Ethiopia: An independent Tigray?

According to BBC Tigrinya, Weyn, the official voice of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), recommended that Tigray, the state in the north of Ethiopia, should make preparations to set up a de facto state.

In its 48-page long analysis that was published yesterday (Vol. 2 No. 5), Weyn cautioned that the Tigray region should consider conducting its own elections if the scheduled Ethiopian elections are postponed. The Ethiopian elections are scheduled for May 2020. 

‘If the upcoming elections are somehow side-stepped’ warned the periodical, ‘it will be unconstitutional; and that would lead to utter chaos’. 

Other political parties are of the opinion that the elections should be postponed if instability persists and the conflicts in the country are not brought under control.  

The TPLF believes that the current situation could get worse if a constitutional system is not put in place in time.

The analysis describes PM Abiy Ahmed as an authoritarian leader. Weyn highlighted the postponement of the elections is unacceptable because it will only embolden a system based on authoritarianism.  ‘There is no political landscape [in Tigray] that could sustain such a system’, stated Weyn.  

The BBC Tigrinya story mentioned that the PM, who happens to be the chair of EPRDF (the ruling party  coalition of four parties), is considering transforming the coalition parties into a bigger united party. Although the TPLF is also for stronger harmony among the four parties that form the EPRDS, it accuses the prime minister of weakening the bond between the parties.  The TPLF has officially said that it will not be part of the PM’s plans in creating a unity party. 

Weyn mentioned that many Tigrayan researchers and academics have lent a hand in attaining a nation status for the region of Tigray; and the preparations towards transforming the region into a nation should be carried out as soon as possible.  


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