By Sewale Belew – November 13, 2022.
Ever since its founding in Dedebit in the 1970s, TPLF has been and still remains to be particularly perceived by several well-known political analysts and media commentators as a warmonger narrow nationalist filled with arrogance, contempt and hypocrisy. TPLF’s recent defiance stating that “TPLF never sent its delegates to represent its causes either in Pretoria, South Africa, or in Nairobi, Kenya; plus, TPLF’s Central committee defying comments few hours after the peace accord was signed in Nairobi betwixt the two high ranking army generals representing the Ethiopian defense forces and the TPLF-fighters on the ground in Tigray are two pointed cases worth mentioning here.
TPLF’s age old militaristic superiority arrogance that “Tigray is a garden of civilization and fighters” and that “the rest of the country outside Tigray region is simply a jungle” is cynical. It is in fact, an indication of pure tribalism. Such arrogant remarks made by the TPLF-central committee members can be viewed as an expression of superiority complex, not only of some of its spokespersons personally, but also of TPLF’s ruling combatants as a whole. Of recent memory, they have been fighting left and right all along the borders of Tigray. Particularly interesting to mention about them are the inaccurate depictions the TPLF-combatant group representatives claim in victory and their slippery relationships with the rest of the political competitors in the contemporary ethnically federated Ethiopian political arena. By character, TPLF leadership boosts of having built a political system for over three decades, in which “everything works” and those living in “the jungle elsewhere in the country” could follow suit to develop themselves by TPLF’s own ethnic-centralized systemic examples put on the ground.
Without delving too deep into what is obviously an entrenched superiority complex, TPLF’s central committee spokes persons interchangeably speak as if an advocate of the so-called ‘TPLF’s Army Replacement Recommendations’, a racist notion advocated by some of the other generals siding the government. TPLF generals see neighboring regions as parasites aiming to destroy Tigray’s legitimate and perfect demographic, religious and social harmony.
If stretched further into a historical dimension, one also feels compelled to remind the current TPLF leadership of the central role that TPLF’s recent past colonial moves since the 1980s to dominate the rest of the Ethiopian peoples by dividing into tribal / ethnic-led/ regional/ land allocations and writing a national constitution promulgating tribal (ethnic) lands legislated under its Article 39 and officially put into constitution. TPLF took its domination roles and hypocritical stances in terms of, economical exploitation, political meddling and outright military interventions that have played for nearly three decades in turning much of Ethiopia into a supposed ‘tribal jungle’ by purposely reducing the Ethiopian national status to that of a failed state; if the PM Aby’s government did not wage major counter combats since coming to power in 2018.
The imagined ‘tribal jungle’ put aside, TPLF’s past and present reality on the ground strongly negates its leadership’s deep-seated ethnocentric view. Sadly, Tigray has become the de-facto birthplace of the most horrible pages of history, from colonialism and slavery to the narrow nationalistic, fascist, terrorist and nihilistic movements that defined most of the last three decades within Ethiopia.
Despite the desperate attempt to rewrite or ignore history in favor of a more amiable narrative focused on great splendors, technological advancement and civilizational triumph introduced by Meles Zenawi, TPLF’s true nature continues to boil and burn underneath the ashes, ready to resurface whenever the geopolitical and socioeconomic factors take a wrong turn in Tigray and elsewhere. The recent successive three invasion attempts made outside Tigray and the regional internally displaced peoples’, the refugee crisis in the region, and the COVID-19 pandemic are all examples of the proverbial wrong turns caused by the TPLF central committee elites.
In fact, TPLF’s yesterday’s plea words to the Tigrean people, aimed to defy the peace treaty signed in Nairobi and to reassure its own combatants of its militaristic and moral superiority as usual, are but a foolhardy efforts meant to conceal one of the most dramatic crises that TPLF has experienced in nearly half a century. The impact of this TPLF-Central Committee instigated crisis is observable on every aspect of TPLF-combatant’s life.
In an emergency plea to the people of Tigray TPLF Central Committee announced hours after the Nairobi peace accord was signed, the so-called TPLF-central committee announcement described Tigray as the “state of multiple crises” that characterizes Tigray under military invasions from all fronts at the moment.
Instead of taking responsibility for waging peace and tranquility in Tigray and the rest of the region, TPLF’s central Committee elites choose a different, though predictable route: blame others, especially the inhabitants of the non-Tigray peoples.
Naturally, ordinary people throughout Tigray who are already experiencing this harrowing reality hardly feel reassured by TPLF’s current plea and its proclamation that TPLF is to defend the Tigray population’s rights, where everything works.
The risk of the resurgence of the TPLF’s hard-core movements in in Tigray is now a real possibility. This danger was relatively tried to mitigate by the Pretoria Peace Accord. But it is facing the latest setback of the extremist ‘Alternative for Tigray People’ by the TPLF’s central committee plea. TPLF’s narrow nationalism and ethnic arrogance, however, is not the exception, as the TPLF’s far-fetched central committee is once again back, virtually everywhere, and with a sense of vengeance and violence not only within but also by its Diaspora followers outside the country.
The shifting political grounds in Tigray and everything with the illusory TPLF’s central committee extremism is a by-product of exclusively TPLF’s inherent historical experiences, ideologies and spirits of combats. They prefer to blame the Amhara, Afar, Eritrea, and the federal government for Tigray’s current “state of multiple crises”. However, such attempts are not only self-deluding and spiritless, but also certainly obstructive to any healthy process of peace accord and change.
TPLF cannot fix its problems by blaming others in the region or the federal regime. Actually, the population of Tigray is being ravaged by TPLF’s own ruling central committee elites – who remain to be rich, detached and utterly dishonest to their own people and to themselves.