Enough betrayal. Enough hate. Ethiopians need an endless supply of trust and love
BY ALEMAYEHY G. MARIAM (Ph.D.)
I find it exceedingly important to record a timely response to Seyoum Mesfin’s inflammatory, outrageous and alarming battle cry aimed at spreading hysteria and paranoia among the people of Tirgray about a contrived genocidal war against them in the planning by their Ethiopian brothers and sisters.
In his politically calculated message, Mesfin offers the people of Tigray a separate peace and to the rest of Ethiopians a separate war.
I cannot let Mesfin’s veiled message of hate and the sickening game of divide-bamboozle-hoodwink-and-rule go unchallenged. I offer this resolute rejoinder.
An offer of a separate peace and reconciliation to the people of Tigray and…
In my commentary last week, I wrote, “TIME IS RUNNING OUT. Time is running out on a peaceful resolution of the country’s crises as the TPLF continues to unleash its killing machines and dogs of war on the people.”
I wondered out loud what the TPLF wanted as the clock runs down to GAME OVER. My answer was, “Frankly, I have no idea what the TPLF as an organization wants. If I were a betting man, I would say war.”
Well, it appears I got my answer confirming my suspicion last week in a statement by Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) Underboss, Seyoum Mesfin.
Speaking at a TPLF conference [the above YouTube], Seyoum exclusively offered the people of Tigray separate peace and reconciliation, and by default, separate war and pacification for the rest of Ethiopians.
Mesfin is an original founder (“O.G.”) of the TPLF, its foreign minister and currently its ambassador to China. Mesfin claims the people of Tigray are today “facing a glaring danger” that is “extremely, extremely alarming.”
He warned, “Unless we are able to run, and run fast and defend (against the danger) before sundown, our survival is doubtful…”
Mesfin is desperately trying to make the current crises an Armageddon between the people of Tigray and the rest of Ethiopians. The crises have nothing to do with the people of Tigray. It has everything to do with the corrupt criminal political, economic and military leadership of the TPLF.
Some may find Mesfin’s message of “extreme, extreme alarm” the same old TPLF political hyperbole. But I do not. I find it a masked call to arms. I find his message outrageous, hateful, divisive and vile.
Mesfin’s unmistakable reference to the “glaring danger” the people of Tigray are facing is the ongoing widespread and massive resistance to its rule throughout Ethiopia. But Mesfin’ cleverly, cunningly and calculatedly conflates opposition and resistance to TPLF thug rule with a presumed and contrived existential threat to the people of Tigray.
Mesfin’s statement implies the TPLF and the people of Tigray are one and the same and their destiny is inextricably intertwined.
His warped logic dictates a number of absurd conclusions:
A threat to the TPLF Establishment is a threat to the people of Tigray. Without the TPLF, the people of Tigray will perish in a genocide. The people of Tigray simply cannot coexist with the rest of their Ethiopian brothers and sisters. The TPLF is the only guarantor of the survival of the people of Tigray, their bulwark between survival and genocide. Not supporting the TPLF is the equivalent of signing one’s own death warrant in an imminent ethnic genocide. The people of Tigray have no choice but to support the TPLF lock, stock and barrel (no pun intended).
Mesfin wants to scare-straight the people of Tigray into believing the current uprising throughout Ethiopia represents the final countdown to a showdown before sundown between the people of Tigray and the people of Ethiopia.
The diabolically cunning Mesfin delivers his message of doom and gloom to the people of Tigray wrapped in make-believe humility, contrition, anguish, apprehension, and distress. He urges his TPLF comrades to ask forgiveness of the Tigrean people for things they did wrong, failed to do and should have done to regain their trust, confidence, and support.
To some who heard Mesfin’s statement and do not understand the “devil’s tongue”, it was a manifest public admission the TPLF leaders are worried sick about losing power in the face of mass protests and growing resistance throughout the country. They perceive Mesfin’s incriminatory statement as an expression of TPLF’s weakness and vulnerability. They congratulate each other with “I told you so’s.”
The TPLF bosses speak with forked tongue, the devil’s tongue. They don’t say what they mean and mean what they don’t say. One must be careful to read between the lines.
Mesfin was not admitting any weaknesses. He was delivering a calculated and coded message to the people of Tigray. He uses the politics of ethnic hate and fear and smear and propagates lies and damned lies to disguise his message and drum up popular support among the people of Tigray in the hope of clinging to power.
I have always said the “LF” in TPLF stands for Lie Factory. To conceal his hateful call to arms to the people of Tigray, Mesfin sugarcoats his message with crocodile tears and empty words of contrition and forgiveness.
Seyoum Mesfin said:
Comrades, the glaring danger we are facing (today) is extremely, extremely alarming. Unless we are able to run, and run fast and defend (against the danger) before sundown, our survival is doubtful… It has been a very long, long time since we betrayed the people (of Tigray) who believed we would bring them peace and justice; they who cried tears of blood as they sacrificed their children (for our cause)…
The people we betrayed long ago today feel they are twice dead… They are confused about which direction they should go… Our young people we thought would inherit our legacy have abandoned the main organization (TPLF) and live in a state of confusion…To ask forgiveness is a sign of decency. To ask forgiveness points to astuteness and readiness for work. Therefore, we have to kneel down and ask the forgiveness of the people (of Tigray) we have disappointed. Comrades, we are running out of time. This is not the time to be inattentive.
But what exactly is the “glaring danger of extreme concern” the people of Tigray are “facing” today? Why must the people of Tigray “run very fast before sundown and prepare a defense”? From whom are they running away? Who is chasing them and against whom are they supposed to be defending?
Is Seouym Mesfin suggesting that Tigreans will be “run out” of the rest of Ethiopia into the sunset simply because they are Tigreans?
I am totally mystified and puzzled by his cryptic message of “glaring danger and extreme, extreme concern”.
Surely the crimes against humanity, the corruption, the stolen elections and flagrant abuses of power committed by the TPLF bosses, cronies, partners in crimes and their opportunistic allies and accomplices cannot be blanket-blamed on the ordinary people of Tigray.
This is not to suggest that the TPLF empire of corruption and crime is not networked.
It is an incontrovertible fact that the TPLF Establishment and power and economic elites using an extended network of political and business partnerships have a complete chokehold on the political process, the economy, the bureaucracy and military in Ethiopia.
EFFORT (Endowment Fund For Rehabilitation of Tigray), the multi-billion TPLF racketeering business empire, is ground zero of TPLF corruption.
There is no doubt many individual Tigreans have used their ethnicity as a badge of superiority, privilege, and immunity from the law and have long enjoyed the benefits of exclusive first-class citizenship.
There is no doubt the TPLF has facilitated the movement of large numbers of Tigreans into areas outside of the Tigray region and settled them with rights of first-class citizenship on highly contested lands.
My question is about the ordinary people of Tigray, the 85 percent plus eking out a living scratching the land? Are they also not victimized by the TPLF, which uses their name to legitimize its own corruption and criminality?
When Tigreans are moved around by the TPLF in other regions for apparent economic advantage and are viewed by their compatriots as TPLF militia and occupying forces, are they not victimized?
When the TPLF slices and cuts historically recognized territory and purport to transfer it to Tigray region causing deadly ethnic strife and enmity between Ethiopians who have lived peacefully for generations, does that not victimize the people of Tigray as much as others?
I have no doubts whatsoever that if the people of Tigray were given an opportunity to have a referendum on the TPLF, they would throw out those corrupt criminal rascals faster than you can say TPLF (Hewahat).
But they have never been given that opportunity! When they had one opportunity in 2010, bad things happened as Seeye Abraha (a founding member of the TPLF and “O.G.”) documented in a 2010 article entitled “Election 2010: A Retrospective” (International Journal of Ethiopia Studies (Vol. V, No. 2, p. 60):
The TPLF had conducted a study on every person in every village suspected of being in any way related to me. There are many veteran TPLF members who had participated in the armed struggle against the Derg but they were pushed out of the party’s fold during the TPLF split because they were suspected of siding with me or others like me. Moreover, there are many families that had sacrificed not one but two or three of their children during the armed struggle and who are now left without anyone to care for them. The tihadisso [renaissance] of Ato Meles marginalized these people and rewarded others who had made very little contribution to the armed struggle. Because all these people are suspected of having a feeling of resentment towards the TPLF leadership, they were placed under close surveillance during the election period. Various strategies were attempted to control them.
The TPLF crucified Seeye Abraha, one of their own, one of their founders and storied rebel commander and defense minister. They railroaded him to prison on so-called corruption charges for six years. When judge Birtukan Midekssa dismissed the corruption charges, the TPLF retaliated against her by dismissing her from the bench and later jailing her twice on bogus treason and other trumped-up charges.
In 2014, Abraha Desta, a Mekelle University political science instructor, opposition leader, popular social media commentator and fearless critic of the TPLF was brutally beaten and jailed. His crime was telling the truth and speaking up. He was released after 2 years of imprisonment. That is how the TPLF deals with Tigreans who have the guts to stand up and speak up against its criminal rule.
The fact of the matter is that the ordinary people of Tigray have as much to fear from the TPLF as any other Ethiopians. If they even dare to tell the truth, let alone do overt political acts of protest, they will be treated mercilessly.
The TPLF is an organization of political cannibals, political hyenas.
If the Tigrean people are facing an existential threat as Mesfin suggested, what options do they have?
Only one. Raise arms, run like hell and defend themselves. That is exactly what Mesfin said. “Unless we are able to run, and run fast and defend (against the danger) before sundown, our survival is doubtful.”
Indeed, Mesfin is calling the people of Tigray to arms. “Prepare to wage war! They are coming to get you!”
It is the TPLF that has reason to run and run fast. But it can never outrun the truth about its crimes against humanity and decades of corruption. It can run but not hide from the long arms of justice.
The logical conclusions derived from Mesfin’s reasoning are:
1) There can be no peace unless the TPLF remains in power. The only way for the people of Tigray to avoid the purported genocide looming over the horizon is for them to close ranks and line up behind the TPLF for the Battle of Armageddon. 2) Only the TPLF can win the Battle of Ethiopian Armageddon and save the people of Tigray.
But why does Mesfin think the very survival of the people of Tigray is in question or that they will be victims of genocide?
The widespread uprising in the country is not against the people of Tigray. It is against TPLF rule, the abuses of power by TPLF political leaders and the empire of corruption the TPLF has created to rip off all Ethiopians. It is an uprising against the TPLF’s diabolically divisive system of ethnic federalism which has corralled Ethiopians into apartheid Bantustan-style ethnic homelands.
For decades, the TPLF has been plying its trade of ethnic politics and hate pitting Oromos against Amharas, Tigreans against Amharas, Oromos against Somalis and on and on. The TPLF has forced all Ethiopians to drink the poison of ethnic federalism.
Today, the TPLF bosses are doo-doo-ing in their pants because they know the people of Ethiopia have finally found the TPLF’s Kryptonite, the one and only thing that can defeat them: ETHIOPIAWINET.
The ordinary people of Tigray are not responsible for the crimes against humanity and the corruption of the TPLF Establishment, its elites and opportunistic cronies. They have absolutely nothing to be concerned about. Anyone who aims to blame the people of Tigray for the crimes of the TPLF through guilt by ethnic association is not only ignorant but also hateful.
The glaring danger Mesfin’s fears must be the danger of accountability TPLF leaders will face before the bar of justice.
I find Mesfin’s crocodile tears about betraying and abandoning the people of Tigray laughable.
Why is Mesfin pulling at the heartstrings of the Tigrean people and harping on the sacrifices they have made in the lost lives of their children?
Is it not true that hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian youth from all ethnic backgrounds sacrificed their lives fighting the Derg military junta regime and for democracy? Don’t the suffering of their parents matter?
Mesfin complains, “Our young people we thought would inherit our legacy have abandoned the main organization”.
What legacy is Mesfin talking about?
The legacy of hate? Of crimes against humanity? Of murder and torture? Of corruption? Of abuse of power?
The only legacy fitting to Ethiopian youth is Ethiopiawinet, which means LOVE.
Of course, Mesfin is shamelessly and cynically trying to make an emotional appeal to the people of Tigray and drum up political and military support among young Tigreans.
Mesfin is a sick man. He has sickness of the soul. He cavalierly and without compunction proposes to make Tigrean youth cannon fodder for the TPLF’s ambition to cling to power forever. With the same forked tongue, he asks forgiveness of the people of Tigray.
A plan to sacrifice young people so that the TPLF can cling to power can only be hatched in the hearts, minds and souls of evil people whose only reason for existence on the planet is to hate.
Why does Mesfin believe his TPLF has betrayed the Tigrean people?
Of course, the answer is simple. The TPLF has been scamming the Tigrean people for decades. The TPLF has commodified, traded, sold and resold the Tigrean people for decades and used their name to commit crimes against humanity.
Now, Mesfin wonders why the people of Tigray feel betrayed?
I will give credit to Mesfin for his admission of “betrayal” of the Tigrean people. He said the TPLF has “betrayed them [the people of Tigray] for a very, very long time”.
I say, “Damn right!” Not just betrayed, but also bamboozled, abandoned, deceived, tricked, double-crossed and double-dealed the people of Tigray.
But no more! The TPLF will no longer continue to betray the people of Tigray because the people of Tigray are no longer willing to be betrayed by the TPLF, just like any other group in Ethiopia.
Enough betrayal. Enough hate. We need an endless supply of trust and love.
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