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Game Over; The End of Ethiopia’s TPLF Regime By Thomas C. Mountain

AnalysisGame Over; The End of Ethiopia’s TPLF Regime By Thomas C. Mountain

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Game Over! The Tigray People’s Liberation Front which has ruled
Ethiopia since 1991 has been ousted from power in Ethiopia, replaced
by a new breed of leadership who have quickly moved to reassure the
people that a real change is in the making.
This past Wednesday, June 20, was a busy day for the new Prime
Minister Abiye, an ethnic Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest nationality,
travelling to the site of the latest ethnic massacre and addressing the
leadership of the Gurage community calling on them to end the ethnic
violence and bring peace to their land by dialogue and mediation. This
was all broadcast live for all Ethiopians, both at home and abroad, to
see via satellite television and warmly received by those to whom he
directly spoke.
Next door, here in Eritrea we sat glued to our TVs late into the
night watching Ethiopian television broadcast the address our
President Issias Aferwerki had made early that morning during our
annual Martyrs Day commemoration where he held out an olive branch of
peace to our neighbours in Ethiopia, repeated over and over. The
Ethiopian P.M. then went live and thanked the Eritrean President and
promised a future of peace and prosperity in brotherly respect. And he
did it in Tigrinya, the de facto national language of Eritrea.
We could only pinch ourselves in disbelief, to have our long time
enemies in Ethiopia suddenly change so positively, I mean EVERYTHING
the Ethiopian P.M. has been saying could not be more true.
The Ethiopian P.M. has gone on TV and described his governments past
actions, and he acknowledges he was a part of this, as “terrorist”
regarding its treatment of its political prisoners. He has addressed
the T.P.L.F regimes past policy of divide and rule via instigation of
ethnic bloodshed and spoke to what needs to be done to heal divisions
and move forward.
Here in Eritrea what we are hearing is music to our ears for the
Ethiopian P.M. is saying just what our President Issias Aferwerki has
been saying for two decades now, that we shouldn’t be fighting,
instead uniting, to build a more humane and just society absent of
foreign intervention.
If this new Ethiopian leader manages to stay alive, there is hope for
Ethiopia, that the nationalities, starting with the Oromo’s, the
largest, who have been calling for independence, will reconsider their
quest for separation and continue as one country.
While one must respect the right to self determination reality is that
the “Prison House of Nations” that has been Ethiopia up to now is best
transformed into a modern, peoples democracy rather than torn asunder
and left to fend for themselves as small, independent countries. This
new P.M. could be the one to give them hope and allow a violent
upheaval to be avoided.
The Horn of Africa, the Horn of Hunger, the Horn of War and Famine may
be seeing the birth of a new era, where Ethiopia no longer invades its
neighbors at the behest of the USA. Where Ethiopians are able to leave
behind their lives of hunger and thirst, of being cold, sick and
illiterate and start to feed, clothe, house, medicate and educate its
people, and turn a perpetual famine victim into a modern, prosperous
For us here in Eritrea after 20 years of war followed by no war, no
peace, we have hardened ourselves to not seeing a light at the end of
the tunnel. This new leadership in Ethiopia is almost to much to
believe, its almost like a dream to us still. Could we really live as
brothers and sisters with our huge neighbour to our south?
Just as with North Korea the Trump Regime has broken with decades of
past policy towards the the Horn of Africa and allowed common sense
and experience to hold sway. It may be just pragmatism, but those
veteran diplomats in the US State Department know they have little
choice in the matter, any further support for the TPLF regime would
have been counter-productive and damage American credibility let alone
result in the disintegration of Ethiopia, possibly followed by a South
Sudan scenario.
One thing is for sure, and Eritrean President Issias Aferworki said it
with glee when he spoke at our Martyrs Day commemoration, “Game Over!”
for the T.P.L.F regime, shocking all in attendance into spontaneous
applause. What we have only dreamed about is now reality here in the
Horn of Africa, and if the seasonal rains arrive this year and another
drought is averted, then we can truly be blessed with
“selam(peace) and rain for the Horn of Africa”.

(*) Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist and historian in
Eritrea, living and reporting from here since 2006. See
thomascmountain on Facebook or best reach him at thomascmountain at g
mail dot com

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