FREEDOM 4 ALL ETHIOPIANS

FREEDOM,DEMOCRACY.JUSTICE.AND UNITY FOR ALL ETHIOPIANS …by DANIEL TESFAYE

Archive for the month “November, 2014”

Ethiopians transcend ethnicity for humanity – SMNE

Ethiopians transcend ethnicity for humanity –  SMNE

Nov 28,2014

WASHINGTON, DC – At the recent Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) Forum in Washington D.C. on November 15, it was quite evident that Ethiopia does not lack for gifted people who possess the essential capabilities, virtue, and experience needed to build a New Ethiopia.

It was inspiring to hear from a wide array of speakers who portrayed the qualities of courage, strength, faith, wisdom, integrity, and an attitude of respect towards others, even when some differences of opinion emerged. This was a civil dialogue, meant to be a model for how Ethiopians with grievances against each other or simply of diverse backgrounds might come together to forge a better future. People came together as people first. Then, they came together around shared values – a desire to see a society where truth, freedom, justice, civility, opportunity, and harmony could prevail for all its people.

Discussions both within the forum and outside the formal discussions were lively as people, most of whom had never met, shared opinions, ideas, and stories. New connections were made. The forum, Breaking the Cycle of Dysfunction in Ethiopians Institutions, was unique in that it focused on providing a structured venue where Ethiopians could talk to each other rather than about each other. It was broken into two sessions.

The first session focused on: Dysfunctional Institutions in Ethiopia. SMNE board member, Ato Negash Abdurhman moderated the discussion following a welcome by SMNE Executive Director, Obang Metho. Speakers included professional experts and former EPRDF public officials who attempted to fulfill their duties within the present system in Ethiopia and found themselves either a target of the TPLF/EPRDF, like Soleyana Shimeles, a founding member of Zone9, and/or in an inner conflict with their own consciences and values, like in the cases of Fayisa Israel Itansa, a former Supreme Court Judge in the Oromia Regional State, or like Ermias Legesse, the former Ethiopian Deputy Minister of Communications for the EPRDF.

Dr. Fekadu Bekele, who joined in by Skype from Germany, served as an example of one of those Ethiopians with great expertise who has been unable to contribute to the country for many years due to the state of affairs in Ethiopia.

In all cases, had these highly qualified individuals been able to contribute their talents within Ethiopia, we Ethiopians would benefit. The same goes for the afternoon speakers, who mostly focused on their stories, ideas and solutions for the deteriorating situation among our people in our motherland.

The second session was entitled: Identifying, Affirming and Building a New Ethiopia based on our Shared Core Values. The afternoon part of the forum was entirely in Amharic, rather than in English as was the case in the morning session. The speakers included: Reverend Tegga Lendado, Fiorella Romano, Fayisa Israel Itansa, Sheik Khalid Omer, Akalu Tirfie, Sewasew Johannessen, Negasi Beyene, Dibaba Amele, Yohannes Berhe , Hamrawit Tesfa and Bishop Memhere Fere Senbete. The session was opened by SMNE board member, Dawit Agonafer and moderated by SMNE Executive Director, Obang Metho. Opening prayers were given by Sheik Khalid Omer and Sewasew Johannessen; closing prayers were given by Bishop Membhere Fere Senbete.

Listening to these amazing Ethiopians speak was very uplifting and proved to be a real highlight. As often is the case, the focus was not simply to point fingers at the current TPLF/EPRDF regime, but to better understand how we must rethink our cultural views as some of them are detrimental to our own well being or the well being of our fellow Ethiopians.

How can we be more virtuous? How can we mend wounds between our people? How can we restore justice and truth? How can we first look at ourselves before accusing others? How can people of various religious backgrounds act as mobilizers of love, respect, truth, accountability and justice as expressions of faith in a God who seeks a reconciled relationship; not only with oneself, but with our neighbors?

As some presenters stated, they were not there as members of any opposition party; but instead as people who sought to break down the barriers by talking to each other. The meeting was a success because speakers came from all over the world and spoke to others from their hearts, beginning a much-needed process of healing, the first step, leading to people-to-people reconciliation. This was the objective of the meeting.

Because we did not want to leave any out, we also invited the Ethiopian ambassador in Washington DC and his staff to the event. We explained: “This is not a political event, but an effort to start a dialogue among people who care deeply about Ethiopia. That is why we believe you should be part of this discussion. It is not about being “pro-government” or “anti-government” but about being “pro-future” for the common good of Ethiopians. All attendees should expect differences of opinion among the people; however, this forum is to serve as an example of the best of Ethiopian civility so all, including you and your staff, feel safe to participate.

This is something we will make clear from the start, that all persons, regardless of whether or not they agree, would be expected to offer unconditional respect and courtesy, furthering an atmosphere where we can learn to respect each other. This is a core principle of the SMNE and foundational to building a new Ethiopia. Such an Ethiopia would have room for all of us.” To read the letter, click here.

The meeting was

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and many who were unable to attend took advantage of this opportunity to participate from wherever they were located. To watch it on ESAT, click here. We are grateful for that support from VOA, ESAT and other websites and radios. The SMNE also had someone videotape the entire event, including a pre-event dinner where speakers shared their stories. It was not only interesting and informative, but also emotionally touching in many cases.

We all have our own stories to tell and our own contributions to make. What a difference it would make to begin to do the same wherever we are so that what happened at this forum—talking to each other rather than about each other—could be duplicated many times over, wherever Ethiopians are found—at coffee shops, your church or mosque, your community center or even at your own dining table.

Conclusion:

There is a need to talk about the problems between us. At this point, this is not reconciliation with the government, neither is it reconciliation between various opposition groups; but instead, it is with each other so as to work together for the common good. What will make it productive is when we are able to show respect and care for each other as we work through difficult issues. We may need to identify and stop using emotionally- charged language that gets in the way of hearing each other. On the other hand, we may also need to overlook some of what offends us and not personalize it in order to achieve goals that are bigger and better. Once we get to a point where trust is built, we can start to work as a team to bring lasting change to Ethiopia. We then can more easily find ways to solve our problems, grievances, inequities and shared challenges.

It requires becoming a culture of peacemakers. It includes speaking the truth in humility, seeking justice and respect for our neighbors and becoming people of virtue who uphold the law in our hearts. It is our God-given responsibility to break down the walls between ethnic groups, religious groups, political groups and other factions, becoming the peacemakers; yet, not compromising our core values.

What we learned this weekend is that it is actually possible to do because these people did it. Now we must build on what they accomplished so people in many places can become part of it. The SMNE hopes to organize another forum in Europe in the spring of 2015.

May God give us humble hearts, ready to listen and slow to take offense, ready to ask forgiveness and to give forgiveness. May God guide us as we seek to build a society where we uphold the humanity and value of all our

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Ethiopia is one of the ‘world’s least connected country’

November 26, 2014

Denmark has been named the world’s “most connected” country based on mobile phone and internet use.

Scandinavia dominated this year’s rankings, with Sweden in third place, followed by Iceland in fourth, Norway sixth and Finland eighth. Britain came fifth.Ethiopia is one of the 'world’s least connected country'

They were compiled as part of a report by the International Telecommunication Union – the Information and Communication Technology Development Index (IDI), which rates 166 countries according to their level of access to, use of and skills in using information and communication technology.

Hong Kong was the ninth most connected country, coming in ahead of Japan in 11th place, while Luxembourg completed the top 10.

Other countries in the top 30 included the US (which ranked 14th), Australia, Switzerland, Singapore, Germany, France, New Zealand, Estonia and Macau, as well the principalities of Andorra and Monaco.

The 10 least connected countries were all in Africa, with the Central African Republic being the worst, followed by Niger, Chad, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

All countries were shown to have improved their IDI values in the last year, while the nations with the “most dynamic” improvement in ranking included the United Arab Emirates, Fiji, Cape Verde, Thailand, Oman, Qatar, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Georgia. Improvements were said to have been driven mostly by better wireless broadband connection.

Europe proved to be the most connected region, scooping up eight of the top 10 rankings, while Africa had the lowest regional ranking. The continent, however, did show a mobile broadband growth rate of more than 40 per cent in 2014 on last year.

Nearly three billion people globally will be using the internet by the end of this year, up by nearly 40 per cent on last year. But 450 million people still don’t live within reach of a mobile signal, while 4.3 billion people are not connected to the internet – with 90 per cent of those living in developing countries, the report said.

Earlier this year, Telegraph Travel’s technology expert Donald Strachan outlined the “world’s Wi-Fi-friendliest cities”, featuring various countries from the top 40 of this year’s IDI report.

Connecting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki is password-free and easy thanks to a network of hotspots in public buildings, civic squares and even on some buses and trams around the city.

Hong Kong, “one of the world’s most futuristic cities”, was said to be generous with free internet access in public areas. There are several free Wi-Fi networks, the key ones being GovWiFi (at parks, libraries, public buildings, ferry terminals and more) and MTR WiFi, which provides 15 minutes of free Wi-Fi per device up to five times every day at MTR stations.

Taipei offers 30 days of free access to a national, government-backed network of over 5,000 hotpsots. Hundreds of these free iTaiwan hotspots are available throughout the Taiwanese capital.

Macau was noted for its WiFiGo service which offers free internet for visitors every day between 8am and 1am. The network has around 150 hotspots, meaning there’s usually Wi-Fi close by, including at ports, museums and tourist information centres.

Other major cities with free public Wi-Fi access include New York, Paris and Perth, Australia, as well as Florence and Tel Aviv, which has eighty hotspots dotted around its centre.

Access to free Wi-Fi has been an increasingly important factor for travellers around the world, especially when booking a hotel. Britain’s hotels were found to be among the worst in Europe for free Wi-Fi access, while the two best performing cities were both Swedish – Malmö and Gothenburg, where 98 per cent and 96 per cent of hotels were found to offer free Wi-Fi, a survey by the travel search engine KAYAK earlier this year revealed.

A new website aiming to help travellers in the search for free and fast wireless internet access was introduced earlier this year. Hotewifitest.com lets hotel guests test the speed of their internet connection, and then stores the results for others to view. It also records whether the Wi-Fi is free or comes at a price.

Several airports around the world also offer free Wi-Fi services, with Dallas-Forth Worth in Texas being among the best, providing free Wi-Fi in all five of its terminals since 2012. Since upgrading its former paid network, the number of daily Wi-Fi connections has risen from 2,000 to 55,000. Helsinki Airport, Singapore’s Changi Airport, Seoul’s Incheon Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol complete the world’s top five for airport Wi-Fi quality.

Earlier this year, Britain’s biggest airports have been criticised for failing to provide passengers with unlimited Wi-Fi access.

None of Britain’s six busiest airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Edinburgh and Luton – offer unlimited free internet access, according to a study by Skyscanner, the flight comparison website.

Source: Telegraph

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Living in Exile: Ethiopian Journalist Betre Yacob Struggles

November 25, 2014

by Maura Kelly (Huffington Post)
Emmy Award-winning Media Executive & Social Entrepreneur

In April 2011, I traveled to Ethiopia on a humanitarian mission with non-profit organization Helping Other People (HOPe). With my husband and a colleague we traveled to the northern Amhara region to assess an HIV/AIDS education and development project that HOPe funded. While there we witnessed crushing poverty in cities and rural villages and encountered hope and strength in the people we worked with.Ethiopian Journalist Betre Yacob

It was in Bahir Dar where I first meet Betre Yacob. He was working as an Information, Education and Communication Coordinator and editorin Chife of a publication called Hulachinem with an international NGO on HIV/AIDs programs, and for the rights of women and children. Betre, a graduate of Bahir Dar University and I connected instantly when he told me he also worked as a journalist and had just started a new blog. His focus was poor people and the government’s views on human rights in Ethiopia. We stayed in touch and every few months I’d receive an article and share it with HOPe and other media colleagues. At times the articles would be in English and other times they’d be in Amharic. I’m not sure when it started but sometime in 2012 the links would arrive blocked or the stories blacked out. Then Betre told me he decided to leave the NGO because his articles were drawing unwarranted government attention and he did not want the organization to suffer any negative effects. He had decided to become a journalist full time.

Life as a journalist

Working as an independent journalist in Ethiopia is a particularly difficult undertaking and Betre is one of hundreds of media workers who has been harassed and threatened to the point that he is now in self-imposed exile outside the country.

In 2011, Betre got assignments with various media outlets and covered local human rights violations and the state of Ethiopian media for the Italian website, AssamanInfo, the Ethiopian magazine, Ebony (both have since closed down) and The Daily Journalist. He also co-authored a book entitled “Nipo nipo tu” a collection of short stories illustrating socio-economic problems in Ethiopia.

“Ethiopia is a dangerous place to be a journalist” reported Betre. To garner support he helped launch and later became president of the Ethiopian Journalists Forum (EJF), an independent journalist association working for freedom of the press with over 30 journalists as members. “However, since its beginning EJF has been seen as an enemy by the Ethiopian government and has faced many accusations, ” he stated.

The crackdown

“In 2012 I began to receive warnings from National Intelligence and Security Service agents. My phone and computer were monitored, I was being followed.” explains Betre. “On June 15, 2013, I received a phone call from the Criminal Investigation unit and they accused me of being a terrorist and acting against the public good. If I didn’t stop they would put me in jail. They threatened my life.” Things got worse for the journalist when he became the president of the Ethiopian Journalists Forum (EJF). “Since early 2014 I have been under complete surveillance and constantly monitored and threatened. I have been accused of conspiring with organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists and Human Right Watch to elicit violence and commit terrorism in the country,” he added.

In April 2014, Betre traveled to Angola to represent the Ethiopian Journalists Forum at a African Union conference on the human rights. While there several colleagues at home reported that the government had begun another crackdown and EJF was a target. “To avoid jail and probable torture I decided to flee to another country,” stated Betre. “Unfortunately on the 30th April my house was searched by the police and my documents were taken.” To make matters worse, Betre says government individuals are spreading rumors that he and his exiled colleagues are trying to run the association from another country. “That is a serious threat to us and the risk of deportation is very high” he added.

Independent media in Ethiopia

As Betre and other journalists in Ethiopia have repeatedly argued, the government’s continued use of the antiquated and vague Anti-Terrorism bill has resulted in the deterioration of a free press. An unofficial draft of the law was obtained and analyzedby Human Rights Watch. Their summary concluded the bill contains numerous provisions that fundamentally contravened human rights guaranteed by Ethiopia’s constitution and international law.

Human Rights Watch continues to monitor the situation. HRW stated: “Since Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law was adopted in 2009, the independent media have been decimated by politically motivated prosecutions under the law. The government has systematically thwarted attempts by journalists to establish new publications. Blogs and Internet pages critical of the government are regularly blocked.”

Life in Exile

The Ethiopian and neighboring governments have recently started working together to combat the spread of suspected terrorism across the region. This arrangement is making exiled Ethiopian journalists nervous about speaking out or writing freely. For Betre, like other exiled journalists, life in very tough. “I left Ethiopia in April 2014 because the threats and pressure became so intense that I had to leave. Now I stay inside a lot, I don’t have much contact with my family because I do not want to put them in danger,” he says.
Betre has been in touch with the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and wants them to look at his case. He still believes that democracy and good governance will only be able to flourish in Ethiopia when media freedom is effectively protected. However his pen is now silenced and he has stopped writing.

In 2013, Ethiopia was ranked #137 on the World Press Freedom Index. In 2011-12 Ethiopia was ranked #127.

posted by Daniel tesfaye

The de-Ethiopianization of Ethiopia

November 24, 2014

  • The TPLF’s ideology of de-Ethiopianization
  • The “mechanics” of de-Ethiopianizing Ethiopia
  • Trivialization of Ethiopian history and demonization of historical Ethiopian leaders
  • Balkanization, dismemberment and merchandizing of Ethiopia and decomposition of Ethiopian territorial integrity and sovereignty

by Alemayehu G. Mariam*

For over four decades, the self-styled Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which clings to power by force in Ethiopia today, has been planning and waging a sustained and relentless political, social and cultural war to “de-Ethiopianize” Ethiopia. The TPLF’s de-Ethiopianization program and ideology are built around a set of specific strategies, policies, actions and practices intended to 1) strip Ethiopians of any meaningful consciousness of their national identity and expurgate from their collective social experience any sense of commonly shared values, beliefs and customs, and 2) balkanize, merchandize and dismember the country employing a variety of tactics and schemes.  The TPLF’s “de-Ethiopianization” ideology and programs were diabolically conceived, meticulously planned and systematically executed with the ultimate aim of obliterating the historical Ethiopia and replacing it with an “Ethiopia” fabricated from the warped figment of the TPLF’s imagination.  The TPLF has officially and openly implemented its de-Ethiopianization program since it seized power in 1991.The TPLF’s ideology of de-Ethiopianization

The TPLF’s ideology of de-Ethiopianization

What exactly is the TPLF’s ideology of “de-Ethiopianization of Ethiopia”?

The answer to that question comes with crystal clarity from Gebremedhin Araya, the former treasurer and top leader of the TPLF, who left that organization and distinguished himself as a fearless  and uncompromising patriotic Ethiopian truth-teller. In an extraordinary video interview posted on Youtube (with my English translation of the Amharic words below), Gebremedhin explained the TPLF’s four ideological pillars of de-Ethiopianizing Ethiopia by systematically cleansing Ethiopian national identity, history and consciousness:

1)      Eritrea is an Ethiopian colony. Eritrea is a developed country. Eritrea existed before Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a country created by (Emperor) Menelik. The name Ethiopia is not known. Ethiopia has no history, nothing.

2)      Tigray is an independent sovereign country which was invaded by (Emperor) Atse Menelik and became an Amhara colony. Tigray is a colonial territory of Amhara. That is what is stated in the woyane (TPLF) Manifesto which is the policy guideline (exhibiting the Manifesto in the video). [To read the original handwritten ‘TPLF Manifesto” in pdf format, click here; for the  online version click here]  Therefore, we must liberate Tigray from Amhara colonialism and create a Tigray republic.

3)      Amhara are the enemy of the Tigray people. Amhara are not only enemies but also double enemies. Therefore, we must crush Amhara. We have to destroy them. Unless Amhara are destroyed, beaten down, cleansed from the land, Tigray cannot live in freedom. For the government we intend to create, Amhara will be the main obstacle.

4)      Since Ethiopia is a country created by Menelik, created by Menelik’s invasion and sine there are many nations and nationalities invaded by Menelik, these groups (hold and exhibits Manifesto in the video) must gain their freedom from what is now called Ethiopia and establish their own country. The country known as Ethiopia is new and not even 100 years old. This country must be destroyed, zeroes out. Nations and nationalities and we must create our own governments. Eritrea gets her independence; that is the basis of our struggle.

It is important to note that neither the TPLF as an organization nor its leaders in power, marginalized from power or retired from power have ever jointly or severally disavowed the authenticity of the document known as the “TPLF Manifesto” nor repudiated any of its contents. The “Manifesto” remains to this day the guidepost and ideological underpinning of the TPLF.

The “mechanics” of de-Ethiopianizing Ethiopia

The TPLF’s decades-long “de-Ethiopianization” effort has been waged on multifaceted strategic fronts using multipronged approaches. The strategy is pretty sophisticated and combines political warfare with cultural, social and psychological warfare. In this commentary, I will touch upon only three of those strategies (and will address other related strategies in future commentaries): 1) trivialization of Ethiopian history and demonization of historical Ethiopian leaders, 2) demonization of “Amhara” and “Amhara” people, and 3) Balkanization, dismemberment and merchandizing of Ethiopia and decomposition of Ethiopian territorial integrity and sovereignty.

I. Trivialization of Ethiopian history and demonization of historical Ethiopian leaders

The first weapon in the TPLF’s arsenal of de-Ethiopianization of Ethiopia is the flagrant denial of the existence of a historical Ethiopia and denigration and disparagement of its past imperial leaders. For the TPLF, Ethiopia is a recent political invention, barely a century old. According to the TPLF mythos, Ethiopia is a geopolitical entity cobbled together by Atse (Emperor) Menelik towards the end of the Nineteenth Century. The TPLF narrative depicts Menelik was a ruthless warmonger hell-bent on creating an “Amhara” empire; he purportedly slashed and burned everything in his path to conquer and subjugate neighboring “nations and nationalities”. For the TPLF and its late godfather Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopia known as the land of the “Habasha people” (or the “Abyssinian people”) for millennia has little to do with the contemporary inhabitants of the land known as Ethiopia or the juridical land mass known as Ethiopia.

Such ignorant historical revisionism and benighted historical deconstruction by the TPLF is blind to the manifestly self-evident historical facts. According to the TPLF mythos, the dozens of references in the Old Testament and at least one in the New Testament to Ethiopia and Ethiopians have nothing to do with the contemporary inhabitants or land of Ethiopia. In Genesis (2:13) is written, “And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.” In Numbers (12:1) is written, “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.”). In Psalms (68:31) is written, “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.”) According to the TPLF all of the references to Ethiopia in the Old Testament are about some other fictional Ethiopia.  None of the Biblical references have any relevance or reference to the present land known as Ethiopia or the ancestors of the people who presently inhabit the land known as Ethiopia.

Similarly, for the TPLF modern Ethiopia has nothing to do with the ancient Axumite Empire (3rd-6th Century A.D.). Axum is a place of extraordinarily importance in Ethiopia and Ethiopian history. There is no doubt that Axum is the political foundation of present day Ethiopia. Axum is considered by many Ethiopians and non-Ethiopians alike to be the capital city of the legendary Queen Sheba. King Ezana of Axum  made Christianity a state religion in the 4th Century. Tens of millions of present-day Ethiopian Christians throughout the country believe Axum is the “Second Jerusalem”, their holiest place because the Ark of the Covenant is believed to be housed at the cathedral of Tsion Maryam (Mary of Zion). According to the TPLF mythos, all of this is also pure fiction. It has nothing to do with present day Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

It was an Axumite king who gave protection and assistance to the first Muslims (First Hijra) who were sent to Axum as early as 615 A.D. by the Prophet Mohammed to find refuge from persecution. The Prophet recorded that event and showed his appreciation to the Axumite king and the Habasha people in the Hadith (the teachings, deeds and sayings of the Prophet Mohammed) when he said, “Leave the Habasha alone, so long as they do not take the offensive!” According to the TPLF all of this is pure fiction. The “Habasha” the Prophet spoke of have nothing to do with present day Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

Edward Gibbon, the Eighteenth Century English historian, in his monumental historical work, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, wrote, “Encompassed on all sides by the enemies of their religion the Æthiopians slept near a thousand years, forgetful of the world, by whom they were forgotten”.  According to the TPLF, Gibbon was writing “fairy tales” when he wrote that because as the late Meles Zenawi argued in 1993, “Ethiopia is only 100 years old. Those who claim otherwise are indulging themselves in fairy tales.”

The victory of Ethiopia over the Kingdom of Italy in 1896 at the Battle of Adwa was an epochal event in recorded African history.  The Battle of Adwa marks the first time an African army decisively defeated a European power and expelled it from its territory. What is even most astounding is the fact that the Ethiopians defeated the mighty Italian army only two years after the Berlin Conference in which European powers agreed to carve up Africa and completely gobbled up the continent in less than a decade. Ethiopia was able to retain its long-held sovereignty and successfully resist all European colonization attempts.   According to the TPLF mythos, all of this is pure fiction. The victory over the colonial power has nothing to do with present day Ethiopia or Ethiopians. The victory of the Battle of Adwa belongs only to Tigreans.

The second prong of the TPLF’s trivialization and demonization campaign has been focused on a campaign of fear and smear against past Ethiopian imperial leaders. Atse (Emperor) Menelik II, the Nineteenth Century Ethiopian emperor who defeated the Italians at the Battle of Adwa (and whose centennial is being celebrated this year (Ethiopian calendar)), is a special target of TPLF vilification. Atse Menelik is depicted by the TPLF as a genocidal maniac and mass murderer. As I argued in my January 2014, commentary “Demonizing Ethiopian History”, the TPLF has undertaken a massive propaganda campaign in an attempt to caricature, demean and demonize the great Ethiopian king. Over one hundred years after Menelik’s his death, the TPLF has tried to resurrect him as the devil incarnate. Barely two years after Meles Zenawi’s death, the TPLF is waging a campaign  to resurrect Meles as the savior of Ethiopia. The TPLF wants to rewrite history by depicting Menelik as an enemy of the Oromo people. The fact of the matter is that there is more than sufficient evidence to prosecute Meles, if he were alive, and members of his gang for the untold and unspeakable crimes against humanity they committed against the Oromo people.

The late Meles Zenawi made every effort to deny the monumental contributions of Atse (H.I.M) Haile Selassie to the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor to the African Union. Meles fought tooth and nail to make sure H.I.M. Haile Selassie’s statute was not erected on the African Union grounds because he was not as “pan-Africanist” as Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president!  The historical facts tell a much different story. Nkrumah himself repeatedly said there would have been no Organization of African Unity but for the relentless efforts of H.I.M. Haile Selassie. It was H.I.M Haile Selassie who was elected “Father of African Unity” by his peers at the 1972 Ninth Heads of States and Governments meeting of the Organization of African Unity. H.I.M Haile Selassie was elected the first chairman of the OAU in 1963 and elected again in 1966 to serve in the same position, making him the only African leader to have held that position twice.

After Meles’ passing,  one news source reported an interview in which the former Ethiopian “president”, Girma Woldegiorgis, sent a letter to the current “prime minister” Hailemariam Desalegn stating, “A statue must be erected to commemorate the Emperor…he was the first leader of Africa and I think he deserves a statue.” Little action on this issue could be expected from a Meles wannabe!

Obviously, the trivialization of Ethiopian history and demonization of its historical leaders is intended to achieve one thing, unwind the historical clock to Year 1: The beginning of Ethiopian history with Meles Zenawi as the “parens patriae” literally (father of the nation) and the TPLF as midwives to the birth of a nation. The ludicrous distortion of the historical record by the TPLF and its leaders is a futile attempt to re-write, miswrite, overwrite and un-write Ethiopian history with the hagiography (tale of sainthood) of Meles Zenawi. They want to unwrite Menelik’s history and write up Meles’ history as the greatest African leader of modern times. They want to demonize Menelik and mythologize Meles as the “new breed of African leader”, the “bringer of developmental state democracy”, the “African leader on Global Warming and Climate change”, the “destroyer of Somali jihadists and terrorists” and so on.

II. Demonization of “Amhara” and “Amhara” people

The TPLFs anti-“Amhara” ideology and “Amhara” demonization campaign is totally incomprehensible and irrational. The TPLF Manifesto declares “Amhara” are the enemies of Tigreans.  As Gebremedhin, the former TPLF treasurer explained, the cornerstone of TPLF ideology is that “Amhara are the enemy of the Tigray people. Amhara are not only enemies but also double enemies. Therefore, we must crush Amhara. We have to destroy them. Unless Amhara are destroyed, beaten down, cleansed from the land, Tigray cannot live in freedom. For the government we intend to create, Amhara will be the main obstacle.” Once in power the late Meles and his TPLF fully implemented their hateful ideology against “Amhara” and “Amhara people” and did everything to crush them. But…

Who are the “Amhara” and “Amhara people” the TPLF has declared an enemy worthy of genocidal acts?

In as much as the TPLF has propagandized and depicted the “Amhara people” to be demonic monsters, the fact of the matter is that the “Amhara people ” are actually the POOREST PEOPLE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. That was the conclusion Al Jazeera reached in its recent report: “Amhara is one of the poorest region not only in Ethiopia but in Africa.”

Persecution and destruction of “Amhara people” has been and continues to be the driving ideology and force of the TPLF. The late Meles had such deep-rooted hatred for “Amhara people” that it could be said without exaggeration that anti- ”Amharism” defined his entire cosmology. Meles’ raison d’etre was hatred of Amhara!  There is no rhyme or reason for the TPLF’s and its leaders’ antipathy towards “Amhara people”. One is left wondering, forced to examine world history to try and fathom the TPLF’s and its leaders’ deep and inexorable hatred of the “Amhara” and “Amhara people”.

One may find compelling parallels between Meles’ and the TPLF’s irrational and demented hatred of “Amharas” and Hitler’s and the  Nazi’s irrational and demented hatred of Jews. Hitler blamed the Jews for all of the ills of German society. Meles blamed all of the ills of Ethiopian society, past and present, on “Amharas.”

Hitler and the Nazis believed in racial division of people; they also believed there will always be an ongoing struggle between these different races. They believed the “Aryan race” was the best and strongest race destined to rule. Jews and other non-Arayans were of the inferior race (“Untermensch” or subhuman creatures).

For Meles and the TPLF, “Tigreans” are the best and strongest ethnic group since they as a guerilla force defeated and routed a mighty army with tanks, planes and artillery. They are convinced that their military conquest and seizure of power grants them a birthright to rule perpetually. The TPLF and its leaders consider themselves to be the ethnic equivalent of the “Aryan race”.  The rest including “Amharas” are “subethnic kreatur” (subethnic creatures). Thus, the political leadership, the bureaucracy, the police, security and military institutions in Ethiopia today are totally and completely dominated by the TPLF.  The TPLF regime and its supporters today have total and complete control of all economic sectors in Ethiopia including banking, construction and cement production, mining, transportation, insurance and the import-export sectors.

The late Meles believed that Ethiopians could be divided strictly by their ethnic identity, linguistic and cultural characteristics that there is ongoing competition between the ethnic groups. Meles invented his own bogus “federalism” and implemented it in a system called “kilils” (homelands). In Article 39 of the “Constitution of Ethiopia”, Meles wrote, “A nation, nationality or people for the purpose of this Constitution, is a group of people who have or share a large measure of a common culture, or similar customs, mutual intelligibility of language, belief in a common or related identities, and who predominantly inhabit an identifiable, contiguous territory.”

The Nazis practiced mass deportation and forced removal of Jews and other “Untermensch” from their homes in Nazi-occupied countries. As I documented in my April 2012 commentary, “Green Justice or Ethnic Injustice”, the late Meles Zenawi personally ordered the removal and deportation of tens of thousands of “Amhara” from Southern Ethiopia. In justifying his actions, Meles called the North Gojam “Amhara” “sefaris” (criminals squatters or marauding land grabbers):

… By coincidence of history, over the past ten years numerous people — some 30,000 sefaris (squatters) from North Gojam – have settled in Benji Maji (BM) zone [in Southern Ethiopia]. In Gura Ferda, there are some 24,000 sefaris. Because the area is forested, not too many people live there. For all intents and purposes, Gura Ferda is little North Gojam complete with squatters’ local administration… Settlers cannot move into the area and destroy the forest for settlement. It is illegal and must stop… Those who allege persecution and displacement of Amharas are engaged in irresponsible agitation which is not useful to anyone…”

Former Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Herman Cohen, who mediated the transfer of power to the TPLF from the military junta in 1991 in an interview in January 2012 revealed: “And  I questioned him [Meles] about land ownership. I was promoting allowing the farmers to have ownership of the land. He said that was not good because the Amharas would come and take over and buy all the land; and these people [the farmers] would return to be serfs like they were under the Emperor.”

The Nazis demonized the Jews by calling them loathsome and names and using derogatory epithets against them. The TPLF demonizes “Amhara” by using loathsome stereotypes to inflame underlying ethnic hatreds and tensions. The “Amhara” are not just the “enemy”, they are the “double enemy”. The “Amhara” are “colonizers”, “arrogant oppressors”,  “criminal  squatters”,  “conquerors” , “neftegna”  (gun-toting, land grabbing settlers), “enslavers”, etc. The incessant “Amhara” demonization propaganda is created not only to dehumanize the “Amhara” but also to make the “Amhara” the target of persecution, mistreatment, abuse, ridicule and official neglect and indifference.

Just as it is difficult to establish Hitler’s hatred of the Jews to a specific event in his life growing up in Vienna, it is similarly difficult to explain Meles’ hatred of “Amharas” having grown up in Addis Ababa, the capital. Meles attended  one of the more exclusive high schools there and even had the prized opportunity to attend university.

III. Balkanization, dismemberment and merchandizing of Ethiopia and decomposition of Ethiopian territorial integrity and sovereignty

The late Meles and his TPLF today have gone to extraordinary lengths to Balkanize and merchandize Ethiopia and bargain away its sovereignty. In February 2014, I wrote a commentary entitled, “Saving Ethiopia From the Chopping Block” challenging the legal basis for Hailemariam Desalegn’s (puppet-mastered by the TPLF) to transfer sovereign Ethiopian territory to the Sudan. That commentary was a follow up on my 2008 commentary entitled, “All is not quiet on the Western Front” challenging the late Meles Zenawi’s secret land giveaway to the Sudan.

In “Saving Ethiopia”, I argued that “Meles had no legal authority to hand over Ethiopian land to the Sudan, or for that matter to anyone else. Today, Hailemariam also has no legal right or authority to turn over Ethiopian land to the Sudan. Having said that, there is no question that Meles has “signed” an “agreement” to relinquish a “large chunk of territory in the Amhara region” to the Sudan. Hailemariam and his puppet masters are now trying to make us swallow this illegal land transfer by sweet talk of a “strategic framework agreement”. The fact of the matter is that any transfer of Ethiopian land to the Sudan or any other country by the regime in power today is without any legal basis under the Ethiopian Constitution or international law.”

In March 2011, I wrote a commentary entitled, “Ethiopia: A Country for Sale” lamenting the fact that the country is being sold piecemeal to fly-by-night scammers disguised as “investors”:  “Ethiopia is on sale. Everybody is getting a piece of her. For next to nothing. The land vultures have been swooping down on Gambella from all parts of the world. Meles Zenawi proudly claims ‘36 countries including India, China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have leased farm land.’ This month (March 2011) the concessions are being worked at a breakneck pace, with giant tractors and heavy machinery clearing trees, draining swamps and ploughing the land…   Karuturi, ‘one of the world’s top 25 agri-businesses’ plans to ‘export palm oil, sugar, rice and other foods from Gambella province to world markets’.”

In my March 2013 commentary, “Land and Ethiopia’s Corruptocracy”, using the World Bank’s 550-page study “Diagnosing Corruption in Ethiopia”, I demonstrated that corruption in the land sector in Ethiopia occurs in several ways. First and foremost, “elite and senior officials” snatch the most desirable lands in the country for themselves. These fat cats manipulate the “weak policy and legal framework and poor systems to implement existing policies and laws” to their advantage. They engage in “fraudulent actions to allocate land to themselves in both urban and rural areas and to housing associations and developers in urban areas.” These “influential and well-connected individuals are able to have land allocated to them often in violation of existing laws and regulations.

For nearly a quarter of a century, the late Meles and the TPLF have been repackaging an atavistic style of  tribal politics in a fancy wrapper called “ethnic federalism.” The TPLF has managed to segregate the Ethiopian people by ethno-tribal classifications and corralled them like cattle into grotesque regional political units called “kilils” (literally means “reservation”, ethnic homelands; semantically, the word also suggests the notion of an exclusion zone, an enclave).

The ideology of “kililism” shares many of the attributes of apartheid’s “Bantustanism” (“black African tribal homelands”). In Article 39 of the “Constitution of Ethiopia” Meles created “ethnic homelands” just as apartheid South Africa’s Bantu (Black) Authorities Act of 1951 created “bantustans”. Article 39 provides, “A nation, nationality or people for the purpose of this Constitution, is a group of people who have or share a large measure of a common culture, or similar customs, mutual intelligibility of language, belief in a common or related identities, and who predominantly inhabit an identifiable, contiguous territory.” Both ideologies aim to concentrate members of designated ethnic groups into “homelands” by creating ethno-linguistically homogeneous territories which could ultimately morph into “autonomous” nation states.

Prof. Ted Vestal, in his article, “Human Rights Abuses in ‘Democratic’ Ethiopia: Government Sponsored Ethnic Hatred”, illuminates the underlying logic of the TPLF’s “kililism” strategy: “Another aspect of the EPRDF’s [the organizational shell used by the TPLF to project an image of pluralism] strategy is to establish a governing system of ethnic federalism emphasizing rights of ‘nations, nationalities, and peoples.’ This high-sounding principle, cribbed from Lenin, is more Machiavellian than Wilsonian however. If the outnumbered Tigrayans who direct the EPRDF/FDRE can keep other ethnic groups divided and roiled against each other in ethno-xenophobias or content to manage affairs in their own limited bailiwicks, then larger matters can be subsumed by the one governing party. Thus, what the EPRDF views as the false ideology of nationalism for a ‘Greater Ethiopia’ can be kept in check and its proponents divided and conquered.”

The late Meles and the TPLF have bargained away a sea outlet and landlocked Ethiopia. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Herman Jay Cohen are on record stating that they warned and urged Meles to retain an outlet to the sea for Ethiopia by keeping the port of Assab; but their exhortations fell on Meles’ deaf ears.

In 2000, after a two-year war with Eritrea and the deaths of some 80 thousands Ethiopian soldiers, the late Meles signed the Algiers Agreement formally ending the Ethiopian-Eritrean War. That Agreement established a boundary and claims commissions to resolve outstanding issues.  What is incredible and inexcusable about that Agreement is the fact that after the Eritreans invaded Badme in northern Ethiopia in 1998 and were decisively defeated, Meles promptly converted Ethiopia’s battlefield victory into total diplomatic defeat by agreeing to deliver Badme to the invaders in arbitration. This marks the first time in modern world history where a nation that successfully repelled an invasion of its territory at great cost of human lives promptly turned around and delivered that same territory to the enemy on a silver platter in binding international arbitration.

To be continued…

posted by Daniel tesfaye

ታሪክን ማደብዝዝም ማጥፋትም አይቻልም!

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በአለማችን በተለይ አፍሪካ ዉስጥ የአገርን ብሄራዊ ኃብት የሚዘርፉ፤የህዝብን መብት የሚረግጡና አገርን እነሱ ባሰኛቸዉ አቅጣጫ ብቻ ይዘዉ የሚነጉዱ አያሌ ፈላጭ ቆራጭ መንግስታት አሉ። እነዚህ ህዝብን የሚበድሉ መንግስታት ሁሉም በጥቅሉ አምባገነን ይባሉ እንጂ በመካከላቸዉ ጎላ ብሎ የሚታይ ትልቅ ልዩነት አለ። ሀኖም የቱንም ያክል ልዩነት ቢኖርም እንደ ዘረኞቹ የወያኔ መሪዎች እንመራዋለን የሚሉትን ህዝብ የሚንቁና የኛ ነዉ የሚሉትን አገር የሚጠሉ አምባገነን መንግስታት የሉም፤ በታሪክም ኖረዉ አያዉቁም። አምባገነን መንግስታት የስልጣን ዘመናቸዉን ለማራዘምና ከስልጣን ጋር ተያይዞ የሚመጣዉን ክብር፤ ዝናና ጥቅማ ጥቅም እንዳይቋረጥ ሲሉ የሚቃወማቸዉንና ለስልጣን ዘመናቸዉ አደጋ ነዉ የሚሉትን ሁሉ ያስራሉ፤ ይደበድባሉ ወይም ይገድላሉ። እነዚህን ነገሮች የወያኔ መሪዎችም ያደርጋሉ፤ ነገር ግን በወያኔና በሌሎቹ አምባገነን አገዛዞች መካክል እጅግ በጣም ትልቅ ልዩነት አለ። ለምሳሌ ወያኔዎች ዘረኛ አምባገነኖች ናቸዉ፤ የወያኔ መሪዎች ኢትዮጵያን እንደ ጥገት ላም አንጂ እንደ አገራቸዉ አይመለከቱም። ከዚህ በተጨማሪ ኢትዮጵያን፤ ህዝቧንና ታሪኳን ይንቃሉ፤ ያንኳስሳሉ።

ባለፉት አምስትና ስድስት አመታት በግልጽ እንደተመለከትነዉ የወያኔ መሪዎች የኢትዮጵያን ገበሬ ከመሬቱ አፋናቅለዉ ለምለም መሬቱን ለባዕዳንና ለህወሓት የጦር መኮንኖች ሰጥተዋል። መሬቴንና ቤቴን አልለቅም ብሎ የተቀናቀናቸዉን ደግሞ በጅምላ ገድለዋል። በከተሞች ዉስጥም ከተሜዉን ምንም ካሳ ሳይከፍሉት ዕድሜ ልኩን ከኖረበት ቤቱ እያፈናቀሉ ከነቤተሰቡ ሜዳ ላይ ጥለዉት መሬቱን ባለኃብት ለሚሏቸዉ የወያኔ ባለሟሎች ሰጥተዋል። በአጠቃላይ የወያኔ መሪዎች በኢትዮጵያ አንድነት፤ በታሪኳና በህዝቧ ላይ እንዲህ ነዉ ተብሎ ለመናገር የሚዳግት ትልቅ በደል ፈጽመዋል። ዘረኞቹ የወያኔ መሪዎች በእናት አገራችን ላይ ያደረሱት በደል ተዘርዝሮ የሚያልቅ አይደለምና ዛሬ ወደዚያ ዝርዝር ዉስጥ አንገባም፤ ዛሬ ትኩረት የምንሰጠዉ ወያኔ ደግሞ ደጋግሞ ከዘመተባቸዉና ሙሉ ኃይሉን ካሳረፈባቸዉ የአገራችን እሴቶች አንዱ ታሪካችን ነዉና የዛሬዉ ቆይታችን በዚሁ በታሪካችን አካባቢ ይሆናል።

ታሪክ በአንድ አገር ዉስጥ እያንዳንዱ ትዉልድ ከሱ የቀደመዉ ትዉልድ በግል፤ በቡድንና በማህበረሰብ ደረጃ የተጓዘበትን መንገድ ቁልጭ አድርጎ የሚያሳይ ካለፈዉ የምንማርበትና የወደፊቱን ጉዟችንን ለመጀመር በመረጃነት የሚያገለግለንን እዉቀት የምናገኝበት የጥበብ ድርሳን ነዉ። የማንም አገር ታሪክ ዉብ ሆኖ የሚያምርና የማያምር ሁለት ገጽታዎች አሉት፤ የማያምረንን የታሪክ ጠባሳ ወደ ኋላ ሄደን ማከም በፍጹም እንደማንችል ሁሉ የወደፊቱን ታሪካችንንም የብዙ ማህበረሰባዊ መስተጋብሮች ዉጤት ነዉና ያሰኘንን ቅርጽና ይዘት ልንሰጠዉ አንችልም። የታሪክ ዋናዉና ትልቁ ቁም ነገር የታሪኩ ባለቤት የሆነዉ ማህብረሰብ እራሱን ወደ ኋላም ወደ ፊትም የሚመለትበት መስኮት መሆኑ ነዉ። ምንም አይነት ታሪክ የሌለዉ ህብረተሰብ የለም፤ ካለም ከየት አንደመጣና ወዴት አንደሚሄድም አያዉቅም።

አገራችን ኢትዮጵያ ረጂምና ጥንታዊ ታሪክ ካላቸዉ ጥቂት አገሮች ዉስጥ አንዷ ናት። ይህ ረጂም ታሪካችን ደግሞ አንገት ቀና የሚያስደርግ የድልና የገድል ታሪክ አንደሆነ ሁሉ አንገት የሚያስደፋ የግፍና የበደል ታሪክም አለበት። የዛሬዉ ትዉልድ ኢትዮጵያዊ ካለፈዉ ታሪኩ ከበደሉም ከገድሉም ተምሮ የወደፊት አካሄዱን ከሞላጎደል መቆጣጠር የሚችል እድለኛ ትዉልድ ነዉና አባቶቹ ባቆዩለት ታሪክ ሊኮራ ይገባል። አንድ ህዝብ በታሪኩ እንዲኮራ ደግሞ ታሪኩ በተደጋጋሚ ሊነገረዉ ሊተረክለትና በጽሁም መልክትም በገፍ ሊቀርብለት ይገባል። የአገራችን የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ግን ለዚህ የታደለ አይደለም ፤ ምክንያቱም እንመራሀለን የሚሉት መሪዎቹ ታሪኩን የሚያንቋሽሹና የሚንቁ መሪዎች ናቸዉ።

ዘረኞቹ የወያኔ መሪዎች በኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ላይ ካደረሱትና ዛሬም በማድረስ ላይ ካሉት በደሎች አንዱና ዋነኛዉ የኢትዮጳያን ታሪክ ለባዕዳንና የታሪኩ ባለቤት ለሆነዉ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ አሳንሰዉና እንደ ተራ ዕቃ አቃልለዉ ማቅረባቸዉ ነዉ። የወያኔ መሪዎች አዲስ አበባን ሲቆጣጠሩ መጀመሪያ ከተናገሯቸዉ ንግግሮች አንዱ የኢትዮጵያን ህዝብ ታሪክ የመቶ አመት ታሪክ ነዉ ያሉት አስቀያሚ ንግግር ነዉ። በዚህ አባባል ላይ የጸና አቋም ካላቸዉ የወያኔ መሪዎች ዉስጥ ዛሬ በህይወት የማይገኘዉ መለስ ዜናዊና ጓደኛዉ ስብሐት ነጋ ዋና ዋናዎቹ ናቸዉ። የሚገርመዉ እነዚህ የኢትዮጵያን ታሪክ በአንድ መቶ አመት የወሰኑት ሁለት ግለሰቦች የተወለዱት የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ የዛሬ 119 አመት በአፄ ሚኒልክ መሪነት ወራሪዉን የጣሊያን ጦር አይቀጡ ቅጣት በቀጡበት አድዋ ዉስጥ ነዉ።

ወያኔ ካለፈዉ መስከረም ወር ጀምሮ ባደበዘዘዉ ቁጥር እያሸበረቀ ያሰቸገረዉን የኢትዮጵያ ታሪክ ለማቆሸሽ ጠባሳዉ ከትዉልድ ወደ ትዉልድ የሚተላለፍ የክፋት ስራ እየሰራ ነዉ። ኢትዮጵያን የመሰለ ባለታሪክ አገር ገድሎ ለሞተዉ ዘረኛ ሰዉ ትልቅ ማዕከል በህዝብ ገንዘብ የሚያሰሩት የወያኔ መሪዎች ማስቀመጫ ቦታ ጠፋ እያሉ አያሌ ብርቅ የሆኑ የኢትዮጵያ ታሪክ መጽሀፍትን ከወመዘክር አይወጡ በችርቻሮ እየሸጡ ነዉ። እነዚህ ወያኔ የሚሸጣቸዉ መጽሐፍት የተጻፉት በተለያዪ ዘመናት ወደ ኢትዮጵያ መጥተዉ በነበሩት የእንግሊዝ፤ የፈረንሳይ፤ የጣሊያን፤ የስፔንና የጀርመን የታሪክ ጸሐፊዎች ነዉ። ከሰሞኑ ከአዲስ አበባ የሚመጡ ዜናዎች እንደሚያመለክቱት ወያኔ በዉጭ አገር የታሪክ ጸሐፊዎች የተጻፉትን የታሪክ መጽሐፍትና ተጠረዝዉ የተቀመጡ ቆየት ያሉ ጋዜጣዎችን በርካሽ ዋጋ እየቸበቸቡ የግሮሰሪ ዕቃ መጠቅለያ አድርጓቸዋል።

ይህንን አሳፋሪ የሆነ የወያኔ የመጽሐፍ ሽያጭ እንደ ተራ ወንጀል የምናልፍ ኢትዮጵያዉያን ካለን እጅግ በጣም ተሳስተናል። ዘረኞቹ የወያኔ መሪዎች የሚሰሩትን ስራ አበክረዉ የሚያዉቁ ሰዎች ናቸዉ፤ እያሰሩ ያሉት ስራ ደግሞ ግልጽ ነዉ። ዘረኞቹ የወያኔ መሪዎች የተጻፈ ታሪካችንን ብቻ ሳይሆን እያወደሙ ያሉት ባህላችንን፤ ወጋችንንና ቅርሶቻችንን ጨምር ነዉ እንዳልነበረ ያደረጉት። ለምሳሌ በብዙ የአለም አገሮች ዉስጥ ረጂም ዕድሜ ያስቆጠሩ ህንፃዎች፤ የታሪካዊ ሰዎች መኖሪያ ቤቶችና የተለያዪ የአገር ቅርሳቅርሶች ልዩ እንክብካቤ እየተደረገላቸዉ ከዘመን ወደ ዘመን እንዲተላለፉ የደረጋል። ኢትዮጵያ ወስጥ ግን ዕድሜ ለወያኔ ከፍተና ታሪካዊ እሴት ያላቸዉ ህንፃዎች በልማት ስም እንዲፈርሱ ይደረጋል። የጀግኖችን አጽም ያረፈበት የመቃብር ቦታም በግሬደር እየተደረመሰ የንግድና የችርቻሮ ቦታ ይሆናል።

ሌለዉ ወያኔ በታሪካችን ላይ የሚያደርሰዉ ጥፋት ታሪካችንን እንዳንማርና የታሪክ ተማራማሪዎቻችን በጥንታዊ ታሪካችን ላይ ምርምር እንዳያደርጉ እጅና እግራቸዉን ማሰሩ ነዉ። ለምሳሌ አዲስ አበባ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ዉስጥ የሚገኛዉ የታሪክ ዲፓርትመንት የኢትዮጵያን ታሪክ ማስተማር ብቻ ሳይሆን ታሪካችንን ከተለያየ አቅጣጫ በማጥናትና ምርምር በማድረግ ለታሪካችን መበልጸግ ከፍተኛ አስተዋጽኦ የሚያደርግ ተቋም ነዉ። ሆኖም ይህ በተለያዪ መንግስታት ዉስጥ ለረጂም አመታት ትልቅ ስራ ሲሰራ የቆየዉ የታሪክ ዲፓርትመንት ዛሬ አለ ተብሎ መናገር በማይቻልበት አሳዛኝ ሁኔታ ላይ ይገኛል። ይህ ሁሉ የሚያሳየን ወያኔ የቀድሞ ታሪካችንን እያወደመ የሚቀጥለዉን ታሪካችንን ደግሞ በራሱ አቅጣጫ እያጣመመ በመጻፍ ላይ መሆኑን ነዉ።

ዘረኞቹ የወያኔ መሪዎች የኢትዮጵያን ታሪክ አስመልክቶ በአንድ በኩል የኢትዮጵያ ታሪክ የተጻፈዉ በተወሰኑ ሰዎች ከአንድ አቅጣጫ ብቻ ነዉ ሲሉ በሌላ በኩል ደግሞ የረጂሙን ዘመን የአገራችን የኢትዮጵያ ታሪክ ከአንድ ሞቶ አመታ የበለጠ ዕድሜ የለዉም እያሉ በተደጋጋሚ ተናግረዋል። ዛሬ በገፍ ለጨረታ ያቀረቧቸዉ የታሪክ መጽሐፍት ቁልጭ አድርገዉ የሚናገሩት ደግሞ ታሪካችን ከ3000 ሺ አመታት በላይ መሆኑንና የተጻፈዉም በተወሰኑ ሰዎች ብቻ ሳይሆን በተለያዪ ኢትዮጵያዉያንና የዉጭ አገር ሰዎች ጭምር መሆኑንደ ነዉ። ዛሬ ወያኔ እንደ ርካሽ ዕቃ እያወጣ የሚቸበችባቸዉ መጽሀፍት ለዚህ አሳዛኝ ዕጣ የበቁት ይህንን የወያኔ አይን ያወጣ ዉሸት ስለሚያጋልጡ ነዉ።

አገራችን ኢትዮጵያን እንወዳለን የምንል ኢትዮጵያዉያን በሙሉ ይህ በአፋችን ሁሌም የምንለዉ ቃል በተግባር የምንተረጉምበት አጋጣሚ ፊት ለፊታችን ላይ ተደቅኗል። ኢትዮጵያ አንደ ገና ዳቦ ከላይና ከታች ወያኔ ባነደደዉ ረመጥ እሳት እየተለበለበች ነዉ። ይህንን እሳት ማጥፍትና አገራችንን ከወያኔ መታደግ ካለብን ግዜዉ ነገ ሳይሆን ዛሬ ነዉ።

አያሌ ኢትዮጵያዉያን የወያኔን የመጽሐፍ ሽያጭ አስመልክቶ የወሰዱትን ቆራጥና ብልህ እርምጃ ግንቦት ሰባት የፍትህ፤ የነጻነትና፤ የዲሞክራሲ ንቅናቄ እጅግ በጣም ያደንቃል። በአዲስ አበባና በአካባቢዋ የሚገኙ አያሌ አገር ወዳድ ኢትዮጵያዉያን የአገርና የወገን ሃላፊነት ተሰምቷቸዉ ወያኔ ለጨረታ ያቀረበዉን መጽሐፍ በመግዛት የአገራቸዉን ታሪክ ለመታደግ ያደረጉት ጥረት በዋጋ ሊተመን የማይችል ትልቅ አገራዊ ስራ ነዉ። አገራችን ዛሬ ባለችበት ሁኔታ ነገ አትገኝም የሚል እምነታችን የጸና ነዉና እነዚህን የገዛችኋቸዉን መጽሀፍት በጥንቃቄ በመያዝ ሀላፊነትና የአገር አደራ ለሚሰማዉ በህዝብ የተመረጠ መንግስት አንድታስረክቡ አደራ እንላችኋለን። ከአሁን በኋላም ቢሆን የወያኔን ፀረ አገርና ፀረ ህዝብ ስራ እየተከታተላችሁ እንድታከሽፉና በሚያልፈዉ ህይወታችሁ የማያልፍ ታሪክ ሰርታችሁ ወያኔን በማሰወገዱ ዘመቻ ዉስጥ ሙሉ ተሳትፎ አንድታደርጉ አገራዊ ጥሪ እናስተላለፋለን።

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Andinet (UDJ): The Need To Correct Things Before They Get Terribly Worse

UDJ

November 23, 2014

by T. Goshu

As one of millions of genuinely concerned Ethiopians (by birth or citizenship), I have tried to reflect my view points about the recent political trends which I considered them as encouraging on the one hand ; and the very existence of challenging tasks ahead of us on the other hand. It appeared on ECADF web site on November 2, 2014. That point of view of mine refers to a relatively encouraging change within the leadership of Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ); and the signing of the memorandum of understanding by nine opposition political parties aimed at coordinating and subsequently collaborating their political struggle for freedom and justice in Ethiopia. I strongly expressed my conviction that these kinds of desirable political steps deserve our rational, critical, constructive and forward-looking support; and I still truly believe.Unity for Democracy and Justice Party ( Andinet)

I also have expressed my view point that these encouraging political trends were not and still are not without our rational sense of being cautious. I have tried to point out that so many terribly repeated political failures in this regard for the last two decades are very strong reasons for us not get ourselves into a state of self-deceiving and self-defeating celebrity. Needless to say, our political culture of being victims of not taking rational, critical, appropriately constructive, and respectful corrections with regard to some very clumsy and worrisome political arguments of some members of opposition political parties’ leadership has a lot to do with our repeated failures. Put simply, not to call spade a spade and deal with it accordingly whenever it is appropriate has been and continue to be one of the self-defeating factors in our political discourses. It goes without saying that this way of doing politics is not party politics; but it is kind of association of friends and likes which has no firm principles and governing mechanisms in the real sense of the terms. Do not get me wrong that I am foolish enough who believe that political engagement and work is and should be free from all kinds of messy, if not terribly damaging elements. I understand that this type of way of thinking does not reflect the reality of any human interaction let alone the very reality of politics going on in our country. What I am trying to say is that being victims of terribly repeated and senselessly self-defeating failures, and keeping going back to square one do not make sense at all. Absolutely it does not! The very common saying, “Failure is the mother of success” does not mean it is okay to make stupid mistakes now and then and going back to the same horrible failure, and then expect success. This is absolutely nonsensical! It is rather a matter of learning a painful lesson from what went wrong and taking painful but necessary steps that should help us to move forward, not slide back to the same or the worst political quagmire which we have come through a long period of our political history. We need to strive hard to find ourselves in a relatively better standards of doing politics, not to mention making our big and wonderful words of “enough is enough!” meaningfully practical.

Individuals who were supposed to play their leadership role in the real sense of the term have terribly and regrettably failed the Ethiopian people, particularly for the last quarter of a century (the tyranny of ethnic politics of TPLF/EPRDF). I strongly argue that if those opposition political parties which are relatively popular and with a fair sense of courage want to make a difference at this critical moment in time, they should try hard to make appropriate and constructive measures with regard to some of their colleagues/members whose political tendencies seem going stupidly and terribly wrong. I am well aware that some fellow Ethiopians may feel very uncomfortable when I mention some bad political players in our political discourse, particularly during and after the 2005 election. But I strongly believe it is necessary to make things straightforwardly clear so as to remind ourselves not to be victims of these kinds of horribly disgraceful and deeply damaging political games over and over again. The very serious political damages done by some political personalities (both at individual and grouping level) and their effects are still seriously hurting the struggle for freedom and justice. Let me be specific and clear.

The very shameful and harmful political damage done by Ato Lidetu Ayalew and few of his easy- going political- mates has helped a lot TPLF/EPRDF to survive at the very expense of the untold sufferings of the innocent people of Ethiopia. The very outrageously stupid political personalities such as Ato Ayele Chameso and his self-dehumanized colleagues have caused an incredible damage and a huge disgrace to the country and her people. The very rigidly arrogant and stupidly unsystematic political personalities of Ato Hailu Shawel and his own small circle have contributed a lot to the terrible political failures in our country. The political personalities of those who are being used as fake partners of TPLF/EPRDF (political robots) are typical examples of factors for miserable failures and the continuation of ethnic-based tyranny we are facing in a much more dangerous scale and intensity.

I do not think it is something that needs kind of investigative study or research to know that involving in the politics of our country is not only difficult but extremely dangerous. In other words, the dirty and deadly political agenda and practice by TPLF/EPRDF is a self-evident business. And it is not difficult to understand the political environment in which political opposition parties such as UDJ are trying to do their best. And I still sincerely believe that they deserve due recognition, critical appreciation and necessary support.

However, it is neither desirable nor helpful for us to remain silent when any damaging political behavior/tendency surfaces itself within the party’s or parties’ leadership. It is absolutely wrong for us to have a mentality of wait and see and being frustrated and devastated when things reach at a point where it would be difficult to prevent the horribly repeated failures we came across for the last two decades. Let me proceed to a very troubling case which has motivated me to come up with this piece of writing. It is about Ato Girma Seifu’s response to the question in relation to prisoners of conscience in the country, more specially members of opposition political parties during the press briefing he gave on the occasion of announcing the party’s decision to participate in the upcoming “election”.

I read the news about the decision by UDJ to participate in the upcoming “election.” I watched a video clip taken from awarmbatimes.com (?) posted on zehabesha .com; and I listened to the audio clip broadcast on ESAT Radio and a very brief interview by Mesay Mekonen of Esat with Ato Girma Seifu (deputy president of the party and member of the rubber stamp parliament of TPLF/EPRDF.) By the way, I sincerely admire Journalist Mesay the way he tried to politely but seriously engage and challenge Ato Girma. That is the way it is and it should be! Great job Mesay!

I am not here intended to say that the decision to participate in the upcoming “election” by UDJ is wrong or right as it is up to the party to decide what is the right strategy and tactic to advance its political mission. But I do not think it is wrong to remind UDJ and other opposition parties that at the end of day whatever the strategy and tactic they may choose have to be meaningfully in line with the very long- term national interest and the genuine prevalence of freedom, justice, human dignity and shared prosperity. I strongly argue that conducting a press briefing and declaring the decision to participate in the upcoming ‘election” instead of discussing how to put pressure on the tyrannical ruling elites to open the political space does not sound doing serious politics. I am sorry to say but I have to say that if UDJ is giving us a signal that it would take part in the “election” and sending a couple of members to the Parliament and be part of the ugly politics as usual (a good playing card of TPLF/EPRDF), that won’t be different from going back to the political vicious cycle we have come across for the last several years. I do not think the people of Ethiopia can afford keep sending a couple of opposition politicians not only to a hugely parasitic parliament but also the most disgraceful political arm of the ruling party and continue languishing under the same, if not the worst political drama. Yes, the people desperately need a genuine representation through which they could make their voices heard and have concrete impact on their political lives and socio-economic well-being. Yes, I strongly argue that the people of Ethiopia cannot afford to watch a couple opposition politicians sitting in meaningless parliamentary sessions and keep making good for nothing political rhetoric in the name of their endless plight. I once again want to be clear that I am not against taking part in election to run government offices as it is the most desirable political means to bring about a fairly just system. What I am trying to say is that elections should be instruments to make a difference or have opportunities of choices, not for the sake of merely participating in elections and sharing few seats that cannot have any effective influence in the making of policies.

I said Ato Girma Seifu is a member of a rubber stamp branch of government, not a legislative body in which honorable members are doing honorable tasks. I am sorry to say but I have to say that for me it is an insult to the country and her innocent people to address those attendees and admirers (parliamentarians) of the dirty, if not deadly political drama authored and performed by the very inner circle of TPLF as honorable members. Because I believe that it is stupid enough to honor those who have no any sense of honoring their own conscience or they have no any sense of speaking their own minds and hearts.

But I have to be honest that I used to be one of those fellow Ethiopians who genuinely believed that Ato Girma Seifu deserves to be exceptional because he belongs to an opposition party and he is the only dissenting voice that makes the voices of the people heard. It does not mean that I had and have an impression about the very real sense of his political character without reservation. Not in this sense at all. I have tried to read his commentaries, listen to his interviews, and his arguments in that lifeless political drama of “parliamentarians.” And I also carefully attended his town hall meetings he had with Ethiopians during his working visit in America (Washington DC metropolitan area) a couple years ago. And I have to say that I had and still have a fair sense observation about his political view and position. Let me be clear. I am not a student of psychology or political psychiatrist (if there is such a profession). But this does not prevent me from using my personal observation .Without going around the bush, I have an impression that he has kind of genuine political personality but with a difficulty to pinpoint where is his selflessly strong center of political gravity. I am not saying this because I want to foolishly undermine and blackmail his political career and his role in the party. It is to express my impression about his certain views and arguments he intentionally or unintentionally advances. I hope he would be willing and able to look at things the way they are and they should be, not the way he personally wanted to be.

I was not deeply shocked when I listened to not only what he said but also the way he said about prisoners of conscience in our country. But I have to say that I felt very sad about citizens who are victims of a state terror being victims a very naïve but painful words of mouth of Ato Girma who claims himself a politicians who stands for justice for all. I am not exaggerating when I say that what he said and the way he said both in the audio clip and during his very brief and nervous conversation with Mesay Mekonen sounds like a representative or spokesperson of the TPLF/EPRDF government, not a higher ranking member of an opposition party which struggles against all injustices being committed under the cover of national security, stability, and anti-terrorism. Is it an emotion-driven slip of tongue, or lack of articulation, or some sort of personal ulterior motive, or something else? It is not clear yet. And it will be clear enough when Ato Girma comes forward and make himself clear enough. And I hope he will be doing so before it is too late and things open themselves for any kind of speculation and highly undesirable damages of personal character. Gerry Spence, the author of a book, How to Argue and Win Every Time (1995) says,” Truth is never arrogant. …. To open the other to your argument, tell the truth. Be yourself. That is enough.”

There is no doubt this will have its own negative implications on the political performance of the party itself. Because Ato Girma has said that all what he said was not his personal view, but the view and position of the party. And it is necessary for the party to conduct an internal discussion and come up with genuine, constructive and teachable response. As I tried to reflect in my piece of writing I mentioned in my introductory part, I am still one of those cautiously optimistic fellow Ethiopians about the trends UDJ is moving with. The way Engneer Gizachew stepped aside from his position and the coming of relatively young and energetic members to the top leadership structure was and is truly encouraging. I strongly believe that this encouraging trend/ effort should not be negatively affected because of certain very undesirable, if not distractive words of mouths of members of the party’s leadership. Let’s not be shy of taking critical and rational inward-looking and keep going dynamic in this very dynamically changing world. Going otherwise will be nothing; but facing untimely or gradual death. I am reasonably optimistic that UDJ and all other genuinely concerned opposition parties will not only simply survive but will be able to lead the people in the right direction and bring about the change we desperately aspire.

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Impunity is a threat for free expression: Endalk Chala

November 22, 2014

No justice: how impunity silences journalists

Endalk Chala, Ethiopian blogger and co-founder of the Zone9 blogging collective (of which six members are currently imprisoned for their writing)

Impunity is a threat for free expression on many levels. In my experience I have seen impunity when it cultivates self-censorship. Let’s take the case of Zone9 bloggers. Since their arrest there are a lot of people who tried to visit them in prison, take a picture of them, attend their trial and tweet about their hearings but all of these have invited very bad reactions from the Ethiopian police.Impunity is a threat for free expression

Some were arrested briefly, others were beaten and it has become impossible to attend the “trial” of the bloggers and journalists. No action was taken by the Ethiopian courts against the bad actions of the police even though the bloggers have contentiously reported the kinds of harassment. As a result, people have stopped tweeting, taking pictures and writing about the bloggers. Apparently, the volume of the tweets and Facebook status updates which comes from Ethiopia has dwindled significantly. People don’t want to risk harassment because of a single tweet or a picture. This self-censorship could be attributed to impunity, which is pervasive in Ethiopia.

Impunity also causes a lack of trust in the Ethiopian judicial system. I don’t trust the independence of the Ethiopian justice system. I have never seen a police man/woman or a government authority being prosecuted for their bad actions against journalists. The Ethiopian government has been prosecuting hundreds of journalists for criminal defamation, terrorism and inciting violence but not a single government person for violating journalists’ rights. This tells you a lot about the compromised justice system of the country. Read more…

Source: Xindex

posted by Daniel tesfaye

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor)

November 17, 2014

by Alemayehu G. Mariam*

The poet-artist with an “unconquerable soul”?

Last week, Meron Getnet, the extraordinary young Ethiopian actress, put out on Youtube a powerful Amharic poem entitled,  “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor).

The last time I “saw” Meron was this past September in a video clip intended to be a promotional for the film DIFRET (COURAGE),  a film based on the true story of an Ethiopian teenage girl who killed her abductor and rapist in a barbaric cultural practice known as “marriage by abduction”. That abominable practice continues today as the ruling regime in that country turns a blind eye. In DIFRET, Meron played the role of an indefatigable lawyer who successfully defended not only the liberty of the teenage victim but also her honor and dignity as a woman.Meron Getnet, the extraordinary young Ethiopian actress

The premier screening of DIFRET last September in Addis Ababa was cancelled seconds before the film was scheduled to be screened in the theater. In a bizarre turn of events, the film’s director, Zeresenay Mehari, took the stage and apologetically announced to a stunned audience, “We were just told by the police that we have to stop this film because there is a court order on it… This is obviously an attack on us…

It was a manifestly humiliating moment for all who participated in the production of that which had been awarded the 2014 Audience Award at  the Sundance and the Berlin International Film Festivals. It must have been particularly mortifying for Meron Getnet who manifestly yearned to share her pride in a film that had brought so much prestige to her country and artistic honor to herself and colleagues. I wondered (but not for long) in total dismay why the ruling regime in Ethiopia that describes itself as the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) would stoop so low to snatch such a beautiful moment from the enraptured young performance artists. I renamed the TPLF as the “Schadenfreude Regime”, a regime whose leaders get a thrill witnessing the pain, suffering and misfortune of others.

Watching Meron in that video clip, I deeply felt her pain and public humiliation. I could not bear watching the video clip as she tried to make sense of the last second cancellation of the premier in what could have been a most glorious moment for her country, for her people and for her honorThis was how I described her demeanor in that promotional video clip:

… The beautiful young actress Meron Getnet sat stunned and speechless. She is visibly shocked and confused. She looked around in total disbelief  trying to get someone to tell her what she has just heard is not true… In her seat, Meron clasps her palms in the traditional praying position as if to implore God’s intervention to save her and her country from such cruel public humiliation. An unidentified interviewer asks her how she feels. (How does one really feel when one’s heart is yanked out before the entire world!?) Meron is visibly brokenhearted. But she puts on a calm and brave face. She is struggling to hide her outrage and fury. She is fighting tears; but she does not breakdown though she is manifestly broken-hearted…

Honor lost, honor regained

After watching the downcast and crestfallen Meron in the DIFRET promotional clip last September, I grudgingly accepted the fact that the criminal TPLF regime had indeed succeeded in shattering  Meron’s artistic spirit and possibly even psychologically crippling her. But after listening to her recent poem  “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor), I realized that I could not have been more wrong. Meron struck back with poetry of defiant protest. She spoke up with steely COURAGE (difret) against those who tried to bludgeon and crush her artistic spirit. In “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor), I saw Meron’s head bludgeoned but unbowed. I saw her soul smitten but unconquered. I saw her face the menace of tyranny, but found her and shall find her unafraid, to borrow phrases from the poet William Ernest Henley.  In “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor),  I found  MERON, INVICTUS!  (Meron, the Unconquered!)

If words are windows to a person’s character, the words in  “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) show that behind Meron’s charm, elegance and grace is personality made of carbon fiber, ten times stronger than steel. Her words in “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) slice like a clay-tempered Samurai sword and  pound away like a jack hammer.  Each word flays the political chicanery of the TPLF. Each phrase hacks right through the TPLF hypocrisy. Each verse cleaves TPLF’s inglorious duplicity.  “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) unmasks  layer by layer the mendacity, corruption and human rights violations of the TPLF.

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) as anti neo-apartheid protest poem

The sublime beauty of poetry is that it allows the reader and the listener to mine the words and phrases of the poet for deeper meaning and broader understanding. The poem once birthed by the poet immediately begins a life of its own completely independent of the mind that gave it life. The poem takes up residence in the mind of each reader and listener. It prostrates itself on the surgical table of the poetry-phile’s mind to give up its hidden secrets, to shed its mystery and to surrender its riddles. It is the duty of the poetry-phile to discover the latent meanings, to reveal the truth behind the intimations and innuendoes and to unmask, uncloak and unshroud the intended and real meaning of the poet.

As an autodidact in a variety of literary genres and deeply steeped in American “liberal arts education”,   I have acquired a modicum of skills useful in interpretive literary analysis.  My personal analysis of “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is that it is quintessentially an anti neo-apartheid protest poem.

Apartheid in South Africa was a system of racial domination in which a minority Afrikaner white population imposed its absolute political rule on a majority black population while completely monopolizing  the economy. The South African apartheid system was founded on a system of bantustans  (homelands) and strict racial segregation and stratification. The minority Afrikaners in their inflated nationalism felt they were superior because they had ascended to power through military conquest and could cling to power indefinitely through the ruthless application of violence against all who opposed them. In apartheid South Africa, there were five classes of citizens. The first-class of citizens comprise of National Party leaders, their wealthy supporters and their cronies. The second-class citizens include ordinary Afrikaners. The “coloureds” were third-class citizens. The “Indian/Asians” were fourth-class citizens. The majority black Africans, the nobodies, were fifth-class citizens.

Like apartheid  South Africa, the political leadership, the bureaucracy, the police, security and military institutions in Ethiopia are totally dominated by the TPLF. Like apartheid South Africa, the vampiric TPLF regime and its supporters have total control of all economic sectors including banking, construction and cement production, mining, transportation, insurance and the import-export sectors. Like apartheid  South Africa, the first-class citizens in Ethiopia are members of the TPLF aristocracy. The second-class citizens comprise of rich TPLF lackeys and supporters of the TPLF. The third-class citizens include those generally known as “hodams” (opportunists) who care only about their personal benefits and the so-called foreign investors. The fourth-class citizens include the so-called EPDRF behind which the TPLF hides to project the illusion of being a multiparty pluralist institution. The fifth-class citizens which include the nobodies (the rest of Ethiopians).

Like the National Party of the Afrikaners, the leaders and members of the TPLF feel they have a birth right to rule forever because they seized power by military conquest and can cling to power through the unrestrained use of violence. Like apartheid  South Africa, Ethiopia has been reduced to an aggregation of kilils (the exact conceptual and policy equivalent of apartheid bantustans). Like apartheid South Africa where the majority black population was rendered landless, all Ethiopians today are rendered landless (and their land auctioned off for pennies to TPLF and international land grabbers) because the state owns all land. Who is the state in Ethiopia? The TPLF!

Black Africans in apartheid South Africa over two decades ago and the vast majority of Ethiopians today share one thing in common: an overwhelming feeling of “countrylesssness”, decitizenization and dishonor. Thus,  Meron cries out for the whole world to hear: “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor).

As a political protest poem, “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) defies literary categorization. In an extraordinary way, it embodies traces of a variety of poetic forms. It has elements of symbolism, yet it is uncompromisingly realistic and even exhortatively  didactic. The poem resonates with passion and irony, yet plainly speaks truth to abusers of power. It employs allegory, allusions, alliterations, puns, metaphors and even personifications, yet it is a poetic narrative with dramatic monologue and piercing and mesmerizing verses. As impressive as the technical construction of  “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is, I was most struck by the sheer intensity of political protest and defiance embedded in the words and phrases.

(Note: The English translation of selected verses from Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) herein is my own though others have made significant contributions. Translation of Amharic poetry laden with symbolism and strapped with literary and cultural complexity is an exceedingly difficult task. The English translation I have provided below aims to approximate the essential content of Meron’s poem.)

At first blush, listening to  the Youtube audio of “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor), I thought it was a sealed criminal indictment against the TPLF and its late godfather Meles Zenawi. The words resonate as though a prosecutor is reading charges against a band of criminals accused of  theft of a whole country, decitizenization of a whole population and robbery of the dignity of the people. Of course, the poem does not mention the TPLF by name, but the allusions  to a variety of high crimes and misdemeanors illuminate the singular identity of the criminals.

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is constructed around the basic themes of  loss of citizenship rights, denial of human rights and dignity, abuse of power, corruption, the illusion of development and income inequality in Ethiopia. It is a powerful poem that taps into many national issues, digs into deep emotions and forces the listener to virtually taste the bitter realities of oppression and dehumanization in Ethiopia under the TPLF regime.

In my interpretation, “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) echoes the silent voices and depicts the quiet desperation of the millions of Ethiopians who have been so marginalized in their own country that they not only feel that they have become invisible but also find themselves as human rejects, nobodies. Meron’s passionate outcry for the marginalized nobodies of Ethiopia reminded of Eduardo Galeano’s poem, “The Nobodies”: “…/ The nobodies: nobody’s children, owners of nothing./ The nobodies: the no ones, the nobodied, running like rabbits,/dying through life, screwed every which way…/The nobodies, who are not worth the bullet that kills them/…/

In my interpretation, “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) carries different messages for  the different classes of Ethiopian society today. To the first-class citizens who are members of the TPLF aristocracy, it sends a message of censure. To the second-class citizens comprising of rich TPLF lackeys and supporters who benefit enormously from their association with the TPLF aristocracy, it sends a warning to beware. To the third-class citizens, generally known as “hodams” (opportunists) who care only about their personal benefits and the so-called foreign investors, the poem expresses contempt. To the fourth-class citizens including the so-called EPDRF behind which the TPLF hides to project the illusion of being a multiparty pluralist institution,  the poem unveils the deception of the unholy alliance. To the fifth-class citizens which include the nobodies (the rest of Ethiopians), it sends a clarion call to wake up, stand up and stand up for their rights.

The poem begins as Meron dramatically narrates her deep regrets for having urged her countryman a long time ago not to abandon his country and people and go into exile. Meron has found out much too late that honor and full citizenship rights are given not to those who stayed behind to build the country but to those who left the country and came back wealthy.  One must travel and stay abroad for years and return with money just to have their citizenship recognized and dignity honored. Those who stay behind to build the county are condemned to be ignored and marginalized. In her first line of verse, she laments ruefully: “Do not go! Do not go!/I cried out to you raising my pen/ Out of love of country and your people/ Knowing that our country cannot survive without our sweat/…/ I tried my best to stop you from leaving/…/ Though we walk shoeless on roads  full of thorns/ Do not say ‘I will let it be, I am leaving’/ Let us clean it together./ I was wrong and caused you to do wrong by badgering you to stay…/ If the pen I wrote those words with could see me now/ It would hold me in shame/…/

Meron’s countryman stayed in his country which no longer belongs to him, which has disowned him. She describes his plight, “… As you struggle to live on your country’s soil/ There is no one to see you toil…/ Your futile sweat is replaced by a dollar/… When you cry for your country, they measure your sincerity by how much you have profited/…/ The people worship foreign values/ Their hearts are kneeling/…/

Meron’s countryman has no country, no honor and no rights. Should he stay or go, go to a faraway land to regain his honor, gain citizenship and have his rights respected and return to get the same in his own country?

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) conveys an overwhelming  feeling of deciticizenization,  a feeling that is rare even among expatriates who have lived abroad for many decades. The poem forces the listener to feel what it means to be countryless, propertyless, powerless, helpless and defenseless in Ethiopia. In my interpretation, the poem could just as easily have been about dispossession, oppression and exploitation under colonial occupation and rule.  Could it be a poem about the internal colonialism of Ethiopia by the TPLF?

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) speaks of the arrogance and imperiousness of the rulers and the humiliation, degradation and deciticenization of the ruled.  It wails for those dispossessed of their country, their homes and land and their dignity and honor. It screams out for those whose country is stolen. The poem reminded me of Jeremiah’s Lamentations: “Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens. We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows. We have drunken our water for money; our wood is sold unto us. Our necks are under persecution: we labour, and have no rest…”

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is the wail of the dispossessed, the millions of Ethiopians who are evicted from their mud wall homes (and farms) so that their land can be given to those who can build shiny multi-storey buildings. The poem speaks of the massive removal of poor people in the name of urban renewal and “development”. It is an indictment of the TPLF tycoons and their foreign accomplices who gobble up the land as homelessness, starvation and poverty gobbles up the poor. Urban and rural land is gobbled up at such a frightening rate, the poem expresses fear that there may not even be patches of ground left for the poor and dispossessed to be buried.

Long-suffering citizens who wait to get their promised “government” apartments are suddenly bumped off the waiting lists and their apartments given to those who pay fat bribes to officials. “Joy, Joy, Joy to all the poor who live here/ To those who love their country with all its failings/ To the poor and oppressed/ Multi-storey buildings are being built for you/ You hold the lottery ticket for your house-to-be in prayer/You wait, and wait and wait for years/ Then when you are ready to get your house/ You cannot afford to pay the bribes/ You must wait again until some other developer comes and clears out the neighborhood/ …/ It is better to be thankful/ No use in moaning/ Not even a patch of ground may be left in the country in which to be buried/…/

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) poses a pointed question about the deprivation of  basic human dignity and rights in Ethiopia. “What is the value of being a citizen?/ What is the value of being a citizen?/  There is plenty of land available/ But you get the land for free only when you bring money you earned from a foreign land/ So much is your value/… /  How ironic that those who have made their wealth abroad, the non-citizens who flout their wealth on the poverty-stricken Ethiopians, should get everything, but the poor citizens who have toiled and continue to toil to build their country are ignored, forgotten and decitizenized!

“Hagere Kibre” is also about a society that has gone deaf and mute. Those who stand up and speak up against the injustice, abuse and corruption are treated with apparent indifference and silence by the community.  There is no one to listen. They are all asleep.  The crying voices against injustice in Ethiopia are falling on the deaf ears, but the whispers of those abroad, in the Diaspora, are heard as calls for change. “You stand in the heart of the country/ You stand in the heart of the country/ And cry out for your country/ There is no one there to listen/ It is only when you are abroad that the power of your whisper changes things/…/

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is a protest against the devaluation of education and rule by ignoramuses (a regime manned by individuals  who have barely completed grade school and others who have bought degrees from internet diploma mills). “You may spend your lifetime and earn advanced degrees/ You may earn a Master’s or a Ph.D./ Let me tell you the truth/ In my country the paper  that tips the balance is a three-month (cadre) training certificate/… /

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is a complaint against official incompetence and dereliction of duty. The kebele chief (local administrator) who deals with the daily official business of the neighborhood is never to be found in his office. His job is not to serve the people but to hang around and tail the big bosses who spend their time meeting and talking.  “Have you ever been to a kebele office to get service?/ To obtain an identification card to show that you have valid residence?/ There is no one in the office, only an empty chair/ You are told he just left to have tea/ Wait for 2 or 3 hours until he returns from tea/ Shut up, sit and wait/ He won’t be here tomorrow because he will be tired/ He will be on vacation/ He is sick one day/He forgets another/ He left the office without signing the papers/He is at a meeting/ He is doing work/ What does he really do?…/ He is at meeting today/ Tomorrow he is tagging along his bosses?/…/

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is a poem “Hagere Kibre” about preferring life in exile than to be a stranger in one’s own. Why should anyone stay in their birth country when they are treated as fifth-class citizens?  “Let them be/ Let me tell you/ It is better for you to leave (the country)/ If there is no one who recognizes your existence/ Why not leave your country? / If there is no one who recognizes your existence/ Why not leave your country?/…/

The poem advises those whose country has been stolen to go abroad for a few years and return with a new hairdo and money. Then as moneyed Diasporans, they will be greeted with open arms and welcome words by the busy minister of state. Those who stayed behind to build their country are unable to see the lowly kebele chief.  “If you go to some country for three years/ And return with a new hairdo/ You won’t have any problems/ No evil eye will look at you/…/ When you return/ It will be the honorable minister that will hear your problems…/ He will ask you what kind of monument shall be erected for you in public/ So that the coming generation could follow in your footsteps/ That’s the campaign they will have for you…/

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) tells of the effects of privation on the institution of marriage. The young girl whose hand in marriage could not be had in the past through the intervention of traditional elders today is given away by her impoverished mother to those with money. The lack of opportunity and staggering poverty in Ethiopia has forced respectable parents to give away their daughters to those who can afford to go abroad and make a living. “The beautiful young lady you could not get by sending elders/ Now you can snatch her at your pleasure form her mother’s bosom/ You get the girl loved by children and adults alike/ Is it not because you have gone abroad and become (rich) an exile?/

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is also about self-blame for not being aware of things as they really are and for blindly loving one’s country and people. The poem recognizes the fact that the central policy aim of the regime is to push out and exile as many Ethiopians  as possible both to reduce the level of potential opposition and as a source of revenue through remittances and investments. The moneyed Diasporans who return to spend their money are respected more and lionized while those who stayed in the country with little income toiling to improve it are ignored.  “I looked at myself/ I looked at myself/ I am ashamed of myself/ For having cheapened such an important idea/…/ What good is it for you to have a thankless country/ Those who have left are permitted to stay/ And those who stay are banished/ What good is it for you to have a thankless country?/…

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is about the disappearance of wise and learned people. The poem uses the personification of a big oak tree to represent the slowly vanishing intellectuals who are moral leaders and pillars of the community, leaders of public opinion and the consciences of their society. They are cut down and felled like the big oak tree whose leaves provide a canopy of shade. In the place of the community oak trees are thickets of ignoramuses who could barely write their names. “When you don’t have wise people/ It is country that suffers/ It is the people who suffer/ It is the flag that fades/ It is the song that loses its notes/ That was what I told you back then/ So that you will not leave the country/ There is no country left/ There is no spirit left/ There is a shortage of the wise/ The big tree no longer provides shade/ Dignity has lost its honor/ What big tree?/ What big tree?/ Best to use a good axe on its trunk/ Give the land and wood to the developers to build houses/ To march for change/ Dress up and go to town/ What good is knowledge when the thinking (of those in power) is zero?/ The current fashion is to build rock upon rock and multi-storey buildings/ Therefore, I take it back/ I take back what I told you about not leaving/I have cancelled it/ Just call me so that I can leave with you/ But I do not doubt/ I will be back for I have drank the water (of Ethiopia)/ I will be back after changing my name/ Then, then my people will accept me and fill me with love/ Hizbe, hagere, kibre (my country, my people, my honor)/

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is about fighting despair with the purgative powers of poetry.  It is a poem that fights despair with poetry, with words that slice and dice lies. It is a poem that liberates the listener from self-delusion, self-doubt and self-deception.

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is a poem for and about those Ethiopians who feel  countryless, propertyless, powerless, helpless and defenseless. It is a poem that cries out, “I can’t take it anymore! I can’t live in a neo-apartheid system anymore! We can’t take it anymore! We can’t live in a neo-apartheid system anymore!”

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is ultimately a clarion call to action. It calls on all who have been decitizenized to muster courage and  take back their country.  To me, “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) simply means there is no honor without country, no country without people and no honor without country and people. It announces that there is a limit to human endurance beyond which there is no acceptance or forbearance. “Dripping water cracks the rock/ Let us all keep on shouting until the people wake up from their slumber./ Until the country rises up/ I told you so back then/ How little did I  know/ They will ignore the gold and covet the brass/

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is a poem about gratitude to the Almighty, He who sees evil doers with patience until he visits his wrath and vengeance upon them without warning.

Life imitating art

Meron Getnet has touched us all with her words “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor). I have received countless comments in appreciation of Meron’s poem. Those who have listened to the poem tell me that Meron made them feel what it is like to live with a feeling of having no country, no people and no honor; how it feels to be a fifth-class citizen; how it feels to be a victim of ignorant arrogance, oppression and exploitation; and how it feels to be dispossessed, powerless, helpless and defenseless under a vicious thugtatorship. I feel the same way.

Oscar Wilde, the Nineteenth Century Irish writer and poet in his essay “The Decay of Lying” argued, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life. This results not merely from Life’s imitative instinct, but from the fact that the self-conscious aim of Life is to find expression, and that Art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realize that energy.”

As I ponder Meron’s role in the film DIFRET and her poem “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor), I am astonished by the manner in which her life has imitated her art. In the film DIFRET (Courage), Meron played the role of a tenacious Ethiopian woman lawyer who stood up for a young girl who was abducted and raped (another meaning of the Amharic word “difret” is rape) by a hapless young man, who is himself a victim of barbaric culture. In “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor), Meron reprises her role as the real life defender of another woman called Ethiopia who has been abducted and raped by a gang of ruthless thugs for over two decades. In DIFRET the film, Meron defended the honor and dignity of a young rape victim. In “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor), Meron defends the honor of her country, her people and her own honor. Meron showed courage (difret) in her cinematic role, and today she showed the world her extraordinary difret (courage) in her poem “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor).

Meron has spoken for the millions of Ethiopians, particularly her generation, who have been condemned to silence and lives of quiet desperation and the millions more who slumber with their eyes wide open to see the crimes that are being committed against them. Her courage (difret) to speak out and shout out in her poetry should inspire all Ethiopians, particularly the younger generation, to muster courage (difret) to stand up and speak out. Meron is right, very right: “Let us all keep on shouting until the people wake up from their slumber/ Until the country uprises /…

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) is a special poem for me. It resonates my own outrage against a regime of ignorant thugs who have sacrificed an entire generation of young Ethiopians just to cling to power. But I shall always stand proudly with Ethiopia’s young people.

As I reflect on Meron’s “Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor), these words keep ringing in my mind: “You stand in the heart of the country/ You stand in the heart of the country/ And cry out for your country/ There is no one there to listen/ It is only when you are abroad that the power of your whisper changes things/…/

Meron should know that we have heard her cry loud and clear. We are here to listen.  We will not whisper; we will shout, cry and scream with her.

“Hagere, Hizbe, Kibre” (My Country, My People, My Honor) reminds me of Tilahun  Gessesse’s “Ode to Ityopia”.  The great Tilahun Gessesse was the first to teach my generation the meaning of hagere, hizbe, kibre” (my country, my people, my honor). I shall always sing… “Ityopia! Ityopia!”

Ityopia, Ityopia
Ityopia, our bulwark (shield)
Our motherland, Ethiopia
Our motherland, Ethiopia
Ityopia, our bulwark (shield)

Our motherland, Ethiopia
Itiopia, the land of paradise…

Ethiopia shall rise from the depths of hell and once again become a paradise!

(To be continued….) 

Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino and is a practicing defense lawyer.

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Ethiopia: Geldof’s Band Aid’s done more harm than good

November 15, 2014

Geldof’s right to fight ebola. But, for all its noble intentions, Band Aid’s done more harm than good, writes IAN BIRRELL

by IAN BIRRELL FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Once again, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure have lined up the latest crop of chart-toppers to create another incarnation — the fourth — of the bestselling Band Aid charity single.Geldof's right to fight ebola.

This time round, it is to raise funds to fight the ebola crisis that broke out nearly a year ago in West Africa. Geldof has made a passionate plea to ‘buy this thing’ to help those suffering from ‘this filthy little virus’.

The fight against ebola is, of course, a cause well worth supporting given the havoc the virus is wreaking in three countries. No one should doubt the severity of the crisis, as I know from reporting on the epidemic in Liberia.

Ten years ago, Band Aid’s last release was to raise money for famine victims in Darfur, the bloodstained region of Sudan still scarred by brutal conflict.

But of course, the famous song is always associated with the 1984 appeal to raise funds for dying people in Ethiopia after Geldof was spurred into action by Michael Buerk’s powerful BBC reports of ‘biblical’ famine.

Like many of my generation, I was swept along by the desire of those pop stars to heal the world’s wounds, despite the rather patronising lyrics asking ‘do they know it’s Christmas?’.

The record sold 3.7 million copies and raised £8 million — with more than ten times that sum raised by the subsequent Live Aid concerts.

But the harsh truth is that for all the generosity, for all the good intentions, those heartfelt efforts ended up unwittingly doing more harm than good in Ethiopia.

Band Aid kickstarted an age of celebrity activism — and with it the idea that simplistic campaigns and slick slogans can solve complex global problems.

It also sparked the corrosive boom in foreign aid, which flourished on the back of the theory that a tide of cash and well-meaning Western charities can impose democracy, peace and prosperity in developing countries, regardless of the situation on the ground.

Sadly, the truth is rather different. Interventions of foreign do-gooders often end up hurting, not helping, the world’s poorest, most vulnerable people.

Nowhere proves this more than Ethiopia, where at least one-and-a-half million people are being forced from traditional homelands to supposedly ‘model’ villages in a programme compared to Stalin’s lethal clearances of Ukrainian peasants in what was then the Soviet Union.

The most terrible atrocities are inflicted on those who resist, including mass killings, torture, rape and being burned from their villages by rampaging troops, as I have seen for myself when I interviewed scarred victims whose families had been slaughtered.

This is carried out by a one-party state renowned for repression, with the fertile land — sometimes flecked with seams of gold beneath it — being snatched and handed to regime officials or sold to foreign investors.

Astonishingly, this project is backed by big chunks of British aid. Ethiopia has become the biggest recipient of our assistance, handed an incredible £328 million this year despite mounting condemnation over horrific human rights abuses.

Indeed, Ethiopia is among the biggest beneficiaries of the global aid boom. It will rake in £1.3 billion from Britain over the course of the coalition, while another £2 billion pours in each year from other international donors.

Inevitably, Ethiopia exerts a special hold on the aid industry after Band Aid influenced an entire generation.
There was a 200-fold increase in the number of charities operating there after 1984, although it remains one of the world’s poorest places. As in other developing nations, this influx of outsiders distorts local priorities and entrenches a corrupt elite in power.

These competing charities, constantly appealing for funds, also perpetuate an image of Africa as a basket case in need of Western salvation, rather than a fast-changing and rapidly growing continent of 54 countries.

Britain’s last three prime ministers all admitted the pop stars influenced them into spraying taxpayers’ cash around the planet. David Cameron has used Band Aid in defence of his decision to ramp up foreign donations amid austerity at home.

Yet even with that 1984 famine, the causes were largely man-made, the legacy of two civil wars and cruel forced re-settlement policies pursued by a ruthless Marxist regime. We were not told there was surplus food elsewhere in Ethiopia.

Food and medical aid sent by well-meaning foreigners was used to force starving villagers into camps by denying it to those that refused to re-settle. Massive numbers were moved to state farms in the south, partly to undermine rebels.

One analyst concluded this killed people faster than the famine itself, with an estimated 100,000 deaths during these transfers. ‘The biggest deportation since the Khmer Rouge genocide [in Cambodia],’ said one shocked charity chief who pulled out of relief efforts.

The flood of donations even allowed the Ethiopian regime to reduce spending on the disaster at home and spend billions of dollars buying arms from abroad.

So what of the long-term legacy of the Band Aid phenomenon?

Today, Ethiopia is ruled by the party that led the revolt against that vile regime. Yet it remains a despotic state that does not just steal land from the poor. It also shoots pro-democracy protesters, locks up dissidents, tortures political prisoners, gang-rapes women, jails journalists and uses food aid to starve the opposition.

Yet, perhaps because of that iconic celebrity endorsement — which became such a cultural landmark when the Prime Minister was an impressionable teenager — Britain now pours in aid to the acclaim of the self-aggrandising aid sector.

Such are the contortions of our stance that one Ethiopian farmer forced to flee his fields and abandon his family has been given legal aid in the UK to challenge these policies.

‘I hope the court will act to stop the killing, stop the land-grabbing and stop Britain supporting the Ethiopian government,’ I was told by this man, known only as ‘Mr O’ for fear of reprisals on his family.

Britain ended direct aid to the government after the slaughter of protesters against rigged elections in 2005. Now the flow of funds supports a project called Promotion Of Basic Services, which lawyers and human rights group say assists the forced resettlements.

Department for International Development (Dfid) documents have exposed how British taxes support officials implementing the programme and infrastructure in the ‘model’ new villages. Significantly, the U.S. — another major donor — declines to give money to these schemes.

On top of this, Amnesty International has just released a devastating 166-page report accusing Ethiopia of shocking atrocities to silence opposition from the country’s biggest ethnic group.

Amnesty uses graphic first-person testimonies to detail how thousands of the Oromo people are being rounded up and killed, tortured, raped and detained in the most dreadful conditions without charge.

Several people asked the researchers compiling the disturbing report why countries such as Britain lavished aid on a regime behind such actions.

‘The government depends on these foreign handouts to stay in power,’ the exiled writer and university lecturer Endalk Chala told me. ‘It is being used to build an ecosystem of corruption.’

Dfid claims to take allegations of abuses seriously and says it raises them with ‘the relevant authorities’. But it is hard to understand why it pours cash into such places beyond the desperate desire to spend the billions in its ever-swelling budget.

Such are the grotesque ironies of aid policies that end up fostering repression and corroding democracy in developing countries.

Posturing politicians — influenced by well-meaning pop stars, swayed by emotive songs and desperate to seem compassionate — throw taxpayers’ money at crooks and despots while preaching about good deeds and proclaiming they are saviours of the poor.

Tragically, this is especially true in the beautiful country of Ethiopia — and that, for all its good intentions, and however much one may support new efforts to help victims of ebola, is the sad legacy of Band Aid.

posted by Daniel tesfaye

ጊዜው የሕዝባዊ እምቢተኝነት ነው!!!

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በአሁኑ ወቅት በአገራችን በከተሞችና በገጠሮች እየታዩ ያሉ ምልክቶችን በጥንቃቄ የመረመረ ማንኛውም ሰው የሚከተሉትን መታዘቡ አይቀርም።

በአንድ በኩል፣ ወያኔ የተወገደባት፣ ፍትህ የሰፈነባትና የበለፀገች ኢትዮጵያ እውን ሆና የማየት ተስፋችን እየለመለመ ነው። በዚህም ምክንያት ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ ለረጂም ዓመታት በሕዝብ ላይ ሰፍኖ የነበረው የፍርሀት ደመና እየገለጠ በመሆኑ ተዘግተው የቆዩ አንደበቶች መናገርና “ይኸ ሁሉ ግፍ ለምን?” ብለው መጠየቅ ጀምረዋል። ይህንን መነቃቃት በአስተሳሰብም፣ በተግባርም፣ በኪነጥበብም እያየነው ነው። የኢትዮጵያ ወጣቶች ለውጥ በአገራችን ሊመጣ እንደሚችል ከማመን አልፎ ራሳቸውን በለውጥ አምጭ ኃይልነት መመልከት ጀምረዋል። በርካታ ወጣቶች ወያኔን በትጥቅ ለመገዳደር የወሰኑ ወገኖቻችንን እየተቀላቀሉ በዚህም ምክንያት ጉልበታቸውን እያፈረጠሙ ነው። የለውጡ እርሾ ከሲቪሉ አልፎ በመከላከያ ሠራዊቱ እና በኢሕአዴግ ድርጅቶች ውስጥም እየተብሰለሰለ ነው። የኢትዮጵያ የመከላከያ ሠራዊት፣ ህወሓት ኢትዮጵያን ለማጥፋት የሚጠቀምበት ኃይል መሆኑ እያበቃ በአንፃሩ የትግሉ አጋር የሚሆንባቸው ሁኔታዎች እየታዩ ነው። በሁሉም የሠራዊቱ ክፍሎች ጉምጉምታው ወደ ጩኸት እየተቀየረ በመሆኑ ሠራዊቱ በአለቆቹ ላይ የሚነሳበት ጊዜ እሩቅ አይደለም። በተለያዩ ምክንያቶች ህወሓትን ወይም ህወሓት የፈጠራቸውን ድርጅቶች የተጠጉ በአጠቃላይ ኢሕአዴግ በሚባለው ስብስብ ውስጥ የሚገኙ ወገኖቻችንም “ለመሆኑ ማንን ነው እያገለገልን ያለነው?” ብለው በመጠየቅ ላይ ናቸው። በዚህም ምክንያት ወያኔ ውስጡ እየተረበሸ ነው። ከኢትዮጵያም ውጭ በሚገኘው ኢትዮጵያዊ ዘንድ ያለው ቁጣና ዝግጁነት ከወትሮው እጅግ የላቀ ነው። በአጭሩ፣ በሁሉም አቅጣጫ፣ ደረጃ በደረጃ የሕዝባዊ እምቢተኝነት እንቅስቃሴዎች ተጀምረዋል።

በአንፃሩ ደግሞ፣ የጨለማ ንጉሥ የሆነው ወያኔ፣ የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብን ወደ ፍርሀት ቆፈን ለመመለስ እስሩን ከመቸውም በላይ ያጧጧፈበት ጊዜ ነው። በትግራይ፣ በአማራ፣ በኦሮሚያ፣ በደቡብ፣ በአፋር በሶማሊ … በመላው ኢትዮጵያ ብሩህ ራዕይ የሰነቁ ወጣቶችና አዛውንት ታድነው እየታሰሩ ናቸው። የወያኔ እስር ቤቶች በአርቆ አስተዋይ ዜጎቻችን ተሞልተዋል። ወትሮም ከፍተኛ የነበረው ስደት ብሶበታል፤ ለእውነት በጽናት የቆሙ ጋዜጠኞች ወይ ታስረው፣ አልያም ተሰደው አልቀዋል። የወያኔ የግዴታ ስልጠና አገሩን እያመሰው ነው። የኢትዮጵያዊያን ኑሮ በእጦቶች የታጀበ ሆኗል። የነፃነት እጦት፣ የፍትህ እጦት፣ የመብራት እጦት፣ የስኳር እጦት፣ የዘይት እጦት፣ የታክሲ እጦት፣ የመኖሪያ ቤት እጦት፣ እጦት፣ …. እጦት።

እነዚህ ሁለት ተፃራሪ እውነታዎች ሁለት ተፃራሪ ኃይሎች ለወሳኝ ፍልሚያ ፊት ለፊት መፋጠጣቸዉን በግልጽ ያሳያሉ። ዛሬ አገራችን ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ነፃነትና ባርነት፣ ፍትህና ጭቆና፣ ደስታና ሀዘን፣ ተስፋና ተስፋ መቁረጥ፣ ብልጽግናና ድህነት፣ እውቀትና ድንቁርና፣ ብርሃንና ጨለማ፣ ለወሳኝ ግጥሚያ ተፋጠዋል። ይህ ፍጥጫ የኢትዮጵያን የወደፊት እጣ ፈንታን በመወሰን ረገድ አቢይ ሚና የሚኖረው ወሳኙ ግጥሚያ – ሕዝባዊ እምቢተኝነት – መጀመሩን አብሳሪ ነው። የነፃነት፣ የፍትህ፣ የተስፋ፣ የብልጽግና፣ የእውቀትና የብርሃን ወገኖች ነን የምንል ኢትዮጵያዊያን ሁሉ ይህንን ፍልሚያ በድል መወጣት ግዴታችን ነው።

ወያኔ ታጋዮችን ቢያስር ትግሉን አያስርም። በእጦት ኑሮዓችን በማመሰቃቀል በድህነት ሊያንበረክከን ቢሻም፣ በፍጹም አንበረከክለትም። በተዘረፈ የድሆች ድካም ህንፃዎችን ቢገነቡም የራስ ባልሆነ ጌጥ አንኮራም። የወያኔ የሆነ የኛ አይደለም፤ የእነሱ መክበር የኛ መክበር አይደለም። ወያኔ እና የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ገዢና ተገዢ፤ በዳይና ተበዳይ፣ ገፊና ተገፊ ናቸው።

ተበዳይና ተገፊ የሆነው የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ በዘረኞች፣ ሙሰኞችና ከፋፋዮች የህወሓት ባለሥልጣኖቻቸውና ሎሌዎቻቸው ላይ ይነሳሉ። የተጀመረው ሕዝባዊ እምቢተኝነት አመቺ በሆኑ መንገዶች ሁሉ ይጧጧፋል።

የወያኔ ትዕዛዛትን መሻር፤ በሥራ ላይ መለገም፤ ግብር አለመክፈል፤ አድማ መምታት፤ የወያኔ ካድሬዎችን ማግለልና ማዋረድ፤ የነፃነት ኃይሎችን መደገፍ፤ የፓሊስና የጦር ሠራዊት አባላትን ማቅረብ እና በተገኘው አጋጣሚ ሁሉ እነሱም የትግሉ አካል እንዲሆኑ ማበረታታት፤ ህሊና ያላቸው የኢሕአዴግ አባላት የሕዝቡን ትግል እንዲያግዙ ማበረታታት … – እነዚህንና እነዚህን የመሳሰሉ በርካታ የትግል ስልቶች ከአሁን ጀምሮ በተከታታይ በሥራ ላይ መዋል ይኖርባቸዋል። የወያኔን የጭቆና ምሽግ ከውስጥ መሸርሸር፤ ከውጭ መደርመስ ይኖርበታል። የመሸርሸርና የመደርመስ ሥራዎች ተደጋግፈው እንዲሄዱ ማድረግ ይገባል። ጊዜው የእምቢተኝነት ነው።

ግንቦት 7: የፍትህ፣ የዲሞክራሲና የነፃነት ንቅናቄ የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ አጠገቡ ባሉት መሪዎቹ አስተባባሪነት በአንድነት እንዲነሳ ጥሪ ያቀርባል፤ በመላው ዓለም ላይ የሚገኙ ኢትዮጵያዊያንም በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ የሚደረገው ሁለገብ ትግል በጽናት እንዲደግፉ ያሳስባል። ይህንን ትግል በድል መወጣት ግዴታችን ነው፤ እንወጣዋለንም!

ድል ለኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ!

posted by Daniel tesfaye

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