N° 1149 24/09/2005
The executives of the Tigray People's Liberation Front are debating the feasibility of the "extreme" option of the secession of the Tigray Regional State.
The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF, hard core of the EPRDF in power in Addis Ababa) has drawn up an internal discussion document. It has been distributed to its executive leaders and raises the issue of the "extreme" option of a possible secession by the Tigray Regional State. According to our sources, this document is eight pages long and includes an introduction which attributes the political crisis after the elections in May to a "a conspiracy of chauvinists and Dergists" (partisans of the former Derg regime in Ethiopia) assisted by "mistakes and lethargy of the EPRDF cadres" who "did not implement the renovation policy properly".
This document then looks at the risk of a political catastrophe and notes that "having been prepared for various contingencies (?) we have not discussed in detail the final option that should be ready even if its actualisation may not be that pressing". At this point the text envisages the "withdrawal to Tigray to use it as a base to relaunch a new takeover of power by mobilizing all anti-chauvinist forces". The text also states that this could enable "to assure the secession of Tigray in accordance with article 39" of the constitution, which caters for precisely this eventuality. There follows a series of questions intended to sound out the views of the TPLF executives and sympathisers on this "extreme" option as well as the possible repercussions on an international level.
Meanwhile, the Ethiopian opposition has been split over the idea of boycotting Parliament. The President of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), Hailu Shawel has publicly called on opposition elected MPs to not take up their seat in Parliament. He was immediately contradicted by Berhanu Nega, leader of the Rainbow and Justice Group (one of the groups making up the CUD). While visiting the USA this week, Hailu Shawel called on the services of David Steinman, head of the Royal Porperty Agency, to get his viewpoint across to the American media and authorities.
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