Prominent social media activist elected opposition leader in Ethiopia
Hated as 'mercenary' by the people, the ruling party is waiting to strike its rival dead
By Ethiomedia
February 6, 2017

Abraha Desta
የትግራይ ወጣት 26 አመታት ያስቆጠረውን የጠላት አገዛዝ በቃኝ ብሎ የሚነሳበት ጊዜ አሁን ነው።

MEKELLE, Ethiopia - Abraha Desta, a prominent social media activist known for his powerful commentaries against the ruling party in Ethiopia, has been elected chairman of Arena, an opposition party based in this capital of Tigrai region.

TPLF, the dominant party in the ruling coalition EPRDF, which sees Arena as its nemesis, is also based here in Mekelle.

Abraha was released in July last year from two years in prison, along three other prominent opposition leaders, Habtamu Ayalew and Daniel Shibeshi (UDJ/Andenet) and Yeshiwas Assefa of Semayawi Party. They were all accused of terrorism for allegedly having links with the outlawed Arbegnoch Ginbot 7 (G7) rebel group.

They were all acquitted, though Abraha served one year and four months more for 'contempt of court.'

Unlike other former political prisoners who postpone their return to active politcs (and no one blames them given the torture and suffering their bore as inmates), Abraha walked out of prison and right away dived into the sea of opposition politics - making it look like the two-year suffering in prison had little or no effect on him.


Arena and TPLF are poles apart in their political programs. For instance take the never-ending issue of the Port of Assab. Arena, which is affiliated to the larger Ethiopian opposition coalition Medrek, considers Assab as a legitimate part of Ethiopian sovereignty while TPLF is an unwavering defender of the port as a sovereign Eritrean territory. This issue alone exposes TPLF leaders as mercenaries who have masked themselves as "Woyane" (Tigrai) for their own hidden agenda.

Since its creation in 1975, it is possible to say TPLF has been the de facto ruler of the people of Tigrai. Headed by profoundly anti-Ethiopian mercenary elements like the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Sebhat Nega, TPLF was what was the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia - a mass murderer.

TPLF's numero uno mission was to secure the independence of Eritrea from what it called 'colonialist Ethiopia'. TPLF leaders made sure Tigrians were cut to size as 'foot soldiers.' Those who questioned the anti-Ethiopia motive of TPLF leaders were wiped out of existence. Those Tigrians who witnessed the pogrom - like Seyoum Mesfin, Abay Tsehaye, Seeye Abraha, etc became more Catholic than the pope.

From bad to worse, TPLF made the toxic 'ethnic federalism' the govering policy of the country with the deliberate goal of disintegrating Ethiopia like the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia in the event that TPLF is evicted out of power.

Under ultra Eritrean nationalist mercenary leaders like Meles Zenawi, Berhane Gebrekristos, Tewodros Hagos, etc, Ethiopia was doomed as the largest landlocked country in the world.

In short, the impoverished people of Tigrai sees TPLF with fear but contempt as a mercenary group.

If justice is to reign for a single day, and the people of Tigrai are given the chance to freely choose between TPLF and Arena in that one blessed day, there is no doubt Arena would win with a knockout. The fight will be between an indigenous Ethiopian Arena and a mercenary TPLF.

(Note: Some hateful opposition elements say there is no difference between TPLF and the people of Tigrai. Such individuals are not only wrong but also promote the goals of TPLF, and that is to get the people of Tigrai ostracized and hated by the Ethiopian people. In a recent public forum in Tigrai, many individuals vowed that their suffering is too much that they don't need to burn cars or vandalize buildings but devour TPLF officials).

Finally, one may ask one key question: If TPLF is as demonic as this reporter tried to portray, why did it allow Arena to hold congress and elect new leadership?

Well, TPLF has the policy of saying, "give the opposition a time to give birth to a new set of leaders. When the opposition party tries to get on its feet, then chop off its legs."

TPLF now knows ARENA has young leaders. When such leaders grow up and begin to win the hearts and minds of the people, then TPLF begins the mass murder - its staple diet.

Will the Ethiopian Arena mobilize Tigrai and destroy the mercenary TPLF? Time will tell.

- (Abraha Belai, Editor of Ethiomedia) - An African-American news and views website.
Copyright 2016