Former Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin, one of the TPLF’s most wanted leaders following the military conflict in Tigray, was reportedly killed by security forces on Wednesday.
Seyoum Mesfin, a senior TPLF leader, has served as Ethiopia’s foreign minister and ambassador to China for more than two decades and is said to have been an influential figure in the TPLF’s armed struggle.
Seyoum Mesfin was born in the early 1940s in the Agame district kebele of Tigray.
Attending their primary education at Agazi School in Addis Ababa; He is a graduate of Bahir Dar Polytechnic College.
Seyoum, who entered Addis Ababa University to pursue higher education; He is one of the founders of the Tigray Students’ Union at the University.
Seyoum was one of seven university students who formed the party in 1965 when the association switched to a secretly formed Tigrayan political party.
Following the fall of the monarchy, many young people formed various political parties; Members of the Tigray Bahar Party went to the Tigray desert to take up arms, saying, “The demands of the people of Tigray will be resolved through armed struggle.”
Seyoum Mesfin also traveled to Tigray with his friends as part of this decision.
After it was decided to start an armed struggle to answer the questions of the people of Tigray, it was decided that the leadership of the movement should fulfill its purpose in three different ways.
One group went to the Dedebit Desert to announce the start of the armed struggle, the other went to Eritrea to gain experience in the armed struggle, and the third to conduct political activities in the city.
Seyoum Mesfin was one of eleven people who went to the desert and started the armed struggle.
Seyoum, whose family nicknamed him Ambaye; But after they had gone to war, one of their friends, Tagay Suhul, changed his name to Seyoum.
Seyoum, who was elected to lead the organization in the mid-1970s; The book “Perseverance” states that they were beaten in the head in a fierce battle with government forces in the area known as Adiabo.
After the arrest of a few former militants who joined the Eritrean TPLF-led armed struggle, Shere Endeselassie was arrested. According to their story, Seyoum pretended to be mentally ill to carry out the “Moses operation” to free the detainees, including Moses.
Seyoum has been the TPLF’s foreign affairs chief since late 1969 and has worked in Sudan for 15 years. It is said that during their stay in Khartoum, their name was changed to ‘Musa’.
Seyoum participated in negotiations with the government in London in 1983 with Meles Zenawi and Berhane Gebre-Christos.
The TPLF / EPRDF overthrew the Derg regime and took control of Addis Ababa.
As a result, they were shocked to learn that their 17-year-old struggle had not ended in victory. But they did not arrive safely and arrived safely in Addis Ababa.
Seyoum Mesfin has been a key government official for 20 years since the TPLF-led EPRDF took control of the country.
When the Ethio-Eritrean border war broke out in 1993, Seyoum was one of the leaders of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
Badman, who was the main culprit in the bloody war in connection with the border war, left a lasting impression on their credibility by declaring a televised statement to Ethiopia while deciding for Eritrea.
They are also said to have helped Ethiopia maintain good relations with neighboring countries; Eritrea, however, has been criticized for failing to find a peaceful solution to the border conflict.
The TPLF has also been accused of human rights abuses in the EPRDF during its strong rule.
On the other hand, during his tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Seyoum is said to have worked hard for Asian investors to invest in Ethiopia.
As a result, when he left the ministry, he served as Ethiopia’s ambassador to China for six years.
After Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power, Seyoum returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, they reportedly went to Mekele to express their dissatisfaction with their assignment.
Tensions between the federal government and the TPLF escalate; Seyoum has repeatedly criticized the prime minister in the media.
In one interview, they discussed the issue of the Nobel Peace Prize for the Prime Minister and said they were considering withdrawing it.
It is worth mentioning that the committee did not discuss such matters and that the Nobel Prize will not be returned.
Seyoum and senior TPLF leaders remained in the city until the Ethiopian army took control of the region’s capital, Mekele. After that, they left the city and went to different parts of Tigray.
The Ethiopian Defense Forces (EDF) said in a statement that Seyoum Mesfin and one of his associates were killed in a security crackdown on January 10, 2013.
Within a few days of Mekele’s capture by the Ethiopian army, the TPLF leadership did not make any statements to any media outlets, and neither the group nor anyone else heard about the killings.