Ethiopian Reporter as usual: Blaming the victim – Tesfaye Kebede, Addis Ababa (Sidistkilo)

May 17th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

In its May 13, 2009 editorial, the Ethiopian reporter Amharic version came up with, in what seems an interesting topic-“strengthening our(Ethiopian) unity”, but which failed to point out the real cause of the problem. (more…)

In its May 13, 2009 editorial, the Ethiopian reporter Amharic version came up with, in what seems an interesting topic-“strengthening our(Ethiopian) unity”, but which failed to point out the real cause of the problem. It rather blames the people, the victims of the unspeakable atrocities perpetuated by narrow minded ethnocentric regime. Yes, it did mention all the consequences of, what appears to be, the threats posed on the unity and integrity of Ethiopia, as a nation. Yes, we are all forced or manipulated to think along ethnic, regional or religious lines. It not surprising to see a political party, an association, a church, a mosque, even business organization named after certain ethnic group. There should not be a problem with any of these groupings as long as they put Ethiopian first and everything else next.

There is no question that our unity is under grave threat; not from external enemies but from our own leaders. As reporter mentioned it, by strengthening our unity we all benefit because there are so many things that can’t and shouldn’t be limited to a region or zone or woreda. But what it fails to mention is as to what caused the problem at the very beginning and who should be blamed for it. It is not for the sake of playing blame game but to find the solution. For me that is the point where we should start solving the problem.

The constitution and the federal system of governance that it promotes is not as such a problem except very few of its provisions. By the way, if the constitution, which they wrote and love to mention at every occasion, is implemented correctly, a minority would never have such an absolute command over the politics and economy of the country. In a constitution that promotes proportional representation, there is no way for a minority to be over represented.

The threat posed on our unity basically lies with the attitude of those who are in power and what they are practically doing on the ground. Speaking of attitude, our prime minister should be the only leader in the world who loves to hate ‘his’ country. It is a prime minister who never addresses Ethiopians as a people; rather he consistently refers us as ‘peoples’. (የኢትዮጵያ ህዝቦች እንጅ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ብሎ አያውቅም). He never dares to mention the country as ‘my country Ethiopia (ሀገሬ ኢትዮጵያ)’; he would rather refer it as ‘this country- (ይህች አገር)’. What is the implication of such as statement from the so called leader of the country? It is simply intended to send a clear message that we are not the same people; we are different and should eventually be separated. They are destined to destroy whatever and who ever stands for unity. They are fixated with the notion that there is no possible way that they, as a minority, can legitimately rule the country.

The anti- Ethiopianism of our leaders isn’t limited to what they say. We have seen it in so many of their actions. How is it possible to strengthen unity, or prioritize Ethiopianism over regionalism-Ethinicism, in a country lead by anti-unity groups? These are the very people who insisted that ethnicity of a person should be written on the identification cards. What is the benefit of doing so except the hidden motive of using it for the purpose of intimidation and discrimination (they know that names are so integrated that they are not enough to clearly identify who belongs to which ethnic group). That is how low they went. We know why Addis Ababa is the only place chosen for this evil purpose. It is because Addis Ababa is, probably, heterogeneous and the only place they haven’t been able to divide along ethnic lines (many of the people in Addis don’t care and may not even exactly know to which group they really belong to because of so many reasons). And yet, in the eve of the historic election of 2005, the very irresponsible regime blamed pro-unity forces as Interhamwe, referring to Rwanda’s genocide perpetuators. But, what they are doing is exactly what Interhamwe did before the genocide (identification card, which was deliberately issued in the run up to the genocide, was the only means through which ethnic Tutsi’s were identified.)

We have leaders who even want the cars to reflect, with the help of their plate code, the ethnic background of the owners. But, surprisingly enough they were the first to face the consequence of the reckless policy after their cars being attacked based on the ethnic code (T.G, ት.ግ) being Tigray) given to them. After that they are changing their car codes to A.A (Addis Ababa), to disguise the ethnicity of the owners, but they still insist that the general coding system of car plates along ethnic lines should be in place. This is nothing but a government project intended to instill and magnify differences in everything possible.

The other point raised by reporter is that “we should not count the schools and clinics built in some areas and complain about it; we just have to think as a country.” This seems to be a clear case of covering up. I know Reporter tried to belittle those who question the un-fair resource distribution by mentioning some schools and clinics. It is much more and bigger than that. And, it is also very natural to question when a tiny proportion of a population controls majority of the country’s resource. Don’t you know that EFFORT, a consortium, lead by your masters and owned by one ethnic group, controls over 60% of the country’s domestic production? Don’t you know that 22 out of 23 top military positions are controlled by one ethnic group? Don’t you know who holds the key government offices?

So, Reporter, it is very good that you even raised the issue of ‘strengthening unity’. But, don’t blame me and other ordinary people who are forced to think and act ethnically by your masters. Now, we have started fighting back. If you really care about unity, tell them (Woyanes) that what has happened so far and the things that are likely to happen in the near future are all the makings of the very anti-Ethiopian leaders.

We will overcome, Ethiopia will thrive.

Tesfaye Kebede
Addis Ababa (Sidistkilo)

  1. Tesfu
    | #1

    Tesfaye Kebede,
    Brother, greatness is in modesty not in arrogance, in accomodation and not in arbitrary fanatisim. I do hope that one day you got the chance of leading our country but you smell horrible from far. It is true that the government has made its contribution but remeber that the government has anobligation of controlling distractive holigans that use the simple people for their own selfish interest. Yes brother, that ethnically oriented killing that was started in Addis should not be allowed. Do not be blind. Our people have to learn to say to fanatics no. We need our unity and that comes not by killing Tigray people who are no less Ethiopians than any.
    God Bless you and our beloved country with unity and peace.

  2. Aba Jaffar Aba Gobbu
    | #2

    It is a beautiful and objective article. I have no ilusion that the “reporter” writes objectively. Reporter must learn the elementary priciples of media.

    Abugida thank you

  3. Abera
    | #3

    Thank you, it is a good observation and the right response.

  4. teddy
    | #4

    i read the reporter newspaper article. it said we have to be united and not attack eachother. it seems this article by tesfaye is doing exactly what we should not do, which is blame eachother. please LET US UNITE WITHOUT BLAMES!! our country needs unity. but as the reporter website said, we have to recognize our differences and accept them but find ways to unite. if we attack TPLF, OLF, ONLF and others for using the word “peoples” or for struggling for their own ethnic groups, then we are hurting ourselves. differences are natural. we have to embrace them and move forward to use things that unite as.

    the only part i agree in this article is when it said “22 out of 23 top military positions are controlled by one ethnic group”

    Yes, for the most part tigres are controlling the army. but it is exaggeration to say 22 out of 23.
    secondly, if our amhara people in the army obey the “illegal” groups like Ginbot 7 and EPPF, can we blame woyane for removing pro-EPPF amhara general from the army? i don’t think so. i remember when i first came to america, i filled a visa application form that says i am not allowed to be involved in “espionage, sabotage activities to overthrow the american government or do any unlawful act”
    This is the same law we have to respect in ethiopia. we can’t have the best of both worlds. during the TPLF and OLF wars against haile selasie and mengistu, tigres and oromos defected to rebels so most army generals were amhara. i wish they never defected or were imprisoned for supporting TPLF and OLF. but that is the reality.
    as long as armed groups like OLF, EPPF, ONLF (and previously TPLF) exist in ethiopian political atmosphere, it will always have negative effect on the equality of different ethnic groups in institutions, army etc.
    the best solution to end the cycle is only peaceful struggle, love , patience and unity. this is why we should support Birtukan, Ato bulcha, gudina, hailu shawel and others who are fighting peacefully

  5. Only justice delivers peace
    | #5

    Envenomation or injection a poisonous propaganda into Ethnic line has been the duty of TPLF for the last 18 years. Ethiopian has never been fragmented like this based on ethnic line in her long-standing history. Ethiopian has been fused into each other in marriage for centuries, have faced terrible dictators and colonial wars together. Never been like today categorized as Gold, silver and platinum etc. Well broken for the last 18 years were these historical bandings. Well REPORTER you have your own big share of envenomation of the nation.
    Now, no body loses, but you. You have been insulting and intimidating those patriots who caution you not to fragment the nation on Ethnic bases ……….well, time will feed you what you have been cultivating ………the worst you are telling that we do not know anything having a fair share of equal clinic, school, road privileges of a minority..

  6. seifu
    | #6

    Ethiopians should be smart enough to exploit the conflict between the EPLF and TPLF to their advantage. It is now the right time for the EPLF to attack and destroy the TPLF since the non-tigre parts of the weyanne army will either surrender or turn their guns against the TPLF.
    The Ethiopian opposition should be courageous enough to inform the country`s public to stay out of the conflict and instead focus on expelling the ethno-fascists from Ethiopia. Ethiopians have paid tremendous sacrifices under the command of the ethno-fascists to liberate some rocky god forsaken land from the EPLF which Meles Zenawi has given back. On the other hand, the ethno-fascist Meles Zenawi has given away fertile and rich Ethiopian land to the Sudan as part of a land for security deal between his regime and the Sudan. Ethiopians who have died in hundreds of thousands for the rocky and useless Badme have done nothing to stop the give away of their fertile land to the Sudan. However, the Ormos will not give up to defend their land against any form of take or give away by the ethno-fascists. The Oromos will not respect any agreement or pact the illegitmate regime of the ethno-fascists has entered into with any side.

  7. Sharmarke
    | #7

    Ethiopians should accept the bitter history of their formation. Presnt day Ethiopians should recognise the attrocities their ancetors had committed against the Ogadens and the Oromos. Should know how this Empire came to being. The present day Ogadens and the Oromos have all the rights to ask the blood of their fore-fathers and the one TPLF juntas are spilling till now for the sake of fake federalism.
    Freedom for all or death for all.

  8. abbyca
    | #8

    which kind of peaceful struggle are you talking about? I don’t see any peaceful struggle in Ethiopia, since most opposition members face imprison with every reason, intimidation, no free press to introduce themselves and got killed some of lower level opposition members. And in the army they don’t have to be all woyane supporters, they can support what ever they want but woyane use EPPF or Ginbot 7 or OLF as an excuse to put them in jail. We know this kind of tactic the last 18 years. If they wanna put Oromo in jail olf and now Amharas Ginbot 7 or eppf and Somalis onlf. so don’t tell me that all woyane does is right they are a bunch of criminals who intend to destroy Ethiopia. When peaceful struggle is closed you know what will happen? People start thinking to remove them by any means including war. And I know Ginbot 7 or EPPF is illegal according to our constitution but can woyane ask to respect constitution that they didn’t respect all the time? Nooo, because they suppose to play by the rule first and they are late. Any way wethere woyane like it or not change is coming to Ethiopia from all corner.

  9. habeshaw
    | #9

    good article from tesaye kebede, weyane, particularly, meles is responsible for the destruction of ethiopian unity due to their greedly engineered ethinic federalism. it is shameful to ethiopian and african histroy, where non-devisable people of ethiopia is forced to fight each other.

  10. Abdulwasi
    | #10

    Way to true federalism.

    Our unity basically lies with the attitude of those who are in power

    We would like kids all over the Ethiopia to learn about their state and other states in a more memorable, unique, and even personal way. Board of Education victory will bring our country one step closer to living up to its democratic ideas.

    All men are created equal?”
    All Ethiopian, Organs of State, Political Organization other association as well as their officials have the duty to ensure observance of the constitution and to obey it.
    All the State in Ethiopia now made progress
    This is Principles of equality and justice


    Oromo Economic & cultural development of Minnesota.

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