Beware of TPLF's minority card
Written by Jawar Mohammad
Recently you might have noticed that TPLF is propagating 'Somalis' protesting against OLF, G7 etc. Its important to know that these are members of the TPLF's puppet party in Somali region ( its like OPDO and ANDM members rallying in support of the regime). In fact many of the thugs are not from Somali regional state but from Djibouti, Somalia, Somaliland and even Kenya. Back home the psychopathic president of the region has forced residents of Jigjiga to stage a rally. Why all this? First it shows the regime have given up on its puppet parties in Oromia and Amhara regions. Pro-regime rallies planned in Oromia and Amhara were either cancelled due to fear of turning into protest or no one showed up.
But there is more sinister motive than just this. It is part of the minority card TPLF leaders are trying to play as they fight for survival. Two weeks ago Seyoum Mesfin and Abay Tsehaye gave interview where they repeatedly pulled the minority card. They have two objectives in doing so. First they want to mislead and gain sympathy of the liberal international community that their minority ethnic group (Tigreans) are facing genocide from alliance of the two largest ethnic groups Oromo and Amhara. They have been telling diplomats that it's not just Tigreans facing existential threat but also other minorities. Second, they want to implement their long held plan of 'minority coalition' to withstand pressure from Amhara and Oromo forces. Since the days of their armed struggle, TPLF leaders believed that the best way to cope with being outnumbered is to forge alliance (under their domination) with other minorities. The controversial map that connects Tigray with Benishangul-Gumuz and all the way down to Gambela on the West, and Afar and Somali through the East is not some simple error or latest development. It has been on the works since 1980s. Although it failed due to economic competition with Tigrean businessmen, they have also tried to bring urban minorities to their side as well.
But is TPLF an ally of minorities in Ethiopia? Its records say NO!
- - Its military carried out ethnic cleansing against Ethiopian Somalis as meticulously recorded by human rights organizations. Abdi Illey was their henchmen who was facilitating the massacre.
- - It massacred the Agnuwak in Gambella region in 2003 and still continue to kill in the region.
- - The Sidama were massacred at Loqe in 2002.
- - Entire villages in Konso are being burned down as we speak.
- - The Mursi are killed en mass and those captured alive are chained like animals as might have seen on pictures
- - Silte and Gurage businessmen have been pushed out of the market and replaced by Tigreans.
- - Afar land is all but taken over by Tigrean land grabbers.
- - On and on and on......
- Yet as it faces increasing resistance in Oromo and Amhara, TPLF will be aggressively using this 'minority card' in the up coming weeks and months. This will be done with action that will create rift between minority ethnic groups and Oromo/Amhara. We should henceforth expect the following:
- - More rallies in diaspora and targeted regions in Ethiopia with participants holding slogans that offend Oromo/Amhara.
- - Intensified campaign on media using languages that provoke debate and counter attack.
- - Physical attack on Oromo/Amhara activists and institutions with the aim of provoking counter attack on Somalis.
- - They will intensify instigating conflict on regional boarders. We are already hearing provocation on Benishangul-Amhara boarders, Somali -Oromia boarders.
- If left unchallenged, these tactics could cause serious short and long term problem between various nations of the country. Therefore, the following steps should be taken to counter that:
- - Oromos and Amharas shouldn't fall for the provocative trap. Avoid debates and arguments against Somalis and others.
- - Let activists, political leaders and organizations respond to debunk them.
- - Beware that the regime's agents will engage in nasty exchanges pretending to be Oromo, Amhara, Somali etc.
- - Prominent activists, political leaders should be careful against attacks by hired thugs. Community and religious institutions should be protected. In case attacks occur, the situation must be wisely contained. No doubt the regime agents in Amhara and Oromo communities will try to instigate counter attack on Somali and others. Hence no matter the severity, the possible attack on Amhara/Oromo personalities, the response should never be communal; the individual who committed the crime should be singled out and brought to justice.
Such old and tired tactic of divide and rule cannot extend TPLF's dictatorship.