ ( and its allies) strategy to ensure long-term hegemonic influence and other strategic interests. The TPLF has been instrumental in that regard.
Despite all the support from western powers for decades, the US-backed group was unable to maintain a hold on power in Ethiopia after 2018.
Without going into detail about the socio-economic factors when the group was dominating power in the country, the unexpected attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force, in November 2020, compelled the Ethiopian government to end naive patience towards the group.
It only took less than two weeks for Ethiopian and Eritrean forces (Eritrea was also attacked in part to internationalize the conflict and in part due to long held regime change agenda which is probably linked to the U.S. interest too) to defeat the TPLF forces.
Some of the key TPLF leaders were killed. Others were arrested. Still others, with their remaining forces, had to escape to the wilderness as they were not in a position to wage a conventional war.
The next thing that Ethiopians knew was a coordinated international campaign against Ethiopia on alleged grounds of “genocide in Tigray.” As it turns out, it was meant to be a cover to reorganize the TPLF in a way that it can be a contending military force again. And it happened.
In July 2021, the Ethiopian Defence Force had to withdraw from Tigray on the alleged grounds of a “unilateral humanitarian ceasefire.” But it was clear that it had something to do with military readjustment. In the meantime, the TPLF launched the second attack on Ethiopian Forces with the aim to march to Addis Ababa. It took control of much of the Amhara and Afar regions of Ethiopia, unleashing extensive massacres of civilians.
The venture was given sensational media coverage from media outlets in the west in a way to make it appear inevitable that the rebel groups will take the capital Addis Ababa. The “Tigray genocide ” campaign was muted.
By December 2021, the Ethiopian government reorganized its forces and dislodged them from most of the Afar and Amhara regions. The group suffered heavy losses. At that point, the United States started putting pressure on the Ethiopian government with claims that “there is no military solution to the conflict.” There are indications that the Ethiopian government was even instructed not to advance to the Tigray region.
With mounting pressure from the United States, the Ethiopian government finally declared a humanitarian ceasefire in March 2022 to which the TPLF responded the same day- and posivetly.
But the TPLF exploited it to prepare for the third round of war and launched a war on August 24, 2022. Initially, it appeared that the TPLF could make a quick advance in the south with the intention to march further, possibly Addis Ababa too. The United States (and some of its western allies) were once again quiet. They did not bother to condemn the fact that the TPLF broke the ceasefire.
When the Ethiopian government reversed TPLF’s latest military move and made advances, the United States once again started to put pressure on Ethiopia with false claims of a “humanitarian crisis.”
The Ethiopian government has already announced that it has formed a committee tasked with facilitating the distribution of humanitarian aid in the parts of the Tigray region that have been liberated.
As things stand now, it is understood that about 70 percent of the Tigray region of Ethiopia is under Ethiopian coalition forces. And “aid” organizations have been invited to coordinate distribution efforts with the Ethiopian government.
So far it was only the “humanitarian situation” in the Tigray region that was exploited as a way to offer systematic logistic and possibly military support in the form of information sharing about Ethiopian forces.
Now the United States is exploiting the peace talk in South Africa which is branded as “African Union-led” as a means to ensure that TPLF is not dead again.
Ethiopians, last week, took to the street across the country demanding the Ethiopian government to disarm the TPLF and reject any form of foreign interference to save the rebel groups. And the Ethiopian government has a responsibility to meaningfully address the concerns of Ethiopians. It should not bend to the U.S. pressure.
Failure of the ongoing operation against the TPLF could lead to undesirable consequences both in Ethiopia and Eritrea. And the only way it can fail, based on the reality on the ground as things stand now, is if Ethiopia bows to the United States’ pressure whether it is channeled via the African Union or other state actors in the continent or in the gulf region to accept terms dictated by the United States which positioned itself as an observer to the talk.
There are claims about TPLF’s interest in peace. Given the behavior of the TPLF and the experience, at least in the past two years, the United States does not have a rational ground to tell Ethiopians that the rebel group, which the United States consistently and deliberately refer to as “Tegrean authorities,” has an interest in peace.
The peace talk is now on its third day but not much is known as to where it is in terms of what is being discussed. However, there are indications that the United States government is pushing for the cessation of hostility and mobilizing the African Union and beyond. Ethiopians are demanding that TPLF has to disarm.
The United States’ colonial power-like behavior needs to be resisted by all means. TPLF has caused so much destruction and suffering in the country and it is only reasonable for Ethiopians to ask that it is disarmed. United States interference and pressure on Ethiopia need to be confronted and resisted.
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