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Frame and Blame the Victim [Tegaru], destroy history and legacy, and get promotion!

Frame and Blame the Victim [Tegaru], destroy history and legacy, and get promotion!

 The ugly truth of Ethiopian Politics


Kflay Gebrehiwot

June 20, 2020

(, @kfloma)



Blame the Victim [Tegaru], destroy history and legacy, and get promotion! The ugly truth of Ethiopian Politics Blame politics have been working for centuries in Ethiopia. Nevertheless, I think it reached climax since Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF) got global recognition by the global community. The Dergue regime labeled TPLF as a secessionist in the 1970s. This labeling has continued even after TPLF, which later become a member of the Ethiopian People Republic Democratic Front (EPRDF).

The defeated and anti-TPLF parties have used the label secessionist to frame TPLF as a party and the Tigrai People in its extended form. They have been using several actors both from abroad [the exiled ones] and internally via private medias such as magazines, journals, FMs, movies, and theatre for nearly three decades. On the contrary, the Ethiopian government was not responsive for all the blackmailing of Tegaru. 

It is obvious that Ethiopia follows the Federal system of administration. Despite the shared rule policy, regional states have a sovereign power of self-determination.   However, the aforementioned actors have been and are claiming TPLF as a scapegoat for every failure in the country.  On the contrary, they never mention a single achievement of TPLF/EPRDF. 

According to their frame and blame principle, they have framed and blamed the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) military as Agaazi to indicate as if it is owned by Tigrai. Countless comedy movies that mocked the federal police in Tigrigna accent were released repeatedly. Thousands of books that dehumanize TPLF members and Tegaru, have been published and sold in streets and bookstores. All the actors have preached that every investor, millionaire, every building in the country is owned by Tigaru. Surprisingly, they have labeled every Tigrean as a secret agent though there is nothing to be spied. Weirdly, they have opposed the construction of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) because they thought it is Tegaru’s legacy. They even declared genocide on Tegaru by saying, “the war is between 95 million Ethiopians and 5 million Tegaru” by ESAT media, which was later awarded an appreciation by the Prime Minister Abiy. Ultimately, they have mocked and celebrated the death of our heroes, deviating religion and culture that maintained for millennia. The group that recognized itself as “real Ethiopians” has propagated such treacherous propaganda for years. However, probably after 2015 the likes of Jawar Mohammed have [Federalist side] have brought the issue of Hagos and Teklay, which is definitely the names of Tegaru. These elites officially joined the frame and blame game. These have cost the lives of hundreds of innocent Tegaru, thousands have displaced from places which they lived for generations, and robbed their property. Upheavals have been everywhere and, of course, persisting.

After all the violence, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power on March 2018. It does not took him time to frame and blame Tegaru for every failure happened in the country. He does not even felt ashamed when he say, “the last 27 years were dark times” to Ethiopia.  Bear in mind that he was reared by the regime and was one of the top officials of the FDRE. However, he was too quick to point his fingers to Tigrai and Tegaru. He even undermined the two most hopeful projects to Ethiopia, the GERD and METEC as a continuation of the frame and blame the victim, particularly, Tegaru. Nobody can’t imagine the ongoing attack on Tigrai. Because of their trip to Tigrai, Ethiopians and foreign nationals [Chinese higher officials] were being framed and blamed. All the above examples created a fertile atmosphere and served as a prerequisite in changing the perception of the [layman] majority. Furthermore, the extensive work that has been done on negativity bias couldn’t be ignored. It is pity that their rhetoric have influenced millions to create their own perception and become suspicious on Tegaru. 

What is confusing is that, however, nobody at least non-Tegaru, do not understood what the final goal of the frame and blame game could be!

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If the interest is taking over the political power, they already did it. Probably, re-claiming historical and psychological dominance through destroying the Tegaru’s legacy they thought could be their ultimate objective, which is definitely unattainable. Even though there are several evidences to prove this, I will explain few points about the recent controversial interview of Mr. Alemayehu Tegenu with the government sponsored Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA) and thoughtless statement of Mr. Shimelis Abdissa the president of Oromia Regional State about the GERD.

The global community is aware that the GERD was started almost 9 years ago under the premiership of the world-class leader PM Meles Zenawi. With the capacity of 6000+ MW and the participation of indigenous METEC, it reached nearly 70% when PM Abiy came to power. However, both METEC and GERD were the first target probably they thought they are Tegaru’s legacy. The Ethiopian government officially declared the GERD was constructed for political consumption and destroyed the hope of 100+ million people. Bear in mind that, even Egypt never said this in the earlier years. Leaving the political and technical part aside, the GERD capacity was condensed by 1000+ MW and the media have propagated negative issues (100%) about the GERD if there was nothing positive to mention about it. PM Abiy positively mentioned the then EPRDF only once in the parliament in relation to GERD. This clearly shows the progressive attack on the previous legacy of EPRDF presumably to undermine Tegaru’s legacy. I am glad EPRDF is destroyed!

As a continuation, Shimelis Abdissa recently tried to give the credit of starting the GERD to Mr. Girma Biru and Alemayehu Tegene former EPRDF higher officials. Mr. Alemayehu, the Minister who was leading the GERD since Abiy come to power, is even an Ambassador under the current government. Intentionally, Mr. Shimelis never mentioned the world-class leader PM Meles Zenawi, the exceptional Engineer Simegnew Bekele, Dr. Debretsion Gebremicael and others. I think he thought history would forget them because he never mentioned them.  However, he was not shy to pick the sword of Tegaru that destroyed Egyptians in Dogali and She’at’it to show his group is capable of defeating Egyptians. What a shame! He could have read few history books about the patriotism and Leadership of Tegaru such as Sihul Micael, Emp. Yohannes, the only African General Alula Aba Nega, PM Meles Zenawi, and Dr. Tedros, which is written boldly. I could have mentioned thousands but it is waste of time. 

The interview of long time higher official, Mr. Alemayehu Tegenu, is an extension of the current Ethiopian government and Mr. Shimeles to frame and blame Tegaru [the victim]. While he was reporting the exceptional progress of the GERD regularly as a Minister, he never had blamed a single official in relation to the GERD. He has been appreciating every GERD progress. 

Now, in his empty talk he framed and blamed the current Tigrai president Dr. Debretsion Gebremicael and former Board of the GERD. He is not shy of destroying his own reports and press briefings. What a shame! Poor Ambassador! He could not stand on his own. The ugly side is nevertheless he is representing Ethiopia as an Ambassador. I do not think nobody is going to trust him as a person, Ambassador, or former high rank government official. Probably, 97% of the current government [Ethiopian] officials have been part of the then EPRDF regime including the prime minster. Except the rhetoric, nothing has been changed. However, framing and blaming Tegaru is persisting and I think it won’t stop shortly provided that they are parasites of this rhetoric. 

According to the blame barometer by Hood et al.[1] the level of framing and blaming Tegaru these days is very stormy. That is, overwhelmingly negative points given saturation coverage by all actors (government officials and the media) with expectations of continuance (for example PM Abiy started demolishing the GERD, Mr. Shimelis and Alemayehu continued it even during the worst time); habitual opponents overshadowed by critics drawn from normal loyalists and payroll supporters; and a call for action ( PM Abiy, Mr. Awollo Abdi, the current government spokesman Mr. Nigusu Tilahun and others repeatedly woofed) on Tigrai. The fugitive Tegaru PP members are also echoing the call for action on Tigrai.


My Message

Ethiopia remained Ethiopia due to the enduring wisdom of Tigrai. If PM Abiy Ahmed’s government is working for Ethiopia and Ethiopians, he should at least try to his capacity to stop framing and blaming Tegaru. If he failed to do so and the elite follow his footsteps, I do not think the outcome would be pleasant for our country.     


[1] Hood, C., Jennings, W., Dixon, R., Hogwood, B., & Beeston, C. (2009). Testing times: Exploring staged responses and the impact of blame management strategies in two examination fiasco cases. European Journal of Political Research, 48(6), 695–722.

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