Ethiopia Anew: Reconciliation 101 (A response) Zelalem Eshete, Ph.D.

Zelalem Eshete, Ph.D.
It seems there is a big misunderstanding in the concept of reconciliation. I intend to write in series if the need warrants it. In this article, I would try to respond to the article written by Lydia entitled: “A Response to Zelalem Eshete” that was posted on Zehabesha on March 25.
Lydia writes in accusation mode:
“By saying let’s “stand by the gap”, what gap can we stand by in today’s Ethiopia as if the Amharas have the upper hand or are somehow better positioned to fill in? Perhaps we are the missing piece to fill the void since we are pushed to the curb by false accusations of things that have happened a thousand years ago that nobody has evidence of or historical citation to back the accusations but some crooked TPLF “historians”. Is it they who are funding you to re-write history?
Here is my response, dear sister:
The popular phrase of “standing in the gap” is coined first in the Bible: “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none” Ezekiel 22:30 KJV. Here is the background: The sin of the people had gotten so bad that God had begun to seek out a person who would intercede for the land by standing in the gap, but he found none.
I repeatedly stated that it doesn’t matter if we personally do not have a prejudice against another ethnic group. I even ask our children who have no clue whatsoever, to learn about our past and stand in the gap and become part of this historic process by acknowledging the shame. In fact, in my second article, I stated that it takes innocence to take on the ills of the past generation.
Now that you established that you and your family are the innocent ones, I invite you to stand in the gap along with me for the future of Ethiopia. Our forefathers who are guilty of the crime are gone, and those who share their values at the present may never see the light to accept responsibility and own up their mistakes. Unless we take responsibility to stand in the gap, they will continue to make us prisoners of our past into eternity.
Should you accept the challenge: here is the first thing we do as Amhara ethnic people: confess. Again, don’t misunderstand me by thinking the religious terminology. I repeat the definition I provided in my original article for what “confess” means.  The Greek word for “confess” is homologeo, which means: “to say the same thing”.  Therefore, I am asking you to join me to stand in the gap, and confess (say the same thing as those who have something against us say). That is how Ethiopia starts to speak the same language. As we affirm and acknowledge the pains of our brothers and sisters, then there is a chance for healing. This is the first baby step.
Don’t be sidetracked by pointing fingers at others. We are not in a courtroom to figure out which ethnic group is guilty. This is reconciliation, where you focus on your actions to ask forgiveness and grant forgiveness to those who did you wrong. Accusation has no place here. This is a road less travelled.
If you want to learn the mistakes of our forefathers in our 3,000 years history, then I ask you to open up your mind and tune in and listen those who have been speaking their hurt loudly for years. They are not going away by just ignoring as if they don’t exist or giving them a deaf ear. I hope you understand.

You may reach Dr. Zelalem Eshete at: [email protected]


  1. Seriously, author person; if there is any ethnic group that has been oppressed throughout ethiopian history it would have to be the amharic speaking people. If you believe that amhara somehow subjugated and oppressed other ethnic groups; tell me why today that it is amhara killil that would be considered the poorest of the poor. You mrs. do not speak for anyone but yourself. Our people are suffering, being slaughtered by TPLF goons, driven like cattle out of their own land; what is it that the amhara has to apologise for? For speaking amharic? for suffering for thousands and thousands of years under hybrid emperors who so happened to have used the amharic language? You want amhara to apologise for being on this earth? If others claim amhara to be the oppressor why is amhara today the poorest of the poor? WHY MR. AUTHOR?
    The amharic speaking people are struggling to survive and yet you want them to confess for every little negative thing that went down in ethiopian history.
    Let me tell you that my people are as innocent as child; they have done nothing but protected the motherland; they have died and will die to defend the motherland; if being a defendor is a crime, Mr. Author then i suppose amhara must confess to their crimes?
    What is up with these PhD’s anyways? People like you make it quiet an unattractive level of education.

  2. Dear Zelalem (PhD).
    1. There was a recent clash in Negele Borena. Would you please go through Oromo media outlets and see yourself the news was reported, then ask yourself why it was not reported or if reported, why it was reported in a such a way?
    2. Why Assefa Jalata wrote that the Abysinians looked down to dark skinned Africans without mentioning how the Oromos, Somalia, Eritreans, Wolaytias etc look to dark skinned Africans. In my personal experience, I have seen people from different groups in East African looking down to their dark skinned African kins which I believe is wrong and should be be condmned. But why Prof. Assefa mentioned only Abysinnias, is it because he doesn’t know about Oromos?. It is allegations made by such personalities you are asking to accept. Please read literatures written by Oromo nationalists and judge yourself. For example, read Addis Ababa: Migration and the Making of a Multiethnic Metropolis by Getahun Benti.
    3. You said we are the first to do the harm in your previous article, I would rather ask you to refer historical records in the 16th century. If you believe they were written by “Debtras” and has less importance, then refute those scientific journals who found those sources reliable.

  3. How is Mr.Zelalem Eshete trying to reconcile with this mess ?
    The Amhara dominated governments had already failed Ethiopia and Ethiopians and made ETHIOPIA the land of poverty,mass starvation,civil war and planted the seeds of hatred between different ethnic Ethiopians. The Amhara dominated Goverenments also had committed systemic mass genocidal crime against non Amhara Ethiopians (Oromos,Tigres and Eritreans) in particular.
    Should Amaras apologize to Oromos,Tigres and Eritreans ?

  4. @ Zelalem Eshete, The truth is, No amount of reconciliation will reverse showa Amhara’s ignoble mess (Showa leadership was curse for Ethiopia).
    King Menilike had sold Ethiopia’s vital lands and strategic ports to enemies in order to preserve his own power and to preserve showa amhara socioeconomic dominance. On the other hand King Yohanse and King Tewodros had fought and died to preserve it.
    Yes, These two kings were totally different in every aspect, King Tewodros had died in honour as hero while defending Ethiopia and fighting the enemies(fought for all Ethiopians).
    On the other hand, King Menilike lived and died in shame, while dividing Ethiopians in ethnic lines and oppressing, enslaving Oromo and stealing Oromos land to reward it to his own showa Amhara tribe men. King Menilike also had sold Somalia to Brits, Dejibuti to France and Eritrea to Italian.

    Col. Mengestu Hailemariam had successfully assassinated 60 Amara cabinet minsters.
    Was the assassination a good thing or a bad thing for Ethiopia ?

  6. So many Ethiopian diaspora intelectuals confuse Ethiopians by using terms/languages that they never understand. It is horrible. What do they mean with reconciliation, is it Ethiopians who must reconciliate with the fascist enemy or Ethiopians with themselves. Ethiopians shall never reconciliate with the enemy which has committed genocide, ethnic cleansing, high treason, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Thhese diaspora intelectuals could sit down build a committee and indict tplf by writing to the ICC.,instead of wasting time on WWW sites. Take the tplf to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Sitting an crying or writing articles never save Ethiopia.

  7. Dr Zelalem
    You claim you Are AMHARA yet you don’t even know the conditions and the oppressions the Amhara people suffered from from the barbaric Oromo and Ahmed Gragn invasions to the genocidal attempt of YOHANNES on the people of Gojjam which led to the Famine called The GREAT Famine in the history of Ethiopia for YOHANNES killed their animals and destroyed their crops intentionally to starve them to death.
    How about the starvation and the Fanine claimed hundreds of WOLLo Amharas by the same regime called AMHARA, would there be any crime than letting hundreds of thousands of people starved to death?
    Why the AMHARA region especially Gojjam remained the most underdeveloped and impoverished province while the people are the most hard working people on earth,
    how could u go to Gonder and ask someone who lost his sons in a red terror to ask forgiveness for the crimes he committed on Oromos while he and his ancessters lived their whole life in Gonder, what this poor peasant repent for? For remained poor for the lack of government intervention and infrustructure?
    Dr Zelalem what is the importance of Amharic Language dominance for a dying Wolloye due to the lack of food?
    Why a son of a poor farmer from Gojjam should ask for forgiveness? What crime he is relenting for
    Zelalem your problem emanates from the lack of knowledge about the immense suffering Amharas suffered from under the regimes labelled as AMHARA who systematically deprived the people its potential development by denying the infrustructures and other development projects to only develop OROMIA and the Southern part of the country leaving Amharas languish in poverty, despite this AMHARA PEOPLE UNLIKE OROMOS and TIGRIANS don’t cry and complain about their suffering above all they don’t teach hateand pass False propaganda to their kids if not you would hear AMHARA people complaining the genocide committed against them by OROMOS and AHMED Gragn and by YOHANNES
    Please the so called stop reading the posion and false propaganda and history being written by hate driven and mad OLF And TPLF historians

  8. Including myself, I wonder how people waste their precious time in reading such trivial written by maybe one of the crafty cadres of TPLF. Anyhow, let the gay, I mean the guy, stand in the gap, good luck and let him confess. Others, we shouldn’t get mad wit whomever is pleased in maddening and getting himself mad. It is so surprising that such lunatic people are obsessed with such imaginary devilish possessions. imagine, the dying confessing their ‘sins’ to the killing. What an enigmatic creature, this so called new ‘Jesus of our epoch’ who tries to mix up things based on the meanest knowledge one can have ? ketangro anagari yisewuren.

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