Eternal legacy from the Great Emperor Menilik II By Robele Ababya
Founder of Addis Ababa
Empress Taytu Bitul set her eyes on the beautiful yellow floors spread like a carpet on the plain behind her as she was climbing the Entoto Mountain to the Imperial Palace on the top after bathing in the famous hot spring down below. She decided to call the vast plain and its surrounding Addis Ababa and her husband the Monarch gave His consent to make it the Capital City and moved His Palace to where it is now.
The new Headquarters of the AU built as a ‘gift’ by China to the African continent at the cost of US$ 200 million is now shamefully standing in Addis Ababa as an eye-soar to most Ethiopians. It symbolizes the shame of the leaders of 54 African states that have failed to contribute US$ 200 million opting to be remembered as corrupt and greedy beggars devoid of revolutionary zeal of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.
The brilliant Ghanian Dr. George Ayittey is quite right in his call to move the AU from Addis Ababa elsewhere because of the gruesome atrocities perpetrated by tyrant Zenawi for the last 21 years. Fellow Ethiopians should oblige to the call for we cannot afford to put up with the new form of slavery, vote robbery, rampant land sales unleashed by the vindictive tyrant Zenawi misruling Ethiopia from the city of our beloved Emperor Menilik II – the celebrated fighter for unity, freedom, liberty, and dignity of Ethiopian citizens. What for is the tyrant invited to the G8 Summit at Camp David?
The famous Battle of Adwa
The celebrated victor of the famous Battle of Adwa affectionately known to His people as Immye (Mother) Menilik lit the flame of eternally priceless values of freedom, liberty and dignity in March 1996. The Ethiopian Flag and the Arch of the Orthodox Tewahido Christian Church witnessed the glorious victory at the Battle field. The victory: stood as a beacon of hope to all black people in the Diaspora struggling for the same basic values mentioned above; ushered in an aura of respect for Ethiopia from European colonizers; and humiliated the Italian invaders – forcing them to swallow the bitter pill of the devastating defeat. The invaders unleashed another invasion in 1935 after 40 years of meticulous preparation.
The European colonizers accorded respect to the black Emperor Menilik II for defending the land of His ancestors while they were in cut throat competition to grab larger portions during the scramble for Africa. Similar scramble for the vast wealth of Africa persists with growing appetite facilitated by puppets like the genocidal tyrant Zenawi in the present exploitative scenario which we now call neo-colonialism.
1. Yilma Deressa, ex-Minister of Finance during the Imperial regime, in his book titled “የኢትዮጵያ ታሪክ በአስራ ስድስተኛ ክፍለ ዘመን” on page 136 writes that the invasion of Ethiopia by the ጋሎች (Gallas) starting from the south and moving north was a family feud arguing that the two ethnic groups combined their forces at a later time collaborated to eradicate Muslim and Turkish invasion and ensured the independence of Ethiopia; also, the collaboration of the two by fighting side by side enabled in vanquishing the armed forces of the government of Harrar Sultanate and the Arabs. Note: – Empress Mennen and Minister Yilma were the most powerful Oromos from aristocratic family ii their own right in the Imperial regime.
2. During the invasion of Ethiopia in 1977 by Somali armed forces the sheer majority of members of these two ethnic groups in the Ethiopian army were no doubt decisive factor roles in expunging the invaders in humiliation eventually leading to the fall of Ziad Barre leaving a dysfunctional state up to now.
3. The 1998 – 2000 Eritrea – Ethiopia war instigated by the former claimed the lives of 100, 100 on both sides proportionately most of them logically Amharas and Oromos.
4. The Italian Fascist Invasion: 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 and his heroic compatriots 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. These precious 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. Source: Habešská Odyssea (YeHabesha Jebdu) የሃበሻ ጀብዱ by Adolf Parlesak brilliantly translated into Amharic by Techane Jobre Mekonnen – page 274.
Ethnic origin was hardly a factor in deterring collaboration to rebuff aggression. So it is critical at this moment for the parochial opportunists to apologize for their past political blunders and respond to the call for unity in order to dislodge Zenawi’s tight grip on power with the help of immoral neo-colonialists.
Zenawi’s invitation to Camp David
The butcher of Addis Ababa is probably set to attend the G20 Summit to be held at Camp David. He will do so leaving domestic burning issues unresolved, to wit: the plight of Waldeba Monastery & Orthodox Tewahido Churches; constitutional right of Ethiopian Muslims to elect their leaders and exercise their freedom of worship; acts of genocide and eviction. It should be embarrassing to the host to see the midget killer mingling among the President’s invited dignitaries.
President Obama should disinvite genocidal tyrant Zenawi from the G8 Summit at Camp David and show to the world community: that moral imperatives take precedence over political expediency; that he is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to him shortly after he took the oath Office of the President of the United States.
The wise Emperor Menilik II is known to warn his entourage or members of His expedition saying “ዓመልክን በጉያ፣ ስንቅህን በአህያ” “– which roughly translates to “keep your habit under your armpit and carry your provisions on the back of your donkey”. No wonder the Monarch earned the accolade Immye Menilik for His extraordinary ability in keeping His subjects of different ethnicity in harmony under the same tent. This is one of the most important legacies of the endeared Monarch.
We are on the threshold of a massive protest. Therefore, I extend the same passionate appeal to the TPLF security and defense forces that I made to the men and women in uniform of the coward Derg regime NOT to interfere with popular protests. The urgent demand made in writing in 1974 and handed to Mengistu Hailemariam proved costly to me and my colleagues and eventually led to the humiliating downfall of the Derg regime. Is history going to repeat itself?
The Amharas and Oromos were Mussolini’s main targets for carnage; they are now Zenawi’s targets all the same. History repeated itself! The ongoing onslaught on the two ethnic groups and the Anuak and Afar people must be stopped.
The unity of Ethiopia is not negotiable; universal values of freedom, liberty and human dignity must be defended as a matter of right. United strength of democratic opposition forces should grow within the framework of these basic parameters in order to throw out the pathological liar Zenawi from office.
Let us move forward with the heroic spirit of our brave ancestors and uphold the eternal legacy bequeathed to us by Emperor Menilik II. Let us sing the revolutionary rallying song of the 1974 for bloodless change that was broadcast nationwide sparking patriotic response for its inclusivity and passionate call to develop our country by harnessing its rivers; Let us vow to bring the killer boss of TPLF and his cronies down to their knees and build true democracy on their ashes. Let us exercise our human rights in self-defense and humiliate tyrant Zenawi who has publicly called us his enemies rebuffing our quest for peaceful change. Let us resolutely say no more prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia. Let us remove the eye-soar emblem put on our flag that stands as a symbol of superiority of the exclusive minority regime. Let us do all these in the spirit of self-reliance!
Let us stop ruminating on the evils of Zenawi and move with our legitimate struggle forward by implementing the call “Expel the AU from Ethiopia” made by Dr. George Ayittey. Indeed, as Dr. Ayittey put it, “The expulsion of the AU from Ethiopia would be the GREATEST SERVICE Ethiopians can do for Africa – comparable to the great achievements of Nkrumah and Mandela.” It “… will shake the very foundations of kleptocracy and dictatorship across Africa and spark the SECOND LIBERATION of Africa.” I would add that Ethiopians will then rejoice the legacy bequeathed to us and black people in the Diaspora by the great Emperor Menilik II; and the souls of our martyrs will rest in peace.
LONG LIVE ETHIOPA!!!
Release all political prisoners in Ethiopia including Andualem Aragie, Iskinder Nega, Nathnael et al