An SOS Call from Ethiopia By Yiheyis Aemro
Morning. May fifth of 2012. (ሚያዝያ 27 ቀን 2004ዓ.ም.) The Day of Independence from the second colonial invasion of Italy in 1941. No happiness, without any feeling of this otherwise great Day of Independence due to the fact that I am in a quagmire of another oppressive regime that forces me even to homesick the situation in which my ancestors were during that brief Italian occupation. Feeling an absolute emptiness, I am in a worrying state of mind; nostalgic of the past, distasteful of the present, and fearful of the future, suppose I anticipate any vicinal future which would belong to me and my generation.
I am writing this letter of grievance to the sensible citizens of the world who can understand and at least empathize with me and my suppressed countrymen and women at home who complain to have been forsaken by the Lord of Light and instead have been ruled by the Lord of Darkness for the last good number of decades. Moreover, I am writing this letter of SOS to the Almighty God who might be by now preparing the scale to requite the people who have been the causes of the sufferings of Ethiopia and her children especially for the last twenty one years. I am writing this letter of complaint to both so called western and eastern (a.k.a oriental and occidental) blocs in case they may reconsider their unreasonable support based on their infatuation to the ruthless ethnocentric dragon we have in power; a dragon whose feed is pure human blood of unfathomable size resulting from and stoked up by vengeance, ignorance, arrogance, and similar breeds of psychopathic disorders.
Save Our Souls! We Ethiopians at home are silently perishing. We are dying of starvation caused by purposeful skyrocketing of living cost by the regime and gullible cronies in the business sector. We are suffering due to our love for our country Ethiopia, for the regime we have is against true Ethiopians and Ethiopianism. We are made suffer the consequence of our ambition expressed during the rigged national election of 2005 during which we manifested our real interest through the ballot box. From that ill-fated day, May 15, 2005, on we have mercilessly been exposed to an incessant revenge by the ruling junta for our failure to love tyranny in that election.
Save Our Souls! We are made starve and die of manmade starvation. People are by now killing themselves not to hear their children pleadingly say, “Baba, I am so hungry, please buy me a piece of bread,” or “ Mama, am starved, please give me a morsel of any kind of food,‹እማዬ አንድ ጉርሻም ብትሆን ትንሽዬ እሚቀመስ ነገር ስጭኝና ልሙት›”. People are committing suicide through immolation to show their objection against the brutal regime or due to starvation or both: recent examples include the cases of Yihenew Gebre, a dynamic young teacher from Dawro, and last week an ex-policeman, Dawit Lendamo, who has reportedly died of the fire burning he set on himself. Yihenew says, “Instead of living under such undemocratic roguish regime, I shall die by burning myself! And the rest of you, the young generation, keep my torch alight and express your objection to this racist junta in whatever way possible so that our country would be free of the brutal rule at last.” Dawit says, “Instead of dying from hunger, instead of hurting my citizens in a bid to get my livelihood, such as through burglary or theft or robbery, I shall hence burn myself and die. I have nothing to eat. I have nothing to cover any of the bills my daily life requires. I myself have become nothing in my own country. Therefore, I see no difference between my death and life; I would rather say that only death can rescue me from the suffering inflicted upon me by this merciless regime. So I shall die! Though suicide is not fair and may expose me for another retribution in any of the dimensions, planetary or otherwise, to perfect my karmatic records, for the time being I have convinced myself that it is in death I can be liberated from this mendacious life.” These and other citizens are the tokens of the consequences resulted from the suffering we all are through. Apparently, we all, except ‘the chosen’ few, will follow suit and gradually but surely will kill ourselves in any method we get it suitable unless there is any intervention from below or above, from this physical world or the heavens.
Save Our Souls! We are intentionally made diminish into nothingness, even below the status of other animals; we are not allowed even to think, leave alone speak our minds and demand our human and citizenship rights. We are considered as stones by the TPLF Woyannes, our masters who believe in the religion called Ethnocentrism and worship it under the imamship or archbishop of His Excellency Prime Impoverisher Meles Zenawi, the distraction of Myferes, Adwa for the destruction of the entire nation, Ethiopia. For example, if any cadre or member of the security organ gives any false witness, saying that someone is ‘thinking’ to think of opposing this crooked asystemic system, the victim would be accused of ‘overthrowing the elected people’s party and forcibly bring down the constitution’ and will instantaneously be labeled as a ‘terrorist’ so that the putrid legal system of the putrid junta is able to pass on a kangaroo court’s verdict which originally would belong to a person charged with treason and coup d’é•tat at normal conditions and in a real scenario. We have a funny system of rule, jungle rule as some say. It is in such a foolishly designed dramatic move that we have Eskinder Nega and Reeyot Alemu and Andualem Chanie along with other prisoners of conscience languishing indefinitely at Kaliti, the Guantanamo Bay of EPRDF, in which the Gestapo of this despotic regime express their barbarism upon these poor fellows whose question was not beyond bread and some democratic rights such as freedom of expression and rule of law in the country.
On top of the overall undemocratic rule prevailing in Ethiopia which is manifested in various lucidly observed ways such as the injustices everywhere and mal-administration and mal-treatment along with all other malicious mals, the current problem we have is the soaring up of basic commodities and food items. The price of everything, especially foodstuffs is becoming horribly damn expensive. Some basic stable foods such as teff injera with at least shiro wot which no Ethiopian could miss on his/her dining table in the good old days are by now becoming almost non-existent in many homes and a thing of luxury, they have even stopped coming in the dreams. In many families, any available food is eaten in turns among family members. For example, if half of the family eats something as dinner today, the other half has to stay without any food until the morrow’s lunch time waiting the turn. Mind you, the food is not the food you think of may be if you are in the US, I mean it is below standard and used to ‘cheat’ the stomach to appease it just something has gone down the esophagus as food. It may be a sort of dried bread with or without tea. I think many things such as poverty and food and humans and countries as well should be redefined. I do not know for example what a European understands when I, an Ethiopian, say, “I am hungry!” You know my reservation and fear in terms of understanding terms especially with reference to place, time, and condition; we need a clear cut definition and meaning based on their contexts and the countries they are used in. Please, recall what the French Princess is said to have suggested to those people who were shouting in need of something to eat. ‘Cake?’
In Ethiopia, on the other hand, the few ‘chosen’ are piling millions and billions of dollars and Birr in banks, in or for the safety, out of the country. This amorphous socioeconomic relationship of citizens, especially between the haves and the have-nots is killing the majority in hunger and unreasonably enriching the few to the extent of creating billionaires in the poorest nation, Ethiopia, at the expense of the poor. The few chosen have controlled almost everything, including our souls and minds; it is when they will that we even breathe the naturally endowed free air. They have forcibly seized anything we need for our survival. They do not seem to have some sense of humanity; they have literally become wild animals without any rational brain to perceive what is happening in the country; they simply run to profit over ‹ስንጥቅ ትርፍ› forgetting the consequence of what they are doing. They laugh when they see us dying of food shortage; these swine get pleased when they watch us swirling due to famine and starvation; they become happiest when they observe us kneeling down under their knees begging for some leftovers. In Ethiopia, currently the reality on the ground is terribly alarming.
“Save Our Souls!” sooner rather than later, for we do not have any time left. Things have gone out of the control of anyone. We need an immediate interference without any further ado. I do not think Ato Meles Zenawi knows this, albeit, on the other hand, I suspect that it is he/him who is voluntarily staging this evil event for the purpose of accomplishing his hidden agenda of defacing Ethiopia from the map of the world; I do not think the people of Ethiopia by and large know this either. Everything seems moving by inertia. A ship navigating without compass. A plane flying out of its grid. A bus stumbling without its chauffer. A universe without its shining constellations of stars. The reign of Darkness. This is Ethiopia now! Hurry up people of the world who claim to have any stake, any slightest stake with regard to the concern of humanity, to save this country before its total doom is ‘celebrated’ by the axes of evils. SOS!
Currently, an ordinary policeperson earns a net salary of Eth. Birr 716!(It is after deductions, and in dollars, it is approximately 40. Mind you 40 dollars! They are forcibly contributing to the damned dam from this minute sum again!) For your information this salary scale is among the modest ones, there are far less salaries than this which do not hit even $15 a month! It is enough as a reference to what I am going to say next in the new paragraphs.
A quintal of teff which used to be bought up to a maximum price of Birr 100 during the end days of the“ሰው በላው” Dergue regime now it is available for ‘only’ Birr 1550 on average, plus or minus 100 Birr for quality and color, white expensive, black cheaper; as it has been the case since time immemorial, eh? Detour! White expensive, black cheap. In fact, black is believed by the majority to be more nutritious; nevertheless, to me, at least in principle, black is not less nutritious than the white and vice versa. Every color has its own beauty; it is why nature is like what it is, otherwise it would have been like what it is not. It is we people who give value judgments, sometimes rightly sometimes wrongly. Hence, all colors are equal, although our perception may influence our standpoint. I suppose they are equal, or they must be equal at least; it is their absence or presence that matters much and may be the representation we assign to each. Let us assume all are present or absent, but not both…. Anyhow, let us expect the time of the ‘pink’, the mixture of both white and black and yellow, too, which is foretold by some earthly gurus centuries back. Then no white, no black, no yellow, in any sense you may take it. Alright? Yea, every anomaly we see now will be adjusted to the betterment of all irrespective of so called majority and/or minority, and things will be all right after the ‘dust settles’ most probably in the near future. An Ethiopian grain mixed up with some trait of belief in the paranormal field of philosophy detoured my SOS call for a while. End of detour.
Come on now to Ethiopian concrete mournful situation. How can a person with a total monthly income of Birr 716 survive in such crazy living cost which is again crazily kept on skyrocketing on daily basis to feed the insatiable nature of greedy individuals???… [How many question marks should I use?] What should such people eat? Drink? Dress? Shelter? Marry? Bear children? Educate their kids and themselves? Get medical treatment? Get basic services such as electricity and water? … Oh! Better not to think of such head splitting stuff introduced to Ethiopians by alien bogeymen like His Excellency Prime Impoverisher Meles Zenawi who has only one resemblance with us: physical appearance.
To think of how people survive in Ethiopia nowadays gives you a real headache; a bit more than this, it rather gives you a migraine of a severest stage that never has any cure or pain killer. This time around is a time that Ethiopia has faced the ugliest temptation ever since she emerged as a nation. God bless Ethiopia, what else can we say? A single match can turn a house, even a widest forest we can ever imagine, into ablaze, the same as Meles and his group have turned Ethiopia into a hell. It is not a miracle, though the effect is unimaginably beyond a miracle. Many other heinous occurrences have been registered in the hitherto history of the world.
The price of every item is beyond the purchasing capacity of the majority. Of course, you observe life going smoothly as always in Ethiopia; the few roads we have are full of cars, cars like Hummer and Prado, Mercedes Benz and Saab, Vitara Suzuki and Rav(s). Tall buildings are here and there and are under construction as well, they are lifeless though; businesses are run. Hotels are full of the fool up to their brim. Those scoundrel and villain children of mother Ethiopia are engaged in debauchery and hedonism, day and night, eating, drinking, and copulating indiscriminately with whomever they get willing, thanks to our money. People move here and here or there and there. Cities and towns seem actively moving from Monday to Sunday. Shops are full of items, though not that much customers. Life goes on as usual. But the question remains to be who is/are encapsulated in the luxuries resulted from an accumulation of dirty money voraciously robbed through corruption, unjust business transaction, and embezzlement while on the contrary millions of Ethiopians are dying of hunger and immersed in untold poverty any word of any language fails to explain? Hey, Let us take care of the time of Noah and Lot. Let us not forget the possibility of the repetition of history, be it religious or otherwise. Believe it or not, though the manifestation could take another form due to the fact that our time is entirely different from that of the biblical times we read in the books, nonetheless, we are on the verge of witnessing such calamity. Never say, “ ካልታዘልኩ አላምንም” like the bride.
We perfectly know each other. I personally know who should live how based on his/her presumed real income. I am not stupid to the extent of not noticing the salary and the living standard thereof of my neighbor, my Kebele chairperson, my Woreda political appointee, my boss, my policeman/woman, my sheriff, my MP, my honorable minister, my parish priest, my sheikh, my PM, along with the economic life s/he leads. Needless to go into the detail, just to stop beating the bush in vain, I mean that we know many people who lead a luxurious life their real income does by no means allow but due to various legal and/or illegal means; let us keep these people out of the matrix now and let us see some practical examples on how people suffer.
When we see the majority, the situation is unimaginably horrible! Prices have gone up at least twenty-fold, i.e. 2000%, and in the case of some imports, even above thirty-fold, i.e. 3000%, when compared to their price some 10 or 15 years back. But surprisingly, the income of especially civil servants is crawling as usual. This situation on the other hand opens ajar the doors for bribery or corruption and as a matter of fact, nowadays, it has become undeclared rule in Ethiopia that you have to fiddle your wallet if you want to process any affair in any of the offices you happen to appear. Do you, for example, get angry with a policeperson if they use their weapon to rob you and run in day or at night? Do not you do it for survival, if you are forced to live with such an insignificant income? But thanks to Him, we are different people who are able to die with our hunger scratching the wall of our abdomen. Logically, no body would go in peace in the streets of Addis if the starved people would react accordingly, i.e. in accordance with the rule of the game formulated by the elite of the regime which has reinstated the Darwinian theory of “Survival of the fittest”. Despite the fact that most of us are cognizant of the broader path to the peak of wealth, nonetheless, we are dying of hunger for our lack of cunning and murderous nature. …
Who is messing up our life then? The infidels or us, the ones who are waiting His inevitable judgment? How could we get ourselves in such a nastiest predicament? Who is responsible? Who is kicking our daily bread into the wilderness and making us fall into the abyss of starvation? Who is exporting everything, teff, coffee, potato, meat, cattle, skin and hide, cereals, everything even men and women except the sunlight and the air … to foreign markets in the name of earning hard currency while we are dying of every problem here at home? …No hospitals along with facilities and skilled man power, no medicines, no infrastructures, no qualitative schools, no qualitative higher education institutions, no truthful judges and prosecutors, no trustworthy government bodies, no intelligentsia, no fair play, ‘no nothing’! If we see the prices of fuel, food oil, all kinds of vegetables, meat (now 120 Birr on average per a kilo!- which was some 5 Birr 21 years ago.), tomato(now 16 Birr), cereals, … all these are damn expensive. Building materials are in the skies; no one can think of building a house unless s/he is corrupt or living with huge remittance or selfish merchant who decides their own income. A person could build his own house with a monthly income of mere Birr 50 some thirty five years back; now 50 Birr means a substandard meal in a very ordinary hotel in Addis. You need 6000 Birr, for example, to spend a night, only for a bed, in one of the starred hotels in Addis now. An income of Birr 5000 nowadays is not equivalent to an income of 20 or 30 Birr during Emperor Haile Silasie’s time. With a net income of Birr 5000 now, one may survive with his/her five member of the family; mind you, animal products excluded, only for survival in a certain small rental house! In Ethiopia now, you have 100 Birr until the time you buy, may be, a chewing gum; then after, it all has gone mysteriously. Then the question is, how do those people with little salaries or without jobs at all do survive? It is a big question the answer of which is difficult to both God and Mr. Satan. There must be some mystery I do not know yet to understand how this big jobless population survives. We who claim to have an average of four digit monthly income are reduced to only feed our family two or three times a day. We are forced to pay lots of contributions from this nominally big sum of money; for the damned dam of Abbay, public school’s, community development, Edir, students’ contribution to the damned dam, oh, am getting sick, please. This survival kit does not include good clothing and better education to our children; moreover, no deposit, no entertainment, no proper diet, no picnic with family, if you do not mind my language, shall I say ‘no nothing’ again?, yes, no nothing! What we get could never pass the line of feeding the family; even this is becoming difficult currently due to the gluttonous nature of our markets headed by the bottomless pits. Everything seems that we the majorities are living in hell consoling ourselves with the talk of old fairy-tales. It seems we are living in a fake world, we the mass accompanying the rich to make them reach the place of their whims. Fantastic world, eh?…
Any how Save Our Souls! In the name of the Almighty, the Bearer of Light, the kernel of Truth, Himself the Truth, we beseech every able body of this planet to help us soon.