It is irresponsible and dangerous to portray Eritrea as an enemy of Tigray. The United States has long been working for regime change using the TPLF as a tool.
Updated on December 3, 2022
Kevin Johnson, a man who reportedly ambushed and killed a police officer in the St. Louis area, USA, to avenge the death of his younger brother, who was also killed by a police officer, is facing execution.
The story is cited for the purpose of comparison to highlight what the United States has been doing to rescue the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – an Ethiopian rebel group that attacked several military posts of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force. Thousands of soldiers were massacred while sleeping when they were absolutely defenseless.
The response in the case of Ethiopia was different. The United States mobilized its allies in Europe to provide the TPLF group diplomatic and political cover for the crime it committed but it was mainly portrayed in western media outlets as an advocacy campaign for human rights and for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Reputable rights groups proved to be an essential propaganda tool too.
Apart from attempts to introduce sanction regimes in the United Nations Security Council against Ethiopia – which was vetoed by China and Russia – the United States introduced its own sanctions against Ethiopia.
The pressure usually was strong whenever the TPLF suffers military defeat. The United States demanded, yes it is was more like a demand, Ethiopia to stop fighting and negotiate with the designated terrorist group. It became more strong when the fall of Mekelle became imminent within less than three months after the TPLF launched, in August 2022, the third round of war against the Ethiopian Defense Force, regional special forces in Amhara and Afar and Eritrean Forces.
It became apparent that the Ethiopian government bowed to the U.S. pressure and announced readiness to negotiate when it can take over Mekelle. The TPLF terrorist group announced that it has accepted the call to negotiate. A day or so before Pretoria peace talks started in late October this year, Reuters reported that the U.S. sent a military plane to Mekelle to fetch TPLF leaders and they were flown to South Africa.
Not just that, the U.S. positioned itself as an observer in the talk although the African Union was designated to facilitate the peace talk with the leadership of its special envoy to the Horn of Africa – former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. But it was apparent that the U.S’. role was more than an observer. Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed said, without naming names, that the peace talk was influenced by external forces.
Since the U.S. was a strong influence in the peace talk, the result of it turned out to be, ostensibly, one that the U.S. was pushing for. The TPLF – a force that suffered a devastating military defeat – was saved as an entity with only what appears to be a nominal agreement to disarm its forces. With the magnitude of the destruction that the TPLF caused, Ethiopians were demanding, and it was noticeable from conversations on different social media platforms, that the group be disarmed and dismantled in the interest of peace in the country and the region.
Another point that became apparent from the negotiation is that the United States, through its trojan horse TPLF, targeted Eritrea – a country that helped the Ethiopian Defense Force when it was massacred by the TPLF forces in unsuspecting circumstances. In fact, Eritrea has paid a lot more in the struggle to neutralize the TPLF as the most dangerous armed group in the region. Owing to its self-reliance and fierce defense of its sovereignty, the United States has been pursuing a regime change agenda in Asmara. There were even reports that Eritrea has foiled several coups and assassination attempts.
The implementation of the peace agreement was essentially linked to the withdrawal of Eritrean troops. Apart from the disarming and demobilization of the TPLF forces, one of the key points in the agreement was that the TPLF ( in fact later the TPLF denied that it did not sit for a peace talk in Pretoria or Nairobi) recognized Federal government authority. It means that the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from the Tigray region should have been left as the business of the Ethiopian government.
But the United States and TPLF are using it as a material to mount a propaganda campaign against Eritrea. Eritreans have blood relations with Ethiopians – of course including in the Tigray region. The narrative that paints Eritreans as enemies of Tigray and the massacre of innocent civilians by Eritrean forces does not obviously hold water. The U.S. has been relentless in creating that image. The TPLF still does not get that it is dangerous to paint an image of Eritrea as a security threat for people in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. It is irresponsible and malicious at the same time. As was the case with Ethiopia, it was Eritrean forces engagement against TPLF forces that was painted as “genocide on Tigray.”
The U.S. through its media campaign attempted to present itself as a defender of ethnic Tigreans from rights abuse by Eritreans. That is like playing with the intelligence of ethnic Tigreans. All these narratives against “Eritrean forces” are certainly meant to manufacture legitimacy for interference to pursue the regime change agenda. It can not be anything else.
And what happened to the peace agreement? It was just a day after the implementation agreement in Nairobi that the TPLF came out and denied it did not sign any agreement. In an interview with BBC Hard Talk, Getachew Reda, the spokesperson, said “It was a deal between the Federal government and the regional government.” The Pretoria agreement did not recognize the “regional government of Tigray” on grounds that the TPLF undertook an illegal election violating the constitution of the country.
Regarding the agreement to disarm TPLF forces, the spokesperson said “it might take months or even years.” It was something that was meant to be completed within a month after the Pretoria agreement. The TPLF announced only on December 1 that it has started to withdraw forces from the military position it held in the South, North and Western parts of the region.
Given its record since the time of its inception, it still remains to be seen whether the TPLF is truly committed to the peace agreement and for peace too. However, the purpose of the intensified propaganda campaign against Eritrea should be questioned seriously. Ethiopian state media was showing video footage of a woman from the Axum Tsion celebration who said “we are surrounded by Shabia [Eritrean] forces.” Who orchestrated it remains a question.
The Ethiopian government does seem to be mum about the extensive propaganda campaign against Eritrea. And that is not right. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration should not make the mistake of taking orders from the U.S. regarding the withdrawal of Eritrean forces.
On the part of TPLF, it would have been beneficial to learn to trust in the importance of in building amicable relations with Eritrea than thinking how it can be useful for the U.S. regime change agenda in Eritrea and about the greater Tigray empire that it is aspiring to build.
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I am sure our Eritrean brothers and sisters will pull back their forces from all Ethiopian territory soon. If they have had any forces inside Ethiopia, that is. I can’t say with all confidence that even if they ever stepped in into Ethiopia because I have no such information verified by an independent body. We should also remember that any massive deployment of soldiers by tens of thousands comes at very high cost. It causes the postponement of critical public projects. I don’t think there is any foreign power is actively working for a change of the guards in Asmara because there is no urgent need for that. As far TPLF is concerned let’s not go by the obvious talks in the Western media or few individuals. Officials in the Abiy administration have already talked about it how US pressure on the TPLF contributed on the signing of the peace deal. We as outsiders don’t have the real scoop of what is going on away from the camera lens and tape recorders. For now let’s monger, smell and breathe nothing but peace.
The TPLF is like the boy cry foul many times at this point. No one of his right mind should ever believe the propangada machine the TPLF gangs has been and still is. Over 27 long years they perfected and used the art to own benefit and fool others be it locals, regional states or outsiders like no tomorrow . This is the last political gasp to remain relevant to foreigners and fools other Ethiopians but it won’t happen again.
America hates Wodi Afom’s guts for sure! No one stands up to the bullying like he did. Still does!
That said Pretoria-Nairobi, the way I see it is, at best, an agreement with a catch, or lots of catches! One can see the wisdom of trying to finish of TPLF politically than just militarily. For the way I see it, trying to go about it militarily no matter how crashing the defeat would have a repeat of some of the nightmares of TPLF hardliners taunting the feds during the eight months control of the region. The best way to write the last chapter of TPLF would be by having that myth of invincibility thrown to the wind. The way to do that would by having them surrender. In our culture that is the most humiliating thing, one would prefer death thousand times over than doing that! እጅ ስጥ አለኝ ፈረንጅ ምን እጃለው የሳት ሰደደ አያውቅም እንዴ ክንዴ እንደሚያነድ!
As to TPLF it took them no time before they started to tamper with the things they thought are the catches of Pretoria to their favor!
So I agree with the above comment that for the rest of us the best thing to do for now may be to hold our breath and see what the coming weeks and months hold.