Is Gen. Tsadkan G. Tensae better off for Ethiopia than current TPLF horde?

9 Jul

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
Listening to/reading recently retired army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Tsadkan G. Tensae’s interview from late June 2017 — first on Addis Zemen and then with Horn Affairs — I remain one of the many Ethiopian skeptics if indeed it is the Red Sea region bug that has been eating the general, who alleged its consequential danger is hovering over our country.


For me, the interesting part of his claim is that he gives the impression he still thinks Ethiopia’s loss being a maritime power on the Red Sea is temporary phenomenon. Questioning his thesis here, against the backdrop of the many actions and he and his party had taken over they years, it does not mean that his concern about the whiff of instability from that side and under very severe circumstances can be totally ignored.

Nonetheless, while his ideas are sort of fresh air in an environment under military dictatorship, it is unlikely he could be any different from those we have known in this quarter century.

Therefore, the real question here is could Ethiopians ever trust his crocodile tears now, whereas TPLF leaders in their secessionist inebriation had been more Eritrean and had chosen to end Ethiopia’s organic link with the Red Sea? Weren’t they the ones who militarily and vigorously advocated Eritrea’s independence in the early 1990s, with the general as enforcer? Isn’t i this history Gen. Tsadkan now tries to relegate to a footnote and thus unabashedly seems to suggest their newest, if any, political gambling could reverse this unhappy course of history?

In my opinion, Gen. Tsadkan is rather preoccupied with the internal discontent of Ethiopians that for over a year has put continuity of the TPLF in power in serious doubt on many fronts. That is why now the TPLF has in vain, meaning against strong public rejection, has turned its attention inward.

Surely, everyone, Ethiopian and foreigners alike, are aware that this uncertainty has its origin in the perpetuation by the ruling TPLF of state violence and other bad polices, some of which the general has has forthrightly acknowledged in his የሃገራችን ፖለቲካዊ ሁኔታና የመፍትሔ ሃሳቦች ሌ/ጄ ፃድቃን ገ/ትንሳኤ July 24, 2016.

In that piece, he spoke about misgovernance of the country by his party and its abusive policies that included human rights violations of citizens.

Unfortunately, the man who argues human rights violation and alienation are at the root of Ethiopian discontents, firstly implicitly chooses to paint his solutions with ethnic coloration, without any mention of ethnicity-based displacements, by land grab and other forms of expropriations by members of the ruling party. Secondly, his world view of human rights violations also happened to be ethnic-based, in paragraph 26 defending human rights,

In that piece, following the stolen election of May 2015, his starting point toward the solution that Ethiopia needs was:-

“ችግሩን ለመፍታት ደግሞ በኢህደአዴግና ድርጅቱ በሚመራቸው የመንግስት ይሁን የፖርቲ መዋቅሮች ታጥረን በምናደርገው እንቅስቃሴ ብቻ መፍትሄ ማምጣት አይቻልም፡፡ ከዚህ በላይ ከተጠቀሰው መዋቅር በተጨማሪም ከየፖርቲና የመንግሥት መዋቅር ውጭ ያሉ ፖለቲካዊ ሃይሎችና ምልዓተ ህዝቡ በስፋትና በንቃት ሲሳተፍበት ነው በእርግጠኝነት ችግሩን መፍታት የሚቻለው ከሚል መነሻ ሃሳብ የሚነሳ ነው”

For me, at the time as I had made known in my August 9, 2016 article, most problematic part was the intransparency of his motive, as his statement in the Scenario shows, which I equate with double-standard his hurrah about the Oromo protests being dismantledwith military might, as follows in 2016:-

“ባላፈው በኦሮምያ ተፈጥሮ የነበረው የህዝብ አመፅ የመንግስት መዋቅር ላይ በተለይ በክልሉ መንግስታዊ መዋቅር ላይ ፈጥሮት የነበረ ጫና በጣም ከፍተኛ ነው። በፌዴራል መንግስት የፀጥታ ሃይሎች ጣልቃገብነት ነው አመፁ የቆመው። አመፁ በስፋትም በግዜም ቢቀጥል ኖሮ በተጨማሪም ሌሎች ተጓዳኝ የህዝብ አመፆች ቢነሱ ኖሮ በማዕከላዊ መንግስት ላይ ሊፈጠር ይችል የነበረው ችግር መገመት አይከብድም።”

Moreover, why on earth should Gen. Tsadkan prefer continuity of TPLF power in Ethiopia by weakening and its butchering by international forces the Front has allied with, even when the UN doubted there was any terrorist activities by Eritrea, be it in Somalia or via South Sudan. The UN Security Council went ahead and imposed its sanction, as recompense to and satisfaction of the TPLF regime? Would it not be better for Ethiopia a stable and democratic Eritrea emerging, instead of a nation under permanent threat and another refugee producing country?

Perhaps the best reaction to Gen Tsadkan’s latest article is by Shiferaw Abebe on ECADf, in whose arguments I see a mental partner. Shiferaw writes:-

“The [Gen. Tsadkan’s] concern about Ethiopia’s long term geopolitical and security interests may appear reasonable, even supportable, if one didn’t know who is talking. The fact that this concern is expressed so belatedly by someone who cut his teeth as a TPLF fighter eventually taking the highest military post of Chief of Staff should given any anti-TPLF Ethiopian a pose before offering a wholesale endorsement of his views, let alone his recommendations.

Tsadkan is the wrong person to air this concern now because, for all we know, there is no evidence that he cares about Ethiopia’s national security more than he cares about the continuity of TPLF’s rule. If he were genuinely concerned about Ethiopia, he would have seen the real and present danger for Ethiopia’s security – TPLF itself – the menace that is pulling the country to its demise faster than any real or imagined external foe may have a chance to do any harm to it. Any national security concern of tomorrow is meaningless when the very existence of the nation itself is in question today.”

Read the entire article from the source.

%d bloggers like this: