Recently, different scholars and elites from Tigray are writing various letters to different bodies of the international community. They all express their frustration and disappointment after the huge loss of the terrorist organization TPLF to the Ethiopian government forces on the war front in the past few weeks. Their arguments and reflections show not only how they suffer from the trauma of this recent defeat but also a pattern of sickness and paradox in their ideology and philosophy. This can be termed as “the illness ideology”, which emphasizes abnormality over normality, poor judgment, and adjustment. Those who are interested in the topic can go ahead with the topic more deeply. But in this piece let us provide a few critical analyses on some of the symptoms.
i) They claim that Tigray is an independent country. On the ground, this is not the reality. Tigray is a region in Ethiopia. It is part of the history and background of Ethiopia. This is the simple fact on the ground. But in their narratives of facts about the conflict, their language, slogans, gestures, and discourse, one finds this thread of thought that Tigray is an independent state or country. This is deeply coined with the concept of “self-determination.” They have internalized it for a long period and integrated it as part of their life, but it is detached from reality on the ground. Hence they have become delusional with their arguments and reason when they encounter facts on the ground. They are relegated to either accepting facts or reconciling with their facts.
Both these scholars and the TPLF elites are claiming the formation of a new Tigray empire, via Tigray self-determination according to their principle, on the shoulders of others depriving the other people’s self-determination. They consistently claim geographical areas that do not belong to them. These areas, like Raya and Welkait, were claimed by force around 1991 (1983 e.c.). They participated in creating a landlocked Ethiopia but they do not want to have a land-locked Tigray empire, hence they even claim other nations’ harbors and lands. How deeply selfish is this behavior, one can study this further. The golden rule in life is the principle of treating others as one wants to be treated. Otherwise, you are in real trouble. The consequences of your wrong choices catch up with you sooner and later. It seems now all those wrong turns have now brought them to a dead end.
ii) The use of force for survival. In their strategy of attaining what they want, these Tigrean scholars and elites implement the "Survival of the fittest" of the Darwinian evolution theory. It seems reasonable that they lift an arm and fight for the Tigray state or Tigray empire by destroying what they call the Empire of Ethiopia. The problem with this reasoning and justification is that they are against over 110 million people. Those people had patience with them, to rule over them, for three decades since they took them as fellow Ethiopians. But when the true color of their ideology and interest revealed itself, by attacking the Northern Command of the Ethiopian army that protected them for more than two decades, the people also raised their arms to squash their selfish interests. That is also called the survival of the fittest. Ethiopians, including most of the forefathers of Tigray, have done it against foreign aggression in the past.
The TPLF elites and scholars thought they are strong and they can march to the capital of Ethiopia and claim power since they are mighty, powerful warrior people. But they were overwhelmed by the marching of millions of Ethiopians from other Ethnic groups defending their country and people. That crushed them very hard. This is the fact on the ground. Hence the people have taken back by force what you have claimed by force in 1991. That is it. Simple. Why do you think that the places you took by force belong to the empire you wanted to create? You all know that it was a matter of time, all these were going to surface, and it happened. But accepting the reality is difficult when you are brainwashed and indoctrinated with an alternative reality that has no root on the ground or when you are diagnosed with “the illness ideology”,
You can not claim your independence by taking other people’s freedom and rights. It is mutual respect and understanding that have a long-lasting effect in realizing everyone’s interest. In a world where you only do not exist, the sustainable model is to recognize other people’s interests as the golden rule teaches us. Otherwise, your strategy is suffering from a paradox that can not be reconciled with each other.
iii) The view that Ethiopia is a nation of nationalities. You say that there are many nations within the Empire Ethiopia, if we can not rule and exploit this empire by ourselves then we destroy it to many nations, and some of these nations we include them by force to our empire called the greater Tigray. Do you listen to yourself? Are you not sick in meditating and acting to implement it on the ground?
There are two main problems here. First, you want to destroy one empire and build another empire. You reason that Ethiopia is the home of many nationalities due to many Ethnic groups. You try to sound it as if Ethiopia is the only nation on the planet, even in Africa that has many ethnicities. Nigeria has more than 250 ethnic groups. It almost means 3 times the ethnic groups in Ethiopia. Uganda is the most ethnically composed country on the planet. Even the neighboring Eritrea has around nine Ethnic groups. Does it mean that all these African countries are going to create new nations according to your model? This is a different precedent for many countries.
Second, you wanted to destroy a nation that you could not rule and dominate and wanted to create another nation that has many nationalities according to your language. Aha, you will get other people who are more in number than you and dominate them in forming this new nation. Do you think this is a simple matter? Is it not a paradox. You accuse Ethiopia to be a nation of nationalities and you wanted to build another nation that has many nationalities. Remember, we are trying to use your line of thought and conceptualization here. Someone who persistently thinks like this should be sick on his/her head. This is the 21st century, no one is waiting for you in the status of the 19th century here. Wake up and reconcile with yourself or heal yourself. Stop this madness. It is killing you and it is destroying your fellow citizens.
iv) Tigray is the only one who can protect your interest. The TPLF elites are begging and arguing with the Western powers that they are the ones who can preserve their interests in the Horn of Africa, even Africa at large. This has been echoed and preached for the past 4 decades. The West used them for fighting the old Soviet union dominance in Africa and later used them as partners in the fight against terrorists. Actually, it was the involvement of these Western powers before 1991 that brought them to power. They enjoyed that opportunity.
Now, the global powers’ fight has changed from communism and terrorism to economic dominance. These TPLF elites are trying to remind the Western enablers to repeat it. They are singing the song that we call “DO IT AGAIN”. They wanted a parasite Tigray. An independent Tigray that is dependent on the mercies of the western powers. This is a huge paradox. What kind of twist is this? Don’t you think that this is a simple sign that you can not sustain your interest let alone that you can protect the interests of others? Don’t you think that others also can keep the interest of the powers you are begging for?
Even on the ground, can the people of Tigray without border power, without real economic power, and so on stand alone in the middle of a deprived geographical location? While you were in power on 110 million people you could not manage your own people to be self-sustaining on food. About 1.8 million (about 30 % of the whole Tigray population) have been dependent on food aid according to your official data. So what is the economic prospect of independent Tigray really? Why do you struggle in keeping a selfish model that leads to your dismay? It is difficult to sustain such a life struggle. You are your own enemy.
Be frank and face the data, how many young people have to die for this crazy model. You allow for a half million people to die in a few weeks and you blame that those partners do not allow you to control the capital city. Really? Was it the fact? Why do you not admit that you are all wrong to follow a sick ideology for too long?
We wanted to provide our advice if these people have a space to consider for their health and wellbeing of their fellow countrymen.
Ethnic-based politics can not work for Ethiopia. It is a wrong model for Africa. This is a simple truth. This divide and rule have been used by the colonialists in the past and the neo-colonialists persist to use it. But Africans are walking up and saying #NoMore.
Tigray is part of Ethiopia. Tigreans have founded Ethiopia with other Ethnic groups in the country. In the past, there were many errors here and there. Now is the 21 st century and people are not ignorant of facts anymore. By telling lies more times to yourself, it can not be true. It will only destroy your personality and character. Instead, the best side of the Tigrean population can manifest itself in the spirit of citizenship in the country. The hard-working and hospitable culture of Tigray people should be galvanized again. This used to be the fact on the ground. So be positive and capitalize on your positive side.
Please stop the madness that you are a slave (sub-human) to others. The fact that you are willing to serve others’ interests more than your fellow countrymen is sickening the whole nation. Believe in equity. Believe in fairness. Let others respect you treat you equally. Do not downgrade your humanity just for the sake of getting power and money. Human nature has both sides: good and bad. Work on the good side.
Stop the ideology of self-determination. Instead, believe in mutual benefit and respect. When you do that others will respect you and you can sustain what you have built and gained. Of course, as human beings, your choices and rights will be respected while you respect the choices and interests of your fellow citizens. Speaking your language, developing your culture, and other rights can flourish as you also recognize and help others. Not just for the sake of diving and ruling but since it is the golden rule to live life on this planet. As a countryman, you will have properties and success in every part of the country as you participate constructively in the country.
Please, let the mothers and children of Tigray have peace with their neighbors and countrymen. Designating the very neighbors as enemies is a destructive way of life. Your immediate neighbors should not be your enemies. They are the ones whom you need most. Get wisdom.