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TPLF’s Strategy to use Somalia as a Bargaining Chip to Silence Critics of its Barbaric Acts in Ethiopia Should be Rejected.

TPLF troops in Somalia



TPLF’s Strategy to use Somalia as a Bargaining Chip to Silence Critics of its Barbaric Acts in Ethiopia Should be Rejected.

By Abel Kebedom

It is undeniable fact that terrorism is a threat to world peace and security and it has to be defeated by all means. That is why it is important for the international community to stand together to fight the menace of terrorism in one voice. However, it is also important to understand that such good intention has also been used for evil purposes. Governments that are despotic and undemocratic have used fighting terrorism as a cover to oppress, arrest and kill their people with impunity. If there was a list of governments that abused the terrorism card to stay in power and inflict pain on their people, the Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF) would take the number one spot.

After decades of anarchy and confusion, in the early 2000’s, Somalia started to get its acts together. A home grown movement called Islamic Courts Union (ICU) started to challenge and defeat the western financed warlords and ultimately instituting previously unwitnessed peace and tranquility in many parts of the country. ICU was limited to the coastal areas of Somalia and was not a threat to Ethiopia. This home grown populist movement was the only organization that was considered as a hope for a new start in Somalia. The Somalis liked and supported the ICU not because they were radical Muslims, but because it freed them from the warlords that subjected them to cruel and inhuman acts for decades. For the first time in many years, Somalis were given the chance to go to the beach and play with their kids and families, visit restaurants and walk on the street without fearing of being shot at or robbed by the outlaws.

Unfortunately, the new beginning for Somali’s was a bad news for TPLF that wanted to use Somalia as a source of income and political support from the western world to sustain its apart-tide regime in Ethiopia. From the outset the minority regime in Ethiopia knew well that western support was critical for its survival in Ethiopia. Without the western support it was impossible for a minority regime that hails from 6% Tigreans to dominate the economic, political and social life of 96% Ethiopians. Accordingly, at the behest of the United States on July 20, 2006. supported by US air power, the TPLF sent thousands of soldiers to eliminate the ICU that was working hard to build peace and security in Somalia.

The surprising twist was after the ICU was disbanded, TPLF and its cohorts called the former ICU leaders, whom they previously categorized as terrorists, progressives and brought them to power. This is a clear evidence that the main objective of TPLF was simply to disturb the peace in Somalia and let the country continue be a failed state. If TPLF believed Sheik Hassan Sherriff was leading a terrorist organization, what was the reason for bringing him back and put him as president of Somalia?

The Truth is TPLF invasion has not only destroyed the prospect of peace in Somalia but also led to the emergence of an Islamic radical group called Al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab, which is more radical, inhumane and backward organization is the result of the 2006 TPLF invasion of Somalia. This is an organization that was initially established to push the Ethiopian troops out of Somalia and later turned to a terrorist group with an ambition to establish an Islamic state in Somalia. Ten years later this organization is still spreading havoc in the country and there is no an end in sight to its barbarism against the people of Somalia.

During January 2009, when Ethiopia was defeated in Somalia and decided to pull its army, the TPLF officials were warning the Ugandans who were under AMISOM to withdraw. In fact, TPLF was telling them if they wanted to withdraw, the TPLF army that was defeated and leaving Somalia could escort them to Ethiopia through Bidowa. The Ugandan troops refused to accept TPLF’s sinister offer and instead started beefing up their troops in Somalia. When TPLF knew that the Ugandans were going to stay and work to maintain peace in Somalia, it changed its position and demanded not only to be part of the peace keeping mission but also send about four thousand solders, out of the peace mission command, to Somalia. As a former US diplomat to Ethiopia put it, the objective of the TPLF was to sabotage the Ugandan’s effort to bring peace in Somalia and it did.

Thanks to TPLF currently Al-Shabaab is not only a force to reckon with but also an instrument to TPLF’s hidden agenda in Somalia. Because of Al-Shabaab, TPLF gets financial and political support from the west which is critical to its survival in Ethiopia. For its service to the TPLF al-Shabaab gets arms from Ethiopia. Many reports indicate that the arms sold in the Somalia came from Ethiopia. In return TPLF sabotages any effort that leads to the total elimination of Al-Shabaab from Somalia. This is made mainly by tightening and then loosening the siege on Al-Shabaab. Mission accomplished. Al-Shabaab thrives in Somalia and TPLF continues to enjoy financial and political support from the western world.

Due to its narrow minded ethnic apart-ide rule, currently TPLF is facing public revolt in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian people are unequivocally telling the minority regime to end its economic, political and social domination of the 6% Tigrean minority over the 94% Ethiopians. Consequently, several western countries are voicing alarm on the inhuman and barbaric response of the TPLF security agents to the peaceful protests. Currently the U.S. congress is reviewing an initiative that makes TPLF responsible for its barbaric actions in Ethiopia. It is in the mid of such public outcry that TPLF is starting to withdraw its army from Somalia. By withdrawing its solders, the TPLF is telling the international community that if you start criticizing me for the barbaric acts that I am inflicting on Ethiopians, I will withdraw from Somalia and as a result the terrorists will take over the county. Hence if you want me to continue my presence in Somalia you need to continue not only giving me millions of dollars in aid but also you need to keep quite on the oppression, arrest and killing of innocent civilians in Ethiopia.

The question is what should the international community’s response to the TPLF’s threat of Withdrawal be? It is important to understand that from the outset TPLF’s presence in Somalia is a threat to peace and security in Somalia. Hence caving in to TPLF’s demand will definitely prolong the turmoil in Somalia. Therefore, the international community should let TPLF withdraw its troops from Somalia and replace them with soldier’s from other African countries that have genuine interest in bringing peace to Somalia. Due to TPLF’s sinister agenda, coupled with the historical animosity between Somalia and Ethiopia, the presence of TPLF soldiers in Somalia is not the right way to defeat Al-Shabaab and bring peace in Somalia. Hence TPLF’s strategy to use Somalia as a bargaining chip to silence critics of its barbaric acts in Ethiopia should be rejected because it is beneficial nether to Somalia nor to Ethiopia.


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TPLF’s Strategy to use Somalia as a Bargaining Chip to Silence Critics of its Barbaric Acts in Ethiopia Should be Rejected. Reviewed by Admin on 12:00 AM Rating: 5

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