The Politicization of Food Aid Under One-Party Rule in Ethiopia – By Seeye Abraha

January 31st, 2010 Print Print Email Email

The West has provided hundreds of millions of dollars of food aid to Ethiopia in the past several years. However, donor countries have placed few monitoring and accountability mechanisms to ensure that the aid provided is delivered to the target populations. (more…)

The West has provided hundreds of millions of dollars of food aid to Ethiopia in the past several years. However, donor countries have placed few monitoring and accountability mechanisms to ensure that the aid provided is delivered to the target populations. As a result, the ruling party has been able to effectively use relief aid to mobilize support for itself and undermine support for its opposition.

The politicization of food aid in Ethiopia operates crudely in the open. Members and supporters of the ruling party and their families are given top priority in the delivery of ample relief aid. Relief aid is dangled in front of non-party members who are presented with the option of joining the ranks of the ruling party if they want to receive aid. Opposition party members are forced to make the choice of going hungry or involuntarily joining the ruling party by abandoning their own. The intense pressure to join the ruling party is reinforced through family, community and peer pressure. Those who speak up against such practices or openly protest are targeted for persecution, intimidation and harassment. The people forced to make the impossible choice between life and liberty choose life and do the best they can under the circumstances. Western donors are fully aware of the misuse and abuse of the unfortunate situation their relief aid has caused in the country. For some inexplicable reason, they have chose to remain deaf, blind and mute.

The opposition coalition, Forum, has raised this issue repeatedly with the Western diplomatic corps in Addis Ababa. Forum has provided eyewitnesses to provide corroboration for the misuse and abuse of relief aid. Recently, eight residents from Tigray who were members and supporters of coalition member Arena were brought to Addis to provide eyewitness testimony on the political use of relief aid experience. These brave individuals who risked their lives to tell the truth were picked up by plainclothes policemen and detained on Dec.23, 2010. They were forcibly returned to Tigray after five days of detention and interrogation and were given stern warnings that they would face severe consequences if they testified.

On January 4, 2010 Jason McClure, the American journalist for Bloomberg, went to Tigray to investigate the allegations of politicization of relief aid. Shortly after he arrived he was taken into custody and detained for in a prison in Mekele before being whisked back to Addis where he was served with a notice of expulsion, which was latter retracted, from the country in 48 hours. The story of Mr. McClure, a highly respected journalist, and his harrowing experiences in trying to investigate this matter are yet to be told in public.

Over the past two weeks, I have travelled to Tigray and visited Kola Tembien election district. I spoke with Teklezgi W/Gabriel and Zenawi Asmelash, two of the eight eyewitnesses who had agreed to speak to Mr. McClure during his visit there. They told me that they are labeled as traitors and their life is under threat since their return from Addis Ababa. I also talked to others in the community. The story is much the same. If they want to get relief aid, they have to join.

Hunger, food aid and politics have been intertwined in Ethiopia since the 1973 Ethiopian draught which caused the downfall of Emperor Haile Selassie’s regime. As a veteran politician and an ex-commander of an insurgent army that brought down the Derg military regime, I know relief aid could be misused to purchase ammunition, weapons, spare parts, fuel and other materials. Grain and cooking oil can be converted into cash to buy any thing including voting cards.

Forum has raised its concerns about the danger of relief aid driven vote buying as early as August 2009. The issue was included as an agenda item in the inter-party dialogue that was initiated through the good offices of the UK Ambassador, Norman Ling, here in Addis Ababa in September but was rejected by the ruling party.

I was a member the leadership of the core of the ruling party coalition in Ethiopia, the TPLF, for about twenty five years. I served as an elected member of the Parliament for two terms until I was illegally denied my seat in Parliament in 2001, following a split within the leadership of the ruling party. In this context, it is instructive to look at the way the Meles-led clique used food grain to stage manage my “recall” from my parliamentary seat and that of eight other colleagues.

In 2001 the farmers of Kola Tembien, my electoral district in Tigray, were ordered to collect their wages in food grain for work done in soil and water conservation activities. This was the usual method of dispensing food aid to the able-bodied citizens experiencing food shortage. When the farmers showed up at the designated sites to receive their grain allotments, they were asked to put their names and signatures on sheets of paper as evidence of receipt. Incredibly, the list of names and signatures was later presented to the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) as a petition of my electorate to effect my recall from Parliament. The so-called recall petition was sustained and we were forced out of our elected offices. We sued the NEBE but to no avail since Kemal Bedri, the Chair of the NEBE, was also President of the Supreme Court of the country. Victimized by such dirty tricks, we were illegally barred from entering the premises of the Parliament and effectively dismissed from our elected positions.

The use of food grain as a weapon for sidelining dissidents has been perfected by the ruling party ever since. It is their preferred weapon of choice to squeeze the farmers and rural residents into following their one-party system lockstep.

My recent visit to Tembien was to assess the political situation in the context of the coming election. I visited many villages in the district, but limited my contacts to friends, relatives and acquaintances. Although I have visited Tembien many times, the way the local officials treated me this time around was quite different. I visited Tambien as a member of the Unity for Justice and Democracy Party (UDJ), another opposition party active in Tigray and member of Forum coalition. I would not be surprised if my visit was viewed as sort of a political debut by the local administration. Unlike other times there was an intense interest and activity in the security apparatuses in the villages I visted. Security forces were fully mobilized to put all my activities under security surveillance, including open harassment of my visitors and relatives. It was deeply saddening to be treated a fugitive and security threat in my own hometown, amidst my relatives and friends.

As soon as I arrived at Abiy Adi town, the capital of Kola Tembien district, my father-in-law’s house was surrounded with plain clothes policemen and informants who tried to dissuade people not to enter the premise and speak to me. Those who ignored the warnings, and many did, were later harassed by the police and given strong warnings not to speak to others favourably about me.

In Adiha, my birth place, where I stayed for two days, a Lieutenant and three other policemen were dispatched from Abiy Adi town to augment the resident policeman. They sort of created a makeshift police station to monitor my activities. The residents were so disgusted by the level of intrusion that the local administrators told the Lieutenant: “As much as Meles Zenawi is entitled to visit and run for election in Adwa, Seeye is equally entitled to do so in Tembien and will take it as out duty to facilitate his participation.”

The surveillance procedures used against me revealed great concern on the part of the officials. Before I visited every village, the local security police officials would coordinate by mobile phone my expected itinerary. Local leaders and members of the ruling party in the villages were instructed to maintain surveillance of the locations and individuals with who I met. When I arrive at the location, these party hacks would openly tell people not to have contact with me or speak to me. Those who met with me were blacklisted. They would hang around collecting information and taking notes on what I said, what others said and any activities that occurred. Once I left the villages, the district governors would call public meetings, collect information and warn them not to associate with anyone connected to me. Despite the surveillance and false propaganda against me, I am grateful to the people for their affection and support.

There is little distinction to be made between the ruling party and the local police institutions. The security institutions are in effect appendages of the party. Their principal purpose is to neutralize any opposition to the dominance of the ruling party. Lawful political opponents are viewed as a security issue and treated in the same way as criminals. I did experience this personally; but the vast majority of the people view me as their son, brother or friend and would not abandon or ignore me despite the risks of not getting relief aid, or the price they have to pay for associating with me. They have my everlasting respect and appreciation.

Some people may believe Tigray to be the “backyard” of the ruling party. That is simply not true. People in Tigray want change and genuine multiparty democracy as much as their compatriots in other parts of the country do. There is general consensus in Tigray that a united democratic opposition could be a major positive factor in forcing the TPLF to re-evaluate its present course and out of enlightened self-interest pursue a democratic process that meets the urgent and critical needs of all the people. This is a view widely shared by the majority in Tigray. They welcome the coming of Arena and UDJ to compete openly for the votes and support of the people of Tigray.

The 800 pound gorilla in the room is of course election rigging. There is general consensus in Tigray that the TPLF will rig the election and declare itself the winner in May. Many have asked me to make sure and get enough independent international observers to monitor the elections. Forum does not have the ability to guarantee the presence of an adequate number of international observers in any part of the country. I have nevertheless decided to present myself as candidate of the Forum in Kola Tembien district. The reason is simple. I know that the ruling party can not field a candidate who can beat me in most of the election districts of Tigray, let alone in Tembien. I also know that the ruling party with its complete monopoly over the electoral process and security apparatuses will not hesitate from rigging the election in broad daylight. If it declares victory, no one will be surprised. But the people of Tembien will know their voice has been stolen and the declaration of victory, by the ruling party, would only serve as a proof that it stole the election.

As to the West’s commitment to democracy in Ethiopia, the big talk needs to be backed up with at least a little action. There is a viable alternative in Forum, and the West should do what it can to help level the playing field.

The writer Seeye Abraha was Defence Minister of Ethiopia and is currently vice chair of the UDJ party. He can be reached at

  1. Ghiorghis
    | #1

    I am glad to see Seye speaking out. The people of Tigray need him the most in that he is situated in an ideal position, where he can explain to the rest of Ethiopians, the plights and the feelings of Tigreans.
    People in the rest of Ethiopia need to understand that there are thousands of Tigreans who really oppose this regime. That is a task cut to people like Seye and it is not going to be easy. But, it may be later responsible for avoiding a CIVIL WAR.
    Thank Ato Seye.
    This article however has been weakened by including two unrelated major subjects in to one. That is,
    Using Food Aid as a Political Tool by Woyane, and
    Ato Seyi’s harassment by government agents.
    They should have been separated and made two independent articles. The food aid part would have been very helpful (not that it is not now in its current form) had it been published Separately and a few weeks back When the issue was HOT.
    Thank you,

  2. aatitegheb
    | #2

    It is a wrong time to sow seed of hatered!!!You are making a big mistake!! Let us one time in life announce conciliatory word!!!

    | #3

    Using famine aid as a weapon was, and is not, a new phenomena in African politics. Mengistu was accused in somewhat similar, if not identical, way but the most accusation was for his mobilization of severly victimized citizens from the Norther part of Ethiopia to the South. Professor Hagos Gebreyesus, former president of ESNA (Ethiopian Student in North America) have wrote many article against Westerns’ position Here, unlike Mengistu, Meles use the food aid for his loyal supporters mostly the TIGRIAN PEOPLE and other subservient groups. Meles wanted to benefit the Tigrians more than any other ethnic group because Tigri is his power base. Notwithstanding this fact, however, Mr. Seye said that “Tigrai is not the ruling party’s ‘backyard’” a statement which is false and deceptive. Mr. Seye, just as much as you were member of the ruling party so were others in different capacity. As recently as three days ago, former TPLF member Ato (now Dr.) AREGAWI BEREHE testified on VOA Amharic service that he left TPLF because the rebel party leader Mr. Meles refused a broad based coalation but ethnic based political establishment and create Tigrai as its center of power. This can be further proven by reviewing the hight post held by Tigri nationals from civil service to the Military establishment. Mr. Seeye, you are the one who made 300,000 defense force homeless and still do not tell us the fact as the public knows. When will you can speak the truth??

  4. Gashaw
    | #4

    ato siye will see opposiition one from ato meles cadres, two ato essayas cadres, and three extremists. if ato siye get free and fare election, he will win because Andenet party is better. ato meles and aboy sebhat are enemies of tigray. and it is. bravo ato siye and ato gebru asrat.

  5. Addis Abeba
    | #5

    Siye, what will be your course of action when EPRDF, once again, rig the election and declares themselves, winners? Will you continue to cry foul and beg Meles & co. to respect the rule of law, or will you resort to an armed resistance–the only method woyanes seem to react. I hope you choose the later; other wise, Meles, with the assistance of the west, will continue to run a shame election every five years.
    People need to remember that Ethiopia belongs to everyone and not just to the select few.

  6. aha!
    | #6

    I conur with Ethiopian Jew that of using as a weapon during Col. Mengistu’s regime is nothing new, which ato Siye’s faction used to complain about the the US Government. Now he is making this complaint on the side of UDJP, a party wearing two hats one for ethnic and another for national agenda, and member of the coalition Medrek/FDD/EFDR. The second complaint has to do with with coercion and intimidation by the ruling party, which he labled as one party system, which will be still the same one party system with two chambers in the parliament with same ethnic agenda. That will never change. That coercein and intimidation is supposedly to handled through the Code of Conduct conference agreements, with negotiations on the 8-point pre-conditions for fair and free elections and free media alottments. His complaints/narratives about restrictions in his own home town is similat to that of Dr. Merara Gudina.

    On the other hand KAEUP is organizing and campaigning in Tigray “Killil” and their problem is finanace and material support from the Diaspora pertinent to the struggle for Unity, Territorial Integrity and Sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians. Can Medrek party pass that test to fit into that political model?

  7. Abebe
    | #7

    Really, Siye has done decision and is revealing the true feeling of Tigrians. Tigrians are under house arrest ( prison) now. They can not speak loudly as far as the cadres are close to them.

    Siye is going to compete representing the strongest party ( UDJ) and for sure, he will win with 100+1%. Because he is regarded in Tigray as true Ethiopian and that was the reason also which led him to prison.

    So, we have to appreciate his decision and his great efforts to recover our beautiful country. He is going to compete in his birth place, Called tembien, which i know in history written by western it is the birth place of brilliant hero Africam hero like Atsye yohannis,Alula abanega etc.

    As we read from websites, this area along with Raya and Shire, is the victim of TPLF and the most denied place from developments.

  8. Anonymous
    | #8

    good job siye!!
    keep continue we will be with your side.

    Viva UDJ!
    Free Birtukan
    Go Go MEDREK!!

  9. mismare
    | #9

    good job siye!!
    keep continue we will be with your side.

    Viva UDJ!
    Free Birtukan
    Go Go MEDREK!!

  10. አለሙ
    | #10

    ይሂ የታወከ ነገር ነዉ.. ምንም ጥያከ የለዉም
    ከን እስኪዎታ ዚም ማለት ነዉ

  11. aha!
    | #11

    Correction: The first sentence should read using “food aid” as….

  12. aha!
    | #12

    Let us focus on party platform rather on personalities to discern which party stands for unity, Teritorial Integrity, and Sovereignity of Ethiopia in which neither TPLF/eprdf, nor Tigrai Harena/FDD/EFDR do not meet the criteria for natitional agenda.The scramble between Meles and Siye is for political power not ideology based on revenge, it has nothing to do with resolving the political crises, win or loose the the parties with ethnic agenda will still be intact.

  13. Sami
    | #13

    Well, if TPLF (Weyanne) is for freedom of Tigrayan people, how come it has a problem letting Tigray people choose their representatives? aha, aha I get it. Weyanne (TPLF) is just using the Tigray people by pretending as if it is their own, but it doesn’t give a dame about their basic human rights. If Tigray people don’t do what TPLF wants them to do, they could starve to death.

    I command and have respect for Seya Abraha for telling it as it is. I sense that he is gaining traction. If he keeps doing the right thing, he may end up having more power of than Meles Zenawi. That power comes with much more respect and love of the vast majority of the Ethiopian people.

    Keep pushing Seya, we are all behind you. I always thought Tigray is a base for weyanne. Now, after I read your article, I start to question my own stand. I am open to listen, to learn and to change my mind. I am sure most Ethiopians are like that…Keep doing what you are doing and bring all Ethiopians together.

    Be safe my man!

  14. Tigraway
    | #14

    TPLF has always used food aid as weapon against the Tigray farmers. Those poor Tigray farmers have always been harassed, intimidated, and mercilessly tortured by TPLF carders. Unless they are proven themselves to be TPLF supporters, they are not allowed to receive food aid. This has been common in all parts of Tigray where TPLF lacks confidence, mainly in Tiemben, Agame, Enderta, Raya and Shire, and it has been going on for ever now.

    Karma is playing its natural law. TPLE cadres had done to so many innocents under the direct order from Siya for so long. Ironically, Ato Seye is on receiving end now adays. I am glad he is writing about it, one day, the world hopefully will find out what is happening to the ordinary Tigrians.

  15. Lasta
    | #15

    The ambitious Seye Abraham wants to be crowned King of Kings. Lol! He wants to trade his woyane kumta for an Emperor’s gown. The thing is no body believes what he says or writes knowing his background and lust for power.

  16. mateos
    | #16

    Seye: we can see and feel your anger but it may be too late for the average Ethiopian with in and out of the country. The damage done by Meles and his boss Bereket, the damage of trust mistrust one ethnic group against the other, the blood-shed against Somalians and Eritreans, the known and uknown crimes of weyane mafia family with in out of the country, will take generations to cure. I truely believe you are trying to make a u-turn but the western puppet could send his agazi to hunt you and put you behind bars again!

  17. Tesfa
    | #17

    To the Ethiopian Jew……are you the left over….why don’t you go to israel?
    go away
    We are interested about today;lets dismantle woyanes apparatus
    to save our country.

  18. aha!
    | #18

    Correction: The name Merrara Gudina, was mistaken for Dr. Negasso Gidada.

  19. atuba dolla
    | #19

    Mr.Eseye is holding the book in his hand,in it has a new chapter begins with:-Let’s hold hand in hand and bring the victory to all Ethiopians.With this motto,Mr.Eseye will or shall not look back and take a step backward.It is good he joined the rest of Ethiopians in the ongoing struggle against the invading gang force who soon will be removed from the face of Ethiopia.

  20. aha!
    | #20

    Sami! I am not vouching for TPLF/eprdf’s or Tigrai Harena/FDD?EFDR’s stance on Tigrai “Killil”, because as prviously stated in President Aferworki’s statement, what Prime Minister Meles and/or Ato Siye will say “Benana be Meles/Siye mehakel liyunet binor be Tigtai gudai ine ibelte ine ibelte bemalet bitcha new, kemilew gar yimesaselal, because they both have a grip on ethnic agenda and its consequences. Complaints about food aid used as a weapon by its mirror image party does not equate to the lack of freedom of individuals in Ethiopia today, which is a precursor to forming democratic institutions and democratic government, in addition to lack of sovereignity of Ethiopia, and territorial integrity. Instead of rallying the masses to free themselves from TPLF/eprdf, TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises, these conglomerates are seeking grants from USA to either put pressure on TPLF/erdf regime, to whom they are indebted for entiltement for ethnic and seccessionist righs for US Government to put pressure on for more polical space, and now asking for the West to level the plainfield in favor of Medrek the credible alternative to TPLF/eprdf regime. What an irony for relace its alter ego.

  21. Sami
    | #21

    aha, what you are saying is probably true or may be not. We will see as we go. For now, I think all Ethiopians should support Ato Seya Abrha for telling the truth for once. It looks like he is on the right track. If he stand with the truth and keep pushing with Ethiopian people, I think we all will forgive what he did in the past and move forward for a better Ethiopia. We should not discourage him from doing the right thing just because he made mistakes in the past.

  22. Anonymous
    | #22

    አንት ስው ዝም ብል ነገር ታመታልህ?

  23. truth
    | #23

    do not fool us seye i understand the article is wright but i don’t trust you you know there is a say (lebi tigray )we had enouph body i don’t trust you even if you are dead.

    | #24

    To TESFA or (Tesfabis):


  25. atuba dolla
    | #25

    Hi,all Ethiopians.The topic or the issue underdiscussion has been very interesting.Yes,Eseye had been with Meles and others in the past many years until he was imprisioned by Zinawi;now, Mr. Eseye is with Ethiopians to march along the path to victory.Victory is a shared-goal;our goal is fight,fight the invading forces and defeat them foronce.

    Any Ethiopian with courage,tenacity,and good thinking can become an official leader and eventually a primeminster a president for the people and by the people.Eseye can be one of the candidates from among the best.

    Qualitites nedded from a leader is to be an Ethiopian and visionary,excellent thinker and an intellegent person with measurable dids.

    Yes,Mr.Esey had made a mistake in the past;that he must fully explain himself with responsibility and accountability,if indeed he becomes a primeminster or a president,without which the integerity of his joining millions of Ethiopians will be questionable.For now, let’s join him,let him join us and hold hands in synergy and focus on how to bring the ultimate victory for Ethiopia and her beloved children.Thank you.

    | #26


    Your comment is offensive and disturbing to all people who knows the Tigrians’ “thinking” when it comes to their deepest desire for power.
    —-REMEMBER EMPEROR YOHANNES BECOME KING AFTER HE COLABORATED WITH THE BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE TO KILL EMPEROR TEWODROS FOR CHEAP PRICE OF POWER, 2,000 British Pound and 10,000 guns to protect him from Amhara’s retaliation)—- Similarly Meles and Seye come to power by betryed the Ethiopian people as they allowed Eriteria to secede. Of course, every Ethiopian (Tigre, Amhara, Oromo …etc) are equal concerning Rights or privilages including becoming head of state so long as the man who desire power is elected democratically. But democracy is not in the dictionary of the people who come to power through the barrel of gun. Seye, (which you call him “Esey” – to manifest your happiness in joining MEDEREK) is not worthy of trust for being a security gurd in the palace let alone becoming a prime minister or a president. In Seye’s mind he joined MEDEREK because he had a tribal (TEMBENIAN AGENDA) and NOT a national (ETHIOPIAN AGENDA) and above all, he is not competative figure be it in education, leadership or in general trustworthiness. Ask any member of former defence force of 300,000 which he put them jobless and homeless whether they agree with your opinion about him. Seye, if he become a cabinet member of the future government, he may have a military post (Defense Minister) but that may satisfy him but not the national interest. Ethiopia do not need seye or Meles and all his his generals but a true national who did not attack his people with Ethiopia’s enemies.

    REMEMBER THIS ALSO: Seye was happily accepted by MEDEREK because it hpoed that his inclusivness in the democratic process will end Weyane’s rule. Second, it was an attempt to mask Mederek’s fear of the unseen.

  27. Ayub
    | #27

    Dear Lasta, i thought you will be the last person to have a problem with someone wishing to change the Kumta for something more comfortable.

    Dear Ethiopian Jew, i must say i admire the way you try to provoke others. You have the ability to choose and pick just to support you argument.Surprise surprise, Emperor Yohannes happen to be your chosen candidate. Keep entertain us. But my sincere thanks to AUGIDA website for accommodating all.

  28. Ayub
    | #28

    My Apoplogy, to misspell Abugida webisite. Correction AUGIDA shoud Read Abugida.

    | #29

    AYUB: I do not understand your first paragraph and am not sure to whom you have addressed your point. I AM NOT lEDETU AYALE FROM wOLLO NOR SEYE ABRHAM, FROM TEMBEN IN TIGRI. I am an Ethiopian withoutmental picture of narrow nationalism and tribalist centiment as Tigrians do , no more no less!!. But note that there is nothing to be a Tigrian. Woloye or Gondere because people should not be measured by their national origion but by the content of their character. And your heros’ character tested and poorly graded by the collective voice of the Ethiopian people which yilded its verdict of “NO MORE”.

    For the second paragraph, however. I should give you the following idea because you have directly mentioned my pen name and provoked me to re-state facts once again. Yes, Emperor Yohannes was/is enemy of the people who loved Emperor Tewodros. He was also enemy of Islam and Judaism. In Gonder he forced Islam and Jews to convert to paganism (christianity) because we Jews and Islam refused to beleieve that “man (Jesus) is God and God is not man (Jesus)”. But “jegnaw” yohannes refused to stop his evil motive until God stopped him by devine intervention and rendered his irreversable judgement. Emperor Yohannes is not the first man who died in such disgraced and shameful manner but so is Ahaz, the 11th King of Judah (2 Kings 15:38; 16:1-20 who was burried without honor in like manner in Jerusalem, not in the Royale tombs but in the bush. (2 Chr. 28:27) All

    So Mr (or boy!) AYUB, I speak truth just as history speak truth and did not attempted to provoke violence and create division among people. It is the the Weyane in particular who promote violence and ethnic division that ethiopia has never seen in its history. But I wonder why WEYANE planned to erect the statute of Yohannes on the grave of Tewodros instead of in Addis because in the mind set of Tigrians, Yohannes is more hero than Tewodros. How Meles failed to consider this ???

    | #30


    correction: read the statement at line 5,…. to be a Tigrian… as nothing to be “wrong”….

    | #31


    SECOND CORRECTION: ON THIRD PARAGRAPH LINE 4, read the statement”…But I wonder why Weyane …. as “Why Weyane DID NOT planned to erect the statue of Yohannes on the grave of Tewodros instead of Addis Ababa…..

    /sorry for repeated errors and corrections due to the loss of my eye glass this morning/

  32. Ewunetu Yiwotal/Fasil
    | #32

    Those us who oppose Syee Abriha’s return to politics should be thankful to his attempt to help restore Ethiopia.when we see let us be farsaighted.

  33. Ayub
    | #33

    Dear Ethiopian Jew,
    I think you must be suffering from amnesia. Emperor Yohannes died in the battle defending his beloved country and people from the invading foreign power. For most Ethiopians he is a hero who scarified his life so all Ethiopians can walk head held high with pride. Tewodreos chose to take his own life rather than surrendering. Will i chose who is more of a hero than the other? no, to me they are both worthy of men to be celebrated as symbols of resistance to all Ethiopians and Africans in general. Dear Ethiopian Jew, on your last paragraph you said ” Mr (or boy!) i am rather baffled with the insertion of “boy” to me you are presenting a juvenile and bully behavior. And for me you will always be Mr (Ethiopian Jew)

    | #34

    TO AYUB:
    Your comment still lacks historical fact. The source of Emperor Yohannes’ FIRST enemies were NOT foreigners but his own people from Harar. Ahemed Gragn is an Ethiopian from Harar who was realLY mad when he witnessed the forceful conversion of Muslims to Christianity from Gonder. In the name of religion, as is the case of politics, other foriegn forces joined Ahemed gragn and killed Yohannes. If the foreign invasion on Yohannes’s Ethiopia was for their colonial control, Gonder to this very would have been under their control but that was not the case. The point is that the war was NOT political but religious and for this reason is why we Jews and Muslims are equall angry on Yohannes. Our bitterness shall remain forever or until the “cross mark” yohannes ordered on all women to put on their forehead disappear and disappeared forever.

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