Ethiopia has been in constant turmoil since a group of military men called Derg took power in 1974. Derg was replaced by the separatist anti-Ethiopia entity, TPLF, about 30 years ago, and since then, the agony of the Ethiopian people has taken a different direction and increased even more. The situation being unbearable, TPLF was forced to abdicate power to a more inclusive group through parliamentarian procedures in 2018. Rejecting this, TPLF has resorted to rebellion, violence and terrorism. In return, the Ethiopian government has designated TPLF as a terrorist organization.
Reflecting back to these unpleasant events in Ethiopian history, I started asking myself how and why this happen. Is there anything special about Ethiopia? Are we not able to learn from our mistakes? Perhaps mentioning some of the factors I think to be contributory may provide useful hints and be helpful to generate further discussion.
I believe that the failure of the His Majesty HS’s government to address the concerns/problems of the Ethiopian people then led to the emergence of Derg. The lack of sufficient and timely awareness or simply negligence of the circumstances on the ground could be the root cause for this.
After taking power, the Derg was not able to bring desired changes in the country for several reasons, and these may include the following.
- being composed of military personnel with no civilian experiences, it had the tendency to be dictatorial and dismissive
- it was influenced/controlled by European socialist/communist countries, including USSR
- It implemented the massacring or driving out of a significant number of the country’s educated people and the youth who were potentially interested in its development and willing to serve in their capacity as loyal citizens.
- It massacred or jailed highly qualified, experienced and patriotic military personnel for one reason or another of personal nature, making it easier for TPLF to capture places in Ethiopia.
- It induced overall antagonism and alienation of the people from the affairs of their own country through various forms of controlling mechanisms
- The Derg leadership left the country for asylum to another county, transferring the power to the next on-line, the TPLF.
- Through the arrangements made by US and the Derg leadership itself, Ethiopia was given to TPLF as a “colony,” despite the fact that TPLF was/is well known to be an anti-Ethiopia organization.
In spite of deceptive promises, TPLF, as expected by most Ethiopians, has not brought any positive changes in the country. All what it has done is to treat the country as a colony. Below are the major indications for that. As some of the TPLF networks and its associates are not removed, they may still be functional in Ethiopia, at least to some degree.
- Rather than identifying itself as part of Ethiopia, TPLF still calls itself as a “liberation” front.
- It has encouraged and supported the proliferation of numerous anti-Ethiopia separatist groups
- It has played a significant role in weakening Ethiopian patriotism and communities that are proud of the country’s heritage and willing to do whatever they can to make it great.
- It has divided the country along ethnic lines and created and promoted animosity among the people of the country (manifested by hatred, genocide, selective poverty, terrorism, displacement, etc.).
- It has weakened the country’s economy, social services, structural networks, military and security system.
- It has promoted ethnic-based corruption, possessed/stolen properties and wealth that belong to the country/people.
- To get return or favor from outsiders and strengthen its control over the Ethiopian people, it has given parts of the country’s real state property to a neighboring country, and it has also made unfair contractual deals, at the expense of the Ethiopian people, regarding businesses primarily with Western countries.
- It has a network of paid international spies and other support systems to facilitate its control and separatist agenda, the pay of which comes from the treasury of the Ethiopian people.
What can be learned from this brief history to keep Ethiopia on the right track? The short answer is to stop repeating the same mistakes, make corrections of the mistakes made and work on tasks that can move the country forward in terms of its unity, integrity and progress. The main points to be considered include the following.
- As TPLF is proved to be the enemy of Ethiopia, it has to betold #NoMore and be
- The current constitution should be discarded and replace by one that reflects the interests of the Ethiopia people, and the unity and integrity of the country, among other details.
- Although the levels of concerns may vary from regime to regime, a common problem associated with the three regimes was lack of serious concern about the needs of all the citizens of the country. Discriminatory concerns and treatments did not work and, if repeated, it will definitely be a failure.
- Good working relationships should be established with foreign nations in line with the need and interests of the Ethiopian people.
- Consistent with respect to the rule of law, the country’s laws in various aspects of governance should apply to all citizens equally.
- Elected government officials should demonstrate that they are elected to offices to serve the people, not themselves and their close associates.
- Citizens should be encouraged to participate in relevant political and social affairs that affect their personal life, community and country.
While some of these recommendations are redundant, others may be missing. I leave the rest of the work to the reader hoping that the article will help motivate to do this. Thank you for reading.
God bless Ethiopia, the birthplace of humankind.