Min Nekan




 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 = Ethiopian Students Union in North America, ESUE = the Ethiopian Students Union in Europe.]  MEISON allied itself with the Derg, and the EPRP started its city warfare against perceived supporters of the Derg. Supporters of the EPRP were required to “study” civilians who were thought to be inimical to the party’s socialist movement so that they would be eliminated. In all a sudden, Ethiopians did not know how to survive by obeying the laws of the government for their neighbours (EPRP supporters) began to kill them. EPRP tore down the social contracy between and among Ethiopians. Such murders of civilians and supporters of MEISONE and the Derg resulted in a counter murder of other civilians who were regarded to be supporters of the EPRP. MEISONE and the Derg broke the social contract between and among Ethiopians. Many educated Ethiopians and potential leaders were killed right left and center in the late 1970's and the 1980's.  The murders were not restricted to interactions among the named groups. The EPLF had another bag of tricks up it sleeves.


The EPLF, which facilitated the first hijack of an Ethiopian airplane to the Sudan from where the hijacker students went to Algeria , had strongly influenced Ethiopian student movements in Europe and America . Such influence gained height in Ethiopia when Ato Walelegn Mekonen in Ethiopia was indoctrinated sufficiently to articulate an ethnic-centered deconstruction of Ethiopia . He was killed along with many including the EPLF agent who had facilitated the hijack of an airplane. The EPLF agent who was killed along with Walelegn was the same individual who had facilitated the first airline highjack to the Sudan. Later, Walelegn was viewed by some as a hero and more so by the TPLF.


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 Adwa who run the TPLF/EPRDF.


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 returned to Tigrey Province as founding members of TPLF, and "Meles joined them by 1976".  In addition to Melels another EPLFite, Yemane Kidane (also known as Jamaica ) was assigned to work in the TPLF and to provide direct link to Isaias Afeworki.


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.

In a May 28, 2007 interview on TPLF radio, Sebhat Nega stated that the TPLF worked harder than the EPLF to give Eritrea to the EPLF and make Ethiopia a land locked country. While acknowledging the military might of Eritrea he said that the EPLF leadership was negotiating amicable solutions between it and the Derg. Yet, the TPLF opposed such a settlement and eventually succeeded in derailing the agreement. Sebhat wrongly associates the indoctrination he received from the EPLF, namely identifying the case of Eritrea as a colonial question, as though it was a cause that Ethiopian university students stood for and attempted to connect his foolish belief to the Ethiopian student movement.  Even worse, he hopes to uplift his erroneous belief as though it arose from the just struggle of the Tigreyan people from his region or any part across Ethiopia . .

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 Eritrea as the domain of the EPLF, while it continues to suffocate the rest of Ethiopia by dividing them into ethnic homelands. The TPLF is a prosperous party that has pillaged the wealth of Ethiopia to itself and its selected region.  Though TPLF’s Ethiopia does not have a seaport the TPLF has ships that it uses to sell arms to Ethiopia .  For example, the Tekeze is one cargo ship that they purchased from Monnegoro and use to ship armamnts from North Korea to Djibouti.


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 Ethiopia (includes Eritrea). Certainly, the outcome of that sensless war was to place an international boundary within Ethiopia so that the TPLF leaders will more easily pillage ethiopian wealth. Such treason and genocide constitutes the highest form of breaking the social contract among Ethiopians committed by Meles Zeanwi and his TPLF. The TPLF, which came to power through the barrel of the gun, imprisons and kills Ethiopians at will, and its murderous rule has been extended to Somalia as of December 2006.



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 Ethiopia , through an individual called Mr. B, by creating a party called Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP).  Later MEDHIN refused to participate in the affairs of the Ethiopian National Congress (ENC) that called for the formation of a united front among all opposition entities. The purpose of the ENC that we worked so hard to establish was to place all Ethiopians under one house, and the opposition party under another so that they will be stimulated to work for Ethiopia and in a pan-Ethiopian effort. Unfortunately, the ENC was taken over by EPRPites. Astonishingly, after the election of Mr. C as chairman of MEDHIN, a handful of individuals from MEDHIN, including Mr. A, Mr. D and Mr. E, pulled out from the main organization but used the name MEDHIN to their splinter group, so that there appeared two groups with the same name. Then Mr. A of MEDHIN created an alliance with EDP and formed EDP-MEDHIN. EDP MEHIN is one of the Pan-Ethiopian parties that forged the coalition for Peace and Democracy (CUD), which later merged into a single party, the CUDP, the Kinijit Party. The other MEDHIN party forged an alliance with EPRP, MEISONE, TAND and others to form UEDP (Union of Ethiopia, Democratic Parties).  Subsequently, Mr. A expressed that he had retired. Remarkably, Mr. D and Mr. E pulled out from Kinijit North America after the Chair fired Mr. F (a merchant who rubbed shoulders with officials in TPLF/EPRDF regime, and whose company is still reportedly functioning managed by his relatives while he is in exile) and Mr. G (A former employee and pamphleteer of the TPLF/EPRDF) to form a splinter group which they called Kinijit North America, so that there appeared two Kinijit North America groups.  Some of the leaders of the splinter group had indicated the ineptitude of Mr. H as chairman of Kinijit North America was their reason to form a splinter group. They forget that they should not run and keep dividing Ethiopians. They forget that Mr. H and others who are seconded by Kinijit Ethiopia should serve merely as links to Ethiopia leaving the leadership of the Diaspora to those who are duly elected by the Diaspora. Only the folks who are duly elected by the Diaspora may serve as its leaders. The interests of Ethiopians are not served by other forms of machination. The social contract requires that we band together and better ourselves as we oppose a common enemy.  The question is to ask why Ethiopians allow themselves to be led by individuals and groups who have violated the Ethiopian social contract, or others who aspire to lead without being elected by the group they purport to represent.


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