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)

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