Summary of crimes committed during TPLF regime and unresolved challenges of political reformation in Ethiopia
By Malkamuu Jaatee, July 23, 2019
“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”– Frederick Douglas
Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) regime (1991 – 2018) violated human rights in similar vicious circle of its predecessors, the imperial (1889 – 1974) and the military junta (1974 to 1991) regimes. All of them have shared similar characteristics in executing crimes against humanity that they had null concern and void reservation for human life when it came to their absolute power. They were cruel murderers of human beings to protect the status quo of their zero-sum political games.
These regimes were finally overthrown by very expensive civil war and popular uprisings claimed millions of lives4. Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam, the master mind of atrocities committed during 1974-1991 against humanity, safely escaped to Zimbabwe without facing any justice. Similarly, the leaders of institutionalized crimes against humanity during 1991-2018 safely escaped to Tigray regional state from where they are conspiring to recapture the political power by any means possible.
Unlike its predecessors, the TPLF regime has institutionalized crimes against humanity during the last 27 years (1991 – 2018). It formulated and proclaimed Charities and Societies, Anti-terrorism, and Freedom of the Mass Media and Access to Information laws to justify injustices7. The constitution became a unique tool to protect the zero-sum political game by covering criminal activities of the regime shortly described under the following topics:
Multi-dimensional violation of human rights to suppress descents: Politically motivated human rights violation practices of the TPLF regime included the following atrocities against civilians: several thousands were extra-judicially killed and massacred, tens of thousands disappeared without trace, several thousands detained decades long without trial, livelihoods of millions rural communities damaged by forceful evictions from ancestral land, number of refugees and internally displaced peoples increased, freedom of media was crippled2 & 8…
Orchestration and manipulation of interethnic and intra-ethnic conflicts to sustain its ambition of divide and rule for ever: Security networks and military officials of the regime were covertly involved in inciting conflict between several communities. The conflict resulted in destabilization of peaceful coexistence of ethnic groups due to establishment of animosity & mistrust between peoples lived together in harmony for centuries in Ethiopia. It claimed tens of thousands lives and displaced millions that its negative effect will persist for decades.
Uncontrolled exploitation of economy via manipulation of governance system: The regime extremely exploited economy of the country through manipulatively directing rule of law, security apparatus, military force, election board, diplomatic mission, and public media. The process of unfairly monopolizing owner ship of significant proportions of resources in Ethiopia was conducted with undifferentiation of legislative and executive organs and distorting principle of free market in violation of civil code of conduct. Thus, the regime fully controlled economy of the country through establishment of business empire (example EFFORT, Metec, etc conglomerate companies) and used micro credits & food aids as tools of gaining political support6&9.
Employed aggravation of poverty as a tool for hiring agents of criminal activities: Development of extreme poverty in Ethiopia is manifested by: millions of people became victims of chronic food insecurity and unsafe drinking water, poor status of human health, reduction to the status of forced manual laborer via land grabbing, financial disability to access basic needs, and the country categorized among the list of last countries with the lowest human development indices in the world. The regime effectively used poverty through food aid and micro credit services and dictated political fate of peoples of Ethiopia for more than quarter of a century. Extremely large gab of income is established due to illegal accumulation of excessive wealth in hands of the regime`s elites and families with unconstitutionally organized and expanded fake nongovernmental institutes and business empires exclusively owned by the regime and its close partners6 & 9 . Thus, the economic dominance was invested on organization of secret networks deep rooted to the local level executing criminal activities to protect oligarchic type of regime`s governance powers.
Initiated rampant corruption to easily misappropriate public resources: The corruptive system of governance was demonstrated by lack of accountability, ineffective control system, void regulation principles, no respect for rule of law, suppression of alternative voices, and political instability. Thus, the regime was successfully created the servants of its criminal activities across all regions of Ethiopia for the last 27 years and it has successfully looted several billion dollars.
The multi phased political, economic, and social instabilities emerged in Ethiopia are the biproducts of misguided political ideology of successive savage regimes leading the country to the point of no return to be safe from the looming threats. The chance to break the vicious cycle of violence is minimal without establishment of efficient reconciliatory processes with justice to be the central core, because impacts of destructive forces accumulated over decades are large, complex, and interwoven.
The oligarchic TPLF regime has acquired financial and organizational means to create obstacles against the success of ongoing political reformation unlike its predecessors (the imperial & military junta regimes) who did not acquire means of direct influence after their demise. The oligarchic regime is investing resources acquired illegally, on political conspiracy, to reassert itself as the force of stability. It is covertly playing with the three interlinked pillars of instability, Poverty-Terrorism-Fragmentation of political organizations, to create havocs to show the international communities that Ethiopia will be disintegrated without TPLF at the helm of governanment1 & 3.
Whether Ethiopia disintegrate or reintegrate along ethnic nationalism, it is the cumulative effects of reactions against the savage actions and counteractions of successive regimes responsible for sustaining instability.
The process of breaking the vicious cycles of violence and instability cannot attain its final destiny without meaningful justice and reconciliation. Fair justice for victims of injustice is highly required in complex journey toward realization of establishment of new Ethiopia where reign of justice, peace, freedom, democracy, and sustainable development under the rules of law are expected.
“Reconciliation should be accompanied by justice, otherwise it will not last. While we all hope for peace it shouldn’t be peace at any cost, but peace based on principle, on justice.”– Corazon Aquino
- Acemoglu D. and Robinson J. A., 2012. Why nations fail, the origins of power, prosperity, and poverty. Profile book LTD, 3A Exmouth House, Pine street, London
- Jaatee M. and Anywaa Survival Organization 2016. Land Grabbing and Violations of Human Rights in Ethiopia. Accessed from the website on July 16. 2019. http://genocidewatch.net/2016/02/01/land-grabbing-in-ethiopia/
- Jaatee M. 2018. Negative forces conspire to destabilize peaceful political struggle in Ethiopia. Accessed from the website on July 16. 2019.http://www.bilisummaa.com/negative-forces-conspire-to-destabilize-peaceful-political-struggle-in-ethiopia/
- Jaatee M. 2019. Historical aspects of landgrab in Ethiopia with political game linked to land tenure of successive regimes (1889 – 2018). Accessed from the website on July 16. 2019. http://www.ayyaantuu.org/historical-aspects-of-landgrab-in-ethiopia-with-political-game-linked-to-land-tenure-of-successive-regimes-1889-2018/
- Mecha T. K. 2018. The recumbent empire (Does it require dispersal or redressal?) Rajii Printing Press.Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- Z., 2010. Political nongovernmental organizations and governmental companies in Ethiopia. Political roles of local NGOs & governmental companies under the ownership of TPLF/EPRDF regime. Accessed from the website on July 16. 2019. http://www.oromoliberationfront.org/news/2010/Fake_NGO_of_the_TPLF_(gullaala_xummuraa).pdf
- Mulataa Z. 2010. Antidemocratic system of governance in Ethiopia under absolute dictatorship of TPLF regime. Accessed from the website on July 16. 2019 http://www.ethiomedia.com/absolute/anti_democratic_governance_in_ethiopia.pdf
- Oromia Support Group 2010. Submission from Oromia Support Group, Human Rights Committee in its 99thsession 12-30 July 2010, Geneva. Accessed from the website on July 16. 2019 https://www.ecoi.net/file_upload/470_1283946253_osg-ethiopia-hrc99.pdf
- Unpublished Running Document 2002. Ethiopian non-governmental business: companies controlled by or associated with EPRDF-member organizations (4th update of a running documentary).