We started our struggle against the EPRDF/TPLF oppressive and traitorous rule in 2001, establishing an organisation by the name of Ethiopian National United Front (ENUF) with such famous leaders as Engineer Ejigu Kitaw at the helm of our organisational leadership. Through the years of struggle we lost Engineer Ejigu Kitaw in a tragic accident. Such unexpected state of affairs and accrued problems of the organisation resulted in the division of the organisation and the formation of two groups. As one of the groups continued operating under the existing name the organisation, we chose to re-name and re-establish our organisation under a name that depicts not only the present but also the challenges of tomorrow. Thus, in May 2006 in unison with another smaller organisation we formed the front, ETHIOPIAN DEMOCRATIC UNITY FRONT (EDUF). EDUF was established by a congress of Ethiopians who met in an African country. They represented our members in Ethiopia and other African states and the Diaspora especially those in Europe and America. EDUF adopted a new political programme, defined its strategies and adopted its clandestine mode of struggle.
Since then EDUF has been conducting its affairs with a new vigour and dedication spreading its influences at home, Ethiopia, and amongst the Diaspora. However, its pro-active initiatives and the challenges of the time, i.e. the need of wedging a struggle in common against the increasingly Western supported militaristic regime of the EPRDF/TPLF, were calling for a united action and collaboration of forces. Ethiopian communities in the Diaspora were also strongly calling for unity of the forces engaged in armed struggle against the EPRDF/TPLF. In their relentless struggle to re-establish their hard won democratic rights that was snatched away by the incumbent rulers after the May 2005 elections, the Ethiopian people were also calling more than ever for unity-“tebaberu weye tesebaberu”. Their fight to throw away the yoke of repression and shame ended up in more shame and the loss of more that 200 people shot dead in clear daylight. Thus, the call to unite was a call not only from the living but also from the dead.
In the armed front, the result was the establishment of Tatek Ethiopia Democratic Unity Front (TEDUF or commonly called TATEK). TATEK was formed again in Africa through the merging of two organisations that believed in armed resistance, Tatek Ethiopian United Front and Ethiopian Democratic Unity Front. The late Lt.Mola Abate of Tatek Ethiopian Unity Front, a martyr who shed his blood for his beloved people and country, played a key role in his wholehearted endeavour to form a stronger front that could stand up to the strengths of the enemy. The first meeting was organised in Sweden by Del B'Andenet (Victory in Unity), members of the Ethiopian community who had the unity and democratisation of Ethiopia at heart. Their call was answered by five organizations. Out of them four attended the meeting. They are:
1. Tatek Ethiopian United Front
2. Ethiopian Democratic Unity Front
3. Ethiopian United Patriotic Front
4. Ethiopian National United Patriotic Front
These organisations met on 27 May 2006 (Ginbot 19, 1998 Ethiopian Calendar) and formed a transitory organisation by the name of Ethiopian Patriots National Unity Force. They, in principle, agreed to form a united front at a meeting scheduled for three months later. However, only Tatek Ethiopia United Front and Ethiopian Democratic Unity Front attended the meeting as scheduled.
The two fronts formed Tatek Ethiopian Democratic Unity Front (Tatek) on 27 August 2006 (21 Nehase 1998) and announced to the Ethiopian people that they have, unanimously voted and decided to work under one political program and one leadership.
The name Tatek Ethiopian Democratic Unity Front constitutes of three aspects of our mission:
Tatek means be ready to defend yourself. It is a call used by Ethiopian leaders in the past to guard the independence and unity of the country from foreign invaders and internal saboteurs. We are calling our people to resist and defend themselves.
Ethiopian Democratic Unity envisages unity of the people of Ethiopia on the basis and the respect for democratic principles. The formation of a democratic Ethiopian state with equal rights of all nationalities and ethnic groups and the sustainability of the rule of law are cornerstones of TATEK’s objectives. The main working values of TATEK in the process of this struggle are co-operation, tolerance and the resolution of political differences through negotiation, transparency and last but not least, sacrifice.
Front. It is the failure of those of us in the opposition to act in unison, bogged down as we are by concentrating on minor differences that enabled the longevity of the EPRDF/ TPLF rule. Hence, the rational for the formation of the Front. We believe in the formation of the front we have given a response to the current demand of the Ethiopian people for a united stand and action in the liberation of our people. But our front has no closed-door policy. We hope to join other organisations in the opposition in the common endeavour of defeating repression and establishing a democratic state.
We put out a call on behalf of a people burdened by unbearable repression. We want compatriots at home and abroad, young, old, female, and male, of all religious persuasions, to stand alongside Tatek Ethiopian Democratic Unity Front and participate in the struggle.
To political groups or fronts that have previously attempted to come together and confront the common enemy, we call upon them to joins us again.
We also call upon the heroic members of the previous armed forces
You should not for a single moment doubt that you are the standard bearers of the Ethiopian people. You have not been serving an individual, as TPLF propaganda would have us believe it. You have made a heroic sacrifice in defence of the motherland from foreign invaders and internal saboteurs. As you are part of the likes of Brigadier General Teshome Tessema, Colonel Belay Aschenaqi and Major Rorisa Dadi, who sacrificed their life swathed in the Ethiopian flag rather than be prisoners of war to the enemies of the motherland, your history, intertwined with its survival, is one that is written in golden blood. We call upon you to bring about the revival of your world famous history and honour by standing along side Tatek Ethiopian Democratic Unity Front.
We call upon the EPRDF/TPLF armed forces
You are aware of the tyranny and suffering visited upon your compatriots. We expect you to turn the barrel of your guns on the regime of Meles and his henchmen and show that you are part of the popular struggle. As many of your officers are already in two hearts and in increasing number joining the struggle, we call upon you to organise secretly and confront the perpetrators of tyranny by standing along side Tatek Ethiopian Democratic Unity Front.
We call upon persons of authority aligned with TPLF
purposely or by force of circumstance
You have to stop being part of the repression machine for the sake of petty personal benefit. Do not undertake tasks of which your country and people would be ashamed. Wherever you are, we call upon you to organise secretly and help the struggle by undermining the regime from inside.
We call upon all compatriots that are resident abroad
We call upon you not to split up along ethnic or religious lines, but to stand for the re-institution of the derailed democratic process by the EPRDF/TPLF. We call upon you to identifying those organisations that stand for the genuine liberation of our people and freedom of Ethiopia and join the struggle by tendering to all you can.
Last but not least, we call upon the Tigrian people
We call especially upon you as the ruling party TPLF has its historical origin in Tigray and has its objectives prioritising the needs of the Tigrian people. We are not against the empowerment of the Tigrian people if that is truly what TPLF stands for. But we want a government and system that is fair and representative of all the ethnic groups of Ethiopia so that the people of Tigray would enjoy their freedom and benefits in common with the rest of the Ethiopian people. You are not alien or foreign to us, nor will you ever be. We are blood brothers as with the rest of the Ethiopian people sharing rich culture, fascinating and glorious history built through hundreds of years of dynamic interrelationship. You well know by now that TPLF ways are to say the least divisive, but otherwise traitorous, and they will end up, if not stopped in good time, in breaking up the family relationship with the rest of the Ethiopian people. We well know that you are also the victims of the TPLF regime and that only the nouvo rich class of rulers from the Tigrian people and their henchmen benefit and strongly support them. What ever has happened till now has many roots and factors that demand time, tolerance and understanding to be sorted out peacefully and in a just environment. We are thus not looking backward and neither want revenge against the TPLF. But its continuous repression and offensive against the Ethiopian people has to be stopped by all means! Don’t allow the TPLF to gag you of faith in the unity of our people and conviction to do something about it. Defy the TPLF and show them that they can no more pretend to represent the interests of the Tigrian people and that they have no one but themselves to blame. Thus, for your sake and the rest of the Ethiopian people we call upon you to join the people’s struggle in defeating the evil TPLF.
Victory for the People of Ethiopia!