Amstelveen, the Netherlands Email address: Debesso@gmail.com
Find herewith my presentation on the subject of Fascism in Ethiopia – a political system which in my view thrived on and emerged from Tigrean ultra-nationalism during the last decades. In this presentation, I have outlined the main features of fascism and why I call the system created in Ethiopia during the last years fascist and not something else. I have argued that there has been a serious problem on the part of the Ethiopian opposition and activists opposed to TPLF in understanding the nature or essence of the political system TPLF created in Ethiopia since May 1991. Almost all of the Ethiopian opposition leaders have accepted the notion ofRevolutionary Democracy (አብዮታዊ ዲሞክራሲ) by which TPLF defined its political system. Some in the opposition have qualified the TPLF as being Marxist-Leninist, Stalinist, communist, etc. Anyone who has a rudimentary knowledge of Marxism-Leninism or communism understands that Marxists understand the essence of a society in terms of class division and not ethnic division. But TPLF on the other hand, has divided society on ethnic lines and views ethnic groups as natural divisions of human society like all ethno-nationalists and fascists of yore. TPLF percieves and understands human society in terms of one’s ethnic identity and the identity politics it has institutionalized in Ethiopia is proof to its committment to this fascist ideology it has embraced. In short, TPLF is an ethno-nationalist organization which thrives on Tigrean ultra-nationalism that views Tigreans as innately superior ethnic group of Ethiopia. TPLF promotes the idea of a superior Tigrean blood, Tigrean culture, the notion of a golden Tigrean people, etc and on the basis of this it has created an apartheid political and economic system that has privileged Tigreans above anyone else during the last 28 years. It is sad to witness one Ethiopian intellectual and academic after the other failing to appreciate and understand the fascist nature of TPLF during the last 28 years. In fact, some of our intellectuals were debating about the “developmental state” that TPLF created in Ethiopia. Developmental states, as we have known them in Asia, did not single out a particualr ethnic group as being superior and privilege this ethnic group to the exclusion of other ethnic groups in their respective countries. The development was geared towards an inclusive national project that benefitted all social sectors of these Asian countries. That is what we witnessed in the developmental states of Asia. Ours is a different story, a story of TPLF creating a fascist and apartheid system that ranked Tigreans as the golden ethnic group of Ethiopia and allocated disproportionate resources for the beneift and development of Tigrai – the citadel of the golden people of Tigrai. The the fascist/apartheid system not only systematically favoured the Tigrai region but empowered Tigreans to control 70% of the business sector in Ethiopia. In the following presentation, I argue why I call the TPLF regime a fascist by defining what fascism is, ennumerating its defining characterstics, citing examples that corroborate the psychological changes borught about in the people of Tigrai and fascist values that made their debut following conspicous value reversals that have transpired or occured among Tigreans. The pervaisve hold of fascist ideology and how it is shaping the minds of even Tigrean kids who were born and grew up in USA, I would cite the following piece from a speech by a Tigrean girl named Betty Gebrai who recently made the following speech at a fund-raising campaign for Tigreans inside Ethiopia. “As I researched more about the existing political battle, I could not help but to be inspired by the ever expressive and incredibly rich culture of Tigrai. I became even more fascinated by my unique heritage and I began to research more and more about this golden blood line we carry. Simultaneously my people both strong-willed and dilgent have overturned corrupt government in war and peacefully lead Ethiopia with the oversight of the late, the great Meles Zenawi. (hand clapping by the public). It is to be set as fact that we Tigreans are mighty tribe; brilliant, brave, kind and caring. It is no wonder we are so revered. We make up a mere 5 million of the 105 million citizens in Ethiopia. Yet it is our blue print that continues to strengthen Ethiopia’s economic and social infrastructure.”
I also show why and how Tigreans have been catapulted to the fore as the foremost beneficiaries and conspicous defenders of this apartheid state. I shall show in my presenation the war-like, violent and expansionist drive of Tigrean fascists whose fascist ideology is informed by social Darwinist ideas that justify the survival of the fittest i.e the mighty Tigreans at the expense of the weaker non-Tigreans. This I illustrate by the expansionist drive of Tigrean fascists that crossed the Takeze river, ethnically cleansed the erstwhile inhabitants of Welkait and Tsegede, Tselemet and settled more than six hundred thousands (600000) Tigreans thereby committing untold atrocites and subjecting Amara women to rape, and dehumanization, etc. Similar things have happened to the people of Raya in north Wello whose lands have been taken over by Tigreans by force. Briefly, I would mention the dangerous signs and symptoms that point to the continuation of this system of apartheid created by TPLF by the new power-holders i.e. Oromo ethno-nationalists whose turn it has become to ride roughshod over weak-kneed Ethiopia since a few months.
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=299075180797346&id=396615230875752 (Fascism in Ethiopia by Dr. Assefa Negash – Part I)
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=291562444842567&id=396615230875752 (Fascism in Ethiopia by Dr. Assefa Negash – Part II)