by Firehiwot Guluma
Since the EPRDF government came to power, neither the Ethiopian people, nor the Oromo in particular, have lived in peace and tranquility. The last 22 years on power, the regime has boosted itself as a guarantor of the right of nations and nationalities while it brutally imprisoned, tortured and killed those who have demanded for their legitimate right.
TPLF regime is known as Marxist Leninist League of Tigray (MLLT) in early 1970s and as Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) since late 1980s. EPRDF is a pseudo multi-ethnic political party under strict control of the regime. It is in reality the TPLF because it is neither a unitary nor a coalition of political parties. It is an instrument of ethnic political organization that totally adopted political program of the TPLF (Berhe, 2005). It is guided by principles of divide and rule system of colonial governance. The regime is known by its fake names like Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO), South Ethiopian People`s Democratic Front (SEPDF), and etc in Amhara, Oromia, Southern Ethiopia, and other administrations, respectively. These surrogate ethnic political organizations are nothing but they are simply representatives of the regime in other parts of Ethiopia. These fake organizations are unconstitutionally imposed on peoples of Ethiopia through the rule of gun in violation of sovereign rights of civil people, the rights to organize and elect their own political organizations freely. Thus the regime has institutionalized its brutal governance system with insignificant challenges of opposition political forces to its authority. Absolute dictatorship of the regime is demonstrated by human rights violation and provoking ethnic conflicts.
TPLF regime is well experienced in carrying out rebellion. It has been employed the tool during 17 years of civil war to topple the communist military junta under dictatorial leader ship of Colonel Mangiest Haile Mari yam. Rebellion activities of the regime from 1974 to 1991 against communist junta could be justified because there has not been other alternative instrument rather than armed struggle to change brutal practices of totalitarian governance system of Ethiopia. The regime also continued its rebellion activities after 1991 to suppress non-violent political struggle of the civil people. Peaceful struggle of multi nations and nationalities of Ethiopia for justice, peace, freedom, democracy, and stability is constitutionally legitimate right of the people. However the regime has been undermining constitutional civil rights by routinely practicing human rights violation. Its rebellion activities against the civil people include extrajudicial killings, long imprisonment without independent trial, torching, rapping, etc.
Inhuman atrocity of the regime is characterized by (I) Extra-judicial killings and disappearances: 3981 extra-judicial killings and 943 disappearances of civilians suspected of supporting groups opposing the government have been documented since 1994 (OSG, 2008) ; (II) Massacring innocent civilians: Security forces of the regime has been intensively massacring innocent civilians, for example: (i) Murdering of peaceful demonstrators of 92 Oromo civilians on 25th of March 1992 in Eastern Oromia, 67 Oromo civilians on 10th of February and April 1995 in Eastern and Western Oromia, 20 Oromo students in March and April 2002 in western and central Oromia, 105 Oromo civilians in November 2005 to April 2006 in Oromia, and 19 Oromo civilians detainees in February 2007 in Eastern Oromia, 200 peaceful demonstrators following 2005 election; (ii) Murdering of peaceful demonstrators of 200 Sheko and Mezenger civilians on 10th of March 2002 and 46 Sidama civilians on 24th of May 2002 in Southern Ethiopia; (iii) Murdering of 430 Anuak civilians from December 2003 to April 2004 in Gambela; (iv) Murdering of peaceful demonstrators of 193 civilians in August and November 2005 in Addis Ababa town, and (v) Massacre of thousands of innocent Ogaden civilians in Eastern Ethiopia since 1992; (III) Detention without trial: At least 25,000 peoples were in prison in year 2001 in Oromia federal state alone; (IV) Increasing refugees: Thousands are quarterly seeking refuge in neighbouring countries and (V) Suppression of free media: Independent media totally paralyzed because most of independent journalists are languishing in prison and others were forced to escape to abroad in fear of brutal mistreatment (HRW, 2005 and UOSG, 2007).
Human rights watch (HRW) reported dozens of cases of sever abuse by Ethiopian troops in the Ogaden including gang rapes, arson and what it is called “demonstration killing” including hangings and 4 beheadings meant to terrorize the civil people (HRW, 2008a). Many of the Oromos interviewed reported family members had been killed or were missing or “disappeared” for many years under the TPLF regime (AHR, 2009). Human rights violation is one of the instruments effectively institutionalized by the regime to guard its brutal governance system through diffusion of fears into civil societies across each corners of the country.
Provoking ethnic conflicts: Conflict at local level is mainly originated from the dispute seasonally raised by shortage of grazing land and water for livestock in rural areas. The regime either orchestrated or manipulated the conflict to implement its anti-peace strategy. It has been frequently inciting ethnic conflicts between Oromo and Somali, Sidama and Oromo, Oromo and Afar, Amhara and Oromo, Tigre and Oromo, Oromo and Gurage, Gumuz and Oromo, and others to destabilize peaceful relation between different ethnic groups in Ethiopia. Hundreds of innocent civilians have been lost their life and thousands are internally displaced seasonally as a consequence of regime`s manipulation of local conflicts since 1991. Some of the recent reports include the following as example: (I) Conflict of Oromo and Somali in Southern Oromia has killed 135 and internally displaced about 100 thousands of people in August 2005; (II) Conflict of Oromo and Somali in Eastern Oromia has killed 73 and internally displaced about 85 thousands of people in August 2005; (III) Mobilization of Gumuz militia by the regime against Oromo in Western Oromia has killed 400 and internally displaced thousands of Oromo people on May 17 to 19 / 2008; (IV) Conflict of Sidama and Oromo in southern Ethiopia has killed 140 and internally displaced 30 thousands of people from April 2 to 7/2008 and on May 31/2009; and (V) Conflict of Afar and Oromo in Eastern Oromia: has killed 35 and internally displaced thousands of people on May 20 to 29 /2009 (IDMC, 2005; Sudan tribune, 2008; OLF, 2009a to 2009e; and Megalommatis, 2009).
Provoking ethnic conflicts is the second most important instrument that the regime is effectively employing to sustain its brutal governance through destabilization of peaceful and mutual coexistence between different ethnic groups of Ethiopia.