By E. Akele
Recently most articles written on current situations are concerned about the stability and continuity of Ethiopia. Much emphasis have given to National Reconciliation as a mechanism to create political consensus through power sharing among political groups. I was one of those who hope for Reconciliation and advocated just out of pragmatic desire to redeem lost opportunities of establishing a functioning democracy. But I was hoping against hope.
In the two decades under EPRDF observation shows much effort needed to resolve popular discontents. However, the adamant TPLF has resisted any call for reform. It is a misreading of politics that costs heavy price. Now it has crossed the red line and dug its grave wide open.
Ascribing any democratic and legitimate demands as a subversive activity organized by Eritrea and Egypt is nothing but a propagandist mantra. It is a strategy of belittling legitimate demands in order to creat a pretext to crush it . As we have been repeatedly seen it, labeling popular demands as an act of terrorism organized, sponsored and directed by Eritreans have showed indeed TPLF can not be cured from its obsession. Rather than gaining support, it really alienate it and exposes the fragility of the political situation. EBC has presented the news, as they always did, by labeling the protest as Eritrean ploy. Why TPLF rushed to externalized its domestic problems is a question need an answer.
Dictators by Externalizing domestic problems hoped to stay on power at the expense of people. TPLF, as a diehard Albanian communism had mentality of killing innocents for power. Now the dynamics have changed: it is changed for ever. The Gonder uprising is unparalleled by recents resistance against the regime. First, in a short time people get organized and defend itself. Second, they defended their hero and pride in protecting one’s hero has a psychologically gratifying role. Resistance needs the people to stay inspired to continue. The courageous people of Gonder have made a point in showing the value of coming in defense of its heroes. Gonder as usual needs praise for giving true sons.
Oromo’s have been demanding their right for self administration and representative government that would reflect the reality of the Ethiopian people political and geographic compositions. Nevertheless, a system which is designed to have deliberately an asymmetric power structure could not accommodate divergent views and different interests. As a result the “Minority rule, over the Majority” have to come in contradiction with the basic values of democratic systems. The exposed TPLF instead of making reform have celebrated its quarter century abuses and killings of innocents in a manner that would fit its operations at the meskel square. What an Hypocrite farce! The peaceful oromos have for months persisted over the killing and the taming of youth. Despite all odds have exposed the brutality of the regime.
The demand made by the “Wolkite Committee” was democratic demand for equality and freedom. It is not an exception. It is part of a legitimate demand that needs to be answered democratically according to the constitutional provisions.
But TPLF, as hate groups who was blinded by insatiable corporate appetite and lust for power, are not responsible to run the affairs of the state. The TPLF now is a bunch of old fighters who have suddenly found themselves in the middle of gold bars. The axis, which is formed some time before involving the business magnets, the intelligence and military and the party gurus have formed a strong corporate entities. The axis runs the state and the business all together. Therefore, when the think of Ethiopia, what comes to their mind is a market, untapped resource, cheap slave labour and dumping filed. Expropriation of lands in oromiya and Gonder are an extension of this corporatism which sees land as strategic asset that needs to be sold by the Government.
To scrap potential threats, they have created labyrinth of conflicting ethnic interests and draconian legislations that would criminalize any thing. The antiterrorism, charities, the Internet, political party proclamations have clauses that would criminalize any thing. By downing so, at least for a short time, have managed to neutralize dissent. But the sad thing it completely ruled out peaceful struggle as a means for change.
What the Gonder uprising proves is the people should have defense itself. The conflict in Ethiopia which pops up here and there are just signs of a broader structural conflicts of the society and the state which is either nurtured through narrow ethnic interests or unaddressed inequalities existed before. Those elites who defined such an exclusionary ideology of ethnicity are only perpetuating conflict to ensure their hold on power. They thought that they would afloat on top of crisis. Such is the ideology of TPLF.
Rather than showing remorse over the deteriorating situations they continued to harass the people and disturb the basic fabrics that holds them together for centuries. It seems a deliberately devised strategy that aimed at making them to doubt each other. Dividing would definitely weaken resistance to the regime. Their hate mongering medias, Aiga forum, Horn Affairs and online activities have busy in running the hate campaign.
If democratic process allowed the bone of contentions to the conflict should have been solved amicably. A political elite who, against the advise of International experts and national interest of the country, unilaterally hold a referendum to seceded Eritrea is afraid to give that chance to Wolkite. A referendum to decide the the fate of Wolkite to which region they prefer to belong. What ever the outcome would be they will remain part of Ethiopia. They should be given the opportunity according to the constitution to express their desire through the ballot paper.
But it surprises any observer that a party stubbornly defended Eritrea’s independence have shown reluctance to give it to Ethiopians. The other paradox a party which is committed to resolve any national question “including and up to secession” is refusing to give the right for an autonomy of a province within the federation.
Apart from denying autonomy, outright refusal to recognize the legitimate demands of people would undoubtedly gave birth to the present resistance. The Gonder protest is a product of such constitutional breech and popular discontent. What has been forwarded to a Government body as a question of autonomy turned to be a popular protest.
Apologists of the regime are referring the incident as “communal conflict” which presupposes a conflict between the Tigrian and Amhara people. It is far from the reality; what is happening is the people of Gonder is demanding it’s right and by gallantly standing with their committee have once again showed their determinations. TPLF, as it has been the case always can’t do any thing and get away easily with it. It is a bitter lesson to sallow.
The intermittent turmoils in Ethiopia from Gambella to Benishangul, from Somali to the Afars and from Gonder to Araba minich clearly shows TPLF is soon will be timed out. We need a coordinating committee in the Diaspora to organize all political forces to join hand against the axis of evils. Therefore, let’s ready ourselves to say Adios TPLF and its corporatism.
No amount of propaganda can not mend the images of TPLF as a “merchant of death”. What is needs to be done to shorten the time it takes to remove is to broaden the resistance so that we can, at least quicken it’s inevitable downfall. unnecessary sacrifices of a prolonged struggle should be avoided.