Your heart rejoice to hear it, but don’t cry victory too soon!!
The is my answer to the Neftegnas.
TPLF’s survival hanging in the balance
A few days ago, I had a conversation with a very perceptive former Western diplomat on condition of anonymity. The man, who works for a large multinational consultancy firm, is a highly experienced and informed Horn of Africa expert.
He feels that PM Abiy Ahmed has a fresh chance to emerge victoriously. If he concludes this war in his favor, he will be transformed from one of the most vilified African leaders to the most influential in the continent. Western powers always follow the pendulums of power.
The recent military turn around under Abiy’s direct leadership has totally wiped off TPLF’s military gains it had scored with huge sacrifices. He was able to reverse the rebels’ advance on the capital to one of the swiftest military defeats and retreats in living memory. It appears that Western powers had already started consultations on a transitional arrangement under the TPLF
He confirmed that there was mounting pressure on Abiy to leave power and go into exile to create a soft landing for the TPLF. US and European diplomats had expected a repeat of the 1991 scenario where a power vacuum was created when Mengistu fled to Zimbabwe.
Now that TPLF is licking its wound and is likely to be dislodged from the heart and hinterlands of Tigray once again, there are five likely scenarios.
1. TPLF risks a violent split as the old guards are being blamed for betraying their own cause. Most of their supporters, including the ragtag army they call TDF and the Tigrian diaspora, were only prepared for total victory. They were being misled to fervently believe that nothing will stop them from taking state power in Addis. There was so much hype and dreams of a TPLF “second coming” moment. Because the dream is now irreparably shattered, the leadership is likely to face the wrath of the dreamers from within and without. This can lead to a dangerous situation for the leadership including armed uprising.
2. Taking advantage of the low morale amongst the TDF, Abiy may quickly advance on Mekele. If he succeeds, sooner rather than later, to dislodge TPLF from Mekele, it cannot be able to mobilize as massively as previously which kept the TPLF in the game from the verge of total defeat. That may be the end of the TPLF as a formidable rebel group.
3. TPLF leaders may accept the terms of the government for a peaceful resolution of the conflict including disarmament. But given the predicament they are already in after the resounding defeat and onslaught by the army, it is unlikely that they will accept laying down their arms. The arrangement itself will be fatal for them unless they negotiate a safe exit and clemency.
4. Another round of resistance from the mountains of Tigray cannot be ruled out. But the problem is that TDF has already been battered and has lost its steam. TPLF leaders must have realized by now that starting a war is easy. But sustaining it, with a dependable supply line, logistics, and backup is a monumental challenge.
5. A popular uprising against the TPLF is another likely scenario as people will start asking the hardest questions. Parents, who are already exhausted from hunger and war, are likely to ask where their children are.
As so many combatants have lost their lives from both sides, the question will be harder for the losing side more than the winning party. The people are likely to say that those who died were sacrificed in vain.
In any case, TPLF seems to be confronting an existential threat in the face of an oncoming total annihilation. In my view, that will be a great relief for the people of Ethiopia who have suffered immeasurably due to the tyrannical belligerence of the TPLF.
Via: Abebe Gellaw
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Oduu Hatattama Tsadken Gabra tinsai mo’atamne ja’e Tigreen lafarraa haxaawamte