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I cannot believe that "TDP" leader is calling for sanctions on Tigray!

I cannot believe that "TDP" leader is calling for sanctions on Tigray!

Yohannes Aberra, PhD 08-22-20

I am writing this reaction not because I am TPLF's communication officer but because as an ordinary Tigrean and Ethiopian I couldn't bear the words that are uttered everytime the "TDP" gets talking. None of the words of the leader of "TDP" are as perplexing as what I read today in When you feel that people have stopped hearing your voice, you may speak louder. If still that doesn't work you better take your dignified silence rather than throwing out garbage hoping that people will pay attention.

I have written more than one article requesting the leader of "TDP" to keep a low key with regard to politics in Tigray because if he has not been part of the victory over the Derg then he must stop acting like a Catholic more than the pope. If the TPLF as an organization is a criminal organization he is responsible for establishing it. If TPLF as an organization is a mafia organization Don Berihu must have been the God Father. Was the fault of the TPLF revealed to him in Europe as Moses got his revelations in the Sinai? Whatever was happening in the TPLF in the first decade of the organization was his responsibility. May be he thinks that TPLF went rotten  after he was gone. May be he wanted TPLF to be his own private army? The truth is TPLF became victorious after him!

We have heard too much from Berihu including promoting South FM in the midst of crisis in his home place. Let me ask a million dollar question: What did the "TDP" leader do for Tigray to be morally superior to TPLF? Why didn't he come back home during the TPLF years in Addis Ababa and engage in a peaceful struggle just like similar others? Scared of being arrested? Why not? That is how struggles go for a just cause, if one's cause is really just. Why engage in "remote" politics, come back claiming victory after somebody else paid the sacrifices, and start behaving like a victor? For the sake of decency so much of barrage of uncalled for words on TPLF shouldn't have come thinking that TPLF is doomed forever and is no more a threat. As a child I used to run to my brother, hold his hands, and start insulting the neighborhood boy who chased me. Grownups do not do this! They have to have confidence on their own and act in a dignified manner. What benefit is the Leader of "TDP" going to have if TPLF is eliminated? Is it because Tigray would be free for him to rule? Oh God! He has no idea how the people have changed through the years. The last favor the people of Tigray would do is to allow somebody, who abandoned them during the worst years of the struggle, to lead them. As an ordinary Tigrean how would he expect me to choose him over Debrits who is making history by leading the people through the most complicated and extremely dangerous times ever, with skill and grace? How could I think of polluting Tigray by choosing the "TDP" who does not have any idea about the ethics of using the  conventional terminology of modesty in political discourse? Politics has it's own rules of Etiquette which the leader of the party is lacking as revealed in his public speeches. As an ordinary Tigrean, who loves his people, how can I trust a leader of a party whoes talk is almost always about TPLF and its "crimes"? I cannot choose him for being the greatest foul mouth. I would go for someone who balances politics and development. Opposition party does not mean just spend all day opposing. Opposition leaders must be part of the solution not part of the problem. Sitting on the throne is not as easy and tempting as it looks from outside. I have never wished to be a leader in any capacity. I don't envy leaders. I understand how difficult their life is. I sometimes imagine myself in the position of Debrits. I am horrified by the thought of responsibility for six million people threatened from all directions; with the eyes, ears, and mouths (not hearts) of all politicians in Ethiopia directed at Tigray. As if all this is not more than enough the leader of " TDP" is adding to the stress gripping the people of Tigray. Then he expects to be elected as a remote control device! He lacks respect for the people because he thinks that TPLF is between him and the people of Tigray who "love" him more dearly than they do TPLF. With this odd mentality he will have to wait for a thousand years.

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Let me respond to Berihu's satanic verses

1.  "ኢትዮጵያን የሁከትና ብጥብጥ ማዕከል ለማድረግ...በትግራይ ክልል በታቀደው ህገ-ወጥ ምርጫ..."

This is a very serious allegation without any tangible evidence and tarnishing the image of the people of Tigray on something they would never dream of doing". No Tigrean, even a mad man in Tigray, would wish to see Ethiopia disturbed. Well as a matter of tolerated political tradition politicians in Tigray may disturb politicians in Addis Ababa and the vice versa. This is established politics. No one bears the birth right to rule others. Rivalry is an integral part of political life. Machinations are the tools designed for that. Success depends on the skills of playing with the tools. It is totally out of the rules of the game to accuse any competing party for some higher crimes to get the moral high ground against it.  Accusations such as “conspiring to destroy Ethiopia” are deviating from the rules of the game. It is like stealing "joker" to win the card game. Since people are sensitive to National unity and security they will be alarmed by such accusations and curse the victim. TPLF has done more for Ethiopia's economy and its unity than Berihu did. As a matter of fact more than anybody else did! "አመድ በዱቄት ይስቃል" Those who are in Addis Ababa are fighting for their own political lives; but the usual excuse is this unfortunate Country. When it comes to citizenship and being Ethiopian TPLF is as much justified to be at Arat Kilo as PP is. Take Ethiopia out of this arena. Make no mistakes, no one is trying to kill Ethiopia; they are fighting for it. If they kill it they have nothing to fight for. The fight is about approach how Ethiopia should be ruled. TPLF says diversity should characterize the essence of unity; while PP goes for unity should be the essence of diversity. When we see the reality in Ethiopia, uncovered from the thick fog of politics, TPLF seems to have identified the core around which politics and social life in Ethiopia is built.

In which part of the world has election destroyed a nation? Unless logic has turned on its head election is a virtue and no-election is a vice. It is vice that destroys a nation, which means the absence of elections. The reason why I supported the election in Tigray is because the people wanted it! That means the election is no more TPLF party politics. Anyone who doubts the wisdom of five million people must be the devil himself. No one possesses the legal and moral ground to accuse entire people for going to the polls to destroy Ethiopia. I know, when it comes to insults and accusations on Tigray all related articles in the law books have become too blurred to be read. That is why most people find it easier to test their political skills on Tigray and TPLF. LWT means Living While Tigrean; just like DWB Driving While Black considered to be a criminal act equal or more than DWD Driving While Drunk.


2. "...መንግስት ማዕቀብ መጣል እንደሚገባው..." What kind of politics is being run in "TDP"? Has it realized that the people of Tigray are its constituency? They want to delay the election by punishing the people of Tigray who are ready to go to the polls; then "TDP" will be elected in "another election" or somebody would install them like "enderase" of the old monarchial days. What kind of sanction is going to personally target TPLF leaders without affecting the people? Why should there be sanction against the leaders of TPLF. Calling for sanctions against a party that is still operating legally and was elected to rule a regional state is a criminal act by itself. We haven't heard of any court case filed against TPLF leaders except Getachew Assefa, who would appear and defend himself in an impartial court when he feels it is safe to do so. So, making accusations against leaders in Tigray without tangible evidence and filed court cases is a criminal act.

3. "ምርጫው...ከፌዴራል መንግስቱ ራሳቸውን ላሸሹ ቡድኖች መደበቂያነት እያገለገለ ነው...ራሳቸውን አግልለው በአንድ ቦታ የመሸጉ ቡድኖች"

Did they? I doubted my own memory when I read this. Could you remind me please? Was it TPLF that moved out of Federal government on its own? "በሪሁ እርጋን ድያ ሕርቃን? The current PP as EPRDF-3 illegally removed TPLF from the federal government. This is what the whole world knows. The words by Berihu need correction. TPLF leaders are not hiding in Tigray. They are living in Tigray; which is their home place. They are not hiding from anyone. Why? 

4. "በትግራይ ክልል የመሸገው ቡድን ጦርነት እገጥማለሁ እያለ፤ የጦር ነጋሪት እየጎሰመ ዴሞክራሲያዊ ምርጫ ያካሂዳል ማለት ስህተት ነው

Berihu has intentionally inverted the argument upside down to suit his purpose. Tigray and TPLF have never wanted war. War is always imposed on them. "beating war drums" is not a 21st century terminology. People have become rational. They don't engage in war just for the fun of it. There is death in war. No rational mind wants to die in a war that is avoidable. Tigray is delaying its schedule for development. The last thing TPLF would want to do is to waste resources on war that it can avoid. It has a lot at stake that can be impacted by any war, big or small. Berihu seems to have forgotten the social psychology in Tigray related to war. War is a nightmare not a sweet dream for Tigray. The fields, the mountains, the valleys and hills are strewn with bones of those brave young people. There is nothing worse than the thought of this happening again. What I share with Berihu is both of us were in a safe distance away from where such a tragedy was happening. I am better positioned than Berihu is because I am always in tears when I remember my friends who perished in the war. I don't share the callousness of Berihu.

The election did not trigger the preparedness for war in Tigray; it is the threat on the election. As long as there are noises from the Center which suggest violent punitive actions why should't Berihu justify the need to protect innocent families of ours. We have hundreds of experience about this kind of war. It felt easy for USA to remove Sadam in one battle. See what is has done to Irag, that ancient cradle of world civilization! The beginnings of wars can be controlled not the ends. Care must be taken not to start them. Forget it! War against Tigray, people who have little to lose, it will be the mother of all wars in Ethiopia. Berihu should be advised not to take the Jini out of the bottle sitting on an arm chair. Berihu may have left his political skills in the charismatic Wer'i valley a long time ago.

5. "...ለምርጫ የሚባክነው ገንዝብ ለልማት እንዲውል ማድረግ"

The grapes should not be sour for Berihu. What if Berihu were in the elections; would he still consider it as a waste of money? Money spent on election is not wrong; and there have never been wrong elections. It is tyranny which is always wrong. Election is an investment for development. It is by electing and spending on it that you can ensure higher returns in the economy and social life. Electing societies are highly correlated with high levels of development.

6. "...በምርጫ ሰበብ ለተጨማሪ አምስት ዓመታት ስልጣን ላይ ለመቆየት የሚደረግ በስልጣን መባለግ

This is a self contradictory statement. It is well known that TPLF can only be removed by the people of Tigray. Tigray after 17 years of struggle is no more like the pre 1974 years. The Center appoints, whoever it likes to the Region. There is nothing wrong if someone from Gambela becomes the President of Tigray.; but he/ she must be elected by the people of Tigray. Our agenda is not being native, our concern is for being elected or not. If the people of Tigray want TPLF to continue they will elect it now, they will elect it later. No difference! This election has nothing to do with the intention for TPLF to extend its ruled in Tigray. If I am given the right to reveal my personal opinion and it doesn't offend the young parties, I would say TPLF is not completely replaceable in the 10 years to come. The experience is to much to lose for a hard transition.



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