300 yrs later Gondar still center of Ethiopianism! By Teshome Borago

August 7th, 2016 Print Print Email Email

In the early 1700s, over 300 years ago, the history of Ethiopia changed forever. The Ethiopian kingdom (which then used the label Abyssinia interchangeably) was ruled by the Yejju Oromo people. It was a unique period in Ethiopian history because, for the first time, the rulers did not use the language of the Orthodox Church scriptures. The Yejju Oromo dynasty (mainly led by Ras Ali and Ras Gugsa of Yejju) was headquartered in Gondar city and they changed the language of the Gondar court to Afan Oromo, effectively making it the official language of Abyssinia. This period is not often stressed in our history books but it was a vital turning point in Ethiopia, which showed that the state was becoming more multiethnic and diverse, even while Orthodox remained dominant.

It was the birth of a larger, inclusive and more powerful Ethiopian state, the basis of modern Ethiopianism.

Over 300 years later, the city of Gondar is becoming the battleground for the rebirth of Ethiopianism. Last week, hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians in Gondar staged a massive demonstration, in a courageous defiance of the TPLF regime’s ban on protests. History teaches us that whenever the TPLF regime prohibits a public demo, it will shoot to kill if anyone dares to protest. But the brave people of Gondar were not scared! They have had enough of the TPLF dictatorship.

What surprised many observers was that, while protesting against the TPLF annexation of Welkait, the people did not wave the so-called “Amhara region flag.” The protestors were not much interested in the sovereignty or supremacy of Amhara. Not a single “Amhara flag” was seen! But almost everybody was waving the patriotic Ethiopian flag. It was a symbolic move to teach TPLF two lessons.

1) The first lesson was that as “designated Amharas,” the people of Gondar rejected welkait’s annexation to Tigray, to show that the fake borders are illegitimate. The people proved that they can beat TPLF in its own game.

2) and secondly, as Ethiopians, they proved that unity always BEATS division and the ethnic-federalism apartheid system will never destroy Ethiopian nationalism!

By rejecting the Amhara flag, the Gondar protesters proved they reject tribalism….and by rejecting the Woyane 5star flag, the protestors showed that Ethiopia is not a fragmented nation of many tribes. It is a united one nation period. Just like 300 years ago under Yejju Oromo rule, it doesn’t matter whether we speak Amharic, Oromiffa or Tigrigna, because we embrace all Ethiopian languages. We embrace all religions and many cultures. But We are still one nation under God!

One thing is for sure. The Welkait issue is not the first boundary dispute or the last. Everywhere in Ethiopia, we have tribal border clashes thanks to TPLF’s disastrous ethnic-federalism system. Meles Zenawi has institutionalized tribalism and we are suffering the consequences. In some parts of the south, it is even worse. The recent Konso uprising is another example. Tiny tribes and clans everywhere are demanding their own independent country, but they don’t even own a district; most tribes don’t even know where their borderline begins or ends. Things will get more out of control unless TPLF’s ethnic federalism fiasco is replaced with REAL federalism that empowers people at the local level without dividing them. We can not have a country where the government exploits our differences. Ghana has a tougher and more complex ethnic diversity but Ghana managed to democratize without promoting tribalism. We can do it too.

We are already witnessing the fruits of the Gondar protests. Over the weekend, protests in Adama were started by Oromo activists but thousands of Adama protestors were shouting unity slogans saying, “we are Amhara and we are Oromo!” What a huge victory for Ethiopia and Ethiopiawinet!

Then in Bahir Dar, tens of thousands of protestors sent TPLF a loud and clear message, “Ethiopiawinet is not terrorism, Ethiopiawinet is not terrorism,” they shouted.

Many misinformed outsiders may wonder why Bahir Dar people rejected Amharanet in favor of Ethiopiawinet. In reality, even after TPLF tried to brainwash the new generation to accept an ethnic label, it has not really worked everywhere. TPLF propaganda has failed. Many scholars like Prof. Mesfin WoldeMariam have pointed out the obvious about the Ethiopian melting pot for many years; describing how Amharic speakers represent not just so-called “Amharas” but all Ethiopians from all tribal backgrounds. We do not need to be a rocket-scientist to understand that after 300 years of so many ethnic groups blending together, we should not be surprised if protestors in Bahir Dar or Adama or Addis Ababa say “we are Amhara and Oromo” at the same time! We are simply Ethiopians.

Even after 25 years of assault, Ethiopianism and Ethiopiawinet is alive and kicking. Ethiopianism is irreversible and unstoppable because TPLF might impose labels and FORCE our people to choose one ethnicity for our Identification Card (ID) but millions of us are a byproduct of the multiethnic fusion of the last millennia. The TPLF census says Oromos and Amharas are the two biggest groups in the country. That is false. In reality, those of us who call ourselves Ethiopians and only ETHIOPIAN is the biggest group in the country! Ethiopiawinet has survived its biggest challenge in 300 years, and sooner or later, it will be victorious once again.

Teshome Borago : teshomeborago@yahoo.com

  1. The ኣሽዓዎች, እንዲሁም……!
    | #1

    በጥልቅ ምርምር ሳይካሄድበት እንድያው በግርድፉ, ባንዳነት ማለት, ከሃገርና ከህዝቦች ጥቅምና መብት በፊት የራስን ፕርንስፒሎችንም ጭምር የከዳና ግላዊ የፖለቲካዊ እንዲሁም ኤኮኖሚያዊ ጥቅም ብቻ ማሳደድን በማስቀደም ለሌሎች ሃይሎች ፕርንስፕሎችና ጥቅማጥቅሞችም ጭምር አገልጋይ ሆኖ መገኘት ማለት ነው! ይሄ ርካሽ የሂደት ትልም ከአሁን በፊትም ተደጋግሞ በምድራችን ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ተከስቷል, እስከነ ክሽፈቱም ጭምር ማለት ነው:: ማለትም ርካሹም እንኳን ቢሆን ለመሳካቱ ምንም ዋስትና የለውምና በመጨረሻው ከሁሉም ያጣ የስግብግብነት ገፀ መልክን ይዞ አፍሮ መቅረትም አለ! ሁላችንንም ከእንደዚህ አይነት የርካሽነት ውሎዎች ያድነን!

    የኢትዮጵያ ህዝቦች ሆይ,
    ተቻችሎና ተከባብሮ አዳሪዎች ያድርጋችሁ! እንዲሁም ብቻውን የበላ ብቻውን ይሞታል የሚባል የአባቶች አባባል አለና, ተካፍላችሁ እየተደጋገፋችሁ እየበላችሁ በሰላም የምትተዳደሩበት ሰላም የሰፈነበት ቀንም ያምጣላችሁ!

  2. tebbale
    | #2

    ever since the fascist ethnicist satanic tigre people liberation front imposed itself on the Ethiopian people at gun point, the people have rejected it. it came as a tigre liberator, not as an Ethiopian force to protect Ethiopians and the sovereignty of the country. True to its exclusiveness and ethnicist policy tplf declared that ethnicism is the way to go forward for all Ethiopians.

    As a means to achieve its end tplf looters started to incite inter ethnic violence , made people to see themselves as ethnic entities and tried to destroy the sense of identity as ETHIOPIANS. The famous green ,yellow and red banner of Ethiopia which our forefathers united under to defeat fascist italian occupiers and died for, was labelled by the miscreant tplf looters and fascists as a piece of rag worth nothing. overnight they imposed ethnic flags.people were directly and indirectly told to reject Ethiopia and Ethiopiawinet which made them one and united. they declared that Ethiopiawint is a symbol of oppression.

    tplf fascists have declared in their manifesto that amhara is their main enemy.
    it is no surprise that they particularly targetted the amhara population living all over Ethiopia for eviction and ‘deportation’, people were told to ” go home”.
    tplf fascists carved up the country into ethnic homelands. these are the ‘homes’ people were told to go. if you are amhara , you do not belong in oromo region any more, you do not belong in tigre or afar or ogaden region , people were told. identity card was issued labelling everyone with their ethnicity so that people who break the rule would be deported to their ethnic homeland.

    tplf fascists increased the land mass of tigre republic to three times the size it was before. large chunks of fertile land from amhara and afar regions were annexed into ‘tigre republic’.
    tplf became best friends with sudan and even to seal this friendship large tracts of land inhabited by amharas was handed over to sudan.
    tplf fascists attack on the amhara has been multi thronged. they tried to alienate the amhara and preached hate propaganda and violence which was designed to cause conflict and blood shed with other groups in the country.

    is it not an irony that after 25 years of sustained violence tplf fascist thugs could not break the bond of the Ethiopian people. Gonder came out with slogans demanding that the violence and murder in oromo region be stopped, release Bekele Gerba etc etc. among others , showing solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are being brutally treated and murdered by tplf agazi .
    the oromo makes it clear to tplf thugs that amharas are us/ours.

    it is nice to be alive. Ethiopia is being reborn by the steely determination of its sons and daughters. their solidarity in the face of adversity is still strong. Ethiopia shall prevail. freedom , democracy and justice is what the Ethiopian people deserve.

  3. Addis
    | #3

    Yes ethiopiawinet will live forever!!
    Weyane can not divide our people anymore

  4. ዳኒ
    | #4

    ሰው ማለት ሰው በጠፋ ጊዜ ሰው ሆኖ የተገኜ ነው እንዲሉ ,የኢትዮጵያ ታሪክ በመቶ አመት ተገድቦ ምድረ ጎጠኛ ተሰብስቦ የምንትስ ብሄር / ጎሳ ነጻ አውጪ ገለመሌ እያለ ሲያናፋ ከጥቂት ምሁራን በስተቀር ሀይ ያላቸው አልነበረም . አቶ ተሾመ ከነኝህ ታሪክ ካሚያስታውሳቸው ብርቅየ ልጆች አንዱ መሆንዎን በኩራት ልነግርዎት እወዳለሁ.
    ‘ኢትዮጵያ እኔ የበላይ ሆኜ ካልቦጠቦጥኩዋት ሺ ጊዜ ትበጣጠስ’ , ‘ኢትዮጵያዊነት ተጭኖብናል ‘ , ኢትዮጵያዊ ለመሆን መደራደር ያስፈልገኛል ‘ ወዘተ…የሚሉ የወያኔ ስርአት ውላጆችና ጌጦች መድረኩን ይዘው ደንቁረው -ማደንቆራቸውን ተያይዘውታል.
    ግርግር ለሌባ ያመቻል እንዲሉ ,የህገ መንስቱን የመገንጠል አንቀጽ;የወያኔን ኢ-ሀላፊነትን ,መርኩዝ በማድረግ ኢትዮጵያን ከመሰረቱ ዋና ብሄሮች አንድንዶቹ ለመገንጠልና ህዝቡን የማይነጥፍ ጥገት ለማድረግ በሚዋትቱበት ወቅት ነጎድጎዳማው የጎንደር ሁሉ አቀፍ ትቁዋሞ ድንገት ተነሳ .
    ወያኔ ስልጣን ከያዘ ጀምሮ ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ የአንድ የሀገሪቱ ክፍለ ህዝብ የራሱን ብቻ ሳይሆን ከራሱ በላይ እንደ አያቶቹ የሌላውንም ጥያቄ አንግቦ ተነሳ .ይህ ድርጊቱ መላውን ህዝብ ሲያስደምም የጠባቦች ሜዲያ ግን ሊዘክረው ጨርሶ አልፈለገም . ሰነባብተው በሚገርም ሁኔታ በክልላቸው ቁዋንቁዋ ሳይሆን በአማሪኛ ሊዘግቡ ሞክረዋል .አድማሱ የጠባቦችን አስፈላጊነት /relevance / እንድ ጉም የሚበትን ነበራ !!
    የኢትዮጵያን የምትሉ ከሁሉም ዘር ያላችሁ ምሁራን ለውድ ሀገራችን ድምጻችሁን የማሰሚያው ጊዜ አሁን ነው !! ዳር ቆሞ መመልከቱ ይብቃ .
    የጎንደር ወጣትን የነጻነት ፋና ወጊነትን አስመልክቶ የቁዋጠርኩዋትን ላቅርብ :
    አንበሳ ነው ዘሩ የመይሳው ካሳ
    ይታገሳል እንጂ ቸኩሎ አይነሳ
    ያ-ርዳል(ይጠብቃል) ጉልበቱ ቆርጦ ከተነሳ
    የትግስቱን ያህል ቁጣው ከመጣበት
    የልቡን ሳያደርስ የማያገኝ እረፍት
    ያደባያል እንጂ ልኩን እስከሚያቀው
    ማሪኝ ኢትዮጵያ (እናት) ብሎ እስኪያንሰቀስቀው
    ጦሩ የማይታጠፍ ክንዱ የማይዝል
    አላማውን ከዋኝ ሳያወላውል
    ኢትዮጵያዊ ጀግና ህገሩን አፍቃሪ
    ባንድንት የሚኖር; ያንድነትዘማሪ
    እናት ኢትዮጲያ ለዘላለም ኑሪ
    በልጆችሽ ህብረት ሁልጊዜም ተፈሪ!

  5. dodo
    | #5

    where did you get the story that the court language of Zemene Mesafint was Afan oromo?

  6. aha!
    | #6

    I applaud your presentation of transfer of power from Atse Yohannes and Alula Abanega to Atse teodros of Begemdir-Gondar and Yeju Oromo, with its seat of government at Gondar, and latter Menilik of shoa-ankober, ruling under Ethiopian Nationalism (“Ethiopianism and Ethiopiawinet” as you indicated to maintain unity, territorial integrity and sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, albeit Monarchic and Mesafint system of Government.

    Since after the fall of Derg regime, and the TPLF/eprdf regime, the confrontation in Ethiopia had been between Ethiopian Nationalism and Ethnic Federalism, Secessionism, and totalitarianism and or/developmental state capitalism, ideologies built into the constitution, denying individual freedom, liberty and equality, serving as a prelude to ethnic secessionism/nationalism, ethnic cleansing and outmigration of Ethiopians to slave labor.

    I wonder how your concluding remark will be supported by the opposition party leaders that implicitly support ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism and/or developmental state capitalism in order to be on the same side of the spectrum with Ethiopian Nationalism.

  7. The ኣሽዓዎች, እንዲሁም……!
    | #7

    የራስን አቛም ይዞ ከወዳጅም ሆነ ከጠላት ጋራ ለመግባባትና ለመቀራረብ መደራደር እንደ ተግባረ ተቓላሳይነት ሲታይ, የሌሎችን አርማ አንስቶና ሰተት ብሎ ከሌሎቹ በረት ዘንዳ መግባት ግን እንደ ተዓሳቢነት ይገመገማል!

    ኢትዮጵያውያን ሆይ,
    እንቅስቃሴአችን ሁሉ ዘለቄታ ያለው ውጤትን ያስከስት ዘንዳ በመንፈሰ ተቓላሳይነት እንጂ በስግብግበ ተዓሳቢነት ስሜት አንቀላጠፍ!

    ድል ለፅዮን ልጆች በመሉ!የፅዮን ልጆች ማለትን እንደ ከጁባ እስከ ማደጋስካር ብለን እንገንዘበው! በአሁኑ ጊዜ ራሳችንን እና ጎረቤቶቻችንም ጭምር በማሰብ ማለት ነው!ሰው ያልፋል ታሪክ ግን ዘላለማዊ ነው!

  8. aha!
    | #8

    Look no further for that call than finote.org Aug 12, 2016 hr2.

  9. koya
    | #9

    I realy dont understand people opposing ethnic federal. How can you compare ethnic federal with apartheid.Killil with the natural and original boundary i mean ethnic bounadary is the future of ethiopia with art 39.As far as I understand, the basis for formulating Article 39 is
    1. The fact that Ethiopia is composed of many nations & nationalities and that all nations & nationalities should be accepted and acknowledged equally for peaceful coexistence and mutual support.
    2. In the previous governments, prior to EPRDF, all the nations & nationalities were denied their basic group rights such as the right to learn (school), be administered and judged in their own languages; the right to develop their culture; the right to be proud of their history; etc.
    3. The recent history of the country shows that Ethiopia has been a forced union of its constituent nations & nationalities. This can be a fact at the initial stages. But it cannot be allowed to be the modus operandi of the country even in the 21st century. The concept now is that Ethiopia is and should be a voluntary union of its constituent nations & nationalities. That They are forming it on their own free will.
    It is only in our recent memory that Ethiopia had been the prison house of the various nations & nationalities. That’s why there were more than 17 liberation fronts around the end of the Dergue era. It seems that the professor has ‘selective amnesia’ on these facts and he also wants us to forget all about our recent history. I would like to quote a certain diplomat of a newly formed country a couple of decades ago: “It is not how short the period was as compared to the long history of the country, it is how critical that period was.”
    Recognition of the right of nations & nationalities is recognition of human right. It is a human rights issue. Probably it has to have precedence over individual rights. A certain person who does not recognize group rights can by no logic support individual rights. Unless there is a hidden agenda, why should a person oppose group rights while claiming he is ardent supporter of individual rights?
    Without the guarantee of Article 39, nobody was interested in the Ethiopia Union. Thus when EPRDF seized Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was at the verge of disintegration. Thus Article 39 is a savior of the country not the other way round.
    I would like to emphasize that the concept of Ethiopia state is not something mystical. It is a Union of its various nations & nationalities. The new premise is that all its constituent nations & nationalities are forming it on voluntary basis. It is not imposed on them by some external

  10. aha!
    | #10

    CTd @ #7 above also look into supporting commentary on finote.org Aug 15 2016 hr1&2, more pertinent to your article in favor of Ethiopian Nationalism and Ethiopiawinet.

  11. The Missbrauchs-gesellschaften
    | #11

    አንድ እንኳን የዴሞክራሲ ጭላንጭል የሰረፀበት ኢትዮጵያዊን ያየሁ እለት, ከደስታ ብዛት የተነሳ እንዳልፈነዳ እየሰጋሁኝ እገኛለሁኝ:: የስልጣን ጥመኞች እና ክርስትና አባቶቻቸው ሆይ, በፍጥነት ልትገላገሉኝ ከተመኛችሁ, በቃ ዴሞክራት በመሆን የገንቢ ሃሳቦችን መንሸራሸርንም ካለ ምንም ገደብ ውደዱና ዓወት-በ’ዓወት ሆናችሁ እረፉት! ሃሳቦችንና አስተያየቶችን ማፈን DICTATORISM ነው! ህዝባዊ ለውጥ በእንቅስቃሴ እንጂ በአፈና አይከሰትም! የገንቢ አስተያየቶች አፈና የንብረት ዘራፊዎች ተግባር ነው! የህዝብን መንቃትን ይፈራሉ እና, ህዝብንም እንድያው በጭፍኑ ሊያሟሟቁት ብቻ ነውና የሚመኙት!

    አይዞሽ ኢትዮጵያ, የነቁ ልጆችሽ አንድ ቀን ይከሰታሉና!

  12. The Missbrauchs-gesellschaften
    | #12

    አንድ እንኳን የዴሞክራሲ ጭላንጭል የሰረፀበት ኢትዮጵያዊን ያየሁ እለት, ከደስታ ብዛት የተነሳ እንዳልፈነዳ እየሰጋሁኝ እገኛለሁኝ:: የስልጣን ጥመኞች እና ክርስትና አባቶቻቸው ሆይ, በፍጥነት ልትገላገሉኝ ከተመኛችሁ, በቃ ዴሞክራት በመሆን የገንቢ ሃሳቦችን መንሸራሸርንም ካለ ምንም ገደብ ውደዱና ዓወት-በ’ዓወት ሆናችሁ እረፉት! ሃሳቦችንና አስተያየቶችን ማፈን DICTATORISM ነው! ህዝባዊ ለውጥ በእንቅስቃሴ እንጂ በአፈና አይከሰትም! የገንቢ አስተያየቶች አፈና የንብረት ዘራፊዎች ተግባር ነው! የህዝብን መንቃትን ይፈራሉና, ህዝብንም እንድያው በጭፍኑ ሊያሟሟቁት ብቻ ነውና የሚመኙት!

    አይዞሽ ኢትዮጵያ, የነቁ ልጆችሽ አንድ ቀን ይከሰታሉና!

  13. The ኣሽዓዎች, እንዲሁም……!
    | #13

    የራስን አቛም ይዞ ከወዳጅም ሆነ ከጠላት ጋራ ለመግባባትና ለመቀራረብ መደራደር እንደ ተግባረ ተቓላሳይነት ሲታይ, የሌሎችን አርማ አንስቶና ሰተት ብሎ ከሌሎቹ በረት ዘንዳ መግባት ግን እንደ ተዓሳቢነት ይገመገማል!
    ኢትዮጵያውያን ሆይ,
    እንቅስቃሴአችን ሁሉ ዘለቄታ ያለው ውጤትን ያስከስት ዘንዳ በመንፈሰ ተቓላሳይነት እንጂ በስግብግበ ተዓሳቢነት ስሜት አንቀላጠፍ!
    ድል ለፅዮን ልጆች በመሉ!የፅዮን ልጆች ማለትን እንደ ከጁባ እስከ ማደጋስካር ብለን እንገንዘበው! በአሁኑ ጊዜ ራሳችንን እና ጎረቤቶቻችንም ጭምር በማሰብ ማለት ነው!ሰው ያልፋል ታሪክ ግን ዘላለማዊ ነው!

  14. aha!
    | #14

    As complementary point of views please also listen to Yared Tibebu’s interview with ESAT Tikuret aug.15 2016 and Getaneh Buli’s interview with ESAT Aug. 19 2016.

  15. aha!
    | #15

    Your concluding remark is now underway by non-violent uprising to freedom by the silent majority of Ethiopians against the TPLF/eprdf regime, where TPLF is the Politburo ruling the country with direct support by the teletafi parties and implicit support of the constitution by the Opposition party OPDO/Medrek/fdre, albeit the popular uprising to freedom and human rights violations as common denominator to all ethnic groups by the TPLF/eprdf regime, under Ethiopian Nationalism and/or Ethiopiawinet.

  16. aha!
    | #16

    It also pays for the narratives for your concluding remarks @ finote.org/ Aug 21 2016 hr1.

  17. aha!
    | #17

    I give Koya @ #9 for putting the constitution: a constitution with TPLF as the architect of the constitution and the Oromo elites drafting the constitution, for which the ex-liberation fronts, who against the previous regimes against oppression of nations and nationalities as the focal point for contentions. In these constitution, “ethnic federalism is a demarcation of Ethiopian land mass by “settlements, languages and (ethnic) identity, defined by carrying “gossa” card, and alignment of parties along ethnic lines, with preamble “we the peoples of Ethiopia” instead “we the people of Ethiopia” as one Nation State of multi-ethnic groups namely 80 as integral part of Ethiopia, where individual freedom, liberty and equality super cedes ethnic and secessionist rights (article
    39) as the basis for true democracy, because democracy is a rule by the people by the people for the people and of the people, but not a rule the ethnic group, for the ethnic group and of the ethnic group, minority ethnic group now and majority ethnic group in the future, which promotes ethnic Nationalism, rather than Ethiopian Nationalism and/Ethiopiawinet.

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