Horn Africa Insight Editor in chief
TPLF, OLF, PP: Psychopaths and Group Narcissists Perpetuating War, Chaos, Misery and Poverty
Bruke Lemma, Ph.D.
“Psychopaths view any social exchange as a ‘feeding opportunity,’ a contest or a test of wills in which there can be only one winner. Their motives are to manipulate and take, ruthlessly and without remorse.” - Robert D. Hare
The Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed’s party - Prosperity Party(PP) , the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), separately and together, are all very much responsible for the repeated civil wars, the widespread chaos and lawlessness, the desperate poverty and misery that have been plaguing the Ethiopian people – especially those living in the Amhara, Afar and Tigray regions. These three entities, Abiy Ahmed, OLF and TPLF, who all have very much the same outlooks and objectives, come together and regularly cooperate to vanquish those whom they regard as their common enemy or enemies; that is, in between battling each other with the objective of seizing power, among other things.
In that, most, if not all, Ethiopians have known that there are some frightening and unfathomable diseases that reside deep within the psyche of the group who calls itself TPLF - diseases that account for the extreme inhumanity, heartlessness, pigheadedness and stupidity of the group, even if most of them did not know these diseases, psychopathy and group narcissism, by name. In contrast, not many Ethiopians realize that the current Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, and his party, ODP, and the OLF - the group with extreme penchant for gruesome killings by cutting the bellies of Amhara pregnant women to kill both the mothers and their unborn babies; and mass brutal killing of the old, the frail and others; dislocating farmers from their villages, destroying their properties and more - also most likely suffer from the same diseases, psychopathy and group narcissism. However, that is changing - changing fast.
It is obvious that Abiy Ahmed has very little or no empathy at all for others – as such, he has never, ever been seen, anywhere in the country, showing any hint of distress in the face of horrific killings, destructions and widespread sufferings - on the contrary, he is very quick to provide covers and excuses for the vile offenses. And that, combined with his habitual dishonesties, lies and manipulations, self-absorption and megalomania – strongly demonstrate his Dark-Triad Traits. Here, Abiy Ahmed’s psychopathy, the darkest of the dark, among the triads, enables the Prime Minister’s lack of empathy, callousness and more; while the manipulations, lies and deceits are enabled by his Machiavellianism; and, the self-absorptions and megalomania and so on are enabled by his narcissism – e.g., Abiy Ahmed has been, and continues, to give government employees and others regular trainings on everything!
Ethiopia right now is at very critical moment in its history, where the country and its people are on the very edge of becoming engulfed by even worse and widespread violence and bloodsheds than that they have experienced so far, because the dangerous and highly disordered entities, Abiy Ahmed, ODP, OLF and TPLF, have been extremely emboldened; and, as such, they are now operating with a sense of radical impunity - especially, Abiy Ahmed and his party, ODP. These entities, moreover, have been, and continue, competing and cooperating with each other – which is something that could potentially drastically magnify the dangers that they each pose individually. However, any real and lasting cooperation among these groups, other than coming together to vanquish their common enemies, is highly unlikely because of their group narcissism – defined, as being: “the belief that one's own group is exceptional and entitled to privileged treatment, but that it is not sufficiently recognized by others.”
In that, for almost three decades, the Tigray elites within the TPLF were explicitly and implicitly imposing the laughable notion that Tigray Ethiopians are superior to all – despite the fact that almost half of the people in Tigray region were poverty stricken and needed handouts from the UN and other agencies to make ends meet, among other things. And the sham political organisations in the TPLF controlled EPRDF, supposedly representing the other ethnicities in the country, the ODP, representing the Oromos, and the ADP, representing the Amharas, and the others accepted their TPLF assigned status as an inferior, and worked as an enforcer of the Tigrayans superiority within their respective communities – facilitating the merciless torturing, imprisonment, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances and more of those who demanded equality, fairness and justice and so forth.
In any case, the TPLF, the Architect of the culture of psychopathy and narcissism, who lost power, unexpectedly, four years ago, have been unable to accept that loss; and, as such, it has been waging a destructive, mindless and suicidal civil war fuelled by its own and its supporters’ individual and group narcissism for a while now. Abiy Ahmed and his ODP, who took over from the TPLF, being steeped in the culture of psychopathy and narcissism themselves, they have been trying to construct the same system as before, only this time with them – Abiy Ahmed and his ODP - at the top. As such, through a process, they have now managed to get the ADP to do their bidding, the same way as it was doing TPLF’s bidding before, i.e., unquestionably facilitate the torturing, imprisonment, extrajudicial killings and disappearances of anyone demanding equality, fairness, justice and so on in the Amhara region.
In contrast to the ADP who accepted a subservient position readily, the TPLF which is much more narcissistic than the ADP and with superiority complex, chose to go to war instead of accepting a subservient status. As such, the TPLF, when it lost power four years ago in the way it did, it suffered massive narcissistic injury – accordingly, what keeps the group and its narcissistic supporters, those who have been ranting and screaming daily on Facebook and YouTube ever since, going is only dreams of glorious victory - where they would be superior to all once again; most importantly, getting that acknowledged! With all that and more, it is hard to imagine that there being peace and stability in the country as long as the TPLF and Abiy Ahmed (along with ODP, OLF and others) continue to implicitly and explicitly view equality as an affront – each of them sticking to a claim of an exclusive superiority.
These things, however, do not stop them from making tactical alliances, as such, their inflated sense of themselves aside, in reality they are all, real cowards, rather terrified of the Amharas – against whom they continually conspire, among other things, to make them leaderless so that they would be easy to strike and more. Here, for now, they have succeeded, but that would and must change. In any case, in an earlier article, this author described, among other things, the manners in which the TPLF, Abiy Ahmed along his Party, ODP, and the OLF have been cooperating to inflict massive sufferings and pains on the Amhara people all over the country. In that, first, TPLF inflicted almost three decades of untold suffering on the Amhara people and left the scene. And then came Abiy Ahmed who ganged up with the ODP and the OLF in order to greatly intensify and expand the persecution, subjugation and alienation of the Amhara people – among other things, orchestrating widespread dislocations, destructions and brutal mass killings in the Oromo, in Benishangul-Gumuz, Metekel and other regions.
Abiy Ahmed came to power with a lot of fanfare, with promises and expectations of reforms and other changers – some proclaiming his coming to power as the dawning of a new era and so on. However, it took very, very little time for the Prime Minister to morph into, and become a leader, very much in the mould of the old TPLF. He copied everything that the TPLF used to do when it was in power including simply rechristening the old EPRDF calling it now Prosperity Party (PP) - where Abiy Ahmed and his party, ODP, will be on top and everyone else will be at the bottom. As such, they were all expected to shut up and to do whatever they are told by Abiy Ahmed - but every one of them would be able to keep the licence to steal that they already have and continue to use it without any problems whatsoever.
“Many spiritual traditions recognize that when the dark one appears he is most beautiful, most wonderful and most engaging. The truth only comes out later.”
In time that come to be very satisfactory for the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), which was rechristened and given a new name, Amara PP, and the other parties from the old EPRDF, who were all rechristened and given new names by their godfathers, Abiy Ahmed and his ODP. However, TPLF baulked at these proposed arrangements - would not have a bar of it! Such a prospect would have been highly traumatic for them, a devastating blow to their narcissisms, individual and collective – incidentally, though related, these two terms are not the same. Therefore, the TPLF decamped to Mekelle; starting after a while the civil war which it lost within three weeks. Miraculously, the TPLF recovered, and then won the war that it lost, forcing the ENDF to retreat to the Amhara region. However, ENDF left the region shortly after - allowing the TPLF to invade the region and to unleash hell on the Amhara people, killing, raping, pillaging and more.
In an article published at the time, containing two parts, Part I and Part II, this author denounced Abiy Ahmed’s effective arming of the TPLF twice over, giving them massive amounts of advanced weapons and equipment – first, “because of his failure to secure the Northern Command, his administration passing up several opportunities to do so; and, second, through sabotage and corruption in the ranks of the ill-prepared ENDF command structure.” While very lax and unconcerned about TPLF’s massive preparation to attack the country earlier, the Prime Minister, in contrast, has always been very watchful of the Amharas, watching them like a hawk, and ensuring that they would not be able to defend themselves from TPLF’s invasion that they knew was coming, as described here and here.
Unsurprisingly, the Amhara forces were, therefore, outgunned, out-organized, and completely dwarfed by the TPLF forces when the group invaded the region causing massive human sufferings, including the dislocations of millions of the Amhara people, widespread rapes and mass brutal killings, even mowing down the poor Amhara farmers animals, including their cows and oxen, rather wantonly; and, destroying infrastructures such as schools, clinics, hospitals and other properties – all in all, the invasion is said to have set back the region by three decades, if not more.
Without any federal government support at all, and with a next to useless Amhara regional administration, it took quite some time for the Amhara forces to organise and equip themselves and to start offering appreciable resistance and to exert concerted effort to stop the gratuitous and cruel destructions of their region by the TPLF. As such, Amharas needed to rely on themselves; Abiy Ahmed was in no hurry to stop TPLF’s machines of death and destructions; choosing instead to provide cover for it, and to divert attention with spurious talk of development and such – all, making some to seriously doubt the Prime Minister’s sanity, is the man a raving lunatic? Still, as someone said: “Part of being a psychopath is an ability to dissociate from one reality and create another one, completely.” Indeed.
However, some reality finally caught up with Abiy Ahmed, as such, TPLF expanded its invasion of the Amhara region, coming within a couple of hundred kilometres or so of the capital, Addis Ababa, where the group was hoping to overthrow his administration and install itself in power once more! That was a very alarming development to everyone including this author who urged all Ethiopians inside and outside to rally behind Abiy Ahmed’s administration and help defeat the TPLF and the OLF. A such, Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister, might be a raving lunatic, an out and out liar, someone who has been busy advancing retrograde ethnonationalist agenda using civic nationalist discourses, to distract and manipulate Ethiopian people and more – however, the TPLF is worse, at least, on some measures.
In any case, the group’s plan was foiled thanks to the great sacrifices and determinations of a number of forces in the country, including that of the various forces in the Amhara region, specifically, the Amhara Special Force, Amhara Militia and Amhara Fano – that was, despite the Prime Minister’s callousness to their plight and his giving deaf ears to their repeated pleas for support earlier, among other things. Accordingly, the TPLF, after sustaining heavy losses was forced to make hasty retreats on several fronts; at which point, instead of following the group, continuing to attack it in order to capitalize on the groups disarray, and to make sure that the group would not be a threat to the country again, Abiy Ahmed, inexplicably, stopped the pursuit actions of all the forces and allowing the group to escape with its manpower and weapons intact.
It wasn’t much of a surprize, then, when the TPLF invaded the Afar region and unleashed its machines of cruel and indiscriminate death and destructions on the people living there soon after. In addition, the group is now planning to invade the Amhara region and to unleash its machines of death and destructions there as well, once more! What has the country’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, been doing while all these things are going on? He has been busy alienating, attempting to disarm, and sowing conflicts and divisions in between and amongst the various Amhara Forces; kidnapping and disappearing some of the leaders who were responsible for the previous victory over the TPLF, including General Tefera Mamo, adducting an elderly journalist Tadios Tantu and other journalists, among other things. But why all these, one might ask – except that there is no why in the world of psychopaths. As such, for a while now, Abiy Ahmed, ODP, OLF and TPLF have been living in psychopaths’ paradise, which is what they have all turned Ethiopia into – a place where they can start civil wars, create perpetual chaos, misery, soaring poverty and desperations and more without having to fear any demand for accountability at all; of course, they all love, love, love it!
As such, we have had three decades of gruesome collections of evidences that conclusively prove the extreme psychopathy of the TPLF, including the recently unearthed multiple mass graves in Welkait, extensive records of the disappearances, tortures, deaths and destructions that the group visited on countless men, women, and children as well as the continuing tragic deaths and destructions of hundreds of thousands of Tigray youth that the group used as cannon fodders in its first world war style human wave attacks, among other things. As to Abiy Ahmed, one could say that last four years of death and destructions that soaked the land with the blood of countless many, and reaching almost all corners of the country – more than conclusively demonstrate that Abiy Ahmed is a dangerous psychopath.
In general, there is no question at all that both Abiy Ahmed and the TPLF are dangerous psychopaths; dangerous for the country, dangerous for the region and dangerous for the world. As such, it would be against their own self-interests, in addition to being, obviously, immoral, for the US and the EU and others to side with one or the other of these dangerous psychopaths and to help them to continue mercilessly persecuting the Amhara people that both of them have been persecuting for decades. One would also be extremely foolish if one makes agreements and/or come to some kind of understanding with these psychopaths and then expects them to honour these things – one would be simply delusional! In that, among other things, both Abiy Ahmed and the TPLF need to have continuous conflicts – almost as much as they need to breathe - for both deeply internal and practical external reasons.
In any case, it appears that Abiy Ahmed has recently made some secret agreement with the TPLF to hand over to it the disputed territories, including Welkait, Tsegede and other areas. Of course, that is not something that the Amharas would accept easily - not at all. Knowing that, Abiy Ahmed has been going full on trying to disarm the Amhara forces, especially the Amhara Fanos, and, in general, trying to weaken these forces by sowing conflicts and divisions among them. He is very delusional, as usual; as such, these things are highly unlikely to work; even if they did, it would only be temporary. However, the possibility that these manoeuvres of his would lead to even more bloodshed and chaos is very high.
Instead of ending up with a state of expanded open conflict or a state of frozen conflict that would need the constant use of force to maintain – it would have been possible to achieve stability and lasting peace, among other things, if all the parties to the conflict were adequately represented in the negotiations and the agreements made subsequently were viewed by all as fair and just. Still, the only acceptable solution to the problem of the disputed territories is to simply change the Ethiopian Constitution – as such, to make it possible for all Ethiopians to be able to live in peace, security, equality in all parts of the country they freely choose, which would completely nullify the problem! Other than that, there is no western Tigray, it is a complete fiction, the territories have always been part of the Amhara ancestral lands, they were illegally annexed by the TPLF and incorporated to the Tigray region, that is all – and this is an indisputable fact, a fact that was stated repeatedly even by the Prime Minster, Abiy Ahmed, himself!
Of course, the Prime Minister is now making secret agreements, preparing to do the very opposite of what he has been repeatedly saying earlier, however, that would be a recipe for a disaster - then again, Abiy Ahmed has been nothing but an unmitigated disaster, a very tragic catastrophe and the darkest of dark curse on the country and its people, to say the least. It would be very foolish now for anyone to believe anymore that Abiy Ahmed might change and begin leading the country in a more sensible and equitable manner; highly, highly unlikely; rather, we would continue to have more and more bloodsheds, disasters, and conflicts – perhaps, until he is no more, somehow.
In any case, it is a very good thing now that people throughout the country have started taking to the streets and expressing their feelings and their disgust with this tawdry retrograde fool; especially those in the Amhara region, against whom he continues to conspire with both the OLF, indistinguishable both from himself and his ODP, and the TPLF, to make the Amhara people defenseless and unable to resist OLF’s and TPLF’s continuing and renewed onslaughts. It would be very much tantamount to agreeing to commit mass suicides for the Amhara people to agree now to give away their weapons for which they have paid for with the precious bloods of their sons and daughters.
The article represents the authors’ viewpoint. You can contact the authors through the Horn of Africa Insight at email@example.com.
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