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.


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.

Release all political prisoners in Ethiopia including Andualem Aragie, Iskinder Nega, Nathnael et al

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