Inducing TPLF to relinquish power

By Robele Ababya / August 27, 2012

Let the new march start afresh "Let the incoherent activities end. Let the petty bickering stop. And let Ethiopians unite against poverty, hunger, corruption, injustice, discrimination, humiliation…in their own country. Let the new march start afresh"Abebe Gellaw

“Where Law ends, Tyranny begins” is a quotation attributed to one of the most influential English philosophers, John Locke (1632 -1704). The interesting corollary: “Where Tyranny ends, the Law takes effect” should scare tyrants and embolden fighters for dignity and decency, which can thrive only in a compassionate democratic society under the supreme rule of law. I used the quotation by Locke in my article entitled “Beyond inevitable fall of Zenawi and Mubarak” dated 05 February 2011.

The following quotation by Abraham Lincoln – one of the Greatest Statesmen in the world – is remarkably valid:-

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.” I used this quotation in my article titled “Resolve epic Ethiopian issues now” dated 27 July 2012

Reaffirming the veracity of the two quotations above, I write this short piece - which is a follow up to my article entitled “Operation save Ethiopia” dated 23 July 2011.  

Indeed! Ethiopia with divine intervention will belong to all of her citizens that choose to live in freedom, dignity, prosperity, and respect for basic human rights in a democratic society ruled by the a constitution of the people by the people for the people.  

Recapitulation: Background to this short piece

The initially peaceful 1974 Ethiopian Revolution turned bloody with the idea of the misplaced class struggle imported by Marxist-Leninists that converged on Addis Ababa from the Diaspora; they thought that communist ideology would be panacea for all the political, economical and social problems perpetrated by the then largely feudal order that, under the divine right of kings claimed by the 235th Emperor of Ethiopia, governed the lives of the pious multi-cultural society influenced by intertwined Judo-Christian and Islamic values for centuries.

The leftists engaged in a fierce fight for grabbing state-power - one group running to the USSR and the other to Communist China for support. The USA responded to Mengistu’s harsh criticism in public and reduced its Embassy strength in Addis Ababa.

Interestingly, the defunct USSR welcomed the peaceful bloodless change and advised that all democratic forces supporting it should be included in a broad-based government that would transform the Ethiopian feudal society. The Derg called the USSR revisionist. Communist China did not give much material support to the radical Maoists behind the Derg for tactical reasons.

The bloodshed and carnage took place among the Marxist-Leninists, better still between Stalinist-Maoists, locked in competition to show supremacy in ideological purity and to that end using children of poor peasants and workers as their foot soldiers. Such gruesome and humiliating act must no repeat in Ethiopia ever again.

The mirror in which I see the legacy of tyrant Zenawi

The tyrant finally died leaving us with the legacy of his heinous crimes including genocide, victims of torture, incarceration of peaceful protesters en masse; extra judiciary execution of peaceful protesters, the wailing of mothers, the agony of bereaved families, toiling peasants in serfdom, interethnic hatred, daylight robbery of votes, pervasive corrupt practices, demised free media, government monopoly of all pillars of democracy, blocked freedom of expression, poor educational standard, forbidden academic freedom in tertiary institutions, abject poverty, rampant unemployment embarrassing lies, rampant breach of the constitution, regional instability et al.

All in all it was a tragedy that befell Ethiopia bringing her to the precipice of catastrophe that will require divine guidance, visionary leadership and hard work in a democratic environment.

In my article titled “Countdown to dethroning Zenawi” dated 29 January 2011 I wrote:

Quote An estimated 2 -3 million Ethiopians inundated the streets and public squares in support of the opposition forces – notably Coalition for Unity and Democracy (Kinijit) and Unity of Ethiopian Democratic Forces - at the mammoth peaceful demonstration on 08 May 2005, that is one week before the election of 15 May 2005 that ended in crushing defeat for the ruling TPLF Party.  There is no reason that the same kind of sea of humanity should not turnout again to demand the dethronement of Meles Zenawi. The time is propitious to reclaim our human dignity; this must be done primarily by us by paying all the necessary sacrifices to achieve our sacred goal of liberating our beloved country, Ethiopia, in unison while respecting our cultural diversity and categorically rejecting division along ethnic lines that has so far proved a potent weapon of choice of the invader. Unquote

The Almighty God has done the dethroning and the rest of the evil legacies left behind by tyrant Zenawi’s permanent departure are up to us the victims of his atrocities to rectify. There are Herculean tasks in waiting to be carried out in earnest!

Lost opportunity

The 20th century passed on a phenomenal quantum leap in science, technology and communications to the 21st century. Both despots Mengistu Hailemariam and Meles Zenawi failed to make use of the benefits of this development because they were deeply suspicious of intellectuals and fearful of the educated class. The former demoralized the educated class by killing, marginalizing, insulting them; the latter did even more by sending them into exile not long after entry to Addis Ababa to capture power with the support of the USA.

The tyrant Zenawi lost valuable time in committing unforgivable crime of blocking free flow of information and current knowledge to the Ethiopian; promulgating draconian laws to prevent freedom of expression in all its forms. 

Foreign influence on Ethiopian affairs

Starting with the Imperial regime up to the present domestic and foreign policy has been influenced by western powers save for the 17 years of the era of the Derg where the Communist Block under the overall control of the defunct USSR had the lions share followed by Cuba and North Korea in shaping such policy.

Unfortunately, in security matters and supply of military hardware and personnel training, Ethiopia was totally dependent on the two superpowers of the cold war era. This was more so in the face of serious threats then coming from reactionary despotic leaders in the oil-rich Arab world.

In spite of incalculable price paid in terms of human lives and scarce resources for setting up her defense institution and acquisition of military weapons, Ethiopia is now a landlocked country with an army and security forces completely dominated and controlled by loyal clique of generals and colonels originating from a minority ethnic group holding almost all positions at the command and policy making staff levels. This must be reversed as a matter of top priority!

The threats from the Arab world are fortunately now waning thanks to the Arab Spring that has disgracefully swept away those despotic leaders from power.  So, this is a momentous time for Ethiopia to formulate its own policy for the first time since the death of Menilik II. The only barrier to formulating an independent foreign policy at this moment is our lack of unity!


How to force the TPLF top echelon to relinquish power

The initial phase of popular revolution will do the following:-

1.          People will flock to public squares in mammoth numbers in every city in Ethiopia

2.          Demand the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and declare unfettered freedom of expression consistent with the UN Declaration on Human Rights

3.          Oppositions forces, civic leaders and religious organizations shall set up their stalls at the city squares throughout Ethiopia where they will introduce their political programs or provide their specific inputs to democratic change as well as d engage with stakeholders at consultation meetings focused on the way forward based on agreed timeline

4.          Stakeholders gathered in Addis Ababa will setup a coordinating committee that will contact similar committees in other cities and receive resolutions of the demonstrators on key issues; consolidate resolutions received and disseminate to stakeholders

5.          People will agree to form a transitional government 

6.          People will demand resignation of the top echelon of the EPRDF Party including Politbureau and Central Committee members handing power to the transitional government for a period of one

7.          The first and foremost undertaking would be securing the boundaries of motherland, Ethiopia. So the current national defense and security structures must be kept intact; rank and file service men and women as well as officers with the rank of up to lieutenant colonel will be retained; the remaining high ranking officers will be suspended pending fair investigation as to why they did not side with the people

Here below are some other key indispensable tasks:-

1.          Establishment of National Peace and Reconciliation Commission

2.          Establishment of an all-inclusive Transitional Government

3.          Formulating basic principles and identifying inviolable national values to be             enshrined  in the new constitution

4.          Drafting of a new constitution of the people by the people for the people

5.          Forming of a democratic government

6.          Resolving  the long standing burning issue of “Land to the Tiller” as private property

7.          Formulating comprehensive domestic policy

8.          Formulating the first ever independent foreign policy

More on securing Ethiopian borders

Securing the borders with Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan require special attention.  There is no question that the valiant people of Tigray together with regular ground and Air Force units there, will repulse any Eritrean threat; the Ethiopian defense forces unit deployed in Somalia should be withdrawn to secure our border demolishing the Al Shaba on its way back; the defense of the border with the Sudan should be carried out with the collaboration of regular forces and various anti-TPLF dissidents operating in the area; fortunately the border with Kenya has been demarcated and both countries have a common enemy, the Al Shabab, which they should keep fighting jointly.


There is no sense in engaging in internecine civil strife and boast as a national hero and building monuments to commemorate the victims of the winning side. It would therefore be right to demand the TPLF leaders at the top echelon to resign from their posts in order to stop the vicious cycle of grabbing power by the barrel of the gun. The immoral flow of fund from some Western powers is bound to end in which case the TPLF regime shall be no more.