Talk about ideas not about leaders.

Kalayu Abrha 01-11-21

Of course, it is the biggest news in decades that Sebhat Nega is arrested. He was "the master mind" of TPLF's achievements in the last four decades as he is referred to by his captors. It is true that he was a master mind, but one of the many master minds. His captors are singling him out as the only master mind in the TPLF because they wanted to enjoy public approval that they have cut TPLF's head forever. No one can deny that Sebhat Nega was the most consistent, unflinching, and tactical politician Ethiopia has ever seen. His energy and creativity do not wane through the years from younghood to old age. He has differences, even enmities, with many; but his firm stand about Tigray as a Nation is unshakable.

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Is his arrest a loss for Tigray? Yes, no doubt about that. Is his arrest a victory for his captors? No, absolutely not! Sebhat Nega has never considered himself as an irreplaceable leader. He never acted like Napoleon or Alexander or Hitler or Jengis Khan, whose ends marked the end of what they stood for leading millions behind them. In his everyday life Sebhat Nega behaved like any ordinary person mingling easily with everyone. He never boasted that he was the mentor of Meles and all the other political and military leaders who were younger. At one time he was heard saying "In the TPLF we have a collective leadership". He meant to say TPLF is not Sebhat's, Debretsion's, Meles' party. It belongs to all its members; above all to all the people of Tigray. TPLF is unique in the sense that none of them escape criticisms in evaluation meetings. There are no fierce dogs unleashed by comrade Napoleon of animal farm against those who criticize the leadership. TPLF suffered from divisions after divisions because it was a party of equals. No one has absolute power to silence everyone else. This has weakened TPLF but that is how the idea it represents remained alive. This is what makes a party indestructible. Why? Because TPLF is an IDEA in an organizational form. The idea is SELF DETERMINATION. This idea is the noblest of all. All the struggles worldwide for liberation from oppression were for self-determination. In Ethiopia the idea that TPLF fought and paid tens of thousands for is already spread throughout Ethiopia and adopted by all of the nations and nationalities. It can never be undone!

Ethiopian governments never learn from history. The first Woyane rebellion was crushed brutally involving natives against the Weyenti. A lot of air bombardment, killing of civilians, looting was also intentionally done to degrade the moral of the people and make sure that they will never rise again. They thought the last nail on the coffin of Weyane was the capture and exile of Blata Hailemariam (the leader of the rebellion). The reactionaries got the whole thing wrong. They thought the rebellion was the result of Blata Hailemariam's personal problem with Arat Kilo. They were convinced that if Tigray is governed by natives with minds back at Arat Kilo there will never be any trouble. However, the idea that underlies the Woyane rebellion remained alive and simmering like a magma below the surface. Blata Hailemariam was sadly missed, but Woyane never died. Ideas produce leaders endlessly. Yasir Arafat died, Ghandi died, Martin Luther died, Che Guevera died, Socrates died, Meles died, Dekike Estifanos died, the Apostles died, so on and on; but the ideas of peace, liberation, self-rule, etc. remained bright polished by every next generation. I would advice those who invaded Tigray to pause and think about combating ideas with ideas not with bullets, raping and looting. The invincibility of the idea of self-determination does not imply military invincibility. TPLF could be defeated and its leaders arrested and killed. The bravest of all men could be defeated if they are overwhelmed by all of the national armies of two or more states. That is what is happening in Tigray. However brave Tigray is it cannot withstand a "falling sky". It is a cowardly invasion to say the least. I pity those who are boasting and celebrating. The surprise and celebration should be when David defeats Goliath not the other way round.

Technically speaking, without devine intervention, it is Goliath that is expected to win. Goliath's win over David is not heroism because it is Goliath's massive muscles against tiny David that may have done the job. World history as well as Ethiopian history has clearly shown that ideas never die; but a generation of champions of the ideas do. It is the greatest folly that victors take comfort and celebrate. As the victors celebrate and then forget they are always surprised by another generation of champions of the idea emerging with greater vigour. Crushing the first Woyane the reactionary rule in Tigray never dreamt of a second Woyane after 30 years. Would there be a third Woyane? Absolutely, Yes! Ideas never die!

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