by Ephrem Madebo
When I recently heard the sickening news of mass deportation of ethnic Amharas form the southern regional state, my stomach flipped and somehow I was catapulted back to my boyhood when I was a student in Awassa Comboni Elementary School. The Comboni School of my time was home to Amharas, Ormos, Wolayitas, Sidamas, Tigrigna speakers [ from Tigray and Eritrea] and students of many other nationalities that enjoyed classes together and called themselves nothing but Ethiopians. If ethnicity was what really matters in defining who I am, I don’t belong to the Sidama ethnic group, but I always took pride when I said – I am from Sidama. I believed and I still believe the group name “Sidama” defines me more than my actual ethnic group because I was born and raised in Sidama. So according to the recent troubling news coming from Ethiopia, if I go back to Ethiopia and settle in Bensa, Shebedino, Aroresa, Arbegona, or in my home town of Awassa, does it really mean that Meles Zenawi and his slave Shiferaw Shigute can tell me “you don’t belong here”? Can they? Where else do I belong? God save the king- Oh no!
Here in the United States, I’m surrounded by law and freedom; hence, saying “yes” or “no” to the above proposition is so easy. But, the 22 thousand Ethiopians who were told “you don’t belong here” were told so at gun point and did not have any option other than running for their lives. Most of them were born and raised in the south and the south was the only place they called home until Zenawi’s Bantustan like ethnic policy made them homeless.
Meles Zenawi is a revengeful killer. He left Haile Selassie 1st University and went to dedebit to kill, and 17 years later, he came back to Addis Ababa to kill more. His brutality and his desire to kill don’t aggravate me anymore because unless I stop him, killing is what he does for living. What really aggravates me and makes me sick to my bones is that there are some sadist creatures who throw a house warming party every time Meles tortures their countrymen. To be more precise, there are fellow Ethiopians who enjoy and defend the abuse, torture, forced evacuation, and even the killing of their own brothers and sisters.
To me, this highlights the basic tension between the values of individual rights, personal freedom, social values and shared ownership of a country. I respect the freedom of all human beings including their choice of entertainment. But, I have a serious problem when fellow Ethiopians flamboyantly clap their hands when their own country men are told. . . “Get out, you don’t belong here”. We may have ideological or political differences, but I think we must look beyond our political differences or even beyond our emotional and visceral reaction when we see people being abused, tortured, or killed.
Most of the defenders of the TPLF regime, from the usually tanked-up professor Andreas Eshete to the rank and files here in the Diaspora, all of them are blind supporters of Zenawi’s actions with little or no regard to the consequences of the actions. It really annoys me that however big the fools in Menelik palace are, there are always bigger fools to appreciate them. The other annoying thing is that, almost all of the TPLF supporters don’t even bother to know what the issue at hand is – if the opposition or the Diaspora likes it, they hate it; or if the opposition/Diaspora hates it, they most likely like it. I guess, sometimes we should pretend to love what we actually hate so that these fools start hating it. After all, isn’t this what we call stupidity?
In the last three weeks, the forceful eviction of ethnic Amharas from southern Ethiopia, the displacement of 70K people in Afar, and the bulldozing of the nation’s sacred places have been hot button issues for Ethiopians inside and outside the country. But, by the idiots in the Menlik palace and by their blind supporters around the world, this headline news that troubled millions of Ethiopians is viewed as a simple publicity campaign. In Gambella, there is an army keeping the people of Gambella off their land. In Waldiba, federal security forces are beating monks and demolishing sacred lands. In Afar, there is a standoff between 70 thousand Afar farmers and a federal mechanized force. In Bench Maji, federal police is beating locals who protested the deportation of ethnic Amharas [who lived with them for decades]. Elsewhere in the country there is a constant battle between the criminal army of the TPLF regime and the people. Who is the regime in Ethiopia working for?
I do believe that, in general people are rational, but I must concede that sometimes it is possible for rational people to slip into a state of irrationality and do things they would never do under normal conditions. I would also expect that such abnormal behavior should fade away once the cause that triggered it diminishes. However, in the case of the TPLF supporters, it seems that abnormality is the norm to them. At the very least, the TPLF supporters are shameless bands of Zenawi’s foot soldiers who continually humiliate themselves and their nation. Most of them have a different version of their country’s reality, a reality so distorted and twisted by their masters. The weirdest thing of all is that, how disturbing it is, Zenawi’s supporters tend to believe his lies as the truth [most of the time knowing it is a lie]. Here are two excerpts from an article on aigaforum titled “Propaganda vs. Fact”. I urge the reader to carefully read these excerpts and realize how inconsistent these fools are even when they lie (to read the full article Click Here)
“The regional government of the Southern Nation and Nationalities is trying to regulate and control the rampant expansion on of clearing forest by new comers from all parts of Ethiopia including from its own Kilil. The official told us many people from highland Ethiopia including Amhara, Oromia, Tigrai and even Sidama and Gurage zone has moved in to farm in the affected area. Note: Those few affected are not of any particular ethnic! They come in all colors so to speak”
“People who have been farming there for long are not asked to leave. In fact there is more land to farm in the region and more will be given with proper guidance and fair allocation. There is no shortage of farm area”
Mind you, the article was written to justify the most recent crime of Meles Zenawi on the Amhara people. But, thanks to the retarded writer, the article ended up exposing the despicable crime of the ethnic minority regime. Albert Einstein, father of the theory of relativity and arguably the most famous scientist of the 20th century once said: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe” As stupid as the TPLF regime and its surrogates are, if Einstein was alive today, I’ve no doubt that he would have concluded the above quote with absolute certainty.
Let’s have a closer look at the first of the above two excerpts which according to the writer is fact # one. There are two ill-assorted sentences in the first paragraph alone [even by the TPLF standard]. In the first sentence of the first paragraph, there is a part that says new comers from all parts of the country are engaged in massive deforestation. While the second sentence in the same paragraph implies that highlanders from Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, Sidama and Gurage zones have moved to the affected area through the years; and those who are evicted out are not just the Amharas, but the Oromos, the Gurages, the Sidamas and the Tigreans.
Let me be as stupid as the writer is [at least for a moment] and believe everything he said, but where are the deportees from Tigray and Oromia ? Are they invisible? Is aigaforum trying to tell us that Shiferaw Shigute is still the governor of SNNP, or still at large after writing eviction letter to Tigrean settlers in South Ethiopia? Is this a joke aiga? If it is, please add at least a drop of Ethiopian humor in it. The sanitized version of this sad story states that the order to deport the Amharas from South Ethiopia was issued by the governor of the SNNP [Shiferaw Shigute], but the whole world knows that this is the work of none other than Meles Zenawi who left Haile Selassie 1st University to take out his long time hate towards the Amhara people. I’ve a copy of Shiferaw Shigute’s eviction letter written to the Bench Maji Administration office. The letter clearly states that people who are implicated by the order are people who came from the northern part of the country with specific reference to the Amhara people. Who is the liar here? Is it Aigaforum, Shiferaw Shigute, or Meles Zenawi? Well, it is each and all. Here as one can clearly see, aigaforum is wagging its tail like a puppy to cover the lies of its master Meles Zenawi and his loyal slave Shiferaw Shigute. But, aiga ends up ridiculing itself by lying a lie that makes even the devil feel a little embarrassed.
The second excerpt stated in the article as a note to the 3rd fact reads as follows: “People who have been farming there for long are not asked to leave. In fact there is more land to farm in the region and more will be given with proper guidance and fair allocation. There is no shortage of farm area” I’m sure no one knows the meaning of this oxymoron sentence except the morons of aigaforum. Sometimes I really wonder what kind of country I have and what kind of leaders my country has. Haile Mariam Desalegn goes to India and tells the Indians that Ethiopia has unlimited supply farm land. Meles Zenawi evicts domestic farmers and sells the land to foreign farmers. Aigaforum tells us SNNP has no shortage of farm land, but yet Sheferaw Shigute forcefully evicts out tens of thousands of Amhara farmers from SNNP. Look Mr. shameless editor of aigaforum, you told us that there is no shortage of farm land, and you also told us that more land will be given with proper guidance and fair allocation. Does your version of proper guidance and fair allocation include the 22 thousand ethnic Amharas who are ordered to live the Bench Maji zone? Does it? If what you said is right, why can’t the Bench Maji zone government resettle the deported Amharas from the areas off-limit to settlement to areas where there is no shortage of farm land [ instead of evicting them and treating them like animals]? Mr. Editor, you seem to be a kind of person who happily lives with shame and guilt. Well, that is your prerogative, but please when you cover the mistake of your masters in Addis Ababa, at least do a good job that gives you a bang for the buck.
One of the most disgusting moments in Zenawi’s month old eviction drama is Shiferaw Shigute’s insensitivity to people’s felling and his quick change of color like a chameleon. Mr. Shiferaw let me ask you – are you a governor as your title suggests, a robot as your action depicts, or are you an idiot as your attitude portrays you?
Your master ordered you to deport ethnic Amaharas from your jurisdiction – you happily took the order and deported 22K Ethiopians. Idiocy #1
As the deportation gets too much national and international attention, your master tells you to blame the AEUP- you happily took the order and blamed AEUP. Idiocy #2
You used two of Zenawi’s mouthpieces [Civility paltalk room and aigaforum] to deny the very action you took. Idiocy #3 I can keep on saying, but once an idiot. . . always idiot.
Mr. Shigute how long do you betray your own people? How many times do you lie to yourself and to the people you supposedly claim to lead? In one of your public speeches on ETV, I heard you saying that you are first a Sidama and then and only then an Ethiopian. Good for you Mr. Shiferaw. I have no problem with that as long as we both are Ethiopians. But, how can you be a Sidama before you are Shiferaw; or don’t you think you should first be the individual “Shiferaw” before you are a Sidama? Look Mr. Shiferaw, your real problem is that you are putting the cart before the horse, or letting the tail wag the dog. If you didn’t get it, you are the ‘dog’ and Meles is the “tail”. I’m not sure how old you are, but I’m pretty sure you did not live as “Sheferaw” the last 21 years. My dear fellow country man, you’re possessed by Meles, and it’s funny that it seems your last name “Shigute” is given to you by Meles. He pulls the trigger you scream.
Mr. Shigute, do you know that farmers form Amhara, Sidama, Wolaita, or Kafficho have similar interests and wishes regardless of their ethnic background? Do you know that north, south, east or west, we are all Ethiopians and we live in the context of each other? Do you know that we are diverse and yet one and many and yet indivisible? Do you really know this? May be you don’t and this alone explains your hollowness.
For the rest of us, this must be the final wake-up call. Meles and his gangs are in a rush to obliterate the spirit of “Ethiopiawinet” that they have been pounding ever since they set their dirty foot in our nation’s capital. Meles Zenawi has time and again displayed his hate towards Ethiopia and Ethiopians, but what he’s done the last couple of weeks is just beyond the pale. Deporting innocent Amharas from their land and telling them to go to their own zone is a national tragedy that has shocked our nation to its very core and left most of us trying to understand why and how this awful act of state sponsored terrorism took place in our country.
I wonder what satisfaction a human soul gets when traditions, beliefs, and artifacts are demolished for commercial purposes. I wonder what drives a patriarch who is responsible for the continuity of the church to bond with an evil force that flattens the very foundation of the church. I wonder how fellow Ethiopian can sleep in peace when his written orders make thousands of mothers and children sleepless drifters. For how long do we allow the physical and psychological suffering of our mothers and fathers? How long do we let a mother cry because her son is tortured? How long do we watch a woman cry because her husband is mutilated? How do we let a child cry because it’s orphaned? How long should an Amahara boy worry because he is born to Amhara parents? How long should a young Oromo choose between servitude and prison? How long should a farmer from Afar choose between giving-up his ancestral land and his life? How long do we see our sisters go to the Middle East and commit suicide? How long does a nation tolerate when the physical and mental abuse of an ethnic psychopath crashes a nine month dream of an expecting mother? Oh Ethiopia for how long? … How long?
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