By Yimer Muhe
If it weren’t a monstrous entity that we are fighting against and haven’t suffered under three successive repressive regimes during our life time, the West’s unblinking hypocrisy would have no doubt thrown our conviction in the lofty principles of democracy into disarray and chaos and force us to seriously question its sanctity. Or is democracy a necessity for the West but a luxury for the rest they can live without? Or does it have to be rationed and time-released in developing nations like Ethiopia because a full dose of it is unhealthy for their economy? That is actually what President Obama – the leader of the free world – alluded to during his visit to Ethiopia in August 2015 at which time he also made his infamous remark of “Ethiopia is a democracy” cementing further his administration’s relationship with the autocratic TPLF.
The West’s relationship with TPLF has been encumbered with flaws since its inception, and intent of malice should never be ruled out. Otherwise how would one explain what happened in London in 1991 when the capitalist West handed the rein of power to an avowed Marxist Leninist group – TPLF to replace the Marxist Military Junta of Col. Mengistu Hailemariam? What is unforgivable and disturbing is that the West knew from day one that TPLF was genocidal in general and towards the Amhara in particular. The West knew TPLF’s intent very well and was not that shallow not to suspect that TPLF would implement its genocidal agenda when circumstances permit. But that didn’t deter the West from forging its ‘unholy alliance’ with one of the most dangerous and criminal entities in history. Even more alarming is the West’s failure to learn a lesson from the 1994 Rwanda genocide and revisit its commitment to the ethnocentric and fascistic TPLF. The reckless haste the West concluded the dubious London Conference and the fact that it was fraught with deliberate negligence are also indicative of the West’s malicious intent that indeed set up Ethiopia for chaos and looming disintegration. In the summer of 1991, the West gave a matchbox to the arsonist TPLF and Ethiopia is burning today.
In the last 25 years, TPLF has been committing genocide on piecemeal basis until it became full blown in November 2015 when over 500 peaceful protesters were mowed down and murdered in the Oromia region. By TPLF’s own census, for a country that has experienced an uncommon population explosion in recent times, the Amhara population has been dwindling and the cause is not that complicated to figure out and understand. From time to time, TPLF Special Forces armed with weapons and other gears supplied by the West including training have viciously slaughtered Amharas, Oromos, Annuaks, Somalis, etc. thus engaging in ethnic cleansing or managing the population of certain groups to lessen potential resistance to tyranny. Such crimes are being committed with the West deliberately stuck to its “hear no evil, see no evil” stance in addition to the material and diplomatic support it provides to the murderous TPLF. Obvious and undeniable, the West’s agenda of the so called ‘War on Terror’ seamlessly feeds into TPLF’s interest of perpetuating its tyranny. As a result, there is no reason why the West shouldn’t be held accountable not only morally but also legally for the genocide, the atrocious human rights violations, the destruction of cultures, traditions and values, the wholesale corruption and plunder, the loss of innocent lives, and the depression, the grief and overall traumatic experiences Ethiopians have been subjected to.
The fact that the West has been arming the TPLF’s war machine up to the hilt making it one of the strongest in Africa could never be an afterthought at all. The West’s use of TPLF’s mercenary Army to fight Al-Shabab in Somalia, or deploy it in between warring factions elsewhere in Africa as “peacekeepers” is never a coincidence either. It is part of a long term scheme the corner stone of which was laid down long before the sham 1991 London Conference. The West was grooming TPLF for such an eventuality years earlier while the latter was in the woods as a ragtag bandit. The West knew very well who it was dealing with. It saw in TPLF a brutal and merciless killer that was devoid of remorse and humanly regrets. It saw in TPLF someone that didn’t play by even the most rudimentary rules of engagement; and it saw in TPLF a group that had no compunction for breaking promises; that had no friends, and instead enjoyed making enemies, and above all that behaved like a drug-cartel. The West knew it was dealing with a group that was immensely parochial, greedy, rigid and unpatriotic. But all these negative attributes didn’t deter the West from striking friendship with TPLF because these were the very qualities the West realized were going to be useful for its agenda in the Horn of Africa. Far from being worried, the West knew it could keep TPLF in line as long as it keeps throwing money, weaponry, and undeserved glorification at it, and that is what the West has been doing for the last 25 years at the expense of Ethiopia and its people. Let’s not forget among the reasons why the West preferred TPLF over the other groups that were fighting against the Derg at that time was also because TPLF enjoyed critical and unwavering support from EPLF. As a result, TPLF appeared more appealing and a much better bet than the rest to carry out the West’s future controversial and malicious missions. The appalling ruthlessness of TPLF in its short history until that time, definitely must have assured the West of the latter’s propensity to dictatorship which in turn was indicative of its longevity and long term dependability as a future partner. Of course, it wasn’t that difficult to figure out for the West that in a democratic Ethiopia, the country’s army would never be available to cater to its wild whims and discretions. Today, because of the deliberate and convenient miscalculations and misdeeds of the West, a cloud of catastrophe and long term civil strife is hovering over Ethiopia. What an unforgivable sin!
That TPLF is not a creation of the West is undeniable. But there could be no denying that the West willfully adopted it “as is” without requiring it to modify itself to benefit Ethiopia as a country. As a result, in the last 25 years, TPLF has left nothing but a trial of destruction, mayhem, murder, corruption, exploitation and repression along its path. Thus the West’s culpability is beyond a shadow of a doubt.
In addition to flooding TPLF with money and arms, there are indications that the West has been indiscriminately sharing intelligence with TPLF throughout the last 25 years. As a result, it would be the height of naivety to think that Andargachew Tsige was snatched in Yemen, or that TPLF spied on ESAT, and diaspora without the acquiescence and support of western intelligence. To think that the West would arm TPLF without the associated intelligence supports is engaging in self-deception and wishful thinking.
There are also plenty of circumstantial evidences suggesting the West’s involvement in TPLF’s Ahbashization Project of Ethiopian Muslims supposedly to preempt their future radicalization – an absolute figment of the imagination – leading to the loss of many innocent lives and long term incarceration of the Muslim Community leaders throughout Ethiopia. Thanks to the West, today in Ethiopia, no faith or belief system is immune from attack by TPLF Special Forces as demonstrated by the massacre and butchery at the Irreecha celebration of our peaceful Oromo brothers and sisters.
No matter how atrocious, destructive and embarrassing TPLF’s behavior has been, the enabler West has kept generously streaming millions of dollars to the coffers of the latter, help it secure loans from World Bank and IMF circumventing national and international laws, loyally fan its fabricated two digit economic growth rate, and single it out for chivalry in Somalia, etc. President Obama, in his press conference on July 27, 2015 in Addis Ababa said “So we don’t need to send our own Marines, for example, in to do the fighting…..The Ethiopians are tough fighters… so that we’re doing things that we can do uniquely but does not require us putting boots on the ground”. In other words, TPLF is sacrificing Ethiopian lives in Somalia, innocent lives that translate into more western money in TPLF’s coffer – blood money!
The West’s deliberate dead silence coupled with its never ending material and diplomatic support have emboldened TPLF to a point that defies explanation. As a result, its army and Special Forces have stepped up relentlessly attacking peaceful protesters with western supplied batons, teargas, automatic rifles, machineguns and attack helicopters including throwing hand grenades at mosques with congregations inside. What is the West- the bastion of democracy doing? Nothing! And suffice to say that its dead silence has proved as lethal as the weapons that it has been supplying to the murderous regime. The West’s on and off moaning and babbling of “… we have serious concerns about lack of political space in Ethiopia…” is no less hurting than Susan Rice’s “diabolic chuckling”. Obviously, it is in the West’s interest not to condemn TPLF in strong terms because of the boomerang effect such condemnation might have on the West itself since the West is equally responsible as TPLF for the horror and bloodshed in Ethiopia.
25 years of warnings to the West about the dire situation in Ethiopia by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Freedom House, etc. that hailed from none other than the very bosom of western society itself, have completely been ignored. The never stopping voice of these organizations on behalf of Ethiopians in particular and humanity in general is indicative of the West’s absolute arrogance and complicity in the killing, maiming, incarceration, and deprivation of basic human rights, exodus of scholars and religious leaders and the perishing of the Ethiopian youth in the Mediterranean and the Red Seas, and in shipping containers heading to South Africa, not to mention the ones burnt alive in Johannesburg and Durban, and the ones slaughtered by ISIL on the sands of Libya. Whichever way we take a look at it, Ethiopia’s woes lie at the doorsteps of the West! There is no way the West wouldn’t be found guilty in an International Court of Law if we had our day in court. The West would never be less guilty than TPLF – its ‘prodigal son’ because there is premeditation; there is motive; there is a crime scene; and above all because there are 99 million victims!