“The Republic of Greater Tigray”
The Tigray People Liberation Front, TPLF had published their organization’s manifesto in February 1976, the booklet was printed in Sudan. The TPLF manifesto, clearly defined who a Tigryan is, the land that the TPLF considers as Tigray, and the final destination of the TPLF. The following comprises some important contents of the manifesto.
a) A Tigryan is defined as anybody that speaks the language of Tigrigna including those who live outside Tigray, the Kunamas, the Sahos, the Afar and the Taltal, the Agew, and the Welkait.
b) The geographic boundaries of Tigray extend to the borders of the Sudan including the lands of Humera and Welkait from the region of Begemidir in Ethiopia, the land defined by Alewuha which extends down to the regions of Wollo and including Alamata, Ashengie, and Kobo, and Eritrean Kunama, the Saho and Afar lands including Assab.
C) The final goal of the TPLF is to secede from Ethiopia as an independent “Republic of Greater Tigray” by liberating the lands and peoples of Tigray.
This being the manifesto of TPLF in 1976,
the question is how much of this program is implemented so far?
Ethiopia Political Map pre-1991
TPLF’s Ethiopia Map post-1991
The implementation of the manifesto had two important stages classified as a first stage of re-demarcating Ethiopian internal boundaries and a second stage of acquiring Tigryan lands from Eritrea and secede as an independent nation. Accordingly, the following important events took place;
• After TPLF succeeded in holding power in Ethiopia, they have been working hard to change the internal regional administrations of Ethiopia at large and of Tigray in particular. As a result, they have imposed dictation on the Ethiopian parliament and succeeded in redefining the borders of different nationalities within Ethiopia. The boundaries of Tigray were defined exactly according to what was registered in their manifesto. They did this by annexing the lands of Welkait Humera up to the borders of Sudan from Begemidir province and Wollo’s Raya including Ashengie Alamata and Kobo. In order to justify the demarcation, they had to give up something in return and the lands closer to the Taltal and Afar regions of Ethiopia in eastern Tigray were temporarily sacrificed until the second stage of the project takes place. This important re-demarcation of Ethiopian internal boundaries resulted in the successful completion of the first stage of forming “Greater Tigray” later to be converged into the “Republic of Tigray” after the second stage is completed.
• After completing the annexation of “Tigryan” lands from the provinces of Begemidir and Wollo, they moved ahead to compIete the annexation of portions of Eritrea to finalize the objectives of the manifesto in practice as the second stage of their project. Zalambessa is the closest one can get to the Eritrean Saho region and Adimurug in Bada. Obviously the temporarily sacrificed eastern Tigray region would now be simultaneously acquired in this second stage of the project since there would be no organized force that could stop the Weyanes inside Ethiopia. By claiming these lands and forcibly annexing them, the manifested “Democratic Republic of Tigray” would be practically reaIized and then of course cessation from Ethiopia would follow.
• AccompIishing the dream inside Ethiopia was easily performed by simply dictating terms in the parliament since TPLF administrates Ethiopia, while means to finish returning the port of Assab would be accomplished by the Ethiopian army, financed and supported by the Ethiopian economic and human resources. Patriotic Ethiopians are expected to side with TPLF in hope of probable return of Assab to Ethiopia, while the truth is that the port city, if recaptured, would not be Ethiopian but of the would be new nation of “Greater Tigray”. This is so because the second stage of the project would have been completed at this point, making it the right time for the TPLF to secede. If there is anything that might delay the declaration of the republic after this, it would have been the time required to consolidate their control of Eritrean portions by sheer force, further using and exploiting innocent and patriotic Ethiopian peoples expectations and support. This support would again be betrayed in the final stages of the creation of the republic.
• While the imaginary manifested program is completed this way, the economic ploy had another direction. This direction was focused at transporting capital and material as much as possible from the rest of Ethiopia to Tigray for future use when the “Republic” is established. This would require for TPLF staying in power in Ethiopia until the plan is well implemented. The implementation of this economic program is crystal clear for any body who has recently traveled to Tigray. The TPLF/Weyane regime has been heavily investing Ethiopian capital in Tigray such that the region and the city of Mekele are the fastest growing in the country. Mekele is infested with so many new buildings which have no immediate contribution to the Tigryan economy. These are empty high rises ready to be used in the future when the republic which would include Assab is fully established. Besides the fact that numerous buildings have been built in Tigray at the expense of the Ethiopian economy, the following are few indicatives to that effect as to how much has so far been done in last 15 years of their power.