• The Second Request Of The TPLF To Restore Relations
As was outlined in the past issues of this article, the leadership of the TPLF by thwarting its relations with the EPLF and suspending the military operations it waged against the Derg regime in Tigray became involved in drawing the EPLF in to conflict by raising irrelevant matters like the border issue and other trivial arguments. However, due to the tolerant and mature leadership of the EPLF this never escalated into a situation which could have led both the people into unnecessary confrontation.
The EPLF had continued its political, military and moral support to the TPLF simply because it firmly believed that the question of the Tigrayan people was just and legitimate, even if they had such reckless and narrow-minded leaders. As a matter of fact, the relations were not always smooth. Indeed, the TPLF leadership was making senseless moves that emanated from lack of experience and naïve features.
In the previous part it is noted that, in 1976, the EPLF leadership invited both EPRP and TPLF to a meeting to propose a means on how to settle their quarrels. The EPLF also recommended that they plan realistic objectives and work together towards their goal. Due to their different views, however, they failed to accept the plea. Especially the TPLF was expecting that the EPLF would change its stand and align with it skidding from its principled conviction. Hence, the TPLF was not happy with the balanced and unbiased view of the EPLF. The leadership of the TPLF which was not pleased by the impartial statement of the EPLF opted to abandon the EPLF which had nurtured it from the cradle.
Rising from the various clashes among different political organizations in the Tigrayan fields in 1975, the TPLF leadership went on for more than a year without a clear political program or policy. However, since the clique as a political entity had to clarify its programs and objectives, in February 1976 the TPLF issued a ludicrous statement known as ‘Manifesto 68’. Some of the nonsensical points presented in the ‘manifesto’ are stated below.
In order to understand the ever changing agendas and the dangerous attitude of the TPLF regime requires one to first have some idea about the background and the founding of the Ethiopian nation.
Ethiopia’s current political map came into shape in 1945, after the victory of the Allied powers over the Axis forces and specifically when the British Empire decided to cede the control of the Ogaden region to Emperor Haileslasie of Ethiopia. But prior to the founding of the present-day Ethiopia, there were many other indigenous rivaling entities competing for power from regions such as Tigray, Gojjam, Shoa as well as the Mahdi from the Sudan. However, with the advent of the Mahdi movement and the Italian invasion, the kingdoms of Tigray and Gojjam were much weakened. This power vacuum and the existing contention between the French and the British to expand their colonial territories were exploited by the aspiring Shoan King Menelik, who forged agreements with European powers and managed to expand his territory. This gave Ethiopia its present-day geographical appearance.
On 24 March 2010 I went to the Rayburn building where Donald Payne (D-New Jersey) was holding a hearing on US policy for Africa. Johnnie Carson, the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs was there to speak about the Obama Administration’s Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa. The statement and paper he presented before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health is available on the US State Department site for those who want to read it. Johnny Carson briefly highlighted Obama’s 5-point policy and when he was done, the questions and answer session began. The session began with a question on US relations with Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Some parties have warned against violence, urging all parties to rise to the standard of adoption of peaceful means in political action. Maridi Luiji Ajok tells how Bringi disclosed her fears to her and how she used to experience fear and the inconveniences caused to her by SPLM leaders in the region.