Facilitated by the insecure Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF), powerful forces had managed to keep Ethiopia firmly within their sphere of influence by investing heavily militarily, politically and economically throughout the 27 years of the TPLFs reign of terror and grip on power. This unprecedented level of influence which these forces had enjoyed over Ethiopia, is something that they had never expected to loose, but thanks to the incompetence of the TPLF, Ethiopia today finds itself drifting away from them, placing the dominance and influence that these forces had enjoyed for so long in jeopardy.
The wind of change that began to blow in the region some two and half years ago has managed to sweep away the TPLF completely from the Ethiopian political scene. With the TPLF gone, regional alliances have been reconfigured. This realignment in the Horn of Africa has led to some countries to believe that Ethiopia was now charting its own course and it was slowly but surely slipping away from their tight grip, their sphere of influence becoming ever more smaller.
To those who have been accustomed to hear the western press laud the TPLF led Ethiopian government at every opportunity — despite it having been guilty of being one of the worst perpetrators of Human Rights abuses in the World — it comes as somewhat as a surprise to see the current Ethiopia government being ruthlessly and relentlessly demonised, especially in these past couple of months, simply because it has good relations with next door Eritrea — the country some love to hate.
Safe in the knowledge that its crimes would be covered by its handlers and it will not be held accountable, through out its reign the TPLF has been guilty of committing numerous crimes against humanity. One such crime is the ethnic cleansing of the Anuaks in the Gambela region of Ethiopia back in December 2003. The TPLF forces brutally killed over 400 people, primarily targeting men in the town of Gambela — the regions capital. It is a well documented fact that TPLF forces had raped women and burnt houses in their hundreds. Emboldened by the West’s lack of interest in the human rights of the people of Gambela, the TPLF in a desperate bid to cling to power had again committed mass atrocities in the Gambela region in 2016 — just before it was ousted from power by a popular uprising.
The crimes against Humanity that the TPLF had committed while in power and overlooked by its sponsors were so numerous and horrendous, even Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission, which was under the tight control of the TPLF, was unable to ignore all of them and reported about the killing of over one thousand people only during the instance of the popular uprising, mainly youth of the Amhara and Oromia regions.
While the corporate media and other linked institutions decided to afford the TPLF cover for the atrocities it had committed, it was left to Mr Mustafa Omer, the regional president of Somalia region in Ethiopia, to remind the world about the Gunagado massacre, the Qorille massacre, the Malqaqa massacre, the Dhagaxmadow massacre, the Mooyaha massacre, and many other mass killings carried out by the TPLF. Even the recent Mai Kadra massacre on ethnic Amharas by the TPLF in November of 2020 has been spared the selective wrath of the western press and other organisations and is now conveniently ignored, giving further protection to the now defunct TPLF.
The spontaneous coming together of the people of Eritrea and the people of Ethiopia to fight the disinformation war being waged on Eritrea and Ethiopia — without any instructions from their respective governments — can be seen as a true example of Pan Africanism at work.
Observing the people of the two countries who had been made to see each other as enemies by the shenanigans of the TPLF, work closely and effectively to safeguard the region, cannot but force one to think of might have been achieved had not the TPLF deliberately, maliciously and constantly driven a wedge for the past 20 years between the two nations in a bid to make them eternal foes. It does not bare thinking about the lost opportunity for peace, cooperation and development that could have been achieved between the two people.
In a region blighted with poverty, cooperation in development would have dramatically changed the lives of millions for the better. The merchants of chaos had gathered from near and far, making the preservation of the status quo of conflict and poverty their top priority. However, despite the best efforts of these dark elements, the people of Eritrea and the people of Ethiopia through the sacrifice of many, now find themselves presented with an opportunity to cement the ground work for lasting peace in the region.
With the TPLF gone to never make a come back, one could ask, are there new actors chosen to encircle the Horn of Africa alliance of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia? Who might those chosen be? Could it be Sudan to the west and Kenya to the south? Could there be a link with the lifting of decades long sanctions on the Sudan and its border dispute with Ethiopia which seems to have escalated at an alarming rate having come from nowhere? Ethiopian social media pundits considered it a slap in the face of the Ethiopian government and a gesture of great disrespect of Ethiopian sovereignty when the US had the audacity to discuss recent events in the Ethiopian region of Tigray with the Kenyan leader — which are internal matters of Ethiopia — the recent UNSC discussions on Ethiopia and the way Kenya voted. Could all of this be an indication that Kenya is now being groomed to become the new darling of the West in East Africa?
Are elements in the Sudan the real problem or are there others hiding behind the facade of Nile? Is Sudan being backed by powerful countries in the Middle East, US, and Europe? Or is it Egypt that is operating behind the scenes, pulling the strings to orchestrate a crisis in the region in an attempt to safeguard its interests? Could the signing of the Egypt and Sudan military agreement be a coincidence or purposely designed to exploit the current situation in the Horn of Africa? Or is Egypt working to limit Turkey’s historical influence in the region, given that it is keeping it busy in Libya?
The answers to all these open ended questions are not yet crystal clear, but one thing we can all be certain about is, all the media frenzy surrounding recent events in the northern part of Ethiopia cannot be said to have emanated from a genuine concern for the Human Rights of Ethiopians living in the Tigray region, but has a more ulterior motive — the bringing back of the TPLF from the land of the dead.
The widespread coverage by the media of recent events in Ethiopia, usually laced with a disproportionate dollop of fiction, is intended to apply pressure on the Ethiopian government and PM Abiy, in the hope that he would buckle under the pressure and steer Ethiopia back into the sphere of influence
by Sara Isaias