Reconciliation and Change are the languages of ANDENET

March 8th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

By Teodros Kiros(PHD)/March 9,2008

In “Unity and The Political Imaginary at Adwa,” I promised my readers that I will attend to the third level of the meaning of Adwa, as I attempt to do now.


By Teodros Kiros(PHD)/March 9,2008

In “Unity and The Political Imaginary at Adwa,” I promised my readers that I will attend to the third level of the meaning of Adwa, as I attempt to do now.

A group of Ethiopian friends are sitting at a café, and conducting a passionate debate on The Ethiopian millennium. One of them says,

“The millennium! when we have more pressing problems rocking our souls. The shanty town around the Sheraton, the deadly dust eating Addis, the resentful eyes looking at the rich and powerful dancing away with their bloated stomachs. We have all these to worry about man… He sighs and adds,

“Give me a break. What a millennium? when the nation is soaking in poverty.” The young woman says,

“Come on, face it, you are really resentful that the leaders are purportedly Tigrean. You have never accepted the fact Tigreans are in power. You would never lament, if your wogenochu (your ethnic group) were running the show. All this bickering is really racist. “

The guy stomps the table in anger, and storms out of the café.

At the far end of the café, two older gentlemen are discussing the case of Seeye Abraha, and the fact that some writers are presenting him as a reborn unifier. Both gentlemen concluded that this could not be, that Seeye was once a murderer and that he will always be a murderer.

Conversations and scenes like the above are signs of a nation with traumatized and angry Ethiopians, for whom any talk of ANDENET is a pipe dream, and a political trick by a few Tigrean Intellectuals, the double agents of the prevailing regime. Yet, ANDENET as a political program is meant to be an answer, to what Mikael Deribe recently pointed out in an eye-catching article, when he pointed out that ethnicity is a tool that the regime is using to prevent the possibility of an open discussion of perennial issues, for which Ethiopians should not be ethnically labeled when they express outrage and disappointment with the handling of certain matters. In his own words,

My dear Ethiopians: there is a misconception of power within our society. The current regime has successfully tied power or leadership of the country with a privilege that comes with one’s ethnicity. For a long time, Amharic and Tigrigna speaking people of Ethiopia have been portrayed as elites who govern the country. In fact the current regime has successfully blamed the oppression and atrocities of the past regimes on Amharic speaking people in general. This illusion has brainwashed some Tigreans, who have been led to believe that Amharas are indeed the privileged enemies of all other Ethiopians.

Through their ethnic federalism, the few elites in EPRDF have convinced Ethiopians that the people of Tigray are now in power. Addressing a TPLF rally in Tigray, speaking in Tigrigna, Mr. Meles Zenawi told the gathering people: “I am glad I was born among you gold people, and I am glad I was not born among your cousins.” The “cousins” of the Tigrayans Mr.Zenawi was referring to are the rest of the Ethiopian people. Listening to Mr.Zenawi’s speech, naïve people at the rally may not have understood Mr.Zenawi’s witty way of psychologically shaping the mentally of the Tigrayan society, but it is a deliberate and successive attempt to systematically alienate the people of Tigray from the rest of Ethiopia. Once again Mr. Zenawi gave the Tigreans the illusion and preserved the reality of the misery of the majority of the Tigreans marred in squalor and poverty. (Demystifying EPRDF’s source of power, February 21, 2008)

Mr. Deribe is right; we must learn the difficult task of separating myth from reality. Why Ethiopians should be shredded if they take a stance against hot button issues such as the Millennium, or the invocation of Seeye Abraha, to mention just these two topics, in which Unity and Ethnicity are being pitied against each other.

Genuine reconciliation is premised on the possibility of forgiving mistakes without ever forgetting the meaning of the event in ones life. Remembering is a responsibility and forgiving the hurt and trauma that remembrance triggers is a moral obligation of the thinking self. We must learn how to forgive without ever, ever forgetting.

We Ethiopians should embrace ANDENET not because we must forget the ethnic based politics of the past sixteen years; we should embrace ANDENET in order to save the motherland from hate and ultimate destruction.

  1. Observer
    | #1

    Berhanu Nega, is he Amara or Wourage ? ?

  2. Dereje
    | #2


    Who cares, he is all Ethiopian, your woyane
    master’s nightmare!!

  3. Shegaw Dejene
    | #3

    What are you talking about Dr. Berhanu Nega is Woyane`s agent whos job is to weaken the true opposition(Eng. Hailu`s group),from within like a cencer.
    Beside,Eng. Hailu represent and supported vast majority of Amharas.

  4. A.R
    | #4

    I think you are wrong, Dr.Berhanu Naga is not from Worage or Amara, he is from sodo.

  5. Shewaye
    | #5

    I heard that BREHANU NEGA somewhat smart, even when he was in prison, he was selling to his prisonmates chewing gums and smokes. One morning Hailu showel was walking early in the morining to the bathroom and he saw Berhanu was counting coins, suprised Hailu shook his head and said in Amharic “YE YEWORAGE NEGER”, berhanu shamlessely stared at Hailu and said because you do`t understand economics. because,penny save is penny earned. Ato Hailu replied to him in Amharic “teru woragna temrhal”.

  6. | #6

    I share my brother Dr Teodros’ call for reconciliation and renewal in the politics of our country as urgent and vital.

    I think it is particularly significant and heartening to hear when Dr.Teodros and others like him courageously speak truth to the regime whose top members, by accident of birth,happen to be their ethnic affiliates.

    I believe that we need to be open and embrace ANDENET as our only way out of the current political impasse.

    However,given the complexities of the problem i.e the intransigence of the government,the ossified experiences and centrifugal tendencies of some significant oppostion groups,the not so conducive international(security more than democracy) and regional(surrounded by authoritarian regimes save Kenya)context,the politics of ANDENET won’t be an easy one.

    I,for one,don’t know how we can go about redeeming our country’s politics in more tangible and practical ways other than thinking that,perhaps,some crucial ideas to guide such practice can be garnered by organizing a group or groups of able minds(compatriots and expatriots..why not Kofi Anan,Desmond Tutu and others for us too?) or intellectuals who can enhance the cross-talk amongst the various groups in the country in a bid to ward off any impending disaster and bring about the much desired ANDENET of peacful change.

    In order to realize this,I am sure that you will concur with me when I say that one needs a lot of faith,hope and courage.

    Thanks again,dear Doc!

  7. Kasu
    | #7

    People,in any ethenicsity,if their both parents are from the same ethenic,they are the one in most cases create havoc in the society.However,in Ethiopia,this time, many people have inter racial marriage,and those who have children like to see living together with other ethenic.This is my belief,and if anyone has good knowledge about this topic can comment.I love to read it,and this is my belief.

  8. Angagaw
    | #8

    How come there is no ‘worage province’ ? ?

    I mean there is Amara province,There is gondere province,there is gojame province, there is Tigrens province,there is Oromos province,gambella province,wollo province,harrer province.
    And how come i never even heard of Worage historical hero in Ethiopias history ?

  9. Meles
    | #9


    Berhanu is not a good leader. He is the most responsible person for the split of Kinijijit. He isn’t a good person with a good character. He does not know how to conduct himself. He exaggerates and he is very argumentative. Ethiopia would be better without him so he should leave the political fields.

    Shame on Berhanu!!

  10. Danni
    | #10

    I can’t believe you guys fall for some Woyanne’s twisting of the topic here…Observer mentioned something that has nothing to do with the article and some people ust followed to argue or go with this idiot!!

    Lets discuss the topic of the article not about Birhanu’s ethnicity that nothing to do with any of this!!

  11. Dender
    | #11

    94% Kinjit`s leadership came from single tribe (southern Amara tribe), thus for Berhanu Nega whos ethnicity worage to succeed within amara dominated organization is highly unlikely.

  12. Siye
    | #12

    Danni, you are right!! Woyannes don’t like topic like this…unifying and positive for the future of Ethiopia!! They don’t want to talk about it and they don’t want others to talk about it!!! So they interrupt and try to change the topic!!

  13. Zenebe B.
    | #13

    Mr/ms Kasu,

    You nailed it good. It is not ethnicity that count, it is the deed of the individual. However some what,We Ethiopians being guded by hidden force to talk about the tribe and ethnicity instead of see the individual as a man. This also the main reason a lot of people do not understand Meles Zenawe,Berhanu negga and Hailu shwol. because they see ‘Black and white’.
    We should be asking what does this individual benefite the country and me,instead of asking is he from my tribe. One of the greatest lesson today is Sen. Barack Obama`s case, Obama is an Black man but most of those people who voted for him they did not care about his race but WHAT HE STAND for. In such case,represents mature society.

  14. Take my word for it
    | #14

    Meles and his gangesters scared of one man called (Siye)than all other individuals or opposition party.
    Why did i say that ? because, Siye for sure will devide fragment the entire Meles`s base (Woyane within its core) than any other.
    I won`t be surprised if Siye get assassinated in the near future. But for now Meles got to wait untill all attention diverted from Siye issue. Remember, timing is essential in politics,specially in assassination plot.

Comments are closed.