Mola Asghedom, Chairman of the Tigray People’s Democratic Movement (TPDM) and Deputy Chairman of the newly formed coalition movement known as the United Front for the Salvation of Ethiopia through Democracy (ሃገር ኣድን ንቅናቄ) have reportedly escaped to Sudan through the border town of Hamdait with a handful of soldiers.
However, ESAT reports indicates that Mola Asghedom in fact defected to Ethiopia. The reason for his escape / defection is not yet known. According to ESAT sources, though, it could be resulted from major differences and disagreements that started to evolve in the process of forming the coalition with Arbegnoch Ginbot 7 for Unity and Democratic Movement (AGUDM), Afar People’s Liberation Movement (APLM), and the Amhara Democratic Force Movement (ADFM).
To the surprise of many, including Mola Asghedom, the executive committee of TPDM reportedly voted in favor of the formation of the coalition by overwhelmingly voting for Prof. Berhanu Nega as Chairman while Mola Asghedom his Deputy.
Mola Asghedom has been the Chairman of TPDM since its inception 13 years ago. TPDM aka DEMHIT enters into the struggle against the Ethiopian regime for the sake of democracy and justice to the people of Tigray. This newly formed broader multi-ethnic united front of opposition forces might have, therefore, jeopardized the power ambitions of Mola Asghedom and his followers to dominate their older ethnic-based Tigrayan movement.
Ethiopian opposition analysts expresses concern following Mola Asghedom’s split at which it might temporarily dampen morale of the opposition to the Ethiopian regime. In the long run, however, this will have minimum impact, as it helps the broadening of the popular base and pluralist inclusiveness character of the newly-formed united front.
Ethiopian ruling party affiliated website also confirmed the sudden defection to Sudan. It also boasted that the defection of Mola Asghedom with a handful of his soldiers was the result of Ethiopian government’s successful infiltration into the ranks and file of the Eritrea based opposition groups. Does this mean Mola Asghedom was a TPLF mole?
* (Post last updated: 13 September 2015, 0700 local time)