*By Malkamuu Jaatee, December 2018
Peaceful political struggle to transform governance of Ethiopia from dictatorship to democracy started 50 years ago, however democratic governance has not yet realized. The struggle can be classified into three stages of development characterized by popular revolutions erupted in 1970s, 1990s, and 2018. Organized political movement started in 1960s was developed into socialist revolution in early 1970s. This revolution was aborted at early phase without achieving its goal, democratization of Ethiopia, because the Derg regime (the military committee) violently dismantled political organizations formed during the revolution. The military junta (1974 – 1991) brutally dictated governance of Ethiopia depending on external aids. Abortion of the revolution in 1974 paved way for civil war lasted 17 years.
The armed struggle waged against the military junta (the Derg regime) was developed into ethnic revolution in early 1990s. Also, this revolution was aborted at infant stage by military power of the Tigray People`s Liberation Front (TPLF) in similar fashion of its predecessor without realizing democratic governance. Undemocratic ethnic governance system under the TPLF regime dictatorship during 1991 – 2018 was characterized by (1) multi-dimensional human rights violation to suppress descents, (2) inciting ethnic conflicts to establish unrest to dictate political fate of Ethiopia forever with strategy of divide and rule, (3) manipulation of governance system to carry out unlimited economic exploitation, (4) imposing extreme poverty to easily employ agents, and (5) establishment of poor quality of governance to develop rampant corruption. However, the reign of multidimensional injustice resulted in eruption of national revolution of Ethiopia, the 3rd revolution, in early 2018.
The national revolution of Ethiopia is the outcome of the accumulated effects of the 1st (1968 – 1991) and the 2nd (1991 – 2018) stages of political struggle of Ethiopian people to transform governance system from traditional and modern imperial rules to democratic rule. It seems this is the final revolution with a potential to establish political road map leading to the reign of justice, peace, and sustainable development in Ethiopia and the horn of Africa. However, agents of devil those gained unlimited benefits out of modern imperial system, the TPLF regime and its underground cronies, are covertly working hard day and night to create unresolvable obstacles against the process of governance transformation from dictatorship to democracy. The regime is systematically conspiring to destabilize peaceful political struggle via the following three major negative forces: Poverty, Terrorism, and Fragmentation of competitive political parties.
Poverty is the 1st potent negative factor conspiring to divert positive direction of peaceful political struggle in Ethiopia. It affects process of transition from dictatorship to democracy in two forms: catalyst of conflict leading to vicious cycle of civil war and a market of unfair political support for dictators to protect their imperial rule.
The TPLF regime has effectively used poverty for example through food aid and micro credit services to dictate political fate of Ethiopian people for more than quarter of a century. It has established extremely large gab of income with illegal accumulation of excessive wealth in hands of the regime`s elites and families via unconstitutionally organized fake nongovernmental institutes and expanded business empires exclusively owned by the regime and its close partners.
The regime invests its economic dominance on organization of criminal agents via its secret networks deep rooted to the local level to establish unrest leading to civil war. Plenty of facts demonstrate that provocative agents hired by the regime are behind the recent large-scale interethnic conflicts taking place in Eastern, Southern, and Western Ethiopia that the conflict resulted death of several thousand innocent lives and more than 2 million internally displaced people since early 2017.
Terrorism is the 2nd negative factor possibly manipulated to the large scale by the regime to establish complicated conflict to disrupt the process of establishing inclusive and representative government. The TPLF regime uses its long experience of terrorist activities to destabilize the country. It has effectively utilized terrorism as a tactical tool to ascend the government power via rebellion (1974 -1991) and to protect its state power monopolies (1991 – 2018).
It has frequently carried out terrorist activities and blamed on the competitive political parties mainly the Oromo Liberation Front and the Ogaden National Liberation Front. The dramas of terrorist incidents were hiddenly designed and executed through secret networks of the regime to justify extrajudicially killing and imprisonment of several thousands of innocent Oromo and Somali civilians.
The evil tactic of the regime crossed the border of the country and became a destructive force jeopardising peace and stability of the Horn of Africa. No one is more responsible than the TPLF and its military officials for destabilization of Somalia. The covert partnership between the regime and the Alysheba (Islamic militant) via lucrative business of military equipment makes difficult the eradication of international terrorist activities from the region.
The regime started to reorganize underground through its established secret networks to carry out medium scale terrorist activities to destabilize the healthy movement towards democratization. For example, grenade bomb explosion at Meskel square in Addis Ababa on 26th of June 2018, against the public rally that support reformation agenda of Prime Minister Abiy Ahimad, seems a signal of the beginning of new era of terrorism in Ethiopia.
- Fragmentation of competitive political parties
The final but not least negative factor conspire to hinder the success of peaceful political struggle of Ethiopian people is fragmentation of competitive parties along political interpretation of citizenship, democracy, federation, freedom, national identity, and self-determination. Establishment of effective alliance or union to form strong political parties is not yet materialized for decades, because weakness of organizational leadership is in favour of infiltration by the TPLF regime.
Conflict of interests within and between parties based on shallow ideological differences related to meanings of political words gave rise to unmanageable number of political organizations. Number of political parties increased exponentially from less than 10 during 1990s to more than 70 political organizations recently. This unmanageable large number of political parties instrumentalized by the TPLF regime to establish opposition parties (agents) secretly within competitive political organizations.
Competitive parties tried to overcome organizational disability via establishment of the following union (alliance): Union of Liberation Fronts of Oromia, Coalition for Unity and Democracy, United Ethiopian Democratic Forces, Alliance for Freedom & Democracy, Unity for Democracy and Justice, and People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy or Ethiopian National Movement, respectively in years 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2016.
None of the alliance became a challenge to the reign of state terrorism, because most of the allied parties are covertly controlled by the regime impowered with energy emitted from multidimensional foreign aids. The regime diverts its tactic toward initiation of chaos between parties via its established security chains and economic dominance to hinder development of rules of democratic political game.
Without holistic approach, it is difficult to tackle negative forces conspire to hinder half a century political struggle of peoples of Ethiopia from attaining its final goal: establishment of government of the people, by the people, for the people. Therefore, all stake holders should have commitments to eradicate systematic manipulation of evil forces planted inside their constituencies through participation in designing strategies that has a potential to convert threats to opportunity.
Establishment of peace and reconciliation plat-forms at all levels (district, province, and national) with involvement of major stakeholders mainly the government, competitive political parties, leaders of religions, traditional leaders of different ethnic groups, and intellectual societies should be taken into consideration to overcome multiphase tactics of the devil agent, the TPLF regime, potentially destabilize Ethiopia to the level uncontrollable by any force.
Justice must be the central core of the process of peace and reconciliation. Fair justice is needed to heal wounds of civil societies extremely affected by unprecedented atrocities committed against humanity, under the leadership of the TPLF regime during 1991 – 2018. Without fair justice for victims of injustice, realization of establishment of new Ethiopia, where justice, peace, freedom, democracy, and sustainable development reign under the rules of law, is unexpected.
I sum up this article with description of the significance of time in determining life. “Time is the best teacher shaping informal and formal knowledges guiding continuity of existence of life on this very tiny planet in universes. Therefore, it is unwise to ignore past (history) and future (prediction) for their interconnectivity influences human intelligent capability to own success in present world (reality).” Summary of crimes against humanity committed by the regime will be presented in the next article.
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