A Spiraling Crack in EPRDF’s Core
The ongoing melodrama that is unfolding in the Ethiopian army and security machinery, albeit in fits and starts, is another devastating and fetal crack in the inner walls of the Meles-Bereket tyranny. The staggering effect of the plot has sent the shaken Meles-Bereket clique running in all directions trying to limit the damage of the plot to the conventional “fringe” elements in the army in terms of commanding actual and effective power. The dripping of name of participants and withholding of their identities is intended to show that those behind the plot are non-Tigreans (largely Amharas and Oromos) in the army.
The fact that real power in the military and security machinery is held by Tigreans makes it improbable to topple the Meles-Bereket clique from within the government system. But what comes as a blow is the information that is was circulating in the security machinery which reveals that a Tigrean military officer General Tadesse Worede and a handful of mid- and low-level Tigrean officers are at the center of the plot to topple the clique. This reality is a devastating phenomenon for the regime as it has fatal reverberations on the viability of the EPRDF political system.
Most of all, with the support for the TPLF eroding and budding of an All Tigrean opposition factions inside and outside the TPLF, this event ushers in a new chapter dealing a blow that damagingly cracks the inner walls of the decaying the Meles-Bereket clique. The ballooning of the repressive machinery built by Meles has come to a point where he himself has become unable to reign in control to all tentacles and outgrowths of the system.
With regard to the security machinery, the wavering loyalty to the clique is astonishing. This is a terrifying fact as the information of the plot primarily came to the attention of the Meles-Bereket clique, not from the security apparatus of the government, but from foreigners like Israelis and others in the region. While the conspiracy to neutralize the Meles-Bereket clique was thickening, a significant portion of the security machinery, which is fed up with the unpredictable and unpopular rule of Meles, was silently nodding, or at least giving a blind eye, to the successful execution of the plot. Information from sources argues that the outing of the plot was mainly the result of the plotters’ overconfidence in success.
Even from the carefully choreographed message that is being painted by the Meles-Bereket clique on the plot (which keeps to be upgraded and rebooted by the minute), it is not hard to discern the extent of disorientation and confusion that has plagued the inner core of the TPLF/EPRDF. The way the story is being changed, the concealing of the plotters’ identities, the unfolding drama make believe accusations all shows that the regime is even having a hard time to coin a line of story that sticks.
If possible, what the Meles-Bereket clique wants us to believe is that there is no such plot to change the government or even to portray the whole drama as a fabrication for the sake of rounding up opponents. Alas, who would expect Meles to shout to the world of a “coup attempt” and put precedence in the minds of his servants in the military and security machinery such a dangerous idea? Why would Meles risk in exposing the fragile and untrustworthy nature of his military and security machinery with a coup fairy tale as he makes it seem look like? Now the regime seems to be in damage control mode by trying to contain the alcohol that has already escaped from the bottle where in fact the damage is real and irreparable.
If one connects the dots of the political message that the Meles-Bereket clique is trying to sell, it is evident that the attempt to conceal the involvement of Tigrean military and security officers like General Tadesse shows the desperation to keep TPLF followers in the dark and isolated in a dreamland. Plus, portraying the TPLF followers as being out of any revolt against the Meles-Bereket clique is intended to show a curtain of strength to hide behind as having a solid and undivided military and security machinery whereas the reality is being concealed.
Now Meles hopes for an engagement for the army and security to keep them busy. In this whole picture, it is more than probable that Ginbot Sebat is being used as means of diverting the internal and external attention from the debilitating crack evolving from within the-outwardly-strong-looking-EPRDF. Change from within is a dimension of danger for Meles as this start has set precedence for future revolts be borne out of the military and the security machinery. Mark my words! For the Meles-Bereket clique, the damage is already done and such a phenomenon is an accident that is waiting to happen.