Viewpoint

The Republic of Tigray? Aydeln, yekenyeley!

While the reasons for the re-emergence of Tigrayan secessionism are apparent, the rationales of its proponents are far less compelling

For decades, the specter of secession has hung over Ethiopian politics.

From the early 1960s, Eritrean insurgents fought for independence, until they finally achieved their goal in a 1993 referendum. At times over the past half century, Somali, Oromo, and Tigrayan liberation fronts all also toyed with cleaving from the Ethiopian state.

Those dynamics were prominent in the minds of the rebels that helped draft Ethiopia’s 1995 ethnic federal constitution after the Derg military regime collapsed four years earlier. Considering oppressive centralized rule as the primary curse of the Ethiopian polity, they legalized secession in a radical move designed to mark a decisive break from the past.

While the Tigrayan independence movement has been dormant under ethnic federalism and with the outsized role of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), that changed amid last year’s downgrading of the TPLF, and the accompanying political bitterness.

With the infamous Article 39 secession clause and an antagonistic mood towards the federal government growing in Tigray, the specter of secession looms once more. Although peripheral for now, it may soon prove to be a central challenge for Addis Ababa—unless the TPLF and its opponents strike accommodating stances, and Tigrayan nationalists come to their senses.

Besieged?

Following widespread anti-government protests since 2014, the EPRDF coalition that—by hook or by crook—held the federation together was forced to change. Abiy Ahmed from Oromia’s ruling party became Prime Minister in April 2018, and his administration continued the release of political prisoners, revised repressive laws, and made peace with exiled opponents and Eritrea.

While this largely positive transition averted descent into worsening authority–society relations, the Ethiopian state malfunctioned in a different way. Lawlessness, inter-communal conflict, and accompanying mass displacement have been widespread. Consequently, the euphoria of ‘Abiymania’ dissipated.

In Tigray, his leadership was disputed. No party and people have opposed Abiy’s administration as vehemently as the TPLF and Tigrayans. They accuse the federal government of failing to deliver justice regarding crimes committed by previous administrations and criticize allegedly selective arrests of Tigrayans; a concern shared by Human Rights Watch. To many Tigrayans, Abiy is a demagogue, whipping up ethnic-based resentment and tying them to TPLF abuses to shore up his base.

Nationalists flex their muscles

Indeed, some recent discourse has implicitly taken aim at Tigrayans. Expressions such as “day-time hyenas” (ye qen jiboch)—alluding to ethnic conflict entrepreneurs trying to sabotage reforms, or corrupt officials in the state apparatus—was initially voiced by the Prime Minister and has become a common euphemism used to defame ordinary Tigrayans. This, in turn, sharpened their bitterness towards him.

Similarly, the regional state’s Oromia Broadcasting Network aired documentaries, notably “Greedy Oligarchs”, which imply that “Tigrinya speakers” were largely responsible for corruption within the state-owned military-industrial Metals and Engineering Corporation (MetEC). Arrest warrants and prosecutions of senior Tigrayan figures from the military and national intelligence for graft and abuses accompanied the broadcasts.

The TPLF countered that nests were feathered in many parts of the country during the boom years, and that the new administration unjustly targets their officials. As TPLF elites adopt something of a siege mentality—identifying hostile powers allegedly encircling them from all directions—nationalists flex their muscles, calling for Tigray’s independence as the most secure future for Tigrayan people.

But is that a claim that stands up to scrutiny?

Secession question

Separatist movements often form in response to rifts with central governments, when groups believe they do not get fair political, economic, or socio-cultural recognition. Yet, the secessionism fermenting in Tigray does not meet those benchmarks. Instead, some TPLF officials held considerable power at the federal level for the last 27 years, over and above their Ethiopian population share of less than 10 percent. But this did not necessarily benefit the Tigrayan people, particularly in the countryside where poverty remains rife and TPLF rule is authoritarian.

Unlike other African states that faced separatism, Ethiopia took shape without foreign domination, apart from Italian occupation. Nevertheless, state formation has been fiercely contested, partly due to a process of internal conquest and imperialism, particularly in the late 19th century, that incorporated territories that comprise huge swaths of Ethiopia.

Toxic atmosphere

Although it has been involved in numerous power struggles over the centuries, Tigray was not colonized by internal or external forces, only briefly occupied from 1936 to 1941. In contrast, neighboring Eritrea—a nation partly of Tigrinya speakers—was an Italian colony from 1890 to 1941, in the long-run contributing to separatist aspirations. But, there is a history of movements for greater autonomy of Tigray in Ethiopia. Consider the initial woyane rebellion in the late 1940s, which arose as a result of increasingly centralized rule under Emperor Haile Selassie following the Italian occupation.

Woyane’s legacy partly inspired the liberation struggle of the TPLF—some call it the second woyane rebellion—which together with other liberation fronts overthrew the Derg, culminating in TPLF assuming de facto dominance within the EPRDF coalition and Tigray becoming an partially autonomous regional state rather than an independent nation. But with TPLF’s recently reduced influence within EPRDF, a revival of Tigrayan secessionism is notable, as it worsens a toxic political atmosphere.

So, who are Tigray’s contemporary independence advocates and what are their rationales?

Secessionists

The campaigners use various political vehicles to advance their cause. In fact, most regional parties, excluding Arena Tigray and Tigray Democratic Movement, are pro-independence. TPLF kept the option of Tigrayan independence as a last resort, but ultimately settled for an equal share of decision-making in EPRDF and inserting the infamous Article 39 secession clause into the constitution.

Recently, Tigrayan nationalists like Mehari Yohannes—a TPLF member until he left in 2016, and now the director of the local organization, SebHidri Civil Society of Tigray—has become a leading voice among Tigray’s pro-independence factions. Mehari uses the platforms of SebHidri across Tigray to preach a secessionist gospel. It appears a number of SebHidri members, comprising youths, academics, and veteran fighters, are also independence devotees, although the social movement itself is not committed to that goal and has an ideologically diverse membership. Mehari published a book, titled “Tigray today, from where to where?” (ትግራይ ሎሚ ‘ናበይ፤?”) with the aim of educating the youth on the importance of founding a sovereign nation of Tigray.

Other organizations currently pursuing Tigray’s independence are two new parties, namely 3rd Woyane and Baitona. The latter is the National Congress of Great Tigray, a yet to be registered party, garnering support by feeding pro-independence views to Tigray’s youths via its social media channel. The former, Salsay Woyane, explicitly vows to work toward secession if the federal government and TPLF do not satisfy its nationalist interests. Another civil society organization, the Agazian movement, aims to separate Tigray from Ethiopia and reunite with Eritrea, laying claim to the ancient Agazian territories inhabited by Tigrinya-speaking peoples. Its members operate not only in Tigray, but are also active in Israel and the Eritrean diaspora.

Mehari Yohannes, a leading advocate of secession, at his book launch; contributed

Dawit Gebreegziabiher, a philanthropist and businessman, shares similar goals to the Agazian movement. Tekleberhan Woldearegay, a retired general and former head of the government’s cyber-security agency, co-formed the Axumite movement, a socio-cultural movement with a website that focuses on the history of the ancient civilization and discusses the concept of “Greater Tigray”.

A number of academics are also emerging as influential but controversial voices, seeking to animate the independence narrative by focusing on Ethiopia’s fragilities. Girmay Berhe, an economist and instructor at Mekele University, is one of them. He gave the opening speech at Mehari’s book launch, saying “we Tigrayans need to have our own independent state of Tigray”. Arguing that the Ethiopian state is a product of empire, he says that no empire has escaped collapse. The fate of the federation remains a central “bone of contention”, he claims, pointing to the recent surge of ethnic strife and the potential for disintegration.

While there is no doubt there would be serious central government resistance to the attempted separation of Tigray from Ethiopia, Girmay considers Tigrayans to form a cohesive society that shares many socio-cultural factors, including language, religion, and mindset, which unite them as a people, and potentially as a nation. Economically, he mocks, it would make little difference whether Tigray leaves Ethiopia or not, given that the central government is burdened by external debt and still relies on donors for around a third of its spending. While that may be true, Tigray receives around three-quarters of its expenditure from federal government transfers.

Anti-secessionists

The anti-secession forces in Tigray are scattered and mostly led by voices from opposition groups like Arena Tigray and TPLF dissidents like Aregawi Berhe, one of the liberation front’s founders, who returned from exile in 2018 to re-enter Ethiopian politics.

Singing a similar tune are political figures who are not members of a party. Nebiyu Sihul Mikael, a former Ethiopia Insight contributor and instructor at Mekelle University, also spoke at Mehari’s book launch, where he argued that political naivety and self-indulgence have infected Tigray’s independence agitators. Nebiyu considers secession “political suicide”, saying the process of defining a territory for an independent Tigray would risk gambling away the relative autonomy Tigray presently holds. While prioritizing the region politically, he suggests focusing on “making Ethiopia a strong nation…[we] should believe in bargaining and reconciliation”.

Political insanity

Others like the journalist, lyricist, and regime critic Tewodros Tsegay are also fervent enthusiasts of Tigray remaining part of Ethiopia, labeling secession “political insanity”. He says that despite being a minority, Tigrayans have contributed markedly to the construction of the Ethiopian nation, both positively and negatively, and cites the ancient Kingdom of Axum, the late 19th Century Tigrayan Emperor Yohannes IV and the recent predominance of TPLF. According to Tewodros, current squabbles between Ethiopian political elites should be seen as a “power struggle” rather than a cause for secession.

Independence advocates often claim that ordinary Tigrayans have not secured economic well-being as Ethiopian citizens. While control and repression was key to EPRDF rule over the past 27 years, nobody in Tigray had any significant influence over regional affairs, except a fairly small group of TPLF elites. With political reforms ongoing, the likes of Tewodros question whether secession is a viable solution for Tigray to overcome past problems, prosper, and achieve freedom, justice, and equality.

TPLF position

The TPLF is generally trying not to get dragged into the independence discussions. Doing so could worsen its already strained relations with federal government. Instead, the party utilizes the independence issue to demonstrate to Addis Ababa that it is still the best available ‘federalist’ party among contenders in the region. This seemed to be the messages that Debretsion Gebremichael, TPLF chairman and acting president of Tigray, tried to convey in a June interview with The Reporter.

Yet, Getachew Reda, TPLF politburo member and advisor to Debretsion, downplayed the comments, claiming they were taken out of context. Getachew emphasizes that most Tigrayans still believe in Ethiopia and that there is little appetite for secession. According to the politician, the amplification of secessionist discourse is a by-product of the youth being more empowered to express opinions. “I am not saying Ethiopia or death,” said Getachew—but he does believe secession would be highly risky and difficult, and points out that international laws and geopolitical dynamics are not inclined towards splitting nation states up.

I am not saying Ethiopia or death

Alem Gebrewahid, one of the most prominent current TPLF figures, explained his party’s stance to the diaspora, rejecting separation as an option. He made clear that although there may be elements who advocate for secession, the official position of TPLF’s Central Committee is to not even consider it. While Alem did not deny the current controversy, he underlined that Tigrayans and Ethiopians cannot be seen as distinct citizens.

The position of TPLF’s dominant faction thus remains one of maintaining a well-functioning government in Tigray that protects the Ethiopian constitution and safeguards ethnic federalism. Secession is not considered by TPLF as a viable means of overcoming current challenges.

Branching paths

A variety of scenarios and predicaments could arise in the unlikely event that the secession of Tigray—with TPLF at the helm—became reality. One possible scenario is the emergence of violent fissures in Tigrayan society. Although pro-independence groups have emphasized the strong societal bonds of Tigrayans, public protests could take place in certain parts of Tigray—particularly rural and border areas, where people feel marginalized by the inequitable governance of TPLF and where they would likely be further economically disadvantaged by independence.

Meanwhile in areas such as Raya, Tenbien, Enderta, and Mekele, Tigrayans have long had strong communal connections with Amhara, Agew, and Afar, given their proximity and kinship ties. It could prove difficult for secessionists to drive a wedge between these close-knit communities and gain support for separation.

Some consider Tigray sandwiched

These areas stand in contrast to northern areas of Tigray, which are susceptible to the cultural and political influence of Eritrea. Such complexities suggest that secessionist slogans along the lines of “we are a unified people, one family” simplify important subtext, not least along Tigray’s borders.

Indeed, one consequence of secession could be war in Tigray and across its borders. The TPLF is already locking horns with Amhara’s ruling party and still has a hostile relationship with Eritrea’s ruling clique. This has not fundamentally changed despite the rapprochement between Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afewerki. Some consider Tigray sandwiched between antagonistic forces with little room for maneuver. Any movement towards secession could be dealt with aggressively by the federal government. Additionally, global powers are interested in Ethiopia remaining the policeman of the Horn, and would be aghast at any fragmentation of the federation.

Short-sighted

Many Tigrayans believe that mounting bitterness against Tigray is a plot by TPLF opponents, including proponents of anti-ethnic federalism “citizenship politics”. The persistent inaccurate notion that Tigray and its citizens have profited disproportionally under EPRDF rule seems to be a primary cause of resentment and support for independence. Scholars, journalists, and activists have contributed to this biased perspective—failing to distinguish between ordinary Tigrayans and TPLF cadres that claim to represent them. However, such concerns do not even begin to justify secession, nor do they take the legitimate concerns of ordinary Tigrayans seriously.

The Tigrayan independence cause seems to be gaining momentum, particularly among nationalists and some TPLF supporters, despite the party’s formal opposition. Social media amplifies the discourse, while TPLF-affiliated medias have also become embroiled. This would probably not have been the case under Meles Zenawi, when anyone agitating for independence would have doubtless been labeled a fanatical “narrow nationalist”.

Second-class citizens

In reality, the idea of an independent Tigray is a premature and, thankfully, still fringe notion. The case for independence is spearheaded by political and economic elites using their media influence to advance the cause. While there are many possible future paths, what seems certain is that people in Tigray will always yearn for peace and security. But they do not want to feel like second-class citizens as they do so, particularly given that Tigray has been so central to Ethiopian state building.

If Abiy walked his talk of national reconciliation, he would make Tigrayans feel at home and secure. He does not travel to Tigray much, but his recent visit to Axum was lauded by residents. They pledged to construct an obelisk in his name should he help to solve their water woes. With elections around the corner, Abiy should build on that, and be clear about his policy towards Tigray, and fair in his dealings with Tigrayans. Until now, he has spoken provocatively on matters that he should not have been touched, and stayed silent when Tigrayans needed defending.

To some nationalists, Tigrayan independence appears heroic, and Abiy’s clumsy handling of last year’s power shift has boosted their romantic cause. But the political, economic, and socio-cultural promises provided by hot-blooded secessionist groups are short-sighted, and fail to acknowledge the massive risks involved.

The Republic of Tigray? No thanks.

Query or correction? Email us

Editors’ note: Article amended on September 28 to say Agazian movement active in Eritrean diaspora, not Eritrea. On October 1, amended descriptions of SebHidri and rebel TPLF’s attitudes to secession.

Editors: Jonah Wedekind, William Davison

This is the author’s Viewpoint. However, Ethiopia Insight will correct clear factual errors.

Main photo: Ethiopian troops near Zalambessa during war with Eritrea; June 2000; Petterik Wiggers

Published under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence. Cite Ethiopia Insight and link to this page if republished. 

Related Insight

Aug. 7, Ethiopia and Eritrea’s peace must be rooted in past

Feb. 1, Ethiopia’s transitional justice process needs restoration work

Jan. 17, Is Tigray really a drop in the bucket for Abiy’s administration?

Dec. 16, 2018 Violent Qemant dispute fueling explosive Amhara-Tigray divide

Oct. 28, 2018 After Eritrea thaw, Tigray’s southern border with Amhara heats up

We need your support to deliver news from across Ethiopia

Please help fund an Ethiopia Insight reporter

About the author

Getachew Gebrekiros Temare

Getachew has a law degree and is a graduate student of conflict resolution. He is a human-rights defender and is active on the rights of disabled people.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

35 Comments

  • Getachew Reda (Ethio seamy)

    Part 2

    This part should be part of my earlier comment already posted.
    This time I will explain who the Agazians are during the Axumite era.
    As I explained it earlier, Tigreans never recognized nor want to recognize their Beja origin similar to the current Oromo society who does not want to recognize their ancestors’ name “or the Origin of Gala”. Who are the Gala and who are the Beja? Both have similar trends as warriors and invaders destroyed and recreated a new community of language and features in Ethiopia. The TPLF cabals or the new separatist elements in Tigray called themselves not Tigrayans but Agazian.
    I myself as a Tigrayan, I wonder what went wrong in the mind of separatists in Tigray calling themselves as Agazian not Ethiopian or Tigrean.

    In fact the Tigreans lost their memory of origin (even their Agaw links), and instead traced their ancestry to the Sabeans South Arabia. That is why the TPLF cabals wrote on their manifesto of 1983 the following.

    Agazian
    (TPLF manifesto of May 1983)

    “The people of Tigray have a rich history of thousands of years. In
    the past, they were Known by various names such as Axumites,
    Habeshas, etc. Before 1000 BC, present day Tigray was
    Inhabited by Nilotic and Hametic peoples of African origin, who
    led a primitive communal life…..the tribes of South Arabian
    Origin known as the Sabean, Agazeans, Habeshats, and
    Himyarites began to cross the Red Sea and settle in the areas
    which are today Tigray and Eritrea. These tribes were at a more
    advanced stage of development than the indigenous people.
    (People’s Democratic program of TPLF, May 1983) “

    So now, we know from the horse’s mouth that Agazians are people who crossed the Red Sea and settled in the areas which are today Tigray and Eritrea.
    Getachew Reda (Ethio Semay)

  • Getachew Reda (Editor Ethio Semay)

    I thank a close friend whom I saw his comment posted here for forwarding me Getachew Gebrekiros Temare’s document. The document is superbly searched and most it is Pan-Ethiopianist view.

    The document guided us to see the different secessionist cabals and their reasoning for secession in Tigray. Though, the author tried to show us their different causes to claim for secession, he missed one important caused what triggered these destructive elements to preach session (the awaiting doom of Tigray people). The important issue the author missed I am talking about is “hate”.

    Well, these elements are possessed with hate for “Ethiopia and Amhara and its flag”. These psychopaths like the young Tigrean by the name ‘Mehari Yohannes (whom I called him “መሓሪ ዱቸ” /Mussolini) is a typical sample. He is eaten by hate towards Amhara, Ethiopia and Ethiopian flag. As he is the product of TPLF, he believes Ethiopia is the product of Amhara. Therefore, anything to do with Amhara or Ethiopia and its flag does not relate to the Tigre (Tigray) people. He is not the only one posed by this insanity, if you read Yemane’s book “Kedamay Weyane” you will see the deep hate for Ethiopian flag (the flag of Emperor Yohannes), Amhara and Ethiopia. Therefore, these cabals wrongly and fascistically believe Aksumite civilization belongs only to Tigrayans.
    For example, the TPLF leader, the half casted Gojame and Tigre Meles Zenawi once said:-

    “…the Tigreans had Aksum, but what could that mean to the Gurages? The Agew had Lalibela, but what could that mean to the Oromos? The Gonderes had castles, but what could that mean to the Wolayita? What Meles was telling the world was that the legacies of ancient Aksumite belongs exclusively to Tigreans, Lalibela to the Agew, etc. Not so, says my friend and my teacher the renowned historian Professor Aleme Eshete (rest his soul in peace).

    In fact Professor Aleme believes that the early builders of the Axumite Empire were Ge’ez not Tigreans. Tigreans arrived later at Aksum through invasion and imposed the Tigre language on the Ge’ez speaking people.
    Professor Aleme basic argument is that it is impossible to attribute to any one ethnic group Ethiopia’s past achievements. Due to immigration, war and other causes for the movement of people, all Ethiopians have had part in building Ethiopia’s past civilizations, and every Ethiopian should be justifiably proud of the collective heritage.” Said Prof.Aleme.
    I might add this point also. The Ge’ez disappeared by the 8century AD with the end of the Aksumite Empire, and their place, the heart land of Aksum was taken by people called Tigrai. Who are the Tigrai? The origin of the Tigrai/Tigre is Beja as the Kunam are the Seshe? Or the Oromo are the Gala etc. Tigre are semitized Beja living north of the Ge’ez. The Tigray were the Tigre who would in the 7th Century marched over the highlands conquered and occupied the Ge’ez Aksum, putting an end to the Ge’ez Axum ruling dynasty.

    Note:-This week, a good friend of mine brought me a book from Tigray, authored by Mehari Yohannes (“መሓሪ ዱቸ”) and I just started to read few pages of it and found the mind of the author similar to ዱቸ Mussolini of Italia. After I finished the book I will see if I can come with a book in response to this young Tigrayan fascist as I did wrote similar reaction to the other retarded Geberekidan Desta.

    • Your comment is full of venom, including a petulant remark about Meles. But Meles was right – the history of Axum, Gonder, Lalibela does not seem to impress some Oromos and Ogaden Somalis. They feel detached from it, in their comments elsewhere they refer to it as the history of the Abyssinians/highlanders with some indignation…The old flag represented an imperial political order that was dissolved by the Derg in 1974. The new flag has retained the three colors
      with the star in the middle to represent a new era in Ethiopia with a federal framework. The Oromos, and others, are supporters of the federal system and the new flag…Tigray secession is a “fringe notion” going nowhere, and not supported by TPLF…Your take on the Axumite history sounds like “a stretch” trying to be inventive about this and that people of the past to give you a cover in your attempt to water down Tigray claim on ancient Axum as a heritage. Axum, with all its historical relics and symbols, is located in Tigray – there is no way around that fact. But Axum is a heritage Tigray shares with all Ethiopians of good will.

      • Getachew Reda (Ethio Semay)

        Dear Tekle

        Brother, you have not hit any remark of mine with evidence to refute. You even foolishly discomforted yourself reading my comments wrongly. My remark to Meles Zenawi, the half casted individual who hated his ancestors should not by any means discomfort you. I have mixed blood from my family, but never hated as Meles did to his other sides. So what made you discomfort to say the following?

        “Your comment is full of venom, including a petulant remark about Meles.”
        There is nothing petulant about it. If it is not true, come on and show us where it made you discomfort. You might be his cadre or admirer as I can see it here; the fact is there was no rude individual as Meles was in the history of Tigray. He was rude to people, he was rude to our flag, he was rude to individuals, he was rude to our national interest. He was the most mysterious mercenary who devalue the sovereignty of Ethiopia and that included of Tigray. He was involved in conspiracy, poisoning Amhara captives using cyanide. He was leading an organization who tortured elder Tigrayans with live fire. You are defending national criminal. Please!!!!

        You even told us that

        “ Meles was right – the history of Axum, Gonder, Lalibela does not seem to impress some Oromos and Ogaden Somalis.”

        You just said it “some”. If some are not impressed who are those some you are talking about? The lenchos? The Bekele Gerbas? the Jawrians? , the Islamic Oromo leaders the Jaras? ….who are those “some” you are referring lost impressed about the civilization of the ancient Axumites or Lalibelas?
        It does not impressed them, because there was a venomous Tigrayn leader in the front line campaigning and brainwashing that the mentioned civilization was not collective product of the Ethiopians, but to the mentioned people only. That is where our differences stand. Just like some of the deluded Tigrayan elites believe and preach openly with no shame at all, that the victory of Adwa belongs only to Tigraean people. I can’t help, but laugh! One can only laugh when this is claimed foolishly.

        You even tried to twist the crime of your TPLF to give it to the Derg regarding the Ethiopian flag. You aid:

        Quote
        “The old flag represented an imperial political order that was dissolved by the Derg in 1974.”

        Show me the evidence where the three colors of Emperor Johannes and AmdeTsion’s flag that transferred to Emperor Haileselassie dissolved by the Derg in 1974? Show me where that flag was abandoned by law or people arrested for holding or decorating it. That flag was honored by every government offices, by Mengistu, by the army, by the church, school and funeral. Your mind must have been menticide by TPLF false propaganda. Perhaps you are one of the cadres pupating after them.

        The flag actually has devalued, insulted and dissolved by your Meles/TPLF/. That flag was Emperor Yohannes’s proud flag which later devalued , cursed by you and your likes. Sad!

        You are completely naïve. You said:

        “The new flag has retained the three colors
        with the star in the middle to represent a new era in Ethiopia with a federal framework.”

        What is the use of putting star? It was not a new era. It was the most humiliating era for Tigrayans and Ethiopians ceding their sea ports and lands by your own Meles leadership. By the way, what federal framework are you jabbering about? You mean “ethnic federalism”? That is fascism/apartheid!

        You also said
        “The Oromos, and others, are supporters of the federal system and the new flag…”
        I have never seen an Oromo hoisting your flag. What I still currently see is OLF’s and Egyptian’s flag . Even if they do, does it justify that that the three color flag without the symbol of the “satanic star” considered as a symbol of dictators? Just because there is a star, you mean to fool me the fascist party (TPLF) was democratic and patriot?

        You just make me laugh when you tried fool me by saying;-
        “Tigray secession is a “fringe notion” going nowhere, and not supported by TPLF…”

        KKKKK… have you even followed TPLF leaders’ speech and threats? Do you know why that article 39 was still alive? What do you think it is there waiting for? It is a Molotov cocktail (time bomb) copied from Mussolini

        Here is the other thing you mentioned:
        ‘ Axum, with all its historical relics and symbols, is located in Tigray – there is no way around that fact. But Axum is a heritage Tigray shares with all Ethiopians of good will”

        What does good will mean? Who are you to share or to deny based on good will? How naïve to say, just because all historical relics and symbols are located in Tigray, belongs only to Tigray (Tigringa speaking community)! I have just showed eelier how the Gala invaded the entire Ethiopia all the way to Tigray: and as the result of the invasion, languages, name of lands, villages, hills, and physical features of the invaded community changed forever (including customs and dances).

        Just because, the historical relics or symbols are located in Tigray, none of the symbols showed belonging to the Tigrigna speaking during the Aksumite era. In fact, Axum belongs to the Agews not to the Tigringa speaking community of today. (Aksum- the name is not Tigringa it is Agew. Even Adua, and so on is not Tigringa it is most likely Agew… “I got some of the definition I got from the Agew speaking people ) . To surprise, those claimed Aksum is solely for Tigray people are not the Agew, not the Kunam, the Saho, the Afar, … but, the Tigringa language speaking elites. And none of these elements has evidence to claim it only belongs to Tigray.

        The Agews still living in Tigray, Eritrea and in the Amhara territories. The Tigringa speaking community still stays in North of Mereb, South of Mereb (Axum/Adua/Shire/….. ) You will not see them located in neighboring territory. Why because, as I mentioned it earlier, the Tigre/Beja invaded the Axumite localities and mixed with the Geez community of the time and stationed there while the Agews and others were chased out by them and spread apart all over (though some Agew are still near Axum and SelekleKa, Abergele, Enderta. Selawa/Samre).

        Axum does not belong to Tigringa speaking community alone as you or the fascist elements claimed they owned it. Agew not Tigray/Tigre name written on those left evidences of those kings and rules of the time. Nowhere, I mean “no where”found any single evidence of trace of /Tigringa/Tigray community at the time. No where!! Sorry.

        When it comes to the name Aksum- to whom does this name related more? To the Agews or to the Tigrigna speaking Tigre/Tigrean?

        The Gala invaded the Ethiopian central, Highland and northern territories after Girang Ahmded devastated Ethiopia. None of that land who is now claimed owned by the Oromo belongs to them before the invasion. So, to relate your argument that the Obelisks and artifacts are located in the invaded territories, where the invaders occupied and owned it for so long does not justify they are the sole owners of those territories or artifacts.

        In fact many of the Axumite rulers were Semitic people. Even the church acknowledge the rulers were half castes or fully Jew. So tell us who were these rulers? Tigrayans? Who are the Tigre and who are the jew? I kept advising Tigrayan elites not to brush too much deep. The more they dig deep to own everything, the result will not be nice. The other side will come up with the same argument, perhaps worst. The Oromo are now facing a very devastating rout exposing themselves to the worst picture. So, mellow down> you can’t won the past history selectively as sole owner. That is not human!!!
        Getachew Reda (Ethio Semay)

  • Thank you Getachew and #Ethiopiainsight.

    I was thinking to say something though it was not lucid equally as this article. I’ve trailed the propagators of Tigray’s independence. What typically worries me is that their goal.
    Their aim of Tigray’s separation is unifying With Eritrea.

  • Independent Tigray? No thanks, article by Gebrekristos. My reaction? Me too! I say! Well there is an ongoing debate on future of Tigray induced by Mehari Yohannes’s new book (ትግራይ ኸዝኸ ናበይ?) : What follows is my reflection on the matter as an ordinary citizen: አቋምኻ ምግላፅ ልመስልዎ የለይ! የኾነይዶ ብፆትን ዘይብፆትን? Lol
    Well, forgive my rudeness but i wish Tigray to continue not just as an independent state but an indispensable part of Ethiopia. The idea of independence based on the reason that Tigray is now marginalized and treated unfairly is farfetched. Of course I would not wish my Tigray to continue as wretched, disadvantaged and unfairly treated region as it were during the 27 years under EPRDF1. I believe Tigray is now in a better position to continue to play a vital role as a cohesive factor of unionists. I believe It has learned and gained a lot, thanks to the last 1 and half years characterised by chaos and disillusionment. It now knows who is who, and what is what. It knows what to do from here and how? All it needs is a competent and committed leadership. This is what i think is the case. This is the stand i differ with some fb friends that i greatly espect and admire, but then, we all are entitled to our thoughts and opinions and we don’t necessarily have to agree on everything, do we? At the end of the day we will have to respect the majority interests and the direction to be chosen, which remains to be seen. For now, suffice to say “Vivre la difference!”

  • Hi Tedla,
    Let me get things straight first, I am Tigraway, I am against secession but I am pro Article 39 because I believe it is a group right, the same concept as individual right. Article 39 isn’t just about secession, it is also about power balance with the center. If a crazy guy (PM) gets into power and he/she may try to do crazy things, thus Article 39 can be used as a balancing power. Let’s try to be positive and factually correct in our arguments.
    Let me get back to your point now.
    You said “Tigray present geography formed by incorporating huge fertile land from Welkait, Gonder, Raya, Wello and Afar in 1991”. First of all let’s have a habit of speaking “TRUTH”, let’s not reference things that are not factually accurate. Before 1948/49 the above mentioned areas were part of Tigray, however King Haile Silasie incorporated those area to become part of Wello and Gonder. The governor of Tigray at that time “Le’ul Ras Mengesha Seyoum” still alive and speaking about what happened then, if you are interested with facts please listen “https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z2K4v2xRutA”.
    Can you provide similar facts from your side to claim that those area were part of Wello and Gonder before 1948/49? I said before before 1948/49. Please don’t provide me books or historian claims, we Ethiopians have a habit of distorting facts. Just give me similar facts as I provided you, governors who administered Wello or Gonder at that time, at least their son’s and daughters’ should be alive to speak. Remember “Truth Will Set You Free!!”.
    Note that Ras Mengesha Seyoum’s father was the son of the great “Emperor of Ethiopia Yohanes IV”, Ras Mengesha Seyoum administered Tigray from 1953 till 1968, he was appointed by King Haile Silasie in 1953. Thus, where did you get your facts? It is true that after 1948/49 until 1991 those area were part of Wello and Gonder but before that they never been part of Wello and Gonder administration.

    I think some people in Ethiopia who have issue with the current federal arrangement (ethnic based) intentionally or unintentionally don’t have the full facts what happened in 1995 when the constitution was implemented. At that time when they create the regions (Kilil) they used a formula called 60/40%. For example if certain border area has 60% Afar speaking people then it was incorporated with Afra regional state, the same goes to Raya and Welkait. In those area more than 60% of the people were Tigrigna speaking, thus they were incorporated as part of Tigray. Even though a lot of Tigray elites claim Tigray land is all the way “Alwha Milash” but based on the 60/40 formula “Alwha” became part of Amhara region because most of the people in that area were Amharic speaking.

    In general, my point is when we claim certain things let’s be honest and have the right information before we disseminate unproved claim. Have a wonderful day.

  • I’m highly overwhelmed by the unjustified hullabaloo of Bereket Kiros from Seb Hidri civil society. The author didn’t portray the organization as a secessionist organization in his commentary.
    However, Instead of thanking him on the subject for his caution, Bereket Kiros is maddeningly insulting and vilifying him ridiculously.

    It is easy to grasp the daily activities of the organization and its members in Tigray. What is doing Gebrekidan Desta in SebHidri? Is he showing his illimitable enthusiasm to the significance of human and democratic rights?
    What about the top tier leaders of the civil society like Mehari Yohannes, Muluwerk Kidanemariam, (doctor Goitom) zetseatSaveadna and the likes.
    In my view, Seb Hidri is a covert organization secretly working to spread the idea of sovereign republic of Tigray through Mehari and his associates. It is serving as a comfy platform protected by the deceiving title of civil society.
    In Spanish, They say “Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres” – “Tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are.”

  • Dream on.
    NO SIR: IF TIGRAI GOSE, TIGRAI WILL GO ALONE!
    ETHIOPIA WILL NOT FOLLOW. THAT MAY BE YOUR WISH.

    However, the fact is Amharas never want to secede. ….from who and from where? The talk of secession of Oromos is a dream fabricated by Essays Afowerki as a political capital in the past amd now adapted by evil minded TPLF politicians to accomodate their own agenda of potential desire to seced.

    Tigrai will not prosper in independent Tigrai because the region is short in natural resources. If you and your kind is betting on the fertile territories of Wokaite, Tegede, Humera and Raya that have literally been stolen by TPLF, make no mistake, you will not walk away with them.

    If Tigrai leave the union, by hook or crook, it will do so without the four Ethiopian territories mentioned above.

  • Dear Ayte Getachew Gebrekiros,

    I am not trying to stifle criticism and freedom of expression but, rather aimed at writing critically appraise the objective of your article that appeared on Ethiopian insight under the title “The Republic of Tigray. It seems to me as a stanch advocator and esteem member of Sebhidri, you are tried to make a political career by insulting and name calling. I believe personally in the free flow of ideas that individuals can write articles or essays of their own at any rate, out of respect I hope my suggestions or criticism will be constructive, and dignified.

    If your intention was to examine the activities of Sebhidri as a civic organization you fail miserably, you have not done favor to your readers. Your message was lost in the sea of ignorant political discourse. The level of the article on web is degenerating too low some step must be taken to avoid; the web site not to become another gossip sight.

    Sebhidri is a lawfully registered locally and internationally to usher a new beginning and forge a cohesive approach. Our members are not bound by ideology of their own belief but by rather by the core principle of our platform to promote democracy, rule of law, fight corruption and arm our people to exercise their constitutional right. As author you spill filthy reasons to the reader as angry man leaving the targeted message. You have many inconsistency and jargons that are not well thought and articulated ideas.
    I am not going to belittle your intelligence understanding the content of the article but I will assume you probably blinded and misguided to know in depth the core principles of Sebhidri. You focus on Mehari personal grudge and try to paint in one brush to commence your article. I have to respond and condemn your bias sentiment towards Sebhidri. Since the inception Sebhidri, It is the persistent bashing stand taken by digital flies and high ranking washed politicians who claimed to be supporters of the regime manifested their ugly venom towards Sebhidri is a subject that should be talked about. Many of our members are faced with character assassinations; fabrication and labeling as if we are foot soldiers of the regime because we share the same identity.
    One needs to differentiate the problem of identity and ideology from the situation in the heads of the spin-doctors and the propagandist. This remains much ignorance among those who claimed to posses’ special insight and knowledge about Tigrai. Most of them like you are affiliated by wishful thinking, conditioned by previous status quo and have an ax to grind. I am not surprised at all to read such highly charged tone and demented idea to evolve to such petty low level standard. Those of who have viewed Tigrai from a comfortable distance and throw stones in every direction to create rift have no love of Tigrai. Discussion on important issues remains to be difficult.
    We are faced with this scrupulous silly obstinacy political culture bushing on our ethnic identity, our organization never ever entertained “Secessionists” agenda. The same people who claimed to oppose a racial bigotry are perpetuators of such bias tone. Regardless of our ethnic background it is necessary to focus what has been said, written or ideas that are entertained. So far such pattern of name calling with unsubstantial rumors has been trademarks in some self-appointed pundits, who like to make a name bushing Sebhidri as their platform. This has been the stated positions by many called themselves writers and supporters of the regime who just want to steer trouble. It is better for you when you see danger that is looming and articulate effectively our strong position and weakness.
    The Tigrean youths paid so much sacrifice at their tender age so that we live in peace and tranquility regardless the path of the leadership is currently pursuing. Such provocative article towards Sebhidri will not help to advance Democracy. You cannot talk about Ethiopia degrading with derogatory remarks to those brave people who have shattered to dust the brutal regime in the history of Ethiopia. It was paid so much time and money to create a system where each of us can vent on some issues of our country destiny and future. How is possible to start nation building by denying the existing reality. Unmistakable evidence of this capitulation to blackmail is mind boggling experience for many Tigreans. Enough is enough and let’s work together for the common good and open a dialog on things that matter the most for our Tigrai.
    As Tegaru we have a special responsibility to acknowledge the dilemma of Tigreans in order to help move the debate forward. And only in this way can security, peace and justice come to this ancient land we love so much dearly. As you know I do not claim to be as spokesperson to anyone except judging at the merits of your article. I can’t be any clearer than that. Sebhidri do not share the “Secessionists” agenda, it must be stopped the mockery to tie us for such discourse.
    Kindly
    Bereket Kiros (Ethiopian observer editor)

    • Mr. Kiros you have taught me nothing about the poletical party to which you belong.

      Your capacity to insult with flowery language those who may have disagreed with your understanding of facts made your comment worthless.
      This is an issue of high importance for Tigreans and Ethiopia at large. It’s important that you stay calm and collected and make your point without insulting the original essay author.
      If only for our benefit!

      • Dear Mesfin,
        I do appreciate the time you take to read my comments. It is the consistent bushing and defaming this organization at its infancy stage may contribute my rage against the author who could have done a little bit research rather than use Sebhidri as a scapegoat to score any animosity he harbors with alleged individuals. I do agree with your comments and look forward
        to present my view to my readers who would like to know about Sebhidri.

        Sebhidri is focusing on political commentary and issues relevant to Tegaru at home and abroad, with articles contributed by Ethiopians and Tegaru scholars. Sebhidri concentrate on current issues dealing with the government and political situation in Ethiopia and the state of Tigrai, as well as human rights, freedom of the press and the future of Ethiopia and Tegaru. Sebhidri hopes to provide a place for Ethiopians and Tegaru to find important information on current issues while acting as a springboard for scholarly discussion and debate among Ethiopians.

        Mission Statement

        Seb-Hidri is a civil organization with the goal of furthering democracy, justice and Civic Engagement for the rights of Tigreans. Seb-Hidri strives to play a role in uniting Tigreans through peaceful and nonviolent civil discourse and restore the proud unity heritage of Tigreans. Seb-Hidri is devoted to expose and analyze without fear and censor the forces that have impacted upon our lives and in the life of our Tigrai. Tegaru have withstood tremendous social and political upheavals in the last hundred years. Any other people in the world without our type of long history and strong faith would have collapsed and their institutions would have disintegrated had they been faced with a fraction of what we Tegaru have to endure.

        Vision

        Tegaru nationalism and Ethiopianness can only be reinforced and enriched through the free exchange of ideas, it is also a vehicle for a higher calling in preserving and safeguarding the right of any Tegaru to express his/her views without fear of any form of censorship. No nation can be built on falsehood and propaganda. If it is thus structured, beware! We seek “the truth,” and “the truth” is our strength.
        Sebhidri is goal-oriented and partisan, thus the editorial focus is on the following two important objectives:

        1) To strengthen Tegaru nationalism through humanism, and

        2) To foster, promote, and defend the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of our Tigrai and Ethiopia.

        We emphasize the fact that Sebhidri is dedicated totally to serve the great people of Tigrai in particular. It is open to all, and all are invited to share their views in articles and essays. Thanks for your thoughtful consideration.

    • Hi Bereket!

      First I need to thank for your comments, though they’re accompanied with aggressively deprecating remarks that have not any connection with the article.
      Bear in mind, I have not discoursed organizational viewpoint of the civil society (SebHidri) pertaining to the issue of independence in the article.
      Thus, let me be cautious to genuinely admit your assertion “I am not trying to stifle criticism and freedom of expression but, rather aimed at writing critically appraise the objective of your article that appeared
      On Ethiopian insight under the title “The Republic of Tigray.”

      I’m not a member of SebHidri for the record and I have not insulted or belittled in my article anyone including Sebhidri.
      That being said, I’m not fresh to this civil society. I had published formerly an article regarding your civil society stating its roles and efforts in the region.
      I need not to react for all your miscellaneous allegations. It seems appropriate for me to state the following facts concisely though. I’m not supporter of the regime for any reason, TPLF. I’m proud Tigrean and Ethiopian. I have the prospect to sensibly keep an eye on what the opinion leaders and members of the civil society are doing in Tigray without a shred of doubt.

      Thanks, Getachew G. Temare.

  • The Republic of Tigray? No thanks, indeed. I am gad to read that for TPLF the chit chat of secession, this “fringe notion”, is not an idea for consideration. For the people of Tigray, being Ethiopian is more than a political identity – it is also a historical and spiritual identity anchored in the Axumite kingdom and the Church as the foundation of Ethiopian history. Meles and TPLF took a leading role in EPRDF to set up an equitable political system in Ethiopia and rebuild the nation for 25 years. In that time span, TPLF has done all it can for Ethiopia, it was a noble cause. And now TPLF is back to its primary responsibility to defend Tigray against hostile elements, in addition to developing the region. TPLF will continue to communicate and work with Abiy, and it is for Abiy to demonstrate and convince the people of Tigray that he, Abiy, is not hostile or conflicted towards Tigray.

  • Which Tigray ?????

    Tigray present geography formed by incorporating huge fertile land from Welkait, Gonder, Raya, Wello and Afar in 1991 way before imposing the Ethnic Federalism Constitution of 1995 was not discussed on your piece. Was it by accident on a nice piece for all to read otherwise ???

    https://www.ethiopia-insight.com/2019/09/28/the-republic-of-tigray-aydeln-yekenyeley/

    Talking about the possibility of Tigrai Republic without the expanded Tigray and the likelihood of War does not give sense.

    The moment the republic is declared full fledged war is 100%.

    African Union can not survive breaking apart Ethiopia.

    Tigrayans need to rise up and join other Ethiopians to throw TPLF and all anti Ethiopia warlords who profited from ethnic LF enterprises for more than four decades to build a democratic Ethiopia for more than eighty cultures and langauges !!!!

    We can not create eighty independent countries by dismantling Ethiopia !!!!

  • Well done brother! Getachew! This is a fairly articulated view of both versions of the topic under discussion. I can add more points to both sides of the argument, but your article has more than enough to make people rethink about their stance. As to me, as of now, I support your conclusion – “No thanks” to secession. In addition to what you explained, there are several things we did not do to see if Ethiopia can render the desired service to us as citizens. Of course, it is not right to leave your home/your country to make your neighbour happy. This is a country that was born in Tigray, whose history, culture, civilization, and everything it is proud of, including its growth and continuity resulted from the heavy hand and conviction and sacrifice of mainly the Tigrean generations. It is built by the bones and blood of, mainly, Tegaru. So, why do we give our product to hienas, who had no contribution but stealing someone’s product? Why don’t we try to all options to ensure that the Ethiopia we want have exists? I don’t think we exhaustively tried everything. People are getting desperate mainly because of what they see now. But, this is temporary and any systematic effort can change the political dynamics quickly and for good. Think about this (for example): if ADP and ODP surprise us by asking apology to the Tigrean people and to the Ethiopians at large; and stated that they are committed to struggle for the true cause of equality of Ethiopians, what would happen? Only this can change the politics. Can this happen? Yes or no. We can make it happen.

  • Quick review on Getachew’s well written article entitled “The Republic of Tigray? Aydeln, yekenyeley!”

    Hats off Getachew’s for his provoking, yet concise explanation of a sensitive topic which most scholars avoid to discuss deeply. While much has been written on the premature pro-secession agenda, arguably, this is the first article written to challenge the rationale behind it. Readers should clearly see which groups stir up the subject matter (Mahari Y, Dawit G, Gen Teklebirhan, Salsay Woyane, ‘agazian’, etc.) and those against it (TPLF, Arena, Nebiyu SM, Tedros of Reyot, Aregawi Berhe of TAND,etc). This article is a litmus test for the pro-secessionist group whether they have to drop their case or polish their rationale, because the burden of proof lies on them.

    After the secession movement was dormant for 27 years (or considered as narrow nationalism), Getachew discusses how it’s back on track. Some of the reasons why the Tegaru are appalled, rightfully so, at the incompetence of the federal government are:

    1. Select arrest of tigreans
    2. Expressions such as “day-time hyenas” that has implicitly taken aim at Tigreans.
    3. OMN’s documentary “Greek Oligarchy” which imply that “Tigrinya speakers” were largely responsible for corruption
    4. Arrest warrant and prosecutions of senior Tigrayan figures from the military and national intelligence
    5. Siege mentality developed by tplf.

    While acknowledging the grievances and contempts, Getachew was bold enough to argue that the movement is among few elites. I’d like to take that with a grain of salt. He argued that there is no grass root movement for ‘unfair political, economic, or socio-cultural recognition’. In fact the public sentiment is otherwise. For example, PM’s recent visit to Axum; Dr. Abraham Belay’s visit to tigray; inauguration of Mekelle’s water project are few to mention.. The incumbent party has disengaged itself.

    OBJECTION:

    Although I agree that there’s no grass-root movement, in fair defense of the pro-secessionists, any movement starts with few elites creating awareness among the society and I don’t have any problem with the shallow level of understanding at the grass-root level. The sharp turn from a 27-year long pro Ethiopia (or at least dormant) to non Ethiopia makes you believe it’ll take time before people give the benefit of doubt to the idea of secession. In fact, that’s why it’s seems like what I call ‘preaching to the choir’.

    Getcho, also quoted Tedros of Reyot (Ostensibly in support of his case) for saying “the squabbles should be seen as a ‘power struggle’ rather than a cause for secession. This seems to denigrate and disrespect the nation wide uproars, concerns on the regime’s undefined roadmap and unpredictability. In fact, most of the people promoting secession ARE not or were never in power. The resistance from the regional political elites should be rather perceived & welcomed as a check and balance to the ages old contrived unitary system that deprived regions from economic & political power benefits.

    Regardless, it’s well crafted argument and I suggest that everybody read it. Thank you William Davison of Ethiopia Insight for featuring such a great article. We look forward to reading ideas from the other side of the aisle disavowing Getachew’s claims/allegations or we’ll take it as an endorsement.
    I have confirmed that Mahari Yohannes, members of SW and Baytona are are aware of the article.

  • Seems the most outrageous notion. When the pasture was greener and plenty for the TPLF cum many ordinary tigtaians in the last twenty-seven years, there was no beep about session.. Not only that, they were happily abusing power and opressing others citizens and even neighboring countries, but now they suddenly a serious cause for session when the pendulum of power swung to the other side. It is all about power and political opportuonsm at best.

    • If any region or ethnic group in Ethiopia qualifies for or aspires to session in relation to the past wrongs, history, uniqueness, struggle, it is the Somali region but not Tigrai. Session and oppression notions Tigrai is fabricated and take news because it always has been and still is a part and parcel of northern Abyssinian overloads .

  • I disagree the article writer’s unhealthy intention who wished a conflicts to happen in Tigray. Look at on one part of article says ”Branching paths”
    ”A variety of scenarios and predicaments could arise …… ”One possible scenario is the emergence of violent fissures in Tigrayan society. ….. public protests could take place in certain parts of Tigray—particularly rural and border areas, where people feel marginalized by the inequitable governance of TPLF”….በሌላ ምስኪን ወገን ግጭትና ሞት የሚፈጥር ቀዳዳ ከምንፈልግ: ብያንስ የየራሳችን ወገን ችግር ለመድፈን ብንጥር ይሻላል

  • The article has touched many issues. It is well crafted, impartial and logical article. I would like to thank for EI and the author for the contributions.

  • This is an eye opening articles for someone like me who lives outside the borders. Our diversity is our strengths, The Balkan disintegrated because of some pukhead nationalists who wanted nation for each family. The more we stay together, the better.

  • Good Article.

    In my Opinion from the point of View of Tigray, Agazean movement be succesful is best case Scenario.
    Tigray triger article 39 and be an independent state is the worest case scenario.
    TPLF cooperate down to Abiy Ahmed and be constructive in the amendement of current constitution is the real case scenario.

    I wish good luck for you guys.

  • Where Tigray goes so does Ethiopia. There exist secessionist sentiments in other regions as well among them Oromia and Amhara. Tigray has many dynamic thinkers and leaders. For now they must be content with their autonomic status within Ethiopia. Things can change once Isaias is gone. Economic viability looks attainable should Tigray chooses to succeed in the future – region can prosper on its own by developing its natural resources including shale oil, gold, agriculture, tourism etc.

  • I just don’t see how Tigray is going to survive as an independent nation with zero resources and poor geopolitical atmosphere. The “Day Hyena” reference is towards to a very few rich Tigrian elites who ripped of the country who didn’t care about the poor Ethiopian people including the Tigrians!

    • I don’t think you know Tigray !!! you just commented to write something !! i’m not even from Tigray, I’m very sure they are very rich with resources and culture too i have read money articles and i search about it .

  • I think independent is great idea as Amhara I support independent of all regions. This way we can focus on building our own individual nations instead living forcefully in nation that hate or dislike it follow national. I’m self made millionare it was hard road to get where I’m, and I’m planning to go back home and invest but I can’t invest in country that I feel like a second class citizen. I’m sure Tigrays, Oromos and other ethnic groups feel the same way. Other than couple things we share like our love for injera, Orthodox Church, etc…. We no longer have anything else common why force it? Instead a individual independent nations will give us the opportunity to micro focus on our weakness like eliminating poverty, improving education etc… and most importantly belongings! Ethiopia is like renting apartment or being in condominium but having our own individual nations is like owning your own house you can give it your love and devotion 24/7. Of course we can be civil about our independents we can trade, have diplomatic ties, tourism etc… like every other nation. As far as Ethiopia as whole is just forced as this time I hear the great Ethiopia as one from Amharas and Tigrays, when was the last time you heard Oromo or Somalian-Ethiopian say they are proud Ethiopian never! Of course we have to be careful not get mad man like Eritrean leader in position of power in Tigray or Amhara nations, trust me they are short sighted men or women like that lurking and turn as to a typical Africa nation! Other than that I’m all for it and I finally can I go home and be proud to call it my country!

    • You are sensible. I agree. Why force things? Maybe we can all come back together after we try out the independence craze. Many married couples separate and come back together again. Nations come and go and split and separate and unite again. The issue if…how do we separate. It is like trying to separate conjoined twins at the heart and brain. Sometimes such separations are fatal to one or both twins. Nevertheless, many conjoined twins are willing to take that risk of death in order to be On their own. As far as I am concerned, being together is painful and separating is painful too. Which pain are we going to choose? If we were wise, we would realize of course that as Oscar Wilde said, “there are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” In the end, pain is pain and if we were truly wise, we would desist from playing zero sum games.

  • The Author is demagogic by himself. He is not using all his senses when he call Eritrean struggle as a separatist, insurgents

  • The idea that “day-time hyenas” (ye qen jiboch) is a “common euphemism used to defame ordinary Tigrayans” is much similar to “nefTegna” which is said to be a reference to the Amhara peasantry; as is “TebebteGnoch” to refer to Oromo peasantry.  All are simply laughable.