Where are the True Tigres? By Gemechu Ababiya

September 18th, 2016 Print Print Email Email

It is worrisome that the people of Tigre have yet to join the struggle for justice, freedom, and equality in Ethiopia. They have stood on the sidelines when the peaceful Oromo and Amhara demonstrators are being killed by the regime. Some people have suggested that the Tigres are silent because they are more oppressed by the TPLF regime than any other ethnic group in Ethiopia. If that is really the case, then the Tigres have all the reasons to rebel against oppression in solidarity with the Oromos and Amharas.

But I don’t buy the argument that the Tigres are more oppressed. The regime is not an equal opportunity oppressor or benefactor. It is highly “home biased” in its oppression and dispensation of economic benefits. Political control, tribal politics, and material benefits explain the indifference of the Tigres towards the slaughter of the Oromos and Amharas.

No doubt, the Tigres are administratively, politically, and ideologically controlled by the TPLF regime. The ideological control of the TPLF over many Tigres is exemplified by the crazed Tigre woman who recently posted her tirade against the Oromos and Amharas on YouTube. She was spewing out the hatred that her Woyane masters, Abay Tsehaye and his ilk, drilled into her little brain. Sadly, the TPLF has created a substantial number of diehard devotees, individuals like her, who are ready to insult, demonize, and murder peaceful protestors. The TPLF has garnered a lot of support among numerous Tigres through its political control, ideological domination, and economic bribery. One should not underestimate the support the TPLF enjoys from countless Tigres, especially among the Tigres in the Diaspora.

Since the regime follows the tribal politics of divide and rule, it has not victimized the Tigres as much as the other ethnic groups. The Tigres have not been stigmatized as an ethnic group; instead, they have been elevated “as the golden” people. They have not been evicted from their farms en masse as an ethnic group; instead, many Tigres have been settled in the fertile lands belonging to the Amharas, the Afars, and the people of Gambella. The Tigres have not been discriminated against as an ethnic group; on the contrary, they have been the main beneficiaries of the apartheid system. So, the claim that the Tigres are more oppressed is factually wrong.

The TPLF identifies ideologically with the Tigres (it does not call itself the Gurage Liberation Front for a reason). Remember “General” Samosa has said, “The TPLF is the Tigres and the Tigres are the TPLF”. The Tigres also relate to the TPLF as a Tigre organization, and many echo the “General’s” assertion.
No, I am not suggesting that the regime represents the people of Tigre because political representation flows from a democratic election. When people vote for a political party, the party can legitimately claim to represent them. Since there has never been a free and fair election in Tigre or elsewhere in Ethiopia, the TPLF cannot claim to represent the Tigres.

As a result of more than 40 years of TPLF control, many Tigres sympathize, identify, and commiserate with the Woyane regime. For these Tigres, opposing the TPLF is betraying their tribe. Tribal loyalty supersedes inter-ethnic solidarity. We should not overlook this reality.

The material benefits that the Tigres have enjoyed over the past 25 years from the apartheid system created by the TPLF has corrupted their strategic alliance with the rest of the Ethiopian people. The TPLF regime has transferred an enormous amount of wealth from the rest of Ethiopia, mostly from Oromia, to the Tigres. Whose resources are being used to modernize Tigre; to build the best public hospitals, universities, clinics, and schools in Ethiopia? Who is paying for the modern high-rises, the boulevards, the second largest international airport in Mekele? Who owns the largest 100 companies in Ethiopia (excepting the Sheik)? Who owns the tallest 10 buildings in Addis Ababa/Finfine (excepting the Sheik)?
Why is it the birth right of only the uneducated or semi-educated, incompetent, and corrupt Tigres to be appointed Patriarchs of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, ministers of Foreign Affairs, “generals” and chiefs of staff of the army, heads of the security forces, chairpersons of the boards of the Bank of Ethiopia and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, managers of state-owned enterprises, and to hold other privileged positions? Who transforms overnight from being a penniless vagrant wondering the streets of Mekele to becoming a multi-millionaire residing in the upscale neighborhood of Bole? Who is grabbing land throughout Ethiopia?

On the other hand, how many Oromos or Amharas have taken Tigre land? None. How many Oromo, Amhara, Gurage, Afar, Somali, or Wolayta business people operate in Mekele? None. Need I continue? What we have witnessed in Ethiopia over the last 25 years is the crudest form of tribal wealth expropriation, organized robbery by the Woyane state. Oppressed by the Woyane rulers, robbed of their wealth by the Woyane invaders, brutalized by the Woyane killers, and tired of carrying the Woyane Tigres on their backs, the Ethiopian people are final saying enough is enough: leave us alone and go back to your killil.
Under Haile Selassie’s regime, the privileged Amhara students and intellectuals, the children of the neftagnas, fought against their “own” government. They led the Ethiopian student movement; they championed the rights of the Oromo farmer under the slogan “land to the tiller”; they raised the “national question” of the oppressed nationalities to bring about equality. And they paid dearly for advancing the common cause of freedom, justice, and equality.

So far, the privileged Tigre students and intellectuals have either acquiesced in or supported the killings of peaceful demonstrators. Why are they unable to see beyond the tribal perimeter defined by the TPLF? Why can’t they liberate themselves from the TPLF’s ideological shackle? Where are the true Tigres, the followers of Brihane Meskel Reda, Tesfay Debassy, or Ras Mengasha Seyoum? Your silence is deafening. Whether you participate or not, the march for freedom, justice, and equality continues, but history will judge you, and judge you harshly.

Gemechu Ababiya is a politically independent Oromo Ethiopian

  1. Daniel
    | #1

    you say it right my brother.
    that’s what I was saying all alone
    thank you

  2. wolkayit-tegede
    | #2

    Wolkayit-Tegede is about the survival of the amhara as a nation. The fascist woyane thugs should understand that Wolkayit-Tegede, Humera, Telemt is not a local issue confined to Gonder. It is an amhara issue. it is about amhara survival.

    the fascist tigre liberation front ,which publicly set out to destroy the amhara population in its manifesto, has committed untold genocide over a long period of time not only in Wolkayit-Tegede, but also throughout Ethiopia. the Ethiopian census office , which is a government institution controlled by tplf fascist junta has confirmed that up to 3 million amharas are missing from the census. the genocide in Bedeno on, Arba gugu, Wollega, Harar in the early years of tplf junta combined with the genocide in Wolkayit-Tegede could easily make up the number the census office produced.

    tplf fascists won’t stop at this. Recently, Hailemariam Desalegn the tplf puppet announced a military action targeted at the amhara- which in other words is a launch of genocide campaign on the amhara population.

    The heroic uprising in Gonder that shook the foundation of the fascist ethnic junta is a response to this coordinated genocide campaign on the population. it is time to stop the silence, it is time for the amhara to rise up, to wake up to protect its survival. Wolkayit-Tegede is our issue, because it symbolises the start of the struggle of the people for survival.

    Tplf thugs have not stooped their annexation at Wolkayit -Tegede. They are claiming more amhara land including Ras Dashen as far as Bahir Dar and to the east as far as Lalibela. if they are given the chance they will claim all amhara land as part of their fantasy tigre republic. they have even written teaching books for their kids which shows a map of tigre republic which includes Ras Dashen and other amhara lands beyond. their manifesto reads ‘we will build tigre republic on the grave of the amhara’. is not that what they are trying to do now. we let them annex Wolkayit-tegede, now they want more!

    From now on there is no more eviction of amhara, no more massacres, no more displacements. we will restore our land whatever it takes. WOLKAIY-TEGEDE, Humera , Telemt are about amhara survival.

  3. Lij Ras
    | #3

    The following speech by Haile Sellassie illustrates the point that those who stood by and not take action against the likes of TPLF thugs will have to answer to the Ethiopian people. The people of Tigre can no longer pretend and sit by while the Oromos, Amharas, etc are killed and tortured. This is specially true when some of the people of Tigre are beneficiary of this regime. Time is running out for the people of Tigre to take a clear stand, or will pay the price. What ever the price might be. Ethiopian people are a forgiving people, but there is always a limit.

    “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” History is on the Ethiopian People’s side.

    Open your eyes Tigreans, time is running out.
    The struggle will continue…

  4. Lij Ras
    | #4

    The following speech by Haile Sellassie illustrates the point that those who stood by and not take action against the likes of TPLF thugs will have to answer to the Ethiopian people. The people of Tigre can no longer pretend and sit by while the Oromos, Amharas, etc are killed and tortured. This is specially true when some of the people of Tigre are beneficiary of this regime. Time is running out for the people of Tigre to take a clear stand, or will pay the price. What ever the price might be. Ethiopian people are a forgiving people, but there is always a limit.
    “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” History is on the Ethiopian People’s side.
    Open your eyes Tigreans, time is running out.
    The struggle will continue…

  5. MewaE`L
    | #5

    Dear Awates
    The Eritrean, Tigray and Ethiopian governments
    should compensate well my village town of BADME
    to rebuild itself, for using it as a stepping
    stone for their greedy and selfish rush to power
    and causing the destruction of the village town
    and its communities.
    This is a lawsuit action against all zone,state
    and Federal governments challengisn them and their
    destructive actions on the people of the locality
    for their use only.
    Badme is the birthplace and locality where my anestors
    born and lived peacefully for decades before the current
    destruction befallen on them as a result of the crimes
    of these so called orgs. & Fronts or political groups
    just only to use them as stepping stone or carpet with
    no Eritrean , Tigrian or Ethiopian government to protect
    them or any social or political org. to advocate for them
    and their interests while all these genocidal proportion
    of crime is befalling on them destroying all their assests
    and values for some to make use of it ( their misfortune ).
    MewaE`L
    A NATIVE OF ADI MAELEL
    ADI ARKAY ZONE,TIGRAY,ERITRE/ETHIOPIA.
    CURRENTLY RESIDING IN
    SAN FRANCISCO, BAY AREA, US

  6. Gonder
    | #6

    They all die with Melese long time ago or they are eating dirt soon.

  7. AMAN
    | #7

    Dear Awates,
    Shalom !

    IF ONLY COULD WE HAVE LISTENED TO ADVICE
    OF THOSE MANY PEOPLE OF WISDOM AND PATRIOTS OF OUR NATION !?

    I see that you have been missing a lot of what has been said and offered.
    I wish I could be of some help to you but my time schedule is so tight and won’t allow. Sorry for that……

    But there is one way I can help you…..that is
    if you send a list of the items and their publication periods to me , I can loan them out from the museum’s library and share them with you so that you will search & research and analyse the message of their contents deeply before you return them to me.

    Any ideas ?

  8. AMAN@AWATE
    | #8

    Latest Press release
    Diplomatic communique
    From the HQ Office
    of G1 of TPDM , Paris.

    RE: PEACE INITIATIVE AND RESUMPTION OF DIALOGUE WITH AWATE.

    1. Noting that AWATE offered me uncensored and unreserved access
    in its forum in the past to communicate my opinions freely,
    2. Recognizing positively its stand for the free speech democratic
    ideals contrary to other so called web sites ,
    and more
    I have decided to acknowledge their positive works and success towards
    building peace though there is a probable evidence they fed me with
    false data and misinformation to stifle my position.
    So I decided to pull it of down to personal grievances as opposed to
    opposing your political stands to challenge you only on the ethical
    human agenda – those vilifications, name calling and intimidations only
    for sake of peace and out of respect for your work and all peace loving
    others that got harmed in the dispute between you and me.
    But I WILL NOT APPOLOGIZE AT ALL AS THE MATTER IS DISPUTABLE AND AS I
    DO NOT WANT TO CAUSE HARM TO THOSE WHO OWN THE FLIPSIDE AGENDA OF THE
    COIN…….(WILL CONTINUE)

  9. Annonym
    | #9

    What tigres are you talking about. Threre is no such true or fake tigre. The tigres are those we know from centuries back, the back stabbers bandas.

  10. Selam Lekulukumu
    | #10

    Dear Gemech: You said “Under Haile Selassie’s regime, the privileged Amhara students and intellectuals, the children of the neftagnas, fought against their “own” government. They led the Ethiopian student movement; they championed the rights of the Oromo farmer under the slogan “land to the tiller”; they raised the “national question” of the oppressed nationalities to bring about equality. And they paid dearly for advancing the common cause of freedom, justice, and equality.”

    The truth is everybody paid price to bring change in Ethiopia. Oromos, Amharas, Tigreans, etc. all died together for a greater cause. You are a disgrace. Better read history and put things in the right perspective.

  11. AMAN
    | #11

    Dear rival
    @w.w.w
    SURE! Of course, a lot can be said if needed
    but since the purpose of all what has been said
    and is only to augument and support the grater
    purpose and objective of the common struggle,
    anything else can be considered as excess and
    can be overlooked.
    Actually, I as one who considers himself on the
    intellectual or scholarly camp supporting the
    struggle of the people for justice, rule of law
    and democracy; I would like or have to overlook
    what has been said or uttered by angry people or
    mob. That is the only way and course forward that
    wouldn’t compromise personal integrity and personal
    achievement when acting politically incorrect.
    Thus, as of today I decided to be tolerant to your
    views and opinions about my personal and political
    stands whatever contents and intentions they would
    have and carry with.

  12. AMAN
    | #12

    DEAR AWATES C/O ABUGIDA’S
    WHAT IS THE REASON THAT AWATE.COM DENIED ME A SPACE ON
    THEIR FORUM TO DEFEND MY VIEWS AND OPINIONS MADE THEN
    WHILE DISCUSSING ME AND MY ISSUES ( VIEWS & OPINIONS )
    BEHIND MY BACK ?
    1. THIS SHOWS THAT THEY ARE EITHER POLITICISING THEM TO
    SUIT THEIR PRESENT TENSE ( THEFT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY)
    OR IF DID’T SUIT THEIR NEW MOLD TO USE THEM TO COVER UP
    THEIR PAST COURSE AND RELEGATE TO ME AS THEIR
    SCAPE GOAT .
    AS I WAS READING AWATE.COM’S DAILY DISCUSSIONS I HAVE COME
    ACCROSS SUCH INTENTIONS AND PRACTICES BY THEIR PROMINENT
    AND LONG TIME COMMENTERS WHILE GIVING IT MANY EXEUCUSES TO
    PROTECT THEMSELVES AND THEIR AGENDAS AGAINST THE OTHERS ( MAJORITY
    BUT POWERLESS ) OFTEN BY DENIENG THEM ACCESS AND PUTTING THEM
    UNDER SEVERE CENSORSHIP BESIDES BLACMAILING AND MISREPRESENTING
    THEM AND THEIR VIEWS.

  13. AMAN
    | #13

    (continued ….)
    One such person ( which I will withhold his name for now)
    has always been and is still in the business of ,
    1. Putting his own words and intentions into my tongue
    2. Misrepresenting the spirit of my opinions to suit his
    own agenda
    3.To allow and deny me permission to participate on the
    website forum he controls behind the scenes to match his
    designs of when, where and in what way should the opinions
    be put ONLY to suit his grand design without regard to what
    challenges and adverse actions these changes and
    the changes on them ( the timing & spirit of the writings)
    might cause the writer and his intentions ( politically
    correct or incorrect as might be ).
    But, in so far as only reference and discussion is made
    to me and my writings with NEITER having me participated
    in NOR personally mentioning my name or pen-name ; all that
    I can only say or do is put my memorandum and alert anyone
    who might late to question or ask any questions later when
    it becomes too late .
    Thank you
    yours ,
    AMAN
    Sitting chair for
    THE THIRD WAY MOVEMENT OF THE PEOPLE

  14. Anonymous
    | #14

    #9 what bandas are talking about tigreans were never be bandas at any time in their lives. please read your or ethiopian history. who sold eritrea to itally in wochalle in exchange for weapon so they could strengthen his military agaist the king of kings yohaness the fourth. he name was mililik king of shawa who happen to be amhara. who abandaned eritrea after the battle of adwa not ras alula, ras mechael, not ras mengesha yohaness but king melilik who happen to amhara. who abandaned ethiopia during the second world war it was king hailesslase who happen to be amhara while tigreans were fighting itally at maichew only for 6 months, it was the tireans until they were diffeated because itally was using chamical weapons for the first time in the world.please check your facts before you open your mouth. peace and love for all of us and our belove country.

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