Is TPLF (so-called Tigray People’s Liberation Front) an Eritrean organization?   

(By Ezana Abraha)

TPLF (so-called Tigray People Liberation Front) was founded in the mid-seventies by tribalists from Tigray and Eritrea provinces. Most founding members were illiterate in the sense that they have no academic background that would have helped them place some issues in the right perspective. They were zealots who saw the Amhara people as their archenemy. TPLF was fundamentally an Eritrean organisation with some naive Ethiopians from Tigray province. Ethiopians from Tigray region in TPLF lost control of the leadership in the course of time and the front has surgically carried an ethnic cleansing against Ethiopians of Tigray region. 36 years after TPLF launched the armed struggle against Amhara domination, there is no Ethiopian from Tigray region in the leadership. TPLF is controlled by Eritreans. Hence TPLF does not stand for Tigray people and should be called tigray-Eritrean People Liberation Front or Eritrean Woyane.

In order to get some understanding of the nature of TPLF-EPRDF, we should try to analyze the philosophy and the actions the group under TPLF-EPRDF took to control power in Ethiopia. First, the TPLF promotes the idea that the force of history has been the contradiction between the Amhara and the other tribes in Ethiopia. The Amhara language community in Ethiopia has played a pivotal role in the formation and continuation of the Ethiopian State. In fact, the Amharas are the equivalent of Russians in Russia. In Ethiopia as elsewhere in any other country, the contradiction between the ruling class and the ruled masses is the main force that holds society together. The ruling class, which controls the army, the security and the finances in a society, is responsible for any progress or regress of society. The group called TPLF and EPLF were totally obsessed with ethnic domination of the Amhara. Issayas Afwerqi of EPLF and Meles Zenawi of EPLF-TPLF departed from the wrong premises of ethnic contradictions. Such wrong interpretation of history had grave consequences for Ethiopia and Eritrea as we see it now. The philosophy of TPLF and EPLF thus is wrong, as history has irrevocably shown us. The Amhara were actors themselves and they were also victims of a system history has brought forth. There is no irreconcilable social contradiction between the different ethnic groups in Ethiopia. The contradiction is and remains to be between the ruling classes and the Ethiopian masses.

The other fallacy still worshipped by TPLF and EPLF circles is the “Eritrean” question. Eritrea is torn from Ethiopia asunder by Italy through political manipulations with the active assistance of England and France.. But this fact is disregarded by all Eritreans and some Tigreans. Eritrea had never had it’s own government. It has been part of Ethiopia until Italy declared it as a colony in 1890. In 1896, Italy was defeated by Ethiopia at the Battle of Adwa, which automatically means Eritrea was no more a colony of Italy but a sovereign territory of Ethiopia. Emperor Menelik II leased Eritrea to Italy. Thus Eritrea should be returned to Ethiopia and not be independent or not federated with Ethiopia. The United Nations in 1952 illegally intervened in the issue of Eritrea. It was the European racists (fascist Stalin among them) who were intently brought the idea of federating Eritrea with Ethiopia. Progressive patriots from both sides of the Mereb River have maintained that Eritrea is a sovereign Ethiopian province and be given back to Ethiopia. Our Eritrean forefathers told the UN delegation “Look at us, We are Ethiopians.”

Britain illegally made “Eritrea” it’s Protectorate and left nothing unturned to colonize it. Emperor Haile Selassis opposed the British plan to make Eritrea a colony. In 1962, Emperor Haile Selassie declared Eritrea one of the provinces of Ethiopia, which was right in principle, but flawed in practice because of Haile Selassie’s favouritism to those sections of the Eritrean community who were collaborating with Italy. The emperor thought he would brain wash the Eritrean askaris by appointing them to posts which should have been given to Ethiopian and Eritrean patriots. (Esteemed Reader! The history of Eritrea and Ethiopia has been misrepresented and the imperialists were against the unification of Eritrea and Ethiopia. We should refer to other sources and this part of history will be mentioned again and again for the Eritrean question is not yet resolved). In 1993, Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia under a fake referendum. In 1998-2000, Eritrea declared war on Ethiopia and lost the war. Eritrea under Issayas Afewerqi has been preparing for war against Ethiopia with the support of Meles Zenawi and other Eritreans who are in control of the Meles Zenawi Regime. In a nutshell, Eri-TPLF  (tigray-Eritrean People Liberation Front) has been following false premises and principles. The contradiction in Ethiopian society is between the ruling class and the ruled masses as elsewhere in the world. EPLF-TPLF state that Eritrea is a colony of Ethiopia, which in principle is wrong. Eritrea is Ethiopian sovereign territory as Taiwan is sovereign territory of China. These false principles of EPLF ( Eritrean People’s Liberation Front) and TPLF (tigray-Eritrean People Liberation) have created many problems to the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Meles Zenawi and Issayas Afewerqi are stooges of foreign powers, which aim to fragment Ethiopia into mini-states.

TPLF-EPRDF introduced ethnic federalism and ethnization of politics, culture and social life. Ethnic federalism was first introduced in Ethiopia by Benito Mussolini of Italy. Fascist Italy tried to divide Ethiopia under ethnic territories. The Amhara, Tigreans, Gallas (now Oromos), Somalis etc were organized to pit against each other. Since Italy occupied Ethiopia for 5 years, Mussolini’s ethnic federalism had no chance of survival. Ethnic federalism is thus a method to divide and rule Ethiopians.

Ethiopia might have 88 ethnic groups. However there are 5 major language communities. Some of the ethnic groups count 1000 persons. Ethnic groups that are more than 1 million are about 7 language communities (Amhara, Oromo, Tigray, Guragae, Sidama, Afar, Somali).  About 80 of the tribes in Ethiopia have population less than 1 million. 95% of the Ethiopian population belongs to 7 ethnic groups. Most are intermarried for millennia like the Oromos and the Amhara which make 70% of the population. And yet these ethnic groups are depicted by Meles Zenawi and his henchmen as if they were the minority. Meles Zenawi, Issayas Afwerqi and other Eritreans have been eying to divide Ethiopia into powerless ministates. Meles Zenawi and his Eritrean henchmen have been trying this for the last 40 years. The Oromo and the Somali regions are getting alienated from Ethiopian mainstream political culture because they are using Amharic less and less. The Oromos, better known as Gallas, emigrated from West Africa to Ethiopia in 1560 and expanded to north Ethiopia by destroying Ethiopian villages. Thus the Oromos have practically no territory of their own. But they are mostly settled around Arussi Province. TPLF-EPRDF with the hidden agenda to dismantle Ethiopia declared 1/3 of Ethiopia belonging to Oromos. A look at Somali Region in Ethiopia indicates the fact that Meles Zenawi and Issays Afwerqi have given Somalis territories which has been part of Ethiopians of other ethnic background. The Ogaden Region is a small area. What is now called Somali Region was Harrar province and should be given back to Harrar and Oromo people. The Somalis are minority in Harrar. Meles Zenawi, Bereket Simon and the other Eritrean clique in Zenawi regime think they will weaken Amaharas by declaring territories that belonged to the Amharas to Somalis and Oromos. In the north part of Ethiopia, territories that belonged to Amhara people have been taken and annexed to Tigray. Tigray was also forced to lose it’s territory to Afar region. This is all to weaken Tigray and Amhara people who are founders of the historical Ethiopia. The Afar people like the Oromos and Somalis are migrants from other areas of Africa. Oromos, Somalis and Afars are pastoralists or nomads and have been moving from one part of Africa to another in search of pasture for their cattle.

TPLF-EPRDF is thus an organization that stands against the unity and equality of Ethiopian people. EPRDF is dominated by tigray-Eritrean People Liberation Front (TPLF) and cannot stand for Ethiopian interests. This is also what the reality on the ground  reflects. Eritreans are given all opportunities in Ethiopia and their rights are more protected than the rights of Ethiopians. On the border to Eritrea, Shaebya (self-appointed government of Eritrea) takes hostages from Ethiopia, destroys properties of Ethiopians of Tigray region. The self-appointed regime of the Eritrean Meles Zenawi does not oppose the crimes of the Eritrean troops. This is because the Meles Zenawi regime is led by Eritreans. The list of Eritreans in the Meles Zenawi Regime is long: We need to name a few of them to get a general picture.

  1. Ato Meles (Legesse) Zenawi, self-appointed prime minister ( Eritrean)
  2. Ato  Bereket Simon,Communications Minister (Eritrean)
  3. Dr.  Twedros Adhanom, Health Minister (Eritrean)
  4. Woizero Netsanet Asfaw -  Minister of State (Eritrean)
  5. Ato Sebhat Nega –  member of Central Committee ( Eritrean)
  6. Qudsan Nega (Sister of Sebhat Nega) – Speaker of Tigray State Council (Eritrean)
  7. Ato Abay Woldu - President of Tigray State (Eritrean)
  8. Ato Yemane Kidane – High Officer in Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( Eritrean)
  9. Ato Seyoum Mesfin – an Eritrean who grew up in Adigrat
  10.  Ato Twedros Hagos – Politbureau Member TPLF (Eritrean)

 These are names of some of the Eritreans who hold key positions in the Meles Regime. Generally speaking we should not be against Eritreans but the volatile political situation does not allow us to trust some Eritreans who are holding these key positions. The national interest of Ethiopia has been compromised because Ethiopians are unable to decide on their own future. It is Eritreans who are deciding on the future of Ethiopians. This is unfortunately the plain truth and we have to deal with it.

The Ethiopian Defence Forces are not exception to the general political condition in the country. Meles Zenawi and his Eritrean henchmen have carried out an ethnic cleansing in the army and secret services. Most of the generals in Meles Regime are full Eritreans or of half-eritrean, mostly Eritrean and Tigrean. The Chief of Staff, General Samora (Mohammed) Yonus is from Sudanese father and Eritrean mother. Thus he is by definition not an Ethiopian at all and should be actually brought to justice for treason. He is a Muslim, but this should not be a problem as long as he is Ethiopian by birth and persuasion. The other generals are also of Eritrean origin, some with half parentage from Tigray region. Meles Zenawi’s security is filled with Eritreans. It is a paradox that Meles Zenawi trusts Eritreans to do intelligence for him while Eritrea is poised for war against Ethiopia.  Meles Zenawi is an Eritrean and a Shaebya agent. Thus any intelligence carried out in Ethiopia should not be against Eritrea.

Ethiopia is thus being run not by Tigreans but by Eritreans who speak Tigrigna, the local language of Tigray and Eritrea. This evidently has grave consequences for the Ethiopian people. Ethiopians should dismantle the Meles Regime for it stands against the national interest of Ethiopia. The situation we are in is very bad for Ethiopia’s future. We should intensify our struggle to overthrow the Meles regime. Meles Zenawi has no right to rule Ethiopia. He and his henchmen are foreigners. They are not Ethiopians. They are mercenaries from Eritrea. Meles Zenawi should be forced to resign and an Ethiopian leader should be appointed instead.

Foreign investors are taking huge land farms almost for free. Ethiopians paid huge sacrifices to keep their country free from European colonialism. Italy bombed millions of unarmed Ethiopians with mustard gas bombs. 5 million Ethiopians lost their lives to Italian aggression. Land grabs should not be allowed. Foreign investors should not be allowed to invest in farming. We hear that dams etc are being built in Ethiopia.  Such projects as dam construction should NOT be handled by a regime which is out and out anti-Ethiopia.They should be carried out by Ethiopians.

All institutions in Ethiopia are suffering from the maladies of the ethnic policies of Meles Zenawi and his Eritrean clique. The fabrics of our society are systematically being destroyed by Meles Zenawi and his Eritrean clique. We should resist until we have a government led by the representatives of the Ethiopian people. Our universities, factories or any project should be in the hands of Ethiopians. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We see Eritreans as news readers and journalists. We see many Eritreans in other institutions. These Eritreans are spying for Issayas Afwerqi and should be stopped by all means necessary. Some grave consequence in employment could be noted. Most Ethiopian youth are unemployed and yet Eritreans in Ethiopia are employed. Some have become investors by borrowing relatively large amount of money from Ethiopian banks.

The Ethiopian Tewahdo Orthodox Christianity has been the target of Meles Zenawi and his Eritrean henchmen. The church is infiltrated by Meles Zenawi’s foot soldiers, who are most of the time from Eritrea. These Eritreans are against the Ethiopian Orthodox Church because most have been converted to Roman Catholic Church. Such agents of destruction have been seen in Ethiopian Orthodox Church communities in the Diaspora. Meles Zenawi has infilitrated the Ethiopian Orthodox church through his spies. The people of Ethiopia at home and in the Diaspora are unable to worship in full freedom .The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has been weakened by EPLF-TPLF since the armed rebellion in Tigray and Eritrea. Tigray-Eritrean People Liberation Front were using the Orthodox Churches as a citadel. Most churches were destroyed as the result of the fighting of EPLF-TPLF against Dergue, because TPLF fighters were shooting from inside the church against Dergue soldiers, who retaliated by shooting back to the hideouts of TPLF fighters in the church. The Orthodox Churchc is led by a political appointee of the Meles Zenawi regime and most churches are infiltrated by Meles Zenawi cadres and spies.

The life of the Ethiopian Communities in Diaspora is also being controlled by tigray-Eritrean Liberation Front cadres and spies. The Meles Regime is trying to buy and bribe some Diaspora leaders. Some were promised to get land to build houses and were promised vast investment opportunities. But the fact is that the Meles Regime cannot provide land and investment opportunities for so many people in the Diaspora. It is estimated there are about 2 million Ethiopians living outside Ethiopia. Diaspora Ethiopians should not co-operate with the Meles Regime for the track record of the Meles Regime is evident. Meles is out and out anti-Ethiopia and would only cheat the Diaspora.

In general, we are in a critical juncture of our history, where a government of mercenaries is plotting  against our people and nation. We should be able to stand the challenge of history by bringing Meles Zenawi and his Eritrean clique to justice. Ethiopia, as in the past will be victorious over her enemies. We need only give a push and a direction to our struggle. There are very good political organizations in our country at home and in the Diaspora. These organizations are very courageous and yet lack some practical orientation in the struggle.  We should organize ourselves in a better way. We should be proactive and not reactive. We should create the conditions in which the Meles Regime will be forced to fall into. We should be the ones who should have the intiative for change in our country.

TPLF-EPRDF in general should be seen as an Eritrean Trojan horse, which has failed to fragment Ethiopia for our people have shown more unity and compassion to each other. We should denounce the secession of Eritrea from Ethiopia and regard Eritrea as a territory occupied by mercenaries. We should liberate Eritrea from Shaebya when the condition allows us. A good example here is China and Taiwan. We should follow the example of China. The pre-1991 political boundary of Ethiopia should be the point of departure for any struggle to create a democratic government in Ethiopia.