Cry for Tigrai. By Yilma Bekele.

November 15th, 2015 Print Print Email Email

Famine is back in Ethiopia. Famine and Ethiopia have become so interchangeable western comedians don’t feel shame making famine jokes using us as a punch line. How is our first 21st Century famine being welcomed in our precious homeland? I am afraid our response has not changed. Denial, surprise, blame and righteous indignation have been brought out of the closet. The response by the Emperor, the Junta and the ethnically challenged mafia group are typical Ethiopian. ‘Shit happens but this time around it is not as bad as before so give us credit please!’

Ethiopians as whole are not talking about the famine yet. A few thousands dying is not something that worries an Ethiopian. Death due to hunger, death from curable disease, death due to internal displacement (Get out of my kilil philosophy), death on the way to South Africa, death from being set on fire in South Africa, death in Yemen, death in the Sinai, death in Libya, death by hanging in Beirut, Abu Dhabi, death for ‘security reason’ at home – death has lost its meaning in Ethiopia. That is exactly why we have developed this habit of assigning a very low value on the life of a human being. That is the reason the government is debating the number of people starving as if thousands is understandable whereas if one mentions millions it is considered a ‘terrorist act’.

It is left to foreign reporters and the UN to come up with the numbers. ‘8.2 million people in need of emergency support, with the crisis set to worsen through September next year, according to the UN’. Is what Mr. William Davidson of Bloomberg Business told us in one of his dispatches from Nairobi. Of course for outsiders it is all about numbers and economic and political interest as it should be. The popular excuse being echoed is about ‘lack of rain’ not about the lack of accountable government that has the foresight to store food for bad times while growing the agriculture output to feed the exploding population. I am afraid that requires a government of the people that would put the citizens welfare first and foremost. TPLF spends half its time plotting against enemies real and imaginary.

There is something that makes the current famine a little different than the previous ones we encountered. This famine is taking place in one area where we assumed it would never happen again. We assumed that because the last twenty years we were told the Tigrai Kilil or region is where favoritism was played at the expense of all others. This is supposed to be the Kilil where the ruling TPLF Woyane would shine without interference from some like you know who that has been stifling the aspirations of the Tigrai people for so long is how it was presented to the rest of us haters and terrorists.

We are aware that since the fall of the Derg all key and important positions are held by those from Kilil Number one as represented by Woyane Party (ሕዝባዊ ወያነ ሓርነት ትግራይ) We Ethiopians know the so called EPDRF is a front to hide the real power behind the throne. Woyane as a party was purported to be representing the dreams and aspirations of the Tigrai people.

Woyane said Kilil Number One should get the lion’s share of the budget because it suffered under the Emperor and the Derg and made it so. We are aware of EFFORT the biggest conglomerate in East Africa involved in manufacturing, distribution, Insurance, import export, construction and agriculture. There is no one in Ethiopia that can compete with EFFORT. We are told EFFORT belongs to the people of Tigrai. The question then is why is famine rearing its head in Tigrai and where did all the money that pored into the Kilil from the National Budget and the Tigrai Diaspora go to?

There is only one answer that comes to mind. The self claimed Woyane Clique in power has never ever represented the dreams and aspirations of the people of Tigrai. Woyane is not capable of such responsibility. They never cared for the poor Tigrean and no one can accuse them of loving the rest of us.

The dreams and aspirations of the Tigrai people are no different than that of their other Ethiopian cousins. It is very simple. If the people of Tigrai loved and coddled Woyane it is a sure bet the rest of us Ethiopians would warmly welcome them. The truth of the matter is the Woyane clique is not welcome in Tigrai. Mekele is an armed camp whenever they hold their Maoist flavored Congresses.

It is time people question the validity of TPLF’s claim to represent the interest of the people of Tigrai. For the rest of us Ethiopians it is further proof that those in places of authority do not have the capacity to administer a single region let alone a Country. The TPLF machine has not only failed the people of Tigrai, it has failed all Ethiopians.

This irresponsible policy of using ones people to hide behind is ugly and beneath the proud people of Tigrai that have always felt the brunt of the many problems our nation have faced. Tigrai is the gateway to the rest of Ethiopia. The Italians have invaded us twice and Tigrai was the battleground. Ethiopian opposition groups like EDU, EPRP and TPLF have used Tigrai to assemble and organize. It is here where TPLF goaded the Military Junta to bomb a market place for its own political end. It is in Tigrai Woyane fought Eritrea and sacrificed over eighty thousand Ethiopians. The people of Tigrai have always stood with the rest of Ethiopia. The rest of Ethiopia has always been there to protect the land and freedom of the people of Tigrai.

It is only a year ago Woyane TPLF celebrated the 40th anniversary of the birth of this cancerous organization. They squandered over 2Billion Ethiopian Bir to transport so called artists, pave the streets, paint the houses and dress their cadres to show us their miracle in Tigrai. At this ‘historical’ moment we were told the Tigrai Kilil was able to harvest 75 million quintals from irrigated land and 38 million quintals even in winter weather from the vast area under cultivation. None of it is true. It was all lies. As usual it was a made up Woyane statistics. It is just like the double-digit growth that when one digs deeper it is nothing but a meaningless blabber meticulously drawn by some shady accountant.

The clique has every reason to lie and cheat. That is how they came to power. Constantly demonizing others they don’t agree with and eliminating opposition forces by any means necessary is their Trade Mark. They are naturally born killers. Their own friends that survived have given us a window into their dark savage past. They still practice that by having their own Woyane TPLF prison cells all over the country. They have a very sick mind.

The Aiga Forums, Tigrai on Line, The Reporter and Awramba Times among others are cheerleading not because they are not aware of the gangster organizations crimes but it is out of ‘ethnic loyalty’ and complicity. Their ethnic group on the outside feels no shame in using the Embassies all over the world for fund raising and ethnic celebrations. They practice ethnic apartheid even in exile.

The children that are supposed to know better, that have the training to look at the larger picture failed to use their education to protect the interest of their own family. Instead of building on the Ethiopia their ancestors fought for, they participated in a not well thought out experiment to use hate as a philosophy to divide and rule.

This famine is another opportunity for all Ethiopians to come together and question the wisdom of allowing a clique purporting to represent an ethnic group inflict such suffering on all of us. Many thousands died in the seventies and that was blamed on the Emperor. Thousands more died during the Derg period but both the Military Junta and TPLF made money or used the people as commodity to trade power politics with.

Today Tigrai the ‘Crown Jewel’ of the ruling Party that we are told is a showcase of Development and Good Governance is the epicenter of famine just like in the old days. Our Afar Region and our Somali citizens are already victims of the famine. Woyane TPLF is the common thread among all the Kilils. TPLF Policy is causing harm to Ethiopians.

There was a time when higher education opened the eyes of Ethiopians and galvanized high school and college students to stand on the side of poor Ethiopians and raise such important issues as ‘land to the tiller.’ Ethiopians stood as one not representative of an ethnic group. TPLF redefined the question. Well over twenty years later we now know that kind solution is not the way to go. It has only brought more misery and there does not seem to be light at the end of this tunnel.

What is a little baffling to the rest of us is how some among us are forging ahead the same ‘ethnic’ route somehow hoping to arrive at a different conclusion. Changing the name from Tigrai to Oromo is not going to really change the outcome of this bankrupt way of thinking. There are plenty of our Tigrai citizens that were duped by the distorted history as told by TPLF and they are paying the price with their life. They believed the lie as told by their ‘educated’ children. We see now it is wrong, sick and criminal. We are hoping our Oromo brothers observe and adjust their political program and reflect the true wishes of their people. It is time the ‘ethnic card’ is retired from our political discourse.

We demand the ‘ethnic’ regime allow independent journalists visit the affected areas and devise a way to get help. We demand the ‘ethnic’ regime allow Ethiopians to organize independently of the regime and coordinate food help. We demand the ‘ethnic’ regimes children abroad stop sabotaging the relief work being done to help their family. .

  1. እያንዳንዱ ለሁሉም ሁሉም ለአንድ ኢትዮፒያ
    | #1

    ለመሆኑ የ ዘር ፖለቲካ የሚያራምዱ አገር ያጨራረሱ ዚጎችን ያስፈጁ የፈጁ ጭቅላታቸው በምን አይነት ቢያስብ ነው ኢትዮፒያን በዘር ከፋፍለን የየራሳችንን አገር እንመሰርታለን ብለው ወያኒን ባንዳን የተስማሙት መማር ማለት እንደነሱ ከሆነ እኒ ያልተማርኩት እሻላለው መ ጀመሪያ በ21ኛው ክፍለ ዘመን ላይ ሆነው አገር አፈርሳለው ማለት አገር መቀማት ዘር ማጽዳት እንደሆነ መረዳት አለባቸው ከ ዲሞክራሲጋርና ከብሂረሰብ ማንነት ጋር ግንኙነት የላቸውም ኢትዮፒያ እንደ አገር ከ ቆመችበት ዘመን አንስቶ ህዝቦቻ ቃንቃቸው ቢለያይም ዘራቸው ተደበላልቆ እትዮፒያኖች ሆነዋል በጣም የሚገርመው ወያኒ ባንዳ አላማው ምን እንደሆነ ግልጽ ነው ግን ወያኒ በጫካ ሆኖ ኦሮሞ ተገንጣዩን የያዙትን ካርታ አጽድቆ ስልጣን በታክቲክ ለመያዝ አምሃራውን ለመምታትና ለማሳነስ የተጠቀሙበት ዘዲና ለ አምሃራውም ክልል ስለ ሰጠንህ ይህ ክልል ተቀበል እትዮፒያዊነትህ አክትሞለታል አምሃራ ነህ አምሃራ የሚባል አገር ያስፈልግሃል ብሎ ማንነትን መፋቅና ማስካድ ይቻላል ወይ? አምሃራ እትዮፒያዊነቱን በውርስ እንዳገኘው ሁሉ ሊላው እትዮፒያዊ አይደለም አላለም በ ኢትዮፒያ ታሪክ ውስጥ በዘር ተደራጅቶ ኢትዮፒያን ለዘሪ አደርጋለው በማለት ዘር ያጠፋውም የለም ኢትዮፒያ እንደ አገር ስትቆም ህዝቦቻ የራሳቸው አስተዋጾ አበርክተዋል ክልል አልነበራቸውም ዛሪ የኦሮሞ ልሂካኖች እኛ ኦሮሞዎች ብዙነን እኛ ኦሮሞዎች እንደ አሰፋፈራችን ክልል እንፈልጋለን ሲሉ ከወያኒጋ የተስማሙበትን ለማሳመን መስፈርታቸው አምሃራው ወሮን ነው ኦሮሞ ምድር ሰፍሮነው የሚባለው ታሪክ ጨዋታ የ ኦሮሞን ህዝብ ማንነት ከማስከበር ጋርና ባህልን ቃንቃን ከማዳበር ጋር ግንኙነት የለውም ምክንያቱም? በየትኛው ዘመን ነው ኦሮሞ ሲሰፍር አምሃራ ያልነበረው ኦሮሞ የሰፈረበት ቦታ ሁሉ የኦሮሞነው ያለው ማነው? ዋናው መታየት ያለበት ኦሮሞም ሆነ አምሃራ ወይም ሊላው ማህበረሰብ የሰፈረው እትዮፒያ ውስት ነው ስለዚህ የትኛው ዘር ቀድሞ ሰፈረ ላማለት ታሪኮችን በተለያየ ዘመን ማየት ግን ታየ አልታየም በየትኛው ዘመን ላይ ነው ኦሮሞ እኒ እዚህ ድረስ ስለሰፈርኩኝ ይህ የኦሮሞ መሪት ነው የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ሃብትነው አምሃራ ባእድ ነው መውጣት አለበት የ ኦሮሞ ተወካይ እፈልጋለው ሲባል አምሃራም ሆነ ሊላው መቺም አምሃራውን በየግዚው ምሳሊ ስለሚሰጡና ያለፉት ስረአቶች እንዲመለሱ ይፈልጋሉ እያሉ ስለሚከሱ አምሃራ አገሩን ሲነጠቅ ሲቀማ ካለፉት ስረአቶች ጋር ግንኙነት አለው ወይ ጥያቂው ? ኦሮሞ ሲሰፍር አምሃራ የሚባል በ ኢትዮፒያ ምድር አልነበረም ወይ? አምሃራ ወሮን ነው ከተባለም አምሃራ እንደ ኦሮሞ ዘር ነው አምሃራ ኢትዮፒያዊ ነው ኢትዮፒያ በየትኛው ዘመን ኦሮሚያን ወረረች የሚል ታሪክ አለ? ስለዚህ የብሂር ብሂረሰብ መብት ለማስጠበቅ አገሪቱን እራሲ በምፈልገው ከፋፍዪ አገር ማንነት መከማት መፍትሂ አይደለም በ አንድ አገር ውስት ዚጎች ሁሉ እኩል የሚስተናገዱበትን መፍትሂ መፈለግ እንጂ ዘር በማባረር ዘር በማጽዳት ለዘሮቺ ነጻነት እና ጥቅም አመጣለው ማለት ተቀባይነት የለውውም አምሃራ በ ኢትዮፒያዊነት ኢትዮፒያውስጥ ዲሞክራሲ ስረአት እንዲፈጠር የ አምሃራ ገዚዎች የሚባሉትን ሁሉ ወግታል ገዚዎቹም በዘር ተደራጅተው አምሃራዎች ብቻ ለዘሮቻቸው ለአምሃራ ብለው የሰሩም አልነበሩም በ ኢትዮፒያዊነት ለሁሉም ዲሞክራሲ በሚል እነዚህን ገዚዎች የጣሉት ገንጣይና ተገንጣይ አይደለም አምሃራውም በዘር አስተሳሰብ ሳይሆን በ ኢትዮፒያዊነት ነው ስለዚህ በዘር ማንነት ታስቦ የ ኦሮሞ አገር ይሂነው እንደ አሰፋፈሩ እየተባለ አገር ለምንጠቅ እና የብሂር ማንነትን ማስከበር ግኝኙነት የላቸውም የተማረ የአምሃራ ልሂቃን ብቻ ሳይሆን ተራው አምሃራ አገሩ የት እንደሆነ ጠንቅቆ ያውቃል አገር የተገኘው በውርስ ነውና ስለዚህ አምሃራ እንደ ታሪኩና እንደ አሰፋፈሩ እትዮፒያን የሰፈርኩበት ቦታ ሁሉ ለኒ ብቻ አደርጋለው ያለበት ዘመን የለም ከወያኒጋ ወያኒን ለመጥቀም እና ለመጠቀም የወጣች ፕሮፓጋንዳ በአምሃራ ስም ኢትዮፒያኑን ዛሪ ነጻነቱን እና አገሩን እንዲቀማ ተደርጋል እንዲሰደደ የባህር እራት እንዲሆን የአረብ መጫወቻ እንዲሆን የምእራባውያን ለማኝ እንዲሆን ተደርጋል የ ኢትዮፒያን ማንነት ለማትፋትና ለመከፋፈል ያረጋችሁት ሲራ እያንዳንዳችሁን አዋርዳል ሊባዎች ጠግበዋል ደሃው ዛሪ ይህቺን አገር አባቶቹ ሞተው ነጻነቱን እንዳላስረከቡት ነጻነቱን ተነጥቆ አገር አቶ ባገሩም የሚበላው ያጣ ህዝብ ሆናል የዘር ልሂቃኖች ማፈር አለባችሁ አሁንም ድርቅ ስለገባ ሳይሆን አገርንና ዘርን ለይታችሁ አገር ሰጭና አገር ቀሚ ለመሆን የምታስቡትን ህልም ቀብራችሁ እስከወዲያኛው ድርቅ በ ኢትዮፒያ እንዳይመጣ ምን እንስራ በማለት የሰው ልጅ የሚያስበውን ብትሰሩ ይሻላል እንደ እንሥሣ አገዳድለን እንገዛለን የሚል አስተሳሰብ አውጥታችሁ ተከብራችሁ ብትሞቱ ይሻላችሃል የወያኒው ባንዳ በቅርቡ የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚንስተር ተብዪው ህዝብ ሲያጨራርስ ከርሞ አምሃራ ገዞዎች ለአምሃራ ምን አደረጉለት አምሃራው እራቁቱን ባዶ እግሩን ከሊላው ወንድሙጋ ሲሂድ ነበር በማለት አምሃራውን የገዚ ስረአት በማድረግ የኦሮሞ ጠላት የ ትግሪ ጠላት እየተባለ የተለያዩ ፕሮፓ ጋንዳዎች እንዳልተዘፈኑ ዛሪ የብሂር ብሂረሰብ ጥያቂ ተመልሳል ማለት ለካ የብሂር ብሂረሰቦች እኩልነት ይጠበቅ ሳይሆን በብሂር ብሂረሰብ ምክንያት አገር ይሰጠን አገር እንከፋፈል እንደሆነ ግልጽ ሆናል

  2. Dawi
    | #2

    It beats me how one completely ignores the policy change Meles made adapting a “Developmental State” for the better of Ethiopian unity and development after the 2005 CUD winning the election and the Ethio-Eritrean war?

    If one sees there is no difference between the historical centralized policy of Ethiopia and the “developmental state” that attempts to centralize economic decision making of the land?

    It is not easy but, eventually building competent bureaucracy as HD is attempting to do is what is needed; if only you guys stop being on the side of separatists of all hues?

    Bro. Yelma – “famine” will be defeated by continuous development; there is no other short cut.

  3. Yihdega
    | #3

    Ato Dawi,

    You are still talking about the mantra of the late tyrant. HMD cannot make reform and what we are witnessing the classic case of a light weight party boss that cannot control power blocks. His survival strategy is nothing other than appealing to the masses

    The legacy of the tyrant that HDM cannot fix are numerous. Besides the few high rise buildings and two three projects today Ethiopia is hungry, our people are facing migration, unemployment, landlocked, and faces a further dangers of disintegration. HDM is preparing to once gain give land to the Sudan. Civil war is building up from every direction. The country is in flames. Read what the Oromo Federalist Congress is saying in its latest press statement:- it is talking about disintegration and the TPLF is making corridor to the Sudan in case it needs to invoke Article 39. Try to see what Yilma is saying.

  4. Dawi
    | #4

    Yihdega,

    Yeah! I heard the Oromo Federalist talking as an apologist for the “respect” to the original “ethnic federation” similar to “Oromo first”? That won’t help the country to move forward a bit.

    DDS is an advanced centralist theory that goes beyond “ethnic federation” in my view; it is the only organized alternative that is attempting to solve “people…facing migration, unemployment, landlocked, and faces a further dangers of disintegration”.

    I don’t agree with Yelma’s G7/Eritrea route.

  5. Yihdega
    | #5

    Ato Dawi,

    If you open your eyes you will see that DDS is a method of land dispossession of the poor under the cover of “development”. It is an instrument for increased land speculation & the legitimization of the robbery that has been going on for the last 20 years. The cost of building a house has gone up spectacularly become of land shortage in a country where all land belongs to the government. The speculation has resulted the cronies to become instant billionaires. Land dispossession coupled with drought and famine and the Oromo protests slowly spreading throughout the country, is spreading the revolution throughout the country.
    I am not a G7 person so you must ask G7 people why they went to Eritrea. However, just note one point. The mayor elect of Addis Ababa and one wing of the CUD is now in Asmara. For anyone who wants to think, the equation is no longer the same.

  6. Dawi
    | #6

    Yihdega said:

    [[..DDS is a method of land dispossession of the poor ..]]

    DDS is capitalism? Do you have a problem with that?

    So, the “dispossession of the poor” is like the “gentrification” of US cities; the land or houses in the inner cities is “grabbed” by those who have cash for so little money and fully developed; the price after the rebuilt sky rockets. The original owners only get so much for it but chances are won’t be able to afford to come back.

    The Addis master plan is the same thing in the way I see it, even with proper compensations [non existent today], the land only fetches so much; after the full development of the infrastructure however, the price sky rockets. The rich gets richer. Employment increases and some overall poverty of the country reduced. Those who have money will benefit the most, ethnic make up obviously won’t stay the same.

    What should be addressed then is good governance and work on issues of inequalities and so on and so forth; Calling for the “ethnic federation” laws is going backwards to the capitalist onslaught. Calling for that won’t further Ethiopian Unity.

    If you don’t like Capitalism you should propose another alternative. Otherwise, don’t call for chaos, we don’t need to repeat the same thing again and again. That is insane!

  7. Dawi
    | #7

    Yihdega cont’d:

    [[..all land belongs to the government..]]

    Yes indeed!

    All land belonged to the “feudal Balabats” before the Derg and to the state afterwards; around Addis the Oromo & other balabats owned it and did what ever they want with the land on a whim. Sold it a dime a square to anyone with cash without consulting the teller. The majority of the farmers didn’t have any say then. The state owning it was a change for the better if you ask me.

    As EPRDF/HD talked about it the worst corruption going on today is around land however, no one wishes to go back to the feudal days or to a capitalist neo-liberal order.

    What you call “Oromo protest” is very narrow if you ask me; who ever calls that a “revolution” is an opportunist in my book.

  8. Yihdega
    | #8

    Ato Dawi,

    TPLF changes colors depending on the weather. Yesterday, it was Marxist-Leninist and ethno-nationalist. Today it is against ethnic federalism and it claims to be capitalist. A couple of days ago it was China, Korea, Japan. It steals ideas when it suits it. The late autocrat was good at that but had no idea of his own. This behavior is the legacy that his disciples are preaching now. There is no capitalism that controls all land, finance, the economy where party bosses control “the boards” and the management. There is no democratic party where husband and wife are executive committee members. There is no capitalism that controls the political powers with mono-ethnic army and security and diplomacy. So Ato Dawi you need to review the literature on capitalism adequately before wasting time.

    As to on going Oromo protest, you referred to the old Oromo balabats. Your statement is exactly what TPLF said in the mid 1980s, the time when it created the OPDO. Now the balabats are replaced by the TPLF warlords who claim 100% votes and accumulating wealth on the same land. The Oromo student protests thus must be supported. The protest of course is much more than the so called master plan. It is about democracy and ending minority rule in Ethiopia.

    What we see from Oromo protests is typical of a serious uprising.

  9. Dawi
    | #9

    Yihedga said:

    [[.. TPLF changes colors depending on the weather. Yesterday, it was Marxist-Leninist and ethno-nationalist. Today it is against ethnic federalism ...]]

    That is your misunderstanding of things – the “yesterday” you mentioned was the end of 1960′s when ESM defined “national question” in terms of Marxism-Leninism. TPLF/EPRDF is the product of that tradition; ML was the way Ethiopia’s federal arrangement is sculptured; thus we see its resemblance to that of the old Soviet Union.

    EPRDF’s revolutionary democracy is also in line with ML principles of organization and mobilization. Take notice of elections via the ’1-to-5′ model (one member recruits five new people ) therefore, centralization of power around one party is the ML norm. So my friend, such concept propels EPRDF to naturally go beyond “ethnic federation”.

    Finally, when the latest theory DDS becomes dominant “ethnic federation” can’t continue to exist.

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