The Tigrean People Liberation Front (TPLF), the leading party in the ruling coalition in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Democratic Front (EPRDF), is preparing to eliminate potential threats to its continued dominance by conducting purges in the EPRDF rank, according to the latest information we have received from Ethiopian Review Intelligence Unit sources in Addis Ababa.
In a series of meetings over the past few days with members and supporters inside the country and around the world, the TPLF leadership heard earful that under no circumstance the premiership should go to Hailemariam Desalegn or any one who is not a member of the TPLF.
The other members of the ruling coalition, namely OPDO, ANDM and SEPDM, seem to be equally determined to swear in Hailemariam as the new prime minister of Ethiopia.
Both sides are being led by powerful personalities. The TPLF side is being led from behind the scene by 80-year-old Sebhat Nega, while the ANDM-OPDO-SEPDM side is being led by propaganda chief Bereket Simon. Both Sebhat and Bereket are known to be masters of political intrigue and maneuverings.
Balance of power
On Sebhat’s TPLF side there are the military, which is led by Generals Samora Yenus and Saere Mekonen, and the security/intelligence, which is led by Debretsion Gebrmichael and Getachew Assefa.
On Bereket-Hailemariam’s side there are the notorious Federal Police whose head is Workneh Gebeyehu, the Addis Ababa Police, local militias, and a large populous that is tired of being dominated by one minority ethnic group. OPDO is armed to its teeth, and Addis Ababa police is led by Hassan Shifa of TPLF, but most of its members are from ANDM and OPDO. The officers could back Bereket-Hailemariam’s side. Another big asset for the Bereket side is local militias that are dispersed through out Amhara, Oromiya and southern regions. They can be instrumental in blocking any military movement by the TPLF generals.
The balance of power favors the Bereket-Hailemariam group, but Sebhat’s TPLF seems to be more determined and ready to sacrifice any thing and every thing to stay in power. They have the mindset of all or nothing, which makes them dangerous.
Knowing the nature of TPLF, the question now is, who is going to blink first? Or, more aptly asked, who is going to be breakfast?