It’s been a long time since Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) President Debretsion Gebremichael have delivered any message, letter or been vocal. Now, that the Tigray Defence Force (TDF) is regaining territory and the Tripartite Alliance is now resurging new troops to combat the TDF. Therefore, what his saying in this message is important.
As there haven’t been much said or released from the leader of TPLF. That’s why we need to go into it and digest it. Since, it will show his side, character and also his stance ahead of this prolonged conflict in Northern Ethiopia. A conflict that has been on-going on the regular since early November 2020.
First he says:
“Dear Ethiopian People,
Serious atrocities have been committed against the Tigrayan people by Ethiopian Defence Force, Eritrean Defence Force, Amhara regional police and militias and by foreign forces. Furthermore, in order to exterminate the people of Tigray; bullets, starvation, horrifying sexual violence and a coordinated looting of property have all been employed for the past eight months” (Debretsion Gebremichael, July 2021).
All of this has been reported, as the massacres, rape and other atrocities has been verified. The Tripartite Alliance has been behind a lot of damage, destruction and weaponized everything in the region. The blockage of all goods, food and destruction of the agricultural sector has secured a man-made famine. Which results is still unknown, but the dire hunger and distress is hitting most of the region. Just a few days ago, the Prime Minister down-played this. While the TPLF leader re-issues it again. To show that is a continuing battle and a consequence of this civil war.
“Amongst the many things that have happened for the past eight months, with a complete disregard to the constitution, is that the criminal forces have arrogantly seized Tigrayan territories through force. Despite calls for them to immediately withdraw to their origins, they are refusing, believing in their might, to relinquish their hold and have been in preparation for what would be a catastrophe. Still, we are again calling on them to leave the places they have forcefully occupied. Otherwise, as we have done the past 8 months, we will fight and reinstate our rights” (Debretsion Gebremichael, July 2021).
Here we are seeing the ironies of the conflict. That the Tripartite Alliance, the Federal Government and all of its soldiers have breached the Constitution by attacking the Tigray region. They have disregarded it. That is striking when the government of FDRE or legality of the Law Enforcement Operation was to restore “law and order”. While it has been revealed that the only mission was to destroy and weaken Tigray. As the will of the state is to consolidate power and control it by force. Instead of in co-operation and within the means of the constitution. Which the Federal Government always uses as a tool to oppress and silence its critics.
He continues to say:
“The people of Tigray have never labelled any people as enemy. The people of Tigray were never an enemy to the Amhara, they are not today, nor will they ever be an enemy in the future. In spite of this, in order for those in power to maintain their power they are leading the Amhara people into grave danger. The people should therefore resist, and say lives should not be lost for the greed of power” (Debretsion Gebremichael, July 2021).
In the times of tribulations and with horrific acts done against you. Still, the TPLF leader says these words. That shows character. In the middle of the times, when Tigrayan is ethnically profiled, arrested, detained, banned from working and being part of the army. When the state is issuing orders and taking way their lands and homes. The TPLF leader says these words. As the state has created a famine in their homes. Destroyed their towns, villages and factories. The time when the state has raped, sent people to seek refuge in Sudan. Still, he said this words and he could have chosen differently.
Especially, knowing that the Amhara has annexed land. They have used the Special Forces and the Amhara militia “Fano” to participate in the war and invest in the conflict. So, saying that they don’t see the Amhara as an enemy. Really says a lot. Also, knowingly that the state calls them terrorist and criminals. That the state are using all its machinery to end them. Even with all that knowledge and all the costs of the conflict. Still, saying loud and clear that they are not enemies. That is something the Prosperity Party or the Prime Minister never could utter. He and his allies would bring the fire and the fury. They would come with insults and rebuke the ideas of reinstating the TPLF.
These words from the TPLF leader show the difference between him and the Prime Minister. It shows the manners and the attitude, which is important. The TPLF leader could have chosen different words. However, he said these things and they can be verified.
Now the TPLF leader have to prove some of them. The others have been shown and the world is yet to see it. The Tigray region is suffering and paying a huge price. Still, the TPLF and the TDF is fighting to regain it all. Time will tell, but until that’s done. We can what choices the Mekelle leadership will do. Peace.