By Amanuel Biedemariam,
In an interview with the Voice of America (VoA) and, during a seminar Ginbot 7 conducted in Sheraton Hotel Arlington, when asked how Ethiopia arming Eritrean opposition groups concerns you? Ginbot 7 Secretary Andargachew Tsige replied, “TPLF is in no position to wage any offensive against Eritrea. I know this to be a fact!”
In a previous article “Ethiopia’s No-Peace-No-War Strategy against Eritrea Backfired” the author explained TPLF’s objectives, strategies and that it failed and backfired. However, the author did not specify why, the strategies failed and its future implications to the region, Ethiopia, Ethiopian opposition groups, Eritrea, the anti-Eritrean elements that operate from Ethiopia to topple the government of Eritrea etc…
Mr. Andargachew stated, “Ethiopia is in the position it is in not because TPLF is strong or lack of opportunities, it is only because Ethiopia’s opposition groups have not readied themselves to mount challenge against the defeated TPLF.”
When, in 2000, under the pretext of border dispute TPLF conducted its war of aggression against Eritrea, Ethiopians were relatively united, furious and determined to defeat Eritrea. They bought into TPLF’s destructive agenda and lashed-out vengefully. Regaining Eritrea, if that failed to take Aseb was the bait used to lure Ethiopians. The TPLF is still using the strategy.
On a recent conversation, while discussing Ethiopian opposition stance on Eritrea,ESAT commentators stated that many are viewing Eritrea as the only hope. They said, “Ethiopia is in deep hole. The only lifeline for Ethiopia is Eritrea. To take Eritrea as enemy while under the whole-grabbing the only robe to life is nonsensical.”
What this shows is a shift of opinion. It is significant because a major and leading constituency is leading this view and actually fighting for it saying, “Eritrea is not our enemy; Eritrea is the closest to Ethiopia culturally, geographically and economically. Furthermore, Eritreans do not view Ethiopia as their enemy. They want stable peaceful coexistence. Because what happens in Ethiopia affects Eritrea be it positive or negative.”
The question, what does this view do to TPLF’s agenda of hostilities? If the TPLF cannot mount military offensive, if could not use Eritrea or Aseb to unite Ethiopians or use Eritreans against Eritrea, what stick does TPLF have left against Eritrea? Furthermore, Ethiopians view TPLF as the number one enemy that must be toppled.
In the global seen, the TPLF eagerly serves the interest of the International community. They have sold the interests of the West, China, mid-east and India in advancing their geostrategic, geopolitical and economic agendas at the expense of Ethiopia. The TPLF is selling Ethiopia’s lands, location as the host of African Union and leveraged that to sell the African agenda the West designed. They sold terrorism and everything they can to advance narrow ethnic agenda at the expense of the region and Africans to the dismay of countries like South Africa.
Additionally, the unipolar world TPLF exploited at the expense of the region, Africa and Ethiopia is drastically changing taking with it the unchallenged influence the US, (TPLF’s mainbackbone) exerted at one time. The geopolitical shift in Syria, the change in US Iran relations, the commitment Russia displayed on Syria will undoubtedly influence Mid East politics and international alliances soon. In addition, US’s weaker economic position will lead to cuts in military expenditures which in turn will lead to US’s lessoning of dependency on Ethiopia as it’sconduit for controlling the region.
Many factors are at play here. Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Eritrea, as owners of the Red Sea present more concern in the area of maritime to all the actors since instabilities in these countries can affect many things in the global economic seen because the Red Sea is a lifeline to global commerce. Hence, working in cooperation with these countries will prove to be more cost effective than the TPLF.
For a long time the US and Western agenda has relied on Ethiopia to control the region and forward their agendas. The TPLF however, failed to deliver on many fronts particularly Eritrea. The TPLF bragged that Eritrea will fail in 6 months after it waged war that took the lives of hundreds of thousands with millions displaced creating unnecessary economic hardship. They then turned into a No-War-No-Peace (war nonetheless) agenda to uproot Eritrea from its core. TPLF’s agenda was to topple Eritrea and give Ethiopia and the West complete control of the region.
Eritrea however, is still standing and turning corners while Ethiopia is becoming a danger on to itself. This is becoming evident to Western actors and the US that are showing eagerness to work with Eritrea. They can see future instabilities in Ethiopia while at the same time cognizant of Eritrea’s resilience. They also see Eritrea’s influence in the region. To quote Thomas Mountain, “The road to peace in the Horn of Africa goes via Asmara!”
The reason TPLF is where it is that Eritreans are brilliantly playing the chess game and winning. When Ethiopia and the US tried to arm Eritreans believing Eritreans will rise against their government if armed, Eritrea in turn armed every Eritrean and invalidated their theories. The economic sanctions and arms embargo they (That Meles Zenawi bragged will change Eritrea’s military-ware to relic) orchestrated failed.
When Ethiopia, in violation of the Algiers Agreement attacked Eritrea in June of 2011 to lure Eritrea into war, Eritrea did not take the bait. TPLF and its handlers recruited failed anti-Eritrean groups and individuals like Hurui, (who ended up barhopping in Addis and forgot Eritrea) that pushed for ethnic and regional divide and failed.
To the contrary what they planned against Eritrea is happening to Ethiopia: Bombings, demonstrations, wars, economic hardships, ethnic division, religious tensions characterize Ethiopia today. This is not sustainable because at some point things will erupt beyond control. This reality is what many are coming to grips with. Ethiopians everywhere are desperately trying to save their country from eminent (if not tackled correctly) instability.
And contrary to TPLF’s claim that Eritrea is trying to destabilize Ethiopia, the TPLF is doing destabilizing itself. Moreover, Eritrea’s position is and remains cooperation and regional stability. Girma Seifu Maru, Ethiopia’s only opposition in a 547-seat parliament said, “The authorities risk provoking social unrest if they do not offer more political space to critical voices.”
All points to the fact that Ethiopia is in peril. The region needs stability and Ethiopians, Eritreans, Somalis and all peace loving people from the region can kill TPLF agenda of chronic state of conflict through cooperation.
Every strategy the regime used to kill Ethiopia’s opposition by linking them to terrorism and by extension present Eritrea in that light failed. The narrow ethnic agenda the regime pursued has faltered isolating it from the entire region while infighting amongst the TPLF cadres escalates.
Mr. Andargachew Tsigie said, “Meles was a puppeteer that used strings to control his puppets individually. These puppets are not supposed to work together by design. After his death the puppets are loose, out of control unable to control the country,” like Sibhat Nega who is running rampant in DC and chased by Ethiopians everywhere like a mad dog.
Eritrea on the other hand was not allowed the respite by the TPLF crime-masters that show no sign of ever wanting peace or stability. They keep hard-selling that Eritrea will fail soon while the failing is taking place on their backyard direct result of their mishandling of Ethiopia.
Eritrea truly is subjected to unprecedented amount of rebuke, demonizing and systemic assault designed to weaken and destabilize her. However, knowing that they are at war and to the dismay of TPLF and its handlers, Eritreans never relinquished the grip on the arms they lifted to safeguard hard won independence and to see that the TPLF rests in its rightful place, the hands of Ethiopians.