Ethiopia: Andargachew Tsige and the struggle for freedom
By Yilma Bekele
Andargachew Tsige was taken prisoner by the TPLF Woyane regime on June 24/’13 while on transit at Sana, Yemen International Airport. He was removed from the airplane and flown to Ethiopia. What was done was against all international conventions and is considered illegal. Ever since then he has been held in secret locations being interrogated as stated by the Ethiopian regime.
The illegal act has been condemned by most Ethiopian Opposition groups, the British Government, EU Parliamentarian Ana Gomez, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Ethiopians both at home and in the Diaspora. As usual the Ethiopian government choose to ignore the concerns of all that care about the rule of law.
We Ethiopians are not surprised by the actions of the regime. It is just another illegal act by the few in a long procession of criminal acts committed against the people of Ethiopia. As a matter of fact we have become numb to the atrocities by the minority ethnic group in power. As far as Ethiopians are concerned it is just another abuse. We have been programed to shrug it off.
Arresting or taking the opposition member and painting the individual as a criminal element is not an act invented by the Ethiopian regime. Capitalist, Communist, Socialist, Monarchist or Fascist as the case may be always find some sort of justification to abuse the power they have and use negative labels to neutralize their opponents.
The Ethiopian regime has raised this act to higher level. In fact in the aftermath of the general elections in 2005, the late dictator put the whole opposition in prison for two years and released them by forcing them to sign a fake apology. Since the emergence of TPLF as the victorious group and assuming power there is not one Ethiopian opposition group that has not sacrificed a leader to the Woyane Party. There is no need to mention names because this was not done in secret or under the cover of darkness but in broad daylight for the people to see and learn.
Ato Andargachew is just one additional victim. Ato Andargachew is viewed by the TPLF regime as the ultimate prisoner because he emphatically stated that the TPLF regime can only be brought down using violence as a means. He was not shy about it nor did he go underground. He did not just talk about it but went one step further and organized a group to practice what he preached. That was what the regime feared most and that is why they spent millions to follow all his movements and commit the ultimate crime of kidnapping.
I, with clear conscience cannot fault them for that. He was doing what he has to do to bring freedom and justice to our country. They did what they have to do to protect the power they have amassed the last twenty years knowing full well any change that comes to Ethiopia would ultimately end with those that committed the many crimes have to answer to a real court of law. It is a life or death struggle to TPLF politburo members and their underlings. It is a life and death struggle to my friend Andargachew and his comrades.
As we begin the New Year with hopes for the future and good will to all the TPLF regime commemorated this joyous event by releasing a video meant to discourage us from the struggle, show how powerful the regime is and warn all others not to dare be involved in the quest for freedom and democracy. I have not watched the video. I have no intention of watching it either. My curiosity does not include being made sad, angry or lose hope and contemplate about man’s inhumanity to man. This is not the first time the regime has used poorly made video to convince us of their methods of interrogation. A few weeks after his arrest they released one poorly edited video and it was rejected by all for its simplicity and shameless pandering. They have tried the same trick with our brave friend Abubaker from the Muslim peaceful movement that is demanding non-interference in their religion. No one paid attention and all they harvested was more despise.
Why are they doing such inhuman deed? The simple answer is because they do not know any better. They seem to think we lack a sliver of intelligence and are unable to differentiate wrong from right. They treat each other in such ways and they think it is natural. The TPLF is a party that does not tolerate dissent, believes in black and white with no gray in between and resort to violence at a drop of a hat. Because they follow without question, because they are void of trust in anything and anyone, because they have no respect except instill fear they logically assume we are all like that. They want to scare us because they are afraid. They want us to hate them because there is no love in their life. They want to degrade us because they have no self-respect.
So what do we do with the video they so happily released in this time of holiday, hope and good will to all mankind? We ignore it. We do not allow them to come between us and our hope and dreams to our ancient land. What is done is despicable and reprehensive. It is a gross violation of ethics, morals and basic human decency. We tell such people we are not like that. We would not tolerate the use of a human being to score a cheap point.
They want publicity and we ignore them. They want to plant fear and we turn their own weapon on them and shame them. We ask all decent Ethiopian Web sites not to display the awful video and do TPLF’s dirty job. Let them wallow in their own degradation. We beg all not to succumb low to gain a few extra page view at the expense of my brother. There is nothing to be gained from such theatrics except doing exactly what TPLF plan for us. Posting such a video is being an accessory to a criminal act. Any decent Ethiopian knows the TPLF is a criminal organization with no redeeming value thus one additional criminal act will not make us any more knowledgeable about the mafia group. Let the Awramba Time, The Reporter and other trolls do the regimes dirty job.
I have known my brother Andargachew since 2006. He was a frequent visitor to our city on behalf of Knijit. The last time I saw my fiend was in 2012 in Seattle Washington. He was still tirelessly traveling the globe on behalf of our people. He is a kind and warm gentleman that speaks softly and listen before talking, make his point without shouting and instill the value of love to country and people. He only wanted what is good for all of us without regard for himself. He did not own a house, a big car or dress fancy because that was not what he stood for. He was taken prisoner when going to some far of place for relaxation and fun but he was on his way to the arid area of Northern Ethiopia and Southern Eritrea where he was doing what he liked most-teaching his troops the value of sacrifice on our behalf.
I am sad my brother have to go through such inhuman treatment. I am angry because today we do not have a force that would smash the prison walls and free my brother. I am sorry that we are not at a point where we would take one of the politburo members and trade him for my brother. That is my wish. But I also understand good things come out of a bad situation. The idiot act by the TPLF Woyane would also convince my people that the enemy in front of us is void of human values and no amount of peaceful dialogue would work with such animals. They are incapable of reason and take silence for weakness. They came by force and the only language they understand is when spoken to by force. Their aggression is born out of cowardice.
It is not difficult to take a human being keep him in isolation, starve him, deny him daylight and sleep and pump him with chemicals to make him confess to any and all crime. Cowards do that because they miscalculate the intelligence of the rest of us. Today my brother Andargachew is a free person. He has done all he could on our behalf. Nothing they say he did or said is going to convince us to see him in a different light. Nothing they do to him or make him say is going to lower his dignity in our eyes. It only make him bigger than life. His family, comrades and friends will always remember the gentle loving Andargachew. No amount of propaganda would ever change that.