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Why the war in Tigray is more about Eritrean annexation plan?

Why the war in Tigray is more about Eritrean annexation plan?

Tedros Tsegay   11-04-20

Ethiopian Prime Minister has declared war on the TPLF, a party ruling the Tigray region of Ethiopia. This is an action that should be condemned by the international community because there was no tangible reason for the Prime Minister to order federal troops into the most peaceful regions of Ethiopia. It is very unfortunate innocent blood will be shed simply due to lack of political will for dialogue to resolve the differences. No one knows what is really happing in Tigray now for the government has cut off all access for internet, telephone, and electricity.

 I will now briefly explain why the war in eliminating the political leadership in Tigray will end in eventually annexing Eritrea with its former colonizer Ethiopia. As someone who has been following the developments closely for two decades, I feel there are some issues that need to be explained in relation to the current development on the ground.

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The phony peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia has only been a relationship between Prime Minister Abiy and President Eseyas Afewerki to the disappointment of the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia. The two leaders signed a peace agreement in Jeddah Saudi Arabi on the presence of UN secretary general Antonio Gutierrez.  No one knows for sure the terms of agreement as it was kept as secret from the public knowledge. Many Eritreans speculated that President Eseyas sold Eritrea to Ethiopia in the Jeddah agreement. President Eseyas himself uttered in one of his several visits to Ethiopia that he designated Dr. Abiy Ahmad as a leader of Eritrea too. Has Eseyas uttered those words by accident? Absolutely not. What is at stake then? Dr. Abiy himself gave a public speech that President Eseyas always tells him that how he misses walking on the streets of Mekele. One could ask why President Eseyas miss Mekelle when he curses the TPLF every time he gets an opportunity to do so.

Many people suspect that one of the main reasons for Eseyas obsession with Tigray is that his genealogy is believed to originate in Tigray. Dr. Abiy himself told a gathered audience in Gonder Amhara region that the grandfather of Eseyas was buried in the city. Eseyas is proud Ethiopian as are told by the then Asmara stationed Ethiopian opposition groups like Andargache Tsige and Berhanu Nega but he faced one challenge that hates the Federal Political system in Ethiopia. A system mainly designed by the TPLF with the then political forces in Ethiopia.

President Eseyas repeatedly expressed his disdain on the implementation of federal arrangement in Ethiopia. As a leader of an independent nation this was none of his business however, he spent all the scarce resource of Eritrea in arming Ethiopian opposition groups for two decades. For Eseyas Eritrean independence for the last 28 years has been his worst nightmare. Eritreans who have been greatly weakened by subjugation in the national service and thereby denied educational opportunities failed to realize his scheme in due time.

Eseyas has used Eritrean nationalism to eliminate Eritreans from their motherland by launching a never-ending military service. Now the whole country is under military administration. This strategy has enabled Eseyas to sit in the helm of power for almost three decades without serious opposition to his throne. He has eliminated his opponents in the name of national security one after the other. He converted the country into a giant prison in comparison to North Korea.

Dr. Abiys dreamt from his childhood to be a king of Ethiopia, he never shies away from telling the Ethiopian public that he is born to be their king. Surprisingly, many Ethiopians accepted him a reformer and democratic leader, who would lead Ethiopia into the path of prosperity. But he faced one major challenge, the TPLF refused his reform and failed to join his newly established Prosperity party. TPLF accuses Dr. Abiy that he has a hidden agenda for creating a unitary system of by dissolving the federal system of administration. This was what the TPLF fought for 17 years and therefore compromise became tantamount to betrayal of the thousands of Tigrayan martyrs.

Dr. Abiy has now decided to eliminate the TPLF as a political force from Ethiopian political landscape. Let us assume he succeeds in doing so in Tigray, what will equally be alarming is Ethiopia will be led by a dictator for decades to come. Political differences could only be defeated in the ballot box.

What has happened in Eritrea in 1998 is repeating itself in Ethiopia. National election was planned to take place in Eritrea in 1998 however, to derail the democratization process President Eseyas invaded Ethiopia in May 1998. One of the main key reasons for dictators to stay in power indefinity is to create an atmosphere of crisis and thereby manage and use the crisis to suppress all forms of freedom in the pretext of national security.  It seems Dr. Abiy has taken a good lesson over the last two years from Eritrean dispotic leader Eseyas Afewerki. It is more heartbreaking to see a Prime Minister who fooled the international community by winning a noble peace prize when in practice the was no peace he managed to create on the ground. The international community will now learn his true color, as he is simply another despotic leader in the long list of African dictators.  

Many Ethiopians who hate the TPLF are now celebrating the decision of Dr. Abiy to invade Tigray, knowing little what is to come will eventually destroy their individual rights perhaps disintegrate Ethiopia as nation.

As an Eritrean I have personally witnessed closely how President Eseyas played a smart game against the Eritrean people by creating external problems in holding hostage the Eritrean people for decades.  The same state of affairs is repeating itself in Ethiopia now. Gone are now the days of democratic aspirations in Ethiopia. The processes of Eritreanization of Ethiopia has just began without any end in sight.

My personal speculation is that if TPLF is defeated Eseyas and Abiy will make public their plan to create a united Ethiopia annexing Eritrea in the name federation or perhaps confederation. Many Ethiopians who has been advocating for the dissolvement of the federal arrangement will perhaps celebrate this scenario, equally many Eritreans and Tigrayans will disdain the decision, thereby extending civil war scenario for many years to come. For the dictators this would be a good precondition as they could use that pretext in refusing to make political reforms.

That is why the war in Tigray is a signal for the End of Eritrean nationhood as we knew it. It is not only about Tigray only rather more about Eritrea. Eritreans should stand with the people of Tigray as the moment if they want to salvage their country from eternal extinction from the map of the world. The war in Tigray is all about Eritrea’s destiny as nation. Even though the TPLF has made several mistakes in allowing their strategic enemy Eseyas to sit in power when they had the opportunity to topple him but they have been consistently advocating for the self determination of Eritrea. With the absence of TPLF in the Ethiopian political landscape of Ethiopia one can easily imagine what would be the fate of Eritrea under a unitary leader Dr. Abiy Ahmad.



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