Ethiopia: Horn TV an Idiot(‘s) Box: A Failed Process of Hero-making

By IndepthAfrica
In Article
Nov 11th, 2012

Horn TV an Idiot(‘s) Box: A Failed Process of Hero-making.
Samuel Kidane is a lecturer of History in Aksum University. He can be reached through
Since the recent past, ESAT which is known today as the Horn TV, is highly preoccupied
by programs about heroification, a degenerative process that makes people over into
heroes. To the effect of this objective, several interviews were made with leaders and
proponents of the toxic diaspora groups. Chief among these includes the heads and
tails of Ginbot 7. These interviews made with members of the toxic diasporas were
aired time and again by the Horn TV. Nevertheless, if a close attention is given to some
of the interviewees, they are all second to none in using the letter I. I am a patriot, I
am a politician of this and that group, I am an ardent enemy of this and that people, I
know that is true and endless I’s.
One among the interviewees of the program hosted by the chauvinist and narrowminded
‘journalists’ was Shallaqa Dawit Woldegiorgis, a former high ranking military
officer during the Derg regime. But who is Shallaqa Dawit Woldegiorgis?
Shallaqa Dawit Woldegiorgis had occupied several high positions in Ethiopia from 1974-
1987. He was Deputy Commissioner for Relief and Rehabilitation, Deputy Minister of
Foreign Affairs, the Chief of the Commission for Organizing the Party of the Workers of
Ethiopia (COPWE) in Eritrea and the Commissioner of the Relief and Rehabilitation
Commission (RRC). Hence, by and large Shallaqa Dawit Woldegiorgis was therefore a
TOP Official of the Derg. Undeniably, owing to the fact that he was among the top
officials of the military regime his hands are not clear yet from the blood of innocent
civilians who were made victims of the Red Terror and other state sponsored atrocities
up until his defection in the late 1980s. Besides, all his works prior to his defection will
necessarily reflect events from the seen of the state [The Derge regime] perspective.
Shallaqa Dawit during his tenure as the Commissioner of the Relief and Rehabilitation
Commission (RRC) was remembered by the people of Wollo and Tigray; the two
Ethiopian provinces which were highly affected by the famine of 1984/85, as a blood
sacking bug who doesn’t refrain to sack on the blood of children and women who were
suffering from the famine. During the darkest hours of their history, the people of these
two provinces were used as the causes belie of his secret personal agenda of enriching
his coffer via a popular cry for help in the name of the disaffected people.
Particularly to the people of Tigray and TPLF/EPRDF Shallaqa Dawit was known as the
co-architect of the Derg’s military strategy known as “ א כ ያዝ אጀ א    ያ

ጠፍ” which literally means “in order to catch a fish first drain the sea”. Besides,
Eritrean Historiography mentions him among the architects of the RED STAR
CAMPAIGN, a program which was designed to pacify Eritrean struggle for
In the attempt to pacify the military resistance in Tigray, he along with his Derg officials
had deliberately interwoven the aid supply system in Tigray and Wollo. This inhumane
act of physiological imperialism was aired to the international public through the BBC as
the Brook-Amin documentary and as the solid testimony for the brutality of the Derg.
Contrary to the odd efforts of the state, this failed tactic had increased the mass
support endowed to TPLF and ANDM in Tigray and Wollo provinces respectively. This
was owing to the fact that his food bombing, which was named after the action of
throwing packed cereals to the public from military planes, was changed into an actual
bombardment of villages and setting houses into a total ablaze. Meanwhile, for any
reader who is interested to know the personalities and the juxtapositions of his fatherly
inherited characters for which his father was well known as a man highly venerated by
Emperor Hailesilsie I for he was used to write about the emperor using laudatory
expressions, Shallaqa Dawit’s role in the political history of the country can be referred
from his works entitled:
1) Dawit Woldegiorgis.”Institutional and Practical Response to the Draught in
Ethiopia.”The Eighth International Congress of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies.
Addis Ababa, 1984.
2) Dawit Woldegiorgis. Red Tears: War, Famine and Revolution. Lawrenceville: Red
Sea Press, 1989.
3) Dawit Woldegiorgis. “The Power of Decision Making in Post Revolutionary
Ethiopia.” In Marina Ottaway edt. The Political Economy of Ethiopia. New York:
Praega, 1990.
In concurrence with this, I would like to remind readers to have a keen look on the
works of Shallaqa Dawit particularly in his work entitled Red Tears: War, Famine and
Revolution. Through a thorough reading, one can hardly fail to differentiate the
characteristic features of Shallaqa Dawit Woldegiorgis and Tesfaye Gebreab particularly
the latter is well known for his master piece of writing fictitious ideas that slur others
while leveling himself above anyone else. A quality which is shared by both of them. In
fact it would be suffice to usher readers to have a good reading on Bealu Girma’s Book
Oromay to know about Shallaqa Dawit, who was sharply presented by Bealu Girma by
an artistic sense of hummer. For Ethiopians who have had the reputation to say a spade
a spade, it can be conventionally concluded that, ESAT is ventured in the business of
seeking remission of the sin of a handful of Banda’s from their delinquencies.
Be this as it may ESAT is presenting Shallaqa Dawit Woldegiorgis as a hero and ultra
nationalist, who spent his entire carrier to the well being of all Ethiopians including
those [in Wollo and TIgray] whom he traded them to famine in order to have the best
of his cheese.
In the recent past Shallaqa Dawit’s name is mentioned time and again in several
occasions. Surprisingly enough his orations on the future fate of Abune Marqorewos are
presented by laudatory expressions. Albeit the fact that Shallaqa Dawit was a prominent
cadre of the socialist regime in Ethiopia, how convincing is it to have religious vein in
the metaphors of his political explanations. In fact as it was declared by Medias
controlled and financed by the toxic diaspora, Shallaqa Dawit is frequenting to Eritrea to
his previous domain. At the time Abune Marqorewos was also in Eritrea on a party
mission given to him by Ginbot 7. The latter and his congregators are well attributed for
their prophesy of apocalyptic ending to the Ethiopian state. Taking all the
aforementioned points, how possible is it for people with healthy mind to accept
Shallaqa Dawit and his contemporaries inside the failures camp of the toxic diaspora as
Mockingly enough, the Horn TV is airing these programs several times. But it can be
said that the Horn TV is an Idiot(‘s) box which is blindly wondering in a failed process of
For interested readers who would like to know more about the political carriers,
cryptocracy and rapacious delinquencies of Shallaqa Dawit Woldegiorgis you can consult
the following sources.
Clay, J.S and Bonnie Holcomb. Politics and the Ethiopian Famine, 1984-1985. USA:
Cultual Survival Inc, 1985.
Clark, J.J. Ressettlement and Rehabilitation: Ethiopia’s Campaign Against Famine.
Desalegn Rahmeto. “Resettlement and the Indigenous People: the Case of Metekel.”
Proceeding of the Workshop on Famine Experiences and Resettlement of
Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: IDR, 1988.
Shiferwa Bekele. “An Empirical Account of Resettlement in Ethiopia” Ninth International
Conference of Ethiopian Studies. Moscow: Nauka Publishers, 1986.
Tadesse Baresso. “Modernist Dreams and Human Sufferings” Wendy James and et al.
eds. Remapping Ethiopia: Socialism and After. Addis Ababa, Oxford, Athens:
Addis Ababa University Press, James Curry Ltd, Ohio University Press, 2002.
ኤ     ُ ክፍֳ ገ     ይ ኮከ  ֳገ ዮٍ ዊ ዘ ٢א ጉ
ኤ ይ የ& ُዮጽያ ר     ِ ደ
የֱ ዝ ወካዮ٤ ያደ נግዋْ ው
ግግ ٤צ . ጥ7 1974 וُ = א።

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