Don’t take it on the Tigre

February 5th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

Afura Burtukana: I have wanted to write on this title for a long time but the one thing that made me get through my procrastination is the Tigrigna Song by an artist called Shumiye, about the Prime Minister of Ethiopia /posted on Ethiomedia website/. I have had debates with people from that ethnic group and people from other ethnic groups about the “˜lust between Tigres and Woyane’. Leaving aside the details of the debate, the fact that I had it with “˜both sides’ which have at times the same and at times different stances proves my point that there is no lust what so ever, and the only thing that exists is opportunists being what they are. For those who are up to it; “˜Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny’, is a book worth reading. It is written by the winner of the Nobel Prize and great thinker (adjective mine) Amartya Sen. With due apology to the writer for not presenting his work as expressively as he would have done, what the book is saying is:-

1. A rational human being bases his thinking and there for his decision on the issue

irrespective of the natural and man made factors that “˜define’ his identity.

2. There are too many factors natural and/or man made that a human being can be
categorized in to / or can identify itself as belonging/ that it simply is not possible to
shape its thinking based on them.

One can be male, smoker, middle income, professor, which likes to “˜avoid’ political discussions, a protestant and Tigre. Somebody else could be from that same ethnic group, a Muslim, member of one of the opposition parties, unemployed, non-smoker and a male. It is plausible that they may share some thinking based on the fact that they are both male and from the Tigre ethnic group (both factors taken separately). It is also, again, plausible that they could both be against, let’s say, same sex marriage / or even the very act of having sexual relationship with the same sex/ based on the mere fact that they are both religious. Yet, they may go in their own separate ways on the many other issues. On the other hand it is also plausible that they think different on an issue which they were “˜supposed’ to think the same if it was for the common “˜defining’ factor they share. Being a man as they are, you would think they would both rather do everything else but the laundry, and give every kind of excuse to their wife; but one of them might actually enjoy the “˜art’ of doing laundry. The core of the matter being a rational decision comes from those thinkers who put aside the identity presupposition and decide over and above that.

Scholars have devoted time, energy and resources in trying to understand the reasons behind ethnic tensions, or violence if you will. Some argue that ethnicity is biological so it is natural /reflexive/ to have tensions. Some say it is elemental in the sense that the historically accumulated hatred between different ethnic groups lead to violence. This theory assumes that there is a historical hatred but does not explain why there would or should be. Another argument for ethnic violence is the feeling of being from a high culture /’work hizb’/ as distinctive from the culture of other ethnic groups. A fourth perspective is what can be called the defensive one. Some ethnic group, accordingly, feel threatened by the state / government in power/ or even other ethnic groups. Herein, then, lies the logic for the politicization of group identity or the emergence of “ethnicity”? and
“Ethnic conflict”?: self-defense. Yet another view for ethnic conflict is what the intellectuals coined to be instrumental. It is different from the above views in that it is not ahistorical. It believes that ethnic violence is the result of projects designed to capture state power and control. The only way for ethnic groups to have national/cultural autonomy, they believe, is by providing power to the groups. But one has to be careful here because stable relationships between ethnic groups does not necessitate for one or the other groups to seize power. The necessity comes when the relationships is not stable. Identity is both egoistic and relational. As much as it looks inward and finds reasons for being distinct from others it must also exist in contrast to one or more other identities. If politics is about the struggle for power and resources, stable identity tend not to be subject to such struggles, in as much as the question of distribution of resources is settled. Where identities are not relatively stable and there is always the possibility of reallocation of resources, ethnic conflict is much likely. What this suggests is that ethnic and sectarian conflict, or cultural conflict, are not about ethnicity and religion or about culture per se, but rather about setting the terms of discourse in conflict over control of resources via state power control.

So why do many assertively think that there is a lust between the Tigre ethnic group and Woyane? Or, why would we think that Woyane will have the majority support of the Tigre’s irrespective of the issue? It is a fact that Woyane has its roots in and so stems from the rocky mountains of the Tigray region. By default the vast majority of its members and fighters / Tegadalay/ are from that region. When this force becomes the government, it should not come as a surprise if other ethnic groups become threatened. And this is so especially when the government machinery is deliberately being filled by members of that group. The government is also deliberately instigating violence and hatred among Tigres and other ethnic gruops. The ruling party, Woyane, portrays an image that it has the back up of the Tigres and is committing all the atrocities depending on that support. It paints the picture that everything in the region is a Bonanza and Tigreans are saying if it wasn’t for Woyane. On the other hand it is creating a fear among the Tigreans that go Woyane, it will be the dooms day for the Tigreans. Who was the Journalist that wrote an article on “˜Communist Tigray’ and paid dearly for it? All in all there is no stable situation in the country, Woyane has created it all. To understand the power of a one sided propaganda, it suffice to do a research on what was the most reason that led Germans to rally behind Hitler massively and turn against the Jews. It is propaganda and only propaganda that “˜made everybody insane’ and take a mass action recorded in History as the most despicable act unparalleled.

So, again it begs the question, why is Woyane creating hatred between Tigreans and the rest of Ethiopia? Why is Woyane, for that matter, creating abhorrence among all other nations in the country? Of course it is a power struggle and the feel that they need to control everything to survive. Power politics for them is a zero sum game in that they will have to have all or none. Still the question is why they need to divide the people in order to have it all.

Revolutionary Democracy is Woyane’s road map to controlling the economic and political state of affairs of the country, and stay in power. The seemingly market oriented capitalist document, has in between the lines Albanian style Marxism-Leninsm written all over it. It is as far to the left as it can get and believes in fundamental concepts like Class Struggle, “˜chikun hizboch’ says it all. It attempts a forced marriage between the thinking of the right and left of the spectrum; and so it is naturally doomed to fail. In the mean time though, the cadres read from this script and base their knowledge on it. When they are out on the field preaching and practicing it, chaos is inevitable. That is exactly what’s happening now. That is why there is a “˜them and us’ feeling. That is why there is a feeling that Tigres are having it all, and are giving their full support to Woyane for that. That’s why; on the other hand, Tigreans feel that their fate politically and economically is intermingled with the Woyane staying in power. That is why there is a growing feeling of abhorrence among the different ethnic groups of the country.

Myth aside, the fact remains there is no lust between Tigreans and Woyane. In fact it is this very ethnic group that fought and is fighting as hard, if not more, to make Woyane sit in a round table discussion with the opposition. It suffice to mention that Kinijit won their sweep vote in Addis Ababa, and little birdie told me that the ranks and files of Woyane had lost big time in Tigray. When Shumiye came out in the open and expressed his opposition in a fashion he knows best, it is an act of a rational person making a rational decision that is not influenced by the factors that “˜define’ his identity.

  1. sera
    | #1

    which oppsition are you talking about ? which roud tabel?
    there is no enough round tabel for all enemy of meles ther is only a battel ground on which the so called opp. lose evry day.
    there is no oppsition in eth. politic. only an enemy of meles.
    those who did not get post in eprdf and meles BEKA !!
    the only opp. political Opp. is in parlmant and his name is ……
    just sart thinking . yes he is the only one who is and can challange meles
    his name is his Exelency Ato Lidetu. dig it . the only person who respect the law and prizipel of Democracy.

  2. sera
    | #2

    EPPF killing ethiopan soldiers
    they are still 10,000 km away from addis
    the way to addis will be a RED one full of Blood.
    how many ppl. schould die befor they come to power and how long will it take them ? how much dollar do we have to pay them ???

    Ethiopian rebel group claims attack against the government troops Feb 4, 2007 (ADDIS ABABA) “” An Ethiopian rebel group claimed victory against government troops in northwest of the Country, saying it has killed 5 soldiers.
    The Ethiopian People’s Patriotic Front (EPPF) which is active in northwestern Ethiopia has killed five Ethiopian soldiers and wounded two others, military communiqué issued on 3 February said.
    The statement also said it had burned down five different kinds of vehicles in a number of attacks launched against the regular army in various parts of northwestern Ethiopia between 10 and 24 January 2007.
    On 10 January, in Maser administration, the front killed a renowned Ethiopian cadre called Tesema and two other federal police officers. On the same day, the front’s combatants also burned down a military vehicle in Debles, around Ankarom.
    On 10 January, the combatants also burned down a heavy truck, Fiat N3, in Abdulrafe.

    On 12 January, the front’s combatants in an ambush they carried out against the Ethiopian soldiers, killed two and wounded two others.

    On 16 January, in an ambush they carried out against Ethiopian government convoy on the road leading from Himora to Gonder, the front’s combatants burned down a heavy truck, Scannia, and set free the driver.

    On 18 January, the front’s combatants burned down a heavy transporting truck.

    On 24 January, the combatants burned down an N3, heavy truck.

  3. rasta
    | #3

    It’s been almost two years since the last election and it’s so sad to see there are still a lot of people knowingly or without any concrit proof who calims that CUD won the election, wel, did they got a clean sweep in Addis? yes they did but we all know that CUD contested in less than 250 districts out of the 500 plus accross the nation so it will be abit difficult to convince people that you have won the election eventhough you didn’t have enough members who were able to contest in all districts accross the nation.

    The fact that CUD got a full sweep in Addis shows that members of the tigrean community also voted for CUD eventhough people were chanting Tigre wede………..the streets of Addis.

    For those of us who live abroad, we knew what kind of people were leading CUD and we know very well who was pulling the strings behind and I must admit that they have succeded in deviding the people, tarnishing the already tarnished image of Ethiopia and they even ralied on the streets of major cities in the west to block the aid money which feed millions of their “yager lijoch”,,, the things they say on different pal talk rooms is too graphic to listen.
    “YEMIATEGIB ENJERA KEMITADU YASTAWEKAL” is thing here. They have showed us with overwhelming evidence what will happen if they get the power, let’s be honest, we all know that this people doesn’t have the majic bullet nor the will to bring change to the suffering of millions of poor souls who they abondened long time ago and who were directly or indirectly responsibel for the exodus of thousends of our people and for the complicated political culture which is killing us right now.

    So people your cover is busted and the majority of the diaspora knows now who you really are, and don’t forget that your negative activity gave EPRDF more evidence to support their calim on the “ye helina esregnoch”.

    May God wake you up from your day dream.

  4. Tigist
    | #4

    Hey rasta, you seems to be worried about what is going on both in Ethiopia and abroad. That is a good thing. Hopfully that will lead you to think about the solution. At one point you said that “It’s been almost two years since the last election and it’s so sad to see there are still a lot of people knowingly or without any concrit proof who calims that CUD won the election” Well, what do you expect? You know and all Ethiopia knows that Meles is the most hated person in Ethiopia. TPLF is a trator organization that decides to stay in power in any cost. That doesn’t bring any peace to anybody even for you “rasta”. You are bothered that is why you decided to post on this site.

  5. | #5

    diinni dullachi ummata oromoo yeroo lammaffaatiif yaabbachuu hin danda,u.

  6. | #6

    Go to hell with CUD or AFD.

  7. Rasta
    | #7

    Dear Tigist,

    I know that Meles is hated in Ethiopia but not by every Ethiopians, besides after all the deliberately co-ordinated smear compaign it’s no suprise that ill informed people will fall victim to it.
    But the point here is, Ethiopia is a huge country and CUD didn’t participate in all voting districts so don’t you think that this will be like LAM BALWALECHIBET KUBET LEKEMA??????

    Kinijit knew that they didn’t have the capacity nor the political experiance to win more votes than EPRDF, so they were more prepared to descredit the govenment than to build bridges to work for the development of the country. They were good in pointing out the weakness of the govenment but failed to present a counter solution or plan to change the lives of millions back home and don’t forget that the majority of Ethiopians live in the rular areas. So the fact that they won Addis doesn’t neccesarily mean that they won the election, just think logicaly. Kinijit was quick to say that there has been fraud in Addis before the votes were counted and started mileading the public from then on so don’t you think that there is somethng behined this??? I do, cuz I have been reading what Negede Gobeze was writing years before the election and the interviews Ato Hailu and others gave before the election.

    It’s all out there if you really wanna find the truth.

  8. | #8

    Rasta,whenever you get a chance please try to visit the rest of Ethiopia and find out what TPLF cadres are really doing don’t blame us I am sure you are a man whom knowingly turnd a blind eye on the misery of the Ethiopian people,come and visit us in E.ethiopia Oromia you would give the testimony in fevour of us,if you are from Zenawi’s clan the whole senario would give you a sense of shame,you definetly feel ahamed to bo a Tigrain if you come as a govent. offical don’t expect a hero’s welcome,the new “word” should be created to express the people’s feeling please come and visit us we are multi-cultural muli-religious society it’s only after TPLF regime such level of ethinic hatred preached deliberatly,that’s the only reason why we casted our vote to CUD and ONC, dear Rasta in the country as old as the the universe itself,it’s not a viable option,to promot hatred offically just for the sake of personal eggo.I am sure you will open your eye and say SORRY guys! God bless you!

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