TPLF says it wants a referendum to decide the fate of Tigray

A new bellicose state could emerge in Ethiopia as the TPLF is toying with the idea of a referendum to decide the fate of Tigray.

Tsedkan Gebretensae, one of the people driving TPLF’s senseless war against the Ethiopian state, had an interview today with BBC World Service. Tsedkan indicated that the fate of Tigray will be decided in a referendum.

This is an interesting twist in TPLF’s tumultuous history of insurgency and rebellion. If the desire for secession has been revived in earnest by the remaining TPLF leadership that means the agenda has come into full circle. During the formative years of the TPLF, secession from Ethiopia was one of its political objectives clearly stated in its manifesto.

Asked why the TPLF is making incursions into Amhara and Afar regions, Tsadkan said the objectives are to break the siege imposed on Tigray and to force the federal government to accept their preconditions for a ceasefire. According to him, the TPLF wants to have an all-inclusive political dialogue that would lead to a transitional government to decide the fate of Ethiopia.

He outlined the three main preconditions they are demanding for a ceasefire. “The siege or the blockade has to be lifted. The second is to stop the persecution of Tigrians in Addis Ababa. The third is the release of all political prisoners.”

“But who are you, as one region of Ethiopia, to try to determine the political future of the entire country?” the presenter Julian Marshal challenged him.

Tsadkan said the TPLF wants to be a partner to determine the political future of Ethiopia with other major political forces in the country once a ceasefire is agreed upon.

Pressed about what kind of relationship Tigray will have with the rest of Ethiopia, Tsadkan noted that it will be decided by the people of Tigray. “Ultimately, it shall be decided by the free will of the people of Tigray.”

Asked whether he was suggesting a referendum for the people of Tigray, he answered in the affirmative. “Yes, a referendum after the dialogue that includes the political forces in Ethiopia.”

After all the death and destruction following TPLF’s foolhardy “lightening” attack on the Northern Command that was aimed at usurping state power by dismantling the federal army, Tsadkan expressed no remorse that the people of Tigray had to engage in such a costly war. But he said it was regrettable that the conflict flared up while it could have been avoided.

Tsedkan is one of TPLF’s merchants of war who had immensely enriched himself taking advantage of his privilege. He was one of the myopic strategists who connived to attack the Northern Command, but it backfired badly on the TPLF. Now that he lost his privileged and affluent lifestyle, he is one of the fugitives wanted for treason, terrorism, and insurgency against the state. It is also ironic that he demanded respect for the constitution after he and his partners in crime wanted to dismantle the entire country in order to restore their brutal rule.

If Tigray secedes from Ethiopia and becomes an independent state, it will be the world’s most notable belligerent state under siege and at war with all of its neighbors. That could even be worse than Albania under Hoxha, which had once inspired the schizophrenic TPLF leadership, or North Korea, where every citizen is made to believe in the greatness of the nation while the people die from starvation and acute malnutrition.

I personally don’t believe that the people of Tigray will opt for secession. They most probably desire freedom from the terrorist TPLF group, which has put them through hell for nearly five decades. But if they choose to separate from Ethiopia, there is no other option but saying so long and good luck.

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