Ethiopia: victim of geopolitics & tribal feud
By Robele Ababya
Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa in a hostile environment surrounded by Eretria, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and the only friendly Kenya. The Blue Nile River is a strong link between Egypt and Ethiopia. The Middle East is a stone throw away where conservative Arab leaders plot to annex Ethiopia and become the masters of her strategic location, temperate climate, fertile land, and abundant rivers suitable for irrigation to produce food.
Addis Ababa is host to one of the largest diplomatic missions in the world. Big and intermediate powers including the members of the UN Security Council, G8 and G20 are present in pursuit of their political or economic interests.
The USA is a global power that puts its national interests first, and rightly so in the sense that alliance with the Ethiopian regime is paramount to its national security. The same goes for European powers threatened by Al Qaeda. The powerful Communist China is competing with the USA not to mention India and Saudi Arabia to get foothold in Ethiopia. Little superpower Israel will not relinquish its historical relations with Ethiopia. Russia will not be a silent observer.
Pro-Ethiopia visionary leaders of the future have to carefully craft a strategic balancing policy to safeguard vital national security and economic interests, a Herculean task that the puppet TPLF warlord dudes behaving like foreign occupiers cannot be trusted to perform.
Hurdles to unified action to evict the brutal regime from power are briefly presented in the following sections under the captions: “The Adam Pedigree Chart; “Inter-racial marriages”; “Religion and freedom of conscience”; and “Letters between the Titans: Drs. Fikre and Beyan”
The Adam Pedigree Chart
The grand question being asked to this day is “Given that it was only Adam and Eve on Earth how did the human race multiply? This difficult question is better answered by the clerics and the producers of “The Adam Pedigree Chart” -published in Google – from which I would like to glean a few points for the purpose of this piece.
Adam begat three sons – Abel, Cain and Seth. Cain killed Abel and was banished in exile from his birth place to another land where he settled, married and produced children. This is probably the reason that the Chart starts with Seth as the son of Adam and Eve in the genealogy of European Monarchs for example of up to Queen Elizabeth II.
Ethiopians might ask is there a pedigree for Ethiopian Monarchs? The answer is yes. Berihun Kebede has produced a strikingly similar pedigree in tabular format in the Amharic text tracing the lineage of Emperor Haile Selassie to Adam and Eve in his voluminous book titled “Ye Atsie Haile Selassie Tarik” (History of Emperor Haile Selassie), vide pp. 129 – 135. He shows that the mother of the Monarch is called Yeshimebeit Gamicho (an Oromo) of royal descent. This reference is extremely helpful to the debate of the origin of Cushitic Kingdom of Ethiopia in that it lives no doubt that Oromos were part and parcel of the Kingdom in influential positions of power in Ethiopia, which is universally acknowledged as the origin of the human species.
I should add that Emperor Iyoas whose mother hailed from Yeju ruled from his palace in Gondar; Oromiffa was the official language and his bodyguards were Oromos from Yeju.
I got this from Google to reinforce my argument: “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman” (Num. 12.1). Every now and again someone asks how it could be that Moses, the champion of the Lord for the chosen people, could have married an Ethiopian who was therefore of the descendants of Ham, youngest son of Noah. There was strong objection in Israel to such marriages although the assumption that Moses had married before he left Egypt only raises the second question how he later came to marry Zipporah the Midianite when he apparently had left one wife back in Egypt. The word “Ethiopian” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word “Cush” who in Genesis 10.8 is recorded as one of the sons of Ham, father of Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan.” My emphasis
Inter-racial marriages had occurred in the distant past, continue to take place to the present, and will continue increasingly at a rapid rate in the future in my opinion. Take Mosses and his Ethiopian wife as an example and ask the unanswerable question whether his Ethiopian spouse was an Amhara, Oromo, Guraghe, Kembata, Sidama, Hadia, Welaita et al. At what point in time in the Adam and Eve genecology did the first Amhara couple arose and propagated in racial purity to this date without intermarriage with other ethnic groups? The same question applies to the first couples of Oromo, Guraghe, Kembata, Sidama, Hadia, Welaita et al. This cardinal question is especially directed to hypocrites like the late tyrant Meles Zenawi of the ‘Golden Race’ of which he was bragging.
Religion, freedom of conscience and freedom of worship
At this juncture I would like to recall an event that stole my heart at which my esteemed hero Tamagne Beyene performed in Frankfurt at a fund raising for ESAT. A tall and handsome young Ethiopian took the floor and remarked among other things that Ethiopia was there before the advent of Christianity and Islam faiths. This the conviction to maintain and carry forward the 1434 years old bond between the two ancient major faiths comprising 77% of the Ethiopian people. The TPLF regime must stop its unconstitutional meddling in religious affairs and muzzling freedom of expression.
Letters between the Titans: Drs. Fikre Tolossa and Beyan Asoba
I have never met Dr. Fikre Tolossa but have enjoyed reading his writings and listening to his beautiful poems about the country he loves, Ethiopia. His poems were read on the German Radio, Amharic program and were a voice of hope to many of my colleagues while I was in Ethiopia at the height of intensified war with TPLF thugs. The first exchange of messages with the scholar was when I wrote my piece about the distinguished patriot Abdissa Aga who was taken prisoner to Italy and broke out from a high security prison and joined guerrilla Yugoslavian fighters loyal to Marshall Tito operating on Italian soil in a mountain hide out. Abdissa proved a nightmare to the enemy on its turf. We made several exchanges with Dr. Fikre in one of which he told me of his plan to come to Kampala to show his movie. I encouraged him to do so but the project did not materialize. I read his Open Letter to Dr. Beyan and sent him my comment on his Letter, thanking him for his brilliant findings indispensable to combat the destructive ethnic-based policy of the brutal TPLF/EPRDF regime.
On the other hand I have not met Dr. Beyan or read any of his writings. Nevertheless I hold him with high respect while I disagree with his stance on the Oromo question.
The overwhelming people of Ethiopia today trace their birth to a mixed race parentage. For this majority it is like going through some kind of ritual ablution to cleanse the unwanted genes or impurities in their blood/body to qualify as a member of a self-proclaimed pure ethnic group – an impossible task. From my history lesson in elementary school Ethiopia got her name from the leader Ethiopis, which Dr. Fikre calls ETHIOP.
Ras Gugssa the Great and his descendants in Debre Tabor, Gobena Datche in North Shoa, General Jagama Kello of Western Shoa, Haptegiogis Dinegde,Balcha Abanebso, Geresu Duki, Bekele Weya et al did not have to change their names to ascend to their respective position of power. The names given to children of mixed marriages by consent of their parents had nothing to do with the policy of the government of the day because there was no such policy. Given that according to Dr. Fikre’s findings that the Oromos were predominant in the history of Ethiopia, where is the justification for Dr. Beyan to rather angrily complain in the following words?
Quote: Unfortunately, for us, the sons and daughters of the Oromo nation, suffering the indignity of being re-named by Chauvinists has been a very common and bitter experience.
It is this practice of demanding that individuals need to first die as Oromos, Sidamas, Walayitas, Kambatas, Hadiyas, etc. in order to be reborn as Ethiopians that sits at the heart of the political contestation in that country. And so long as being an Oromo and an Ethiopian are made incompatible, we have no choice but to either reject your Itophiyawinnet or suffer the imposed self-abnegation.
The days when Oromos had to endure self-abnegation are over and shall never return. We have rejected the Itophiyawinnet that is the antithesis of being an Oromo and shall continue to do so as long as this antithetical relationship is maintained. You either accept us with our identity and other rights fully respected or you kiss goodbye to your much vaunted Itophiyawinnet and Ethiopian unity. Can you not see that there is something immoral in trying to build Ethiopian unity on graves of Oromos, Sidamas, Walayitas, Kambatas, Hadiyas, etc. .? Unquote
I ask who in Ethiopia of today is in power to grant acceptance of the ‘identity’ and ‘rights’ of others? If there has been denial other identity and other rights the Oromo aristocracy of the past is as much to blame as the Amharas et al.
Now, I was privy to top secret files of the former Imperial Ethiopian Air Force (IEAF). Merit was the only criterion to ascend to top positions. I recall my senior officers superiors like Colonels Gadissa Guma, Mitiku Muleta, and Dibaba Biratu among others. The famous rebel Waquo Gutu was surprised when he was introduced to these officers and many others on his arrival at the IEAF and touring the facilities following his reconciliation with the Imperial regime mediated by General Jagama Kello. I was among those who welcomed at the tarmac where the IEAF airplane carrying him arrived.
Recruitment to the IEAF covered the entire country as a matter of strict policy. One would find names like Zewge Sello, Manjura Selleo (descendants of King Tona), Asgedom, Fitwi, Bahlbi.The Monarch and His elegant Oromo wife Empress Mennen made sure that gender should not be a factor to bar females from joining the IEAF in any field of their choice including flying training to become pilots.
The 8000 thousand horse-mounted Oromo (Galla) fierce fighters mainly from north Shoa made a significant contribution to the crushing victory over the Italians at the famous Battle of Adwa, which became a beacon of hope for all the black people in Africa and elsewhere in the Diaspora. It would be fool hardy for this generation of Oromos not to be proud of the accolade that history has bestowed on their ancestors for their gallantry in fighting the enemy as Ethiopians.
Top patriot Abichu from Sellale and his four compatriots Haptom from Hamassein; Tesfatsion from Tigray (Mekele); Gashu from Gojjam (Damot); and Workqu from Selalle organized a formidable guerrilla force operating in Tigrai that became a nightmare to the enemy, which by his own admission became excruciating thorn in the flesh of Marshal Badoglio – supreme commander of the invading Italian Fascist Army. These illustrious patriots for the independence of Ethiopia as Ethiopians and two of them sacrificed their lives.
Those from the south including the 15,000 peasant militia army from Kembatta are reported to have closely coordinated with Abichu in their armed encounter with the enemy, vowing affectionately in the name of Immye Menilik II to fight the Fascists to the last drop of their blood.
My submission in conclusion
Written records and anecdotes confirm that Oromos have been in positions of power as Monarchs, kings, aristocrats and dignitaries since the advent of the Cushite Kingdom of Ethiopia
The intention to change the acronym ODF to EDF is most welcome! TPLF/EPRDF is buckling under the weight of its heinous crimes. Unity scares the brutal regime to death. Sustained public wrath will expedite the date of its downfall. The success of the massive strike in Brazil is inspiring.
I was sincerely elated by the outstanding performance of Dr. Birhanu Nega and Mr. Obang Metho at the hearing before the Subcommittee on Africa of the US Congress. I hope that the ensuing promised Bill on human rights in Ethiopia will not suffer the same fate as HR2003. I regard the Honorable Congressman in the highest esteem and true friend of Africa.
Demand the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience including Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Bekele Gerba, Reeyot Alemu, Leaders of the Ethiopian Muslims et al!
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!
The Subcommittee on Africa