Ethiopia: What Do We Do Now? (Part I)

By Prof. Al Mariam

October 16,2016


" The “end of the story” is that is time for the T-TPLF to run. It is better for the T-TPLF to run than to be run down."Pro AL

THEY know what they want, and do NOW! 

The T-TPLF has declared a “state of emergency” and unleashed a reign of terror on Ethiopia. But what do they want, and do now?

What the T-TPLF wants to do NOW is use every trick in the book to remain in power for another 25 years and do business as usual!

What the T-TPLF wants to do NOW is find a way to maintain for the next 25 years total and complete control of the political system and structures, the economy and the military/security forces.

What the T-TPLF wants to do NOW is reinvent the T-TPLF as a gentler and kinder organization that is all embracing and inclusive. The T-TPLF wants to convince the Ethiopian people and its foreign bankrollers that the fox guarding the hen house has suddenly been transformed into a fun-loving, affectionate and obedient Golden Retriever.

What the T-TPLF wants to do NOW is divide and destroy once and for all time the opposition, particularly the leaderless youth movement and create its own puppet opposition groups and pretend it is practicing democracy.

What the T-TPLF wants to do NOW is secure the total and unconditional surrender of the Ethiopian people who are now in full uprising mode and force them to return to T-TPLF enslavement swiftly.

What the T-TPLF wants to do NOW is project a sense of “peace” and “stability” (which simply means shackle the hands and feet of the Ethiopian people, plug their ears so they hear nothing from the outside, poke their eyes out so they cannot see T-TPLF massacres and muzzle their mouths so they cannot speak) and play nice so that the loaners, donors, international poverty pimps and “investors”  will  keep pumping more money to prop up T-TPLF rule. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told PPM Hailemariam to “open talks with people who have problems [opposition]” and that in a “democracy there always needs to be an opposition that has a voice.” The PPM said, “Yeah, yeah… whatever.” Barack Obama said the T-TPLF is democratic and does not need to give the opposition a voice to be a democracy. PPM Hailemariam yelped, “Right on Bro-bama!”

What the T-TPLF wants to do NOW is infiltrate, penetrate and completely destroy the leaderless youth movement that has been organizing the national resistance, protests and civil disobedience against T-TPLF rule. (I use the phrase “leaderless youth movement” to indicate the widespread use of nonviolent resistance  and civil disobedience by loosely organized and coordinated independent groups who broadly share the same objectives without an identifiable command and control structure).

What the T-TPLF wants to do NOW is achieve a “negotiated” settlement to the current massive uprising (by force, trickery, bribery, persecution, prosecution, etc.) so that it can buy more time to plan a ruthless crackdown. The T-TPLF wants to use “negotiations” to keep itself in power with total and complete domination of the politics, economy and military structures of Ethiopia. Anyone who believes the T-TPLF will give one millimeter, one milligram of power through negotiation, is a damned fool. The T-TPLF will NEVER, NEVER give one millimeter or one milligram  of power to anyone by negotiation or other civilized means. The reason is simple: Those who seized power straight out of the bush know only the law of the jungle; they are clueless about the rule of law. As I like to say, you can take the thug out of the bush (jungle) but you can never take the bush (jungle) out of the thug. There is as much chance of teaching the T-TPLF about the rule of law as there is domesticating a hyena.

What the T-TPLF wants to do NOW is defeat the nonviolent resistance and movement in Ethiopia by waging a war of attrition by strategically using its velvet-gloved iron fist.

What the T-TPLF wants to do NOW is hoodwink and bamboozle Ethiopians into giving it one more chance to remain in power for another 25 years.

The T-TPLF puppet prime minister in his televised declaration of a “state of emergency” (for the T-TPLF, that is) spent nearly one-half of his 20-minute statement pleading, groveling and begging for one more chance to get it right. The PPM said:

In this regard, as set forth in the constitution, our aim is to continue the work started by the people and the government. Our government’s system of governance needs to be renewed (rehabilitated). We have started a competent mobilization process. We will reshape our (administration) from top to bottom and address the questions raised by the people and their complaints about the services the government should give them. This is one of our biggest goals. Second, the governance process must be rehabilitated. We have to do deep reforms. In so doing, we will extract those things that are democratic deficits and correct them. Reforming our democratic structure is another one of the big jobs we have to do. That means increasing executive accountability to the legislature. It is also necessary to engage civic and professional organizations in discussion with the government and widen our democracy. Also to broaden and deepen our democracy, it is very necessary to engage the legal parties in discussion with the government on various agendas…

To reinforce the PPM’s message, for the past week the T-TPLF has been setting up shotgun “conferences” (forced) to engage in dialogue with local academics, researchers, community, religious, opposition, civic and traditional leaders.

In one videotaped “conference” on T-TPLF TV, T-TPLF invited “leaders” are seen and heard talking about the need “for urgent dialogue with other stakeholders”, “better governance”, “opening of political space”, institutionalizing the “rule of law”, “taking responsibility for past mistakes”, “civility and tolerance”, “reconnecting the (T-TPLF) with the people”, “peace and harmony” and a whole bunch of other stuff.

To read the full commentary, click here(Al Mariam's Commentaries).