By Robele Ababya, 19 April 2013
Self-defense is a natural right
Self-defense at this critical time in the history of Ethiopia threatened by divisive ethnic policy being perpetrated by TPLF’s warlords is a natural right. The Amharas subjected to ethnic cleansing and indeed the living under tyranny in abject poverty seek practical solutions to their multiple miseries quickly before it is too late to avert civil disorder of far reaching consequences to Ethiopia and the region of the Horn of Africa. The parochial EPRDF warlords in their airtight cage care less about peace and tranquility in Ethiopia and states in the region. The warlords are strange cage-fellows mistrustful of one another and devoid of constructive ideas.
Writings and quotes deemed relevant to this piece
In order to make a reasoned argument, I starved for knowledge and sought respite in the writings of fellow citizens as well as remarkable quotes of stalwart Pan Africanists:-
Ambassador Berhanu Dinke (ABD)
1. The Imperial regime had faced several rebellions and outright challenges to its policies, and rampant but silent disagreements among officials of the His Majesty’s administration. The Emperor was above the Constitution, which He said He granted it to the people of His own free will. He breached it in terms of devolution of power. This breach led to a serious quarrel between the Monarch and the renowned dissident Ambassador ABD – His Majesty’s trusted, visionary, effective, incorruptible official. DK sought political asylum in the USA where he had to contend with several threats on his life for his incessant and incisive criticism of the Imperial regime. Failure to devolve power to the Prime Minister in accordance with Article 73 of the Constitution was the main cause of the irreversible split between the principled BK and the Monarch that ruled in accordance with the precept of the divine right of kings.
2. I read BK’s two books written in Amharic each 69 pages long bound in one cover with the titles “Qaisar ena Abiot” printed on one side and “Albo Zemed” on the other. Each book in my opinion is as big as any in terms of its substance underlining the need to build democracy on solid foundation. He quite rightly characterized the elites of the Ethiopian revolution as rebels in an empty house devoid of the timeless fundamental values rooted in Ethiopian history. I agree with him entirely.
3. According to ABD’s eye witness account as a young boy: Dejazmatch Balcha Abanebso from his abode in Wolliso mobilized a small force to march on Addis Ababa to fight the Italian Fascist invaders. The Italians upon getting the news deployed one thousand soldiers supported by tanks, artillery and fighter airplanes to engage the veteran warrior with only 200 militias at his command. In a day long fighting, the Fascists suffered 100 casualties versus only 15 on the militia but with several men wounded. Several days later the Fascists made a surprise attack on a camp near his birth place and killed the veteran hero. He paid the ultimate sacrifice.
4. Balcha’s death motivated the likes of Abebe Aregay et al in Shoa; Mengesha Jembere and Belay Zeleke in Gojjam; Gebrehiot and Abay in Tigray; Geresu Dukey and Bekele Woya in the south. These illustrious heroes were part and parcel of the first guerrilla organization in the world. Incidentally, one of the Dejazmatch Abay’s sons was my friend in Addis Ababa; he tutored me a lot about power struggle within Tigray which I found to be similar to those in other parts of Ethiopia.
5. According to ABD poetry, literary works and philosophy in Ethiopia have independently developed to the level of European achievement in Ethiopia. This is true!
Gebremedhin Araya (GA)
5. I knew Gebremedhin in those days in Uganda when refugees were on hot pursuit. My better half was a close friend of his wife and did her best to assist the GA and his spouse when the couple was victims of nabbing by TPLF security operatives led by General Tsadkan and Hayelom. GA is one true son of Ethiopia with unrelenting courage and patriotism to this very date exposing the renegades within the TPLF top echelon in his capacity as a former member. I thank him for his article in Amharic titled ?? ?? ???? ???? ?? ???? posted on various social media.
6. I extol GA in all sincerity for his confirming that the Imperial regime was all-inclusive and that Tigreans held top positions in that regime. I know this to be true in my capacity in key positions; it is a matter of record that the Monarchy gave the highest priority to the development of Tigray and Eritrea in spite of meager national resources.
Jomo Kenyatta quote
7. “When the Missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the Missionaries had the Bible. They taught how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.” In contrast the EPRDF regime is welcoming the old and new colonizers by leasing large chunk of fertile land to the latter in the face of serfdom bleeding Ethiopian peasants.
Nelson Mandela quote
8. “Ethiopia has always held a special place in my own imagination and the prospect of visiting attracted me more strongly than a trip to France, England and America combined. I felt I would be visiting my own genesis, unearthing the roots of what made me an African. Meeting the emperor himself would be like shaking hands with history”. The country so much admired is now Balkanized – the very concept the Great Statesman paid so dearly to eradicate.
President Uhuru Kenyatta
9. “… Let us all be clear – supporting devolution is not a choice, as some claim it to be – it is a duty. A constitutional duty. One that I have sworn to uphold. Our constitution does not suggest devolution, it demands it. I urge all Kenyans to be persistent, pragmatic, patient and non-partisan, as we pursue the promise of devolved governance.” This is in sharp contrast to the partisan divisive ethnic policy of EPRDF in the absence of no real devolution of power.
Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam
10. “Ethiopians united — pulling together — can never be defeated by the bloody hands of tyrants!”, from his inspiring analysis titled Liberating a “Prison Nation” posted on Ethiomedia on 15 April 20113. I say Amen to this quote wholeheartedly.
Failures in political leadership & consequences
1. Dictator Mengistu Hailemariam has unashamedly shifted the blame of his failure in leadership to his close confidants and subordinates. His incompetence as Commander-in-Chief of the Ethiopian Armed Force led to the disintegration of one of the largest fighting force in Africa.
2. This coward spent time building his personality cult and finally fled the country leaving the army in the lurch and the door wide open for invasion by the TPLF regime. He must be held accountable for high treason. In all fairness, however, he neither falsified the history of Ethiopia nor compromised the unity and territorial integrity of the country – which could have constituted a more treasonous crime.
3. The EPRDF regime has been unwilling or incapable of resolving colossal issues inherited from Zenawi. These require the collaboration of all Ethiopians in a democratic environment, which does not exist now. The mega dam project is a time bomb that will explode at the convenience of Egyptian authorities. Any Ethiopian opposition political entity would be right to link up with progressive forces in Egypt in fostering regional democracy and prosperity.
4. Endemic corruption is certain to destabilize the regime. Moreover, the pledge by the EPRDF Prime Minister to continue with the destructive legacy of the late tyrant Zenawi will lead to the eventual downfall of the regime sooner than later.
5. The longer the TPLF warlords stay in their tribal hermetic cocoon, the more they will become stupid and isolated from the rapidly changing outside world in the sphere of politics, economic growth and social development. This intransigence will not augur well for the stability of Ethiopia and the region of the Horn of Africa.
Slow pace towards unity
Unity still seems a blurred dream. After decades in the wilderness some Oromo elites are still unable to shed off their tribal garb to change their wrong premise and make a paradigm shift to embrace the spirit of Ethiopianism and Pan Africanism under the umbrella of the African Union. I ask the OLF liberation from whom? How can it be possible to dialogue on any national or AU agenda with a biased mind towards ones’ tribe? Under ethnic federalism, would it be possible for meritorious candidates from minority groups to hold electoral offices at the national level? I think NOT!
EPRDF warlords are locked in their airtight cage with their parochial views. The government is dysfunctional at this material time. This is the moment for the Ethiopian people to inundate public squares and streets and appoint an all-inclusive transitional caretaker government.
The fate of those movements with tribal mentality will be decided by the people forming the transitional government. Those concerned are well-advised to read the signs on the wall and do so recalling election 2005 where Ethiopians, regardless of ethnic origin or creed, dealt a heavy blow to TPLF at the polls.
I pin my hope on this quote by Kwame Nkrumah : “The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart” to be optimistic that the slow pace for strong unity will pick up speed.
Zenawi’s ill-conceived vision, mission, and strategy to destroy Ethiopia are well articulated by Gebremedhin Araya. Full support for his call for a coordinated civil uprising as broadcast in his interviews with ETSAT and G-7 radios is justified; his assertion that the Imperial regime was all-inclusive is correct; it is true that Tigreans held more than their share of top positions in government.
Ethnic cleansing is an intolerable vicious crime against humanity; no baby is born to parents of its choice and therefore the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Amhara race constitutes a heinous crime against humanity. The descendants of the loyal servants of Fascist Italy holding top position in TPLF/EPRDF must brought to justice.
The Ethiopian young generation should: pay tribute to the illustrious heroes (mentioned at paragraph 4 on page1) and multitudes of others for their heroic contributions, as Ethiopians regardless of their ethnic origin, to the first guerrilla organization in the world; emulate their example to eradicate racism being perpetrated by Bandas within the TPLF top hierarchy; stop rebelling “in an empty house” devoid of the timeless fundamental values rooted in Ethiopian history; act in unison to “defeat tyranny” and liberate the “Prison Nation”, vide paragraph 10 on page 2 above.
As George Ayittey said “Back in the 1960s Africa not only fed itself, it also exported food. Not anymore.” Ethiopia was on the verge of take-off in economic growth led by the agricultural sector, but no more – due to economic mismanagement by the TPLF regime. The next pro-Ethiopia regime will no doubt: restore the principle of self-reliance; reclaim Ethiopian lands from unscrupulous investors and distribute to citizen private property owners!
God always does his part leaving to us what we can do!
Release all political prisoners in Ethiopia and Muslim leaders demanding peacefully for their constitutional rights!
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!