Exclusive Pictures of the Tigray Peoples Democratic Movement (TPDM)


July 9, 2013  — Ethiopian opposition sources in Eritrea have provided Durame.com with exclusive pictures of the Tigray Peoples Democratic Movement (TPDM), a democracy group that is widely regarded as having the largest number of  rebel fighters in the region.

Established in 2001, TPDM was founded by the late Fiseha Hailemariam Tedla, who was a senior Ethiopian official before defecting to Eritrea. He was the chairman of the group until 2008, when he was assassinated by a lone gunman paid by the Ethiopian regime.

After the demise of their founder, the group elected Molla Asgedom as their new chairmen. Under his rule, TPDM has flourished, going from a rag-tag rebel group numbering in the few hundreds, to highly trained and formidable fighting force numbering in the tens of thousands.

According to US embassy sources, "the group strictly guards its leaders' names for fear of
reprisals against their families in Tigray.....the TPDM does not recruit recently escaped Ethiopian Tigray soldiers in Eritrea, but rather recruits disgruntled Tigray youth from within Ethiopian Tigray."

With over 4,000 Ethiopian refugees entering Eritrea each month, TPDM's membership has increased significantly. When asked about the number of fighters in their group, opposition officials declined to specify exact figures but did state it was over "tens of thousands of fighters".

In late 2012, TPDM formed an alliance with five democracy groups: the Amhara Democratic Force Movement, Ethiopian People's Patriotic Front, Gambella People's Liberation Movement, Benishangul People's Liberation Movement, and Ethiopian People's Justice and Equality Front.
                                                           
                                                              Click images to enlarge:
New TPDM/Demhit recruits
New TPDM/Demhit recruits training
New TPDM/Demhit recruits training
New TPDM/Demhit recruits
T.P.D.M./Demhit Cultural Troupe
T.P.D.M./Demhit Cultural Troupe
T.P.D.M./Demhit Cultural Troupe
TPDM rebels celebrating
T.P.D.M./Demhit Cultural Troupe

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