A statement released by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the ruling EPRDF’s oldest member, called Ethiopia’s recent decision to accept fully the Ethiopia-Eritrea Algiers Agreement and the subsequent decision by the boundary commission and to partially and/or wholly privatize major state owned companies have “fundamental flaws”.
The statement also called for the executive and the council of ruling party EPRDF, led by the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, to hold an emergency meeting to review these and other issues of importance.
Ethiopia accepts boundary agreement
In an unprecedented move after a day long meeting by the 36 Executive Committee members of the ruling EPRDF, a statement released on June 05/2018 by the politburo said Ethiopia will fully accept the December 12, 2000 Algiers Agreement, a peace agreement between the governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia, which established a special boundary commission.
The executive also decided to open up Ethiopia’s economy both to Ethiopian and foreign investors by making partial or full privatizations in key state owned enterprises including industrial parks, railway projects, sugar factories, hotels and other manufacturing industries.
TPLF’s statement came after a two day emergency meeting by the executives of the TPLFwhich took place in Mekelle city, the capital of the Tigray regional state in northern Ethiopia.
It further said that EPRDF’s decision both on Eritrea and the economy “failed to take into account” the “fundamental leadership deficit and its damages visible within the EPRDFcoalition and failed to evaluate the progress in the recent “deep reform” agenda the party, as a collective, was undertaking in order to solve the mounting challenges it was facing.
But it also condemned the decision on the bases that it was made public without the consent from the 180 EPRDF council members, as party doctrine dictates; the participation of EPRDF’s five satellite parties representing Ethiopia’s periphery i.e: parties that represent the Ethiopian Somali, Harari, Afar, Benishangul and Gambella regional states; and without due consultation with relevant bodies.
Further to its denunciation of the decision, the statement called on an end to what it said was “new appointments” that are not according to EPRDF’s established “organizational principles” and criticized what it said was a lack of proper recognition to veteran TPLF members.
The statement called for an emergency meeting to be held both by EPRDF’s 36 executive and 180 council members.
However, in the same statement, TPLF said the decision on Eritrea was fundamentally in tandem with the principles of peace the Ethiopian government was pursuing for the last 18 years and as such TPLF’s executive committee considers the decision “appropriate and timely” and that its implementation should be carefully executed considering neighboring geopolitical realities.
It also pledged to support, along with EPRDF, veterans and their families who have paid the ultimate scarifies in maintaining Ethiopia’s sovereignty during the war.
In the same vein, regarding the decision to liberalize whole or partial stakes in state owned enterprises, the statement said TPLF accepted the decision as it is timely and in tandem with the party’s earlier decision but criticized the decision saying it was a quick fix rather than a permanent solution to heal the country’s ailing economy. The statement said careful consideration should be given to its execution.
The statement come in the backdrop of increasing public protests happening in various cities and towns in Tigray regional state, TPLF’s constituency, against the federal government’s decision to accept the Algiers agreement and the boundary commission’s decision, which awarded the town of Badme, the flashpoint of the 1998 – 2000 war between the two countries, which claimed the lives of tens of thousands on both sides.