As the TPLF/EPRDF continued its kind of tyrannical rule, Professor Mesfin Wolde Mariam asked "Min Nekan?" Do all understand the meaning of the question?
In November 2005, the TPLF/EPRDF forces imprisoned thousands and killed hundreds. The brutal treatment of Ethiopian by the TPLF forces is forever etched in the memory of Ethiopians by Almezuria's cry for justice. W/o Etenesh Yimam ( mother of seven) was shot dead in front of her siblings in November 2005 by government forces as she pleaded for a fair treatment of her husband, Ato Teshome, who was forcibly removed from his house by security forces. Ato Teshome is a CUDP-Kinijit member who was elected to the Addis Ababa City Council. Wzr Alemzuria, the daughter of W/o Etenesh and Ato Teshome, who had witnessed her mother being shot and her father being dragged away, sobbed and cried as she expressed her agony on a VOA interview pleading " Ye ityopia hizib yefredegn."
When Wzr Alemzuria Teshome cried for justice from the Ethiopian community, she underscored the significance of the social contract that Ethiopian have among each other. The question of "Min Nekan" leads to an inquiry into what has happened to the Ethiopian social contract. The inquiry involves reading the literature on social contract, parts of which have been touched upon in http://aboutethiopia.com/c12-preemption-is-a-false-right.htm . Written in Amharic the book, "Yekiulkulet Khedet" by Mesfin Wodemariam provides further information on the state of the social contract in the TPLF/EPRDF regime. He argued that "khedet" [denial of a social contract] is not only a mistake; and though "khedet" is linked to ignorance and stupidity, it is not only the sum of the two; "khedet" is going outside of the light of one's heart and being governed by external power or interest; it is lowering the value of the human spirit and changing it to an inanimate object (Mesfin Woldemariam, 1996 Eth. Calendar, p.15). The inquiry ought to begin by investigating the sources of the "khedet?" Why is the TPLF/EPRDF engaged in khedet? Even more significantly how do Ethiopians allow it to deny the Ethiopian social contract?
When people intimate that all should be united, a statement which no sensible individual should object to, one quickly inquiries united to achieve what goals and by pursuing which strategies? Even agreements on goals and strategies may not be of paramount importance if there is no understanding of the Ethiopian social contract. We explore “min nekan” by using the organizations that Ethiopians have formed and the people who formed them. This explorations contains the names of the diseased and those of TPLF and EPLF officials while referring to the living others as Mr. A, B, et cetera to hide their identities.
Ethiopians are law abiding citizens who help each other in times
of trouble. That was the nature of the
Ethiopian social contract among each other.
Such a social contract began to be violated after Ato
Brehane Meskel Reda, (the Algiers Group leader and who later was, along
with the leadership of a splinter group of EUSUNA, a founding member of the EPRP-
Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Party since 1972) and Ato Haile
Fida (of ESUE, and founding member of
ME'ISONE -All Ethiopian Socialist Union since 1968) became instruments of
attacking and destroying the social contract among Ethiopians. [ESUNA =
The EPLF, which facilitated the first hijack of an Ethiopian
airplane to the
The anger of Students aginst the Imeprial regime began after the extra-judicial murder by the imperial government of Tilhaun Gizaw of Adwa, who was was president of the university
student government. Extrajudicial
murders and violation of the Ethiopia social contract became rampant since Brehane Meskel Reda of Adwa started the EPRP
armed struggle in cities. The murders continue
unabated to this day under the leadership of other individuals from
In the late 1960's and 1970's leaders of the student movement both at home and in the Diaspora were busy articulating the question of nations and nationalities, and the right of nations up to and including secession. They invented the fiction that the Amhara was an oppressor nation that debilitated the freedoms and economic progress of all Ethiopians. Focusing the animosity of Ethiopians against the Amhara was seen as a useful ploy to debilitate the central governance of Ethiopia by the EPLF and its pamphleteers. Even such support given to the cause of the EPLF by the student movements were not satisfactory to the EPLF. It had another lethal method, namely organizing the TPLF, for breakeing the social contract among Ethiopians
In 1975 EPLF (Shaebia) prompted
the formation of the TPLF and so-called "TPLF combatants (Siye, Abay and Awalom) "were admitted to an EPLF military training to
which "others (Aregawi, and Agazi)
"were later added while Meles Zenawi was receiving political training in
Asmara. All in all "about 20" EPLF-trained combatants
The 1st TPLF Congress ( 1978-'79) elected officers including "a) Sebhat Nega – Chairman, b) Aregawi Berhe - Vice Chairman and Chief of the Military Command, c) Giday Zerazion - Deputy Secretary , d) Abay Tsehaye - Second Deputy Secretary, e) Seyoum Mesfin - Secretary of Foreign Affairs, f) Tewolde Woldemariam - Chief of Regional Organization, g) Gebru Asrat - Chief of Internal Administration, h) Siye Abraha - Deputy Army Commander and other TPLF central committee members led the organization from 1978 till 1983. "
The 2nd TPLF Congress - 1983 "once again elected the following as TPLF leaders: a) Giday Zerazion - Chairman, TPLF, b) Aregawi Berhe - Vice Chair and Army Commander, c) Sebhat Nega - Deputy Secretary, d) The rest held their previous positions, while alternate central committee member and political instructor of TPLF cadres, Meles Zenawi, was promoted to full central committee membership"
Meles' filial relationship to Issaias, cousins on their mothers' side, was not the only one that he exploited to lift him to higher offices. His filial relationship to Sebhat Nega, former chairman of TPLF, was instrumental, according to Abiy Araia (2001) to cause Sebhat manufacture "a letter signed by Aregawi Berhe and Giday Zerazion, and the letter read: 'Political cadre instructor and Central Committee member Meles Zenawi and Deputy Politburo Secretary Abay Tsehaye are spreading malicious ideas with a hidden agenda to destroy TPLF. The politburo believes such a dangerous move should be nipped in the bud, and this should be done by putting the two culprits to death.'" Meles reportedly worked this story to gain sympathy from the TPLF leadership and did so without the knowledge of the presumed authors. Within two years, by July 1985, the time was ripe for Meles to cause the calling of the 3rd TPLF Congress, at which Aregawi Berhe and Giday Zerazion were removed from membership of the central committee and Meles ascended to leader of the TPLF, with Siye replacing Aregawi.
However, the deceptive undercutting of one Tigreyan by another was not utilized only by Meles Zeanwi. According to Abiy Araia (2001), from whose piece all the quoted sentence above on the formation of TPLF have been taken, the EPLF propaganda appeared to oppose Meles when it stated that the ouster of Aregawi Berhe and Giday Zerazion from the TPLF Central Committee was not right. However, what they wanted people to wrongly think was that Aregawi and Giday were EPLF puppets while Meles was not. Within a decade and half of the Meles Zeanawi's leadership Awalom was killed under strange circumstances and a few years later Siye was placed in jail.
At any rate, the TPLF which was spawned and nurtured by the EPLF
fought alongside the EPLF against the central Ethiopian government (the Derg) and also against the EPRP, which was struggling to
overthrow the Derg. Clearly, these acts by the TPLF show that it has broken the social contract among Ethiopians. A crime of the highest
order was committed when the TPLF gave
The breaking of the Ethiopian social contract by the TPLF knows no bounds. The
TPLF and EPLF faught a sensneless in 1998-2000 over a small spot of land and spilt blood of about 100,000 Ethiopian combattants on both sides of the war. Some observers had commented that the wars were intended to
foster animosity between the Eritrwai Ethiopian and the rest.
Others have suggested that another rationale for the war was to deflate the sense of military
might the EPLF had wrongly assumed that it possessed. Nonetheless, the senseless war
was not intended to benefit
All the organizations mentioned above, EPLF, EPRP, MEISONE, and TPLF, and others not described above such as the OLF (Oromo Liberation Front) did not consider their supporters as individuals whose views were important and that the struggle was for the good of the supporters, their families and the country at large. Rather, the organizational leaders used their supporters as though they were tools for the furtherance of the causes knowable only to the leaders. This ethically vacuous belief permeated the younger generation of the 1970’s and the right of the individual was subordinated to the whims of the so-called leaders, and the foundation of democracy was thereby undermined. Clearly, the acts perpetrated by the organizations mentioned above are morally reprehensible, ethically abominable, and have no theoretical foundation, socialist or otherwise, to support them.
Though individuals who might have been members of any of the named organizations might have changed their thinking. the names of the of the parties which perpetrated the destruction of the social contarct between and among Ethiopians should be condemend, rejeced and retired. Instead of totally rejecting such acts perpetrated by the named organizations, Ethiopians, particularly those in the Diaspora, have embraced the named organizations only to turn around and wonder why a united opposition that many Ethiopians want to see is not achieved.
Individuals tore apart a united
Ethiopian opposition called COEDF that was formed in the early 1990’s. One among the individuals who pulled out from
the COEDF was Mr. A, a former cabinet member of the Derg, Some suggest that he
was instigated by others to lead a splinter group which they called
MEDHIN. It is reported that the MEDHIN
succeeded in splintering the AAPO party in
Why Ethiopians allow themselves to be manipulated by individuals and groups who have a track record of damaging the social contract has to be because we have not discussed such issues on a theoretical level. We have not underscored the primacy of respecting the Ethiopian social contract as a valuable asset to forming organizations.
HG: 5/19.07, revised 7/10/2007