36 Years of the TPLF and 35 Years of Meles ZenawiThe reign of a serial mass murderer
By Tesfay Atsbeha and Kahsay Berhe / February 20, 2011For the TPLF the month of February is officially a month of its birth day celebrations. The real celebration behind the veil of the birth day is actually the propaganda of the regime to exploit the emotions of Ethiopians, especially Tigrayans who lost their loved ones during the armed struggle, play the big benefactor for removing the military dictatorship and justify its “entitlement” to stay in power.
While the criminals and beneficiaries of the tyranny pay lip service to the deceased in order to dupe the innocent and maintain their own privileges and safety, a small segment of the people supports them out of respect for the “martyrs” and due to angst of the unknown, which it fears may follow. This is the Satanist segment, for it, in line with the old pessimistic adage, prefers the known Satan to the unknown Angel. Another segment, without the mood for celebration, remembers similar martyrs who lost their lives and whose history has been ruined by the crimes of those who came to power and stuck to it for almost a generation. According to the latter, which can be called the falsifier segment, the victory of the Front has been hijacked and therefore the real TPLF does not exist anymore.
The Satanist lacks clarity of aim, confidence in the future and a sense of justice transcending ethnicity. The segment of the falsifier is distorting the objective facts that the leadership of the TPLF never practiced transparency, accountability and justice during the armed struggle. It is also denying the fact that Meles and cohorts notwithstanding their negligible role for the success of the armed struggle nevertheless controlled the TPLF, molded its undemocratic culture, deprived the members of the organization of their voice in decision making, decided on its aims and policies and used it as an instrument to fulfill their wishes from the beginning.
Meles was not in the leadership of the TPLF on 18 February 1975, when the Front formally started the armed struggle, but he was befriended with those who became members of the CC in the first year and became one of the protagonists who could influence the aims and activities of the Front before he was officially a member of the CC. Meles has been destroying innocent human lives for more than 35 years.
As we tried in the last consecutive years to portray the phenomenon of Meles as the tyranny of a traitor, the fulfillment of two major conditions contributed to this unique occurrence. Firstly, his anti-Ethiopian aim was facilitated by the creation of the TPLF as an Ethnic organization; and secondly, the vulnerability of our society to fall victim to the tyranny of a single person was effectively exploited by Meles to seize absolute power. He got the collaboration of the CC to isolate the rank-and-file-members and deprive them of all their human and democratic rights, thus creating an army of sycophants who do not try to get their own rights respected, let alone stand for the rights of the people. Then, he got rid of his actual and potential contenders within the CC and politburo and monopolized power in the TPLF. The absolute power of Meles in the politburo of the TPLF led automatically to his absolute power in the TPLF in the EPRDF, in Tigray and then in the whole of Ethiopia.
It is our worst tradition in Ethiopia to be tyrannized by a single person who exercises absolute power and Meles is not an exception in this case, but in his anti-Ethiopian views and actions. Why do some Ethiopian pundits wake up after every major event, like the sham elections and discover anew the degeneration of the system to tyranny, when tyranny was never abolished in the first place? Some individuals from the opposition may get parliamentary seats or be denied of any seats with the permission of Meles. These changes in form do not affect the system.
As we express our appreciation for the human and matured decision of the Tunisian and Egyptian armed forces not to shoot at their own people, we must remind the present Ethiopian armed forces that those of them who have not yet committed crimes against humanity on the orders of the tyrant should desist from doing similar things and defend their people. Meles, the serial murderer and those who executed his orders will one day be brought to court for the massacres of unarmed Ethiopians: