By Keffyalew Gebremedhin – The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
My review of the information on the situation in Ethiopia from sources and on the social media in the last few days, especially the rising popular anger, I have no doubt that Ethiopia is likely to pass through difficult times.
The anger in the people is deep and persistent; the attack on their dignity injurious. The state has been unbelievably lawless and trigger happy thanks for the support it enjoys from outside.
Putting it mildly, Ethiopians have been going through the worst humiliations, no less what our ancestors had overcome during the Italian occupation.
Whether there would be healing and Ethiopia could become whole again is difficult question.
One ‘incident’ had me scurry into history to make sense of what is taking place.
These past quarter century has been good for ethnic fellow travelers and foreigners that strictly aim to invest and prosper, with some looting too.
There is no gainsaying Ethiopians have been discriminated in their own country in the hands of the mafia, aka, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
However, this does not mean that even in the midst of the crisis some of the things I read were not exceptionally worth being an Ethiopia. The people may be poor; but they are sensible and dignified.
Here are tiny snippets of what I consider important indicators of the evolving events in the country, possibly the very light textures of the foreseeable future:
On March 2, 2016 farmers in Dallo Sabro & Qabbanaa villages in Gandhir district of Bale have reclaimed 3,000 hc farmlands. The state has allotted these farms to investor(s). Originally, these farmers belonged to local farmers, but they were dislocated and the lands passed hand to an investor.
Interestingly, traditional people in their wisdom are reportedly now consulting how to divide the farmlands to landless farmers.
This reminds one aspirations of the Paris Commune, which was in power in Paris from March 18 t May 28 1871 – about eight years before the French Revolution. While there is little parallel between what just happened in rural Ethiopia, Bale, is totally different, the interesting parallel is farmers retaking their lands from the TPLF-run looter state and its allies, the national and international investors with their indifference to the plight of the people.
In all honesty, unlike the chaotic and mostly violent Paris Commune, what Ethiopian farmers of Allo Sabro and Qabbanaa villages have done is exemplary in the sense of responsibility selflessness they demonstrated.
March 2nd witnessed “several farms, owned by TPLF officials in Maqi area of Dugda district” in eastern Shoa, destroyed overnight.
When all this is happening (Bale and Shoa), one may wonder, what the TPLF has been doing. It is a legitimate question!
The TPLF knows what it is good at. Therefore, it has focussed on killing, and more killings of Ethiopian citizens.
In Woldiya, Amhara Region, taxi and other transport services have been disrupted by strike. Indications are that it is spreading into the surrounding towns. Interestingly, state officials reportedly spent the day removing license plates of public transport vehicles and taxis, instead of addressing the problem! Dessie, Kombolcha, Wirgessa, Wichale, Kobo and Alamata routes have been reportedly deserted.
What would follow in the days to come is difficult to predict.
A businessman by the name Birhanu Tafa Bekele was killed by Agazi in Midqeny district, West Shawa on March 3, 2016.
Similarly, Agazi soldiers killed businessman Boja Qabata on March 1, 2016 in Shukute, West Shawa. His brother Worku was seriously injured, but has survived.
Further, in Qarsa town, East Hararge Agazi soldiers fired on peaceful students, killing two of them.
No explanation is given by any side about these killings. It is one of those things with the Agazy, much less forthcoming than the Nazi army, which used to shoot first and and asked later, as they say in stories.
The TPLF’s elite crack force is reportedly instructed to kill and walk away!
Ethiopians are being slaughtered day and night! This is what has been ignored by the investors, individuals or nations! The people cannot forget this, nor forgive, irrespective of how much the Western media is using lots of cosmetics to cover its ugliness.
Those bankrolling this barbaric regime have choices to make now.
While the number of people being killed by the regime these days has significantly declined, at least 5-7 persons are killed on a daily basis. I arrived at these figures reviewing the daily tolls of the past week. This is unpalatable by any measures and standards, by a country so-called civilized nations politically, militarily, intelligence and, advice and render financially viable its bankrupt economy that in the last days even lacked foreign exchange to buy fuel!
The state violence and its murders in Ethiopia are against national and international laws; this murderous regime simply kills peaceful protesters with no restraint at all!
As a matter of fact, what the TPLF has been doing is a violation of the United Nations Charter. It is this regime that the summit of African Union at the end of January 2016 recommended to become a member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). See my articles on this: One, Two and Three.
Of course, for many that have kept their eyes on their investments in Ethiopia and their Al-Shabab containment policy to which Ethiopia has become their sheriff.
This is bad policy! To any sane individual, this must indicate the lack of international leadership.
The Tedros Adhanoms of the TPLF universe are boasting about United States and United Kingdom support for the regime’s candidacy to the UNSC seat for Africa! Addis Abeba does not not mention China’s view, an emerging global power, which they have taken for granted because China has kept its eyes on the African market.
What an era bereft of international leadership – be it a single powerful country, or medium power nation(s), as it used to be in the past. That is why we strongly feel this represents a failure especially of the United States, the other permanent members of the UNSC and, in sum, the international system itself!
I have no doubt, the popular uprising literally in all parts of Ethiopia – north, west, east and south – is likely to make at some point the people of Ethiopia smile by the restoration of their dignity their sacrifices would award them at a near and distant point, once the many setbacks regime would place along the road are surpassed!