Ethiopia: Forgiving Derg officials for Christmas by Eskinder Nega

December 24th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Come January 1974, Ethiopia was quite as a calm sea. The low-key insurgency in Eritrea, the only organized political movement in the country, was going nowhere. Having successfully confined the insurgency to the periphery low-lands, the army’s casualty figures (more…)

Come January 1974, Ethiopia was quite as a calm sea. The low-key insurgency in Eritrea, the only organized political movement in the country, was going nowhere. Having successfully confined the insurgency to the periphery low-lands, the army’s casualty figures (after more than ten years of fighting) were still remarkably low.The student movement had peaked in the early 70s but was losing steam as the mid-70s approached.( As were student movements elsewhere.) But whatever the intensity of the students, their failure to link with the wider populace had always meant they were benignly semi-tolerable. And for a few years there was an unexplained, sudden spur of economic activity. To many, a take-off, closely resembling that of south east Asia, looked imminent.

But just below the surface were also the simmering dangers. Generously buttressed by the Soviet Union, Somalia, which had territorial claim over a fifth of Ethiopia’s land mass, was building a large, highly mechanized modern army—one clearly intended for a Blitzkrieg in the eastern lowlands. And Ethiopia was lagging badly. (Three years later, a confident, militarized Somalia struck taking advantage of the disarray at the center.) Haile-Selassie was on the verge of senility; his designated successor was incapacitated by a stroke; and, fatefully, there were no strong hands to stir the reigns of government. The regime was visibly drifting.

A month later, in February, the implosion of a new dawn, unsolicited and unorganized, caught the nation utterly unawares. The catalyst: news of devastating famine in the north and the oil-shock of 1973 and 1974; which eventually quadrupled prices and triggered unprecedented inflationary pressures. Between February and June 1974, broad lawlessness engulfed the nation; threatening an outbreak of anarchy. No civilian government was able to assert authority. To avert chaos, intervention by the army was only inevitable and necessary. And it came (officially) on 28 June 1974(they had been organizing covertly and half-heartedly for weeks.)A hundred and nine representatives of the nation’s 40 armed units, ranging from privates to Majors (higher ranking officers were barred), convened in Addis and established the “Derg”, “Committee” in Geez, once Ethiopia’s dominant language but now spoken only by the Orthodox clergy. To chair them, they opted for Major Mengistu Haile- Mariam, in deference to the primacy of the second division, then the nation’s most powerful, which he represented. No less, his humble background and dubious ethnicity conveniently personified the revolutionary spirit of the times.

Two and a half months later, the Derg had deposed Haile-Selasssie, on September 12, 1974, and imprisoned the entirety of the regime’s civilian and military leaders promising “change without bloodshed.” Three days later, it renamed itself the Provisional Military Administrative Council and formally assumed state power under a new chairperson, Lt General Aman Andom. But as soon as the proud General learned—much to his outrage—that the Derg only intended him as a figure head, while real power still lay with Major Mengistu, a showdown was unavoidable.

Ninety tense days later, the Derg, incensed and intimidated by Aman’s refusal to play along, settles on showing—to friend and foe alike—who really was in charge. And tragically, when nothing more than a simple dismissal of the General would have sufficed (as one of Haile-Selassie’s senior officials, Aman posed no real danger), the Derg succumbs to inexplicable hysteria and opts for a massacre; foolishly, and with no apparent due cause, reversing its “no bloodshed” promise to the nation. Along with Aman, his close associates and bodyguards, more than 50 other senior Haile-Selasssie officials were brutally murdered and all buried in a mass grave. The nation was literally stunned in to outraged silence. Not even the harshest critics of the fallen regime approved.

The backlash was soon in full motion. Scores of opposition groups sprang up; and suddenly, the nation went from no opposition to host of the largest number of political organizations in Africa. Oppression bred resistance; not the hoped for submission. And resistance disastrously bred even more bloodshed. The low-point came three years later, in February 1977, when Mengistu, no more hindered by moderate Derg members( Brigadier General Teferi Banti et al), whom he had just eliminated in a Palace-coup, proclaimed the advent of “Red Terror” in response to the “White Terror” of the Derg’s most adamant opponent, the EPRP.

The concept of Red and White Terrors was imported from the early days of the Russian revolution, which had resulted in a civil war. Both sides in that war—Red Communists and White Non-Communists— embraced violence as a vital political weapon, calculating that it would be indispensable to an eventual victory. Leader of the Whites, Lavar Kornilov, for example, instructed his army to “set fire to half of the country and shed the blood of three- fourth of all Russians.” He even ordered the death of “all workers.” The Communists were no less apocalyptic. Explaining the Red Terror in an newspaper article in 1918, they said : “ Do not look in the file of incriminating evidence to see whether or not the accused rose up against the Soviets with arms and words. Ask him instead what class he belongs, what is his background, his education, his profession. These are the questions
that will determine the fate of the accused. That is the meaning and essence of the Red Terror.” At least 10 of Russia’s 100 million people must be “annihilated,” proclaimed Communist leaders openly.

In Ethiopia , the Derg and its civilian allies, clearly inspired by the precedent set in revolutionary Russia, publicly vowed “to avenge the (lost) life of one revolutionary with the lives of a thousand anarchists(EPRP members.)” Following up on their threat, thousands of officials (kebele administrators and Revolutionary Guards throughout the country) were armed and bolstered with a government issued “license to kill (netsa ermeja)” edict.

For six infamous months (between February and August), alleged EPRP members, many of them teenagers (some barely in their mid-teens), were hunted mercilessly and summarily executed. Those who escaped execution were imprisoned and mostly tortured. In the end, patently amateurish EPRP death-squads, whom Mengistu had fantastically equated with Korilov’s huge White Army, were to gun down less than 150 officials (the exact figure is disputed), to which the Derg and its civilian
allies responded disproportionately with numerous human rights abuses and thousands of executions. But exactly how many thousands will remain as elusive—and controversial—as ever. (Amnesty International’s estimate of 500,000 deaths, however, is grossly exaggerated. Most of the killings happened in Addis, whose population was roughly one million back then.) An ever expanding capacity for incomprehensible violence characterized the Derg’s reign right up the end. Between the end of the Red Terror and its demise in late 1991, for example, the imprisoned Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch, Abune Tewflos, was pitilessly strangled to death (with lead wire), and Mitsewa and Hawazen were wantonly bombed by the air Force, despite the absence of a compelling military target on the ground.

No amount of violence, however, was able to prevent the downfall of the Derg. The end came after seventeen long years, in May 1991; ironically, courtesy of not the political groupings it had feared but from the midst of the political underdogs. Stunned by a defeat that was never supposed to happen, Derg officials, whose larger than life reputations had become part of the public legend, stood humbly in line to give themselves up to the victors. No sight— before or since—amazed the public more. Only one of the 109 members of the Derg, General Haile Melese, defied the new regime by melting into his home region— rural Gonder—and trying to organize an armed resistance. (Hampered by old age and lack of external support, he was doomed
almost from the start. He now lives in New Zealand. His valor, however, still stands in sharp contrast to his comrades.)

And for the past twenty years top Derg members have remained in prison, reflecting on their past and the terrible consequences of their reign.(Eritrea seceded, too.) Their controversial(for its delay and charge of genocide) trial lasted more than twelve years, culminating in the death sentences of 18 of them: Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam, Capitain Fikre Selassie Wogderes, Colonel Fisseha Desta, Major Berhanu Bayeh, Captain Legesse Asfaw, Major Addis Tedla, Lieutenant Colonel Endale Tessema, Captain Gessese Wolde-Kidan, Major-General Wubshet Dessie, Major Kassaye Aragaw, Colonel Debela Dinsa, Captain Begashaw Atalay, Second Lieutenant Sileshi Mengesha, Colonel Nadew Zekarias, Lieutenant Petros Gebre, Second Lieutenant
Aragaw Yimer, Major Dejene Wondimagegnehu, Lieutenant Desalegn Belay.

And now, as 2003 Ethiopian Christmas approaches (about two weeks from today), more than 37 years after the dramatic events that inadvertently propelled them into the pages of history, they are seeking the nation’s absolution. Inevitably, emotions have stirred.

To be Continued Next Week.

Merry Christmas.

The writer could be reached at:serk27@gmail.com.

  1. tewbel
    | #1

    ATO SKUNDER DOES NOT SEEM TO HAVE ANY OPINION ABOUT THE
    FAITH OF THESE CRIMINALS, ALTHOUGH HE NARRATES VIVEDELY THE TRAGIC EVENTS THAT HAPPENED BY THE HANDS OF FORMER DERGISTS. I SAY THAT THEY SHOULD PASS THE REST THEIR LIVES IN PRISON. THEIR CRIMES AE TOO HINEOUS TO FORGIVE.
    THOSE WHO SEEK THEIR PARDON ARE MORALLY GUILTY OF THEIR CRIMINAL PAST.

  2. jegnaw
    | #2

    በ ሀገራችን ውስጥ የ እርቅ አስፈላጊነት አጠያያቂ አይደለም:;እ ኔ ከደርግ ባለስልጣናት የማልስማማበት ጉዳይ ቢኖር ስልጣን ላይ በወጣንበት ወቅት ወጣቶች ነበርን ስለፖለቲካ አናውቅም የሚል መልስ ይሰጣሉ ;;ግን ለ 17 አመታት በስልጣን ላይ መቆየት ብዙ ነገር ሊያስተምራቸው ይችል የነበረበትእድሜነበር አልተጠቀሙበትም;;ሀገራችንን አዋረዱ ለወያኔ አሳልፈው ሰጡ;;በ እኔ እምነት ሀገራችንን ከውርደት ለማዳን የ አውሮፓ ህብረትም ሆነ የአሜሪካ መንግስት ተጽእኖ ለማምጣት ለምን እንደ ታላቁ የ ነጻነት መሪ የ ይቅርታ አባት እና ምድራዊውን ኢዮብ ብዬ የምንጠራውን ኔልሰን ማንዴላን በኢትዮጵያ ጉዳይ ላይ አንጠቀምም;;እሱ በአለማችን ያለው ተሰሚነት ቀላል እይደለም;;በ እኔ እምነት ኔልሰን ማንዴላ በአሁኑ ወቅት የደቡብ አፍሪካ አባት ብቻ ሳይሆን የ መላው አፍሪካውያን አባትም ስለሆነ እኛንስ እንዲታደገን በውጭ እና በሀገር ውስጥ የ ምንገኝ እትዮጵያውያን በpetition በንጠይቀው አንዲት ቀን ለኢትዮጵያ መቸገር ያቅተዋልን?:: በእኛ በኩል በሀገራችን ውስጥ ያለውን ሰብ አዊመብት ጥሰት በቭኢዲዮ እና በጽሁፍ በትክክለኛ መረጃ አስደግፈን ስለሀገራችንተጨባጭ ሁኔታዎችን ማሳወቅ ይጠበቅብናል:;ለምን እሱን መረጥክ ብትሉኝ በርካታ ነጥቦችን ማንሳት ይቻላል:;ለእኔ ግን በ አፍሪካ በርካታ የነጻነት አባቶች ነበሩ;;የ ሀገሮቻቸውን ህዝቦች ከቀኝ አገዛዝ ነጻ ያወጡ ግን ከነጻነት በሁዋላ ግን አብዛኛዎቹ የህዝባቸውን ደም የመጠጡ እና ወደከፋ ሁዋላቀርነት የመሩናሲከፋም በሀይል የተወገዱ ናቸው::ማንዴላ ግን ከ እነርሱበጣም የተለየ እና ለሰላም እና ለዲሞክራሲ የከፈለው መስዋእትነት እጅግ የላቀ እባካቹ ይህን ጀግና እንጠቀምበት;;በ እኔ እምነትመለስ ዜናዊን ከኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ጫንቃ ላይ ለማስወገድ ማናቸውንም መንገዶች መጠቀም አለብን:;አቤቱታችንን በአሜሪካ ደቡብ አፍሪካ ኤምባሲ በኩል በማቅረብም የሚዲያ ትኩረትም ልናገኝ እንችላለን;;ከላይ ከተጻፈው ር እስ ጋር አስተያየቴ ላይገናኝ ይችላል እስኪ ሀገር ወዳዶች አብላሉት ;;እስክንድር ነጋ ሃሳቤን አስፋፍተህ አድርስልኝ

  3. Eyayu Gedel
    | #3

    Whatever happened is happened,This is X-mas time let them go they suffer enough about 20 years in prison so i guess it’s enough punishement.Lets learn to forgive not to forget.

    Merry x-mas & Happy new year to my beloved ethiopian people & peace to the world.

  4. Truth
    | #4

    tewbel,

    You lost your commonsense out of anger. Don’t be emotional like the confused EPRP officials who also condemned those individuals to death at TPLF hands.

    No matter how criminal those individuals were, they don’t deserve dying in TPLF prison. TPLF cuase incalculable damage to Ethiopia. I hope this generation will not live long enough to witness a disaster of apocalyptic proportion in ethnically divided Ethiopia brought by those evil creatures.

    No one deserves to be punished at the hands of Weyanes. The Derg Officials are living dead. It is interesting to watch how TPLF makes itself saint compared to EPRP.

  5. The Cynic
    | #5

    This writer’s unabashed arrogance in his apparent claim of authority on such varied subjects as history, psychology, political movements, military science, etc never ceases to amaze me. You can just look at his writings on Haile’s inner conflict as well as his attempt to explain Meles Zenawi’s governing style in terms of Meles’ upbringing and propensity for emotional outburst, you’ll find it amusing, if not offensive, that a man who’s no more an expert on any of these subjects than the average Joe writes with such unrestrained gusto and certitude about the many outageous claims in his weekly postings. Take for example today’s article. In a complete re-write of history, this guy asserts that peace prevailed over the land and no opposition/insurgency movements existed until the derg’s ill-advised execution of the former regime’s officials. And that, our friend argues, is the trigger that led to the birth of the multitude of opposition parties!! And he hints at where his sympathies lie when he dismisses the estimated 500,000 casualty figure as ‘grossly exaggerated’ and glorifies General Meles Haile for his ‘valor’! Dude, show some humility. At least try to incorporate the insights of some who have done some serious and intellectually rigorous work on the areas you want to explore. Otherwise, use language that indicates you’re stating your opinion and stop trying to pass these outlandish claims as historical facts or unbiased journalistic accounts.

  6. Selamyihun
    | #6

    Please let us focus on the programme not on certain persons for the betterment of the whole society irrespective of ethnic or relgious groups with aim of reconciliation, peace and development

  7. aha!
    | #7

    Brilliantely written anecdote with the Russian Revolution as as backgound for the skirmishes between EPRP and the Dergue regime, resulting in the Red and White Terror and White-terror, resulting in the massacre of young generation of Ethiopians in the Red terror in retalliation for the White Terror. To my understanding was targeted to the Dergue Officials, I presume, while the response by the Dergue was disproportionate, which led to undermining the trust and hatred against the Dergue Regime from the masses and led to revamping the strength of the Liberation movements, TPLF and EPLF in particular, a revoltionary student movement, bent on socialistic revolution of oppression of nations and nationalities, with communistic element like the Dergue regime, I presume. Still to this day, the TPLF/eprdf regime and the loyalist opposition parties and the liberation movements carry the communistic label under their sleeve and yet peach democracy publicly.

    Having said that during the war with TPLF and EPLF, EPRp has been hit from sides the Dergue Regime and TPLF movement, from what I understood from narratives in the last five years with susequent incidences of disappearances, incarcerations, etc. of EPRP Officials and members in the past 20 years against the stiff resistance by EPRP on national agenda vs ethnic agenda and ethnic dictatorship, I presume.

    Having said that the current release of the Dergue Officials seems to placate a certain segement of the Ethiopians,while I do not condemn it falls short of being cicumventive by not releasing the other prisoners of its own making, in order for the peaceful struggle full steam for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians under liberal and/or social democracy, simulltaneous to resolving the human rights violations.

  8. lucy in america
    | #8

    They are in qality illegally for 20 years. Nobody can question that they are responsible for in humany killing of 100 of thousands of innocent ethiopians in the name of red and white terror. But TPLP has been killing for last 37 years innocent ethiopians in every corner and ethiopia as a nation. The derg officals did not create an alliance with the foreign maffias,looters and land grabbers and did not lootte ethiopia. The tegeray’s narrow minded and corrupted maffias groups have no legal right to arrest or to forgive any one who committed a crime aganist ethiopians for many reasons. reason 1. TPLF was and a secessionist group who fought ethiopiawinet to separate from ethiopia. 2. TPLF siezed power illegally and still on power illegally. 3.TPLF has committed so many crimes aganist ethiopia as a nation and ethiopians as a people. 4. TPLF sold all ethiopia’s interests in every world’s forum.5.TPLF has looted all ethiopia’s properties and hidden billions of dollars in foreign banks[ meles only has 41m dollars in malysia's bank.].6. TPLF leased ethiopia’s virigin farm land to foreign criminals from india, china ,arabia and other countries. Here every body shouldknow that TPLF is behind all those land grabbers. The so called investors are TPLF’s peasants where as TPLF is a land lord. 7. TPLF sold food aid in 1984 in the jungle and caused for the death of 1m ethiopians in tegeray.8. TPLF stolen the people voice twice and stayed on power. We can count more TPLF crimes, for these and others reasons TPLF has no morale ground to arrest or forgive any one.This is out law maffia’s group which doesnot have not have any respect even for women. They way how they re-arrested and treated W/t Birtukan shows that TPLF is running by sub- monsters and sub- humans.

  9. Eyayu Gedel iwnetim Gedel
    | #9

    Whatever happened is happened,This is X-mas time let them go they suffer enough about 20 years in prison so i guess it’s enough punishement.Lets learn to forgive not to forget.

    Merry x-mas & Happy new year to my beloved ethiopian people & peace to the world.
    እያለምክ ነው እያዩ Eyayu Gedel ምህረት ጠያቂውና ምህረት አድራጊውን ሳይጠየቅ እንዲያው በደፈናው ይቅር እንባባል ማለትህ ትዝብት ይከትሃል። የማንንስ ፖለቲካ አጀንዳ ነው እያራመድክ አለህ፧ እኔ የምለው / ተበዳዩ ቀድሞ ሳይጠየቅ ፣ ህጋችን ምን እንደሚል ሳይጠና፣ ተበዳዩ ህዝባችን ሳይጠየቅ እንዲያው የጥቂት ገዢዎችን ፖለቲካ ማናፈስ ለአገራችን ዘላቂ መፍትሄ አይሆንም። በመሰረተ ሃሳብ ደረጃ ከላይየተጠቀሰውን ጠቅሎ እስማማለሁ።

    አስተዋይ ልብ ይኑረን፡ አሜን፨

  10. lucy in america
    | #10

    They are in qality illegally for the 20 years. Nobody can question that the derg officals are responsible for the in humany killing of 100 of thousands of innocent ethiopians in the name of red and white terror. But TPLP has been killing for the last 37 years innocent ethiopians in every corner and ethiopia as a nation. The derg officals did not create an alliance with the foreign maffias,looters and land grabbers and did not lootte ethiopia. The tegeray’s narrow minded and corrupted maffias groups have no legal right to arrest or to forgive any one who committed a crime aganist ethiopians for many reasons. reason 1. TPLF was and is still a secessionist group who fought aganist ethiopiawinet to separate from ethiopia. 2. TPLF siezed power illegally and still on power illegally. 3.TPLF has committed so many crimes aganist ethiopia as a nation and ethiopians as a people. 4. TPLF sold all ethiopia’s interests in every world’s forum.5.TPLF has looted all ethiopia’s properties and hidden billions of dollars in foreign banks[ meles only has 41m dollars in malysia's bank.].6. TPLF leased ethiopia’s virigin farm land to foreign criminals from india, china ,arabia and other countries. Here every body should know that TPLF is behind all those land grabbers. The so called investors are TPLF’s peasants where as TPLF is a land lord. 7. TPLF sold food aid in 1984 in the jungle and caused for the death of 1m ethiopians in tegeray.8. TPLF stolen the people voice twice and stayed on power. We can count more TPLF crimes, for these and others reasons TPLF has no morale ground to arrest or forgive any one.This is out law maffia’s group which doesnot have any respect even for women. The way how they re-arrested and treated W/t Birtukan shows that TPLF is running by sub- monsters and sub- humans. GOD BLESS ETHIOPIA . AMEN

  11. Anonymous
    | #11

    lucy in america,

    It is a nice description of TPLF. I agree with you completely!!!

  12. TESFU
    | #12

    IT IS UNCOMFORTABLE TO READ HOPELESS AND HATRED COMMENTS FROM THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE LIVING AT DIFFERENT CORNERS. WE ARE AT LEAST A PEOPLE WITH SOME MORAL VALUES AND A RELIGION THAT PREACHES LOVE NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED.
    SO MY FELLOW ETHIOPIANS PLEASE BE OPTIMISTIC AND THIS IS HOW WE CAN GET UNITED.
    BE THE FIRST TO SAY SOME THING POSITIVE FOR A GOOD THING DONE IN ETHIOPIA WHO EVER THE LEADER IS AND TRY TO CRITICIZE FOR ANY IRREGULARITIES DONE.
    ”MAY GOD UNITE THIS BLESSED LAND ITS PEOPLE.” AMEN.
    ” ETHIOPIA LEZELALEM TINUR”

  13. aha!
    | #13

    To add to my previous comment, Dergue which was embracing socialistic revolution was poised on deposing the Emperor Haileselassie in favor of the revolutuin for class struggle with perhaps militay rule, seemingly provisional. Right about the deposition of Emperor Haile selassie, king of kngs , the Lion of Judah were presented with a proposal of adopting a contitutional democracy to which the Emperor agreed and the ministerial cabinet was formed. Soon after that there was a panel discussion, not knowing who factions were involved in the panel discussion, it was determined that “gulicha bekeyer wotu aytaftem”, which sent the emperor to prison, with the dergue sticking to socialistic revolution, rather than democratic revolution, lost a big opportunity to constitutional monarchy, embracing democracy which is already in place with the existing constitution and parliament. Furthermore, while the Dergue regime,may be blamed for human right violations, it served as a vanguard for for Ethiopian Unity and Territorial Integrity of Ethiopia. Had relenqished its communistic ideolgy and shifted to a democratic revolutuion and remained in the barracks to defend the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia, it would have spared the resistance from EPRP and others of similar ideology under civilian government instead of Military Dictatorship.

  14. Helen
    | #14

    lucy in america ቆንጆ አገላለጽ፤ እንኚህ ወያኔዎች (ዘረኛ ትግሬዎች) አሁን እራሳቸው የኢትዮጵያን ህዝብ እያሰቃዩና እየገደሉ፣የሃገሪቱዋን ህብት እየዘረፉ ዱሮ በኢትዮፕያ ህዝብ ላይ በደል ፈጽመዋል የተባሉትን የደርግ ባለስልጣናት አሳሪና ፈቺ በመሆን ይሄንን በስቃይና በሞት አፋፍ ላይ ያደረሱትን የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ሊያታልሉት ይፈልጋሉ፤ አሁን የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ጠላት በዋነኛነት ጠቅላላ “ዘረኛ ትግሬዎች” ሲሆን ቀጥሎ ደሞ እነኝህ ለሆዳቸው የተገዙ ከተለያየ ዘር የተወጣጡ “ሆዳም የወያኔ ደጋፊዎች” ናቸው ፤ይሄንን አፉን የፈታና ትንሽም ጭንቅላቱ ማሰብ የጀመረ ኢትዮጵያዊ የሚያውቀው ነው ። TESFU አላውቅም የት ቁጭ ብለህ ምን እያደረክ “IT IS UNCOMFORTABLE TO READ HOPELESS AND HATRED COMMENTS FROM THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE LIVING AT DIFFERENT CORNERS.” ይሄንን አይነት ጽሁፍ ለመጻፍ የበቃሀው ፤ አሁን በዚህ አመት በሃል ምድር ስንቱ ኢትዮጵያዊ የሚበላው እንደሌለው ታውቃለህ ስንቱ በረሃብ ሆዱ እንደሚላወስ ታውቃለህ ስንቱ በተለያየ የወያኔዎች እስር ቤት እንደሚሰቃይ ታውቃለህ ስንቱ በተለያየ የአረብ ሃገር በስደት በእስርና ያለእስር እንደሚሰቃይ ታውቃለህ .የዚህ በሞላ መንስሄው ወያኔዎች ሆነው አንተ ሃይማኖትን እየጠቀስክ ስለአንድ መሆን ታወራለህ . ሃይማኖተኛ ሰው የእነዚህ ፓጋን ወያኔዎጭ በኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ላይ የሚያደርሱትን ግፍ በየትም በማንኛውም ጊዜ መቃወም ግዴታው ነው ያለዚያ ሃይማኖተናነቱ ምኑ ላይ እንደሆነ አይገባኝም፡ ሁለተኛ አንድ ሆነን ስትል ተሰቃዪ ኢትዮጵያዊና አሰቃዩ ወያኔ አንድ ሊሆን አይችልም ፤

  15. goban gergo
    | #15

    It is better to say Meles Zenawi forgiving for ethiopian people untill the Egyptians war for Nile water
    PM Meles already agreed to give Nile for Egypt but by distructive war . in this war ethiopians will challenged

    Today, Meles falsly recall the nations ,that is why politians said Meles is a pupete of Egypt

    Ethiopians waiting for her God to convict it

  16. ሙሉነት
    | #16

    የግለሰቦቹ መለቀቅ አግባብ ያለው ሲሆን እንዲያውም ይህን ያክልም ጊዜ መቆየታቸው ትክክል አይደለም የሚል አስተያየት አለኝ :: ነገር ግን እነሱን አስፈትቶ በነሱ ምትክ ለተመሳሳይ ጊዜ ወያኔዎችን ማጎር ነበር::ምክንታቱም ሰውን ያክል ፍጡ በዚህ ዓይነት ቅጣት ይቀጣ ለማለትና የበቀል ርምጃ ይወሰደ ማለቴ ሳይሆን: ሁለቱን በተመለከተ ግን አረመኔዎች ሥለሆኑ ጥሩ ነገር ሊመኙላቸው የሚበቁ አይደሉምና ነው::
    ሰው በስውነቱ ሰው ነው:
    ሰውን ሰው ሰው ነው ብሎ ክብርና እውቅና ካልሰጠው
    ሰውም ሰውን እንደ ስው ሰው ሳይሆን እንደ የሰው ሰው ካየው
    ሰው በሌላ የሰው ሰው መጎዳቱ ከቀጠለ
    ይህ ሰው ሌላ ጊዜ ይህን የሰው ሰውን ሰው ነው ብሎ በሰውነቱ ክብርና የሰውነት ማዕረግ ሊሰጠው አይችልም::

  17. Lucy in America
    | #17

    TESFU. it is clear from your coment that you are one of the tegere’s ameches who areon the line to be deported as you did eritrean’s ameches. Before it was oky to criticise TPLF’s thugs because they have been milking billions of dollars from the westren countries for their dstructive actions aganist ethiopiawinet. The un lawfull re-arrested of Birtukan medkessa has clearly shown that you can notcriticise TPLF’s thugs even in from the westren out side. How the tegere’s thugs treated Birtukan showed to the world that TPLF is a vissionless and looters maffias group with it’s backwardness. You people do no have respect even for powerless women. And it is a matter of time you will pay one by one for the crimes which you have committed aganist ethiopians .

  18. gussa
    | #18

    what we should know is DERG was considered as fascist because it was killer
    most of you who oppose EPRDF are those of the back bone of DERG. when we travel to the war zone you left Ethiopia through BOLE because of your family DERG but we are still in Ethiopia and we know who is bad and good. EPRDF is the one who dismantle the DERG and you cry for them?

  19. ፍቅርነት
    | #19

    ሙሉነት የጻፉት የሰውኛ ፍልስፍና ዐንድ ሰው ሌላውን ሊዳኛው ይችላል ከሚል አስተሳሰብ ይነሳል. ሆኖም ግን ሰው ባጠቃላይ ሀጢአተኛ ነው ተብሎ ይታወቃልና አንድ ሰህተተኛ ሌላውን ቢዳኘው ውጤቱ አያመረቃም. ስለዚህ ወደ ሌላ ሀይል ማንጋጠጥ ሊኖርብን ነው.
    That higher power we call God is the only hope to provide fair judgment to humanity. But God has always taught us thru the prophets and by availing Himself amongst us as we commemorate his Birthday today, that forgiveness is the key that solves any crime or adversity from spreading. We must remember that this Deity is Love itself. That is what we are here for, to exercise love and graduate from this world in love. Then we will be able to join Heaven that is full of love and nothing else. We Ethiopians take it that our Ethiopianess brings us love automatically. No! Love needs work. We have to have/ask for a blessed heart to experience the form of love that is Godly, Agape. Our love must be based on forgiveness and charity toward others. Our forefathers have experienced it in many ways and have left undocumented number of examples in this regard. On the other hand our forefathers also have left us with the legacy of vengefulness and war-like behavior. This new generation has to choose what is best for its own salvation. That way our common salvation as a nation of good and kind people will be guaranteed. I for one was a member of the EPRP and have had grudges against the Derg and Meisone members. This anger and bitterness served as a fuel for my life as a politician translating anger and bitterness as a justifiable manner to be a politician. But now I find out that this kind of equation is fruitless. Politics devoid of love becomes a desert with not vegetation. We really must look forward and avoid wasting quality time in resenting the past and those who went into the same mistake we did as humans. I invite everyone engaged in this debate to examine themselves and their lives in the past and see if we ever can call ourselves saints or blameless.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from a fellow Ethiopian.

  20. Goodwill2Ethiopia
    | #20

    “Lucy” is a good image of Ethiopia and Ethiopian that asserts Ethiopia is the origin of human beings. One can draw from this togetherness, unity, fraternity and open-mindedness. But I can’t see any element of that open air truth in mind which your words clearly demonstrated. You are quarrelled to yourself at first ground and you are trying to spread your infectious disease to the rest of us.
    Geographically, how do you demark Ethiopia? In my understanding, currently it includes Tigray as well. Once you judge everyone from Tigray as TPLF supporter; you mean that everyone from Tigray is not good for Ethiopia simultaneously which means they are not Ethiopians.
    Please check you mind and correct your ideology. We are one single nation for many centuries whether you liked it or not. We should learn much from the EU how they decided to be one single big European nation though they are different and fought each other many times in history.
    Forgiving is a religious and social value of all society. I can’t see any wrong in asking and forgiving for a crime committed. Similarly what can a nation benefit from punishing individuals in execution? We all are victims of those brutal deeds of the former regime and so do the present one.
    If so, when does the nation should get change? We should get change soon. We are bored of killing each other for centuries. Please blood thirsty guys stop your dead and buried ideology which you modified from the stupid British “divide and rule”.

  21. Developement without freedom
    | #21

    Weyanes have no political gain by keeping the Derg officials in prison, so they decided to release them. At least that makes them look merciful.

  22. የፈረ እንድ አመት በአል
    | #22

    Very interesting comments and article! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Anonymous
    | #23

    Lucy in America,

    You stated:” you are one of the tegere’s ameches who are on the line to be deported as you did eritrean’s ameches”

    You start to smell as Melse’s stooge. There are many Tigreans who died at the hand of TPLF. Why do you blame all Tigreans as one and the same. In my view, it is typical Melese/ Berekit propaganda to paralyze the tigreans with fear and make them unconditional supporters.

  24. Anonymous
    | #24

    As the saying goes—the pot calling the kettle black. Derg and TPLF have abused and killed countless number of Ethiopians. As far as I am concerned, Woyanes have done more harm to Ethiopia and Ethiopians than Derg. Besides Ethiopians being tortured and killed by Woyanes, their lands have been taken away from them and given to foreigners, Woyanes have divided Ethiopians by ethnic groups than ever before in Ethiopian history, Woyanes have taken the entire Ethiopian government under their control, Woyanes have looted Ethiopians, etc. Mengestu in the other hand, at least believed in one Ethiopia and he had tried his best to keep it that way. The problem was Mengestu has a cold blooded heart as Meles does.

  25. Lucy in America
    | #25

    Let stop follow all the arrogants and ignorants tegeres dramms every day. Let us focus on them to hold them one by one and take action for their crimes aganist our people. Balegewoch limerum hone liferedu ayichilu leziya sele aletefeteru. balegenetachewun bemeakelawi ena be leloch ye ethiopia akababiy bemiserut gefe asemeserewal. no more life with baleges.

  26. the anti-cynic
    | #26

    dear cynic,

    cynicism is a disease.

    there is such a thing called the truth!!and the truth is that meles’ temper makes him unsuited to lead.in the west, they call it anger management problem.maybe this is abstract if you live far away somewhere in the west, but for those who live in the country it is cause for major concern. they have to live with the consequences of his decisions.

  27. Nassamu
    | #27

    First and foremost I would like to thank Eskinder Nega for his balanced article.

    Yes, Derg was not a saint, but it was not as traitor as TPLF is. Derg killed peole in selfdefence. It was not Derg who fired the first bullet but it was EPRP. My brother, The Cynic, you seem a bit baised and exposed yourself who you are. Don’t you think the victims of EPRP deserve justice like the victims of the Derg? Derg might have committed mistakes out of ignorance, but not with intent to destroy Ethiopia like the current regime does. The traitor Meles Zenawi and his company do not have a morale right to judge the Derg members who are Ethiopians through and through and were fighting against the traitors and their colaborators to save Ethiopia and its unity.

  28. who is cynic?
    | #28

    cynic is pen name for Genenew Asefa. He work at govrnment comuncation ofice with Berket Simon.He is brother of Genet/Gudit Asefa.

  29. gossip
    | #29

    i heard that genet zewde and sebhat nega are in love.

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