After yesterdays abrupt resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and the release of several prominent political prisoners, as even more were released today. The thoughts that the State and the Ethiopian People’s Democratic Revolutionary Force (EPRDF) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) would counter the demonstrations with draconian laws seemed a bit foolish. This after three days of shutdown and off open in the streets demonstrations. Still, the TPLF, was already in the inner-works working on changes and making sure they can continue to muster force against dissidents.
That is why earlier today, this was reported:
“The Tigray Central Committee has today announced a 43rd anniversary of the Battle of the Tigers. As a result of the weakness of the declaration of the TPLF leadership, we will renew our commitment to create a state of complete restoration of the problems and inconvenience of the people of the region. In a letter to a sister organization, he said: “We must jointly condemn enemy attacks on our organization and our country with the sole purpose of resolving the problem.” In a message sent to Ethiopians, the current wave of destruction against our people and our people will be eliminated in the EPRDF Rule” (Addis Gazetta, 16.02.2018).
So for the ones saying it was possible for a State of Emergency being reissued seemed likely after the TCC, as they wanted to send a message. Which would be stronger to take away again all sorts of ordinary activity, stop meetings and demonstrations, stop funerals and close shops. Because that is what the previous State of Emergency did to the public. They stopped people in roadblocks and made check-points, militarized Amhara and Oromia region. Clearly, the Tigray plans to do that again. Even as the demonstrations and the people are tired of being muffled with.
There it is with sadness, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Company (EBC) said this:
“The state broadcaster said the Council declared the #StateofEmergency because it has become impossible to control violence including ethnic-related and lawlessness that is spreading wide throughout the country in various forms. But nothing is mentioned how for long” (Addis Standard, 16.02.2018).
Clearly, they are thinking of the actions done by the citizens in Oromo and Amhara, where the people have seen their relatives die on the streets or being detained in the thousands. This has been done on a scale that was insane during the previous State of Emergency. Proves that another one isn’t to create peace or genuine leadership. Its just for the TPLF to continue to control.
The State Controlled Media House Fana Broadcasting Company said this:
“Addis Ababa, February 16, 2018 (FBC) –The Council of Ministers has declared a state of emergency effective from Friday, 16 February 2018 by adopting the decree providing for the emergency ruling. The Council of Ministers said the emergency rule is aimed at protecting the constitution and constitutional order, as well as ensuring security and stability of the country. Protecting freedom of movement and the rights of citizens to live wherever they choose as well as build assets, are also among the motives for the ruling. The Council in its press briefing noted that the violence that have been going on in some areas are undermining the security and stability of the country as well as the value of the people that promote peaceful coexistence. The violent activities have also led to ethnic based attacks which led to the displacement, death and injury of people, damage on property, and hindered investment. These violent activities are hurting the economy and put the peaceful and free movement of citizens under question. The Council said it is important to adopt the decree, as the public has requested the government for protection and the dangerous activities have continued to expand and extend in time” (Fana BC – ‘Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency’ 16.02.2018).
So the FANA is using the same rhetoric as the Tigray, the seemingly problematic affairs of the demonstrations, as they are blocking key roads and also shutting down business. This is hurting the economy and the life-line of the regime. That is why the definitions of them are practically the same. The TPLF and EPRDF thinks they can subdue and silence them through force, by either detaining even more now or use the military like last time. Occupy and destroy in 2018, like they did in parts of 2016 and 2017. It is not like they have stopped killing and not stopped arresting civilians who demonstrate against them. That is why there are numbers up to about 20,000 political prisoners from the previous State of Emergency. That is common folk and not the prestigious ones, which has been released during this week.
If you didn’t know, but now you do, as they proven time and time again. That the Tigray deserves more and has more say than the rest. There was even sources saying that this the parties of Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO) and the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), who are members of the EPRDF. Where against the move of State of Emergency, not that it mattered. The TPLF had the final say and they we’re terrified of the surge of demonstrations and possible blockades of Addis Ababa. They cannot manage the possible resistance and movements on the rise, who are not fearing the Central Government, but actually and openly standing against it.
So if the EPRDF and TPLF are wise, they would do it differently, try another approach and actually listen to the grievances and actually patch the wounds. Instead they are pouring more salt in the wounds and hoping the citizens will give in. They are actually doing an unnecessary move and will trigger more of the dissidents to act upon the unwillingness of the state. It is like it cannot learn and understand the efforts being made to matter and to get their voice heard. Addis Ababa has acted provincial for so long and acted with colonization of the regions. That is why they are tired of being muffled with.
Now they have seen that the demonstrations has resulted in getting their leaders back. Their voices too, that is why the State should reconcile, not go back to the barricades; however that seems like the only thing they know how to do. Peace.