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TPLF’s latest drama on ETV

Hindessa Abdul

Free andargachew tsige LGSecretary general of the outlawed Ethiopian opposition group Ginbot 7, Andargachew Tsige, was detained in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on June 24; and if we have to believe the official version, he was extradited to the security officials in Addis the same day.

Yemen, which never misses the top ten spot on the annual failed states index, seemed unable to contain the pressure of holding an opposition leader of a foreign country. They quickly dumped him over to his nemesis who already handed him a couple of death sentences. Worrying about international conventions and treaties is a luxury the Arabian Peninsula nation can hardly afford.

Two weeks after the arrest, Ethiopian officials were confident enough to put Andargachew on national television to prove they got their sworn enemy. One that triggered the government’s disclosure is probably to preempt whatever may come from London, a day earlier British official met the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. While the topic of the discussion was not mentioned, it is clear that Ms Lynne Featherstone didn’t travel 5,000 km to tell Hailemariam “the support of her government would further be consolidated in the future.” Andargachew, who is a naturalized British citizen, might as well be high on the agenda.

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ETV showed some images of Andargachew in military fatigue and in villages, the location of which is yet to be disclosed. But a carefully edited grainy video which is more likely taped by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) shows him saying:

“I am at ease with myself. For me It is a blessing in disguise. I am in no rush. I just want to rest.I am really really exhausted. I have no resentment, no anger and no despair.I am totally in control and stable.”

Those words barely convey any messages. We don’t know if they are given under duress. Or if the investigators want to cajole the opposition figure into getting him to give more information, if there is anything left by now. We see him shaking hands with his interviewer whose face is unseen, may be an attempt to show he is in good hands.

That puts to rest the weeklong speculation of the media and in some cases top ranking government officials. “I have no idea,” Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesperson Dina Mufti was quoted as saying by Agence France Presse. The government spokesperson Getachew Reda, who is closer to the inner circle of the leadership, was generally dodging the question by retorting to rhetorics.

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So last night’s statement sets the government information officials free, at least not to deny what is the obvious. Your move Shimeles Kemal!


  1. Woyane altered video images and made Andargachew look like he is terrified and coward kkkk Andargachew is not a coward he is a brave and an Eternal Ethiopian hero now Tigres will be busy altering images to show us how Andargachew is coward , He is a brave man no matter u show us a terrified image we will not change our attitude towards him he is a hero not a terrorist only Woyane is a terrorist from its inception

  2. A call To those who can hear me I say, “Do not despair.” The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass and dictators die; and the power they took from the people will return to the people and so long as men die, liberty will never perish.Ethiopians: Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel; who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate; only the unloved hate, the unloved and the unnatural.
    Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written, “the kingdom of God is within man” — not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men, in you, you the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.
    Then, in the name of democracy, let us use that power! Let us all unite!! Let us fight for a new Ethiopia, a decent country that will give a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie! They do not fulfill their promise; they never will. Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people!! Now, let us fight to fulfill that promise!! Let us fight to free our country, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for our country, a world country science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.
    Ethiopians : In the name of democracy, let us all unite!!!

  3. These leaders of the regime back home have accumulated a wealth of knowledge on how to deal with the West. That was started to be the Modus Operandi by the late Prime Minister and has been picked up very well by his ‘descendants’, successors so to say. He had even told off the State Department at a post election rally in 2010. He at that rally said something to the effect that the US can take the aid it was providing and stick it. You may have asked the question: What emboldened him to have said so? There are two factors he was giggling in his hands. 1) China and 2) The specter of terror in the region. China has opened its coffers to various development projects in the country without any human and democratic rights pre-conditions. I have nothing against the industrialization of that society and it does not matter to me who does it. All I want to see it where the entire country turned upside down industrially at a blinding pace and wean millions of farmers from eking a wretched way of life solely from agrarian economy. Just hold on to this portion of my opinion. The 2nd factor is the danger of terrorism. The terror of 9/11 has left a permanent mark on the psyche of the West. New strategy and tactics have to be formulated and put in place in the areas of global alliance. That is where more or else regional powers like Ethiopia have to be brought into the alliance. In doing so, the West has no other choice but to ‘tolerate’, for the lack of a better phrase, some of the excesses of the regime back home. The late Prime Minister knew about this windfall and he used it extremely well. His successors are left with a wealth of expertise and therefore an opportunity of a life time to play this card from the bottom of the deck. There is nothing the UK or the West in general can do to secure the freedom of this man who was illegally kidnapped from an ‘International’ airport and handed over to the regime that has sentenced him to death in absentia. I have this bad feeling that the regime back may even proceed and execute him by saying that Mr. Tsige was tried in court and sentenced to death already. What will the UK can do to stop the regime from doing so? UK may decide to cut off the aid it has been providing to that country but the ones that will hurt by this is the people who benefit from the aid. But don’t overlook the enigma who is standing right by the door, China with all of its billions upon billions of hard and crisp currency to fill in the gap. In a country where any strong opposition is non-existent or so divided to the point utter impotence, I don’t blame the UK and Europe for staying stuck with the devil they know. You know what? I would do the same if I am an elected policy maker in those democratic countries. I think the one power that can save the life of this family man is Our Creator as He works in many mysterious ways to make miracles happen right in front of our eyes. This man and others like him have been part of my daily prayers since his arrest was made public and I urge every one of you regardless of your creed to have him in your prayers too.

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