By Keffyalew Gebremedhin The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is habitually dishonest and a mafia group in power in Ethiopia.
After the cruelties it has perpetrated especially during the past two years, things have gotten worse all the more. In view of this I have chosen to sink in my head and see if anything better could emerge next for this unfortunate country. I am convinced that the biggest success for Ethiopia is not only what comes next; it is whether Ethiopians could succeed in completely removing the roots and branches of the TPLF mafiosi from power and for good!
If anyone is contemplating about pulling together everything on the ground, including the TPLF, to create a national reconciliation infrastructure, it would be a waste of time and energy. To start with, there is nothing that can be retrieved out of the horde of murderers in power in Ethiopia. The best that can be done is to build from the ground up, with the people paying with their lives throughout the country fully in charge of the change they want.
The TPLF is a band of duplicitous and immoral individuals, tied with family relations and ethnicity. To begin, for the TPLF and its success in governance is measured by its repression and killing. That is not what the nation needs now or in the future, at all.
The TPLF people are a bunch of killers and corrupt individuals. They have won all five elections through deceits and vote rigging and voice stealing! That is the only things they know and that is not the future Ethiopia needs.
Let me be upfront by stating my personal disappointment in President Barack Obama’s policies. While Ethiopia has been in the TPLF hell, he has chosen to close not only the eyes of the people of the United States, praising the murderers. But also he has restricted the rest of the Western world, since no one country could dare take actin against the US’s best African ally.
That is one way Mr. Obama has allowed the evils and cruelty of TPLF murderers and tortures to inflict pain on the lives of several thousands of Ethiopians, whose number is hard to quantify. Thus the sufferings of people is made by the rest of the world the new normal and TPLF’s accepted practice in Ethiopia. Even Ethiopian refugees are not accepted, because such acceptance would spoil TPLF’s narrative of stable country with a myth of double-digit economic growth.
I hope Mr. Obama has heard from Ambassador Patricia Haslach, his envoy. When completing her tour of duty in Addis Abeba, she did not give interview, customary for US envoys. Instead, in her farewell remarks to the staff she had worked with for three years, she observed:
“I know there is a great deal of fear and frustration in Ethiopia, including among our diverse and talented staff. I can tell you that we continue to engage with the government of Ethiopia, urging its officials at all levels to uphold Ethiopia’s constitutional guarantees of democratic government and respect for human rights and the rule of law.”
The theme is the same, although the language dramatic, when the problem also knocks the US embassy door. Unfortunately, for the past 25 years, America has been saying the same thing, as if its diplomacy on Ethiopia has lost teeth. Therefore, the envoys have to always emphasize on US continuing to work on the problem. The truth of the matter is that we have not seen a quarter century of outcome of a superpower’s diplomacy.
Can you imagine? Even those working at the US embassy are frightened everyday now of the TPLF, while there is the stature of big power protection for them if the TPLF security people take them in. It would only take a single telephone call. Then, imagine how the rest of helpless Ethiopians live in terror in that country on a daily basis!
There is the case of a very effective member of the legal opposition in Addis Abeba, who has been on my mind for a long time. His name is Ato Abebe Akalu, a husband and a father. One evening a car stopped in front of him and three TPLF security persons ordered him to enter. They knew Ato Abebe does not drink or smoke. The three persons took him to unmarked place in unmarked car and they forced into him a lot of whisky. Then the three TPLF security men abused him for three. This took place in November 2013. Nobody is held accountable. But we keep on aching for him and his family!
Moreover, what would a Western leader tell his nation, when prisons are set on fire by state operatives, under order from the ruling party, and the TPLF’s Agazi forces surrounding the prisons shoot the prisoners one by one when they run out to save their lives from the fire? Isn’t this a blot for the image of the United States and the Obama administration, when its favored ally does something inhuman like this, with US aid and, both civilian, military assistance and intelligence?
While several prisons have been burnt by the state agents this year alone in Amhara and Oromia regions, the fire at Kilinto Prison for Political Prisoners, barely 35 km from Addis Abeba, is morally unacceptable and debilitating.
I do not exactly know how many prisoners were at Kilinto. I strongly believe that the whole point of the fire was to get one prisoner – Bekele Gerba – Ethiopia’s Gandhi – roasted in fire, if not to cut him short with the Agazi bullets.
So far, the TPLF has not told the nation about his whereabouts. Is this not cruelty of the highest order against his family, and his followers, as well as the nation at large? Actually parents who went to ask about their sons or wives who sought the whereabouts of their husbands were beaten.
This is the work of monsters with no comparison now or anytime before in world history, including with the crimes of the Nazis and that of Fascist Italy’s.
I am persuaded beyond reconsideration, the TPLF can never be reformed. Forgive my ignorance, but there isn’t even a human material within their ranks that can be retrieved out of that cesspool and rehabilitated for use in the next national arrangement to ensure the nation’s continuity.
I am actually provoked to write this few lines by the statement the TPLF/EPRDF leadership issued Monday evening. It is titled: In this new year the EPRDF would pledge to ensure realization of its promises of reform and renewal.
Supposedly, the statement is sort of best wishes for the New Year. However, it shamelessly states:
“በአዲሱ ዓመት የኢትዮጵያ ህዳሴ እውን ለማድረግ ፓርቲው ራሱን ዳግም በማደስ የሃገሪቱን ልማት፣ ሰላምና ዴሞክራሲ ለማስቀጠልና ለማስፋት የገባውን ቃል ተግባራዊ የሚያደርግበት ዓመት እንደሚሆን ነው በመግለጫው ያስታወቀው።”
UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION:’In keeping with the pledges of national renewal the EPRDF has made, on the occasion of the New Year, it would once again assure citizens that it would expedite realization of the nation’s development, and ensure continuity of its peace, as it expands its democracy.”
What peace and democracy are these hooligans talking about? Ethiopia has never had any democracy, if its meaning is a society being governed by the rule of law and enjoying degrees of freedoms. What we have in Ethiopia is barbarism! All along in these quarter century under the TPLF Ethiopia has been a nation of fear, tortures, insecurities of all sorts and daily murders by state agents.
Out of Western investors who have hoped to rake profits, some have tried Ethiopia that idea in mind. Trust me, other than those that never pay their taxes to the country, all those that wanted to do clean business, benefit themselves and their employees and the host country have not come in the first place to Ethiopia. Corruption is rife in Ethiopia. Treaties mean nothing, since the rule changes midstream and whimsically. That does not make Ethiopia business friendly.
Trust me, because of the kind of bad people and system in power – their so-called revolutionary democracy & developmental state – today Ethiopia would have been better under a colonial administration, not that our people are under a different regime as subjects! The only difference is that the TPLF leaders enjoys torturing people, brag about human sufferings, a rite in human sacrifices, akin to the barbarism of ancient peoples.
Another sad story of our modern world, especially under Barack Obama, is poor countries are considered departments and perhaps they are assigned to wealthy Americans. So forget what Ethiopians want!
For instance, in the case of Ethiopia, what matters is what Bill Gates and his likes do like and are comfortable with. If Bill Gates likes Ethiopia, it means it is good for American policy-makers and the White House.
Of late, we have noticed that our data are also being shaped by what the Gates Foundation is interested in and likes. I do not believe this is right in this 21st century.
In brief, as things stand, Ethiopia is Mr. Gates experimental playground! Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are sneaked in with seeds, although the nation has stringiest laws against their imports and plantation. DuPont is also doing its best to take control of seed market, although it has used tit to sneak in GMO corns.
In the long run, such an approach would only breed local distrust. It means that it would not help the country nor these foreign business interests.
Perhaps the mistake is of the White House’s. Under the Obama administration, such countries as Ethiopia are nations for experimentation by selected American investors. Because of this, its policy wonks have taken their eyes off the ball in Ethiopia.
The tricky TPLF always reassures them that everything was under control. This has made them overconfident. The truth of the matter is that Ethiopians are hurting. The mafiosi has reduced Ethiopia to a nation by a government that knows no laws.
This situation has stirred Ethiopians into anger. The best the White House could do is to assist the struggle of the people to get rid of the killers and the corrupt TPLF robber barons. Let Ethiopians be given the opportunity to determine their future; sooner or later, with or without America help they will do it on their own.
It would also be appreciated greatly by the people of Ethiopia, if the United States examines the tons of dollars these people have stolen from the Ethiopian people. There may be some US businesses helping them hide monies abroad, especially in Asia and the Middle East.
Certainly, this cannot be beyond the scope of the all-eyes United States, if it wants justice for one of the poorest nations in the world!