ONE of the most disturbing and bizarre political events in the annals of Ethiopian history is the advent of the absolutist rule of the TPLF/EPRDF in Ethiopia in May 1991. It is disturbing because since then Ethiopia has been ruled by a politically paranoid tyrannical minority group that suffers from an acute inferiority complex; a minority group that considers and treats all the legitimately organised, independent and alternative political groups/voices in Ethiopia as enemies who must be humiliated and targeted under various pretexts.
One of the common ways of terrorising legitimate Ethiopian opposition groups, journalists, bloggers and political and human rights activists and their foreign sympathisers is the so-called anti-terrorism legislation introduced in the country in 2009. This nasty piece of legislation is a direct copy-and-paste of the British and American governments’ anti-terrorism laws. There is, therefore, nothing Ethiopian in this legislation to justify its enactment and application against the lawful political opponents of the TPLF regime. In short, there are no terrorists in Ethiopia; there is only a terrorist regime terrorising the Ethiopian people into total submission. Thus, frankly speaking, there is no rational ground that warrants the introduction of anti-terrorism law in Ethiopia today.
It, therefore, goes without saying that political groups such as the TPLF rulers of Ethiopia , who suffer from an inferiority complex and are politically paranoid, are the most unstable and dangerous groups for the well-being, stability and security of Ethiopia and its neighbors. Politically unstable minority groups such as the one ruling Ethiopia today are dangerous because they are always in search of enemies, and if real enemies do not exist, they create themselves bogus enemies. Such is the fascist nature of the TPLF junta.
However, to complicate matters, there are certain western powers that have vested interests in the Horn of Africa and therefore falsely portray the TPLF/EPRDF-led government of Ethiopia as a strong and stable government. In reality, however, TPLF-ruled Ethiopia is riddled and plagued by political upheaval and is internally a very troubled and unstable country.
Consequently, the existence of a federal democratic government in name but a highly centralised and tightly controlled one-party state in reality, that is even worse than the one-party state varieties which existed in former communist countries, has disturbed and ruined the lives of many Ethiopian people and communities, and is continuously threatening the security and stability of the peace-loving people living in independent Eritrea.
It is important to mention in passing here that centralization and the tight control of society using the one-party state as an instrument of control/oppression, as is practiced in Ethiopia under TPLF rule, are the hallmarks of a fascist totalitarian state.
UNDER TPLF RULE, FALSE TERRORISM CHARGES ARE THE ORDER OF THE DAY
As already mentioned, one of the pretexts commonly used by the TPLF/EPRDF government to silence, humiliate and destroy its political opponents is false and vague terrorism charges. It must be clearly understood that the TPLF’s so-called terrorism act was developed and enacted into law in order to unjustly stifle lawful and peaceful dissent in Ethiopia. Most of those who have been imprisoned since 2009 due to the deeply flawed anti-terrorism law are well-known leaders of legitimate political parties and groups opposed to TPLF/EPRDF rule, as well as political and freedom activists, bloggers and journalists.
The latest victim of the law is the legendary Andargachew Tsige, the Secretary General of the G7. He was abducted in Saana, Yemen, on June 23, 2014 and has been described by the TPLF junta prime minister as a “Trojan horse for the Eritrean government to destabilise Ethiopia”. He is now in the torture chambers of the TPLF, suffering from the inhuman interrogation methods the TPLF uses to humiliate its political opponents without any respite.To date so many brave and proud Ethiopian democrats with an indomitable spirit to fight for democracy and human rights have been humiliated under this so-called anti-terrorism law. In the concrete situation prevailing in Ethiopia today, this so-called anti-terrorism law is nothing but the law of the jungle. Thus, it must be repealed immediately.
TPLF REACTION TO THE ABDUCTION OF ANDARGACHEW TSIGE
As could be expected, only a few days after the arrest and imprisonment of Andargachew Tsige, the TPLF hoodlums have been banging the drums of war against Eritrea. They have been also busy arresting political activists and journalists with highly politicised terrorism charges. What is more, instead of addressing the legitimate demands and grievances of the politically oppressed Ethiopian people and inviting all of their political opponents to join a dialogue, the paranoid TPLF rulers of Ethiopia are claiming that Eritrea sponsors terrorism in Ethiopia and are mobilising their army to start a war against Eritrea. Thus, a war against Eritrea initiated by the TPLF rulers of Ethiopia would not be ignited by border issues; it is being concocted solely to punish Eritrea for allegedly supporting the Ethiopian freedom fighters operating from their bases in the country.
Indeed, according to an article posted on Tigrai Online on 10 August 2014, the puppet TPLF Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn has unambiguously declared that TPLF Ethiopia has made preparations for war and is poised to invade independent Eritrea in order to topple the PFDJ regime. It therefore appears that war is now imminent between the Tigrian rulers of Ethiopia and the PFDJ rulers of Eritrea.
THE POLITICAL OBJECTIVES OF THE TPLF’S WAR AGAINST ERITREA
At this important juncture of Eritrean history, it is of the utmost importance for every Eritrean patriot to clearly understand that the TPLF hoodlums ruling Ethiopia are not only the enemies of the PFDJ government of Eritrea: they are first and foremost the mortal enemies of independent Eritrea and its people, and those who have paid an incalculable price to make Eritrean independence a reality.It is therefore high time that Eritrean patriots and Ethiopians should ask the question: what do the TPLF political gangs want to achieve by once again igniting war against independent Eritrea?
In my opinion, if successful, the ultimate political objective of the blatant TPLF invasion of Eritrea would be to tear apart Eritrean unity, kill the indomitable spirit of the Eritrean people and destroy Eritrean independence, appoint the chieftains of the puppet Eritrean groups to administer Eritrea on behalf of their TPLF mentors, and arrest and obliterate once and for all the Ethiopian opposition groups based in Eritrea. In my opinion, these are the pipe dreams which the TPLF political gangs are entertaining; but they will remain only pipe dreams, just as landing on the moon is a pipe dream for many people.
In concluding this article, I think it is vitally important that readers be aware of the fact that what the TPLF junta says in the daytime for reasons of public consumption, and what they actually do at night, are always at loggerheads. For this very reason, I tend to believe that the TPLF rulers of Ethiopia and their generals are not really poised to start a fresh war against Eritrea. It seems that it is all part of a psychological war, and a bluff to keep Eritrea and Eritreans worrying and losing sleep. The fact of the matter is, Eritreans are already used to sleeping with one eye open.
I say it is all a bluff because the TPLF rulers of Ethiopia knows only too well that war is and has always been a double-edged sword. They know only too well that an action or decision that the political leaders of a country undertake at certain point in the hope that it will help to promote their cause can also turn against them and hasten their own demise. In other words, they know very well that war hurts you if you start it, and it equally hurts if others start it against you. That is exactly what the 1998-2000 Eritrean-Ethiopian war taught the TPLF generals, who openly cried and wept with their entire staff when the war against Shabea miserably failed to achieve the plans they had outlined.
Referring to the military debacle of the TPLF army and its generals in the 1998-2000 Eritrean-Ethiopian war, Tesfaye Gebreab, author of the book ‘Yederasiw Mastawesha’ (the Author’s Memoirs) has this to say on page 252:
“After the one-week battle plan failed miserably and concluded with great military losses, the General who was in charge of the war, Tsadkan Gebretensae,called a meeting at Infara, the place that was serving as the Command and Control Center. General Tsadkan tried to call the meeting to order but he could not hide his emotions and broke down crying. He wept. All of the meeting participants cried with him. Infara became like a funeral home. Once he regained his composure, he tried to comfort the meeting participants. Everyone was crying. General Tsadkan said the following to the meeting participants: ‘I have led many battles in my career. I have fought in many wars. I have seen a lot. I have never experienced this kind of utter failure. It is bad.’”
Do we need any confessions other than the vivid testimony given by General Tsadkan to understand what war is all about? I don’t think so.
In any case, for the valid reasons I have already outlined above, I tend to believe that we will not see the horrors of war again between Eritrea and Ethiopia. However, if the TPLF rulers and their generals are foolish enough to start a war against Eritrea again, this time it will definitely hasten their own inevitable demise in both Eritrea and Ethiopia. It is important also to note here that if war breaks out between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the initiators of such a criminal and destructive act will unmistakably be the Tigrian rulers of Ethiopia. As such, they will also be directly responsible for whatever happens as a result of their irresponsible decision.
In the meantime, Eritreans must remain ever vigilant; and should war be imposed on Eritrea, Eritreans must firmly and loyally stand with the freedom-loving Eritrean people and its defence forces.
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The author Drs. Tsegezab Gebregergis is a member of the Eritrean opposition from London, UK and can be reached for comments through [email protected]