The need to ‘neutralize’ TPLF renegades once and for all!

Just a few days ago the Ethiopian government took a drastic measure against several key UN officials engaged in so called humanitarian activities in the country. However, their involvement had been more than what their true mandate allowed them to do. They were found intervening in the internal affairs of the country! Ever since the crisis in the northern part of the country began almost a year ago, there have been fierce controversies between the Ethiopian government and several countries including international actors such as the UN and its affiliates. Ethiopia says the crisis in the north is essentially and purely an internal affair of Ethiopia and no one can intervene without its blessing. However, we have seen multiple declarations by many countries of the West who openly sided with the renegade TPLF leaders (the ones who have provoked the crisis in the first place) disregarding that it has been declared as ‘terrorist’ by the Ethiopian parliament.

The Ethiopian government has argued that since TPLF has declared full scale war against the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, Ethiopia had no choice but to not only defend itself but also neutralize further danger by destroying TPLF’s military capability which unfortunately in the end is Ethiopians’ resources. It had no choice.

It is well known by the international community and whoever claims to have a stake in what is going on in Ethiopia that TPLF was the lead party that misgoverned the country for 27 years dividing it between the various peoples and abusing their fundamental human rights. It is also well known that the ruling clique amassed billions of dollars of public funds and resources investing extensively not only in Ethiopia but also abroad and hiding billions in foreign banks. This fact can be proved by referring to documents that relate to bank accounts and other papers. And yet the people of Ethiopia were made to live in utter poverty.

When following the ‘reform movement’ a few years ago TPLF was ousted of its governing position, it did not want to admit and accept defeat and chose instead to retreat to Tigray, its stronghold and base, and began openly preparations for war against the federation. It used all the resources it had at hand to prepare for war and the documents that were discovered recently show that they had prepared to wage a full fledged war against the Federal state because they had 80 percent of the country’s military arsenal and most of the personnel as well, particularly those who were well trained. They were sure that with a bit of assistance from their old foreign allies including known enemies of Ethiopia, they would be able to defeat the Ethiopian forces and once again be stationed in Addis as victors!

However, what they did not know or forgot to reckon was that no Ethiopian would ever be willing to be governed by their party nor accept any power or influence more than what it deserved as representatives of their constituency. TPLF could have continued to administer its regional state as per the provisions of the Federal Constitution because it allows for every regional state to be self governed, provided they do not interfere in the federal affairs beyond their mandate. It could not make or break the politics of the country and it could not have more ministers or people of authority in government more than its real size.

After the November 24, 2020 infamous attack, it was all out war between TPLF and the federal government! The international community cannot say the TPLF did not assault and ruthlessly kill thousands of military staff when they objected to defect for them. They carried out the most treacherous of acts and any government worth its name would have reacted as did the Federal government of Ethiopia.

Above all, the TPLF forces never respected the rules of military engagement universally observed by all military forces in the world. They enrolled child soldiers and presented as cannon fodder elder women and other elderly with no military training or know how nor arms confirming once again that they do not care anything about their own people. They committed the most heinous of crimes against innocent civilians wherever they went and what they did at Maikadra in the early days of the fighting will remain as one of the most brutal attacks ever carried in history against innocent civilians!

TPLF killed all those who were opposing their plans and faithful to its tradition ever since its formation it has never tolerated dissent. Mothers in Tigray have confirmed that their children were taken away by force for their war efforts and made to pay with their lives in a fruitless war against their own compatriots.

It is clear that the top TPLF leadership are worried only about their position in power and never showed any concern for the people. In 27 years in power TPLF did not even improve the life of their constituency. Two million out of an estimated five in Tigray have remained in ‘safety net projects’ for more than twenty years receiving aid. And yet TPLF leaders and their families navigated in gold owning the richest of business enterprises of the country in monopoly without paying the taxes others had to. The regional state has not benefited from any substantial progress in terms of infrastructure and provision of utilities such as water and power. And yet they had all the resources available to do it.

The same can be said of the country in general. The story of TPLF, its nature and essence has now become clear to all Ethiopians. But the people of Tigray have been forced to submit to its crazy and outmoded ideology and moves. No one is allowed to dissent to TPLF or face ruthless consequences. Many say not even North Korea would treat its citizens the way TPLF has been doing during the past five decades, ever since its foundation.

Today, few would deny that the days of TPLF seem counted. Ethiopians have resolved that Ethiopia and particularly Tigray would be free and peaceful only if and when the TPLF is completely annihilated from the face of the earth along with its ideology; and there seems to be no compromise or disagreement on this issue. People are asking the government to arrest all these crazy leaders of TPLF and bring them to a court of law. A veteran leader of Tigray Democratic Party, TDP, was heard stating publicly that TPLF must face the full force of the law for each and every atrocity it has committed against not only the people of Ethiopia at large, but also against its own people for years!

What TPLF has done against the Ethiopian National Defense Forces has not only been treacherous but also utterly irresponsible exposing the country to foreign invasion and attacks and thus contributing to those who would like to see a dismantled Ethiopia. Thus there can be no negotiation whatsoever with such force unlike what certain western powers suggest and shamelessly so. Can anyone negotiate with a force that vows to destroy you, possibly with any alien force?

Ethiopia has made its stance crystal clear, repeatedly. The issue of TPLF or the Tigray region is exclusively an internal matter. Ethiopia is in its legitimate rights as a sovereign country to take whatever measures are necessary to resolve the crisis. If there are suggestions foreign countries or any force for that matter that would like to help in resolving the issue, the Ethiopian government has not slammed the doors provided they respect the laws of the country.

Unfortunately, however the tendency has been one of clearly siding with the terrorists and trying to force Ethiopia to negotiate with them. Not only that. They have also been caught red handed giving support to the various members and with the pretext of offering humanitarian aid, some have been caught giving the terrorists not only logistical service but also disseminating their poisonous propaganda against the interests of the country in an irresponsible manner, giving the TPLF some sort of legitimacy while they do know the Ethiopian parliament has already labeled and banned it as ‘terrorist’. This is clearly a violation of Ethiopian laws. Ethiopia cannot compromise over its sovereignty in the hope of receiving what they call ‘humanitarian aid’!

Moreover, while these forces continue to threaten sanctions against Ethiopia and use all their media outlets to defame the federal government emboldening further the terrorists, they have persistently declined to condemn all those atrocities these terrorists have committed against innocent civilians including women and children wherever they went in the Amhara and Afar regions. And yet we have seen them denouncing what they called abuses of human rights by Ethiopian forces. We hear them advocating for the respect of human rights under any circumstances. But how about the clear violations of human rights committed by the TPLF forces in open daylight and admitting that they were doing that in revenge?!

These international bodies never said a word about them or said them in very much reluctant manner. That was why the Ethiopian government ran out of patience, and after repeated warning, finally decided to expel some of those people who were active in supporting the TPLF on Ethiopian territory with the pretext of handing out humanitarian aid. Ethiopians are not new to such interferences and they know that the military government that was undone by the TPLF-led forces in 1991 was in many ways supported by the concealed military assistance they received while claiming to give only humanitarian aid. With that pretext the rebels of TPLF and their allies received vast military and logistic support from these forces and this Ethiopian government is not so dumb to allow a repeat of history that happened thirty years ago and before! It has done its homework not to be fooled another time!

Ethiopia has also warned that given the delicacy of their work, they should refrain from further interfering in the internal affairs of the country. Other bodies in the same business would be receiving the same treatment as these major UN officials who were caught in outright illegal engagements.

Ethiopia cannot allow the situation to further deteriorate with the interference of such forces and the TPLF must realize that it will not be allowed to receive any sort of assistance except basic humanitarian aid. The federal government has said it is just a matter of time before TPLF leaders are all apprehended or neutralized by the federal forces. The issue now is how much price should be paid for such final assault.

Ethiopia does not need to act just as the TPLF does because it is accountable for whatever moves it takes. It realizes that the people of Tigray region are citizens just as the rest of the population, but that they have been forcedly used as human shield to protect these outcasts. Just recently we have heard the bold statement declared by the leaders who said that ‘there are thousands of our people ready to die for us and protect us from attacks!’ This is not only an irresponsible admission of what worth they give to their people, but also dangerous because as long as they remain in power, they do not care even if thousands continue to perish in a desperate war.

Ethiopia’s position is clearly diametrically opposed to such view. It does not want a single life to be sacrificed or lost unless it is absolutely indispensable. There are no general attacks that do not distinguish between active belligerents and the rest, unlike what the terrorists of TPLF do. Realizing that the people of Tigray have been caught as hostage of this terrorist group, the Ethiopian forces do not take any wholesale attacks against civilian targets. That would lead to a huge bloodbath and even if that is what TPLF desires (so that they accuse the government of genocide!) this is against the principles of a legitimate and law abiding armed forces.

However, Ethiopia’s position on the need to do away with this terrorist force is unshakeable and no one can force it to negotiate with such force. Ethiopian leaders are not so dumb as to commit suicide by sitting around a table with these renegades who have been preaching hatred and extermination all along their existence. If evil has to be overcome by ethical and sound acts, these forces must be eradicated, once and for all.

All those who support this force cannot hope to be friends of the Ethiopian state and the Ethiopian people. The damage that TPLF has caused on Ethiopians is unfathomable and will need years to heal. The newly inaugurated Ethiopian premier said recently that Ethiopia has passed several predicaments successfully during its long years of existence, and there is no doubt it will overcome this one as well.

Editor’s Note: The views entertained in this article do not necessarily reflect the stance of The Ethiopian Herald

BY FITSUM GETACHEW

THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD  OCTOBER 19/2021

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