Andargachew Tsige and the struggle for freedom. By Yilma Bekele

January 4th, 2015 Print Print Email Email

Andargachew Tsige was taken prisoner by the TPLF Woyane regime on June 24/’13 while on transit at Sana, Yemen International Airport. He was removed from the airplane and flown to Ethiopia. What was done was against all international conventions and is considered illegal. Ever since then he has been held in secret locations being interrogated as stated by the Ethiopian regime.

The illegal act has been condemned by most Ethiopian Opposition groups, the British Government, EU Parliamentarian Ana Gomez, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Ethiopians both at home and in the Diaspora. As usual the Ethiopian government choose to ignore the concerns of all that care about the rule of law.

We Ethiopians are not surprised by the actions of the regime. It is just another illegal act by the few in a long procession of criminal acts committed against the people of Ethiopia. As a matter of fact we have become numb to the atrocities by the minority ethnic group in power. As far as Ethiopians are concerned it is just another abuse. We have been programed to shrug it off.

Arresting or taking the opposition member and painting the individual as a criminal element is not an act invented by the Ethiopian regime. Capitalist, Communist, Socialist, Monarchist or Fascist as the case may be always find some sort of justification to abuse the power they have and use negative labels to neutralize their opponents.

The Ethiopian regime has raised this act to higher level. In fact in the aftermath of the general elections in 2005, the late dictator put the whole opposition in prison for two years and released them by forcing them to sign a fake apology. Since the emergence of TPLF as the victorious group and assuming power there is not one Ethiopian opposition group that has not sacrificed a leader to the Woyane Party. There is no need to mention names because this was not done in secret or under the cover of darkness but in broad daylight for the people to see and learn.

Ato Andargachew is just one additional victim. Ato Andargachew is viewed by the TPLF regime as the ultimate prisoner because he emphatically stated that the TPLF regime can only be brought down using violence as a means. He was not shy about it nor did he go underground. He did not just talk about it but went one step further and organized a group to practice what he preached. That was what the regime feared most and that is why they spent millions to follow all his movements and commit the ultimate crime of kidnapping.

I, with clear conscience cannot fault them for that. He was doing what he has to do to bring freedom and justice to our country. They did what they have to do to protect the power they have amassed the last twenty years knowing full well any change that comes to Ethiopia would ultimately end with those that committed the many crimes have to answer to a real court of law. It is a life or death struggle to TPLF politburo members and their underlings. It is a life and death struggle to my friend Andargachew and his comrades.

As we begin the New Year with hopes for the future and good will to all the TPLF regime commemorated this joyous event by releasing a video meant to discourage us from the struggle, show how powerful the regime is and warn all others not to dare be involved in the quest for freedom and democracy. I have not watched the video. I have no intention of watching it either. My curiosity does not include being made sad, angry or lose hope and contemplate about man’s inhumanity to man. This is not the first time the regime has used poorly made video to convince us of their methods of interrogation. A few weeks after his arrest they released one poorly edited video and it was rejected by all for its simplicity and shameless pandering. They have tried the same trick with our brave friend Abubaker from the Muslim peaceful movement that is demanding non-interference in their religion. No one paid attention and all they harvested was more despise.

Why are they doing such inhuman deed? The simple answer is because they do not know any better. They seem to think we lack a sliver of intelligence and are unable to differentiate wrong from right. They treat each other in such ways and they think it is natural. The TPLF is a party that does not tolerate dissent, believes in black and white with no gray in between and resort to violence at a drop of a hat. Because they follow without question, because they are void of trust in anything and anyone, because they have no respect except instill fear they logically assume we are all like that. They want to scare us because they are afraid. They want us to hate them because there is no love in their life. They want to degrade us because they have no self-respect.

So what do we do with the video they so happily released in this time of holiday, hope and good will to all mankind? We ignore it. We do not allow them to come between us and our hope and dreams to our ancient land. What is done is despicable and reprehensive. It is a gross violation of ethics, morals and basic human decency. We tell such people we are not like that. We would not tolerate the use of a human being to score a cheap point.

They want publicity and we ignore them. They want to plant fear and we turn their own weapon on them and shame them. We ask all decent Ethiopian Web sites not to display the awful video and do TPLF’s dirty job. Let them wallow in their own degradation. We beg all not to succumb low to gain a few extra page view at the expense of my brother. There is nothing to be gained from such theatrics except doing exactly what TPLF plan for us. Posting such a video is being an accessory to a criminal act. Any decent Ethiopian knows the TPLF is a criminal organization with no redeeming value thus one additional criminal act will not make us any more knowledgeable about the mafia group. Let the Awramba Time, The Reporter and other trolls do the regimes dirty job.

I have known my brother Andargachew since 2006. He was a frequent visitor to our city on behalf of Knijit. The last time I saw my fiend was in 2012 in Seattle Washington. He was still tirelessly traveling the globe on behalf of our people. He is a kind and warm gentleman that speaks softly and listen before talking, make his point without shouting and instill the value of love to country and people. He only wanted what is good for all of us without regard for himself. He did not own a house, a big car or dress fancy because that was not what he stood for. He was taken prisoner when going to some far of place for relaxation and fun but he was on his way to the arid area of Northern Ethiopia and Southern Eritrea where he was doing what he liked most-teaching his troops the value of sacrifice on our behalf.

I am sad my brother have to go through such inhuman treatment. I am angry because today we do not have a force that would smash the prison walls and free my brother. I am sorry that we are not at a point where we would take one of the politburo members and trade him for my brother. That is my wish. But I also understand good things come out of a bad situation. The idiot act by the TPLF Woyane would also convince my people that the enemy in front of us is void of human values and no amount of peaceful dialogue would work with such animals. They are incapable of reason and take silence for weakness. They came by force and the only language they understand is when spoken to by force. Their aggression is born out of cowardice.

It is not difficult to take a human being keep him in isolation, starve him, deny him daylight and sleep and pump him with chemicals to make him confess to any and all crime. Cowards do that because they miscalculate the intelligence of the rest of us. Today my brother Andargachew is a free person. He has done all he could on our behalf. Nothing they say he did or said is going to convince us to see him in a different light. Nothing they do to him or make him say is going to lower his dignity in our eyes. It only make him bigger than life. His family, comrades and friends will always remember the gentle loving Andargachew. No amount of propaganda would ever change that.

  1. Tango
    | #1

    Ago Yilma said Andaregachew is a kind and warm gentleman who speak softly.Is it true?To verify go to you you tube and listen what he said about Meles body.He said “take out the remains of Meles out of Qedest Selassie cathedral and throw it to street” Is that soft speak?Ye Ayit meseker denebit

  2. anon
    | #2

    In deed the enemy is in fear and dread of its crimes and have to find solace for its troubling conscious. Apparently, the resistance and opposition against this international sponsored mercenary cabal is gathering momentum daily. As a result, Weyane war lords have already begun to accept their support within the army and Air force has already plummeted. As the opposition to the pariah is intensifying the desertion of army and air force will continue. Eventually, the future is bleak for these war lords. such an alarm in turn will generate more fear paranoia. To make matters worse ,at the moment, there seems to be a lack of centralized leadership.It appears that warlords of different factions from various centers are making decisions independently.

    The news of this released video can ,possibly, be a work of the faction led by Debretsion G/Michael, ministry of communication and information head and deputy P/m. Whether this be the case or not ,either way, it appears it is the work of those who very well are at the front row of responsibility and

    are also being watched closely by the Ethiopian public. Because this desertion is very embarrassing to these men, they have to find some relief by producing such diversion and propaganda.

    At the moment, PLF is paralyzed ,and

    she can not declare war against the opposition who raised arms because ,under the present condition,to do so will mean to let her army join the opposition. For this reason,

    the only thing she can do is keep her paranoia manageable. I completely agree with you the opposition media need to ignore this trivial propaganda and focus instead on things that matters the most. Stay focused and allow not TPLF to set talking points for your media outlet.

    Permit not the momentum to die down instead continue to Expose TPLF, boycott TPLF business, continue to deprive TPLF diaspora remittance.

    I up loud the gallant actions of the members of Ethiopian army and Air force personnel!
    Together with the Ethiopian civilians we can bring TPLF politburo members to justice!
    Release all political prisoner!

  3. Tamagne Melaku Tefera
    | #3

    The main crime he made is sleeping with sworn enemy of Ethiopia that is Egypt and I say as.A to Yilma you didn’t have the courage to see his video.Fortunately I saw it at Aiga,then Awerambatimes,then at Ethiopian first that means 3 time up to now.

  4. ገላውዲዎስ
    | #4

    አዎ እርሱስ ግዳጁን ተወጥቶል ድሮም ለራሱ ያልኖረ ሰውነውና ለኛ እንደሚያዝንልንና እንደሚያዝንብን አልጠራጠርም መሬት ላይ መተኛት ብርድና ጸሃይ ለርሱ አዲስ ባይሆንም ይሄኛው ግን የነዚህን አውሬዎች ስራ ሲያይ ልቡ ምን ያህል እንደሚቆስል መገመት እያስቸግርም ይሄን ጊዜ ከነዚህ እውሬዎች ጋር የሚጣላው በርሱ ላይ በሚያደርሱበት የአውሬ ስራ ሳይሆን በሌሎች በግፍ በታሰሩት ላይ እንደሚሆን ምንም ጥርጥር የለኝም::

  5. Dawi
    | #5

    This is a nice piece by brother Yelma.

    I saw the video and as you pointed it was a crude cut and paste and didn’t look they were trying to hide what they did either; my guess is they didn’t want to show what he said of his foe, EPRDF and possibly some security issues.

    Other than that, he talked about the obvious honest truth of the opposition and the new generation’s life style today which we already know. He didn’t seem to be mistreated, is getting well fed with the right diet & looks very healthy; that was good news to hear.

    As he was a friend of Meles who played cards together in their spare time and an over all Woyane’s body in his past life, I didn’t expect them to mistreat him any worst than Seye, Gebru and their other friends.

  6. yilmab
    | #6

    Thank you Dr. Dawi for your observation about the health and diet of my friend. Of course if they want us to know his views on matters they could have brought him out on ETV and interviews him but the intention is to frighten and demean and that is what little people do. I guess knowing the great leader is a vaccination to avoid torture and abuse, thanks for clearing that. Ato Seye was not really a prisoner like the rest but a temporary visitor who was treated with respect and allowed to exit without even an apology like the rest so please do not confuse the two. Ato Andargachew is a prisoner of war and TPLF has set the rules of engagement for the future. Since you thought it is a nice piece it worried me much and I have gone back to see where I went wrong. As for your lack of empathy watching such a shameful act against a human being I worry about you and your friends concept of right and wrong and what you are sawing for your children to harvest because as you are aware power is a very slippery condition and todays tormentors could well be tomorrows prisoners, most humans seem to have a very short memory. Ato Tamagne have you heard of burning a DVD, you can watch it all day long if that is how you get your pleasure.

  7. Dawi
    | #7

    Yelma said:

    [[..Since you thought it is a nice piece it worried me much and I have gone back to see where I went wrong...]]

    For crying out loud! I was thinking of the same thing!I went back and looked at your piece after writing my comment as well. I said, what kind of “nice things” comes out of Yelma’s mouth anyway? and what got into me! I have to say I was disgusted with myself for a moment. :-)

    But, you happen to write of one of my favorite guys in politics & I was willing to overlook your private I speculation/imagination of him being tortured etc. I knew you are creative and made those things up! but, our Endargachew always did his homework. If there is any one opposition that EPRDF respects or fears is Andargachew!

    In my book, you can’t mistreat such a magnificent foe; you try to win them or try to keep them neutral for ever.

    BTW, he is the one who said he was eating healthy food and feels healthy. I don’t make things up! ever! :-)


    I have no doubt EPRDF shall treat Endargachew with utmost respect because it is in their interest.

  8. Dawi
    | #8

    Tango said:

    [[.. To verify go to you tube and listen what he said about Meles body. He said “take out the remains of Meles out of Qedest Selassie cathedral and throw it to street” Is that soft speak?..]]

    What Andargachew said may have been true but, let me tell you something – while answering a “legacy” question, Meles had said once, when he gets 6ft deep, nothing will matter to him.

    On the other hand, the “right of free speech” allows Andargachew to say “what ever” he wants; further more, I don’t think Meles cared for what “cathedral” he was going to be buried under or if he gets “thrown out in the street” for that matter. One thing is certain; no one can take away the contribution he made to his country. IMO, He was among the best Ethiopia ever produced; off course, it is obvious he didn’t meet Andargachew’s highest standard.

    Be that as it may, it was probably unlikely for Meles to meet Andargachew’s standard anyway at this juncture even if he tried to. The country is/was in a political chaos and poor; he had to play the “authoritarian” on top to bring the necessary condition for democracy/development and was only able to do so much in the time he had, with the path he chose to come to power.

    He had too much baggage [ethnic politics & all]; had tried to unload so much of it until he finally succumbed to death.


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