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Ethiopia Shall Prevail  Part II

1

Aklog Birara (Dr

Part II of III

In his book that I quoted in Part I of this commentary, Prochaska refers to Ethiopian-Japanese cooperation for a reason. Japan is non-European and fiercely independent. It has similar attributes to Ethiopia. A long and unique cultural heritage is among these.

In the 1930s, Japan was a fast-growing economy, and a model for Ethiopia. ጃፓን እንዴት ሰለጠነች (How Japan modernized) was a tantalizing subject matter for Ethiopians, including me.

I have faith and confidence in Ethiopia’s durability as one country. I also have faith and confidence that Ethiopia will someday become a prosperous country.

At the same time, I do not dismiss the reality that Ethiopia’s durability and the welfare of its 116 million people are threatened by internal and external adversaries. The country’s strategic location, its remarkable history of independence, its land, water resources and rich cultures and its diversity are the envy of the world, especially the Arab world. These adversaries do not wish Ethiopia to succeed.

I remind the reader to fathom what Ethiopia has gone through. Had Ethiopia remained stable; and had the Imperial Government of Ethiopia made bold and decisive policy and structural changes, Ethiopia had a chance to transform itself into a modern economy in the same way as Japan. European colonial powers were, however, determined to keep Ethiopia fractured, weak and backward. Italy was determined to colonize and to “civilize” Ethiopia in the same manner that every part of Africa was colonized by Europeans. History tells us that Europe did not civilize Africa. On the contrary, it plundered and still plunders Africa.

Adwa is Our Magna Carta

As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Victory at Adwa, it behooves us to ask the question of whether we would have been better off under colonial rule like the rest of Africa. My own answer is unequivocal no. You can conquer poverty if you unite, mobilize resources, work hard and invest. Japan did. China did. You cannot, however, conquer and cure the debilitating psychological effects of racial subordination and discrimination that emanate from colonial domination that easily.

You do not have to look hard. The pitfalls of segregation, exclusion, and discrimination in the United States that triggered the worldwide campaign “Black Lives Matter” as well as staggering socioeconomic inequality in South Africa illustrate my point. In America, Blacks and other minorities are dying from COVID-19 at much more higher rates than Whites.

Freedom from colonial oppression and discrimination because of your race is priceless.  Freedom is the single most important contribution Ethiopia offered symbolically to the entire non-European world, most prominently to Blacks. Therefore, many African nations adopted and shaped the Ethiopian flag as their own. You visit Jamaica and see Ethiopian replicas everywhere.

I treasure Ethiopia because it enabled me to go to any part of the world with my head up high. With freedom comes responsibility. Ethiopians do not manage this responsibility well.

I am elated to hear that supporters and family of the African American leader Marcus Garvey, who celebrated Ethiopia as a beacon of freedom will build a memorial in his honor in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this year. This is a tribute to those Ethiopians who sacrificed their lives in defense of freedom of all Black people across the planet. Adwa is a global victory.

Going forward, Ethiopians must celebrate Adwa by contributing their part in transforming Ethiopia: for example, by enhancing food, water and energy security as well as by protecting the lives of their fellow Ethiopians irrespective of where they live or who they are.

What hurdles does Ethiopia face?

Tragically for Ethiopia and Ethiopians, Prochaska’s book Abyssinia: The Powder Barrel was replicated in the form of a Manifesto by the ethno-nationalist and exclusionist TPLF. In 1976, the TPLF developed a Manifesto underscoring its hatred for non-Tigreans, especially for the Amhara population that Prochaska had described as “oppressors” and inimical to European interests. The Amhara are hated by Prochaska and his keen as well as by the TPLF and its ilk for several reasons. The one that is compelling to me is that Amhara commitment to Ethiopia and identity as Ethiopian is indestructible and cannot be contested.

At the time, the TPLF wrote its Manifesto, Ethiopian intellectuals and especially Amhara “leftists” completely ignored the sinister and dangerous nature of misrepresentation that engenders ethnic hatred. The chorus of international misinformation against Ethiopia today is a continuation deeply rooted in ethnic elite politics and in the legacy of the “left.”

When the TPLF marketed its Manifesto on behalf of “oppressed nations, nationalities and peoples” and then crafted the ethnicity and language-based Constitution and Apartheid system no one that I am aware of anticipated the devastating effects of singling out and targeting the Amhara not only on this nationality group that is committed to Ethiopia’s sovereignty; but also, on other ethnic and faith groups; and on Ethiopia’s very survival. Unchecked, ethnic hatred, ethnic cleansing and genocide do not have boundaries. TPLF hatred became fatal as it solidified power in 1991. It empowered Tigreans everywhere; annexed lands; incorporated them in Greater Tigray; and stretched Tigrean boundaries all the way to the Sudan.

TPLF ideology is still intact

The core leadership of the TPLF may be smashed; but its ideological roots and the system it established are still intact. Ethiopia is more vulnerable to external threat today than it was a few years ago. Sudan invaded and annexed Ethiopian lands. The Federal Government has not even lodged a formal complaint to the UN Security Council. As I indicated in part I the African Union remains deadly numb.

This anomaly is hardly in synch with the celebration of Adwa.

The TPLF Manifesto haunts Ethiopia today 

The ethno-nationalist and narrow minded TPLF defined a Tigrayan “as anybody that speaks the language of Tigrigna including those who live outside Tigray, the Kunamas, the Sahos, the Afar and the Taltal, the Agew, and the Wolkait.” This expansive definition augmented Tigrean lands. It allowed the TPLF to kill Amhara men and impregnate Amhara girls and women with the intent of enabling any child born to speak Tigrigna. In turn, this facilitated the demographic composition of the population in Wolkait, Tegede, Telemt and Raya.

Now that these lands are “freed” from their occupiers, it is critical that no deal is made to surrender them to Tigray. Surrender to the TPLF and or to its successors would mean reverting to degradation and dehumanization of indigenous people who identify themselves as Amhara.

TPLF adherents and their global champions have flipped the narrative accusing members of Ethiopia’s Defense Forces and the Eritrean military of “rape, theft, destruction” and other human rights violations. The intent of this relentless misrepresentation and defamation of Ethiopia and its national character is simple. It is to make the war regional. It is to elevate the treasonous TPLF to a status as savior of Tigreans that it does not deserve. It is to create mistrust between the honorable Tigrean-Ethiopians and non-Tigrean Ethiopians. It is also to make it hugely costly for Ethiopia to restore peace and security in Tigray.

Gone from reference in the incessant misinformation campaign against Ethiopia are the root causes of the war in Tigray; and the billions of Birrs expended by the Federal Government.

Why is the story line distorted?

The TPLF expanded the geographic boundaries of Tigray by annexing forcibly lands in Setit-Humera, Wolkait-Tegede and Telemt of the Gondar Region that extended the Tigray border all the way to the Sudan; and further annexing and incorporating lands of the Wollo region including Alamata, Ashengie, and Kobo, and Eritrean Kunama, the Saho and Afar lands including Assab that is now part of Eritrea.

Research shows that the final objective of this massive and unprecedented land grab by the TPLF was to secede from Ethiopia; and to establish an independent “Republic of Greater Tigray.” The TPLF Manifesto reflected Prochaska’s unfounded thesis that the people of Tigray have been oppressed and denied their political and human rights; and the right to self-determination including secession.

When it took power in 1991, the TPLF incorporated article 39 (secession) into the Constitution. Ethiopia became an amalgamation of independent nations, any one of which can, if it chooses, secede.

Dislodged from political power through public resistance, the TPLF garrisoned itself in Mekele; designed a strategy to restore its power using force; and triggered a war that still rages.

The point here is that the TPLF instituted a federal constitutional and administrative system that is divisive. Among others, the system diminishes Ethiopia deliberately. When it lost power to rule and exploit, the TPLF reverted to the provisions it crafted.

The TPLF is a treasonous and terrorist organization. Ethiopia does not have any other option but to dismantle its organizational structure and its ideology. Tigrean-Ethiopians must wake up and dissociate themselves from this cruel, brutal, morally, and ethically bankrupt and corrupt group.

From its inception, TPLF’s primary loyalty is not to Ethiopia or to the Ethiopian poor. Nor can anyone with intellectual integrity really claim that it is to serve ordinary Tigrean-Ethiopians who are still poor, underemployed, or unemployed. Its unbridled commitment is to TPLF extended families, friends and to loyalists, including foreigners.

Finally, the Federal Government of Ethiopia must designate the TPLF as a terrorist cell without delay.

 

February 25, 2021

1 Comment

  1. What civilization means to Europeans and what civilization means to Africans is not completely the same. The natural habitat in which both the Japanese and the Europeans found themselves in, left them with no other choice but to develop different sets of skills in order to survive in the climate in which Japan and Europe are found in.

    The cold freezing weather winter season had forced the Europeans to come up with so many skills to weather the cold weather followed with the humid skin burning European hot weather literally causing the Europeans to develop deadly skin cancers which does not seem to affect people from Africa while it is killing others. The sun does not seem to affect the Africans as much as it does affect people from other parts of the world, the sun killed so many of the people before these skills of civilization were developed , the sun is killing those that got no access to this civilization until today . Africans do not consider these sets of skills which the Japanese and the Caucasians developed inorder to beat these dangers which nature brought on them as being civilized but the Europeans and the Japanese or Chinese people anywhere in the world consider these skills vital for their existence.

    During the Italian invasion one main big reason why the Italians did not stay long in Ethiopia fighting to colonize Ethiopia for more years was because the Italians by nature were not able to move around in Ethiopia as much as they wanted to because the thirteen months of sunshine of Ethiopia forced the Italian soldiers to stay in doors during the daytime so that they do not develop skin cancers and they were not able to move around at night because it was too dark and there were so many wild animals everywhere in Ethiopia attacking the Italian soldiers at nighttime leaving the Italians powerless.

    The natural disasters and the lack of huge arable lands had forced the Japanese to skillfully manage the very limited farm lands they got by building structures on top of their waters breeding fishes for food. Ethiopians can learn a lot about breeding fish from Japan and how to make good use of the vast arable land ETHIOPIANS got. Rather than spending money on man made rivers in the city , Ethiopia can make man made ponds or lakes to breed ETHIOPIANS do not need Textile Factories to cover their skins from the sun , Ethiopians don’t consider a necessity to find in door heaters to beat the cold weather or ETHIOPIANS do not consider so many forms of technological advancement to preserve their foods , they might like to have them but they are not as vital to Africans as they are vital to people in other parts of the world where the skin cancer and the freezing cold weather is killing numerous people each year. So imposing these skills on Africans as these skills are a basic necessities to Africans just because these skills are basic necessities to Europeans or the Japanese had not been accepted favorably by Ethiopians as it had not been accepted by Africans.

    ,- We should remember how many building structures , industrial machineries and factories were burnt down when one celebrity activist singer Hachalu got gunned down in Addis Ababa with tens of thousands of people burning these civilizations to show their frustration.

    ,-We should consider how many building structures and other forms of civilization in which the Europeans paid for by giving funds to the EPRDF with the money used for purposes such as buying bullets other than the infrastructure projects they were supposed to be used on.

    ,-We should remember how many of these ETHIOPIAN military weapons got burnt down and are rendered useless right now .

    -:-We should remember Ethiopia had been on a state of emergency more times , in bigger space areas in this decade more than any other country in the world .

    ‘- We should remember Ethiopia imprisoned millions because the Ethiopian people tend to burn down the civilization inwhich the world bank , the EU , the Chinese combined with their EPRDF government imposed on them clearly showing the ETHIOPIAN people do not give these civilization building structures and the gadgets they got in them as a prioritized necessities to their day to day existence , they just see them as luxury items which they might get to enjoy to make their lives a little easier. Very recently in Tigray when their historic churches and mosques were burnt down thousands of unarmed Tigray resident civilians willingly went out of their homes and died while fighting to defend the churches from the attack of the armed insurgent militaries who were about to burn down the churches and the mosques . We did not hear till this day in Tigray people dieing to save this civilization projects in Tigray.

    Whether the Querros protest against Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s protest , the protest right after Hachalu Hundessa’s death , the current brazen burnings spikes in numbers and damages caused by arson in Addis Ababa and elsewhere in the country or the burning down of Tigray which took place in the past months while the people failing to go out in mass to defend these actions show that Ethiopians do not see these “structures” as essential as their political leaders who attended schools thought by Europeans and Japan’s say they are essential. The European and the Japanese schools teach based on their own experience they do not teach while taking into account WHO AFRICANS ARE .

    Letting out their frustrations seem to be important to Ethiopians than this civilizations. Even in other parts of the world black people are more likely to burn down civilizations than their white counterparts at any protest or riots . During the recent whitehouse protest the white protestors went inside the White House but when BLACK LIVES MATTER OR THE RODNEY KING PROTESTS WENT ON WE SEEN MORE OFTEN THESE CIVILIZATIONS GETTING BURNT DOWN BY BLACKS.

    In Greek language THE TERM ‘ETHIOPIA’ MEANS THE BURNT SKIN ON THE FACE , ETHIOPIA DOES NOT MEAN THE SKIN WHICH NEEDS A SHADE INORDER NOT TO GET BURNT MORE.

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