Ethiopian War Heroes honored in Washington DC

September 15th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Committee announces plan to erect a monument in memory of the tens of thousands of the former armed forces who gave the ultimate in defense of Ethiopia’s unity (more…)

Committee announces plan to erect a monument in memory of the tens of thousands of the former armed forces who gave the ultimate in defense of Ethiopia’s unity

Special Report by the North America organizing Committee to honor Ethiopian Heroes

Washington D.C.
Sept 14, 2009

Several hundred Ethiopians over packed the hall of Trinity Church located at 6000 Georgia Ave, NW, Washington, DC. They were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 2009 honorees of the event, Brig General Tesfaye Habte Mariam and Brig General Kassaye Chemeda.

Inside of the hall, at the top of the stage, hangs a ten feet banner. It reads: Ye Jegnotch Mishit, (Evening of Ethiopian Heroes). Large poster size colorful photos of the heroic Generals, Tesfaye Habte Mariam on the left side and that of Gen Kassaye Chemeda at the right hand side, in full military uniform, are embossed on the banner. At the entrance, two large posters are placed on the wall. The writings are in gold on a black background. They are tribute to and representative list of Ethiopian Heroes who gave the ablest leadership to the former armed forces, those who died while heroically fighting in the eastern and northern fronts in defense of Ethiopian unity and territorial integrity. Among those listed, there are names of those members of the armed forces who are still alive. These are representative names from the Army, Airforce, Navy, and the Police commando forces of the former Ethiopian armed forces.

In the entrance area too, members of the former armed forces and members of the organizing committee dressed in jet black suits, white shirts and red tie were greeting and sitting Ethiopians coming to attend the event. Other members of the committee were displaying on a table of items prepared for the occasion, including books written by both generals, Ye Tor Meda Wullo (Reminiscences of the Battlefield) among others.

At 9:00 P.M, as General Tesfaye Habte Mariam and General Kassaye Chemda arrived and entered the hall; they were given salute by three members of the former Army, Navy, and Air force, dressed in their respective uniforms with a military marsh in the background. General Tesfaye and General Kassaye walked through the hallway while members of the former Ethiopian military were standing at both the right and left side, forming in straight line. The hundreds of Ethiopians present expressed their warm welcome with standing ovation until the guests of honor reached the reserved table where they were sited along with disinguised guests of the event Brig. Gen Wubetu Tsegaye, for the former Army, Brig. General Tsegaye Habtiyimer of the former Air force, and other members of the former armed forces.

Artist Tamagne Beyene, the master of ceremony for the occasion, formally announced the arrival of the two heroes amidst rounds and rounds of applause of Ethiopians who came for the occasion. Dinner was followed by a speech by Ato Brehanu Wolde Selassie, the chairman of the Association of the former Ethiopian Air force (AMFEA) and the chairman of the North America organizing committee to honor Ethiopian Heroes. He welcomed General Tesfaye Habte Mariam, and General Kassaye Chemeda, the honorees of 2009. He then explained about the aim and purpose of the non-profit and non-political committee composed of the Association Former members of the Ethiopian Air force (AMFEA), Ethiopian Veterans Association (EVA), and prominent artists and Ethiopians. He stated the importance and the need for nurturing and further developing the culture of recognizing and honoring Ethiopians who give much for their county and people while still alive, especially all those who put their life in line of great danger to defend the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. He recalled the successful event organized by the committee in 2008 to honor Brig. General Legesse Tefera, the air force pilot who fought heroically during the Ethio-Somali war of the 70s, earning him the highest medal for his heroism.

Ato Brehanu continued that the committee’ selection of the three honorees for this year, which includes Militia Ali Berke along with Gen Tesfaye and Gen Kassaye, was due to their superior contributions in line of duty and in defense of Ethiopia’s unity and territorial integrity in both northern ad eastern fronts during the 70s and 80s . That they were selected for this years’ event among thousands of others with equally superior heroic deeds in line of duty. He mentioned the fact that the two generals have made significant contributions to tell the Ethiopian people about the stories of heroic sacrifices made by the former armed forces in order to defend Ethiopia from both external and eternal challenges posed to the country’s unity and territorial integrity.

The chairman of the committee also mentioned the unsuccessful but much effort exerted by the committee to locate the whereabouts of the third honoree, Militia Ali Berke and facilitate his travel to the USA for the occasion. Ato Berhanu said that the committee would work hard to encourage historians and others to write about the exemplary gallantry of the former armed forces so that they are recorded in the annals of history and passed on to generations of Ethiopians yet to come. He concluded by announcing the committee’s grand and long term plan, at an appropriate time, to erect a monument in Ethiopia in memory of the tens of thousands of Ethiopians who laid their precious life while heroically fighting in defense of Ethiopian unity and territorial integrity from challenges posed by external and internal forces.

Following a moving poem read by Maj. Kifle Abocher, among the ablest artists who served in the former armed forces, Ato Ayalkibet Teshome, a member of the organizing committee read the biographies and contributions of General Tesfaye Habte Mariam, Gen Kassaye Chemeda, and Millitia Ali Berke. Artist Tamagne read a brief biography and introduced Brig. General Wubetu Tsegaye to present the special award to both General Tesfaye and General Kassaye, both of whom served under his command. Brig General Wubetu Tsegaye is a decorated war hero and one of the ablest leaders of the former armed forces and an officer who rose from Battalion commander as a Major to a Brig General and the commander of what was then known as the second revolutionary army (SRA) in the northern front during the 80s for close to fifteen years. While members of organizing committee lined up in straight lines at both the left and right sides of General Wubetu, General Kassaye and then General Tesfaye came forward, gave military salute and received their awards from Brig Gen Wubetu Tsegaye. The awards presented to both are embossed with the letters “Le Mayiresa Wulleta, “For a great deed that shall never be forgotten”.

That rare and emotionally touching moment brought tears to many who were present. It continued when Gen Kassaye Chemeda took the stage. Gen Kassaye stated that he willingly joined the then Ethiopian army during the time of the Emperor to serve and for love of the symbol of our nation, pointing towards the standing Ethiopian flag next to him. He told the audience that he never expected that he and the rest of the former Ethiopian armed forces, who served the country through thick and thin as professional soldiers and officers, would get the chance to be remembered and given such recognition and honor during his life time. He related the suffering he had to endure since his two years of imprisonment after the aborted attempt to oust Col Mengistu in 1989. Gen Kassaye was also a victim of the current regime which put him in prison for another eight months after the fall of the Derg regime.

Gen Kassaye concluded his brief speech by telling the crowd that all the demoralizing stigma and labels he carried along with the rest of the former Ethiopian armed forces for the past so many years has been completely washed in that historic day organized to honor and cerebrate Ethiopian heroes. Thus, expressing his deeply felt gratitude for the committee and the hundreds of Ethiopians present at the occasion. Then Brig General Tesfaye took the stage. He too spoke briefly emphasizing that he is a soldier through and through and whenever he was called upon, he has served the Ethiopian people as a professional soldier. He then recounted three stories, among many other stories yet to be told, as illustrations of the former Ethiopian army’s heroism which defied the known and practiced military science all around the world. After expressing his enormous joy for being able to be present in an occasion of such honor , General Tesfaye recalled that it was exactly on Sept 12, thirty years ago that he was awarded the highest medal for heroism, Ye Hibretsebawit Ethiopia Woder Ye Lelew Jegna Medaliya. He stressed that he considers the current award given to him one that is beyond any expression, calling it Ye Woder Woder Yelesh moment for him.

Dressed in uniform and the Red Hat of the Airborne, Artist Tamagne Beyene took the stage again, announcing to an applauding and amused audience the next program of showing two special documentaries he produced for the occasion. The two films showed among the most dramatic moments in the lives of the two generals, including the tragic story of a successful but enormously costly breakthrough led by General Tesfaye at Nakfa, in one of the most difficult rugged terrain and stronghold of the then Eritrean rebels. Against all odds, General Tesfaye, then a Captain and his airborne battalion, undertook one of the rarest heroic missions by volunteering to be sent in response to the 15th battalion’s telegram of appeal for support and dropping from an airplane at more than 2000 meter height. A heroic feat that defied the normal practice and unheard of in modern history of Airborne missions anywhere around the world. That mission was undertaken in order to support and save the encircled and embattled 15th battalion at Nakfa led by Maj. Mamo Temtime. The film also depicted the tremendous heroism and determination of post humus Lt. Colonel Mamo Temtime, the commander of the heroic 15th battalion, who led his men to withstand and put up the toughest resistance in the face of the bloodiest encirclement and onslaught by a much superior enemy force at Nakfa for several months, until he was wounded and while fighting to the last bullet. The short documentary prepared to honor General Kassaye showed his enormous contributions starting with his heroic role as a commander of a Tank Battalion that made significant contribution of crushing and ousting the Somali invading forces out of Ethiopia’s territory.

Upon the conclusion of this part of the evening program, an applause and hurray filled the hall, an expression of approval for work well done as tribute to the heroes by Artist Tamagne. Artists Desalgen and Aregahen Worash continued entertaining the huge number of Ethiopians in the hall with patriotic songs until about 2:00 AM in the morning.

Saturday night event got coverage by the Voice of America. Many members of the media in the Washington DC area were also present. Also present were members of various civic groups such as Gasha for Ethiopia and many others. Ethiopians from all walks of life, young and old, woman and men, were present. Many young Ethiopians as far away as Minnesota, Cincinnati, Ohio, New York and other states came to be part of this great event as well.

(Photos: Courtesy of Photographer Tewodros Mekbib)




The following list of names is prepared to serve as a symbol of hundreds of thousands unnamed others, who died in line of duty and as well as alive. These are outstanding leaders and heroes, both alive and dead, from the former Army, Navy, Air force, and the police forces. This is just representative list of heroes from Generals to line officers, from NCOs to privates of the former Ethiopian armed forces

Maj. General Fanta Belay
Maj. General Merid Negussie
Maj. General Demisse Bultto
Maj. General Amha Desta
Maj. General Abera Abebe
Maj. General Mesfin Gebre Kal
Maj. General Syoum Mekonnen
Maj. General Kinfe Michael Dinku
Maj. General Kumlachew Dejene
Maj. General Hailu Gebre Mickael
Maj. General Regassa Jimma

Brig. General Teshome Tessema
Brig. General Legesse Abeje
Brig. General Yilma Gizaw
Brig. General Woubetu Tsegaye
Brig. General Temesgen Gemechu
Brig General Tesfaye Habte Mariam
Brig. General Kassaye Chemeda
Brig General Behailu Kinde

Commodor Belege Belete
Commodor Getachew Siyoum

Brig. General Merdera Lelisa
Brig. General Berta Gomoraw
Brig. General Araya Zerai
Brig. General Gennanaw Mengistu
Brig. General Desalegn Abebe
Brig. General Taye Balaker
Brig. General Lemesa Bedase
Brig. General Solomon Begashsaw
Brig. General Ashenafi Gebre Tsadiq
Brig. General Afework Wolde Michael
Brig. General Negussie Zergaw
Brig. General Kebede Mehari
Brig. Geneal Hailu Kebede
Brig. General Addis Aglachew
Brig. General Negash Woldeyes
Brig. General Hailu Beraworq
Brig. General Legese Haile
Brig. General Mesfin Haile
Brig. General Erkyihun Bayyisa
Brig. General Kebede Wolde Tsadiq
Brig. General Yemata Miskir
Brig. General Engda Wolde Amlak
Brig. General Techane Mesfin
Brig. General Tadesse Tesema
Brig. General Samson Haile
Brig General Berhanu Demissie
Brig General Tesfaye Terefe
Brig. General Tariku Aiyne
Brig General Tsegaye Habityimer

Col. Kassa Gebere Mariam
Col. Belay Ashenaki
Col. Girum Abebe
Col. Shibabaw Zeleke
Col. Aytenw Belay
Col. Mersha Admassu
Col. Kifetew Merine
Col. Beshu Gebre Tekle
Col. Sereke Brehan

Col Tadesse Gebre
Col Kassaye Tadesse
Col . Dr. Gaga Oljo
Col. Girma Teferi
Col. Tilhaun Bogale
Col. Gethanun Wolde Girogis
Col. Sifu Wolde
Col. Estifanos Gebre Meskel
Col. Luel Seged
Col. Gizaw Tefera
Col. Bezabeh Petros
Col. Reta Menkir
Col. Shimelis
Col. Worku Tefera
Col. Tilahun Nebro
Col. Berhnu Wubneh
Col. Getahun Demissie
Col. Dr. Tadesse Melka
Col. Fekade Engeda
Col Admassu Mekonnen
Col Negussie Adugna
Col Gezagen Tarekegen
Col Girma Tadesse
Col. Solomon Kassa
Col. Alemayhu Admau
Col. Ayele Gebeyhu
Col. Mekonnen Bekele
Col Desalagen Meberate
Col Dr. Desta Moges

Captain Mersha Girma
Commander Fiseha Tilahun
Commander Hailu Lemma
Commander Ashalew Jemaneh
Commander Matthew Mekonnen

Lt. Colonel Mamo Temtime
Lt. Col. Alemayehu Haile
Lt. Col. Shewataye Alemu Habte
Lt Col Genanaw Ejigou
Lt Col. Tilahun Mamo

Lt Commander Fantu Abraham

Major Mamo Lemma
Major Getachew Mihirete
Major Tadesse Mengesha
Major Getahun Demissie
Major Getachew Tessema
Major Mersa Redda
Major Ethan Mekonnen
Major Asfaw Tewolde
Maj Tafesse Kebede
Maj Kebede Yimer
Maj Wegaheyu Degentu

Capt. Solomon Mekebib
Capt. Hailu Kebede
Capt. Abraham Sinke
Capt. Afewerk Tariku
Capt. Wondimu Beyene
Cap. Gedele Giorigs Abat
Cap. Shewatatek Alemu
Cap Rorisa Dadi
Cap. Asmare Gebre Selassie

Lt. Merid Dachew
Lt. Afework Mengesha
Lt. Tilahun Hailu Gebre
Lt. Yekono Tadesse
Lt. Girma Aynalem
Lt. Girma Kebede
Lt. Shibeshi Haile
Lt Mekuria Dedema
Jr. Lt. Shewalem Negash
Sub Lt. Dagne
Lt Nura Yasin
Lt Aytenfisu Damtew
Lt. Darsiso Tessema
Sub Lt. Ledatu Nure
Sub. Lt. Beze Workneh
Sub.Lt. Tesfaye Workenh

Seniour Technician Ewunetu Genta
Chief Gezagehn Gezmu
Warrant Officer Kassa Merine
PO Fresenay Kebede
Sgt. Woldu Baikedagne
Srg. Abebaw Asfaw
Srg. Wolde Gabriel Hagos

Corporal Abdissa
Corporal Andarge Belay
Corporal Adinew Reta
Corporal Tigneh Belew
Private Kebede Koricho
Priavate Zelelew Dibaba
Priavate Simeret Ayele
Private Milita Ali Berke
Private Kebede Belda.
Private Iyayu Shegaw
Private Worku Abay
Private Shimelis
Private Tigabu
Private Alemitu Chaqile

  1. aha!
    | #1

    This is one of the most significant article, I have come accross of the tribute of Ethiopian heroes who fought to maintain Ethiopian Unity and Territorial Integrity of Ethiopia, along with those on the civilian side along with those on the civilian side of the Proffessor Asrat Woldyes remembered recently, resisting the current regime for Ethiopian Unity and Territorial Integrity of Ethiopia.

    To me this marks the revival of Ethiopia as one country, one flag and one language, bringing Ethiopia to its ultimate position in Africa as beacon of freedom and democracy. No other ideology will pacify Ethiopians, short of goals of achieving the Ethiopian Unity, Territorial Integrity, Sovereignty and Freedom of Ethiopians from the the current strangle hold of TPLF/eprdf regime as well as from TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises to form a Democratic System of Government.

    It appears to me that path is being followed by AEUP, EPRP, and other organizations both armed and non armed that we need to focus on as the pillars for the integration of Ethiopia in the foot path of the fallen heroes and the honerees that are alive.

  2. andnet
    | #2

    ኢትዮጵያ ሃገራችን የጀግናን መወለድ ለአንድነት ለነጻነትና ለዲሞክራሲ መብታችን አሁን በጽናት ትጠብቃለች!!! የዳግማዊ አብርሃም ደቦጭና ሞገስ አስገዶምን መፈጠር::
    ድል ለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ!!!

  3. Anti-woyane
    | #3

    Long live our Heroes!!!! Enwedachihualen!!

  4. Dawit
    | #4

    I am afraid we, Ethiopians, have become nostalgic in a away that doesn’t help the current issue. Although its important to remember the fallen heroes of the past, they best way to make sure they didn’t die in vein is by continuing the struggle to liberate our country from the tyrant.
    Rather than trying the same thing such as protesting at the white-house and expecting a different result, its best if we apply the only method that will be effective-armed struggle. Meles has made it clear than unless he is forcefully removed or dies due to natural causes he will never step down. Thus, if we are serious about our struggle, lets start being pragmatic.

  5. Anonymous
    | #5


    | #6


  7. Lema
    | #7

    What is purpose reconizing the work of former army officers who handed over Ethiopia to the EPLF & TPLF in a silver plate – and ran for their comfort life to the West. These are not heroes!

    What a comedy. What is happening to the Diaspora people. Heroes are those who died fighting the enemy. Heroes are those who are still fighting the enemy in Ethiopia.

    Not these people who are now in suits and living a comfort life in the West.

    This the work of jobless Tamagne Beyene and the notorious TPLFites Abraha Belay.
    I am shocked and totally against this showcase!

  8. Anonymous
    | #8

    You just excluded many Oromo heros like Col. Waaq-Gaari Gammachuu, Col. Baacaa Hunde and maj. Alemayehu Gondere…etc from Air force and other forces. It shows how biased you are, but enjoy the following:

    “Unitarists’ “Article 39″ to Dismantle Oromia

    Simply put, Weyane’s Article 39 is ye Amhara masferariya (scare tactics) and ye Oromo mataleya (deception tool) as well as ye Tegaru dibiq-tesfa (hidden agenda).

    It is clear that the main promoter of Article 39 in the current Ethiopian Constitution is Weyane. The TPLF regime just did put the Article in a Constitution as a guarantee for an option to push for the independence of Tigrai in case it loses power in Finfinne palace. It was not planned to secure the right of other nations for this would be practically hindered as long as Weyane stayed in power. A very good example is the revision of the decision made by Somali Regional Parliament for self-determination in 1995, which caused the main conflict between ONLF and Weyane. Ogadenis were denied the right to self-determination, which is theoretically guaranteed as a constitutional right. Since then, the ONLF has to fight for the same self-determination, which it could have achieved in a peaceful way. This shows why the Article has no value for other oppressed nations other than for Tegarus.”
    Read more:

  9. jeberti from north
    | #9

    they must come now and sacrifice for ever freedem fro weyane junta. what we wait now free from hodam weyane.

  10. jeberti from north
    | #10

    we do not want to live by history must be do now again. we must fight again and again weyane junta. long live mama ethiopia.

  11. Anbese
    | #11

    The New generation Heros are on the way, Let us support them practicaly.
    with out any support, there is no “VICTORY”. let us stand togethr.
    “Ethiopia for Ethiopian”
    “Get up Stand up
    Stand up for your Right” in the G7 Movement for Justice, Freedom & Democracy.

  12. Anbese
    | #12

    We shall repeat again the History.
    Everyone Loving Mother Land Ethiopia participate as you can do in your proffesion or Donating to save our country in G7 Movement for Unity, Fredom & Demcracy.
    We knew that verywell, Weyane has confused in our endurance struggle, The real Ethiopian never believe in talk, all are in practical movement for their right & they vare condemning the Hodams as well as the talkatives living in hesitation forever.
    come on Ethiopian!!! Let us repeat the History & think for the future generations.

  13. Anonymous
    | #13

    Happy new year for all peaceloving Ethiopians. I have wrote a little note to you expressing my pleasure of the historical event of Hero night.And i expressed my concern that you have never mentioned even a single eritrea ethiopian hero.Please,for the future try to include even few.Becouse i know trough what we are passing every sigle minute.God bless our people and country.

  14. HAILE selassie hailu
    | #14

    Happy new year to all peace loving ETHIOPIANS.I have wrote a small note to you concerning the great ETHIOPIAN HREOS night.I am very pleased and extremly happy for the courage and effort you made.But try to go beyond and include the few eritrean who fought and died for the great couse one strong united ETHIOPIA.Forget not every second for them is more than you imagine very dificulty.Long live Ethiopia and its people.Death to SHabia and Woyane.

  15. Anon
    | #15

    Hi Dawit #,
    I share some of your views while differing on others.Here is the point I take issue with.
    I think this is not mere nostalgia but a fitting reminiscence of our good past and you know my friend that without the recollection of our past we have no future.
    Remembering and celebrating our past achievements gives us strength and confidence to wrestle with the challenges of the present and enable us to boldly face the future.
    It goes with out saying that our previous army was one of the finest institutions in the continent which produced many fine military and intellectual minds.
    You can appreciate this better now when your read memoirs and biographies of the men in the army and the historical accounts of the institution being written by its surviving members.
    Unfortunately,the mediocre and ruthless Colonel Mengistu who claimed to command it,presided upon its destruction and became the cause of the death of many of its illustrious heroes.
    Proper as it is, we should not confine our remembrance and celebrations to the heroes of the previous army.We should also take time to honour others who distinguished themselves in the social,cultural and intellectual spheres.In particular,we must pay homage to the ‘unsung heroes’ of the obscure villages and homes of the rural parts of our country.
    This is the way that we can ensure the continuity of our history and the survival of our people.We should therefore not be people with short memories.We must avoid historical amnesia.

    Here,dear Dawit,is the point agree but in part.
    ‘…Rather than trying the same thing such as protesting at the white-house and expecting a different result,its best if we apply the…’.Short of armed struggle,I endorse your above statement.I concur that we should not consume all our energies on these protests alone.The protests are not often taken seriously and therefore we should combine them with other creative and varied methods.In fact,I hate the whole idea of petitioning for my freedom.It is so demeaning.
    On the other hand,I am not entirely sure that I like the idea of armed struggle on the home front.I am wary of its viability.Yet,there must be a way ahead and a way beyond the current ‘legal and peaceful’
    stalemate in favor of TPLF.I think it was Frederick Douglass who once said,’Power never concedes anything without demand.It never has and it never will’.The opposition must therefore demand power from TPLF.The opposition must,taking into account the realities and the dynamics of the struggle,work out the form that DEMAND should take.

  16. Dawit
    | #16

    In reply to Anon,

    I appreciate your willingness to share your view.
    I agree that we should reminisce in order to get motivated to tackle the current issues;however, too much reminiscence leads to nostalgia, in which, I believe Ethiopians are suffering from.
    Regarding armed struggle, I also wish there was an alternative (safer)method of resolving the current issue however, it seems aremd struggle is the only viable method.
    Freedom is not given but earned. Therefore, rather than begging woyane and the international community to give us freedom, we earn it. There is no short cut to achieve liberty, I think that’s what Ethiopians haven’t understood yet. We are making EPRP’s mistake of attempting to obtain power with minimal effort.
    Woyane fought for 17 yrs so they are not going to give up their power just because people in diaspora demands it. If you have read “ye gazetegnaw mastawesha”, the author mentions what one of the woyane cadre said regarding the election in 1995. He stated roughly “be tigil yetegegnen silatan be card ansitim”. And that’s been their motto ever since they obtained power.
    There is no such thing as struggle for democracy in ethiopia from america. Change can only occur from within the country or guerrilla warfare

  17. Anon
    | #17

    Hi Dawit,
    Thanks for your thoughtful response.
    I am not really certain if we do,as you put it,’too much reminiscence’.
    In this regard,it seems to me that we do rather little.We have got to do enough.And the way we do it also matters.
    I want to reflect a bit more on this,if you I may.
    The past must be recalled in a way that it serves our present and future.It must be an active recall.It should not consequently be an indiscriminate and idle reverie into the realm of what went on before or a retreat from the many challenges facing us today.What I call a well disciplined thinking(a potent power)is rooted in the vital past,realistically engaged in the present and is something that can illuminate our future path as a result of these temporal connections.
    Our salvation from the brutal tyranny imposed on us at the moment does not,I think,come from the barrel of a gun but from the superior power of our thoughts.The brutality of TPLF makes it look like this is a battle of guns.No,from our point of view,it is not.For us,this is nothing but a battle of wits.Our intelligence is matched against the brute force of the regime.Yet,we have not thought up new ways,surprising ways,wily ways to meet our adversary.We simply want to continue to fight against a well organized and experienced,financed and armed,diplomatically favored opponent using hackneyed,dogmatic,pompous,vacuous,quixotic methods.
    It does not make any difference whether one advocates the means to be an armed struggle or a nonviolent one.As long as there is not much vital thought,enlightening thought,cunning thought that has gone into any one of these methods,both are useless and dead strategies.So the question is:Are we thinking? Is the opposition thinking? More pertinently,we in the Diaspora,whose battle front is thinking ‘subversive ideas’ against the TPLF,are we really thinking?

  18. Dawit
    | #18

    Hi Anon,
    Very interesting response…
    I agree that any type of struggle without vision and intelligence is futile. Successful struggle will need to incorporate driven and motivated individuals as well. The problem with the current struggle is either lack of vision or intelligence but rather lack of committed individuals. The many so called “political activists” have made the struggle a pass time activity. They failed to realize that the struggle requires extraordinary effort. There are also others who have made the political scene a vehicle for self aggrandizement.
    The other issue that made it difficult to topple woyane is that the power of the gun is at their possession . At the end of the day its always the guy with the gun who is the decided. Thus, as we’ve seen in the 2005 election, when everything fails, they resort to violence to preserve their authority.
    The beauty of armed struggle is that it is able to filter out the non-committed individuals while eliminating woyane’s advantage of possessing the barrel of the gun.
    In essence, armed struggle is the only effective method to topple woyane. Otherwise, we will just have to wait until Meles dies due to natural causes.

  19. Anon
    | #19

    Hi again, Dawit.My big thanks for your response.Yes,I think we do have the kinds of problems that you mentioned that may come under the general rubric of leadership problems.Commitment,selflessness,tenacity,
    integrity,self-discipline,skill,knowledge,vision,etc are all crucial attributes that one expects in one’s leader.We have a mixed bag of leaders.While it is true we have quite a number of leaders who lack many of those indispensable leadership qualities,we also have,thankfully,some others who possess them in abundance.Yet,we observe those qualities as disjointed and fragmented personal attributes rather than as hallmark of a unified and morally dynamic leadership.In this connection,it is tempting to say that our peoples’ victory of the May 2005 elections was snatched out of their hands owing to palpable leadership failure.But that would be a gross oversimplification.The causes of that defeat were many and still need merit a closer examination if we are to profit by that experience.Indeed,the ingredients(some are objective and some others, subjective)of a successful struggle are many and we must fully grasp them in order come up with a viable strategy for our struggle.

    Can armed struggle therefore be part of our current strategy? Does the objective situation allow it? Do the history(traumatic)of war in our region and country,the geography,the demography,the socio-economic conditions permit it? What is the extent of foreign and domestic support for it? Do we have the leadership and organizational strengths that enable us prosecute such strategy? What kind of adversary,with what kind of vulnerabilities,are we confronting using such form of struggle? Have we thought about these and many many other questions relating to our means of struggle? If so,then fine,we can go ahead with our insurgency.
    But,it we haven’t,we must think about good alternatives.In both cases,however,we must subject all our problems to the ‘calm sunshine of the mind’.

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