Ethiopia: Information on the Tigrean Alliance for National Democracy (TAND), its structure, membership, activities, objectives, and on its treatment by the Tigrean People's Liberation Front (TPLF)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 September 1996|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ETH24933.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ethiopia: Information on the Tigrean Alliance for National Democracy (TAND), its structure, membership, activities, objectives, and on its treatment by the Tigrean People's Liberation Front (TPLF), 1 September 1996, ETH24933.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ac2938.html [accessed 4 July 2015]|
The Ethiopian Review and The Indian Ocean Newsletter reported in March 1995 that the Tigrean Alliance for National Democracy (TAND) was formed in Washington, DC in February 1995 following a meeting of the Multi National Congress Party of Ethiopia (MNCPE), the Tigray People's Democratic Movement (TPDM), the Ethiopian Democratic Coalition (EDC), and former members of the TPLF (Ethiopian Review Mar. 1995, 11; The Indian Ocean Newsletter 25 Mar. 1995, 4). TAND denounced what it called the undemocratic tendencies of the Ethiopian government (ibid.; Ethiopian Review Mar. 1995, 11).
A Toronto-based representative of the TAND stated in a telephone interview on 5 September 1996 that the organization is an informally structured coalition of people opposed to the Marxist tendencies of the current Ethiopian government. This source said the group includes some prominent former members of the TPLF, such as Argawi Berhe, a leader and founder of the TPLF, Hailu Mengesha and Bisrat Amare (ibid.). TAND is opposed to the ethnic decentralization policy of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), and it advocates a "true multi-party democracy" for Ethiopia (ibid.).
According to this source, the TAND is not active in Ethiopia, nor would it be possible given the current government's negative attitude toward opposition parties in general and the dislike of the TPLF for people who have defected from the party (ibid.). This source added that TAND members would not risk going to Ethiopia at the present time and that family members remaining in Ethiopia try to maintain a low profile, so as to avoid drawing the government's attention (ibid.). Recent TAND activities have consisted of organizing discussion forums on the current Ethiopian political scene (ibid.). The group does not issue membership cards (ibid.).
Another Toronto-based member of the TAND corroborated the information on the informal structure of the TAND, and its opposition party-like stance, stating that while the group is not officially active in Ethiopia, it monitors the political scene in the country.
Additional information on the group could not be found among the sources consulted by the DIRB. The two attachments from March 1995 report on the founding of the TAND, while the June 1996 document is an opinion piece on Ethiopian politics written by a member of the TAND which may be of interest.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Informatio Request.
The Ethiopian Review [Atlanta]. March 1995. "A Tigray Group Formed."
The Indian Ocean Newsletter [Paris]. 25 March 1996. "Ethiopia: Government In Talks With CAFPD."
TAND, Toronto. 5 September 1996. Telephone interview with member.
TAND, Toronto. 29 August 1996. Telephone interview with member.
The Ethiopian Review [Atlanta]. June 1996. Hailu Mengesha. "The Basis for an Effective Political Leadership in Ethiopia," pp. 30-32.
_____. March 1995. "A Tigray Group Formed," p. 11.
The Indian Ocean Newsletter [Paris]. 25 March 1996. No. 664. "Ethiopia: Government In Talks With CAFPD," p. 4.
Additional Sources Consulted
Africa Confidential. 1995-96.
Africa Research Bulletin. 1995-96.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1995. 1996.
DIRB Ethiopia Amnesty Country File. 1995-96.
DIRB Ethiopia Country File. 1995-96.
Ethiopia: Accountability Past and Present. 1995.
Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports. 1995-96.
On-line search of media reports (NEXIS).