Tigray’s leadership vacuum and the need for Tigray people to break free from the special interest groups

15 August, 2018, Serawr Information Centre

After losing its iron grip on Ethiopia few months ago, the TPLF finds itself in a state of confusion and unable to give leadership to the people they claim to represent. The TPLF does not seem to know whether it is coming or going. Although the rug has been pulled out from under its feet, the political culture of the TPLF is still intact. 

The TPLF still manages to take two very opposing stands in one sentence. It says that it supports the ongoing peace process between Eritrea and Ethiopia, yet puts obstacles in many forms including  preconditions to Ethiopia’s unconditional and fully acceptance of the international border ruling. 

The TPLF says it supports the changes that are taking place in Ethiopia, however, it has waged an intensive propaganda against Ethiopia’s Prim Minster, Dr Abiy Ahmed. 

In the latest predictable twists and turns in the TPLF’s political drama, the chairman of the organisation, Debretsion Gebremichael, is attempting to spin his clearly stated statement to a huge crowd in Mekele few weeks ago, where he made a threat of the disbandment of Ethiopia. He now says he did not mean it that way and that his message was Ethiopians should respect each other.

After losing the control of Ethiopia, the TPLF is attempting to stabilise its power base, the Tigray people by holding discussions. Although the purpose of the discussions are said to be to review the past and map out the future, the strategic mistakes of the TPLF namely its agenda of expansion and its attempt to punch way above its weight, have not been addressed. 

The main reasons that the TPLF now finds itself in a dustbin of history, are its attempt to have a complete domination of Ethiopia and the relentless war it has waged to dismantle Eritrea, and the crimes it committed in the process to do these destabilising and evil agendas.

The state of no-war no-peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia has been damaging to the people of Tigray. Therefore, the Tigray people must be very keen to embrace the wind of positive change that is blowing through the region. However, the Tigray elite are not having none of it.

The TPLF and the Tigray ruling class are still in denial and having problems in accepting the new reality. After months, they are still hoping to wake up from a bad dream. The game is really over, as they have no cards left to play with  . However, they are sticking to the same failed strategy  of leaving things in limbo.

On his latest interview, the chairman of TPLF, stated that what he understood from his talk with Eritrean President is that there is issue of trust. Eritrea does not believe the TPLF is after peace. However, the chairman of TPLF could easily resolve the issue of trust by unconditionally accepting the border ruling and supporting the Ethiopian government in taking practical steps in implementation. 

Instead of providing leadership, the chairman of TPLF, has remained true to the TPLF political culture. He preaches about peace and supporting the changes in Ethiopia, while at the same time attempting to undermine the implementation of the border ruling and the new leadership in Ethiopia.

The leadership vacuum that exists in Tigray, has created a state of confusion. The TPLF is more interested in stabilising its standing by externalizing its problems. Sweeping the strategic mistakes of the TPLF under the carpet (in the never-ending talks that they claim are to identifying problems) only point to consequences and non strategic problems; and their focus is to point figures at the new prim mister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, and the Amhara.

The other tactic that they have been employing is targeting the Eritrean people with soft messages. They extend hands of friendship to Eritrean people in words and symbols, while their action speaks a very different language. Many Eritreans have watched all these with sense of disbelief. Some even have questioned if they have all been in a coma for the last twenty years, when the TPLF was committing every evil act to dismantle Eritrea.

The Tigray people stand to gain most from peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia. However, the TPLF officials, who have amassed millions of dollars and a great numbers of the Tigray elite, who were the beneficiaries of  the last 27 years of TPLF’s rule, are now standing in the way of the interest of Tigray people. The Tigray people need to break free from the special interest groups that are holding them hostage. 

The main concern of these elements is not the interest of Tigray people, it is the fear of facing accountability. They think the only way they can escape accountability is by creating chaos at the cost of the interest of Tigray people.


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