Sewale Belew – December 22, 2021. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brainwashing the youth with false consciousness
Inspired by a hardline Marxist-Leninism, a profound sense of Tigray national identity, and by its bravado and utopian slogan “Imberr Tegadalay”, Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), a junta group by character, imagined the equivalent to the Orwellian “a brave new world” for the people of Tigray and ultimately for the rest of Ethiopia, asserting: “All people are equal, but some people are more equal than others.”
So, right from its commencement in 1975 in a rural Deddebit, TPLF prepared main working documents and a manifesto that would pave the way for its false consciousness implementation plan in the minds of Tigray People. TPLF’s vision for upholding Tigray nationalism and thinking pathway, as attested in its manifesto has been: (1) Breaking the good old traditional and religious social norms and restrictions, (2) Reviving Tigray state’s power, (3) Making Tigray state economically independent and self-sufficient, (4) Retaking Tigray’s confiscated former lands and expanding its borders to initiate ‘Greater Tigray’, and (5) Reviving the superiority and strength of the Tigray people in all scopes of trade. (6) Destroy the Ethiopian national defense force and dismantle the country into regional nation states controlled under TPLF’s army.
TPLF’s standing mission to accomplish its toxic and aggrandized objectives have been based on the belief that: (1) it is the source of all political authority of the people of Tigray. (2) The blood, struggle and survival of the Tigray community is rooted in the soil of Tigray. (3) Tigray people’s loyalty to the TPLF and the Tigray state is more important than any other loyalty; hence, people should feel bound together by blood soul and mental spirit as a single Tigray community. (4) To champion our goals with victory, TPLF should totally control every aspect of life of the Tigray people. (5) Tigray people should accept and get ready that life is a constant struggle and, without any hindering intrusion. (6) Although viewed as a minority ethnic people, the superior Tigray people has the right to reclaim and secure its own living space for its people. (7) As resilient Tigray people, we must always remain tough in our fight for our rights and win prospects for our ultimate survival. (8) As people of the state of Tigray, we are surrounded by enemies from all around our boundaries. (9) As we endorse faith in the Western powers’ support, we must save our souls with external aid from any potential genocidal attacks. (10) In the end, Tigray state shall rise and thrive in the death bed of Ethiopia.
Already from the start, TPLF leaders were callous and shrewd. They fought and destroyed several rival rebel groups in Tigray including the renowned EPRP-group. During TPLF’s initial phase of power struggle against the Derg regime, simultaneously, TPLF leadership made internal struggles within its rank and file to ascertain who commands its hegemonic power. Despite and even through a series of internal and external resistance, TPLF secured and reproduced consent among its followers to win power under the barrel of the gun. In light of this, TPLF had a score of aberrant history of hatching comprehensive sets of fear, threats, carnages and public massacres primarily committed against its own ethnic people, and later, as it consolidated power in its hands in Addis Ababa, among the entire Ethiopian population. A case worth mentioning here is robbing a convoy of food aid in 1984. While still roaming around covertly, in rural communities in Tigray and in the neighboring regions, the TPLF junta group robbed relief supplies meant for the peoples of Tigray, convoyed from its source in Sudan. In the same period, TPLF robbed several commercial banks located in several small towns in the regions including the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in Lalibela.
In their public consciousness building events, TPLF leaders were careful to tone-down their own Marxist demagogy, which would be unpopular with the conservative, earnestly Orthodox Christian rural populations of Tigray that made up the initial support base to TPLF. Instead, they chose to emphasize, what they termed as: “the genocidal threat posed by the Derg regime on the people of Tigray”. In due time, as their most effective and formidable means of exercising power, the TPLF leadership established a significant layer of power that affected and modified the desires and beliefs of the powerless Tigray population to the extent that resistance from the Tigray people against TPLF could not (and still today cannot) easily take place. By saturating their political consciousness with hegemonic ideologies, TPLF championed ensuring full acceptance of its politburo cadre and activist attendants under its hegemonic powerhouse structure within Tigray.
Inherently, the people of Tigray and specially the youth generation in Tigray were persistently hammered and poisoned with TPLF’s toxic false consciousness indoctrination arrangements that guided them not to obey anymore the old-fashioned religious and other social leaders in Tigray. In this respect, TPLF trained young cadres to obey the radical political leadership of TPLF as their sole leaders in arms for attaining final liberation for Tigray state. From this time onwards and after dubbing and brainwashing the youth with false consciousness indoctrination about the upcoming of ‘Greater Tigray’, majority of young people in Tigray seemed to be convinced that TPLF and its policies would benefit them. In actual fact, what we witnessed over the last 30 years of TPLF’s control of power has been to the contrary.
As trained and coached closely by TPLF, the youth in Tigray spiritualized themselves in the belief that TPLF exemplifies ‘God’ in liberating Tigray and in bringing benefits to them. On the contrary, in defense of TPLF’s objectives, people in Tigray have been facing lots of continuing skirmishes by losing limbs, legs and lives without having any due compensation to their sacrifices. Because TPLF’s real interests are concealed from them, the youth population of Tigray even today continues to sacrifice their lives to benefit the ruling TPLF elite. All along, they have been, and still are, subjects to the ‘ruling TPLF’s political culture’ circulated through the Tigray media, the Tigray state, education channels, and other institutional showgrounds existing in the region. In order to ascertain its continued dominance, TPLF introduced particular norms, values, and stigmas, amounting to a new culture in which TPLF’s power dominance considered beneficial to the people of Tigray. For instance, TPLF’s Diaspora branch continues to persistently agitate families from Tigray to isolate themselves from any social ventures that have to do with mingling with other ethnic members from Ethiopia, especially the Amhara.
What is in a name TPLF?
When used in the sense of the cloacal Amharic tongue, the literal interpretation of the term ‘liberator’ translates as: ‘NETSA-AWCHI’, which means or stands for: ‘a robber or raider’, (i.e., one, who deprives you or strips you of what you own and lets you go empty handed). And in that sense, the term ‘Liberation Front’ literally means ‘a front that disposes possessions from others and accumulates assets and financial wealth for itself.’
All along, the TPLF junta group remained a callous and shrewd bandit group that excelled in hatching and manipulating sets of smart tricks in its attempt to satisfy its hidden agenda of amassing public properties and financial wealth at the cost of starving and killing innocent people. Individuals, who were not willing to bend to TPLF’s fear mongering threats and tricks had to go to hell-like confinements and face countless sets of merciless atrocities in a more organized violent attacks. By its felonious status, TPLF junta is a self-proclaimed public police. Yet, it is a group known for its cold-hearted armed robbery tactics without having any remorse, empathy or care for its own Tigray folks, except for its own echelons on leadership positions.
TPLF has never been a “peoples’ Liberation Front” worthy of the name labeled on it. Engulfed in extreme hatred for Ethiopia as a nation and aspiring to satisfy its persisting ego-trip, it intentionally tarnished Ethiopia in its “Deddebit Manifesto” as a nation worthy of a century old history, from which it aspires to break away Tigray as a TPLF controlled independent state. Consequently, TPLF exposed itself as a “liberator”’ without even grasping the a, b, c, of what the essence of true ‘liberty’ or ‘freedom’ is all about. Looking into its collective attitude, as individuals, be it TPLF-junta’s echelons, or its members in the rank and file order, this group has never been able to liberate itself from its fixated mental confinement of hatred, enviousness, and ethnic chauvinism learned from its key ideologues including: Sebhat Nega and Meles Zenawi.
Coaching TPLF for a neocolonial proxy warfare mission
Surprisingly, the never-ending quest for world domination through neocolonialism is obviously in the genetic material of the USA and its NATO-Pact allies. So, in the mid-1980s, when the TPLF bandits were roaming around in rural Tigray, its leadership was approached by the USA and its NATO-Pact allies to accomplish a covert mission concocted purely to fulfill their mutual interest with TPLF in a manner: “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. The mission’s main inkling was on how to react to the Western neocolonial interests by way of deploying proxy warfare strategy. To the West, TPLF’s Marxist Leninist political posture didn’t matter as the timing of concluding such a mutual deal was a bingo moment for both sides.
For the Derg regime, it was the most troubling phase since it was fully engrossed with warring factions all around Ethiopia. This state of affairs gave a fertile ground to the US and its NATO-pact alliances to reach a deal with TPLF and its partners in arms, to remove the Russian in Ethiopia and simultaneously provide their covert support to TPLF to penetrate the Derg-army with concealed attacks by steering havoc and unrest in several parts of Northern Ethiopia.
At last, during the latter week of May 1991, Herman Cohen, who personally pressured Mengistu to resign and arranged for his exile in Zimbabwe, all at once, succeeded to give his blessings and political supports to TPLF and its partners to enter into Addis Ababa and take over power. This a good to go green signal by Herman Cohen, paved a clear highway for the TPLF junta to linger its sinister undertaking of doing away with the history of Ethiopia.
In its initial phase on regime control, TPLF circulated fake facts telling its own version of history of Ethiopia as a country whose history only dates back to a hundred years of age. And according to TPLF, the actual “modern history of Ethiopia” got its kick-start towards modernity since 1991 through a hell lots of economic modernity initiatives implemented in a backward peasant country. In actual fact, to manifest its own extremely hostile boldness against the people of Ethiopia and the nation’s past history, TPLF junta utilized its underdone “Deddebit-constitutional draft for its ethnic divisive visions, missions and actions.
With contempt and filled with its long-standing ego-trip, it misused the weak links of the previous Dreg administrative commands and it coerced and drew a new regional map of Tigray that surrounded major land mass into its region simply by grabbing bordering areas of the Afar, Amhara, and Gumuz regional fronts. Further to this, TPLF waged self- induced warfare by stubbornly spreading its false alerting publicity meant to arouse people’s opinion about the nation. So, mostly, TPLF favored to name Ethiopia in a nutshell as: “the country,” or as the “Horn of Africa” instead of calling it by its legitimate name: ETHIOPIA.
By its own decree, it rejected Emperor Menilik’s victory in the battle of Adwa. And to add fuel on fire, it erected symbols, names and iconography, in different parts of the country that aren’t just symbols as we see them on the surface. Rather, they are reflective of the stories that the TPLF cadres and activists kept on hammering throughout the time they were on power and those stories shape the narratives that communities carry and those narratives shape public policy and public policy shapes the material conditions of people’s lives as well as stories that reflect TPLF’s divisive missions of Ethiopia and its history.
To this end, TPLF trained selected youth groups in specially designated political schools that radicalized them as TPLF’s avowed active watchdogs and assigned to carry out its “1-to-5” surveillance tasks, instigated to watch, report and eliminate whoever is identified as a threat to TPLF’s power command. Basically, TPLF enforced its hegemonic ideological system by ensuring that people are backing obedience, conformity and submissiveness to its diktat. To date, the youth in Tigray suffered from TPLF’s deceitful awareness due to the intentionally hidden or disguised social relations from them to the extent that the youth continue to act ridiculously accepting its subordination to and domination and exploitation by the TPLF elite. Besides, led under the yoke of TPLF’s hegemonic rule, Ethiopians elsewhere had to go through a new set of madness of the TPLF-crowd that mischievously and intentionally steered the entire country with its iron-fisted Machiavellian style of political despotism and sedition, comparable to that of the Pol-Pot regime in Cambodia. TPLF’s locking up of inmates taken to prions was shockingly inhuman as disclosed by human rights watch agencies.
As regards corrupting the national economy, the TPLF junta members from all ranks and files participated in controlling, amassing and sharing wealth by forming their own covert private marketing networks that monopolized the commercial trading routes, which they promoted into illegal contraband trading schemes. Regarding TPLF’s economic hegemony, the diseased PM, Meles Zenawi, at one point in Parliament, attested stating: When dealing with some mischievous corruption acts, for as long as you are not caught-red-handed with it, so be it. Because snitching to drain-off money by itself is an art of commanding a smart, instinctive ability to accomplish the target-set.” This guiding message from him emboldened many of the TPLF-echelons to continue swim in corruption and became milliners at the cost of destabilizing Ethiopia’s national economy in jeopardy. Collectively, TPLF junta claimed ownership of 27 major import-export companies belonging directly to its echelons under the pretense of legacies. This callous act of the TPLF leadership is ridiculous to me. Suffices to sum it up with a quote from Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Public unrest and its aftermath
One of the hardcore echelons of TPLF, Meles died suddenly in 2012, and his handpicked (and yet made handicapped successor by TPLF itself), Halemariam Desalegn, proved too weak to cope with the growing public tensions throughout Ethiopia. Discontent, especially among the two largest ethnic groups (the Oromo and Amhara– [Oromara] threatened the delicate compromise of the 1994 constitution, and the legislative bodies of the Oromara communities eventually joined forces to outsmart the TPLF within the ruling coalition to get Abiy, who is of mixed Oromo-Amhara parentage, appointed as prime minister in 2018. Abiy moved swiftly. Top TPLF officials were dismissed from key security posts, generals were arrested on embezzlement charges, and changes were announced to counter the Tigrayan ethnic dominance of the armed forces. Political prisoners were freed from TPLF’s secret prisons, exiled dissidents in Diaspora were welcomed home, bulky state enterprises were privatized, and restrictions on the media were eased.
At the same time, Abiy’s peace deal with Eritrea, which won him the Nobel peace prize, isolated the TPLF from the political scene. At that point, out of pure ego-trip and bitter-feelings, TPLF waged its blackmailing campaign against Abiy by bubbling a series of social tensions and even refusing to hand over wanted fugitives in Tigray or joining Abiy’s new political party. Furthur to these events, TPLF leaders went ahead with local election process in Tigray despite polls being postponed nationwide owing to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
Notwithstanding resentment and anger from TPLF leadership, Abiy continued with his wide-ranging reforms by expanding the political landscapes of Ethiopia, including, but not limited to, nullifying those badly implemented legislative guidelines that used to run against any human rights records. Despite the waves of challenges posed by the bankrupt TPLF cliques, Abiy’s cabinet turned every stone at its disposal to find some peaceful solutions to the problems venting through TPLF’s standing quagmire and envious outlook.
The US and NATO-Pact’s 2nd round scoring attempt for a proxy warfare
At the end of the day, all the peaceful solutions tried by Aby and his cabinet were fully shuttered when TPLF’s betrayal became evident by its sudden and coordinated surprise attack on November 4, 2020, on the unsuspicious Federal Defense Forces stationed in Northern Tigray. This horrific attack triggered the law enforcement operation realized by Aby and his cabinet, a legitimate action to translate its moral and political authority conferred to it to protect the national sovereignty and territorial integrity the nation. Abiy made efforts by ratifying a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire act, simply to give peace a second chance. Yet, for over a year since November 4, 2020, TPLF fighters continued to attack, kill, and rob private and public assets from hundreds of innocent villagers and several public edifices throughout the Northern parts of the Amhara and the Afar regions (actions that the TPLF-spokesperson, Getachew Redda, disclosed confirming these actions were endorsed by the Biden Administration). TPLF-leadership spoke of taking every action to dismantle Ethiopia and destroy livelihoods in resentence.
Meanwhile, in the capitals of the Western countries, comfy chair warriors, few arrogant veterans, envious-party-politicians and media mouthpieces continued to gang up and wage psychologically frustrating misinformation as part of 2nd round scoring attempt of a hybrid warfare legitimizing TPLF’s provocative political and militaristic maneuvers against the Abiy Ahmed’s administration. Incidentally, emboldened by TPLF’s war mongering efforts in Northern regions of Ethiopia, the Biden administration stood inflexibly behind the TPLF terrorist junta’s actions and continued to slander the reputation of the Aby-cabinet and aggressively imposed a series of devastating economic sanctions both against Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Further to this, it provoked the U.S. citizens against travelling to Ethiopia, thereby impacting its concealed economic sanction against both countries’ touristic industry. Following suit with the Biden Administration’s foul cry, the NATO Alliance Pact members including U.K., Germany, and France, lined up behind the Biden Administration in all its one-sided and arrogant actions against Ethiopia and Eritrea. This deplorable meddling in the Ethiopian internal affairs by the US and its NATO-Pact member countries has been perplexing during the skirmishes taking place between the Abiy admin and the TPLF junta.
Hiding the Western journalists’ and media eyes by TPLF-paid direct messages from the general public in the West, is a clear sign of siding with ganging up for a protest against the Ethiopian legitimately elected government. However, this is just another example of the West’s collective hypocrisy on Ethiopia. Yet truth must be told. For those who understand the quintessence of a neocolonial driven proxy war, plus, those who closely follow the recent political events around the globe, this was not that surprising. Whenever the West wants to assert its vested economic (especially military economy) and geopolitical neocolonial interests, as “The Godfather” in the political wheel of the globe, it has persistently been pledging several similar proxy war missions that eventually destroyed historically stable countries around the world.