BACKGROUND IN THE FORM OF PREMISE – Mankelklot Haile Selassie (Ph.D)
1. The struggle in Ethiopia is a function of time: (more…)
1. The struggle in Ethiopia is a function of time:
The longer this treasonous group is left to rule Ethiopia, the more the effectiveness of the eroding factors, such as the division of the country along ethnic and language lines, on the unity of the people and the territorial integrity of the country itself. Therefore, the harder it would become to correct the situation when TPLF is removed. Factor in, the fertile lands being sold to foreigners into this territorial integrity treason.
The division of the country along the ethnic lines is being used by TPLF as a vehicle to dictate the implementation of the revolutionary democracy, TPLF‘s political program. The methods and the means as to how to protect and defend its political interests and its business empire is thoroughly integrated into the revolutionary democracy. To give the educational institution as one of the examples, teachers, students as well as the school administrators, all over the country, are being forced to be members and put this political program into an immediate effect.
The Oromo political organization, the Amara political organization, and Southern People’s political organizations, that are part of EPRDF, are simply robots whose existence is to protect and defend TPLF’s political interest and its business empire, by fully, without any question, implementing this revolutionary democracy. Due to this treasonous collaboration effort by these ethnic political organizations, the impact on the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia would be far damaging unless resolved in time, hence, making the struggle in Ethiopia to be directly a function of time
2. The hands of TPLF leadership are drenched with blood
A formidable blood thirsty enemy is facing the country, the people, the opposition forces, and the committed and progressive democratic individuals. It is an enemy that came to power in 1991, by mercilessly shading the blood of young and old Tigryans. Here are what they did as succinctly told by Gebremedhin Araya:
1) Meles Zenawi, Sebhat Nega, Seye Abraha, Gebru Assrat and their collaborators designed the murder of four to five thousands young, old and children in Houzin, a weekly market in Tigry province where thousands come to exchange goods and services. Imagine, among the killed mothers, caring their babies on their backs. These murderers, systematically, and, deliberately devised a scheme where their fighters enter the market place, a day ahead of the market day, in day light, openly, while people are watching them. And then they pulled them out in the evening, in darkness, where people cannot see them being pulled out. The i nformation that many TPLF fighters are in the market place reached the intended target Mingistu Haile Mariam. This was how these murderers baited Mengistu Haile Mariam, at the expense of the Tigry’s young, old, children, and babies carried on the back of their mothers, to mercilessly bomb the market.
It was like dousing those people who are in the market with kerosene or benzene, by Meles Zenawi, Sibhat Nega, Seye Araha, and Assrat Gebru, and then inviting Mengistu Haile Mariam to come in with the matches to start the fire and burn them alive. If these murderers had the heart to devise such merciless killings of thousands of young, old and children in this way, it is commonsense for one to imagine the putting of thousands of children, young, and old Tigryans inside a big house, built by these leaders of TPLF, for this purpose, and burn them alive. These are animals. It is really mind boggling how these people would do such unbelievable thing. Here, through this act only, one can easily see the vivid personification of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini by these leaders of TPLF. I can’t tell you how livid I got when composing this segment of the article. I never new this secret before. I put the blame, as did some of my friends, fully on Mengistu Haile Mariam. How wrong I was.
The scheme for the killings of innocent people, mostly farmers in the market included the buying of a number of video cameras to record the bombing by Mengis tu Haile Mariam. What these murderers did not realize is that, in reverse, they were recording a concrete incriminating evidence of what they did to the people of Tigry. It originated and deliberately, without the other side knowing about it, collaborated and committed genocide. The irrefutable and incriminating evidence is all over the place for the international court of justice to put these murderers to jail for life. These people with this kind of track record were seeking the extradition of Mengistu Haile Mariam to Ethiopia and kill him. During Mengistu Haile Mariam’s rule, 80% of the killings of young and old Tigryan people was committed by Meles Zenawi, Sebhat Nega, Seye Abraha and Gebru Assrat. (Gebremedhin Araya)
2) The TPLF leaders, cold-bloodedly, orchestrated the killing of Tigryan elites, members of TPLF, but who opposed and protested the reprehensible and destructive act of TPLF on the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. They were against the separation of Eritrea. This heroic act, on the part of these Tigryan elites, emanated from the three criteria that specifically identified by the TPLF leaders to be used when recruiting members or fighters for TPLF. Here are the three criteriia roughly translated: a) completely accepting that Eritrea is the colony of Ethiopia, b) accepting the separation of Tigry from the rest of Ethiopia and establishing a Tigry Republic, and c) accepting that Tigry’s backwardness, poverty and disease, were deliberately caused by Amara s to punish Tigry, and therefore teaching that Amara is the enemy of Tigry.
This barbaric act was also designed, systematically, and, deliberately by Meles Zenawi and Sebhat Nega. Of course consulting the rest in the leadership. They wrote a letter full of admiration of their services for TPLF. The letter was signed by Meles Zenawi and Sebhat Nega and addressed to these individuals who protested. The letter addressed to these protesters were made to reach Mengistu Haile Mariam. Mengistu Haile Mariam, another murderer, grabbed the bait and killed these progressive, innocent Ethiopians without an iota of investigation.
3) A progressive elite by the name Asmelash Assaye, a member of TPLF, who protested the destructive act of TPLF was led to his grave to be shot and killed. Sebhat Nega was standing by the grave while it was being dug. When the digging was completed, Asmelash Assaye, perhaps blind folded and his hands tied was, either forced, or, told to step inside his grave. He probably did it willingly. Sebhat Nega supervised the process leading to the shooting of Asmelash Asaye. The presence of Sebhat Nega was to make sure that Asmelash Asaye was inside the dug grave and machine gunned.
4) Over 80% of the murder committed in Tigray was by TPLF. In addition, as stated by Prof. Daniel Kinde, 20, 000 Tigryans, most likely the young ones, were sacrificed for the so called the liberation of Eritrea . Now look where Eritrea is standing. The sacrifices were in vein.
5) The leadership of TPLF did not limit their killings to the province of Tigry. They followed the Tigryans, who opposed and protested the sadistic actions being taken by TPLF, to neighboring provinces such as Gondar. One can easily assume the effortless murdering of Tigryans particularly in Sudan where they had a strong connection. By the way, according to Gebremedhin Araya, who witnessed the conversation, the deal to give the strip of land, about 1000 km, to Sudan was in the making in 1974. Meles Zenawi did fulfill the promise that was made to Sudan. I am quite sure Meles Zenawi and his collaborators were laughing when the rest of us were screaming when the land was given over to the government of Sudan by Meles Zenawi. .
Now one can easily see that the memorial statue erected in Tigay by TPLF is to cover the cold-blooded murder committed by Meles Zenawi, Sibhat Nega, Seye Abraha, Gebru Assrat and their collaborators on the young and old Tigrians who resisted their actions. When these murderers are removed that statue must be obliterated to the ground. Unless the representation or its role is reversed in that the statue is in memory of those cold-bloodedly murdered young and old Tigryans by Meles Zenawi, Sebhat Nega, Seye Abraha, Gebru Assrat and their collaborators..
As the evidence clearly shows, TPLF came to power by20shading the blood of young and old Tigryas. I am quite sure the people of Tigry will get them for it. It is only a matter of time. In the mean time, it is holding to its power by shading the blood of young and old progressive and democratic Ethiopians from every ethnic background by using the killing system it practiced and the machines it used on Tigryans. Meles Zenawi, Sebhat Nega and their collaborators will continue to murder democratic and progressive individuals, as well as aggressive elements among the opposition forces to assert their power. The killing of 200 young and old Ethiopians after the election of May 15, 2005, the killing of 430 young and old Anuk, attests to this shocking and senseless behavior of TPLF leadership. The numbers may appear small, but one should remind oneself that many hundreds unreported killings have taken place all over the country. What is shocking is the manner those Ethiopians were murdered, and the motives and the ruthlessness behind it. What Sebhat Nega did to Asmelash Assaye, is a good reflection of what the leadership of TPLF is capable of doing. The people of Ethiopia is being ruled by murderers and criminals who should have been in jail long time ago.
3. TPLF’s decision is to never lose any election:
The oppositions are facing an extremely controlling political situation. It is extremely imperative to calculate ones political struggle against this openly declared objective. TPLF has openly declared in its political program, the revolutionary democracy, that it will not let the opposition parties win in any election. Based on this bold statement, if the opposition won they will be denied, as in the case of May 15, 2005. Here is what it stated in its political program:
…and only by winning the elections successively and holding power without let up can we securely establish the hegemony of Revolutionary Democracy. If we lose in the elections even once, we will encounter a great danger. So, in order to permanently establish this hegemony, we should win in the initial elections …. In the subsequent elections, too, we should be able to win without interruption.
It is incumbent upon the existing opposition forces to reorient their strategies and tactics. They have to reorganize their political programs to challenge the regime and meet the need of the current demand by coming up with an equally ruthless and decisive, at the same time systematic activities, where the society at every level would be fully involved. A program without specific activities and clear targets to meet the current social demand is useless. Of course this characterization of the program reflects the organization that developed it.
4. Blocking the indigenous entrepreneurship
The present and the future economic development, he nce the improvement of living conditions of the society at large, hence the eradication of certain preventable diseases, and further more, the development of science and technology, totally rests on these indigenous entrepreneurs. Independent, individual risk takers. The ruling party, TPLF, is trying its level best to destroy this backbone of Ethiopia’s economic development by stretching its business tentacles to the village levels, all over the country. One can see the impact on the activities of these indigenous entrepreneurs when the regime is the producer, the distributor and does the retailing aspect of its businesses.
It frustrates them by raising business taxes to the level where they cannot survive but to abandon their businesses. It deliberately discourages them from pursuing productive and beneficial projects by using its effective machinery, the bureaucracy. Had the regime’s ultimate interest was to lay down strong foundation for future economic development of Ethiopia, they would have first invited the indigenous entrepreneurs to develop the selectively offered fertile lands to the foreigners long time ago. No, TPLF’s leadership main interest was and still is the kickback they would be offered, and, for sure, also the sharing from the profits. These are the guys who, according to Gebremedhin, did not care even if Sudan takes Gondar. Therefore the longer Meles Zenawi, Sebhat Nega and their collaborators are left to rule Ethiopia, it is giving them green light for the literal obliteration of the indigenous entrepreneurship.
HOW TO PROCEED WITH THE STRUGGLE?
Given the above political situation, it is extremely important, always to be aware of the fact that time is an essential factor in the struggle in Ethiopia. It should be the linking thread, all the way, when designing the strategy and the tactics of removing the current destructive regime. It is the responsibility of the existing opposition forces, particularly those who are in the field using the “legal forum” to cease every opportunity that comes along and use it relentlessly.
Those in Ethiopia, in the field, where the struggle is taking place, have no choice but to participate in the coming election of 2010. I argue that for those who are struggling under the “constitution“ of TPLF, the only instrument at their disposal to remove the regime is election. If not using the only instrument they have, then what? The stumbling block, between the opposition and the reaching out to the society, hence the full participation in the election, has to be removed by using any method necessary. It is up to the opposition forces to create the device to overcome the stumbling block. It is a fact that the regime’s position is not to let the opposition forces win. TPLF is blunt about it. It is saying if the opposition won the election then they have to be denied. This position of TPLF has to really sink well with the opposition parties. I am going to repeat what the regime openly stated in its political program, the revolutionary democracy. “If we lose in the elections even once, we will encounter a great danger. So, in order to permanently establish this hegemony, we should win in the initial elections …. In the subsequent elections, too, we should be able to win without interruption.” The opposition forces are facing a formidable challenge. Accept the challenge and go through it or totally remove oneself from the field. There should not be any excuse for not participating in the election. If not election then what? They have to answer this question unambiguously.
There are two instruments at the disposal of the opposition forces for challenging this formidable power. I inserted the revolution of Iran for the purpose of emulation, or imitation. The instruments of struggle are: a) Rebel before election, b) Rebel after election, and c) the lesson from Iran’s revolution that took place after the election, as an example and perhaps as an inspiration. Intending to pursue these actions strongly suggest the use of election as an instrument of struggle. Election in Ethiopia should not be simply to go the processes of election just for the sake of election. No, it has to be a deliberate function, the ultimate goal of which is to remove the regime and empower the people of Ethiopia. So, here are the instruments.
a) Rebel before election
Once an opposition force(s) is determined to challenge the ruling party TPLF, at any sacrifice, start with the demand for the regime to fulfill all the requirements that satisfy the election process. The election process encompasses activities from the very beginning of the preparation to the last day of the election. The demand should also suggest the process to be peaceful and to go smoothly. The demand aught to be for unfettered election process. Let the government and non-governmental international organizations be aware of the demand submitted to the regime. If the ruling regime does not comply with the demand, particularly with the non-negotiable demands that have to do with the right of the opposition forces a must to have, then the opposition force is in its right-full position to call for demonstration whether it is legal or not. Here, the demonstration to be effective, it has to continue until the demand is satisfied. That is why it is called Rebel before election.
b) Rebel after election
Let us assume, either, a) due to the Rebel before election, or, b) due to accepting the demand submitted by the opposition forces, the regime fulfilled the democratic requirements before the election and the election took place. Let us also assume the opposition parties won the election as in May 15, 2005. Based on what the TPLF stated in its political program, it will not give in. It will repeat what it did in the election of May 15, 2005. Then, this will be the time to use Rebel after election. Here too, once people started to protest by coming out to the streets, it has to continue until the regime surrenders. Perhaps, if the intensity overwhelmed the regime, then there will be a good opportunity to remove it by people’s power. The intensity refers to persistency and the high number of participants. Let us not forget the three million that came out to demonstrate on May 9, 2005. So, there is the potential to repeat it. Of course this would be the critical juncture where determined leadership is required. Perhaps, what we do not realize is that a war is going on in Ethiopia today, between the regime, which should be considered as an invading power, and the people of Ethiopia. In a war the primary concern is how to fight with the right strategy to win the war, not the sacrifices, inevitable to follow, as it is part and parcel of any war.
It is an occupying enemy because of the items discussed under background. If one red those items carefully one would find that the leadership of TPLF is not “of” and “for” the people of Ethiopian, nor, “of” or “for” the Tigry people either. It is amazing. The more the leadership of TPLF is exposed by the insiders, this characterization, that is being an occupying power, the more it is clearly becoming the reality. Then who are they? They are killing machine invaders, organically disassociated from the society, probably from the values and the norms of human beings at large, completely. Because of this discernible characteristic, they have the potential to be bought, that is the TPLF leadership as a group, by other countries to do for them what they did to Tigry people and still doing to both Tigry and Ethiopian people. An organized ruling political party turning into mercenaries, ready for hire. The extent of their detachment from the society indicates the potential for them to become mercenaries. Their detachment from the society has the potential to this extent. It is organically detached from the Ethiopian people. It appears that it is so isolated, no community anywhere in Ethiopia, including in Tigry would come to its defense.
c) The lesson from Iran’s revolution after the election
There were two phases of protestation that took place in Iran. The first phase was to continuously coming out to the streets. They did it for eight consecutive days. They are still doing it on and off. It is alive and burning in their hearts. During the demonstration 30 people were killed, as confirmed by Iran‘s government. The supporters of Mr. Mousavi, the challenger, put the death to 69. Many were jailed, including reformist religious leaders.
In phase two, street demonstration was stopped and resorted to tactics such as :
–the boycott of goods advertised on state-controlled television
–attempting to deny power to state-run TV evening news
–“blitz” street demonstrations just long enough to chant “death to
the dictator” several times but not long enough for security forces to arrive
–identifying paramilitary Basji vigilantes linked to the crackdown
and putting marks in the opposition color green, or pictures of
protest victims in front of their homes
–scribble anti-regime slogans on money
(Sources: CNN, Wikipedia and Telegraph of UK)
There are lessons the opposition forces, as well as progressive and democratic individuals in Ethiopia can learn from Iran’s revolution of June and July 2009. Here I might add, that, perhaps, the saviors of Ethiopia are among these progressive and democratic individuals that would come out, come together, and spark the REBEL. Coming back to the revolution of Iran, first it was a well structured and well organized demonstration. Second, the effective use of technology and creativeness was astonishing and very admirable. Third, the open participation and the daring involvement of the religious and reformist leaders was also admirable. Fourth, the firm determination of the soc iety who strongly believed there was an election fraud demonstrated continuously in the face of death, beating, and imprisonment. According to CNN over a hundred of them are still in
prison. This type of determination both by reformist leaders and the society at large, particularly the young segment of the society, aught to be emulated by the leadership, and, particularly by the young and progressive segment of the Ethiopian society, including the students.
IS THE TIME SHORT?
No, it is not. The question aught to be what were the opposition forces doing at least for the last three years? Given the concrete political, economic and social situations itemized as the background for this article, how can they sleep or seat idle folding their arms on their chest, without doing anything? They would be accountable for the killings that took place, and, for the treasonous act committed by TPLF’s leadership. Imagine this. Had it not been for the rock-solid and unyielding unity of Ethiopian society, the country would have been disintegrated under the eyes of the existing opposition forces, both inside and outside of Ethiopia, long time ago. What is amazing is that, it had never occurred to them that the longer Meles Zenawi and his collaborators remain in power the more the country would be in a very serious danger.
I strongly argue that,20given the only means at their disposal to remove the occupying regime is election, then it is their responsibility, no matter what the political environment would be, to go through it with the determination to win. At any cost.
IS THE ELECTION WINNABLE?
Is the 2010 election winnable? The answer is unequivocally yes. In Ethiopia, the struggle is well delineated. It is between the people of Ethiopia and the invading enemy. It is not between opposition forces. It is the people of Ethiopia against its enemy. I argue that as long as TPLF is in power, with its determination to stay in power, irrespective of any thing, and suck the blood of Ethiopian people, any election held in Ethiopia is winnable. The election of May 15, 2005, as far as the people are concerned, is repeatable. Because, the 26 million, if not more this time, that came out for the election, and the 3 million that came out in May 9, 2005 in support of the opposition forces, are there. Add to this potential the level of the consciousness of the society are there, intact, if not better. Given this situation, whatever deceptive maneuvering the TPLF leadership applies, the Ethiopian society will not surrender its will and its power. It will demonstrate it when the election comes.
Part of the winning of election of 2010, that is, going to the election cite and voting would be done by the people. That is the responsibility of the society. In a democratic system where the rule of law is respected that would have been the completion of the process. Power would be transferred smoothly in favor of the people. But in Ethiopia that would not be the case. Here is the crux of the issue. The part played by the society, which is the determining aspect of the process, completes 50% of the process. To complete the remaining 50% is fully the responsibility of the opposition forces who are intending to participate in the election. Whether the “Rebel after election,” is needed or not, is for the opposition forces to determine. From the experience of May 15, 2005 election, the people were ready to defend and protect its vote. Unfortunately leadership was not provided then. In fact, the leadership of the opposition party left the people behind and started to deal with the regime.
On 8/18/2005 I posted an article titled “IT IS CONSPIRACY.” The target of the article was the Proposal prepared by CUD and UEDF and presented to Meles Zenawi. Of course Meles Zenawi rejected it. Here is what I stated in the article under the sub-topic, Fully accepted the election results as dictated by the regime: “The third main feature of the new political arrangement is the establishment of a government structure based on power sharing…. The new government shall be structured in such a way that cabinet posts and portfolios are shared equitably among the three major pa rties IN ACCORDANCE TO THE PROPORTION OF THE VOTES THEY RECEIVED AT THE MAY ELECTION.” Emphasis mine. Do you see how the opposition leadership completely sidelined the people and sold out their voters? They shamelessly used the votes as the negotiation factor. This was done totally against the cry of the people. I am quite sure every one remembers what the people was demanding then.
FORMING A COALITION
Finally, how about forming a coalition by those who are intending to participate in the election? It has to be a one shot cooperation. The type of coalition formed by Kinijit. The main and the only purpose is for winning the election. After the election each will go back to its previous position and wait for the result. Once the coalition is formed it should fully adopt, in detail, the procedure followed and the steps taken by Kinijit. Just to point out few relevant points. Kinijit won in the election because of the negotiation and the compromise made between the organizations in the coalition. The coalition agreed to identify one representative, instead of two or more, capable of beating Meles’s representative. In fact, this was exactly the point for forming the coalition. This procedure can be repeated in 2010 election and will be effective if the coalition is formed. For that mater, this method can be repeated in any election as long as TPLF is in power.
Mankelklot Haile Selassie (Ph.D)
September 22, 2009