Ethiopia: Sebhat Nega – Can You Hear Me Now?
by Msmaku Asrat
Can you hear me now? is a familiar question posed by a series of advertisements for Verizon wireless. I am using it here
as a metaphor for a series of lofty pronouncements made by Sebhat Negga – the High Priest, the Gate keeper, the Philosophical Guru, the Intellectual Fountain Head of TPLF and above all the mentor of the late PM Melese Zenawi and the dedicated stooge of Isayas Afwerki of Eritrea. He is the know it all who periodically makes definite and unshakable pronouncements just like the Oracle of Delphi, the priestess at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Her generic name was Pythia. She was a deity of ancient Greece who, beginning 1600 B.C., was giving all sorts of predictions until her demise with the rise of Christianity.
Recently Sebhat, Pythia’s modern equivalent in Ethiopia, has asserted with supreme arrogance that the TPLF has broken the backbone of the Amara and Orthodox Christianity and predicted that they are finished. He made this deliberately poisonous statement after the “election” of Haile Mariam Desalegn as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Desalegn is neither an Amara nor Orthodox Christian. We know that the ancient Oracle disappeared with the rise of Christianity. Would Orthodox Christianity in Ethiopia disappear the way the present Godless Oracle Sebhat Negga predicted? and would the Amara wither away or disappear like a puff of smoke as well? During the Second World War the defeated Field Marshall Petain of France was overwhelmed by the might of Hitler and declared that “in three weeks England would have her neck wrung like a chicken.” In his speech in 1941 the defiant British PM, Winston Churchill, recounted this episode and said “some chicken some neck” to his delighted audience. Orthodox Christians and Amaras have you heard what Sebhat said? How would you respond?
A year ago Sebhat Negga went to Adwa to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his high school and he went there with his friend Comrade Fisseha Desta, the former PM of the Derg. When asked why he took such a notorious criminal with him Sebhat replied that Fisseha has been his dear friend and classmate since childhood and his elder brother was the Principal of the school. When the questioner persisted “but you took him to an area where the Derg under Fisseha’s leadership has committed horrendous crimes” Sebhat replied “Fisseha has served his sentence” and with a slight chuckle Sebhat continued “moreover, Fisseha was with me and who will ever dare to touch him.” For a straight shooter like Sebhat this was a remarkably accurate description of him and his TPLF. Comrade Fisseha is the right choice indeed. With whom could the Woyane have closer affinity than the brutal Derg. They are of the same ilk. In fact TPLF may still have to learn more about cruelty. After all the Derg was the most brutal criminal enterprise that Ethiopians had faced to date.
Let us take the case of Emperor Haile Selassie whom Mengistu is suspected to have murdered with his bare hands by personally pushing a pillow on his face until dead. Then he has the corpse interned in his lavatory where in a macabre act of voodoo magic he was depositing his excrement on the Emperor’s body. Though Mengistu is Godless one need not believe in a God to go down to this level of depravity and bestiality. The Emperor’s corpse was brought out, cleaned and was given a proper burial in church as his Orthodox religion requires. Whether one likes the Emperor or not this is a humane act which the Derg has never been able to exhibit in its 17 years of existence. Another example is the case of the former Patriarch Abune Tewoflos. The Derg imprisoned him and then strangled him by a rope and buried him in the prison compound. His corpse was dug out and was given a Christian burial.
Now a lot has been said about the flight and exile of the 4th Patriarch, Abune Merkorios especially recently. It has been said that the former Woyane PM, Tamrat Layne, was responsible for driving Abune Merkorios from his Synod and Patriarchate to make him an exile. Tamrat Layne is a scoundrel and a thief who has served many years in the Woyane prison. This sly fox is a wolf in a sheep’s clothing who has been allowed by the Woyane to retain some of the loot for services rendered and is now living in exile in the US. He has changed his tune and is now saying that he has found God within the Pentecostal Church, and says that he is regularly talking to God. Some of the gullible members of his Church believe what he says and cry Amen. He also has to face real justice just like Woyane and the Derg. The Derg is an all encroaching killing machine devoid of any semblance of mercy or humanity. No amount of browbeating or pontification on its behalf by its staunch supporters and admirers could eclipse this brutal fact, now and forever!
Prof. George Ayittey speaks about the over 200 African leaders which came to the scene since 1960, the year of the mass independence of African countries. Nearly all of them were corrupt and he calls them the Hippo Generation whom he unforgettably characterizes as: – Swiss bank socialists; military FuFu heads; crocodile liberators; vampire elites and quack revolutionaries. He calls the countries they rule as vampire states. The heads of states of these African countries are bandits and crooks and are the richest persons in Africa. The Derg and the TPLF Woyane fit perfectly this metaphor of the African wild life which Prof. Ayittey applies to the human rulers of Africa. So we need not wonder that the TPLF Hyppo is extending its hand to the Derg Hyppo. The sleeper cells of the Derg both inside the country and in the Diaspora are beside themselves with delight by boldly coming out of the woodworks and spinning their false tales. After all their leader, Mengistu is incapable of telling the truth and his avid worshippers are also the same if not more so. These Derg criminals believe that the time has come when they would accompany their leader Mengistu Hailemariam to return to Ethiopia and share power with the Woyane. In the backward state in which Ethiopia is languishing now, nothing is impossible. After all the Derg was the most ignorant and the most primitive government Ethiopia ever had and their Woyane admirers are not far behind. The only thing is that the Derg excels is in absolute cruelty and is responsible for the annihilation of any and all opposition.
Prof. Ayittey calls the young opponents of the Hippos the Cheetah Generation. They are the fast moving enterprenual leaders and citizens who will rebuild Africa. These are the young democrats who are trying to get rid of the Hippos and bring rule of law and development. In Ethiopia, during the brutal Derg era the “Cheetahs” paid enormous sacrifices during their titanic struggle with the most murderous regime in the world at the time. By a rough estimate a million of them perished until they were finally subdued. There is a harrowing description of the inhuman torture and ‘killing field’ of the Derg calmly described on ESAT TV recently by a member of YaTewlid Nesibu Sebhat . It is a must see video especially for the cheetah generation of today. He describes the crimes of one Kefyalegn Alemu (aka. Habteab Merhe; Tufa) who was found hiding in Denver, Colorado as a refugee from Eritrea. He was member of red terror committee in Addis Abeba who has tortured him and personally killed 200 youth. He mentions Basazinew Baysa (whom I knew as an affable Dean of Students at the University College of Addis Ababa); other murderers of the Derg were Girma Kebede;; Asaminew Abebe; ZaAmanuel; Belay Samuel; Beketa Negasa Asefa Lema; Tensay; Ketema Teshome. This is a description of one episode in one Kefitegna! Imagine the magnitude when we multiply this with hundreds of similar brutalities occurring ALLOVER THE COUNTRY during that time. On May Day alone 2,000 students were killed in Addis Ababa.
A few years back the young ladies Hirut and Ijigayehu were able to flush out Kelbesa Negewo another murderer hiding in the US and he has been sent back to Ethiopia. Presently almost all the mass murderers and criminals including Derg members have been freed from Ethiopian prisons. The TPLF has found out that it has more in common with them than with any other political group. The Cheetah Generation of the Derg has been dissipated. The Cheetah Generation of the Woyane has been cowed down so far. However, the future of the country belongs to them and how well they organize themselves and fight back the proverbial Janus-faced TPLF/DERG. (I.e. Janus is a figure that whichever way you turn it, it looks the same) The youth of the Derg who are middle aged now but they have a lot to teach the youth of today. It is said plus ca change; plus la meme chose (the more things change; the more they remain the same.) The Derg is an equal opportunity killer. The TPLF would protect Tigreans by any means necessary and its wrath is directed to other “ethnics” as they call them. For them there are no Ethiopians but different tribes. The late PM Meles Zenawi used to say ‘what is Aksum for the Oromo or Lalibela to the Gurage’. The grand Pontificator-in-Chief of the Woyane, Sebhat Negga does not even accept the Tigreans from Adigrat or Kilte Awlalo or Raya and of course Tiltal as Tigreans, but only HIS Adwa, followed by Aksum and Shire as the authentic Tigreans. How more primitive can one become? If he has ears to hear he would have heard what other Tigreans (equally vicious) say about Adwa. They say that the inhabitants of Adwa are bastardized because during the battle of Adwa Menelik’s army slept with Adwa women and hundreds of thousands of half-Adwa and half-everything else (Amara, Oromo, Gurage, etc) were born. That is why, they say, that the people of Adwa are so CRUEL and VICIOUS. There you have it!
Now this vermin and alley rat, Mengistu, who bolted the country through the back door with his amassed loot is planning to return triumphantly. His followers in the Diaspora had braced themselves up and bridled their horses. It is reported that Mengistu’s younger brother, Tilahun, is in South Sudan working with the TPLF General and former Chief of Staff Tsadkan GebreKidan and threatening Ethiopian refugees to deport them to Ethiopia “if they do not accept our dictate”. Nothing is impossible in Ethiopia of the present which has fallen to the depth of the abyss. Those who can take us out of it are our “Cheetahs” on the ground in Ethiopia. Those in the Diaspora should put pressure on the US and other European countries not to support Ethiopian Dictators. It is true that in the past the US has been a friend of dictators. Apartheid of South Africa, Mobutu of Zaire (Congo) Pol Pot of Cambodia (Khmer Rouge), Pinochet of Chile, and the colonial adventures of France and Portugal. In the year when President Obama is selected as Man of the Year by Time Magazine, in the year when the Mayan Calendar of the End of Times is over and a new Time has begun, in this coming new year of Christendom, we should implore the US to see the suffering of our people and resist from propping up dictators and charlatans who are robbing our people blind and driving them to an ever escalation of poverty. A lot of African dictators had faced and are facing charges at the International Court of Justice. Their crimes do not amount to a fraction of Mengistu’s. We should implore the West to help us to bring him to justice. Meanwhile we should maintain our unconquerable spirit. And till the day of deliverance comes we defiantly say:
A luta continua (the struggle continues)
Venceremos (we shall overcome)
Can you hear me now?