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Horn of Africa, victim of Narrow Politics Part II

A Divisive Politics Aimed at Securing Oligarchy
One of the strategies of clique-oriented politics is securing its power by pursuing the divide and rule policy.  In this case, one subjugates others and pretends to represent a small other people to hire them as the servants and protectors of the group based interest.  The Amhara people were employed as mere tools of the narrow politics of Emperor Menelik, and Emperor Haileselassie. Again, the Derg regime followed a similar strategy. These regimes pursued their power in the interest of a small group of officials and their family, and not to the interest of the Amhara ethnic people.   On the contrary, having benefited nothing, the Amhara people were assumed by other ethnic groups as oppressors.

The TPLF, the regime that assumed power after the downfall of the earlier regimes, composed of individuals who had the aspiration of appearing “tiny- giant”   but again possessing a voracious appetite of political power and economic domination. Yet again, the TPLF regime employed the people of Tigray as a tool in an effort to promote its political and economic dominance.  In the name of the people of Tigray, the TPLF deprived of the national rights of the people and abused the noble struggle of the people to make use of the national wealth for a private use.


In an intention to securing its group interest, the TPLF exercised, more than any time else, a legal and institutionalized sub-national divisive politics. Before the TPLF regime came to power, the strategy the clique engineered to secure political dominance was but to forge small nominal satellite organizations that operate under its auspices. The TPLF leadership established the so-called EPRDP party for two major reasons:  pretending to be representative of and advocate for all nationalities under the guise of an agenda of establishing a nation of Tigray, on the one hand, and on the other, to create an optimum environment for political and economic dominance of the clique by polarizing the Ethiopian people along ethnocentric politics, as well as legalizing and institutionalizing its sub-national politics.

As the TPLF clique gripped power as a result of the struggle of the people of Ethiopia, it established a quasi-Ethiopian government composed of the clique and its satellite factions through the aforementioned strategy. It also managed to ratify, or to be precise, enforce a constitution with a due to implementing the set out agenda. It is to be noted that article 39 of the TPLF’s new Constitution provides provisions for the right to self determination up to secession.  This article does not hold genuine concern for the oppressed Ethiopian people, provided that unity rather than secession ensure greater national interest.  The reason why the TPLF clique divided Ethiopia into federal regions and introduced the ethnic politics and political parties is nothing but to undermine the united resistance of the Ethiopian people by creating a state of affairs of ethnic based animosity among the nationalities. The People of Ethiopia, from the outset, came to realize that narrow-based politics gives raise to violence and turmoil, rather than peace and stability and hence opposed the sub- national politics that the clique attempted to legalize under the cover of Federalism.  Disregarding to the public option, however, the clique endorsed federalism in the legal code of the country, ratified without the popular participation for reasons of political and economic agendas.

The past 19 years of the TPLF’s reign thus witnessed an oligarchy of a clique that lacks either national or popular vision but resorts to create a rift among the people in the name of democracy so as to secure its staying in power.  The people of Ethiopia, nonetheless, have not risen up against one another as per the expectation of the TPLF.  The elections of May 2005 attested to the strong opposition that stems from bitter resentment on the TPLF and its divide and rule strategy.  At that juncture, the wisdom of Ethiopians was proven owing to the fact that the opposition was against the narrow-based clique but not a tribal one. In the course of the elections, the people of Ethiopia have made its stance clear once and for all by voting out the TPLF clique. Now again, the people’s only choice is to bring oligarchy to an end. As a result of the tension between the people’s aspiration and the family-oriented politics, Ethiopia is once again at stake challenged by clique that strives to ensure familial oligarchy and the downtrodden people struggling for their rights.

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