There is no greater cause than peace. TPLF can be trashed for a whole lot of reasons but not for being pragmatist about achieving peace
Despite reservations about possible uncertainties at the implementation stage, most Ethiopians have welcomed and celebrated the peace agreement reached in South Africa last week.
More so, the peace talk is a great relief for those suffering from the bloody war that lasted for two years. Ethiopia as a country is obviously affected by the war. But People in the Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions paid the heaviest price – not to mention the sacrifices of the Ethiopian Defense Force and all other regional forces and the sacrifice paid by Eritrea too.
But for the TPLF supporters based in Europe and North America, the peace agreement came as a shock. They have been recently blocking highways. They think that the TPLF betrayed the people of Tigray. There are even voices that tend to relegate the TPLF to the status of just “just one of the parties in Tigray”, and that it does not have the mandate to sign an agreement to disarm what they call the “Tigray Defense Force.”
First of all, the name “Tigray Defense Force” came to the surface after the TPLF launched an attack on strings of posts of the Northern Command of Ethiopia. There was no such thing as TDF before the war.
Secondly, what turned out to be TDF after the war is a huge force that the TPLF mobilized, trained and armed as “Tigray region Special Forces” and militia.
The military context under which the TPLF wholeheartedly, it seemed, opted for a peaceful settlement of the conflict is clear to any observer who had been following the war. What is safe to say is that the peace agreement was not by any means humiliating to the TPLF. It is not humiliating for Ethiopians in the Tigray region, “Tegaru” as TPLF and supporters call them, either. It was rather an honorable end to the meaningless mayhem and destruction.
The peace agreement will bring all that was lacking to the Tigray region in terms of social service delivery and reconstruction of infrastructures. Children will no longer have to remain soldiers too instead of going to school.
For a considerable number of what used to be pro-TPLF activists in the Diaspora, TDF seems to be needed to function like the radical ethnic Oromo nationalist organization that calls itself “Oromo Liberation Army.”
When the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was no longer in a position to carry on with a “struggle”, as it calls it, that combines military and non-military means, it declared that it had ended its relationship with the military wing- which the Ethiopian government now calls “Shane.” But that will ruin the Tigray region further. It is time to give peace a chance.
More than anything else those who claim to advocate for “Tigary” need to rethink the baseless view that tends to paint Ethiopians and Eritreans as enemies of “Tigray.” It is completely baseless.
The TPLF itself has to play a role in clearing the foggy view that can not stand the truth. Clearly, it was very pragmatic of the TPLF to diligently work toward the peace talk. It is time to end unnecessary political intrigue that does not serve the interest of the people in the long run ( in fact it did not serve in the short term too.)
The peace agreement obviously will not end all the problems in the Tigray region and Ethiopia too. The political thought that the TPLF has been advancing for nearly five decades must be changed. It must be changed because it did not advance justice and unity as a cause – the very reason why it failed to be appealing for Ethiopians. The TPLF lost a chance to make history in Ethiopia by broadening its support base in the country to create a strong and united Ethiopia based on justice and Ethiopian values. TPLF is a victim of its own political thought and administrative practices. It has to rethink it if it is to have a political future. There is still a chance to come up with a political view that is capable of fixing the country’s problem. More than anything else, the tradition of working with foreign forces hostile to Ethiopia is truly like shooting oneself in the leg, if not worse.
As to the TPLF supporters in the diaspora, they did not experience the war firsthand. They do not have a solid ground to advocate for the continuity of hostility. The TPLF needs to be clear to these groups that peace is in the interest of the Tigray region – as is the case with the rest of Ethiopia.
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