By Keffyalew Gebremedhin – The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
The TPLF regime has refused recognition to the protest rally Medrek and Semayawi Party jointly called for the 27th of December 2015. The two legal parties, on behalf of their constituencies, wanted to stop the TPLF regime from handing over historically disputed Ethiopian territory to the Sudan.
In parliament Friday, the Man in the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s Office told his handpicked allies that the story of land deals between Ethiopia and the Sudan was without merit. In all these years, just as he said in parliament, Ethiopians lived with the phrase ‘repulsive rumor’ on this question of lands promised to the Sudan.
That man has said so many things in the past in the name of the nation’s policies and the truth, most of which have been found wanting and beyond the dignity of the office he is sitting in.
As if those are not enough, he is now telling Ethiopians that he is smarter and aims to carry through the secret deal in fulfilment of the pledge by dictator Meles Zenawi to the Sudan in return, as Sibhat Nega also had confirmed in March 2007, for the Sudan to close its territory to anti-TPLF Ethiopian opposition groups.
This, they now plan to do, under the guise of border demarcation!
Certainly, one rationale behind the regime’s refusal of the Medrek-Semayawi Party protest rally, something that has been provided for in the constitution as a right of citizens, is the TPLF’s fear that it would lend justification for the Oromo protesters to return to the streets.
Recall that the five-week old protest is now on hold for the time being, because of the regime’s excessive use of force and lots of bloodshed the cost of which has been 86 Ethiopian lives. A huge number have been injured, over thousands arrested and many considered ‘disappeared persons’. And yet, the imprisonment of Oromo opposition group leaders, Oromo university lecturers and Oromo university students has continued.
Nonetheless, the real terror for the regime is the theme of Sunday’s demonstration, i.e., protest against the giveaway of Ethiopian territory to the Sudan.
This is an issue that has already easily galvanized Ethiopians’ sense of patriotism and nationalism both at home and abroad. For the TPLF, it is protection of their self-interest in the form of both keeping good relations with the Sudan, the country with which Ethiopia shares 769km of border.
No doubt, for Ethiopia peace with the Sudan is of huge importance. It is commonsense that a regime that has sprouted all sorts of armed movements and opposition groups that want to see the back of the TPLF has a lot to worry about.
Compounding the problem is also the nature of the Sudanese leadership. It is known to benefit from border disputes often using it as means of extracting concessions from its neighbors, so far save Egypt.
Therefore, for a nation and a people such as Ethiopia, the most disastrous position citizens can find themselves in is when they cannot trust their leaders on the nation’s vital and longstanding interests. This exactly is the situation Ethiopians are in with the TPLF in power, especially when it comes to the Sudan.
I honestly want to say to the regime, just forget that there is secret deal to give Ethiopian lands to the Sudan. It is a non-starter, or they have to choose between packing and leaving or just lumbering in power!
It is like they say, Ethiopians were cheated once, they do not want to burn their fingers the second time trusting the TPLF.
Recall especially how the Eritrean referendum was organized and carried out.
Moreover, the TPLF was asked by the Americans, according to Herman Cohen, the US negotiator and the man who steered the TPLF into Addis Abeba, not to let go the port of Assab from Ethiopia.
Adios, dictator Meles Zenawi later tried to cover his shortsightedness by publicly claiming that a port is no different from any other commodity!
Yes, now Ethiopia is behaving like a mat by the doors of Djibouti and Sudan. This is happening because needlessly and because of TPLF’s hatred of Ethiopia, our country has been reduced to being landlocked! Sure, that is the meaning of port being a commodity!
The list of Ethiopian distrusts of the TPLF is inexhaustive. Did the TPLF come promising democracy, respect for fundamental human rights? Today, Ethiopians happen to be the most repressed, whose freedoms and human dignity have been robbed away by ethnic minority regime, which has placed the country officially under single party rule, after the May 2015 election!
Don’t get me started! I do not want to talk about Ethiopia being declared in May 2014 food secure. At the time, it was falsely announced for propaganda purposes, not erroneously, by the man in the Ethiopian prime minister’s office!
Me too, I recall the correction he sought on that matter in August 2015, as if it were our fault as citizens!
How can anyone trust these people?