Don't let TPLF blame Oromos for Badme
ETRP Press Statement
June 11, 2018

“Having Ahmed assume the position of prime minister is yet another survival strategy by the EPRDF” - an Al Jazeera article recently concluded regarding the recent events in Ethiopia. 

No decision by the new Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed proves this important point more than the recent reckless, treasonous and illegal announcement to abandon Badme to Eritrea. 

For those who are young or new to Ethiopian politics, this is not the first time TPLF offered to cut away Ethiopian land. After the TPLF tribal minority regime singlehandedly reversed the victory of our patriotic troops in 2000 by illegally signing the Algiers agreement; it has been waiting almost twenty years for the best opportunity to hit the last nail on the coffin. Since the war ended, the TPLF leadership was afraid of Ethiopians, (especially Ethiopianist Tigrayans in the army) if it ever gave up Badme to Eritrea. The first time TPLF leadership floated the idea of giving up Badme to Eritrea was when Meles Zenawi was replaced by Hailemariam Desalegn six years ago. But the whole country knew then, that Hailemariam was a puppet fully controlled by TPLF so their hands would not be clean. 

But Dr. Abiy Ahmed presented the perfect opportunity.

 Dr. Abiy, by rising to power as a symbol of OPDO Oromo rivalry against TPLF; he presented the best chance for TPLF to abandon more Ethiopian territory without being blamed for it, especially in Tigray. Since the so-called “Team Lemma” is viewed as the anti-TPLF Oromo faction inside EPRDF, Team Lemma will take full ownership of this historic mistake. In the eyes of the TPLF deep state, everybody will blame Oromos. The people of Irob, the whole Ethiopian population and history will scapegoat the OPDO Oromo leadership for this treasonous decision. 

Meanwhile, the only people who benefit are the pro-Eritrea powerful faction inside the TPLF, who never cared about the territorial integrity of Ethiopia; since they broke up our northern province including our Asab port. 

In addition, after giving away western Gondar land to Sudan in order to persuade Khartoum to crackdown on Ethiopian rebels; now giving away Badme would force Isaias Afeworki to stop supporting Ethiopian refugees and opposition groups in Eritrea. In the long-term, the Ethiopian people lose both our land and our last strategic safe heaven from TPLF persecution; effectively making the TPLF military politburo the undisputed armed power in Ethiopia for many decades to come. 

All Ethiopians must reject this historic and disastrous mistake by Dr. Abiy Ahmed. 

Dr. Abiy and his team have gained the respect of many Ethiopians for releasing many political prisoners the last two months. We do not know if these positive gestures by Dr.Abiy signal the beginning of real reforms or if they are part of a grand scheme by his TPLF handlers. However, the Badme decision reinforces our deep suspicions instead of our cautious optimism. 

And our suspicions of Dr. Abiy’s naive actions are growing faster; since he kept TPLF hawks inside the military leadership and announced partial “privatization” of state companies (in a country where TPLF’s EFFORT rules the economy) to save the TPLF regime from the foreign currency shortage crisis. 

The reason our protestors died blocking roads and the reason we boycotted dollar remittances to Ethiopia was to starve the TPLF until its tyrannical system is removed. Unfortunately, the TPLF is firmly in charge and it is actually becoming more powerful. 

Politically, the TPLF is achieving the goal of dividing Ethiopians by tribe; by effectively making even the opposition groups organize by tribe only. This has been the greatest long-term strategic achievement by TPLF the last three years. After the desperate diaspora Oromos began to cosy up to mid-level OPDO cadres in recent years and eventually appoint Dr. Abiy, the TPLF has expanded its base for EPRDF. As the result, the people who rally to welcome Dr. Merera and Prof. Gerba in Oromia towns are now the same exact people who show up to celebrate the “new” OPDO these days. 

TPLF hopes to achieve the same success in Amhara region by pushing people to mobilize ethnically, instead of as a multi-national movement. Therefore, TPLF has continued its policy of killing and displacing Amharic speakers living in Benshangul and other states, as a tactic to lure people toward a tribal reaction and tribal solution to their problems. It is no surprise that more and more “Amhara” groups are rising as a reaction to these artificial ethnic conflicts. 

From the ashes of these conflicts, deaths and destruction; the TPLF sees another opportunity to survive another day at the expense of the Ethiopian people.

It is time for Ethiopian people to wake up and go back to our roots since Adwa, as Ethiopians first and foremost. Instead of the Oromo seeking to own Addis Ababa and the Amhara seeking Welkait; we must end the TPLF system of tribalism and view every town as the land belonging to all Ethiopians. Instead of turning our backs when Badme is lost, we must seek to restore our historic lands in Sudan and Asab. Ethiopian nationalism and patriotism have always been the engines of our renaissance. We must struggle smarter and unite to transform our country into a democracy with independent institutions, equality and freedom for all citizens. 

__________________________

The Ethiopian Republican Party (ETRP ቶኩማ) is a new populist pro-democracy movement established in 2017 by former Kinijit/CUD and OFDM members.  ETRPtokuma@gmail.com

 


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