Top patriot Abichu & his wartime heroic compatriots By Robele Ababya

February 24th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

Safeguarding dignity, liberty and sovereignty

The distinguished young patriot Abichu from Selalle in his twenties and compatriots in his peer group scored magnificent victories in battle fields in northern Ethiopia over Italian Fascist invaders in 1935. An indelible edict was written with their blood and sealed with their covenant vowing in the name of Menilik II that the unity of their motherland, Ethiopia, must be defended at all costs. They did their ultimate best bequeathing a glorious example of determined resistance against a far superior enemy in terms of professional manpower and modern warfare equipment (including poison gas prohibited by law) that came to rob our basic values of dignity, freedom and sovereignty. The onus now is on the present and succeeding young generations, the Ethiopian National Youth Movement in particular, to emulate the noble deeds of Abichu and his compatriots to do their part in the struggle to free Ethiopians from the tight grip of the puppet TPLF regime and restore our basic values in caption..

Organization of the militia army of Abicu and compatriots

I believe it is normal to seek inspiration from heroic deeds of the past in order to make further justification for the call of unity of democratic opposition forces to forge that critically and urgently needed unity of action among and between opposition forces that had so far stubbornly remained elusive.

So it occurred to me that such source of inspiration is abundantly available in the outstanding feat of courage demonstrated by young patriots during the war against the invasion of Italian Fascist army. One such superbly brilliant patriotic leader was Abichu – a hero with distinction but little known to the present generation.
The peasant militia army of the hero and adventurer Abichu albeit not publicly declared was organized as follows under his overall command:-

1. The militia army of the children of Hamassein commanded by General Haptom;
2. The militia army of the children of Tigray (Mekele) under the command of General Tesfatsion;
3. The militia army of the children of Gojjam (Damot) commanded by General Gashu; and
4. The main militia army of the children of Selalle under the command of Geneal Worqu

Source: Habešská Odyssea (YeHabesha Jebdu) የሃበሻ ጀብዱ by Adolf Parlesak Translated by Techane Jobre Mekonnen – page 274.

It is to be recalled that the peasant militia army of Ethiopia had to travel to the warfront for six to seven months most of them on bare foot, others on horseback or mule carrying their provisions by donkeys or on their backs – climbing and descending rugged steep mountains. Those from the south including the 15,000 peasant militia army from Kembatta are reported to have closely coordinated with Abichu in their armed encounter with the enemy. They all affectionately vowed in the name of Immye Menilik II to fight the enemy to the last drop of their blood.

What is most remarkable and pleasing to me is that the children of Ethiopia, unknown to each other and hailing from distant regions and all of them young, could form their own command which by his own admission became excruciating thorn in the flesh of Marshal Badoglio – supreme commander of the invading Italian Fascist Army.

Yes these young heroes were a nightmare to Marshal Badoglio; they frequently ambushed and decimated his convoy transporting arms and supplies to the frontline escorted by armed soldiers; they confiscated valuable items including provisions and arms, which they shared with the rest of the peasant militia army under the command of Ras Kasa and Ras Seyoum Mengesha in Tigray. They raided Italian garrisons, slaughtered the enemy and made away with whatever booty they found useful for their armed struggle in that harsh terrain.

The bandits loyal to the renegade Dejazmatch Haileselassie Gugssa, great grandson of Emperor Yohannes, panicked and fled at the sight of the militia army of Abichu and his compatriots. So did bandits that were hampering operations against the Italian Fascist army in Tigray.

The fame of the rising star Abichu reached the ears of Emperor Haileselassie prompting His Majesty to issue instructions to Ras Kasa to stop the “Boy”. The Monarch reportedly thought the adventure of the young fighter would undermine His effort to find diplomatic solution to the Italian aggression.

The cardinal question is interest is where did the glue that bound these heroes of various linguistic group come from. The answer is common values of dignity, freedom and liberty for which Menilik II fought and scored victory in the famous Battle of Adwa that became a beacon of hope for the oppressed black race in the whole world.

The brutal regime is bent on firmly entrenching a disgusting and balkanized old political order based on ethnicity and underpinned by communist ideology for tightly controlling what it calls “nations and nationalities”. This is meant to undo the noble accomplishment of Immye Menilik.

The irksome problem of secession

It is a matter of record that Stalin did not allow any Republic of the USSR to secede despite his theory on the question of nations and nationalities. In fact, he relocated by force … for seeking separation; other individuals that supported secession were considered lunatics running away from haven and banned to Siberia where the temperature ranged from -50 to +50 degrees Centigrade. Incidentally, the disciple of Stalin tyrant Zenawi sends his democratic opponents for peaceful change to his Qaliti dungeon where a hired criminal serving life sentence severely beats political prisoners and leaves them unconscious; a recent victim is the charismatic young leader, Andualem Aragie.

The phrase “up to secession”, which is the main bone of contention in Article 39 of the TPLF Constitution would have made no sense to Abdisa Aga and the young Abichu who under the tricolor Ethiopian flag valiantly fought the Italian aggressor. The two illustrious warriors would not have approved the idea of some exponents of secession to form Oromia state for their foresight was dignity and freedom in a united country. It is sad that few scholars in Ivy League institutions are still hell bent to revive the idea of secession, which is unworkable for Ethiopia given the historic, cultural and blood bond of her ethnic groups spanning over centuries.

Conclusion

The stalwart patriot Abdisa Aga gave Italians a hell of a time on their own turf after breaking out from a high security prison and joining Marshal Tito’s forces in the Italian mountains. Abichu became a piercing thorn in the flesh of Marshal Badoglio in Tigray where the Fascists almost lost the war had it not been due to airpower dropping bombs and spraying poison gas on the peasant militia army of Ethiopia. The two super heroes neither attended a military school nor had fighting experience in war prior to the Italian invasion, but became leaders to contend with by the Italian Fascist authorities. At a speech he made at a function, I was one of those lucky invited guests to see patriot Abdissa Aga with my own eyes displaying the very Ethiopian tri-color flag that he hoisted on a mast at his hideout camp in Italy.

It is a bizarre contradiction in terms that few OLF elites are ignoring the fact that Oromos had been and still are part and parcel of the Ethiopian civilization for centuries with their parents ruling as Emperors, Regents, Aristocrats and dignitaries in Ethiopia should lament as being oppressed and for that matter seeking to secede in order to set up their own independent state.

The bottom line of my argument is that it does not make sense at all for an individual to remain ensconced in old political ideas in this age of information that is driving the rapid change of science and technology in the 21st century; it would be suicidal to be locked in a tribal cocoon only to be devoured by a brutal regime that is playing the ethnic divide and rule card in order to stay in power.

LONG LIVE ETHIOPA!!!
Release all political prisoners in Ethiopia including Andualem Aragie, Iskinder Nega, Nathnael et al
robele_ababya@yahoo.com

  1. Anonymous
    | #1

    FROM GETACHEW REDA http://www.ethiopiansemay.blogspot.com
    Dear Robbel:

    Though you did a good job translating the story into English to those who hate Amharic language and remain ignorant not speaking the language (excluding those unfortunately didn’t get the chance to go to school to learn), when you mentioned King Haileselassie advice his council to stop the advancement or forming guerrilla tactic by the young Ethiopian Oromo warrior from Selalle you only mentioned the king’s negative side-forgetting/ignoring to mention to your readers that the king also refused to retreat back from SeQota area and decide to rescue him (the young Abuchu) if in case he was surrounded by enemy or refuse to leave the area without Abuchu seen him alive. Unfortunately his advisers are the once who said we need to move from this area, urging him he will be alright.

    So, do not give negative side of the king to the Ethiopian hater OLF bandits to use that phrase you wrote leaving the king’s good side of praising the young Abuchu also. But, you did good job on the translation.

    Yes, those individuals living in the Diaspora living high life with their children, while pushing the Oromo or Ogaden poor society to get in to their tribal cocoons is the work of distorted and liar elites who live in self denial and lie.

    Even if Oromo or Ogaden allowed disintegrating from Ethiopia, these liars are not going to go and live in the said free lands. We have seen Eritreans, they said they will move to Eritrea the next day of their freedom, BOY!!!!!! EVEN THE GUERRILA FIGHTERS WHO FOUGHT TO FREE ERITREA 70% ARE here live with us. WHAT A SHOCKING AND PUZZLING SENARIO!!! One asks why? What happen to the said FREEDOM? – We know why. Reason is elites do not want to live in a country where there is no electric power or water or no sandwich.

    Not only the elite leaders, but also their followers do not want to live in a new destabilized, poor land just free “in name only”. All those talkative kings of different tribes talking Tribal politics who are currently going around from State to State/country to country waving their flags are liars- who will never go to live build new Oromo or Ogaden even if you give them the lands they wanted now.

    They can’t even go to the jungle and fight what their Microphone slogan said. They are here living a lavish life talking in the Pal Talk TeJ Bet. Stay tune next week on my weblog how the new OLF is lying to you with amazing evidence that came from their leader’s mouth. What a jock! Good luck to all the liars!
    Getachew Reda http://www.ethiopiansemay.blogspot.com

  2. GETACHEW REDA
    | #2

    FROM GETACHEW REDA http://www.ethiopiansemay.blogspot.com

    Dear Robbel:

    Though you did a good job translating the story into English to those who hate Amharic language and remain ignorant not speaking the language (excluding those unfortunately didn’t get the chance to go to school to learn), when you mentioned King Haileselassie advice his council to stop the advancement or forming guerrilla tactic by the young Ethiopian Oromo warrior from Selalle you only mentioned the king’s negative side-forgetting/ignoring to mention to your readers that the king also refused to retreat back from SeQota war zone, and decided to rescue him back to the war zone (where the young Abuchu based) the king thought in case Abichu was surrounded by enemy. So, the king refuse to leave the area without Abuchu seen him alive. Unfortunately his advisers are the once who said we need to move from this area, urging him he will be alright.

    Most importantly you also intentionally or not forgot that the king gave this young warrior a rank. Why do you failed to mention such positive side of the king when you wrote negative action by the king towards the young warrior?

    So, do not give negative side of the king to the Ethiopian hater OLF bandits to use that phrase you wrote leaving the king’s good side of praising the young Abuchu also. But, you did good job on the translation. You educated elites need to use two of your eyes instead of one negative eye when writing history.
    Getachew Reda http://www.ethiopiansemay.blogspot.com

  3. Oda Tulu
    | #3

    Abichu is a truly a stalwart patriot of whom all genuine Ethiopians must be proud.

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    Did some body say that Getache Reda is an Ethiopian? His comments do not seem to come from a normal, healthy individual. Some body commented that he comes from both Tigray and Gonder and does not have a grasp of the rest of Ethiopia. Readers would like to know his back ground to make sense of his inuandos.

  5. Anonymous
    | #5

    Using Abichu from sellale, as anticipatory set, your thesis statements’argumentative position which reads as follows: … to seek inspiration from heroic deeds of the past in order to make further justification for the call of unity of democratic opposition forces, “which are now split into thre factions, KAUP, UDJP and Gibot 7, and the loyalist oppostion parties (ethnic federalists), and EPRP, etc.” to forge ….. the needed unity of action “to non-violent action)” …..
    You further reinforced that “… the glue that bound these liguistic group (Oromo ” ? ) together come from the common values of dignity, freedom, and liberty for which (“Emperor”) Menilik II fought and scored victory in the famous battle of Adwa ….”.

    to draw parallels between the Italian occupation and the TPLF/eprdf regime, where TPLF spearheding the liberation movements against oppression of nations and nationalities of the previous regimes, which upon defeating the Dergue regime took over power must be considered as “internal invaders”, legitimized by the teletafi and loyalist opposition parties, abiding by ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism, against those parties for national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty and equality to supercede ethnic and secessionist rights.

    Based on these premises, your conclusion calls for unity of the opposition forces to unite what?

    Is it over the common values of dignity, freedom and liberty from autocratic rule, ethnocratic rule, which is governing, under ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalirianism?
    Or is it to unite over the common goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty, and equality to have precedence over the prevalent ethnic and secessionist rights?

    If you have adpopted the first option, it is hard to dismantle ethnic fereralism, secessionism and totaliarinism that is directly supported, by teletafi (ethnic federalists) parties and indirectely supported by the loyalist (ethnic federalists) oppostion parties and UDJP, to achieve the commom values of dignity, freedom,and liberty, unless the above mentioned factions coalesce around the common goals and objectives followed by “Andinet Hayloch” for unity territorial integrity sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty, equality and “dignity” as you indicated as common individual values to have precedence of ethnic and secessionist rights, maintenance of ethnic feredralism and totalirianism over fantasy land divisions of Ethiopian land mass into seven of nine and/or 80 ethnic groups.

  6. aha!
    | #6

    The above comentary and the revised comentary that follows shoud reflect aha! not Anonymous.

  7. aha!
    | #7

    You also must understand without dismantling ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism, and resorting to the original political boundries of the 13-14 provinces, and redrafting the constitution free of ethnic politic and/or policies; there will be no individual freedom, liberty, equality and “dignity” as you indicated, Ethiopian nationalism/unity, and the sovereignity of Ethiopia.

    Without the the three branches of government being independent of each other there will be there will be balanced power within the government neither under the current government of ethnic rule and the inended majority ethnic rule. It is this unbalanced system of the government that does not allow for the passage of laws that are not debated freely in the parliament by independent parliament and implemented by independent judiciary and the abscence of independent election board.

    It is the set up of the constitution that allowed for exploitation and political strangle hold of the country’s resources and its silent majority by way of State Capitalism, where capital and land is made availble to TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises, and cadres and land available to foreign corporations, that has never happened with the previous regimes.

    All the previous regimes fought for Ethiopian unity, territorial integrity and sovereignity as well as the values you stipulated.

  8. Gamme
    | #8

    Abichu and Abdisa Aga are to be admired and emulated. But, at the same time it is stupid to deny that most Oromo peasants suffered under the neftegna-gabbar system. This was not the case for Amhara and Tigray peasants. Sure they have problems, but it is of a different type. The Oromo culture and language wre denegrated and discriminated against. One must recognise that and find solutions for it. denial is no solution. Ok, Stalin did not allow separation, but it happened anyway.The story of Abichu and Abdisa Aga can serve to unite people, but is is not enough on its own.

  9. Oda Tulu
    | #9

    #9: Please recall that the Oromos too had their exploiting Balabat system, That was why the Marxist- Leninists like Senay Likie, Haile Fida et al preferred class struggle.

  10. aha!
    | #10

    It is also theset up of the constitution that allowed for self-rule and separate development much like the Appartheid regime of South Africa, which now the loyalist opposition parties and Ginbot 7 are vouching for equality/”yekulinet mebit” of the Killil Mengistats”/ 7 ethnic regions, which confirms the maintenance of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalirinism.In addition that those in the camp of the TPLF/eprdf regime and those ex-TPLFites were beset with a movement against the oppression of natins and nationalities rather than a class struggle with the ones stipulated above and EPRP. To my understanding at the time class struggle would have a different scenario than ethnic fedralism, secessionism and totaliarinism, a democratic revolution for land reform and workers rights for controlling inflation, and mitigating the impact from droughts with a constitutional Monarchy for stability, dignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

    As such the current alignment has created a dichotomy for silent majority of Ethiopians between the negative forces of disintegration (TPLF/eprdf regime and its mirror images) and the positive forces of integration vouching for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty and equality to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights that has been prevalent for the last 21 years.

  11. dhu
    | #11

    surprisingly this author wrote a lot to convince his urban reader. Andualam is one person in prison, which I totally oppose for jailing him. however, this Robele author didn’t mention what Melese is doing to ten thousands of oromo innocent people. As Melese is doing what Stalin did in USSR, the end of Ethiopia came as fast as you never expect, because I see in the current article the Minilik’s grand childeren approve what Melese is doing to innocent people of oromo while oppossing imprisonment of thier own like Andualam, which is not a problem at all.

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