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The enemy of my enemy is my friend - Weakening Tigray: Two men’s dream

The enemy of my enemy is my friend

Weakening Tigray: Two men’s dream

Yilma Debele 05-27-20

 When Prime Minister Abyi and President Issaias signed the Ethio-Erirean peace agreement, it was with a veiled interest. Day by day, this interest manifests itself. Apparently, the two men have one common enemy such as TPLF. The way they handle the issue is increasingly complicating matters not only for the party they categorize as their enemy, but for the entire nation of the Tigray region. If they were truly committed to the peace process, they would speed it up so as to ameliorate the harsh living condition for people living in the border area who shoulder the brunt of this infamous war or stupid war as Western Medias would like to call it.

As a matter of fact, this issue is one of the major factors that put the reform occurred in Ethiopia on jeopardy. The Prime Minster when he took this post, he promised forgiveness and reconciliation; however, some incidents occurred in Ethiopia in the early days of his premiership prove otherwise. 

To begin with, one needs to clean his own house before trying to clean his neighbor’s house.  Prime Minister Abyi should have resolved his problem with TPLF before resolving the Ethio-Eritrean issue. Instead, he exploited his rift with TPLF to add up his own popularity. For instance, as soon as he controlled power what he tried to do was distancing himself from TPLF as if he were not part of the system that ruled Ethiopia for 27 years. In the early days of his premiership going to America in an overt effort to increase his popularity from the diaspora community there, he harshly lambasted the administration before him. Although there could be many gaffes in that administration, it is naïve of one not to raise the economic growth it achieved. Especially, the late Prime Minister (MelesZenawi) who engineered Ethiop’s economic boom could have helped him deflate his rift with TPLF.

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Having a rift with one party is one thing, not caring for a nation you claim to lead is a totally another thing. His administration is utterlyincautious in its attempt attacking TPLF. A case in point is a documentary film shown by the national TV when former prisoners witnessed their torturers were Tigreans. Indeed, this is irresponsible, not because the story is untrue. True or otherwise that documentary was unhelpful in bringing reconciliation to the country. If it were not for the Ethiopian people mindfulness, that show would have a far-reaching consequence. The new administration emerged confessing its wrong doing as a party (EPRDF); therefore, it should take accountability as a whole, yet in that documentary it singles out TPLF to carry all the sins alone, making it innocent.

Prime Minister Abyi obviously holds grudge against TPLF and he doesn’t conceal it at times. That in return is making him unpopular in the Tigray region, but as the Prime Minister of the country it is up to him either to offer that region an option or work with TPLF. This is not about a party; it is about a country. There could be myriads of crimes for which not only TPLF, but also EPRDF should be accounted for., yet this is none of President Isaaias’ business. When President Issaias rumbles in Ethiopia’s affairs there should be something Prime Minister Abyi say. I am utterly baffled. What is Prime Minister Abyi’s take when it comes to Tigray? Tigray is the epic center of Ethiopia. No Ethiopian ruler could claim ruling Ethiopia without Tigray. Therefore, I reiterate, his problem with TPLF is something, but he should show his resolve when Tigray is attacked. Not only on the Eritrean side, but the Tigray region administration is complaining about a blockade of road to Tigray from the amhara region. The Prime Minister was never heard saying a word on this issue.It shouldn’t be that hard for the federal government to resolve this issue, but if the leader of the country feels indifferent about it, it may torn the country apart.


Prime Minister Abyi seems to entail levity where seriousness is expected. For instance, one time in a public gathering he told his audience to pray so that one day President Issaias may walk on the streets of ‘Mekele’ the reginal city of Tigray. Isn’t this kidding? Why should the commoners bother about Issaias’ walking on the street of ‘Mekele’? After all, the Ethio-Eritrean peace agreement had earned him a Nobel Prize. Therefore, it is his responsibility to persuade President Issaias to visit Tigray or else the so-called Ethio-Eritrean peace will be only for a sham.


Why president Issaias accepted Prime Minister Abyi’s peace call needs to be scrutinized as well. On Ethiopia’s side Prime Minster Abyi’s peace offer is not the first one. His predecessors had tried their best to resolve the issue, but President Issaias was defiant. Now the question is why now? What makes him succumb to Abyi? When Prime Minster Abyi call for a peace with Eritrea, President Issaias didn’t respond instantly. He took some time to accept it. Why? He was watching closely what was happening in Ethiopia. Especially, he was engrossed in analyzing Prime MinsteAbyi’s power. I guess these questions were regurgitating in his mind: Does this man have real power? Is he not in TPLF’s influence? Deas TPLF really relinquish its grip of Ethiopian politics? Prime Minister Abyi seemed to answer his questions by denying the achievements the administration before him scored. Apparently, this pleases President Issaias as it was something that discredits his regime and as he believes those achievements was TPLF led.   The nitty-gritty is that President Issaias accepted the peace offer from Prime Minister Abyi once he makes sure the Prime Minster controlled power.  Before that President Issais had been in slumber, Prime Minister Abyi’s coming must have awakened him.

It is really irony, because President Issaiasseems to be indifferent for the peace and Prime Minister Abyi is awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for it. The main problem of this issue is in Tigray, but President Issaias visits other places in Ethiopia avoiding Tigray. I sometimes liken President Issaias with unruly child. For instance, in an apparent attempt to taunt TPLF, he visits the Amhara and other regions of Ethiopia, not to mention his sending a team of musicians to all regions of Ethiopia but Tigray.

President Issaias has more than enough on his own plate and yet he intervenes in Ethiopia’s affairs. He is indeed, a kind of pugnacious person having unfathomable interest. Recently, he appeared in his own national TV and accused TPLF of impeding the peace process. He even dared to blame TPLF for causing all of Ethiopia’s woes. This is where the Ethiopian Prime Minister weakness lays. Whatever his rift may be with TPLF, he should tell PresidentIssaias he shouldn’t intervene in Ethiopia’s sovereignty.

President Issaias signed a peace deal with Prime Minister Abyi, and yet he turns around and accuses TPLF of impeding the peace process. Isn’t this insanity? From this view one can draw conjecture that president Issaias wants destabilizing Ethiopia. Or he wants to become the regional power of the horn of Africa. It is okay if he craves to be regional power, the question is why he should achieve it by destabilizing his neighbors. I think that it is from this thirst that his profound hatred for TPLF emanates as he might believe that it won’t be realized as long as TPLF exists. Whatever President Issaias’ interest may be, his attempt to attack Tigray should be precluded. The Ethiopian Prime minister should demonstrate his resolve in this regard. He must bury the yacht with TPLF and confront and tell President Issaias to step on his break every time he intervenes in Ethiopia’s internal affairs or else the country may torn apart.

This said, some insane people who regard themselves as Ethiopian patriots, unwittingly shower praise to President Issaias depicting him as a hero. What is weird about these people is they claim they were struggling for a democratic Ethiopia, yet here they are praising a man who makes his country the North Korea of Africa. Even weirder, these people forget Issaias doesn’t have a constitution, let alone conducting an election. The Ethiopian prime Minister seemed to lean on their ill-advice. This is really dangerous which he should avoid if he really cares for Ethiopia’s existence as he claims.   



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