ZeHabesha Ethiopian News | Latest News for All | 24/7


Al Mariam’s Commentaries
July 28, 2021

Ethiopia: Home of the Proud and Land of the Defiant

Ethiopia’s history testifies to one fact: When Ethiopians are faced with overwhelming power, when they are abused, mistreated, and disrespected, they respond with perseverance, resistance, vigilance and defiance. Then they smite the enemy with a vengeance.

We are Ethiopia Strong. We are ENDF Strong! We are Ethiopia Invictus!

Pix 1Never have so many owed so much to so few!

Last week, as I watched YouTube videos of Ethiopians celebrating and showing their enthusiastic support for their National Defense Force and listened intently to the outpouring of words of love, appreciation, and respect by ordinary people, I was filled with pride and wonderment.

The “Ethiopian National Defense Force” is a designation formally reserved for the armed forces of the Ethiopian federal government.

For me, that designation is all-inclusive: federal military branches, federal police, federal security, regional police, special forces, and militia.

As far as I am concerned, when it comes to the defense of the Ethiopian nation, there is no federal, regional, or subregional force. There is only one Ethiopian National Defense Force.

As I watched the videos of passionate support for the ENDF, I paused to reflect on how Ethiopians managed to remain free and independent of foreign domination for millennia and warded off the demons of Western colonialism.PIx 4

I thought of our heroic ancestors who defended Ethiopia with their blood and sweat and made the enemy shed tears as they vanquished him.

I thought of the untold number of Ethiopians in history who died and were wounded in countless battles in defense of Ethiopia.

I and many patriotic Ethiopians in the diaspora pay our highest tribute to them for their deeds and enormous sacrifices.

I thought of my own family and relatives who kicked the rear ends of the Italian truppa colonial-soldato until they cried out in pain begging for their mothers, “Mamma mia!”

I pay my highest tribute to them.

Then I thought of the cowardly TPLF junta’s attack on the Ethiopian Northern Command on November 3, 2020.DF 4 628x400 1

I thought of the unimaginable, unspeakable, and criminal betrayal of the Northern Command by a gang of bloodthirsty and power hungry thugs.

I thought of the young ENDF soldiers and their able commanders that routed the TPLF terrorists in less than three weeks. I thought of their sacrifices in service to the cause of justice and law enforcement, preservation of the constitutional order and to uphold the principle of the rule of law.

I and many patriotic Ethiopians in the diaspora pay our highest tribute to them.

The ENDF and Ethiopian exceptionalism

I have often talked and written about Ethiopian exceptionalism.

The backbone and unsung heroes of Ethiopian exceptionalism have always been the members of its national defense force, its military, its traditional warriors, and citizen-soldiers (“minutemen” as it were) of today and centuries past.PIx 5

Ethiopia’s men and women at arms kept Ethiopia free, independent, proud and defiant for millennia.

History shows Ethiopia’s warriors defended and prevailed against aggressor armies with vastly superior weapons, organization and command and control.

In the 1820s, Egypt’s ruler Mohammad Ali Pasha had imperial designs on Ethiopia and tried to privatize and monopolize the Nile and capture the Ethiopian port city of Massawa. He was beaten and sent packing regretting his misadventure.

In 1868, the British sent an expeditionary army consisting of “13,000 soldiers, 40,000 animals, including 44 elephants trained to pull the big artillery guns” against Emperor Teodros. They attacked his fortress only to discover that he had taken his own life than become a prisoner of the British colonial army.

The British colonial force quickly retreated but not until they had kidnapped Teodros’ seven-year-old son Prince Alemayehu, and stolen the royal cap and great seal and looted many other Ethiopian treasures. The British colonial thieves even stole a lock of Emperor Teodros hair which was returned to Ethiopia in 2019.

As Britain colonized nearly a third of Africa, it never conquered or occupied Ethiopia.

In 1875-76, Egypt repeated its blunder of the 1820s by trying to militarily subjugating Ethiopia and control the Blue Nile once and for all. Egypt deployed a large well-equipped and trained army led by European and American officers.

In the Battle of Gundet (1875) and Battle of Gura (1876), Ethiopian forces “completely annihilated” the Egyptian forces. According to one historian:

The Battle of Gura abolished any practical opportunity for Egypt to gain control over Ethiopia. The heavy Egyptian losses (almost 14,000 men died in three months), the economic damage to the Egyptian economy and, above all, the Egyptian depiction of the Ethiopian warriors as having a demonic character, prevented any future Egyptian invasion of Ethiopia.

During the First Italo–Ethiopian War in 1896, Italy’s mighty colonial army with massive modern armaments was defeated at the Battle of Adwa by a traditional Ethiopian military defense force in less than 24 hours. Ethiopians came together as one – casting aside ethnic, religious, linguistic, etc. differences – and kicked the Italians out.  Adwa served as the model for future anti-colonial struggles.

Read Aloud:   Ethiopia: The Time for Change is Now!

Between 1935-1941, Italy invaded and occupied (but never colonized) Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s resistance army defeated Italy for the second time and the Italian colonial army was sent home packing in 1941.

Since the establishment of the UN, Ethiopia has been a global peacekeeper participating in more than ten major peacekeeping missions in Africa and elsewhere.

In 1952, Ethiopian troops joined the UN force in the Korean peninsula in defense of the principle of collective security.

Over 3500 Ethiopian troops in the Kagnew Battalions served in the Korean War over three years.  They suffered 121 dead and 536 wounded during the war. No Ethiopian soldier was captured or surrendered in over 250 enemy engagements. Ethiopians never left their fallen comrades behind.

The battle cry of the Kagnew Battalions was, “Never be captured in the battlefield.”

In July 1960, Ethiopia sent the Tekel Brigade with over 3 thousand troops and an air force squadron to join the UN peacekeeping mission in the Congo.  They performed heroically.

In 2006, Ethiopia deployed troops to secure peace and aid the Transitional Federal Government in the Somali Civil War. Subsequently, Ethiopia  contributed thousands of soldiers to the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for peacekeeping.

As of 2018, there were 8,300 Ethiopian peacekeepers in the Abyei region of Sudan and South Sudan. Ethiopia is largest contributor to UN peacekeeping.

Why I am so proud of the ENDF

As I watched the videos of support for the ENDF, I had mixed feelings.

I was filled with sadness because of the futility of war, the stupidity and inanity of war. The TPLF launched a war and brought misery, destruction, and despair to the people of Tigray.

I also felt great pride. Not the kind of pride that comes from vanquishing the enemy and declaring victory.

Video Player

(Author’s translation of soccer fans chant in video: “Our forefathers have defended your honor with their blood/ Mother Ethiopia, those who tread on you will be vanquished!”

I felt pride inspired by the fact that Ethiopians are a people who have always preferred peace to war, friendship to enmity, reason to ignorance and discernment to impulsivity.

Ethiopians have long been known in the story of Western civilization as “unwarlike people.”

When America declared independence in 1776, Edward Gibbon, the great  historian of Western civilization, wrote of the need to defend the Ethiopians, then called “Abyssinians, an unwarlike people from the Barbarians who ravaged the inland country and the Turks and Arabs who advanced from the sea-coast in more formidable array.”

Gibbon wrote the Abyssinians were interested in a “rational project of importing the arts and ingenuity of Europe; and their ambassadors at Rome and Lisbon were instructed to solicit a colony of smiths, carpenters, tilers, masons, printers, surgeons, and physicians, for the use of their country.”

In 1896, Rome did not send a “colony of smiths”. Rome sent a colonial army to subjugate Ethiopia. That colonial army suffered ignominious defeat at the Battle of Adwa.

Gibbon was right. Ethiopians have always been about three things: PROSPERITY, PROSPPERTY AND MORE PROSPERITY!

Today, Ethiopia is open for business not only for “colony of smiths carpenters, masons and surgeons” but also startup technology companies and foreign direct investments in all sectors of its economy.

Ethiopia today is a beacon of peace and prosperity in the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed became the 2019 Nobel Peace Laureate, the 100th person to receive the award since the establishment of the prize in  1895, the same year colonial Italy declared war on Ethiopia and was defeated at the Battle of Adwa in 1896.

Ethiopia is constantly looking for opportunities to strengthen peaceful relations with its neighbors.

Ethiopia knows its peace cannot be preserved if her neighbors are at war.

In August 2019, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed played a central role in bringing together different factions of the Sudanese government to a power sharing agreement preventing civil war in Sudan.

I am proud of the ENDF because it is an army of peace, not war.

I am proud of the ENDF because it is an army that is never the aggressor but a defender against unjust wars.

I am proud of the ENDF because it is an army that will wage only just wars.

The great 4th century Christian theologian St Augustine wrote, “We do not seek peace in order to be at war, but we go to war that we may have peace. Be peaceful, therefore, in warring, so that you may vanquish those whom you war against and bring them to the prosperity of peace.”

That is exactly what the ENDF has done and continues to do in Tigray.

The ENDF was forced to go to war in Tigray after its troops were massacred, maimed, and taken prisoners in an unprovoked TPLF attack.

Read Aloud:   Center for Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) A Mother Day's Tribute to Ethiopian Women

The ENDF did not go into Tigray to occupy or impose its rule.

The ENDF went into Tigray for the single purpose of enforcing the law, specifically to apprehend and bring to justice the leaders of the criminal  insurrection that attacked the Northern Command and to establish peace and uphold and enforce the rule of law.

The ENDF has vanquished the TPLF and will continue to vanquish the terrorist dregs who are using child soldiers as cannon fodder.

The ENDF will be the instrument which will bring prosperity of peace to Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia.

Don’t tread on the green, yellow and red!

In military talk, when a small band of soldiers holds out against a larger force with greater equipment and strategic and tactical advantage, they are called a “a thin red line”.

Historically, Ethiopia’s military have been the masters of all roads and highways going in and out of Ethiopia.Pix 2

For me, the Ethiopian National Defense Force is the thin green, yellow and red line.

No one dare tread the green, yellow and red. No one dare disrespect it.

The green is like a green traffic light. ENDF will allow free passage to anyone who respects Ethiopia’s sovereignty and is willing to deal with her on the principle of equality, respects the dignity of the Ethiopian people and refrains from interference in Ethiopia’s internal affairs. All who abide by these principles will be allowed to pass with a smile and a salute.

The yellow is like a yellow traffic light. Be careful. Watch it! ENDF will not react impulsively but deliberately, carefully, and responsibly. The yellow is like a yellow card in soccer. ENDF will give a stern warning to anyone toying with the idea of messing around with Ethiopia’s sovereignty, attempting to treat Ethiopia as an inferior, disrespecting the dignity of the Ethiopian people and interfering in Ethiopia’s internal affairs. ENDF will warn with a grimace and a frown.

The red is as the red traffic light. STOP messing up with Ethiopia’s sovereignty.  STOP attempting to treat Ethiopia as an inferior. STOP disrespecting the dignity of the Ethiopian people. STOP interfering in Ethiopia’s internal affairs. Anyone who crosses the ENDF’s red light/redline will crash and burn.

The ENDF message to all is simple and clear:



The ENDF and Ethiopia’s enemies within and without

Ethiopia is surrounded by enemies on all fronts. That is nothing new. It has always been that way.

But Ethiopia has never had an enemy like the TPLF from within.

The TPLF practiced internal colonialism in Ethiopia for a quarter of a century.

The TPLF created an ethnic apartheid system on par with the South African white minority apartheid system.

The TPLF murdered, tortured and jailed innocents by the tens of thousands.

The TPLF stole over $30 billion from Ethiopia.

The TPLF terrorist leaders have always declared that if they cannot rule Ethiopia, if they cannot sit atop their empire of corruption, Ethiopia will go to hell in a handbasket.

What the TPLF wished for Ethiopia, it has got it now.

The TPLF today is in hell (with most of its top leaders killed or held over for trial), and the TPLF dregs hiding under the rocks, most unfortunately, have made Tigray hell on earth.

Today, the TPLF is scheming with the U.S., the European Union, Egypt and Sudan to return to power.

As I have always said, the TPLF will return to power in Ethiopia when hell freezes over and the TPLF terrorists go ice skating. But hell shall remain the permanent home of the TPLF.

Ethiopians have two secret weapons against our internal and foreign enemies.


I call it Ethiopiawinet. I am probably the only Ethiopian who has publicly and openly declared, “I, PROUD ETHIOPIAN!Proud Eth 1 628x332 1

Gandhi said, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”  Ethiopiawinet is the spiritual energy that gives every patriotic Ethiopian an indomitable will.

The second secret weapon is called ENDF.

When Ethiopian Unity/Ethiopiawinet combines with ENDF, it yields a powerful maxim: ETHIOPIANS UNITED CAN NEVER BE DEFEATED.

With Ethiopiawinet in our hearts and minds and ENDF on eternal vigilance, Ethiopians shall prove to the world we can ride out the storm of sanctions unleashed by the Biden administration and the European Union and foil their secret conspiracies to dismember Ethiopia.

With Ethiopiawinet in our hearts and minds and ENDF on eternal vigilance, we shall defend against all enemies on land, in the air, in the mountains and deserts, on the streets and the highways and in cyberspace.

Remember this ENDF: It is not the size of the dog in the fight that determines the outcome, it is the size of the fight in the underdog

The history of warfare is replete with examples where the little guy won against the big guy.

Read Aloud:   Ethiopian New Year New Promises - By Teklu Abate

David won against Goliath.

The Vietnamese and the Afghans won against a mighty army.

The terrorist TPLF, with 80 percent of Ethiopia’s military assets, was hammered in the battlefield by the ENDF and wiped out in less than three weeks.

Now the TPLF hopes to continue its war with the support of the Biden administration and the European Union.

The TPLF’s Western supporters keep their mouths shut as the TPLF marches tens of thousands of child soldiers into war.

The same TPLF Western supporters ran their mouths off for months talking about “unfettered humanitarian access”, “war crimes”, “human rights violations”.

The Western allies of the TPLF are waging a concerted diplomatic, economic, political and media war on Ethiopia.

But we are not alone.

Our Eritrean brothers and sisters stand with us against the TPLF enemy and its foreign financiers and backers. I have said before and I will say it again: ETHIOPIANS AND ERITREANS UNITED CAN NEVER BE DEFEATED. Period!

The African Union stands with us in the law enforcement action against the TPLF terrorists.

We need an African Defense against Africa’s foreign enemies and their lapdogs.

In 1969, Nixon’s National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger said, “I refuse to believe that a little fourth-rate power like North Vietnam doesn’t have a breaking point.” as he   instructed his aides to develop a punitive military strategy that would coerce North Vietnam into negotiating on American terms.

That is exactly what Susan Rice, Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan are saying today for Ethiopia. “We refuse to believe that a fourth-rate power like Ethiopia does not have a breaking point.”

Susan Rice, Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan have been looking for Ethiopia’s breaking point.

But Ethiopia does not break.

Ethiopia is like the bamboo tree. It will sway. It will bend. It will bow and yaw and sag.

But Ethiopia will never break no matter what the Biden administration and its European Union lackeys do!

Ethiopia will roll with the punches as the Biden administration and the E.U. unleash their sanctions like the world has never seen.

ENDF: We are now in battle between the Forces of Darkness and the Forces of Light.

ENDF: You are the Forces of Light.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.”

It is your divinely ordained duty to drive out darkness out of the pride lands of Ethiopia where the black lions roam free.

Always remember this ENDF: It is not the size of the dog in the fight that determines the outcome, it is the size of the fight in the underdog.

In the epic struggle against the Biden administration and the European Union and their lapdog the TPLF and Ethiopia Invictus is the underdog with unlimited fight.

Ethiopia: Home of the Proud and Land of the Defiant

Ethiopia’s history testifies to one fact: When Ethiopians are faced with overwhelming power, when they are abused, mistreated, and disrespected, they respond with perseverance, resistance, vigilance and defiance. Then they smite the enemy with a vengeance.

We are Ethiopia Strong. We are ENDF strong! We are Ethiopia Invictus!


Onbehalf of a grateful, proud and patriotic Ethiopian Diaspora Nation, I say THANK YOU ENDF.

THANK YOU ENDF for defending Ethiopia’s sovereignty.

THANK YOU ENDF for defending Ethiopia’s territorial integrity.

HANK YOU ENDF for defending our dignity.

THANK YOU ENDF for safeguarding the peace and security of the Ethiopian people.

THANK YOU ENDF for all your sacrifices in defense of Ethiopia’s honor and glory.

THANK YOU ENDF for your valor, bravery and courage.

THANK YOU ENDF for performing your military obligations with professionalism and conforming your conduct with the laws of war.

THANK YOU for defending the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

THANK YOU ENDF unflagging devotion to Ethiopia.

THANK YOU ENDF for publicly declaring the ENDF is Ethiopia’s defense force, not a tool for any political party, ethnic or religious group.

THANK YOU ENDF for publicly declaring your full acceptance of the civilian supremacy of the democratically elected government over the military.

THANK YOU ENDF for your service above and beyond the call of duty.

THANK YOU ENDF for your courage, strength and dedication.

THANK YOU ENDF for everything!

We patriotic Diaspora Ethiopia Nation love, appreciate, support and admire you!

Long live the people of Ethiopia!tplf

Hail ENDF!

Long live ENDF!

It is the moral duty of every patriotic diaspora Ethiopian to support the ENDF defend Ethiopia’s sovereignty and the dignity of the Ethiopian people.


A Grateful, Proud and Patriotic Diaspora Ethiopia Nation salutes you ENDF!!!

We are Ethiopia Strong. We are ENDF strong! We are Ethiopia Invictus!


Alemayehu G Mariam

Prof. Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino, Commentator at Almariam Blog, and a regular contributor to Zehabesha.com



1 Comment

  1. Dear Al Mariam
    You are speaking / writing on behalf of millions of us, as usual. We are grateful.
    So shocking – the world seems advancing in every imaginable spheres in this 21st century, largely in enlightened ways.
    But the so called advanced economies of the West (led by the US, UK and the EU) can’t be weaned from their old ways and habits in their relations to third world countries – that is greed, deceit, theft, and arrogance of power all wrapped up with the ugliest form of racism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.