The Last Battle Between TPLF and EPRP (Yohaannis and Minilik)

The two organizations, EPRP and TPLF are presented as examples for there are no better ones to represent traditional leers and clashes between Amaaraa and Tigraaway than their relations. Amaaraa and Tigree are two Abyssinian groups at each other’s throat since their existence was heard. Abyssinia was small Christian Country in the highlands of Tigray and Agawu. She was surrounded by Muslims and Waaqeffataa, which they called heathen. Her domain included Tigray and part of present Amaaraa region. Discovering her gave Christian European powers great interest after which they introduced her to the world as “Christian island” in Muslim and heathen sea. Since then, they participated in her internal and external conflicts. Two major actors competing for foreign support in modern Ethiopian history are Tigray and Amaaraa.  This became more throat cutting during the last days of Yohaannis IV (1871-1889).  Struggle between the two to dominate the empire has never reached present level of one completely destroying the other as people. During the Scramble for Africa (1881-1914) European imperialists helped Abyssinia to permanently occupy neighboring countries. It was then that Oromiyaa was occupied. It was what they made then that they are now lamenting about territorial integrity being violated. That made her the only African country that participated in partitioning of Africa. The difference between her and other colonizers is her being on the same geographic region with colonies; moving of her power center to occupied land without rear administration in place; her being the same color with the colonized; her being not better if not less in technological development than the colonies; consuming and stashing her loot in foreign banks rather than investing in industrial development; inability to use plundered raw materials at home and exporting them; and depending on foreigners for industrial products like fire arms; continued with slave trade long after others stopped.  There were no fringe benefits for Ethiopian colonies told for others but total loss. EPRP and TPLF are two significant modern Abyssinian organizations after end of traditional leadership.

Abyssinia had never functioned independently without foreign aid since she was discovered. Her leaders readily served imperialist interest of the time. The modern ones also did the same thing. But they never admit though it is on records. Their lies and empty bragging have no limit. However, at present elements that generated foreign powers’ interest in Abyssinian dominated region has almost phased out. More reliable, productive and industrious partners could be found to replace them. Ethiopia is also no more the small “Christian Island” perched in the highlands but a multinational and multifaith state. However, there are many Abyssinian elites who want to fool the world in the same old way. World situations has changed with technological development giving everyone access to information. So far, those that created her as a colonial power had hidden her real status and only emphasized her and Liberia being the only African countries that have never been colonized. But in reality, both were black colonizers in league with imperialists.  

The Abyssinian kingdom which adopted the name Ethiopia and claimed all attributes to it, was composed of Tigrinyaa and Amharic speaking populations. Greek historians called all black people they encountered as Ethiopians. History they wrote in regard to Ethiopia concentrated on Kushitic civilization of upper Nile, land of the Kandakee. There was no country that calls itself Ethiopia then. The present Ethiopia falsely claimed all history Greeks wrote about Kushitic civilization referring to them as Ethiopians and distorted Bible translation into Greek. Lies are spice of their life which they add to all aspects of their activities. Peoples of Aksum be them Agawu/Daamota or Habashaa were among the said black but not those said history was written about. For example, eunuch baptized by Philip was messenger of Kandakee of Nobia not Aksum. It is sinful to drive people to die for false history. Better to correct than clinging on exposed lie. Tigrinyaa speakers belonged to one ethnic group Tigaaruu, while Amharic speakers were of several partially assimilated ethnic groups.  Amharic is believed to have developed from languages spoken in the kingdom as secret language of the ruling class specially palace guards with more Semitic accent.

Amharic was later imposed on groups like Agawu, Oromo, Beeggaa, Gaafat kkf. Tigaaruu continued with their Gi’iiz language version. They thus, became rivals with Amharic speakers in control of the kingdom’s political power. Amharic speakers came to be known as Amaaraa. Amaaraa is a ruling class of warriors that expanded with expansion of the kingdom’s territory and belonged to no ethnic group as correctly once said by the late professor Mesfin Waldamaaram. Amharic was imposed on Agawu and its branches and they started to call themselves Amaaraa or Gondoree. After colonization of Southern nations starting in 19th century its number burgeoned to form the Nafxanyaa System. All that joined it were obliged to be baptized into Coptic Church and speak Amharic, thus becoming Amaaraa.  Christian, Amaaraa and Nafxanyaa are synonymous for the former colonies. Though collected from here and there, they could not beat the Oromo numerically. They could not also diminish them by killing. Each individual nafxanyaa has an ethnic group to turn to when necessary. When that happens, it will be an end to Amaaraa as an entity. Only nafxanyaa descendants that cannot pull their genealogical string would only remain to it. Rejection of “Ethnic” federalism by the group emanates from here.

Amaaraa became a dominant group after the Agawu king was overthrown by Yakuno Amlaak who as the legend goes claimed to be from Solomonic Dynasty. After that, cruel kings with no human passion like Amda Tsiyoon, Zarayaqob, Minilik and Haayila Sillaasee led it. To seem especially god blessed and feared for being different from their people they claimed to be from Solomonic line. Otherwise, they have no trace of relation with king of Israel. They are smart children of the surrounding farmers. It is told that the thought came for them through religion and later enriched by imperialist agents. It was Minilik that became partner with 19th century European imperialists and colonized African kingdoms and republics to its south with arms and experts provided by them. He did not bring them better civilization than theirs except catastrophe. They had better knowledge in democratic governance, building, farming, cattle raising, metal work, weaving, tanning, wood works, horn and ivory works, etc. Amaaraa kings were not kind to peoples in the old kingdom, though more devastating to the colonies.  There were rebellions in the kingdom of which two in 19th century were significant, Tedros from Qimaant and Yohaannis from Tigray. Both snatched the crown from Solomonic dynasty until returned by Minilik. Tedros ruled in the name of Amaaraa while Yohaannis remained Tigraaway. Ruling Ethiopia was personal not national, for Ethiopia is never a nation. That was why the death of Yohaannis left unavenged and his head remained a museum piece for Khartoum.

Forces to restore Habashaa power after fall of the last emperor were greater than forces to liberate the colonies. The struggle to control the heart of old Ethiopia and the newly acquired colonies remained between Tigaaruu and Amaara to this day.  After fall of the last emperor the empire was dominated by Amaaraa trained junta the Darg. No group was satisfied. Socialist or left leaning movements were popular in the world in the 60s. Youth in Ethiopian empire were part of world movements of the time. Out of Amaaraa nafxanyaa system the dominant left was EPRP and that of Tigray was TPLF. EDU represented the old guard. AESM was nafxanyaa dominated but more eclectic and committed to socialism. All have Oromo appendages like Minilik had Gobana detachment.  Both EPRP and TPLF are taken as modern representation of irreconcilable Amaara and Tigaaruu ideologies.

Non-Ethiopian forces of decolonization that threatened empire’s existence appeared in the name of national liberation fronts. Among them was the OLF representing the most populous and richest part of the empire. The others different from organizations of the South were those of the North Jabhat and Shaabiyaa. Those were to become nemesis for Ethiopian parties. The liberation fronts were not fighting to take over Ethiopia but to liberate their nations. They have no relation with Ethiopia except that of colonizer and the colonized, oppressor and oppressed. Colonizer’s country is not theirs; their fathers, their history, their heroes, their symbols are not colonizer’s. Whenever officials of the empire mention those things, they have in mind only highland Abyssinia; otherwise, they know that the likes of Oromo will never call Minilik their father. Oromiyaans agreed to the constitution for democratic union if possible or peaceful separation as provided by it. Kolonel Abiy broke the oath of office he took to defend the constitution and is trying to reverse history. To gain domestic popularity, which he lost internationally he is denying the different identities the likes of Qimaant, Agawu, Tigaaruu etc. have and declared them as one people. The one Ethiopia, one people theory had led to demise of his predecessors. And clapping hands by feudal mentality Amaaraa audience cannot save him. would have been better for him, if he looks for other means that could pull him out of the quagmire he sank into.

Ethiopian parties cannot see Ethiopia without her colonies. They seems to them their birth gift. However knowledgeable they may be, however progressive they may seem, they never think that those people different from them deserve the right to freedom. They had been fanning socialism not because they believed in it but because it was fashion of the time.  So, they are against national liberation fronts from the beginning, in particular OLF from the start. Even that being so, they were able to attract some with defective upbringing. Ethiopians also did not lack internal disharmony. Among them, EPRP and TPLF suffered from continuation of old feud between their people. Initially TPLF limited its operations to own country and kicked out EPRP from Tigray.

EPRP remained in present Amaaraa region until the schism when a part broke and took shelter under TPLF to form Ethiopia Democratic Movement, which developed into the present Amaaraa PP. TPLF added to them OPDO by forging it from war captives to counter OLF and also hinder Amaaraa crossing into Oromiyaa. OPDO now developed into Oromiyaa PP. TPLF was copy of Yohaannis IV in that it wanted to remain suzerain giving nations internal autonomy. EPRP was duplicate of Minilik, planning to maintain the empire from the center with iron rule.

Though recognizing the right of nations to national self-determination was imperative the inherited tradition had also helped TPLF to accept. With that federation of nation states was created. Oromiyaa was one of the recognized states. That right was not recognized for other colonies but were lumped together as State of Southern Peoples. It is that Oromiyaa state that Nafxanyaa system hopefuls want to dismantle and reconstruct. Amaaraa parties even deny their harsh rule of more than a hundred years and the suffering they inflicted on the Oromo nation for that long. It is hoped that they will not expect the Oromo to continue with them before they recognize their fault and officially apologize for their wrong deeds. Never again will Oromiyaa be recolonized by any force without dire consequences. Never again will Oromiyaa be partitioned to the determent of Oromo unity. Oromiyaa state is the base of Oromo sovereignty. Thus, what matters is not that much who is in power, but maintaining its integrity. The fundament of Oromo national Kaayyoo is one country, one people one destiny. 

In the war with Amaaraa before 1991 TPLF and Eritrea were together. To extend its pressure TPLF formed surrogate organizations from the different nationalities and coordinated what was called EPRDF. After that deployment for war and administration were done under that name. TPLF presented itself as one among equals in the coalition with equal representation. EPRDF also diminished the remaining EPRP force lingering in Gondar lowlands. That left grudge with the Amaaraa which was waiting for a time to take vengeance. When it over threw the Darg in the name of EPRDF and formed transitional government, though not a member, Shaabiyaa were plundering land they conquered with TPLF. Isaayyaas thought he could guide the empire with remote control as he likes and did not join the Coalition. TPLF cut short that ambition and made Eritrea to limit itself as a separate country. EDM was renamed Amaara Democratic Movement and joined EPRDF as ruler of the present Amaaraa region. TPLF ruled Ethiopian empire for three decades through members of the EPRDF, which included OPDO. During that period Ethiopia went to war with Eritrea with TPLF as warlord. Eritrea was disgracefully punished piling up Isaayyaas’s grudge. Now TPLF has two enemies waiting for revenge, Amaaraa and Isaayyaas.

For most groups, crime gets definition when it is inflicted on them alone. When they inflict on others it becomes maintaining law and order. Though EPRDF under TPLF abused Oromo the most, they defeated it in battle field of peaceful struggle with heavy sacrifice and forced it to submit. EPRDF was to lead in the remaining two years of its term with chairpersonship of OPDO and hold democratic election. But it betrayed the trust, excluded TPLF and turned EPRDF into purely Ethiopian/Amaaraa party for restoration of nafxanyaa colonial system. It also started committing more atrocities than when it was with TPLF. Oromo believe in supremacy of the law and were waiting to bring all culprits including TPF to justice when the time comes. Now Amaaraa and Isaayyaas got their time and are trying to completely destroy Tigaaruu under the leadership of Kolonel Abiy Ahmad Ali usurper OPDO leader. He dreams with him at the head, restoring Ethiopia to her ancient glory, which is formed in his mind by Amaaraa propaganda but never existed on the ground.

Tigaaruu have vowed never to surrender to their enemies and are putting up tough resistance by waging people’s war with vision and determination. Genocide committed against Tigaaruu is shocking, that world powers are rallying to stop it. The most unconventional to modern ears is inviting foreign forces to invade own sovereign country. For old Ethiopia that has been in practice for long. Portuguese, British, Russians etc. were involved in different local strife. Invited or not Isaayyaas was determined to dominate Ethiopia as Eritrea’s rich exploitable hinterland. Ethiopia never won a war without foreign help. Isaayyaas may be the last. Pulling back of Isaayyaas will be inevitable but it could be disastrous for both. Minilik’s colonial empire is going to collapse and Eritrean peace and security under threat. Tigray has no obligation to respect sovereignty of Eritrea a part of her under Yohaannis.  Ethiopian empire as a territory is already no more there. It broke apart with violation of the federal constitution. There are now only nations fighting for their liberation. Even old Ethiopian kingdom is not there to patch up. International intervention now is indispensable for regional security and post-colonial reconstruction of the Horn of Africa. Sometimes unless one can go out of prison of international law, it will not be possible to create New World Order. Since its creation is inevitable why not preempt and plan for it.

  Modern war between EPRP and TPLF or in other word Amaaraa and Tigaaruu is not leading to break up of Old Ethiopian kingdom alone but also to dismantling their relatively new empire. Free independent nations are inevitably going to be born. They may form a union or unions of the willing, the equal and the free. Oromiyaa prefers independence. But she understands the moral obligation she has to support her southern neighbors to stand on their feet as free people.  In the raging war between Amaaraa and Tigaaruu, Oromo has to stand with Tigray in consideration of violated human rights and regional power balance. Here we are talking about the people of Tigray not their party. As for crimes committed against Oromo by TPLF when it was a partner in EPRDF, its accountability is not different from PP turned OPDO and other two partners. When the dust settles, all responsible will be brought to justice even if it means from their graves. As to TPLF continued existence it is the concern of nobody but Tigaaruu.

This African region has desired change. Rather than trying to patch up this decaying rug it would be wise to reconstruct anew before it costs more blood shade. Peoples who had been craving for freedom, equality and justice are rising with determination to get it. It is said that there are more than 80 peoples under Ethiopian empire. They have all to be restored to independent status they had before colonization and freely organize themselves as they chose without distinguishing big or small. This can be realized only if international community curbs its nostalgia for past relations and Amaaraa nafxanyaa descendants stop their bad dream of claiming that all lands belonging to them alone and terrorizing Horn of Africa. Disturbing peace and stability of this region affects also interests of Africa and the whole world. For this reason, they all are expected to help in reconstruction rather than being obstacles. Reconstructing them in such a way that they could serve as example for those that have the same simmering problem.

Amaaraa and Tigaaruu were under common monarchical rule. However, they were unable to agree on creating stable system. This might be because Amaaraaness was formed by force. One who has power becomes the next king not with consent. They were able to occupy independent countries to their south and create an empire.  That gave the chance of getting trickles from new plunders and so the incentive to march together. Rejecting each other was not only a temporal matter but was observable spiritually as well even if they claim to have one Church. Even in olden days when the bishop was imported from Egypt one that was the winner brought one for himself making all accept him by force. Even now friction between them did not cease to capture seat of the Patriarch. Support or marginalization of clerics for the person called “Holly” depends on his national or regional identity.

Therefore, what is expected from leaders of believers and what they are, are different things. They carry lies and cheatings under their armpits and keep on blowing them more than those that lead temporal life. To grab land of the masses they say the tabernacles are falling from the sky so divine ordain to leave that spot for it. People are knowingly fooled because of authority behind them, otherwise there is no one that does not know tabernacles are made by human hands. Woe to them when these people turn on them, there could be no hiding nook. Rebellion of the colonized peoples has already disrupted benefits that stability achieved by formation of the empire brought them. That made them turn against each other. The old kingdom started to crack and does not seem to ever heal again. Therefore, method has to be devised to peacefully restructure the region anew

With introduction of federal constitution to correct past mistakes was tried. But Ethiopians failed programming election together according to it. They could not disentangle themselves from rein of culture. Amaaraa rejected Tigray election because they did not believe in their right to national self-determination. That led to war that is devastating Tigray. Primarily PP felt insubordination because of that while attack on Northern command was a pretext. The role Isaayyaas have to take revenge on Tigaaruu and TPLF was also not negligible. Isaayyaas clinging to the struggle till freedom was praiseworthy with all the blames. But unable to get out of war mood he is destroying Eritrea. Abiy is destroying himself and empire he leads for following him uncritically unable to distinguish between Isaayyaas the hero and the villain. Oromo organization were very willing to participate in the election. But because the election was for electing Ethiopian’s leaders it was not aliens’ concern.  As a result, they somehow marginalized the Oromo. It was feared that alien rallying majority could legally snatch away power from Ethiopians.  Without nullifying old relations, for aliens to mix with Ethiopian was not proper. That was why the federation was in jeopardy. For Ethiopia to stay as she was is not a must. What is must is responding to questions of the oppressed in the region. To avoid chaos the existing constitution could be starting point.  But intervention of third party is essential, the world is not what she was in the past; it is getting necessary that new world order that treats all as equals to be introduced. 

EPRP,TPLF, Yohaannis and Minilik are taken here as example of the northern system created with disruption and ending in turmoil.  Ethiopia is a name brought from outside and superimposed, not a birth name; not a name, “Burned Face” black Africa would give itself. Ethiopian empire is the result of colonial war waged on free people by Abyssinian kingdom supported by imperialists that participated in “The Scramble for Africa”. It was more design of those imperialists. The conquered people were treated like sub humans and all amenities of life denied. After struggle by those colonies that took over a century some gains were registered. Landlord serf relation was severed; peoples’ separate identities were recognized; their right to national self-determination was accepted; their states were marked. All nations, nationalities and peoples were recognized as equals and a federal constitution was drawn to that effect. The recognition of the right to national self-determination cooled off the struggle for independence. If wanted peaceful legal divorce was made possible. Only part of the group that led the colonial venture opposed because federalism denied them hegemony over the colonies. OPDO led by so called “Team Lammaa” betrayed the Oromo and took side with the hegemonic group. OPDO once again failed to change and preferred to continue serving the enemy. The constitution is now violated and federalism is in shambles. A member state, Tigray is being destroyed by forces led by Abiy of Ethiopia and Isaayyaas of Eritrea. All other states are left to fight for their survival. Wide spread extra judicial killings, Darg Red Terror style is being carried out in Oromiyaa daily.

The courts and all institutions of justice in Ethiopia are not functioning.  Ones released by court are detained by police making people lose confidence in the justice system. Young people are being butchered indiscriminately. Oromo leaders are being driven to prisons daily without legitimate cause except hate. Jawar Mohamad and associates are being driven to courts for no avail. They committed no crime except being voice for their downtrodden people and standing against injustice and development of authoritarianism. Peoples of the North like Agawu, Qimaant, Oromo etc. who were subdued for centuries by Amharic speaking monarchy and forced to submit are suffering from hidden oppression and need to be helped to express their free will. In short, the region needs a shakeup not only to release its productivity but also for realization of the concept of human dignity and democratic values. If that is done the region will get peace and stability. Hence forth there should be no one that can impose one’s will on others without disturbing world peace. Chapter of Abyssinian history is being concluded with help rallied by Colonel Abiy to destroy Tigray. The next chapter will be that of independent countries and free peoples. So far no one stands against principles behind the constitution, except group known as Amaaraa. Henceforth, Amaaraa deciding for others living in another county will be unthinkable except for own county if it has one. Let alone Abiy’s dream of reverting to status quo ante, the status quo has become obsolete and needs to change for the better. EPRP and TPLF have completed their mission as Ethiopian parties. Ethiopian internal war will end in breaking up. Next will be war between nafxanyaa system hopefuls who couldn’t get place to settle and countries which were colonies. There is no doubt that forces of oppression and injustice will be defeated. The era is that of independent nations, nationalities and peoples.  Hence, priority on how to replace the decadent empire must be given for local interests and peoples’ voices. Then, terror coming from chauvinism will come to an end. The promise of WW II to end colonialism and that of end of Cold War to free all peoples from autocratic empires was betrayed when it came to Oromiyaa. It needs to be reviewed. Long live free peoples! Oromiyaan haa jiraattu!