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Life Under the Tigrian People's Liberation Front
Articles Life Under the Tigrian People's Liberation Front
-Perspective of an Ethiopian Somali

By Abdullahi Dahir Moge / March 19, 2008

Disclaimer: It is true people from Tigray are not all beneficiaries of the loot or participants of the crimes perpetrated by Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF). Sadly, it is also true all current power-wielders in Ethiopia are Tigrayans. The writer wishes to emphasize this distinction. Let it be known to all that I am talking about the Tigrayan elites in power in this article-not the people of Tigray.

It is not by happenstance that deep odium has been bubbling inside the hearts of people in different parts of Ethiopia against the Tigrayan condottieri, for over a decade now. From Gurage to Amahra, from Oromo to Berta, from Afar to Sidama, from Ogaden to Anuak, from Addis Ababa to Arba-Minch; people are praying for the day they will, at last, hymn good riddance to these ‘rude’ masters. Why? Because they are bad rulers!

I will provide the proof for that assertion and offer explanations as to why they are hopeless in their ‘superior’ position.
In 2005 elections, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), overwhelmingly won the votes of the urban areas, the intelligentsia, Amhara, Gurage, and significant parts of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s (SNPP) region. The Oromo National Congress- took Oromia by landslide; while most of SNNP region was swept by its southern-ally in the United Ethiopia Democratic Forces (UEDF).That is, before the eventual turn around of events, and crowning of fake winners. The defeat proved the depth and intensity of the popular displeasure with the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)- the overcoat of the TPLF-by the people of these regions.

In the remaining regions-euphemistically known as ‘the developing regions’- Satellite parties of the EPRDF, were declared winners; with no big furore, as people resigned to their fate, having seen what has transpired in the decisive regions.

The shaky make-up of the pseudo-federal entities in Ethiopia is one more proof of the ‘misadventures’ of the TPLF; who designed a system of governance for which its social background and party ideology is ill-prepared to accommodate. Blighted by pernicious habit of lying and looting, they hoped they will manage to confuse and cheat the people of Ethiopia.

The Amharic adage, ‘you don’t trust a man till you put him beneath the soil’ is taken to the heart; by the founding fathers of the TPLF. It might have been wise to adhere to it, in those days of ‘rebel-life’ in the deserts of Tigray; but certainly, that mentally clashes with the requisite principles of delegation of responsibility and trusting subordinates, central to modern management philosophies. Far worse, it is an anti-thesis of decentralisation and the principle of subsidiarity; that is mandatory for a true federalism to flourish.

That obsession with control, and mistrust of ‘others’, explains why most of the puppet leaders in the ‘federal’ states are social rejects who have not gone far in education; and who therefore depend on the TPLF for survival.

The biggest joke –in faking leaders for other nationalities- is witnessed in the resource-abundant Oromia; where a stranger to the locals is ‘anointed’ as their president. Many Oromo’s categorically rebuff the claim that Abadula Gamada, the president of Oromia, hails from their ethnic community. They similarly, dismiss the Illubabur-born Taye Takle-haymanot, a.k,a Kuma Demeksa-the Defence Minster; as being not one of their own. In Somali region, the current president is married to a Tigrayan woman- something believed to have been instrumental to his rise to power. In Afar region, Ismail Ali Serro-the president, is more of a Tigre than an Afari.

Not that I wish to argue that the nationality of the person matters much, but it is appropriate to lay bare the false claims of the TPLF clique to the readers: the nauseating orations on democracy, good governance, and ethnic federalism.

Some people are mystified why the TPLF rulers couldn’t pick better pawns; with a bit of acceptable credentials. Surely, it is not a matter of scarcity of ‘intellectuals for sale’. What these people fail to understand is the quintessential Tigrayan’s psyche of suspicion and what I wish to call the ‘minority-insecurity syndrome’.
I know for them it will be a painful read, but let me push their agony a little longer; by elaborating on the two traits. Firstly, the suspicion trait.

Meles has designated regions as private ‘fiefdoms’ to his kins; because he doesn’t trust anyone outside the ‘tribe’. A trait invariably shared by most Tigrayan elites. That partially explains why the most trivial decisions cannot be passed by ‘local’ officials, without consultations with TPLF ‘advisors’.

The TPLF leadership planted ‘advisors’-powerful ‘advisors’, in all regions; except Tigray, where there is no apparent need for one. Officially, these advisors ‘provide technical assistance’ to the regional government bureaus. This is laughable, as most are ex-fighters with none or little capabilities to perform such duties.
A notable example is one Ato Towolde-the advisor-cum-king in Somali regional State. With nothing more than a mere Diploma in social science to boast of – like the majority of TPLF ‘scholars’, he is an alumni of the civil service college established by EPRDF; the man often refers to his fighting-days’ experiences and arbitrary gut-feelings to rule the region. Like his predecessor, Gabrewahid, who has obligated to himself the task of selecting people’s representatives during elections; Towolde chooses the cabinet and party officials, and runs the day-to-day activities of the Somali region.

Indeed, the irritating aspect of this not-so-disguised ‘direct’ rule is how noticeable it is. The TPLF elites don’t even bother to mask that they are running the show all over Ethiopia. Whether it is in Somali region, or Afar or Gambella- it is Abay Tsehaye, or Meresa, or Gebra-Ab, all Tigrayans, who are sent to fix it, when things need to be fixed. It is either Ignorance or arrogance-or both; that can only blind Towlede to the embarrassment he is causing to himself, or inflicting on his ‘servile subjects’; when he hands out a series of instructions to the regional ‘president’ in cabinet meetings. Or when he narrates with glee how he brought this or that ‘parvaneu’politician, from obscurity to ‘high office’-over dinner tables.

No wonder, therefore, that the recently concluded Somali People’s Democratic Party (SPDP) farcical conference promoted his ‘toddlers’ to the highest positions. Much more can be said about the man and his likes elsewhere, but that is not the theme of the article, and this should suffice to illustrate the nature of the tribe-based style of governance of the TPLF.

In addition to espionage and control; TPLF henchmen’s stretching of tribal tentacles to ‘all Shangiri-La spots’ also has much to do with corruption and debauchery. A fact the rhetorician Meles, himself, admitted; when he was warming up to oust ex-comrades from the TPLF; after they disagreed on the conduct of the war with Eritrea. Back then, the master of all deception – Meles; twisted political terminologies and branded the out-witted hitherto ‘strongmen of the party’- including the flamboyant Seye Abraha; ‘Bonapartists’’.

It is time to ask what the basis of this suspicious behaviour is. TPLF knows that it is a minority group that has fought its way to power; and is ruling Ethiopia by sheer force and intimidation. It, therefore, thinks everyone out there is plotting to oust it. That fear from the ‘threat’ posed by the ‘giant beast’ subdued so far, makes the TPLF leadership hyper-vigilant. All the resultant wrongs and crimes it has committed against other nationalities; and the fear that the ‘victims’ will retaliate-if they were to be given a chance-reinforces the severity of their paranoia.

With morbid thinking and virtual degeneration to misanthropy, they have become enemies of reason, rational people, and mutual interest. They conceive violent antipathy to whomever and whatever they perceive as a challenge; or a deterrent to their ‘tribal’ aspirations of self-enrichment and conquest. A perfect example of their ‘madness’ can be discerned from their actions in the war against the Ogaden people; where the primitive principle of vicarious liability is practised by the TPLF at the dawn of the 21st century. It is common to see a father imprisoned or killed for the ‘misdeeds’ of the son; who joined the ‘rebels’. Impelled by paranoia and self-doubt, and an irrational fright evoked by ‘minority’ complexity; Tigrayan ‘urban’ troglodytes, consider even the most ‘loyal lackeys’ a potential menace.

Thus, they have sleepless nights; watching their back. And they do that with a lethal blend of braggadocio, savagery and thuggery.
In consequence, life is becoming unbearable for millions of Ethiopians, and for the unfortunate people of Somalia; who are caught by the rummaging army of the Tigrayan Yakuza

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