Awramba Times Interview: Letest Ethiopian news today
The TPLF is, in a way, the product of the marginalization of Tigray within Ethiopia after Menelik II of Shewa had become emperor in 1889. The Tigrayan traditional elite and peasantry had a strong regional identity and deeply resented the decline of Tigray. Memoirs of the armed revolt of 1942-43 (the “first [qädamay] wäyyanä”) against the re-establishment of imperial rule after Italian colonialism remained alive and provided an important reference for the new generations of educated Tigrayan nationalists.
At Haile Selassie I University (Addis Ababa University), from the early 1960s onwards, Tigrayan students created the Political Association of Tigrayans (PAT) in 1972 and the Tigrayan University Students’ Association (TUSA). PAT developed into a radical nationalist group calling for the independence of Tigray, establishing the Tigray Liberation Front (TLF) in 1974. In TUSA emerged a Marxist trend favoring national self-determination for Tigray within a revolutionary transformed democratic Ethiopia. Whereas the multinational left movements subordinated the national self-determination of the Ethiopian nationalities to class struggle, the Marxists of TUSA argued that due to the existing inequalities among Ethiopian nationalities for self-determination as the launching pad for the ultimate socialist revolution.