March 12, 2015
by Asress Mulugeta
For the last 23 years, TPLF’s barbaric, inhuman and violent culture of rule over Amhara, Oromo, Anguak, Somali people and many others has been continued unabatedly. Many have been witnessing the unprecedented hatred to Amhara ethnic group under Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) ethno-centric dictatorial rule. As soon as TPLF came to power in 1992, the regime and supporters began to brutalize the Amhara ethnic group in particular. A well-coordinated support with extremist loyalist to the TPLF regime incited conflict in Arba Gugu, Hararghe area against the Amhara ethnic group. The houses of Amhara were burned with people inside, people were killed thrown over the cliff, people of hacked to death in broad day light, robbed, bodies mangled by regime supporters., Some of the lucky ones fled to Addis Ababa, other took shelters in nearby towns. Ethnic cleansing was conducted in unprecedented scale. In 2012, tens of thousands of poor farmers of Amhara ethnic group from the southern part of Ethiopia were expelled. People were made homeless; similarly, in 2013 Amhara ethnic group from Benishangul-Gumuz area forcefully evicted. TPLF’s ethnic dictatorship anti-Amhara policy claimed many lives in many parts of Ethiopia. Sadly, the TPLF leaders and associated tugs are getting away with ethnic cleansing crimes. To-date no one is charged for it.
On another note, TPLF’s economic empire has monopolized the private sector of the Ethiopian economy to the extent never seen anywhere in the African continent. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a ruling political coalition in Ethiopia is an alliance of four groups. All those four political parties have endowments. Tiret, an endowment fund under the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) owns only five companies in Ethiopia. Dinsho, an endowment fund under the Oromo People’s Democratic Front (OPDO) owns a group of five small companies. The Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) also owns a company called Wendo trading. EFFORT, an endowment fund under Tigrayan people’s liberation Front (TPLF) owns more than 80 companies. EFFORT owns almost all the major industries in Ethiopia including Banking, Construction, Agribusiness, Mining, Communication, Insurance and other pillars of the economy that are vital to the well-being of the country. Due to the monopoly of Power and the economy by the minority TPLF and the implementation of ethnic-based federalism, ‘ethnicisation’ of socio-economic disputes is increasing exponentially all over Ethiopia.
TPLF misdeeds have never stopped since its birth. As many people have been witnessing and also as the BBC investigation found out, millions of dollars of Western aid money for victims of the Ethiopian famine of 1984-85 was siphoned off by Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to buy weapons. In this regard, I am also a living witness as I hailed from the north Ethiopia. At the end of 1980s, when I was kid, I used to remember TPLF fighters use lentil, pea and barley to feed their camels and donkeys while the people stand in long line to get the leftover from the animals. This clearly shows how much TPLF was inhuman from the beginning. During the ethio-Eritrea border war of 1998-2000, I was a teenager, ninth grade student, the governor of our zone forcefully gathered all the students for a meeting and asked us to be a soldier and fight against Eritrea. The Governor specifically asked me to go to the war but I managed to go to Addis and hide for a while until the dust settled. Sadly, many of my friends who have been sent to the war against their will have scarified their lives for that meaningless war.
After the Ethio-Eritrea border war, things have been relatively quiet until the May 15, 2005 national election in which hundreds of Ethiopian men, women and children paid their lives. At that time, I was 4th year engineering student keenly supporting the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) party. In June 2005, while we were protesting against the vote-rigging by the ruling party, the Tigrigna speaker security forces came to our campus and took me with my friend to the infamous Sendafa training center outside Addis Ababa and tortured us for weeks. Again in November 2005, the merciless Tigrai-Agazi security forces arrested me with my friends and took us to Maekelawi prison. First, they took our phones, shoes, belts and our money then they started torturing us continuously. For the first three days they didn’t even give us one loaf of bread. I was almost going to die. I even don’t know until now how I have survived that scariest moment.
Finally, during the 2010 election, I left Ethiopia for my postgraduate study and got the chance to express my views and opinions freely. To be honest, the 2010 election was artificial. It was response to donor countries’ pressure rather than to the dictates of the internal problems. The election was never about the bringing of democracy and freedom to Ethiopia. The election was arranged in such a way that the ruling party retains the majority seats (99.8%) and as a result the parliament that is formed is a one-way course.
Last year, I went back to Ethiopia, for visit and research purpose; surprisingly the TPLF cadres’ intimidation left me speechless. Their reason for intimidating me is because I wrote my opinion about EFFORT which is published online in websites of the Ethiopian diaspora (http://ecadforum.com/2013/07/19/privatizing-effort-and-eprdf-controlled-companies/ and http://www.zehabesha.com/advice-to-hailemariam-desalegn-regarding-effort-and-all-other-eprdf-controlled-companie/). They constantly threatened me and asked me to leave the country immediately or face jail. I left the country without collecting data for my research. So it is because of all the aforementioned reasons which made me and many other Ethiopians detest TPLF and side with Ginbot 7.