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Positioning Post-War Tigray & Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa!

 

Positioning Post-War Tigray & Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa!

 

Ermias Hailu / October 30, 2021

 

(1)      For Anyone Who Forgets Tigrayans are the Corner Stone of Ethiopia!

 

The Persian religious leader Mani (who died in 274 A.D.) regarded the Axumite Empire as one of the four great powers of his time, alongside Persia (Iran), Rome and China. King Ezana’s stone inscription from around 300 A.D., still standing in Axum, also confirms Mani’s claim about the Axumite Empire. In the inscription, Ezana stated that “he was the king of Axumites, and Himyarite’s (Yemen & part of Saudi Arabia), and of Raeidan and Ethiopians, and Sabaites (South Arabia) and of Silee, and of Tiamo and Bogaities (Beja) and Kasu (Kush)”. Though there are various assumptions and contrasting historical evidence regarding to the origins of the Axumite civilization, one can reasonably assume that it was highland indigenous black African civilization crossbreed with Middle East civilizations of its time. The Empire of Axum at its height extended across most of the present-day Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, Yemen, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. The Axumite Empire was destroyed by the internal revolt led by Yodit in the 10th century, following to its long decline starting the 7th century due to the expansion of the Persian Empire to its territories and control of trade routes and the rise of Islam.

Edward Gibbon in his 18th-century book titled “The decline and fall of the Roman Empire” stated, “encompassed on all sides by their enemies, the Ethiopians slept near a thousand years, forgetful of the world, by whom they were forgotten”. Though the medieval to 20th century Ethiopian kingdoms such as Lasta, Showa, Gondar and Tigray were direct descendants of the Axumite Empire, none of them was able to awaken the Empire from its deep sleep and reposition it to its former glory.

When the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi came with the motto of ትልቅ ነበርን ትልቅ እንሆናለንthe ትልቅ ነበርን undoubtedly refers to the Axumite Empire. It is my strong belief that, PM Meles’s grand vision and strong conviction of Renaissance of Ethiopia and Africa was inspired and shaped by the former glory and success of the Axumite Empire as well us what he experienced during the armed struggle on the capability of the Tigrayans to fight and win their enemies against all odds whether man made or natural disasters. I think PM Meles had discovered during the armed struggle that the Axumite Empire’s indomitability and spirit of wisdom, bravery, justice, determination, technological, social, economic, and political advancement are still alive in each Tigrayan DNA, whether educated or uneducated or poor or rich. PM Meles on one of his famous speeches stated about the Tigrayan people እንኻእ ታባኻትኩም ተፈጠርና፥እንኻእ አማእዲና እናረኤና ንቐንኧልኩም አይኮና”. The bravery inherited from the Axumites was at work when PM Meles, launched the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), in Guba Benishangul Gumz, on April 02, 2011, even though he may had known very well that it may cost him his life.

The recent resurrection of TPLF/TDF after it was declared dead and buried by the Ethiopian government and Isaias army could only be explained by the intervention of the God and the indomitable culture inherited by the Tigrayans from the Axumites.

 The following are few of the unique contributions of the Axumites and their direct descendants the Tigrayans (including the Tigrayans in Eritrea) which are named as Tigray-Tigrinya people that played unique role in technology, trade, religion, and philosophy which have shaped the Horn of Africa and impacted the world.

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-        The Obelisks in Axum are unique (different to Egyptian Obelisks) in design with futuristic high-rise building architecture

-        Alphabets, literature, and culture that is being used throughout Ethiopia and Eritrea

-        The 1st nation on earth to engrave the Christian cross on its coin

-        The keepers of the only and the original Arch of Covenant which was/will be the center of worship of the Jewish people

-        Among the top three countries in the world that made Christianity as their state religion at the beginning of the 4th century.

-        The first country in the world to host Muslims (1st Hijra) which established the foundation for the peaceful co-existence of Muslims and Christians in Ethiopia

-        The innovators of the unique Christian worship of God (Yaredawi Zema)

-        The world-famous Christian reformer Aba Estifanous of the 15th century, who started his reformistic work about 100 years ahead of the German reformer Martin Luther. Aba Estifanos was savagely and cruelly killed by Emperor Zara Yaqoob in Debre-Berhan Shewa.

-        The world-famous philosopher Zera Yacob of the 17th century, who was denounced by Emperor Susenyos (1607-1632) in Gondar

-        The defeat of the Colonizers (including Italy which is the descendant of the Roman Empire) at Kuatit, Sahati, Gurae, Gundet, Dogali and Adwa. It is obvious that Adwa’s victory was a shared victory of all Ethiopians, but the determinant role was played by the Tigrayan General Alula and his intelligence officer Bashai Awalom. The victory of Adwa resonated throughout the world and inspired the subsequent decolonization of the world.

-        Meles Zenawi and his team designed and implemented the developmental state model, to the context of Ethiopia, which illuminated a light of hope at the end of the tunnel and brought millions of people out of poverty and positioned Ethiopia among the top fast-growing economies in the world. Such model is expected to be followed by other African countries in the years to come.

-        Ethiopian Airlines was given a rebirth about 20 years ago under TPLF/EPRDF leadership which transformed the airline from highly vulnerable niche airline to global airline which has become number one in Africa and a success model for African countries.

-        The Tigrayans have been recently savagely and cruelly invaded by highly disproportionate hundreds of thousands of well-equipped armies of their own brothers (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia) and, United Arab Emirates state of the art attack drones which they have successfully defended and defeated. This achievement a lesson to the world on how a united, organized people with a just cause, the right strategy and leadership, though poorly equipped, could defeat and prevail against all the odds. It is also amazing to see how Tigray has humanly treated thousands of prisoners of war when most have committed barbaric crimes against the defenseless Tigrayan civilians which is like how Emperor Ezana treated his war subjects some 1700 years ago.

 

(2)      The Spiritual Aspects of Tigray, Ethiopia, and the Horn of Africa

(2.1) The Spiritual Destiny of the Descendants of Axumite Empire

        The spiritual destiny of the Axumite Empire is described in the bible in Isiah Chapter 18. Without going to the controversial and vague details, Isiah Chapter 18 verse 2 reads ‘’a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech whose land is divided by rivers (ረጃጅምና ቈዳው ወደ ለሰለሰ፣ከቅርብም ከሩቅም ወደሚፈራ ሕዝብ፣ኀያልና ቋንቋው ወደማይገባ፣ወንዞች ምድሩን ወደሚከፍሉት)”. Isaias chapter 18 illustrates the rise (verse 1 to 3), the fall and decay (verse 4 to 6) & and again the rise (verse 7) of the predecessor of Axumite Empire. At the end of verse 7 it is written that gifts will be brought to the Mount Zion (i.e., Jerusalem) to the Lord almighty (በዚያን ጊዜ ለሰራዊት ጌታ ለእግዚአብሔር፣ረጃጅምና ቈዳው ከለሰለሰ፣ ከቅርብም ከሩቅም ከሚፈራ ሕዝብ፣ኀያልና ቋንቋው ከማይገባ፣ወንዞችም ምድሩን ከሚከፍሉት መንግሥት፣ገጸ በረከት ይመጣለታል፤ ገጸ በረከቱም የሚመጣለት የሰራዊት ጌታ እግዚአብሔር ስም ወዳለበት ወደ ጽዮን ተራራ ነው)

         I am very sure that one of the gifts will be the Ark of Covenant from Axum with other material gifts (gold, precious stones etc.). Other gifts could be mighty men of God that will rise and win multitude of souls from the whole world to the Kingdom of God from the core descendants of the Axumite Empire, from the Tigray-Tigrigna people as well as the rest of Ethiopia. According to Isaiah 18 verse 7 and my own conviction, just as Israel was reborn in 1948 after about 2000 years absence, the Axumite Empire shall be reborn in the next 20 to 30 years (about 100 years after the rebirth of Israel and after more than 1000 years of its disintegration).

(2.2) The Ark of Covenant–A Blessing and Curse for the Axumite Empire and its descendants

Regarding how the ark of Covenant was brought to Axum the following are the main two theories:

-        According to the Kebra Negast, the Ark of Covenant was stolen from the temple by Menelik I, with divine assistance. However, I do not understand the need for divine assistance to steal someone’s property!

-        Graham Hancock in his 1992 book titled “The Sign and the Seal”, illustrated that the Ark of Covenant may had come via Egypt to Tana Lake by the Bete Israels’ but was later taken by force by the Axumites, probably during war among the two. He also tried to prove that the Ark of covenant was in the Jews Temple in Jerusalem for some hundred years later than claimed by the Kebra Negast that it was transferred to Axum.

Without going to the argument about which of the above theories is correct, one common fact is that the Ark of Covenant was stolen or forcibly taken from the Jews by the Axumites. 1st Samuel 4: 1-10 of the Bible states, the Ark of Covenant was captured by the Philistines after defeating the Israelites’ army. 1st Samuel 5 and 6 describe how God sent devastating punishment to Philistines for capturing the Ark of Covenant and how they were forced to return it, with gifts, to its rightful owners, the Israelites. The writer of this article has strong conviction that the fall of the Axumite Empire and the suffering and persecution of its descendants, the Tigrayans, until today are a punishment by God for stealing and hiding the Ark of Covenant. The immediate solution to come out of the curse is repentance and return of the Ark of Covenant with gifts (Isaiah 18:7) to the Jews when they are ready after building the third temple, which could happen soon. There is also no biblical foundation for hiding the Arc of Covenant from the public view (Matthew 5:14-15) and the Tigray Orthodox Church must display it to be visited by the whole world as a testimony that the word of God is true. As an information, I had a chance of meeting the guardian of the Arc of Covenant in Axum Zion Church a couple of years ago. I asked him, “What will be the church’s reply if Israel asks for the return of the Arc of the covenant to Israel”. He answered, “that depends on the will of God, He was the one who gave us to guard it and when God wants to take it back to is owners, we have to give it”, which I completely agree!

 

(2.3) Who are the descendants of the Axumite Empire?

To answer this question in a simplified way, I referred to Ezana’s stone inscription mentioned above, and all the people mentioned in that inscription are its descendants. All existing nations and nationalities of Ethiopia, all citizens of Horn Africa, Sudan, Yemen, Southern Saudi Arabia, and Southern Egypt are stakeholders to the Axumite Empire. Regarding which people of Ethiopia were the core part of the Axumite Empire there is obviously a competition between Tigrayan elites and Amhara elites. In my view considering the historical mix of people between North and South Ethiopia both Tigrayans and Amharas could claim to be the core of the Axumite Empire and work together for its rebirth. Its is important to note that both the old and new churches in the Axum, the Church of our Lady Mary of Zion, were rebuilt by Amhara kings.

(3)      Past Failed Efforts to revive the Axumite Empire

I believe all post Axumite Empire Christian Kings of Ethiopia got their inspiration from the Axumite Empire. Even Ahmad ibn Ibrahim (Gran Ahmed) also envisioned and worked to build Bahir Dar centered Horn of Africa Islamic Empire.

When Emperor Tewodros wrote a letter to Queen Victoria about his readiness to free Jerusalem, the spirit of the Axumite Empire worked through him.

Emperor Yohannes envisioned to revive the Axumite Empire centered at its original location. He assigned King Menelik of Shewa and King Tekle Haymanot of Gojjam to expand South, East and West to widen the territories of the Empire. Emperor Menelik effectively and efficiently expanded to the south of Ethiopia but gave the present-day Eritrea to Italy. Emperor Haile Selassie reclaimed Eritrea, but the Military Government Derg lost it with the blessing of TPLF/EPRDF. PM Meles envisioned and worked hard to revive the Axumite Empire centered out of its original location in Addis Ababa but that could not be sustained (lesson to the new TPLF). President Isaias dreamed to revive the Axumite Empire centered at the Italian built city of Asmara but failed (He started the 1998 and instigated and participated in the recent war with that vision). Dr. Abiy Ahmed has also claimed he will build a strong Ethiopia founded on the biggest ethnic group of Ethiopia, the Oromos. Unfortunately, his love affairs with Isaias have taken him down to unexpected path and his crimes could cause him to prematurely loose his power and face international Criminal Court (ICC).

 

(4)      Who is responsible for the Rebirth of the Axumite Empire (I re-named it as “Confederated Ethiopia”?

(4.1) Why I believe it could be named as “Federated/Confederated Ethiopia”

Ethiopia is first mentioned in one of Ezana's stone inscriptions from the 4th century (the stone is still standing in Axum). In that inscription, Ethiopia is mentioned as one of the regions that Ezana was governing as King of Kings. The Book of Axum, which was compiled in early 14 or 15 centuries, also mentions/claims that the name of Ethiopia is derived from Itiyopp'is, the son of the Biblical Cush who established the Kingdom Axum’s first capital, Mazeber. Therefore, there is historical evidence that connects the name “Ethiopia” with Axum, and it can be retained as a well-established brand name. Therefore, the best strategy that meets the aspiration of Tigrayans without affecting the territorial integrity of Ethiopia is to transfer the power base to Tigray – Axum while retaining the name Ethiopia. Those regions that are willing to form the new Ethiopia (de facto Tigray) could be integrated with it, based on Federation or Confederation.

 

 

(4.2) Tigray- Amhara Alliance

Despite the ongoing ugly civil war and infighting and rivalry between the Tigrayan and Amhara politicians, elites and activists, the people of Tigray and Amhara have a strong cultural and religious bond and strategic alliance that no one can damage. These two people are the pioneers of Ethiopia; they have shared history, culture, and values. The recent misunderstanding among these people is based on an ill-intended intensive, divisive and hate propaganda by Egypt and Isaias funded politicians and media out lets who have sold out their country. The border issue is not unique to Tigray and Amhara, as the same problem exists among all other regional governments. It was intentionally hijacked, propagated and exploited to instigate emotionally charged hate and conflict among Tigrayans and Amharas, to divide Ethiopians and to weaken Ethiopia, which was effectively implemented. Abiy has also irresponsibly played a major role in instigating the ongoing civil war between Tigray and Amhara as a strategy of divide and rule to prolong his stay in power. Time for Tigray and Amhara elites to say enough is enough to Abiy and work for the reconciliation of the two people. As the existing misunderstanding is going to be resolved through time, it is my strong believe that these two people will work hand in hand for the rebirth of the Federated/Confederated Ethiopia.

 

(4.3) Tigray-Oromia/Afar/Somalia /Sidama/ Welayta/Agew/Kimant … etc. Alliance

The Oromos and Tigrayans have shared vision with respect the future structure of Ethiopia and both would like to have autonomous administration and a decentralized and federated or confederated Ethiopia. The alliance between Oromos and Tigrayans could be strategic and a major stabilizing factor for the whole Ethiopia and Horn of Africa. As Amhara’s, Oromos and Tigrayans shoulder the leadership responsibility to shape the future of Ethiopia, support from other Ethiopians is very crucial for their success. Same shared vision and alliance could be established with Afar, Somalia, Sidama, Welayta, Agew, Kimant and other nations and nationalities of Ethiopia.

 

(4.4) TPLF and the Prosperity Party (PP)

(4.4.1) Anti-Tigrayanism authored by Isaias and implemented by Abiy  is like Hitler’s Anti-Semitism

 Anti-Semitism has been in existence since the birth of Israel and the Jewish people have been persecuted, repeatedly invaded, and scattered worldwide throughout history. However, it was Hitler who created a storm of Anti-Semitic violence not only in Germany but inspired anti-Jewish movements throughout Europe and the world. Hitler and his followers regarded Jews not only as a subhuman race but as dangerous cancer that would destroy the German people, which must be eradicated from the human race. In Nazi ideology, the problems they perceive in Jews were to be biological and their elimination was essential to the purification and even to the salivation of the German people. Similarly, the traces of anti-Tigrayanism have been existing in Ethiopia and Eritrea for some time in latent form. The phrases like " ትግሬ፥ገዳይ", "ትግሬ፥አንበጣ፥ቆርጣሚ", " Komal Agame", "ቅማላም፥ትግሬ", "ትግሬ፥አሲድ፥እግር ", "ድሀ፥ ትግሬ፥" etc. have been silently spoken within the society. Even though Mengistu Hailemariam had a slip of tongue such as " ለጠመኔ፥መግዣ፥የሚሆን፥ገንዘብ፥እንኻ፥የላቸውም፤" , "ድሆች፥የምንባለው፥በነሱ፥ምክንያት፥ነው፥" , "የናት፥ጡት፥ነካሾች፥" " ባንዳ፥" , "አስገንጣይ፥" etc., he was very careful not to create a full scale Anti-Tigrayanism sentiment, during  his time. However Abiy, in  compliance with Isaias and the expansionist Amhara elites directives, has been trying to create Anti-Tigrayanism sentiment throughout the society using derogative words such as "የቀን፥ጅቦች፥", "ፀጉረ፥ልውጥ፥" , " ሌቦች፥" ," ካንሰር፥, " አረም፥" "እንቦጭ and producing highly sensational several documentaries and speeches that were aimed to blackmail and demonize Tigrayans such as "the torturers were Tigrigna Tenagari" , " the killing was arranged by Tigrigna tenagari Oromo", ' "the Tigrayan population attacked our army" etc... etc . Over all Abiy and his followers have been using full blown Anti-Tigrayanism that covers political, economic, religious, nationalistic and racial aspects as illustrated below:

Political Anti-Tigrayanism- Politically motivated collective permanent and temporary layoff of Tigrayans from government offices and organizations, demotions, targeted arrest , killings, travel ban etc.

Economic Anti-Tigrayanism: Blockage of banks, transport, communication, aid, famine as a weapon of war, closure of Tigrayan businesses for months without any valid reason


Religious Anti-Tigrayanism: Worshipers of dragon(Zendo), Setan, Non-believers. More evil than Setan etc.
Nationalistic Anti-Tigrayanism: Ager Afrash, Kehadi, Banda, Yenat Tut Nekash etc

Racial Anti-Tigrayanism: Leboch, Cancer, Weed, Egire Acid(destructive),banda, Yemaitamenu , ethnic profiling based displacement, arrest, rape, torture, and killing e.t.c

 

(4.4.2) Time for Abiy to be removed from power and face justice

Unfortunately, the genocide, war crime, destruction and lootings that have been committed in Tigray by the Ethiopian army, Amhara special forces/militia and Eritrean army. In addition, the ongoing indiscriminate bombing of Tigray using aircraft and drone, the bloody and ugly civil war between Amhara and Tigray that has been instigated by Abiy and his allies and the ongoing ethnic profiling and persecution of Tigrayans throughout Ethiopia, under the watch of PM Abiy has complicated the reconciliation of TPLF and PP and Abiy’s political future. Furthermore, the blockage of food aid to Tigray and the subsequent death of many people from hunger, which is a well-established violation of human rights and war crime, related to use of famine as a weapon of war which is directly attributed to Abiy makes any reconciliation hope, impossible. Since, Abiy has destroyed all opportunities and bridges for the reconciliation with TPLF and others, he must be removed from power and face justice and the PP which was formulated illegally (it was stolen from TPLF) must be dissolved. TPLF and its allies must reestablish a new coalition that replaces the Prosperity Party and brings TPLF to the center of the new Ethiopian government.

 

(5) Shifting the Center of Gravity of Geopolitics and Economy of the Horn of Africa to Axum

Elites of Tigray (prior to the war) proposed the following various strategies to keep or further enhance Tigray’s autonomy and build a prosperous Tigray

-        An independent Tigray modelled after Israel (Tegadalai Mehari Yohannes, Mekelle University Lecturer)

-        A de facto State (Dr. Mehari Taddele, A prominent Scholar)

-        Confederation with Ethiopia (Professor Medhane Tadesse Lecturer)

-        Democratized Strong Tigray as Part of Ethiopia (Tigray Prosperity Party members)

-        Autonomous Tigray as part of Ethiopia/ If not possible Independent Tigray (Tegadalai Dr. General Teklebirhan)

In my view all the above options could be possible, but we need to identify the one that meets the aspirations of the Tigray people and is most feasible and strategically rewarding path without disintegrating Ethiopia. Generations of Tigrayans and all other Ethiopians have died and invested all their life for the territorial integrity and development of Ethiopia, and it is my strong conviction and advice to all key stakeholders including TPLF to work toward a new structure that maintains or expands the existing territory of Ethiopia.

 

The following are three possible paths Tigray may have to take for its future:

 

Option 1: Keep existing Federal Ethiopia as is with Tigray as one of the Federal states, but move the seat of the federal government to Mekelle immediately and to Axum within 5 years

This option does not meet the aspiration of those Tigrayans and Oromos that are determined to establish sovereign Tigray and Oromia states, but it is the low-risk path to sustain the territorial integrity of Ethiopia. More empowerment of the Federal states, improved democracy and, establishing a culture of zero tolerance and effective controlling system for corruption may help for this structure to be acceptable by the Ethiopian people.

 

Option 2: Establishment of a “Federated/Confederated Ethiopia” with Axum as a capital city.

-        As a transition, keep existing Federal Ethiopia as is with Tigray one of the Federal states, but move the seat of the federal government to Mekelle immediately.

-        Transform Ethiopia to hybrid Federated/Confederated structure within 5 years with its capital city in Axum as follows:

-        By allowing the existing bigger federal states (e.g., Oromia, Amhara and Somalia) to be sovereign, after referendum as per the existing constitution, and willingly integrate them under one union (Confederated Ethiopia modeled after the European Union, to the extent it is relevant), establishing new Kimant and Agew federal states, and keep other existing federal states (Tigray as is, forming a hybrid of Federated/Confederated/ Ethiopia. Thinking only about the independence of Tigray and ignoring the rest of Ethiopia is same as throwing the baby with the bathwater and TPLF must lead and allocate the required resources for the formation of the new Ethiopia. The Confederated Ethiopia could progressively include willing countries in the Horn of Africa such as Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Djibouti.

-        Thirty years ago, TPLF/EPRDF decided to govern Ethiopia from Addis Ababa, Menelik palace. That decision separated TPLF from its home base Tigray, marginalized Tigray from development and we all remember how that worked against TPLF during the Oromia riots. The physical separation of TPLF from its home base also made TPLF weak since it was not replenishing the energy it needed from the Tigray people. Based on the historical role  Axum  played  as a corner stone of  Ethiopia  and knowing the fact that TPLF has to be always within the Tigray people to be effective in a sustainable manner, it is mandatory that the new Federated/Confederated Ethiopia that will be established under the leadership TPLF to have its head offices established in the historic city of Axum (This is similar to Brussels, the EU has no official Capital  but Brussels hosts the official seats of various arms of the European Union). Addis Ababa must be a “Federal State” within the Federated/Confederated Ethiopia and continue as a political, diplomatic, and commercial center and metropolitan diversified city serving all the citizens of the Federated/Confederated Ethiopia in an equitable manner without any special claim by Oromos or Amharas. The capital city for the possible new sovereign Oromia (that may be established and confederated with Ethiopia) to be located out of Addis Ababa.

o   Tigray may not declare independence since it can indirectly assure its sovereignty from the Federal Ethiopia. However, Oromia, Amhara, Sidama and Somalia could be allowed to be independent states as per the constitution and willingly confederate with Ethiopia (de facto Tigray). Smaller regions such as Afar, Gambelia, Benishangul-Gumz, Welayta, other Southern people, Agew and Kimant could be part of the Federal States as part of the Hybrid Federal/Confederated Ethiopia anchored in Tigray.

o   Tigray will ultimately become the political/democratic, cultural, economic and a technology center of the Horn of Africa within the next 20 to 30 years and the anchor and pillar of the Federated/Confederated Ethiopia. Tigray as the nucleus of the new Ethiopia will always directly or indirectly control the army and will have a MOSSAD like intelligence unit that safeguards Tigrayans and federal Ethiopia interests both in Tigray and elsewhere. The confederation could have a fully integrated & liberalized boundary, economy, monetary policy and common currency & passport and cross utilization and joint development of strategic infrastructure like electric power, multimodal transportation, education, etc. Since Oromos have dream of establishing a sovereign state, Tigray and Oromia could play the leading role in transforming Federal Ethiopia to Federated/Confederated Ethiopia.

     Option 3: Independent Tigray with Axum as a capital city.

-         If the above Options 1 and 2 are not possible, the fallback scenario is the establishment of an independent Tigray legally as per the existing constitution and get recognition by United Nations through the sponsorship of post–Isaias Eritrea or Ethiopia. Independent Tigray could establish of a confederation with Eritrea to build critical mass which could ultimately evolve to Confederated Ethiopia by integrating additional willing states in the Horn of Africa. This option will be more challenging to achieve as the international community and the United Nations may not support it as it affects the territorial integrity of the existing Ethiopia. A small land locked Tigray surrounded by genocidal neighbors may also not be secured and viable to realize its vision in a sustainable manner. All the investment and sacrifice in blood and sweat our ancestors invested in the present Ethiopia including the investment by TPLF and Tigrayans over the last three decades could also be wasted.

(6)              The Role of the Tigrayan government on the Rebirth of the “Confederated Ethiopia”

TDF, OLA and allied federalist forces to continue the military advancement toward Addis Ababa and control the political, security and military of the Ethiopian government and reestablish law and order and corruption intolerant governance system within the whole Ethiopia.

Establish a transitional government with key stakeholders, representing the cross section of Ethiopia, that transitions Ethiopia to confederated Ethiopia within 5 years as stated above. A Tigrayan must lead the Transition government to avoid risk of betrayal same to what Abiy has done.

TPLF must not lose the opportunity (must be bold, tough, and assertive in consideration of the betrayal it experienced by the very states it helped to establish and bring out from marginalization) to incorporate all lost lands that used to be Tigrayan in Eritrea and Amhara. Considering the possibility of creating a joint “Tigray and Afar sovereign” state could be also considered if agreed by both parties.

-Work to make Ethiopian Airlines to build its 2nd hub in Axum and integrate Axum by national and international rail and highway with the central Ethiopia, Mekelle, Eritrea and Sudan.

-Facilitate for the Orthodox church head office to move to Axum

- Move FANA & WALTA immediately to Axum and EBC and Ethiopian Radio to follow.

 

(7) Urgent Security related issues that require immediate actions

(7.1) The Eritrea issue

-      The Algiers agreement with Eritrea was misguided and was a mistake. It should be the 1st stupid post war peace agreement in the world because “a defeated aggressor was appeased as if it was the victor”. TPLF and EPRDF have repetitively failed Ethiopians about Eritrea as illustrated below:

(i) The TPLF recognized the Eritrean case as colonial issue denying thousands of years history of Ethiopia

(ii) EPRDF supported the secession of Eritrea from Ethiopia without securing the Assab port and reduced Ethiopia to be the most populated country on earth without seaport

(iii) Disgracefully ended the costly border war in the year 2000 with huge cost to Ethiopia but no gain (I feel very angry about those Ethiopian soldiers who died during the hasty and unorderly withdrawal from Eritrea after the defeat of Eritrea)

(iv) Signed the most stupid post war agreement which did not bring peace and caused major economic, security damage to Ethiopia particularly to the people of Tigray

Abiy also made more grave and strategic mistakes over the last three years and allowed Isaias to neo-colonize Ethiopia and he himself has become Isaias’s puppet. Abiy allowed Isaias to destroy Tigray and he handed over the sovereignty of Ethiopia including its security and military. The problem with Eritrea could only be resolved through surgical operation to remove Isaias from power. Therefore, TDF needs to march to Eritrea and remove Isaias from power and arrest him and bring him to justice for all crimes he committed on the Tigray and the Ethiopian people. Eritrea could be without government for some time, but TDF affiliated Eritrean forces must take responsibility to maintain law and order. Beware of Egypt could try to install its own puppet government!

The Eritrean people want to be economically, culturally, and historically to be integrated with Ethiopia while maintaining their sovereignty. Same is also true for Tigrayans/ Ethiopians. Hence, there should be a liberalized border, trade, and job market between the two countries with the citizens of the two nations benefit in equitable manner and Ethiopia using the ports of Eritrea. TPLF must also consider taking possession of the strip of land in Eritrea from Assab/Djibouti border to the historical Axumite port Adulis, securing ports both to Tigray and Afar/Ethiopia as a strategic penalty for the tens of billions of dollars damage and the genocidal and destructive war crime Eritrea committed against Tigray and Ethiopia.

 

 

(7.2) Reconciliation among other warring parties and political parties

The Ethiopian Transition government must prepare various forums for the involvement of other warring parties and political parties for participation in the change process, reconciliation, and peace. Give special emphasis to Amhara and Oromia as risks of civil war are imminent. Immediate negotiation with OLA and Amhara forces and addressing their request is key to deny Egypt any foot hold to further destabilize Ethiopia

 

(7.3) Egypt and the water issue: Negotiate with Egypt but prepare for war

The water issue has been a major driver of instability both in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. Egypt with the support of its foot soldier Isaias, has been behind the instabilities Ethiopia faced over the last decade and knowing that its efforts to get a "zero sum agreement on water share" may be foiled, if TPLF led government comes to power, it could start an immediate war using Sudan or directly against Ethiopia. It could also use the USA to pressurize Abiy to sign the water share agreement on the condition that the USA will save him from losing his power at the expense of TPLF. Hence, TPLF/ the new government must be ready to deal with this threat from Egypt/USA. The new government also needs to arrange a sort of security alliance with USA and Israel.

 

However, the zero-sum game that has been played by Egypt to ensure its water security over the years has become unsustainable, out of dated and irrelevant for the following reasons: 

*      Creating jobs and feeding the rapidly growing population in the Horn of Africa and in the countries of the Nile Basin demands governments to generate power for industrialization and to transform traditional farming to mechanized irrigated farming to produce sufficient food to ensure food security which requires more consumption of water. The domestic consumption of water also increases in proportion to the population growth. 

- The Aswan High dam only stores one-year flow of the Nile water, whereas global warming and other unpredictable climate changes could result in a drought that lasts to the biblical-proportion of up to seven years. In that case, the Aswan dam could dry with unimaginable consequences on Egypt’s growing population and makes Egypt’s current water security strategy null and void.

*      The growing population of Egypt also requires more water than the storage capacity of the High Aswan dam. That necessitates the construction of additional reservoir dams either in Ethiopia and/or Sudan (building an additional dam in Egypt is not practical). Egyptians are also considering other sources of water such us linking the Congo River with the White Nile and digging the Jonglei Canal in South Sudan which are good ideas but difficult to implement. If Egypt succeeds to dig the Jonglei Canal, the construction of dams on the Abay river is mandatory to regulate its flow and avoid flooding of Khartoum,

*      The Aswan high dam which has a water capacity of 130 billion (GERD stores about 74 billion) cubic meter, may be filled by silt within the next 300 to 500 years. How will Egypt manage such unavoidable fact with a huge population that is 95% dependent on the Nile water? In fact, the construction of dams in Ethiopia prolongs the service life of the Aswan dams by reducing accumulation of silt in the Aswan dam.

*      Considering the above points, it is expected that Egyptian water security strategists and the Egyptians government covertly want the construction of more dams (reservoirs) in Ethiopia as far as their so-called historical share is not significantly affected. They also know that dams built in Ethiopia along the deep Abay river canyon (1.4 km deep, more than 40 km wide and about 400 km long) could store thousands of billions cubic meter in water volume and could only be mainly used for hydroelectric power generation with lower evaporation loss and lower construction cost per volume. Therefore, instead of fighting for the 74 billion Cubic meter the GERD stores, discussing and negotiating about building additional mega dams that could generate more power and at same time be used as a “water bank” for the three countries that could store hundreds of millions of cubic meters in a longer period could solve the problem in a strategic and peaceful manner. Egypt and Sudan could help Ethiopia in reforestation of the Ethiopian Highlands to increase rainfall and the water discharge in the Abay river.

*      Therefore, since Egypt wants more dams to be built in Ethiopia to use it as water reservoir, agree a commercial agreement with Egypt and Sudan that allows both countries to jointly build more dams on the Abay gorge and buy water from Ethiopia (after using their equitable share).

Least but not last, I would like to declare my strong conviction that God has given a second chance for TPLF to be the “Bride Groom” of the Horn Africa this time operating from its historic home base Axum and hope its shall not be only focused on Tigray but work with various stakeholders to shape Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa and beyond as our Axumite ancestors did.

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