The Other Side of Prof. Mesfin’s Article

The Other Side of Prof. Mesfin’s Article (

It has been a while since I listened to this article written by Prof. Mesfin, which was read by ESAT’s journalist. From this article, I have learnt that Prof. Mesfin Weldemariam is trying to convey a mixed message that has double- edged sword. He claimed that he doesn’t hate the Tigray people. Yet he was unable to prove it in this same article. Even in this article that he almost dedicated to show how he likes the Tigray people, he did well quite the opposite. Below are the major points that I have learnt from the professor’s article and that I would like to share with all of my fellow Ethiopians.

  1. The professor said, “TPLF has been trying to create ‘the Great Tigray’ by taking land from Gondar, Wolo and Afar” As usual, he chose to remain silent and not to speak about the complete truth by mentioning the fact that Tigray also gave the whole zone of mineral-wealthy “Berahiley” to Afar. How can then this be considered as an attempt to create “The Great Tigray”? I leave the lesson that needs to be drawn from this unfair and deliberate misrepresentation of facts by the professor to you all, the readers. To me, this was merely the result of the ideology that TPLF/EPRDF has adopted – ethnic-based Federalism. If there is any real and/or perceived issue in this regard, this should only be addressed in the framework of a democratic system that empowers the people to choose where they want to be. We need to work hand-in-hand to bring about a democratic political system.
  2. The professor said, “the Tigray people have two options. Either to revolt against TPLF as one person and stay with Ethiopia or to support TPLF and to face secession from Ethiopia”. Isn’t the professor tying to treat the Tigray people as if they are animals and couldn’t possibly have the freedom to take quite plethora of alternatives on what they need to do about TPLF? Doesn’t the professor think that the Tigray people/society, like any other people/society, is also too complex to sandwich it in only two choices? In this same article, he is rightly charging TPLF for using the Tigray people as instrument to stay in power. However, how is his attempt to demand the Tigray people to categorize themselves in only these two options better than that of the TPLF’s? I leave the answer to the reader. He didn’t stop there though. He tried to terrorize the Tigray people by predicting (fictitiously) that Tigray will become a war-zone. He predicted/wished that all the rest of Ethiopians including Afar on one hand, and Eritrea on the other hand, will fight the Tigray people; and the Tigray people will have nowhere to escape. While I would say that the land of Tigray as always will remain large enough to bury the unjust enemies that may come to massacre its humble people, I think the professor may want to refer to the Ethiopian history in order to de/substantiate his claim. I believe history would show quite the opposite. While it is not my wish for this scenario to become true in the country that I love most, if it will have to happen, the Ethiopian history may suggest correctly who the war will be fought among and where it will be happening. I would rather say that it is wiser to stop finger pointing and work together as responsible people to save our country. Isn’t this what is expected of the elite?
  3. The professor consistently used the name Tigray vis-à-vis Ethiopia in his article as if these are two separate entities. I think he is trying to create and/or reinforce the idea that all the rest of the Ethiopians should unite against the Tigray people. For example, he mentioned the fact that TPLF went to fight with Eritrea during the last Ethio-Eritrea war knowing that TPLF/EPRDF would receive backing from all Ethiopians. Why not? What is wrong with this? Ethiopia is the country which was at war at that time. Hence, for the government to think that all Ethiopians would back the war (as they did rightfully) shouldn’t be questioned. By questioning this, the professor is trying to imply that Eritrea’s aggression was pointed only on the Tigray people and the rest of the Ethiopians wouldn’t have to help. So, in the professor’s mind, I can clearly see that there are already two separate entities, Tigray and Ethiopia. What a divisionism! Is this what the Ethiopian people deserve from the people who are highly privileged by gaining the finest education by means of the limited resources of the country?
  4. The professor said, “He always wants to understand the source of destitution. Apparently, he often asks homeless people where they are from”. Well, based on what he wants to preach, I would think he would answer this question by saying that they are all from Ethiopia. So, I don’t understand the lesson he is trying to convey by asking this shameful question. I don’t really want to say a lot on this, except that this statement speaks clearly about the moral character of the professor. As to me, destitution can come from anywhere. If anything, this is a national issue that we need to address it as a country.
  5. Most importantly, the professor is advising that TPLF (he didn’t say EPRDF), its members and supporters should not take part in the upcoming Federal and Regional elections. What a perplexing reconciliation! Does this seem a fair assessment of the prevailing reality we have in Ethiopia today and may this work? I would leave the answer to the reader. I personally don’t take the ramifications of this suggestion lightly. This is “bemar yetelewese merz”. The clear implication of this advise is that there is a deliberate intention to exclude almost all Tigrians from the Ethiopian political arena in the future. The reason is very simple. Historically, almost every Tigrian has been participating in the struggle to overthrow Dergue (whom the professor was advising) and hence any Tigrian is subject to be excluded from any political endeavor in the future Ethiopia. What a wishful miscalculation! Once the Tigray people missed this opportunity, and the professor as well as his friends cease the opportunity, the professor seems to think that the Tigray people may not be able to meaningfully take part again in the future Ethiopian politics at all. This vision of the professor for the Tigray people unmistakably tells the Tigray people how much he loves Tigrians. In fact, as senior as he is, if this professor’s advise would work, he could have saved Dergue from being defeated by TPLF/EPRDF as he was advising the Dergue regime at that time. So I don’t really believe that his advise will work this time around either.

To sum up, the professor is blaming TPLF for using the Tigray people as instrument to stay in power. While this is true, we know that the Tigray people are not willing to be used as a tool by TPLF to elongate its predatory power. In the light of this and to my knowledge, the Tigray people are struggling together with the rest of their fellow Ethiopians to over through the tyranny of TPLF/EPRDF. Paradoxically, however, the professor is demanding a uniquely (and unrealistically) big favor from the Tigray people. He is demanding Tigrians to be organized as one person and fight TPLF by sacrificing their lives in order for him and/or his allies to grip political power. The good news is, at this point, the Tigray people have learnt enough lesson from TPLF that no matter how hard they fight, the peoples’ questions won’t be met by Tyrannies irrespective of their shape or form. Therefore, the Tigray people won’t die again collectively for anyone, including under any pressure like that of the professor’s threat against Tigrians as clearly manifested in his article. Most interestingly, the professor is also proposing to exclude the Tigray people from the future of the Ethiopian politics systematically after he used them as instrument to die-hard and overthrow TPLF/EPRDF. If the professor thinks that the Tigray people are morons, I think he should know that we are not, for we are Ethiopians. Finally, the other side of the professor’s whole article can be summarized in a single statement. While he is right in saying that TPLF wants to use the Tigray people as instrument to stay in power, it is even more evident that the professor wants to use the Tigray people as disposable materials to grip power. What a comparison! We got you, professor.

By: Yemane Halefom

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