Tigrean Opposition to the TPLF Messay Kebede

June 3rd, 2014 Print Print Email Email

Despite the TPLF’s view of itself as the model of representation of ethnic interests and well-being, the growth of disenchantment is perceptible in Tigray. The proof is that non-violent Tigrean opposition to the TPLF is no longer negligible. Despite a tight control and continuous harassments, the movement known as ARENA is stepping up its criticisms of the regime and its attempt to organize and mobilize a credible popular opposition. Though the movement is ethnic-based, it is ideologically quite distinct from the TPLF, since its program includes not only the achievement of genuine democracy, but also the “restoration of Ethiopian Sovereignty.” The latter goal indicates a movement that counters the TPLF’s vision of Ethiopia as a mere collection of sovereign nations and nationalities.

Another countering movement is the TPDM (Tigray People’s Democratic Movement), considered by many observers as one of the strongest—if not the strongest—armed groups fighting to topple the EPRDF government. Even though I personally do not have any information about the actual strength of the movement other than what I read online, I note that their political program describes a vision of Ethiopia that it is antithetical to that of the TPLF. Indeed, the program denounces the TPLF system because it is “narrowly based on clan and family orientations.” It adds that the system “has endangered the collaborative culture and the historic unity of the people of Ethiopia . . . in the name of self-determination.” Unsurprisingly, the program says, the TPLF policy has created a barrier of “hatred” between the people of Tigray and the people of the rest of Ethiopia, a situation obviously fraught with ominous consequences for Tigreans as well as for Ethiopia.

The importance of these movements comes from the fact that they correct an anomaly, the very one that changed Tigray, the birthplace and the constant supplier of the guardians of Ethiopiawinet, into an initiator and proponent of ethnonationalism and secessionist movements. While the marginalization of Tigray under previous regimes by the hegemony of Amhara elite has understandably created resentment, the espousal of ethnonationalism and secessionism to the point of making Ethiopia landlocked directly contradicted the historic vocation of Tigray. The new path amounted to nothing less than the loss of its very soul. It is because many people were still counting on Tigray’s legacy of guardianship of Ethiopian unity that they welcomed the TPLF with open arms subsequent to the routing of the Derg’s army. The same reliance on Tigray’s traditional commitment to Ethiopian unity explains why the Derg was unable to convince people, despite repeated warnings, of the danger of a military victory of the TPLF.

We know when the turning point occurred: it was in the 60s and early 70s when a majority of Ethiopian educated elites turned against their own legacy and cultural identity through the instigation of the ideology of Marxism–Leninism. In one of my books, I describe the derailment as a “cultural dislocation,” one of its impacts being the measurement of revolutionary zeal by how far one is ready to deconstruct Ethiopia. When you add resentment against Amhara elite to the revolutionary zeal, you have a combination liable to produce estranged groups, the prototype of which is the late Meles Zenawi.

If people’s identity matters, then we should expect a retraction of the type that both renews and brings back the suppressed Tigrean commitment to Ethiopian unity. Is the opposition to the TPLF strong enough to change into a large movement of protest? It is hard to tell for the simple reason that many Tigreans, even though they are aware of TPLF’s derailment and its pernicious effects, are still apprehensive as to the future that awaits them if the TPLF is dislodged from power. The propaganda of the TPLF and its politics of fear have no doubt gotten into the head of many Tigrean elites, not to mention those supporting the TPLF out of greed or political ambition.

Still, the existence of an opposition, however small it may be, that is willing to confront the TPLF on the issue of Ethiopian sovereignty forebodes a change of heart that can further expand provided that favorable conditions upholds it. All the more reason for expecting the expansion of opposition is, as pointed out by Professor Mesfin in a recent article, the realization by ordinary Tigreans that the promise of rapid and all-out economic development of Tigray is far from being fulfilled. The realization contains the understanding that justice and freedom are indivisible, that you cannot have them in one place and not in others. If the system is just and democratic, it is so for everybody; if it excludes other ethnic groups, you can be damn sure that Tigreans too will become victims. Once you erect the wall of special privileges, you have a system that serves the few to the detriment of the many, regardless of ethnic groups.

  1. Alem
    | #1

    Dear Professor Messay,
    You said you “personally do not have any information about the actual strength of the movement other than what [you] read online.” Could you have been duped? You mean to tell us you do not check the veracity of your sources and any online post will do? Just wondering.

  2. dodo
    | #2

    Prof Messay
    You said “when you add resentment against the Amara elite” what does that mean? Why and how did it come about? Instead of throwing phrases fast and loose can you describe what “Amara elites” have done to bring about this resentment?

  3. Konjit Kassa
    | #3

    For 23 years TPLF messed up Ethiopia. Expecting another Tigryan group to
    bring salvation is nothing more than wishful thinking. Why most Ethiopian
    intellectuals tend to be emotional than practical? I wonder. The same is
    true about the opposition who have become paper tigers. Look guys, have
    you seen any junta like Woyane giving up power with out a fight? NO. For
    once forget the notion of peaceful transition,revamp your various parties
    organisational structure into an armed struggle mood and remove TPLF. Talk
    is cheap, don’t spend debating for another 23 years more.

  4. Tass
    | #4

    i have seen a video of this group the ‘professor’ is talking about here. the video does not look real. the video is recorded in tigrei supposedly, where tigre people liberation front is in total control of every person , woman, man and child. how is it possible for such an opposition to exist is hard to imagine.

    the ‘professor’ even says his own knowledge of the group is from hear-say and clips from web sites, which makes this sort of propaganda about the group even ludicrous. he admitted that he did not have any hard proof about the group. so why is he propagating a rumour about something he is not sure about?

    Then the professor embarks on the worn out woyane propaganda attacking the amhara. so there is nothing new there!! Repeating lies, propaganda, made up and fabricated stories has become the fashion, for every person including those who call themselves professors.

  5. Yohannes Ke Dallas
    | #5

    እንዲህ እጥር ምጥን ያለና የሰከነ ትንተና ፕሮፌሰር መሳይን ያስመሰግናል:: አቀራራቢና ትልቁን ስእል ህዝብንና ሀገርን መመልከት ለሁላችንም ይበጃል በስመ ትግራይ ተወላጅ ግን ከኑግ የተገኘህ ሰሊጥ አብረህ ተወቀጥ የሚለውን የሚያራግቡ እፍኝ የማይሞሉ የአስተሳሰብ ችግር ያለባቸው ያለንን ልዩነት በማስፋት የስልጣን እድሜአቸውን ለማራዘም የሚውተረተሩ ወይም ጥቅማቸው በወያኔ መወገድ የሚቀርባቸው ናቸው::ለፕሮፌሰር መሳይና ፕሮፌሰር መስፍን ባርኔጣዬን አንስቻለሁ:: በሌላው በኩል የዘር ፖለቲካ ሲዘሩ የከረሙት እንደ ተኮላ ያሉ አሰልቺ የተበታተነ ረጅም ፍሬ ከርሲኪ ጽሁፍ በመጻፍ ከቀድሞ ወንጀላቸው ለመንጻት በሚያደርጉት ቅጥ የሌለው ሙከራ ይህ በትግራይ ተወላጆች የተነሳው ስለሰዎች መብትና ኢትዮጵያዊነት ትግል አስደንጋጭ ይሆንባቸዋል:: ተኮላ ያለውን ወያኔ ደጋግፎ በማቆየት አንዴ መለስ ሞቷል ያለመለስ በሃ/ማ ደሳለኝ የሚመራውን ወያኔ እንደግፍ አሁን ደግሞ ህዝባዊ የእንቢተኝነት አመጽ እንዳይቀሰቀስ ኢቮሉሽን እንጂ ሬቮሉሽን አያስፈልግም በህገመንግስቱ የምንፈልገውን ለውጥ እናምጣ እያሉ አራምባና ቆቦ የሚረግጡትን ተኮላና ጭፍን ደጋፊዎቹ ቴዎድሮስን እንዲሁም ሌሎችንም የወያኔ አባላት የሚያሳዝን ዜና ነው::

  6. Dawi
    | #6

    [[...Professor Mesfin in a recent article, the realization by ordinary Tigreans that the promise of rapid and all-out economic development of Tigray is far from being fulfilled...]]

    then Can I ask what other alternative path would you professors suggest to accelerate fulfillness of Tigreans/Ethiopians in general besides the present “rapid all-out economic development”?

    One thing we know for sure is neo-liberal democratic countries that are economically and politically “free” are underper­forming the countries that are economically but not politically free.

    I can count China, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia and more as examples of high growth but “unfree”.

    So hands down the developmental state format is a winner in economic development.

    [[...If the system is just and democratic..]]

    What do you mean and how do we get there quickly? Democracies will not necessarily outperform other types of mech­anisms; we already know that; in a poor country like ours, to start with “democracy”, meaning mostly talk because we don’t have the means only helps the already loose ethnic demagogues to bring the country to a failed state.

    So why in the world one should take a chance with an already “underperforming” mechanism when we already have a proven one at hand?

  7. Ancient-Yeha.eu
    | #7

    ይኣክል, ድሕሪ ሕጂ ብረታዊ ቃልሲ ዝብሃል ነገር ኣየድልየናን:: ካብ ዘመነ ኢዛና ክሳብ ዘመነ ኣረጋዊ/ሓየሎም እዋናት ዝተዋደቕናዮ ብረታዊ ቃልሲታት ይኣኽለና:: መሬትና’ውን ባሩድ በዚሕዎስ ጣሻታትናን እንስሰታትና ኹሎም ወዲሞም:: ዝጠቅምን ዘይጠቅምን’ውን ምድርኹም ነቒፁ ኢሉ ኣናሽዩና:: ድሕሪ ሕጂ መን ዝበለፀ መስኖ ተኸለ, መንከስ ዝጠንከረ ግድብ ነደቐ ብኸምዝኣምሰለ ነገራት ጥራሕ ኢና እንፎኻኸር:: ብብረታዊ ቃልሲታት ንዓለም ተራኢናላ ኢና, ናይ ቀረባታት ከምብዓል እምባ ሶይራ-ከሰላ, ናቕፋ-ሽረ-ደብረታቦር-ህንድ ውቕያኖስ ዝኣምሰሉ ተግባራትና ይመስክሩ:: ሓንቲ ዘይመላእናያ ጭንጋፋት ስለዘደናቐፉና እቲኣ ባድመ-ኣስመራ እያ, ንሳ’ውን በቃ ይኹን ትትረፍ:: ካብ ብሎሚ ብዕዮታትን ብምርድዳእን ጥራሕ ኢና ጉዳይና እነካይድ:: ብርግፅ ናይ ወፃኢ ፀላኢ እንተመፂኡና ምስክርና ኣሉላ, ብረት ክነልዕል ኢና:: ብዝተረፈ ግና ኣይኮነንዶ ብረት ኣልዒልና ነንሕድሕድና ክንዋዳእ ክንፃረፍ’ውን የብልናን::

    ብመንገዲ ምርድዳእ ሸነኽ ብርግፅ ብዙሕ እነከናውኖ ጉዳያት ኣሎና::

    ንመጀመርታ ዝኸውን ከም ንኣብነት ክጅምር እሞ: ኣይተ ስብሓት ማዕሮኦም ምስ ዝኾነ ሰብ ብስነ ሓሳባት ካብ ዝረዳድኡ 40 ዓመታት ክኾኖም ኢሉ:: ናይ መምህርነት ሞይኦም ገዲፎም ገድሊ ካብ ዝጅምሩሉ እዋናት ጀሚሩ ክሳብ ሎሚ ባዕሎም ብድሕሪት ክውል ኢሎም, ንቕድሚት ባንዳታትን, ሓሳዳትን,ኸብዳማትን እንዳልኣኹ ማዕረኦም ንዝኾነ ኹሉ ምጥፋእ እዩ ኾይኑ ሓዳሮም:: ሙሉእ ንሙሉእ ሂይወትን ዕድመን ከይሃለቐስ ከም ንስሃ ዓይነት ነገር ንኽኾኖምስ ምስ ማዕረታቶም ዶኸን ምርድዳእ ይጅምሩ ይኾኑ…….!!?? ኣቦ ወያነ ከም ምኻኖም መጠን ናይ ምርድዳ ኣብነት’ውን ይኹኑሞ, ግዲ የብሎም ናይ ምርድዳእ ማዕፆ ይኽፈቱ:: ብድሕሪኡ መላ ህዝቢ ኢትዮጵያ ክኽተሎም እዩ………..!

  8. Boko Haram
    | #8

    Can you really read without assistance? I wonder. Professor Messay is simply sharing this titbit information to make his readers aware there is oppostion within Tigray among the Tigryans. This is a solid and tangiable information. Mind you, the professor knows whereof he speakes.If your purpose is to score a point, you are the loser who licks his wound.

  9. Gezachew
    | #9


    Like most Ethioipians, I am also very very happy with the economic progress that is taking place in Ethiopia, therefor, I am 100% sure I will be casting my vote to EPRDF.
    Beside, i have no other choice and I can not cast my vote to those self declared fragmented oppositions residing thousands miles away from home and do not have no defined socioeconomic master plan to challenge EPRDF.

  10. Dawi
    | #10

    Tass said,

    [[..i have seen a video of this group the ‘professor’ is talking about here. the video does not look real…]]

    I have too. Even if we assume the video is real, the way they are going about is backwards if you ask me; not only they look the reminiscent of the seventies TPLF but, the worst side of it at that. They pretend to be multi national but most of the language used on the video is one ethnic with crude translation to amharic for the rest. The leaders don’t even speak the national language; to me such behavior and pretensions gives important clues who these folks are.

    Having said that, why did they organize it in such a way in Ethiopia today? In the past ethnic movements start when the political exclusion and domination of particular ethnic groups, on an explicitly ethnic basis existed and likely encouraged ethno nationalist like them to start.

    How come at this juncture when the “dominator” is TPLF another Tigrean group is uprising against it? And is the strongest in Ethiopia; how come…….?

    Is it because TPLF is in name only but Meles had moved the politics to the center so much so that the die hard narrow nationalists are taking up arms against it more than ever today because Meles passed the torch to HD who is a non Tigrean?

    I am sorry to say but, that is what they seem to be doing in practice sabotaging Meles’s vision for a country with a non ethnic path that is.

  11. Dany
    | #11

    በሃይለ ስላሴ የሚመራውን ‘የአማራ’ ገዢ መደብ ስር ነቀል በሆነ መንገድ መንግሎ የጣለው በግንባር ቀደምነት የዲማክራሲ መፈክርን ለመላው ኢትዮጵያ አንግቦ የአማራው ልጅ እንደሆነ ታሪክ ይመሰክርለታል. Unfortunately የትግሉ ፍሬ በወታደሮች ተቀምቶ በአደባባይ የመረሽን እጣ ቢገጥመውም .ወያኔም የተመሰረተው የደርግን አረመናዊ አገዛዝን በመቃወም መሆኑ የታወቀ ነው .ታዲያ ደርግ ላደረሰው ጭፍጨፋ resentment ቱ በዛው በደርግ ይቅር እንጂ ለምን የአማራው ሊሂቃን ስሙ ይነሳል .
    ደርግ አማሪኛ ከመናገሩ ውጭ ለአማራው ምን አደረገ ? አማራውስ ከሌላው ያነሰ ተጭፍጭፎአል ?የደርግም ሆነ ኢሰፓ አወቃቀር ብሄር ላይ የተመሰረተ ነበር ??
    የአማራው ሊሂቃን በታሪኩ በክልል ታጥሮ ለራሱ ዘር /ብሄር ብቻ የሚታገል ሳይሆን ለመላው ህዝብ የሚታገልና ለኢትዮጵያ አንድነት ድርና ማግ ሆኖ እንደሻማ እየቀለጠ ለህገሪቱዋ የአንድነት ብርሃን የሚፈነጥቅ ነው
    ስለዚህ ካማኝ የነገረኝ እንዳይሆን መንጠንቀቁ ይበጃል .
    በተረፈ ፕሮፌሰር ለሚይደርጉት ንቁ ተሳትፎ ምስጋናዬ ይድረስዎት .

  12. Roar
    | #12

    TPDM think they are using TPLF tactics. As we know, there was fist TPLF and then the parties from Amhara (APDM), Oromia(OPDO) and Southern peoples have emerged to become EPRDF together. TPDM is also falling the same footsteps. And what is surprising is that TPDM is encouraged by the achievement of TPLF. TPDM says, “If TPLF [established by 10 people] has managed to defeat Derg and rule Ethiopia, then WHY NOT TPDM?”. But they do not exactly know the reality on the ground.

  13. aha!
    | #13

    The only litmus test to any movement with ethnic agenda rather than national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians similar to the ones in Tigray affiliated with KAEUP with out party alignment by ethnicity that gives precedence of Ethiopiawinet to ones ethnicity. That in of itself distinguishes the party/movement from being like the loyalist opposition parties with ethnic agenda and alignment of parties along ethnic lines. It is always the goals along with strategies to achieve those goals that puts the silent majority of Ethiopians in direct contrast with the TPLF/eprdf regime and its mirror images holding on ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism and/or state capitalism that denies the silent majority of Ethiopians free market capitalism as one of the means of production and individual freedom, liberty and equality to precede ethnic and secessionist rights. Then and only then we could establish democracy, a rule by the people of the people and for the people with an independent branches of government with original provinces of assorted ethnic groups restored and development takes place across ecological regions namely as: the rift valley, the Eastern highlands, the North and central highlands, the subtropical humid regions, etc. to undo the current ideologies of the TPLF/eprdf regime, which serves as a prelude to secessionism/ethnic nationalism, future boundary conflict, past genocide over Amara and others and an ongoing ethnic cleansing with same grudge as expressed here on Amara as a whole even when ANDM is a coalition of TPLF/eprdf regime, and Amaras do not deserve to share the blame for ruling class, which is as an amalgam of Oromo, Tigray, Hamasien, etc. as much as the people of Tigre are not to blame, because of the on going campaign by the TPLF/eprdf regime but to be praised as proponent of the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia, the monarchy and its flag of plain green, yellow and red, while the Amara were contending the tax burden on them others refusing to pay tribute to the central governments, I presume.

    While it was appropriate to engage in a democratic revolution for a class struggle, it was a misguided notion to engage in a socialistic revolution of Marxism-Leninism coupled with a struggle against oppression of nations and nationalities that manifested into the current ideologies of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism and/or state capitalism. If one wants to form a democratic government with individual freedom which of the two is acceptable for Ethiopians as well as save Ethiopia from disintegration.

  14. Ye Gonder Jegna
    | #14


    Thanks God ! Finally our dream becoming reality.
    Ethiopia is in the hands of smart and positive people, and there is endless good news coming from Ethiopia. Amazing economic progress is undeniable on the rise. If Ethiopia contenue in the present path of economic progress, Ethiopia will not only be self sufficient but will be able to assist those poor AFRICAN countries as reliable role model.

    May God Bless ETHIOPIA!

  15. Suliman
    | #15

    Whether Arena and TPDM will be a challenge to TPLF rule or not is to be seen in the future. The fact such a force is beginning to shape in Tegray against TPLF might be received as a good report just from a psychological point of view.
    However, what is even best for the rest of Ethiopians is to begin a multi national resistance army representative of all cross section of the society and challenge to TPLF’s arrogancy. I am not suggesting a force such as the one we have in Eretria:TPDM, EPPF, OLF or,G-7.No. Ethiopians need an army they can train, feed and arm and they can call their own. It is over due to prepare such a disciplined force if we really want to shorten the days of TPLF. At first this might sound a monumental task and it is the first step that coasts. But is worth venturing on this direction to bring closure to TPLF’s miss rule and humiliation of our people. As far as Tegrians are concerned, at the moment I count only on the support that comes from these fellow citizens.

    1- Gebremedihen Araya
    2-Eskender Deasta
    3-Abreha desta
    4-Aseged G/Sellassie
    5-Aregawi berehe

  16. Moges Asefa
    | #16

    @ yegondrere,

    …With out question, EPRDF will win again.

  17. Roar
    | #17

    TPDM, EPPF, OLF or,G-7 etc: If they do not agree/unite in the “battle field”, how are they going to agree in their dream land -”Arat Kila”?

  18. aha!
    | #18

    Let me make a comment a comment on the positive note rendered about ARNA and TPDM by the author and Suliman @#15, which is modular in nature with respect to the formation of a national armed forces to counter the TPLF/eprdf regime but without the goals for the national agenda from scratch but fighting from within in the same way EPLF and TPLF accomplished their objectives. The current arrangement with Ginbot 7 or ALJE+OLF/AFD2 as I define it is based on the cliché “enemy of your enemy is my friend”, and that friend is Eritrea, which forms two sides of the same coin, which according to Issayas Afeworki, “benena be Meles mehakel liyunet binor beertira gudy ine ibelte ine ibelt bemalet bicha new”. Even at that, if these liberation fronts which formed a coalition with Ginbot 7, would serve the silent majority of Ethiopians much better if they merge under the same goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians to form a positive force of integration to the current forces of disintegration. Currently ARNA as coalition with Medrek and perhaps TPDM as a coalition with Ginbot 7, do not a merger make with national agenda, let alone fighting from within is a more potent force along with non-violent uprising to freedom (economic and political), which is curtailed by negotiations with TPLF/eprdf regime for political space, ethnic rights and equality of the Killils/ ethnic regions and now protest demonstrations over the expansion of Addis Ababa over the Oromo ethnic homeland. It does not have a national fervor to it, while not condoning humanitarian, economic, political and environmental crises perpetrated by TPLF/eprdf regime and not failing to recognize that ARNA and TPDM are two sides of the same coin with TPLF, unless it forms a merger with KEAUP, and Ginbot 7, respectively.

  19. Dawi
    | #19

    Brother aha said,

    [[.. It is always the goals along with strategies to achieve those goals that puts the silent majority of Ethiopians in direct contrast with the TPLF/eprdf regime and its mirror images holding on ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism and/or state capitalism that denies the silent majority of Ethiopians free market capitalism as one of the means of production and individual freedom, liberty and equality to precede ethnic and secessionist rights...]]

    The way I see it, to achieve the goals you mentioned for the “silent majority”, the test should be what type Mechanism would take you there?

    Free market capitalism will not get us out of our “African dead ends” on its own because as Meles pointed out in the past, it does not allow for technological capacity accumulation, which lies at the heart of development. For that you need an activist state.

    The logic behind Ethiopian state actively participating or even dominating large corporations such as the telecommunications, heavy industry and the thriving EFFORT(the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray), METEC run by the military or the latest Alle gimla have similar goals that is these group of companies control areas they consider necessary to stimulate or to own in order to capture and redirect rents.

    You see some economic rents are high not simply because of manipulation and bad behavior of economic agents but arise from low competition (few entrants into sectors at relatively low cost and high returns. In these areas, Meles believed that the role of the state is to participate in these markets to share the returns or redirect them through taxation. To be able to guide the private sector towards value addition, necessitates a degree of independence of the state from the private sector. It means actively discouraging political leadership from also being enmeshed in private business, in order to minimize conflict of interest. Off course you have to realize it is work in progress; government corruption need to continually be dealt with.

    I don’t worry about EFFORT as you do because it is still Ethiopian and down the line all such vices would be open to public and the majority shares will be sold and the government or others shall own minority shares. Why do I say that is because that is exactly what happened in other Developmental States.

  20. Southerner
    | #20

    @ Aha,

    Do not forget that Amara is not majority, but minority. Beside the main culprit in these mess to start with is because of the misdeeds and misjustice leadership by the Amhara dominated governments for the past 100 years.

  21. aha!
    | #21

    Dear Southerner@#20, I am look looking at it in terms of phony statistics cooked by TPLF/eprdf regime, of majority or minority ethnic group. I am looking at it ethnic relationships from the stand point of harmonious relationship among the majority and minority ethnic groups as being the components of an organism, where the Amara and/Oromo, represent the roots, the Amara/Oromo, the stem, the others the bigger branches and smaller branches with leaves depending on their sizes. If that was the natural order of events among the populations, why the Amara gets the blame for the ruling class made up of Oromo, hamassien, Tigre etc. or even the leadership as you put it. If the oppression of nations and nationalities has been relieved the ideologies of ethnic federalism, secessionism built into the constitution has been alleviated by the TPLF/eprdf regime, and Amara is not in the leadership, subjected to genocide and ethnic cleansing, then you do not have to hold a grudge of what may have happened in the past 100 years but bear the brunt of humanitarian, economic, political and environmental crises perpetrated by TPLF/eprdf regime over the silent majority of Ethiopians, where your teletafi party is only a cover for TPLF ethnic minority rule, with a nominal self rule and yet engaged in a negotiation with the regime for ethnic rights, political space and “yekilil mengista iqulinet membit mekeber”, while upholding the constitution, which is contrary to the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual rights to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights.

  22. Dawi
    | #22

    aha – continuing the development Mechanism to democracy:

    On the issue of democracy, historic experience shows that richer, more educated and more equal countries are more likely to be democratic.

    That is why the Quickest Development Mechanism in place today becomes the key to democracy.

    Countries who reach a level of development and social maturity [be a middle income country] will then seek to be liberated from the restrictions imposed by the authoritarian state if need be using from passive resistance to insurrection against the system as in the South Korean example to transition the system to democracy.

    There are studies made that showed Political competition/democracy does have a significant effect on later rates of economic development; on the other hand its influence in the beginning stage is to retard the development rate, rather than to facilitate it. In short, among the poor nations, an authoritarian political system increases the rate of economic development, while a democratic political system hinders development.

    Meles’s vision was to combine democracy with development in contrast to Asian Tigers. It is a difficult task to accomplish but, is still work in progress and we are seeing some results today; poverty is reducing at one of the fastest rates in the world, industrialization is taking place; rural incomes are rising; revenue allocation to the federal states is delivering services that some communities didn’t get in the past etc.

    So it doesn’t make any sense to go back to the past arrangements as you suggested many times because if it was that good it wouldn’t have failed to begin with. We should move forward from what we have in place now. Unity with diversity has a good chance to work. National symbols like the GERD is showing the path to a united Ethiopia.

  23. Unity
    | #23

    Current Ethiopian Regime should be overthrown as soon as possible by use of military force. Our problem is very urgent and a decisive action ought to be taken promptly. All unity loving patriotic Ethiopians should support and/or be part of this force. Dialogue and peaceful resistance is a waste of time that would prolong the suffering of all our people and will never work with the current dictators. Whatever our ethnicity we are all Ethiopians and are one and the same. United we stand divided we fall and get abused, oppressed,ignored and enslaved.

  24. aha!
    | #24

    Dawi @ #22, restoring Ethiopian Nationalism, sovereignty and individual freedom, liberty and equality to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights is going backward but forward in the right direction for democracy and free market capitalism in preference to governance to ex-colonial style and totalitarian and/or state capitalism in conjunction with free market capitalism by TPLF/Political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises, cadres and foreign corporations particularly in terms of agro industries engaged in exploitations, economic and political strangle hold of the countries resources and denying the silent majority of free market capitalism at least in the form of private land ownership anywhere in Ethiopia, similar to ex-apartheid regime of South Africa, with budget support, grants and funds from the democratic nations in massive amounts that was not available to the previous regimes, with an outcome of humanitarian, economic, political, and environmental crises documented in various articles thanks to Web Media in the past 23 years. How would consider these assessments and modular approach to regaining unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty and equality to precede ethnic and secessionist rights “as going back to the past arrangements ..”, when there is campaign to restore the Military Dictatorship of the Derg regime or the monarchic system of the past despite the fact both of them maintained the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, which is in stark contrast of arrangement prevalent under the TPLF/eprdf regime supported by the teletafi and loyalist opposition parties, the security, the federal police and military forces, the killil adminstrators under strict control by TPLF Polit beurro denying political and economic freedom to the silent majority of Ethiopians and the press to represent a forward looking in the name of ethnic federalism, secessionism, totalitarianism and/or state capitalism built into the constitution together with crony capitalism undertaken by the above mentioned entities, that deny the silent majority its economic and political freedom to say the least about rampant inflation, and poor educational system unable the work force to meet the demand of the 21st century and monopolizing the telecommunications media and the financial systems, which supplemented by telling us democracy is a “work in progress”. Thank you for putting your side of the story in perspective for the elites to weigh out the differences between ethnic agenda of TPLF/eprdf regime, a negative force of disintegration and the national agenda by the positive forces of integration.

    | #25


  26. Dawi
    | #26

    Brother aha said,

    [[..Thank you for putting your side of the story in perspective for the elites to weigh out the differences between ethnic agenda of TPLF/eprdf regime, a negative force of disintegration and the national agenda by the positive forces of integration…]]

    It is really not my side of the story. It was my trying to explain the man behind the Developmental State of Ethiopia, a man who had little involvement in the actual military day to day actions to overthrow the Derg but, had everything to do with the political and ideological perspective of TPLF/EPRDF.

    First of all we need not digress from Prof. Messay’s topic.

    Having said that, we need to understand why some ethno-nationalists want to overthrow EPRDF today and for some strange reasons folks like you are going along with it.

    The following is the history of Meles’s vision.

    After the Ethiopian/Eritrean war there was a split in TPLF. Meles who was supposed to lose became victorious. As explained somewhere else, he worked his way to the supreme position of the Ethiopian State. That means the power completely shifted from TPLF, Tigrai to the Central Government of Addis Ababa; from the TPLF CC to Meles/EPRDF.

    After the 2005 elections and his rise to supreme power he launched the Developmental State in Ethiopia; it included a philosophy designed for the African settings that favored a strong state with a strong leader as a prerequisite to successfully run of a developmental state.

    Prof. Messay had pointed out the power concentration to one man if you recall.

    So Meles was practically running a centralized state with a centralized vision before he passed away and that is a powerful phenomenon in Ethiopian history if you ask me.

    He passed the torch to HD.

    So there is no Ethnic agenda to worry about at this juncture in EPRDF but a United Ethiopia in my opinion.

  27. Anonymous
    | #27

    Ethiopia needs anothr Tigrean group with out Tplf and with
    a differnt political and economic plans than Tplf/Eprdf.

  28. Dawi
    | #28

    The power had shifted to Ethiopian State and is only a wishful thinking for someone to assume it shall revert back to the old order.

    I am of the opinion that the Ethiopian public by enlarge already had to know that Meles had shifted the State power from TPLF central committee to the Central Government of Ethiopia. He did it in day light.

    And today HD is in charge of it and is the future generation leader without a liberation struggle baggage to hold him back and with a high aptitude capable of taking the country where it needs to go.

    So what ever the internal squabbles is between the old guards “DebreTsion group pitted against Bereket group” etc. is irrelevant to the present Ethiopian Developmental State.

    I don’t think they want to take Ethiopia back to the old order to begin with but, even if they want to they are not capable. The only thing they can get out of their squabbles if any is a soft landing of a good retirement package Kaliti-Free for the rest of their lives.


  29. aha!
    | #29

    Thank you again Dawi @#28, for elaborating the accent to power of the late Prime Minister within the TPLF Politbeurro, that drives the the teletafi parties with a leash and serving as a cover for the TPLF Polit beurro and support for the constitution of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism and/or state capitalism a direct contrast to Ethiopian Nationalism, the sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual rights to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights. Having said that where does that later ideology become ethno nationalists and supporter of ethno nationalists, when in fact the confrontation in Ethiopia under the TPLF/eprdf regime is between Ethiopian Nationalism and Ethnic nationalism, a creation of the TPLF/eprdf constitution of the disgruntled ex-liberation fronts creating war skirmishes and instability with the TPLF/eprdf regime.

    As regards of the split of TPLF as pro EPLF or against as Tigrai Harena, they nothing than two sides of the same coin since both are set with ethnic agenda rather than national agenda. As far the narratives of about TPDM in this article is concerned, which you digressed with your response, I have said unless they merge with KAEUP affiliates in Tigrai, they still carry the ethnic agenda with slightly different platform over the dissatisfaction of the current TPLF in the Politbeurro, they are again in terms of armed struggle it is the two sides of same coin as that of TIgai Harena with TPLF.

    Lately after the death of the late Prime Minister, there has been squabbles and division within TPLF, which the nature of TPLF as having evolved by extinction of group by the other, split of one group from the other, and a division within the current TPLF has nothing do with regaining Ethiopian nationalism, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, which you consider as old order, but assigned it to the division in TPLF, but not to the positive forces of integration with the goals for unity, territorial integrity and the strategies these forces may use to achieve these goals in a non-violent uprising to economic and political freedom.

  30. Dawi
    | #30


    The only thing I can say to you is we should avoid the trap of reducing past leaders as just who stood for “Amara domination” or “Tigrai domination” while discounting all of their deserved contributions of the time.

    I hope you & others will not fall for that.

  31. ALENA
    | #31

    I think it is diplomatic and winning compromise on the
    part of Ethiopia for sustainable peace and tranquillity,
    for territorial integrity and stable country if
    Thank You !

  32. aha!
    | #32

    Dawi @ #30, I am not reducing the previous regimes to anything lower/ethnic oriented but admiring them for maintaining the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ethiopia in contrast to ethnic federalism/ethnic homelands, a prelude to secessionism/ethnic nationalism and future boundary conflicts and an ongoing ethnic cleansing and the prevalence ethnic overriding Ethiopiawinet, absent of ethnic dictatorship of either the minority or the majority ethnic group by adhering to common goals for unity, territorial integrity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians in a struggle to restore Ethiopian Nationalism against Ethnic Federalism and or Ethnic Secessionism/Ethnic Nationalism to create a democratic government with individual freedom, liberty and equality to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights.

  33. aha!
    | #33

    To accomplish those goals, either the TPLF/eprdf regime voluntarily ratifies the constitution or faces a non-violent uprising for freedom by the positive forces of integration united over the national agenda against the negative forces of disintegration.

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