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HomeOpinionThe “White TPLF,” Ethiopia, and the Negation of Historical Agency

The “White TPLF,” Ethiopia, and the Negation of Historical Agency

William Davison, “International Crisis Group Senior Analyst” ( Photo source : From International Crisis Group Site)

Leo Okere

Dr. Comfort Ero, President & CEO of The International Crisis group penned an op-ed. article in the New York Times on  November 10, 2022. The primary purpose of her opinion piece  was to encourage President Biden to use “punitive measures” against Ethiopia if the Pretoria Agreement is not implemented. Without any evidence whatsoever, she assumes that Ethiopia will be the guilty party if the Pretoria Agreement fails. 

What is surprising is that Dr. Ero seems to believe that Africans cannot manage their own affairs. Though the Pretoria Agreement was reached through the good offices of the OAU, Kenya, and South Africa, Dr. Ero does not address herself to these countries to ensure that the Pretoria Agreement is implemented. No. She treats them condescendingly. She writes that the African Union headquarters  being in Addis Ababa is “awkward,”  and  questions its “objectivity,” echoing the TPLF’s anti-OAU and anti-Obasanjo campaign. In encouraging President Biden to engage in sanctions against Ethiopia, she belittles The African Union’s resistance to the meddling of non-African states and organizations in African Affairs. 

In her article, she presumes that the Ethiopian government may not respect the terms of the Pretoria Agreement. In reality, the Ethiopian government has restored, in conformity with the Agreement, the free flow of food and medicine into Tigray, and is moving full steam ahead in reestablishing electricity, telecommunication, banking, and other services in the region. At the same time,  however,  the TPLF is publicly engaged in  inventing reasons and manufacturing “facts” designed to prepare and justify its failure to fulfill the Pretoria Agreement. Though all this is public knowledge, Dr. Ero does not utter a word of recognition of the steps the Ethiopian government has already taken to implement the Agreement; nor does she criticize, let alone condemn,  the TPLF’s various public pronouncements and efforts to slither out of the Agreement.

Comfort Ero, “President and CEO of the International Crisis Group” ( Image source : International Crisis Group )

As we have seen since November 2020, the TPLF aggression against the Ethiopian Federal government is fully supported by what a recent article in Borkena, an Ethiopian website, called the “White TPLF,” a group of Western academics, journalists, analysts, and politicians who defend and justify all the actions of the TPLF and put the blame for the war squarely on the Ethiopian government and accuse the latter of atrocities and “Tigray genocide.”  The “White TPLF’s” polit-bureau is made up of Alex de Waal, William Davison, Kjetil Tronvoll, Rene Lefort, and Martin Plaut. This polit-bureau has a number of journalists and academics from France, Holland, England, Scandinavia, and the USA acting as its foot soldiers. In her article that invites President Biden to sanction Ethiopia, even if it is the TPLF that is publicly taking actions to sabotage the Pretoria Agreement, Dr. Ero has consciously chosen to become a bullhorn for the “White TPLF.” 

In deliberately ignoring the constructive and decisive role Africans have played in reaching the Pretoria agreement, she resuscitates—continues is probably the right word—the Western conception of Africans, variously expressed by the “White TPLF,”  as incapable of being subjects who could choose and determine their destiny through their own thinking and actions. Such a dismissive conception of Africans has a long history—at least since the 1600 as Haamond and Jablow show in their book “The Africa that Never Was.”  In handing over political agency on Ethiopian issues to America, she revives the colonial and neo-colonial perceptions that have blinded the West to the historical agency of Africans. As Haamond and Jablow show, the fantasies of incompetence, irresponsibility, savagery frame the West’s perception of Africans, and in this case, Ethiopians: Note the “White TPLF’s” incessant reference to the so-called “Tigray genocide” Ethiopian forces would have committed. 

What is shocking about Dr. Ero’s refusal to recognize Africans as the active authors and actors of their history and destiny is that she herself is an African, born in England to Nigerian parents.

In reading her article, one is reminded of the book of Kishore Mahbubani—the renowned UN Official from Singapore, a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute (ARI), National University of Singapore—“Can Asians Think,” (1998 , 2001). He writes,  “The most painful thing that happened to Asia was not the physical but the mental colonization. Many Asians… began to believe that Asians were inferior beings to the Europeans. [….] this mental colonisation has not been completely eradicated in Asia, and many Asian societies are still struggling to break free.”  The same could be said of some highly educated Africans, including some Ethiopians: they have not yet broken free from this mental colonization. It is what Frantz Fanon described as the pathology of “Black Skin, White Masks.” Such Africans gain recognition among whites by espousing the West’s viewpoint on Africans as people who need to be saved from themselves through the agency of the West, or of America, in Dr. Ero’s opinion.

Dr. Ero, as President & CEO of The International Crisis, a Western institution, whose self-proclaimed expert on Ethiopia, William Davison,  has been acting as the hired gun of the TPLF, has certainly gained the approval of the “White TPLF.” But to Africans, judging by her op-ed. piece, she is one of those who give agential primacy to Westerners and refuses to recognize that Africans are the thinkers and makers of their history. Though she is of African origin, Dr. Ero forgets that Africans have often overcome through their own struggles the obstacles the West has been raising since the 1600 to bar their way towards a better life. The fact that Dr. Ero, an African, writes an opinion piece that confirms the West’s and its “White TPLF” agents’ demeaning perception of Africa forces us to raise a question comparable to that Prof. Kishore Mahbubani raised: “Can Africans think?”


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  1. Comfort Ero considers herself “white” because of where she was born and her position at the The International Crisis Group. As despicable as that is, she is not the first black person to act white, nor will she be the last. What bothers me more is why it’s up to the US to “police” the world. The US is just one country, so why does such a thing as “US sanctions” even exist? Shouldn’t such a thing be the purview of the UN Security Council with established checks and balances? No wonder the majority of the world consider the US a bully, because a bully is exactly what the American government usually is. As for Comfort Ero, she has no respect for Africans in general and herself in particular.

  2. No wonder that Whites, Jews, Asians, Latinos… see Africans/Blacks as Zero IQ Chimps since they can buy tons of naughts like Dr. Ero, TPLF, OLF-IFLO/OLA, etc. for a penny.

    Lobby firms and self-appointed Credit Rating Agencies, International Crisis Group, etc. are similar: If you don’t pay them, they tarnish your name and your credit rating tumbles.

    The day after TPLF packed for Mekelle, Ethiopia’s Credit Rating tumbled from B+ to ‘Undetermined’ overnight. The 2-decade double-digit economic growth sublimed, too.

    William Davison, former Bloomberg Correspondent, is TPLF’s Pimp who first launched Ethiopia Insight as Editor-in-Chief and later crowned himself ICG’s Ethiopia Expert, too.

  3. It seems that Dr. Comfort Ero lacks information and knowledge about the TPLF. As a black, she should be aware of the fact that the TPLF is a fascist and ethnic supremacist grouping. Its ideology has more in common with the white supremacists who consider blacks as sub-humans. For example according to the TPLF classification of Ethiopians; Tigrayans are the golden and superior people in Ethiopia. Moreover, during its pre-war and war periods, it was agitating and mobilizing the Tigray youth with this despicable narrative of Tigray superiority and inferiority of other Ethiopians. When faced with defeats and losses in the war, it invented its thuggish propaganda of `Tigray genocide`. The white TPLF are simply its scavengers who are paid from the money looted from the Ethiopian poor.

  4. Someone correct me if I am wrong in my assumption about William Davison. Wasn’t he in the news a few years ago where it was reported that the Ethiopian government found out that he was living in the country with an expired visa and threw him out of the country? Am I wrong? If that was the case then what good should be expected from a deported illegal alien?

  5. የጅምላ ጨፍጫፊዎቹ የአማራ ታጣቂዎቹም ሆነ ፋኖዎች ከትግራይ ይውጡ ብቻ ሳይሆን ትጥቃቸውንም ቢሆን ሊፈቱ ይገባል የሚል ጢያቄ እምብዛም ሲነሳ አይደመጥም፥፥የፌዴራል ሠራዊቱ በዉጭም ሆነ በትግራይ ውስጥ ለሚኖሩ ተጋሩ የሥጋትና የህልዉና ጥያቄዎች ምላሽ የመስጠት ምን ያህል ተነሳሽነትና ፍላጎት አለው፥፥እንደ ስምምነቱ መሠረት ከጦርነቱ በፊት በምዕራብ ትግራይ በነዋሪነት የማይታወቁ ነገር ግን በአማራ ታጣቂዎቹም ሆነ በፋኖዎች ተመርተው በሀገረ ትግራይ ግዛት ውሥጥ የሠፈሩ ሁሉ ወደ ቀድሞ ቦታቸው እንዲመለሱ መደረግ አለበት፥፥ከትግራይ ለቀው መውጣት አለባቸው፥፥ በተጨማሪም መንግሥት ከትግራይ መሬት በአማራ ታጣቂዎቹም ሆነ በፋኖዎች የተዘረፉ የሀገረ ትግራይ ቅርሶችና ሀብቶች እንዲመለሱ የበኩሉን ጥረት ማረድረግ አለበት፥፥ይህ ተግባራዊ ሲሆን ግን አይታይም፤፤፥፥የትግራይ ሕዝብ እንዲራብ አንፈልግም ሲሉ የሚደመጡት ኢትዮጵያውያን ከጉንጭ አልፋ ወሬ ያልዘለለ ቃላትን ከመጠቀም ባለፈ የትግራይ ሕዝብ የመሠረታዊ አገልግሎቶች(ውሃ፥መብራት፥ባንክ ፥ወዘተ)፥ባፋጣኝ ተጠቃሚ እንዲሆን ከማድረግ ይልቅ ብቸኛው የትግራይ ሕዝብ ቤዛና ተገን የሆነውን የትግራይ ሠራዊት ትጥቅ እንዲፈታ ሲወተዉቱ ይታያሉ፥፥ Amhara militia and fanos should not only leave Tigray, but also they must be disarmed and return stolen priceless artifacts of Tigray and other public and private riches .People transported by Fanos and amhara militia and made their homes in the territory of Tigray, ensuing the 2 years-long genocidal war, and currently living in the land of Tegaru should willfully leave Tigray .

  6. Thank you Leo Okere

    It is a pity to see the White establishment cleverly finding and planting Black men and women to promote their supremacist policies. The International Crisis (Promotion) Group led by a Black woman. The ‘UN Human Rights Committee?” the US .EU established to find Ethiopia guilty of human rights abuses is led by a Black woman (Kenyan). The US appoints a Black woman to represent it in the UN to defend and promote its bullying policies, particularly on Africans and developing country govts. Another Black woman, Susan Rice, the she-devil that has been the architect of anti-Ethiopia policies of the US govt.. To cap it all, a Black man heads the US military that has been bombing and destroying defenseless countries and peoples all over the world!

  7. What the “The International Crisis group” shows is its willful ignorance and desire to take America’s side like all Western media outlets. Without America’s active support, the TPLF could not have ruled over Ethiopia for 27 long years, nor would it have waged the war for this long. For reasons that continue to baffle and vex Ethiopians, America is engaged through the likes of Dr Ero to not only interfere in Ethiopian affairs, but to propagate a false narrative of the conflict. I think Dr Ero is merely doing what her white bosses in Washington and Brussels are expecting her to do. As far as the other white Woyanes are concerned, they are merely repaying all the “favors” they have received from the black Woyanes when they were in power, just like Congressman Brad Sherman.

  8. On another topic the World Cup 2022 fever is on. One or two even three of African teams have the chance to do better. Their first match could have been better but all is not lost yet. They are not the only losers in their first match. Soccer world is still reeling from the shocker losses by Argentina and Germany. This beyond-repair Afro/Ethio-Centric junky will stick around with his African teams.

  9. Obbo Worqu,

    I come to you betting you peace. I wish you did not write the statement in the first paragraph. Please ask the dear editors to redact that part. No matter how utterances by others upsets us we should never attack other African brothers and sisters in the manner you described this lady.

    Dear editors,

    Please, for heavens’ sake, please redact /whiteout the first paragraph in Obbo Worqu’s comment above. This bigots among are gonna grab and run with it just to make us look real bad with other Africans. It is improper and stereotypical.

  10. Dear Editors,

    Here is the link for you where racially office words are being used against a black person for her Allah given looks. It is the same as how white racist and supremacist groups have been describing us blacks. The comment is under ‘Worqu Belayneh and the first paragraph. Please delete that part of it immediately. As a people we Ethiopians are not bigots towards our African brothers and sisters. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech.
    As always, thank you for providing us a platform which we should use wisely for the good of those upright people that have produced us all.

    • Dear Ittu,
      Thank you for bringing the matter to the attention of the editor. No vulgar language or disrespect is tolerated – as you may know. Certainly a disgusting comment. The comment is removed. If the user uses similar expression in the future, it will be a ban. Thank you for your continued constructive engagement in the platform

      • Thank you for taking the proper action so expeditiously on the offensive language used on another black person. What a relief for me!!! I hope these bigots among us who have been deafening us with ‘liberation’ this and ‘liberation’ that did not see it. They use such remarks to get those 120 plus million people alienated by the rest of Africa and the world. They were using one old video from the 1950’s in which one dimwit young man was telling his peers that ‘We Ethiopians are not Negros’. These bigots some of them college professors used that from the bottom of the deck to spew around their poison among otherwise historically harmonious people. That was a stupid remark by a stupid young man. He might have regrouped and corrected himself since then. But these bigots had a field day with it. They laced their poison with it and were busy spewing it around days in and days out. You and I know it was all rubbish but what worries me a lot is where their poison lands. We should always remember the fact that in any given country, region, cities and villages there are those few who don’t possess the sophistication to look thru what they hear or read. They are easily incensed and can turn deadly and destructive on a dime. Those are the ones these bigots have been targeting and counting on. Those are the ones I lose sleep about. I wish we give it up. It has been a malignant cancer that has been eating at the hearts of that gem of the colored and humanity since the 1960’s. Hats off to you for taking the well deserved action against pejoratives. Blessings to you and your family!!!

  11. These are all agents of the corporates who creat war and crisis that paves ways for money making. See the book on disaster capitalism


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