By Robele Ababya, 03 May 2013
At first I thought I was going to state the obvious in expressing my solidarity with the Amharas given my background. And then I convinced myself that I have a lot to say in view of the special breed of cruel traitors in our midst bent on destroying the birth right of Amharas – the indisputable pillars of the Ethiopian civilization including the glorious era of the Akumite Kingdom, which replaced the Kushite Kingdom (1500 BC – 500 BC).
To the TPLF warlords that are grandchildren of loyal servants of Mussolini, the Amharas and the Oromos are targets to be systematically uprooted from the field of politics to remove bad apples – just as planned by Italian Fascists in Rome for execution by Marshall Graziani in Ethiopia. The warlords have added the Guraghes to their blacklist; I bet Kambattas and others will follow, the former for the gallant role of their ancestors in the war with the Fascists at Maichew. Tigreans will be served carrot and stick to enforce their loyalty, but in vain.
This short piece is meant to expound my rationale for solidarity with the plight of the Amharas and its consequences on our multicultural society in the following paragraphs.
Historical and anecdotal evidence
I recall having studied in my history class in my boyhood that Amharic was the official language of communication in Ethiopia and with foreign governments during the reign of Emperor Yohannes IV from His Palace in Makelle. Asked by some of His disgruntled influential supporters why the Emperor was not using His own Tigrean language, the Monarch responded by reminding them that Amharic was the official language of Akumite Emperors and therefore it is unnecessary and inappropriate to change it.
Elderly people living in Axum confirm hearing the anecdote transmitted from their ancestors that Aksumites were Amharas and that the kings used Amharic as their official language. As a regular traveler to various places in the Tigray region, I have been to Aksum to supervise an engineering project and so I can confirm the anecdote.
Nothing can change a true history upheld by Emperor Yohannes IV and I exalt the Monarch for that as a true Christian that He was.
Aksum civilization at its height and the EOTC
The Ethiopia Orthodox Tewhedo Christian (EOTC) Church was split in three during the reign of Emperor Yohannes IV. The Monarch organized a debate that took place at Boru Meda in Wallo region and invited the protagonists in the split to state their case with evidence. Advocates of the EOTC faith presented irrefutable evidence while the other two failed to produce any. The Monarch reaffirmed the EOTC faith and declared it as the only official religion of Ethiopia.
It is exceedingly paramount to note that Aksum in the 3rd century dominated states on the Arabian Peninsula across the Red Sea, making them pay a regular tribute and that it had begun minting its own currency “and was named by Mani as one of the four great powers of his time along with Persia, Rome and China.” That at it converted to Christianity in 325 or 328 AD under King Ezana and was the first state ever to use the image of the cross on its coins. By 350 AD Aksum conquered the Kingdom of Kush and controlled northern Ethiopia, Eritrea, northern Sudan, southern Egypt, Djibouti, Western Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia – totaling 1.25 million square kilometers. Source: Google
The message to the TPLF Banda warlords is that their distortion of history is suicidal for these misfits do not represent the gallant Tigrean people at all. The tarnished image of the Amharas will be restored with gratitude by the emerging democratic society equal to each and every of its citizens under the supreme rule of law.
Hereditary, shared values & sentimental attachment
The first language spoken to me at birth by my beloved mother was Oromiffa, until she died. Strangely the conversation with my sister and two brothers was always in Amharic and I was the only lucky one who was sent to school.
In my article titled “TPLF hitting Amharas & Oromos as did Mussolini” dated 12 March 2012, I wrote:
1. “The Italian Fascist military garrison and observation post at Deneba in north Shoa is an indelible symbol of famous patriots and their followers comprising the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups. My upbringing near this garrison, dominated by the two ethnic groups living in enviable harmony, had formed my character as a child and the memory of that experience refuses to go away until now. The purpose of this writing is to stress that the Zenawi regime is emulating the Italian example to hit the Amharas & Oromos and that naïve Ethiopians are falling prey to its secret design to destroy their country.” This sentiment is enduring today!
2. “It was normal to speak in Oromiffa or Amharic under the same roof switching from one to another swiftly. All of my playmates, the children in our village including me, were bilingual in that we all spoke both languages fluently.”
3. “We as children relished the freedom our forebears had bequeathed to us by paying the ultimate sacrifice fighting the Italian Fascist invaders. In my small world in Deneba as a child, I thought Ethiopia was the home of only Amharas and Oromos (Galas) because these two were the only ethnic groups that lived there. However I was to learn more in Addis Ababa about the reality of Ethiopia’s cultural and ethnic diversity.”
I am happily married for just over 50 years to my wife; I was to know much later in life that her parents were Amharas from north Shoa. It was love at first sight that knows no boundary that kept us in harmony for so long producing children and adoring our grandchildren. A member of the family is at least a bilingual in the combination of Amharic, Oromiffa, English, German, Russian, French, Swahili, and Luganda. Amharic and English languages are spoken by all in my family, indicative of the trend that the English language will be increasingly predominant in the 21st century as some studies suggest. I think this is true for most families in our multi-cultural Ethiopia.
I recall that Ethiopians in Uganda formed a bastion of united opposition to TPLF traitors, but that unity is no more discernible. I recall that on the day that Eritreans were celebrating their independence declared on 27 April 1993 as a result of the referendum by 99.83% announced by my once workmate Dr. Amare Tekle, Ethiopians in Kampala coincidentally threw a big party at the Sheraton Hotel with magnificent portraits of Emperors: Theodros II, Yohannes IV, Menilik II, and Haile Selassie the 1st displayed on the walls of the ballroom in recognition of their roles as true sons of Ethiopia and modern leaders with national interests at heart. Zenawi’s legacy is one of humiliating betrayal unprecedented in the history of Ethiopia. Those TPLF warlords vowing to promote his legacy are misfits among the proud people of Tigray.
Axum and Adwa belong to all Ethiopians of this generation in that their ancestors have: (a) participated in the civilization of the former and (b) shed their blood and sacrificed their lives in the war arena with Italy twice.
Ethiopia has every right to build on her glorious past and develop; live in harmony with the global community of the 21st century and beyond; her citizens have the noble duty to prevent encroachment by outsiders on their God-given territory. The notion of Ethiopia becoming a failed state and as such a playground for neo-colonials and old colonial masters should be rendered a pipedream of her traditional enemies and the new ones with insatiable desires to gain a foothold in her strategic location, comprising the AU Headquarters and a large number of foreign missions and institutions, for political control and exploiting the vast natural resources of the African continent and its environ.
I subscribe to the calls of an all-inclusive action against the corrupt TPLF warlords – starting with massive and coordinated occupation of the streets and public squares in Ethiopia and dictating terms for change to a democratic dispensation that will benefit all and sundry under the supreme rule of law.
I am shocked and incensed by the quashing of the appeal by Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, et al. The struggle for the release of all political prisoners in Ethiopia must continue relentlessly
This quote by Karl Marx is for the mother of corruption Azeb Mesfin and the TPLF warlords: “Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living.”
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!