(Researcher and Consultant)
The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is a political group founded in 1975 in Ethiopia as guerrilla fighter. Since its inception, the name “TPLF” has rancorous records in relation to atrocities and terrorism. It could actually claim place in the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), based on dozens of incidents occurring between 1976 and 1990. It obviously committed countless acts of terror before and after it seized state power in 1991. However, its paradox for the double standard remains a puzzling political and historical absurdity.Throughout its fight for power; it is known for its multifaceted role and activities in terrorism. As a result, it was globally registered guerrilla terrorist -1976-1990.
Terrorism acts of TPLF as a guerrilla fighting group
In order to increase the spiral of the mass silence, TPLF covertly circulated terrorizing flyers and letters in small towns and farmers villages. In some localities, it used to attack communities and plundered public and private properties to trigger abhorring rage against the state. The wicked part of TPLF’s terror was on its people too. The June 22, 1988 Hawzen Market Massacre of about 2,800 people in Tigray had really exposed the very essence of the group’s savagery.
The perpetrator is listed in the GTD, based on dozens of incidents occurring between 1976 and 1990. As GTD database in districts of Werder, Gonder, Metema, Bure, AdiHaro, Addis Ababa, Kobo, Lalibela, Jari, Korem, Workamba and Aksum are victims of the Tigre forces fascism.
According to U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services, TPLF was one of the ineligible squads for visas or admission. The TPLF qualifies as a Tier III terrorist organization under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). INA section 212 (a) (3) (B) (vi) is a member of a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III); (VII) endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity); and (III has, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily harm, incited terrorist activity) on the basis of its violent activities. Though GTD registers TPLF as non-state actor terrorist, the group has continued its crimes after it seized power in 1991-attacking opponents, killing civilians and abusing human rights all in its tenure.
State terrorism and global alliance to fight it: the paradox
TPLF orchestrated countless acts of terror before and after it seized state power in 1991. The other controversial face of TPLF with regards of Terrorism is its global partnership in fighting terrorism on behalf of the government of Ethiopia. The TPLF-led government of Ethiopia was known for its partnership with the international community and United States in fighting terrorism in the Horn of Africa. Unusually, however, it has been using its power and global partnership privileges as hideouts to its acts of terror against the people of Ethiopia.
As commentaries of The Oakland Institute (2015), the anti-terrorism law used as a tool to stifle dissent where that “law is premised on an extremely broad and vague definition of terrorist activity.” There were also substantial documentations about the anti-terrorism law deficient in relation to its contravention of international understanding of the fight against terror. Even the breadth and depth of the law and its interpretations were loaded with TPLF’s political ends to choke legitimate oppositions.
Here are the cases!
In 1992, aftermath of control of central power, TPLF schematized the Bunno-Beddeno and Arba-Gugu Massacres in Oromia against Amharas videotaped the atrocity and used for its propaganda, was one of the bitter realities of the nation.
Repudiating the Sidama peoples constitutional rights, on May 24, 2002, the TPLF gunmen shot 69 and injured 220 Sidama ethnics in many places but majorly in Hawassa. Similarly, in South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, the atrocity against Konso people on September 13, 2016 is another manifestation of TPLF’s anti-Ethiopians stance. Konsos entangled with attacks, mass arrests and killings with prolonged state terror hindering farmers from agricultural activities.
In 2003, the Amhara (Wolkait, Raya, Birsheleko); the Oromia (outskirts of Addis Ababa); the Gambella (Nuer lands) and the Benishangul-Gumuz peoples protested to stop native lands from being taken over by the felons. With their arms raised to signify peaceful protest, they were violently repressed and killed rampantly (Degeufe Hailu, Green Left, June 5, 2017). On December 13, 2003, according to the Human Rights Watch Report titled “Targeting the Anuak: Human Rights Violations and Crimes against Humanity in Ethiopia’s Gambella Region” published on March 23, 2005, due to “a brutal ambush allegedly committed by armed Agnuak sparked a bloody three-day rampage in the regional capital, 424 people were killed, almost all of them Anuak.
The mobs burned over four hundred houses to the ground and ransacked and looted many of those left standing.” The December 2003 massacre was not the first time TPLF gunmen had committed human rights abuses against civilians in Gambella, but it was a turning point in Gambella’s spiral of conflict and insecurity which facilitated for land grabbing by the military generals and ordinary Tigre.
On April 24, 2007, in partnership with TPLF, members of the resistance groups in Ogaden attacked a Chinese oil exploration team’s camp in Obale, killing 65 Ethiopian experts and 9 Chinese nationals. The TPLF contrabandists, surprisingly, were politically sabotaging to exploit resources in the Somali Region, assassinating businessmen, good-minded citizens and politicians. Tens of thousands of ethnic Somali civilians were destined to death yet many more had tragically migrated to Europe, Kenya and Somalia.
The 2014 Ambo Massacre where TPLF responded with a brutal crackdown and assassination of 78 students in Ambo town for peaceful protests while 400 and more Oromos were killed for joining the protest. The second Ambo Massacre happened on October 25, 2017 claimed the life of 10 innocent youth and wounded 23 for only road blockade to stop smuggling trucks.
As TPLF is a belligerent group, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Ethiopia was at the global top list journalists forced exile between 2010 and 2015 after Syria.
On October 2, 2016, the terror makers, TPLF Agazi butchers, terrorized the public amid its Irreecha festival, killed at least 678 festival-goers with machine gun. In December 2017 the TPLF-guard, Agazi forces massacred 20 and wounded 14 in Chellenko. The Hamaressa camp violence is another virulent act of TPLF. More than 350 IDPs shelter was attacked and 6 were shot-dead by the Tigre soldiers in February, 2018 inside the camp. The death of 13 civilians of Moyale town on March 10, 2018 and catastrophic wounds of 15 women and kids was horrific. The heinous attack caused the displacement of about 79,000 residents.
Above all, as they are very swiftly realizing that the terror strategy of the TPLF is the same as that of the colonial masters — divide and conquer.
In another explanatory article, Ethiopian regime has a 25-years-long bloody legacy, composed by Degeufe Hailu, a co-founder of the Ethiopian Community Association of Australia and a former vice-president of the Horn of Africa Relief and Development Agency, reveals the contagious nature of social and economic terror posed by TPLF. Degeufe pronounces that: “200,000 indigenous persons from 240,000 hectares of land in the lower Omo Valley were displaced without compensation or consultation, due to the government’s development of sugar plantations.
The clearance of land, sold to foreign interests, year-in year-out has lined the pockets of the government, without regard for the region, or the Ethiopian people in general” (Green Left, April 3, 2016). However, after embezzling more than 77 billion birr from the proposed sugar factories, miserably, none of the five projects become successful.
Assailant TPLF abducted an Ethiopian Business tycoon Mohamed Sheikh Adani, in Warder, Somali, Ethiopia. No group claimed responsibility for the incident; however, sources attributed the attack is orchestrated by the TPLF. GTD coded this attack with ID: 201805120045 committed on 12 May 2018 in Warder Province, Somali region. Mareeg and Halgan Media both had a report on May 12, 2018 as: “the Ethiopian militia backed by Tigrian Peoples Liberation Front abducted Saturday night Mohamed Sheikh Adani and all his property has been confiscated by militias receiving orders from Ogaden head Abdi Iley [the former Regional president]” where the extent of property damage was estimated to be 1 million dollar.
Editor’s Note: The views entertained in this article do not necessarily reflect the stance of The
The January 26/2022