Abbay Media News
Yassin Ibrahim

The Central Committee (CC) of the defacto ruling party of Ethiopia, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, has been in session almost for two months on-again, off-again spiraling speculations that the party may split or may be at the brink of collapse. The first session in Mekelle ended without reaching agreement but with a 59 pages press release. There isn’t much information about the second and third sessions held in secrecy in Addis Ababa.

The fourth and may be the last session has been as eventful as ever with walkouts, suspension, demotions and stern warnings. Mrs Azeb Mesfin, the late Prime Minister’s widow, walked out of the meeting in Mekelle apparently in protest of the barrage of criticism made against Mr Abay woldu, the president of Tigray regional state. She was joined by Mr Beyene Mekeru, her deputy at EFFORT (Endowment Fund For Rehabilitation of Tigray) where she is serving as the CEO. When she returned back, she was denied admittance unless she apologized in writing which she did twice, we are told.

On Sunday it was revealed that Abay Woldu is stripped of his chairmanship and membership of the Executive Committee (EC). He is now an ordinary member of the Central Committee of TPLF. Mr Beyene Mekeru was also removed from the EC and demoted to CC membership. Mrs Azeb Mesfin is not only removed from the Executive Committee but also suspended from CC membership pending expulsion. Expulsion can only be done by the party congress. Two other members of the executive body, Mr Adisalem Balema and Mr Alem Gebrewahd were said to be reprimanded but nevertheless kept their Executive Committee membership.

Untouched and unscratched emerged three EC members:

  1. Debretsion Gebremichael – Deputy Chairman of TPLF and Minister of Information & Communication Development;
  2. Getachew Assefa – Director General of National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and
  3. Fetlework Gebre-egziabher – Department Head at EPRDF.

With this, the nine-members Executive Committee has four to-be-filled seats including one vacated by Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization.

On Wednesday November 29, 2017 the CC promoted four new members to serve in the Executive Committee. Listed in this group are Asmelash Woldeselassie, Getachew Reda, Abrham Tekeste and Keriya Ibrahim.

On Thursday November 30, 2017 the front concluded its two months long meeting by sending out press release to the Media. The press release addresses the different sections of the people of Tigray such as party members, farmers, urban dwellers, etc. It also addresses the EPRDF member parties and the rest of the Ethiopian people.

In it’s longest meeting TPLF didn’t mention the deaths of thousands of Ethiopians in Amhara, Oromia and other regions, let alone take responsibility for what the government they are in charge did. However, the CC sharply criticized the outgoing President of Tigrai, Abay Woldu, for not protecting Tigrayans from being displaced from Gonder without regard to the death of Amhara youth in Gondar and Bahirdar.

From the look of it, the long speculated Abay Sebhat Nega’s faction (and family) has emerged the winner leaving Abay Woldu, Samora Yunus, Azeb Mesfin i.e. the “Meles Legacy” advocates on the losers’ side. Political analyists surmise, with Samora at the helm of the Ministry of Defense and Getachew Assefa in command of NISS, this fight may not be over.