Addressing Post TPLF Fears

December 27, 2015 | By Dr. Ebissa Ragassa

Fear is an inability to imagine possibilities…

There is great fear reverberating among Ethiopianist/unionist that the sudden fall of TPLF will lead to Ethiopia’s disintegration. What Ethiopia may become after the fall of TPLF is uncertain and unknown as such it has made Ethiopianist to be hesitant to join Oromo’s peaceful struggle. While it is prudent to be cautious during uncertainty, remaining silent will neither preserve Ethiopia’s unity nor prevent it as feared. The strategic decision taken by Ethiopianist to remain a bystanders at the time when their participation is greatly needed to overthrow a heinous regime will only add to TPLF’s longevity rather than shorten it.

Failure to stand in solidarity with our Oromo brothers and sisters who are waging peaceful resistance in a face of merciless enemy will undoubtedly question whether Ethiopia is an idea worth preserving or Ethiopia is a facade. If Ethiopia’s unity is so fragil that  we need TPLF in place to preserve it, than the unity of Ethiopia is in greater jeopardy than we imagine and we must quickly rethink the long-term strategies.
Already, the Oromo peaceful resistance has exposed TPLF’s vulnerabilities awaiting our joint effort to fully remove it from power. TPLF has de-evolved to the point of becoming an agent for foreign corporations by totally neglecting Ethiopia’s interest as evident by the lack of progress for past 25 years.  As such, the hope of transforming Ethiopia through TPLF is structurally and ideologically impossible. There are three possible outcomes that could naturally occur post TPLF, predicated on what we do now, how we decide to act jointly.
The first scenario is that TPLF will fall and Ethiopia remains an intact country. The second scenario would be Ethiopia will go through a referendum and each nation and nationalities will determine their own fate. The third scenario is that we do nothing, TPLF will continue to sell our lands to stay in power in name of development and soon than later Ethiopia will become a failed state.
In fact, the 2nd and 3rd scenarios have occurred under TPLF. Eritrea had seceded fundamentally altering Ethiopia’s territorial integrity with TPLF’s assistance. Ethiopia had lost its port, a vital access to sea that was purposely designed to cripple Ethiopian economically.  TPLF had fundamentally lost internal legitimacy, its continued existence is guaranteed by foreign military support and financial aid. Finally, Ethiopia is on the verge of becoming a failed state joining her neighbor Somalia where TPLF is acting as mercenary for western interest increasing regional instabilities.
There is no doubt that TPLF will fall, it is a matter of time, the eventuality of this should not be taken lightly, as such we must begin to think what kind of Ethiopia we wish to live in. There is more evidence and consensus among people as well as political leaders that Ethiopia will emerge stronger post TPLF, provided Ethiopianist see Oromo’s peaceful protest as an opportunity rather than a threat. Failing to join the peaceful uprising by the unionist would undoubtedly lead to a catastrophic, a strategic mistake that will both derail the possibility of forming unified country and exacerbate the fragile nature of Ethiopia.
Skeptics may question this possibility of unified Ethiopia post TPLF given our history and different political ideologies. However, if the unionist join in the struggle to topple TPLF, unity has already started on victorious foundation in which all people had contributed to removing TPLF from power. As such, a new beginning would in sue, in which the people themselves take credit for removing TPLF from power rather than some political organization claiming victory. Hence, a unified action will change Ethiopia’s trajectory, from which armed group had always claimed victory in turn subjected our people. Removal of  TPLF through popular uprising will not only end tyrannical rule over our people, but will change our people’s psyche, perception, that will undoubtedly deter undemocratic rule for generations to come, at the same time deploying a well-equipped citizens that develops itself through its own means and decide its own fate. A unionist joining peaceful struggle would only lead to a win win situation despite the uncertainty of post TPLF.
The kind of Ethiopia is formed post TPLF is another reason the unionist have not fully embraced current uprising. While the current Oromo uprising was initiated in Oromia, at its core, it is a question of citizenship that all Ethiopian people have been yearning for.  If the unionist make a joint effort in removing TPLF, the question of citizenship will be an integral part of our future. The new Ethiopia should be based on constitution, a sets of bills of rights that guarantees its citizens peace and prosperity. Basing Ethiopian unity solely on history and common bond will have disastrous consequences not only for current struggle but for the future. As such, unionist must accept and be ready to participate in the formation of   new Ethiopia that is based on ideals that will continue to evolve with the needs of our citizens.
The 3rd reason the unionist are hesitant to join the struggle is the demographic power of Oromo people threatens Ethiopian unity if TPLF is suddenly removed.  In fact, Oromo being a majority will make it a very difficult case for separation. As majority, even if it’s politically feasible, practically a very difficult to ascertain. Therefore, it would be easier for Oromo people to rearrange Ethiopia in way that brings peace and prosperity to all groups in the country than seek secession. However, if TPLF remains in power, the possibility of civil war is evident as internal colonization is already taking place. The expropriation of Ethiopian people’s resource, the rearrangement of internal boundaries without consent and the of selling fertile land to foreign companies will exacerbate people’s patients, as matter of survival secession would be become the only option.
The Oromo peaceful movement has cracked and exposed TPLF’s vulnerabilities. To deal a final blow to this military dictatorship, we all need to stand in defiance against the regime. Our failure to do so will embolden TPLF further jeopardizing our people very existence. Is the fear of post TPLF worse than living under TPLF rule? A new Ethiopia, without TPLF, is a risk worth taking.
Dr. Ebissa Ragassa

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