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After Meles: Hailemariam's Ethiopia



  12:11:32 am, by admin   , 654 words  
Categories: Samuel Gebru

After Meles: Hailemariam's Ethiopia

The writer with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn

After Meles: Hailemariam’s Ethiopia

By Samuel Gebru

Modern Ethiopia is not known for peaceful and orderly transition of power.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Mengistu Hailemariam was overthrown in 1991. Haile Selassie was killed in 1974. When Meles Zenawi died last month, many Ethiopians were worried over the political future. I would have been surprised if people were not concerned.

But now it is official: through Hailemariam Desalegne, Ethiopia has undergone its first orderly and peaceful transition of leadership. Hailemariam was inaugurated on Friday, September 21 at 9:40am Addis Ababa time as the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

I have insisted since June that should Meles die, EPRDF would follow protocols to elect a new Chair and nominate to Parliament a new Prime Minister. The old guard EPRDF leaders are so committed to leaving party leadership that they did not even compete for Chairmanship. As one EPRDF founder told me, “Even if you grabbed me by the throat and threatened to kill me, I would never return to a senior government position.”

What surprised me most about EPRDF's Leadership Succession Plan was the new two-term limit on their prime ministers and the retirement requirement of 65-years-old. One term is five years, and a ten-year limit as Head of Government is enough. But parliamentary democracies do not typically have constitutional term limits. The EPRDF's self-imposed term limit on their future prime ministers is truly encouraging.

Hailemariam was elected as the new Chair of EPRDF on Saturday, September 15. In this capacity, he became the nominee for prime minister, which Parliament approved. The EPRDF’s nearly absolute control over Parliament made his confirmation a non-issue.

Will Hailemariam’s rise to power mean anything?

Despite naysayers who mistakenly claim Hailemariam is simply a placeholder, his rise is not accidental nor was it a forced decision. It’s important to realize that the EPRDF and its founders understand the only way the party can stay relevant is if new, post-revolution leaders take the helm. One EPRDF official claimed of Meles before his death, “We’re not in the business of making him Ethiopia’s Vladimir Putin. He really wants to retire.”

Some argue the problem with EPRDF is that it is still stuck in a guerilla war mentality of external secrecy and internal suspicion. Its leaders are mostly former freedom fighters who toppled Mengistu Hailemariam’s government and are part of a generation of Ethiopians who contain scars of the bloody past. When EPRDF was entering Addis Ababa, Hailemariam was in Finland receiving his graduate degree. Where most see black and white, those who were “not” directly impacted by the Ethiopian Civil War see shades of gray.

And these are the ones who should lead the post-Meles Ethiopia.

Of course, there will always be a presence by the old guard. So long as they are alive they will hold a considerable amount of influence behind the scenes. Hailemariam, who has executive experience as a state governor and served as an advisor to Meles before becoming his deputy in 2010, was elected as Deputy Chair of EPRDF in 2010 following a contested party election. His election wasn’t an accident.

Prime Minister Hailemariam is a capable, intelligent and humble person. Expectations are high for him to perform very well. There are serious challenges Hailemariam will need to address, namely Ethiopia’s economy is struggling with rising inflation and that the road to human rights needs to be strengthened. He’ll have to deal with Somalia, Eritrea and the two Sudans while balancing Ethiopia’s delicate relationship with the West and China. A serious political commitment must be made to combat corruption at all levels and involve opposition parties in decision-making processes beyond the usual role of a spectator.

Hailemariam represents the post-1991 wave of Ethiopians who returned to the homeland, leaving their careers and schooling to help rebuild and rebrand Ethiopia. I look forward to seeing the Prime Minister in action and wish him the best.


Comment from: C'est moi senait [Visitor]
C'est moi senait

They look like if they are attending a pent school on Sunday. And behind them is a picture of that Hoddam president who is in comma and fisted us a millions of dollar for his treatment aboard while our kids sleep in the streets of addis starving and freezing in that cold. This shimmagile has to leave his position or I swear to God? I will suffocate him with his pillow for good.
A DEAD PRESIDENT IS OUR PALACE. This treator is to be a supporter of shabians in late 80s . A typical opportunist bastards. I will drive him from his bed and bring him to Meskel sq bridge and push him there to Bole river.

And this pent PM. I will re-convert him to orthodox and bibytise him with abay water to be a true and pure Ethiopia.

09/24/12 @ 01:08
Comment from: Yirgacheffee [Visitor]

Great article! Too bad this ex-set-adari had to be the first one to comment today.

09/24/12 @ 01:27
Comment from: wondesen [Visitor]

God please am asking you and begging u for the whole my life i dont want to hear any bullet fire on that poor country on my century and for ever. Beyond that please each and every Ethiopian how live in and accross the glob be respectfull and thoughtfull for the people of Ethiopa and we all i belive heard what American presdent speech back inday saying"we should ask our self what i did for my country rather what my country did for me” all the time.

09/24/12 @ 02:14
Comment from: alemayehu adane [Visitor]
alemayehu adane

C’est moi senait kerfatam arogit set-adari
When will you shut your mouth and stinky ass up?
Nothing is good on you–do you know that? Let’s start:
Your English: 3 grade repeater
Your politics: street-girl talk
Your body: rotten egg odor
Your appearance: James Brown in short skirt
Your smile: devil from the hell
Your leg: high-tension power tower
Your ass: flat-tire left in the dump
Your breasts: Lucy in her 100s
…to be continued

09/24/12 @ 03:03
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Honestly speaking I am proud to be an Ethiopian than ever before knowing Ethiopia is led by one of the most degraded and smallest ethnic group in Ethiopia. I see hope and aspiration. I am proud of my country.

This is what is equality in practical terms. This is what is change in reality. Things are happening in Ethiopia that no one ever thought will happen. Ethiopia is on sound economic grounds and sound democratic revolution. Soon Ethiopia will be a model country for equality and prosperity.

God Bless Ethiopia & HM Deselagn!

09/24/12 @ 03:27
Comment from: Whatever! [Visitor]

@ Senait,
Whatever you write here does not hold water. No Ethiopian dislikes peaceful solution. If all people been like you hater, ignorant, immature with full of complex, no neighbors would live side by side peacefully.
An Ethiopian is not doomed to hold gun and run to wars with his eyes/ears closed like we did for decades. Unfortunately we were foced to kill and be killed and it makes no sense at all.
Ethiopians perished in Ogaden killing, those who call Ethiopians people of Ogaden.
Ethiopians perished in Somalia war, but brought no any change for the Somali people, infact we contributed to divide/flee/kill the people of Somalia with no mercy.
Ethiopians perished in Eritrea for decades, what we gained is more hatred, division and forced the people of Eritrea to flee their country and killed as many as possible.
Ethiopians still fight with Kenyans at the border, what they do is put fire to escalate to the worst war.

What we need is peace!

09/24/12 @ 03:31
Comment from: Heny [Visitor]

alemayehu adane,
you id good my friend. That is what this set-adari is. She deserves all these. It looks she has been awake the whole night serving 50-70 men and waiting to be the first one to comment.

09/24/12 @ 03:37
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

By stating an Agazi Official this guy is supposing fooling us with his fairytale of “We’re not in the business of making him Ethiopia’s Vladimir Putin. He really wants to retire.”…Really !!!But what about Azeb Mesfin ,Samora and the Amice Boys !!!The Bandit who told you that he will never come back to power is certainly one of these bandits who
become millionare from the Agazi illegal Mafia System based on the looting of the peoples wealth .

09/24/12 @ 04:05
Comment from: C'est moi senait [Visitor]
C'est moi senait

I smell weyannes dead body and a new sort of odur by pentconte with their les£&?bian and Ho?£&mo heart beat. if I go to war with these pent ,and jojobab the first one I kill is them, knowing they all Fessam surrender to enemy in the name of their fals fags religion. So keep on fulling the rest but me I will keep on firing my gun towards enemies of Ethiopia.

09/24/12 @ 05:58
Comment from: gudfela [Visitor]

Wow, Samuel. Perhpas you are trying to position yourself as an opportunist, where when Meles the tyrant was ruling you were so confident by being ethnically biased but today for the first time, you took sensible direction. Again you are most likely being oppotunistic because the West threw down on selecting for non Tigryan-Eritrean groups within TPLF. Well either way opportunist or not, well said.

C’est moi, I didn’t realize Girma W/Girogis is Pente. This is what I don’t understand, how if being Pente as they claim makes them true christian than the other christins, tsk, tsk, how is it this old guy has been watching when they youth and people were being killed and prejudiced against? This old Girma’s wife was Eritrean, hence that is why he is still enjoying his positiion. I tell you, the true core of TPLF is Eritrean groups and Tigryans are the subordinate with some power but mostly they are foot soldiers. HD’s wife is Eritrean as well. Hence this should give you a clue why TPLF is more pro Eritrean and as of Tigrayans are just trying to save themselve that is why they are being hard core driven out of fear. Soon TPLF could set Ethiopians and Tigryans against eachother. Many are buying into the idea calling TPLF Tigre, Weyane, etc. it is a set up. As indeed many Weyanes are farmers, they don’t know much except take the opportunity given to them. The evil though that is coming the architects are from Eritrean descendants: Meles, Adandom, Simon, etc. We must do our own homework rather than just being the sheeple. Again another clue is that the war on Orthodx is visible by people like HD and Girma are congregating. So it is not every group about Ethiopia but pushing their own agenda and underminding the people of Ethiopia that coexisted for centuries. We have to have fanatic relgion or ethnicity go bring change but don’t keep a nation that coexisted in peace for centuries let us divide them by converting them into Wahabism islam or Evangelism and into ethnic fundamentalists. Yest, that wll bring peaceful coexistance. If it is working them why the tension among the society? Why force schoold to make Evangelism mandatory? Rather than progressing we are regressing of being tolerant such as these ethno fascists and religion fundamentalist. Take a look at Russia trying to bring its respectable faith, Orthodox. This waht is going on in Ethiopia most likely smells like relgious fundamentalists’ money in the West and Arab world. HD, Woldegiorigis, etc are not confident of being their true nature. Evangelism means approaching faith for money nothing more.

I am all for people convert naturally but not like this. What is more, to change the demography and system of Ethiopia because of the hate towards the peaceful coexistance before, there is now Pente/Evangelism taking hold in our society and politics, of course ethnicism, pretty soon Islam will put Sharia law as well. Will the Pente/Evangelists resist as these two Islam and Evangelists are two opposite coins because they are not tolerant of eachother. Sufist Islam and Orthdox Ethiopians however, by the gallant leaders of the past have lived in coexistance with majority christians. The Islam conversion and increase in number started when TPLF took power that is why the Muslims are now demanding more right. So TPLF by any means must be dismantled as they are there to implement anti Ethiopian policies who are Eritreans by the way however, Eritrean Issayas refused any non orthodox or Wahabism in his country, why? The blind converted Wahabists and Pentes/Evangelists must realize why Eritrea refused these faiths because it is recipie for war and dividng the society for non peace and non coexistance. The Pente/Evangelists, ethnofascists, etc, one day will pay a huge price for extinction and such things that amount to genocide of Ethiopians particularly the peaceful, gullible Ethiopian ancient christians. Who are putting newly imported non peaceful policies upon us. We know the advice is coming from outside and also helps TPLF Eritreans to weaken Ethiopia for Eritra. Very obvious.

09/24/12 @ 08:12
Comment from: observer [Visitor]

C’est moi Senait

Your dreadful but I laugh to tears when I read your comments. You are borderline genius crazy fellow.

09/24/12 @ 10:16
Comment from: yehuna [Visitor]

Dear Adm.
Recently You put an insider powerful magnet to collect all my blogs from this site.
I did not know asking about ‘effort’, tplf(tigray people’s liberation front) wisdom at this juncture, is a blooooogggger crime.

Again, Do tigrean’s need a liberation front now?
take care.

09/24/12 @ 11:56
Comment from: Akebert Meles [Visitor]
Akebert Meles

You are sensible my friend. you make sense more than most.

C’est moi senait - you whore of all whores shut your stinki mouth.

09/24/12 @ 14:06
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

I am increasingly worried by the degree of luck tolerance towards C’est moi senait [Visitor].

How many times should I tell you even if C’est moi senait [Visitor] is a bit*ch grown up while being raped by her own dad that doesn’t mean she have no right to have a say in politics.

Don’t guys think our Ethiopian democracy should also include bit*ches, prostit*utes and who*res like C’est moi senait [Visitor], she is an old slut which everybody knows but, let her also voice this disadvantaged social class in us.

My question is if C’est moi senait [Visitor] excluded in this site who is going to tel us what is the opinion of prostitutes in Ethiopian politics?!?!?!


09/24/12 @ 15:06
Comment from: [Member]

Who is this Samuel Gebru?…… Smooth transition of power my a$$!
There was no transition of power, but only a replacement. He is assigned to serve in that position. EPRDF/TPLF was ruling, still they are in charge! Unfortunately we don’t have an opposition with the muscle to take the advantage or opportunity of the death of the dictator.

 Are you trying to resemble ETV Mr Samuel?….. One founder told you he wouldn’t return to power even if they put a gun in his head! …..You make it sound as if it is true! You are not addressing children. We all know this officials . Still they are running the show. Most or all of this corrupt officials should be indicted to face criminal charges for their involvement in the crimes they have committed.

I know the new PM should be given time.  We expect him to release political prisoners…., open dialogue with opposition members……,open up freedom of speech…., start investigation crimes that are committed by the zombie late PM and put the responsible persons on trial…..,etc . If he is to start taking this actions he will have the full support of the people!


09/24/12 @ 15:11
Comment from: Mulatu M. [Visitor]
Mulatu M.

For those who likes to know:

Halilemariam’s wife Roman Tesfaye is an Eritrean (born in Ethiopia from Eritrean parents). He met her in College. However, they don’t share a hometown as it was stated in some news outlets. Hailemariam met the Lord ("Getan Agengne” as it is said) when he was a second/third year university student. The reason was mainly financial but also to get good scores. Like many students, he was targeted by powerful “Pentes” of that time. The writer of this comment was also a target but refused to surrender. I remember Hailemariam used to pray in a Pente church in 5 kilo (behind the School of Pharmacy) and in a church near Ethiopian Navy in Shiro Meda. He became “Yetselot meri” when he was a senior student. However, religion change alone didn’t make Hailemariam to be among the top few students who managed to stay at Addis Ababa University as lecturers. Instead, he went on to join Arba Minch Water Institute. He started talking to Roman when he was a fourth/fifth year civil engineering student. At the beginning she was shy and showed a kind of refusal because of another family linked relationship and probably because he was from the south. But, later she gave in when he started work. Hailemariam’s mother and all other families are Orthodox christians (at least until recently). The writer of this comment shares a zone with him, attended AAU in about the same time with Hailemariam, and knew how he had engineered his life. The thing he likes to share with you guys is that Hailemariam was in fact an OPPORTUNISTIC. Will he be alright for Ethiopia; I don’t know, time will tell.

09/24/12 @ 15:48
Comment from: Zekarias [Visitor]

It is good to hear comments like Mulatu’s provided they are truthful. Now about what Samuel says regarding the EPRDF founder not wanting to return to a senior government position. The answer is: Why should he? He probably amassed millions of $ by now and his buddies in the party and government will carry the bidding.

09/24/12 @ 16:05
Comment from: betty [Visitor]

samule irrespective of your trial to act as if you are not a supporter of tplf/weyane, you are a blind supporter of weyane and the only reason you suppport weyane is just because you are tigre which is very disgusting, anyway shame on you, and weather you like it or not the rest memebers of evil tplf group fate is to be chased by ethiopians and hung in public for evil crimes that they committed against humnaity.

09/24/12 @ 16:33
Comment from: Gemech [Visitor]

I congratulated Ato Hailemariam as soon as he assumed leadership of his party and the country after the passing away of the great Meles Zenawi. I congratulated him again when he was officially pronounced the PM of the country. In all these occasions I didn’t care what religion he followed, who he was married to or whether or not he was fit for the job. appointing a Prime Minister for Ethiopia is not the job of someone who lives in a distant place away from Ethiopia and possibly with a foreign passport.

The important thing is he is a member of the multinational coalition party that has been ruling the country for the last 20 years and of which he was the deputy leader. He was chosen by his coalition partners,the representatives of all the nations and nationalities that make up Ethiopia.
His coming to power marks a significant point in the history of Ethiopian transfer of power. He came to power without forcing anyone out of office.
For me,this is a milestone in Ethiopian political History. Even if he is a one term prime Minister, he will have made history.

If we are against Article 39, because we believe it is encouraging Ethiopians to think on ethnic lines before their Ethiopian nationality, then we should never mention anyone’s ethnicity at all. if we are principled , that is.
People of Ethiopian extraction who are born in Europe or America rightly regard themselves as Europeans or Americans. Which I think is the right attitude. But, many of us think, people from Oromiyan extraction born in Shoa or Tigray are regarded as oromos. or Amharas born and brought up in Oromiya or Sidama regard themselves as Amharas even if it is generations ago since their last ancestor has seen their original place. A case in point here is Bereket Simon, one who was born and brought up in Gonder, fought the Mengistu regime along with his Amhara comrades. But to some he is still an Eritrean. Are we forgetting that Eritrea was once part of Ethiopia and that many Eritreans still still live in Ethiopia as Ethiopians? I think it is time to accept the fact that anyone who was born,brought up and worked in Ethiopia should be regarded as an Ethiopian regardless of his ethnic origin.
Peace to the people of Ethiopoia.

09/24/12 @ 18:18
Comment from: belew [Visitor]

@all agamamidos talking againest C’est moi senait

I bet you if you meet her face to face you will pee in your pants. Under the cover of the computer you talk big you first word is whore shermuta .. I am sure you heard this words when you guys were growing up because you are all yeshermuta lege Only whore like you take money to go down on their knees and worship losers like Meles and his agazi wife who was a real shermuta.

09/24/12 @ 20:13
Comment from: Loongalee [Visitor]

Ce’st moi anarchist

I think you want to cause anarchy in Ethiopia. You will never be happy until Haile Sellassie or Minilik come back. You will never be happy until your tribes sit on the bench. When the great, great grand father of Hailemariam, Xoona fought against Minilik and lost his people were condemned to slavery. You may have suspected that he would bring the killers of his ancestors to justice. Don’t be affraid because he is not going to do that.

09/24/12 @ 21:40
Comment from: EthiopianTazabi [Visitor]

Samuel! We all know you being one of the die hard extreme supporters of the EPDRF/TPLF regime! If Meles IS still alive, you’ll be writing some non-sense to justify his Dictatorship! I am tired of people like you who are irrational and tribal. People like you are very selfish and narrow minded! We’ve lost our Ethiopian unity because of your God Fathers! You don’t know anything besides what all the extreme Tigrains including your families around you who brainwashed you. We, Ethiopians, have lost the love and respect we have for one another because of you people! As the name idicates ‘Tigrian People Liberation Front’ - Get you shit together and get the hell out of our country! How long is your ‘liberation’ going to take. Please tell your people to liberate themselves from their ‘INFERIORITY COMPLEX’ - It’s taking them years to overcome their trauma of HATE! YOU ARE NOT A PROUD ETHIOPIAN! I EVEN READ WHAT YOU WROTE ABOUT STOPPING MENTIONING ABOUT OUR EMPERORS AND REBRANDING ETHIOPIA - Do you think our COUNTRY is a Commodity! HISTORY IS WRITTEN ONCE! Get over it! UNLESS TIGRES AND THEIR OPPORUNIST PUPPETS ARE REMOVED FROM POWER - THERE IS NO CHANGE! WE NEED FUNDEMENTAL CHANGE! NO MORE TRIBALIST, ETHNOCENTIC TERMITES!!!!

09/24/12 @ 22:16
Comment from: shiferaw [Visitor]  


09/25/12 @ 02:37
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

belew [Visitor]

Aren’t you wendagred Eritrean?

Your comments are highly idiotic, you kept saying everywhere “I bet” repeatedly in every comment you make. What an idiot way of making argument is this?

09/25/12 @ 02:37
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Hey Extrapentebanda you are absolutly wright when you say such a crap “PROSTIT*UTES ALSO HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE POLITICIAN! ” so what is your actual job for the sake of your Agazi Masters …LOL!!!!

09/25/12 @ 02:44
Comment from: [Member]

@Extraterrestrial We are not saying that some Ethiopians do not have a say in Ethiopian politics. We are just saying that a rabid dog has not because it has not the intelligence to understand its own needs. And C’est elle Senait is a rabid dog. At times I think we have to put her down, for her own sake… But I know she is just a malovolent Eritrean…

09/25/12 @ 04:26
Comment from: gudfela [Visitor]

Wow Gemech,

How noble of you. Obviously you are concerned as an Eritrean because of your OPPORTUNITIES you are getting in Ethiopia? Well it is not Ethipians who brought up the ethnic issue but TPLFites and Shaebians. I love it when you make it excuse that why Eritreans have the right to be in Ethiopia. I will give you a clue how many Ethiopians are Eritreans, not talking about the Ethiopians Shaebia is harboring against Ethiopia by the way. So the notion that Ethiopians can be expelled from their coutnry and die in waters, slave in arab countries, etc, while Eritreans who voted to be part of the union to have once again higher position in both political and economic positions in Ethiopia. Not to mention they are the main architects working with Shaebia against the demise of Ethiopia. By the own creation of Shaebia and TPLF about ethnicity, we have a right to identify which ethni groups benefit which ethnic group are the beneficiary.


Thank you for info. Yes, the way opportunists think is amazing. By the way it was those in the Derg who are associated with Eritreans or married to who have been giving information against Derg. Yes, I don’t like Derg, but the people under Mengistu esepcially those who have nothing to do with killings are still innocent and need to be released. They are waiting until they die in prison. The strange thing is that how is it the main killer Mengistu enjoying the palace of Zimbabwe while the people under him are languishing in prison? Once again my suspicion that Mengistu could be a cahoots with the powers that he got green light to live. In that case when Ethiopia gets her freedom from TPLF, does this mean the people who are forced to be in TPLF to face justice too?

Those of you calling C’est moi names. It is such worrisome people like you today are probably in leadership. No wonder where our country is heading, a group of thugs who are OPPORTUNISTS like Desalegn, Girma W/giorigis, those of you here. Soon again the god of Ethipia will give you justice.

09/25/12 @ 04:40
Comment from: Me [Visitor]

It is important and natural to have different opinion.But People like C M Seniet, TEDDY are immature and negative.Theit comments are diverting out attention from the important issue and push us to be negative like them. My advice is just to ignore them. I have read many people talk about their nonsense comments.Unless they mature their comments will divide us more.Let us ignore them and focus on the common benefit.

My opinion about Haile mariam and the new Ethiopia is positive.He has to continue the good ones , change the weak once and start what has not be done.
God bless s all and My Ethiopia

09/25/12 @ 16:08
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

kebrab [Visitor]

Oui elle ‘C’est elle Senait’ est un Érythréen je sais que lol

Remerciements frère !

09/25/12 @ 16:52
Comment from: HagereEthiopia [Visitor]

I have a reading for you all. It is about self respect and the respect of others. It is the respect for their opinions, their beliefs and their humanity. It is about the respect you give if you want the same back in return. Its about the true Ethiopians and their respect to one another and not calling their sisters, wives… set(egna)-adari.

Read on…

From Theodros to Yohannes and Haileselassie and thereafter
By Kassa M. | June 1, 2010

I am here to tell a story. However to tell the story I need some background. The background does not tell you much. It is only a glimpse of our long and diverse history – a prelude.
I know for a fact that Atse Yohannes IV mourned, officially at that, the death of Theodros. His 40 days (arba) was also commemorated quite and proper at his court.

I also know that Theodros and Yohannes were adversaries. Without Yohannes the British military expedition would never have ventured into Mekdella. The agreement was pure and simple. You want a show down with Theodros. Go ahead. However the way you came in is your way out. That is what exactly happened. He used them to take the chestnut out of the fire. Very smart.
However their differences were NOTHING personal. Certainly nothing to do with ethnicity. They were way beyond that. It is simply called vying for power.

Yohaneses’ official court language was Amharic. His correspondences in short, with foreign powers was in Amharic. He was an Ethiopian Emperor not a tribal leader. This was in no way meant to undermine his own language. It was about having the bigger language be the lingua franca. It was about building a nation. It was visionary.

Both had exceeded their powers at times. Their reign was turbulent and chaotic. Theodros was cruel against any body that was in direct collision to his reformist ideas. Yoahnnes punished Gojjam for rebellion to a point where he had to blame God for his cruelty. His remorse was so deep for the people he punished. They were his own people. However it was all about asserting authority as the time dictated. Nothing more.

Both were up comers but in no way small. They were giants in our history. This is because there was no doubt about their allegiance to the honour of the country and commitment to the people they ruled. Ethiopia always came first.

Theodros shot himself. Could any one imagine the shame and disappointment we would have had to live with if he was taken alive. Think of a headline “An Ethiopian Emperor captured or killed by the English”. He “robbed them of a claim for capture. He was not made of material for capture. He robbed them of a claim to have been killed. He was found dead.” Remember the Ethiopian verse regarding his death?

Yohannes abandoned his march to punish Italian incursion at Massawa. He had an army no one could beat. He had people who did not know the word retreat. He left because there was an immediate and dangerous enemy at the western front that he thought he should teach a lesson first. He was deeply religious. The looting and torching of churches by Mahdists and their Egyptian/Turkish friends was not something he can tolerate. His job he knew was to defend and uphold the integrity of the country the defence of its people at whatever cost. So he marched to Gonder and Mettema where he met his heroic death. What else can you give back to your country?

Menelik and Yohannes were also adversaries. But again there was NOTHING personal about it. Menelik paid tribute to Yohannes the Emperor of Ethiopia. He addressed him as Getaye (Sir). Yohannes however allowed him to call himself King (Negus Menelik). Neguse Negest is reserved for only ONE person and is an Ethiopian concept. There were no Neguse Negests any where in the world. There were clear cut rules and regulations, ceremony. And they were respected.

With news of his death Menelik also sat in mourning for Yohannes at his court in Addis. They were not always in the best of terms but they respected each other. They knew how and when to compromise. They were not capable of demonising the past. The leaders were rather revered and remembered for what they did for who they were.

Meneliks’ period was less chaotic. He abhorred traitors for sure. He favoured and rewarded resourceful people. He was merciful at the same time. He reasserted his authority to the South and west mostly through peaceful means but some times with force. He was building the nation. He knew that unity was strength. He never went to war without first trying other ways. He was loath to spilling blood even of invading Europeans. However he also knew how to fight.

Adwa was a supreme example of Ethiopian mercifulness. We captured but let go thousands of POWs. We kept them well, we fed them. We did not torture nor try to take their dignity away.

Now I want to tell you the story that I know is true.

Menelik had no Sons to inherit the throne. The whole court knew of his sins of adultery “looking for” a SON. So did Taitu, his wife. She was also yearning to bear a Son for the empire. They both tried to make sure that there is a lineage to the throne.

Taitu had a “secret” affairs with Ras Abate a very close court advisor and also known for his organizational skills as the story goes.

When Menelik knew (everybody else knew of the affair) he called his court and close advisors and asked for judgment. He said “Abate has crossed into my private space”.

His advisors counselled peace. Abate is your brother, your right hand man, your shield, they said. Menelik, let go. Ras abate however was sent to one of the provinces as Governor. That was a bad enough punishment at the time. Menelik knew the worth of people.

The story goes that Menelik had a big feast (Giber) coming. Huts are built, tents have been pitched. Menelik one morning goes to inspect the preparations. He finds Taitu who was also inspecting kitchen issues. Menelik asks his wife how it is going.

The lady answers (with some malice I presume) saying that nothing is going well especially since Abate left. Menelik answers (without thinking too much I guess)…. Well Abate can also be summoned.

On his way back to the main palace grounds he passes by the telegraph room (he often did they say) and asks to be connected to Abate. The Ras was away and he leaves a message that he wants him in Addis.

Ras Abate intrigued about this sudden and unexplained order and worried more about what could have befallen the country left the same afternoon to Addis. He ordered all horse men to saddle and come along with him and foot soldiers to follow at their own pace.

It took him a week of day and night travel and reaches Addis at mid night. The capital looked peaceful and no signs of preparations for one of the list of endless wars that the country had to go through every now and then.

Abates’ esteem and status was so high that etiquette allows him to pass mounted through the two first gates of the palace whatever time of day or night. He was in his full ceremonial dress of a Ras. He was also able to pass the third gate, dismounts and proceeds directly to Menelik’s chambers. There he had to stop. He was told that Menelik is asleep. However he insists they wake him up. He can not sleep without knowing the reasons for the summons.

Menelik was told and he came out to greet Abate and there is where our story really begins.

Menelik explains that the country is at peace, thanks to God. However Taitu said this and I said that and I left a message for you to come…….. Is that all Getaye? Yes, that is all, was the Emperors reply. He understood his blunder however.

Ras Abate takes off his ceremonial dress (meaning gives back his hard earned title) hands it to a Servant and announces “I am going home. I will live off my land” bows to Menelik and promptly leaves for his estate. The emperor has crossed a line.

A few days later Menelik sends the equivalents of Abate to ask for forgiveness. Abate sends them away without inviting them to his home for even a cup of coffee (unusual for our customs). Then again other envoys of repute were dispatched. The same reply and they were politely sent back.

Some days passed and the Abun of Ethiopia (the patriarch i.e.) was at his gate. Ras Abate comes out in this case in respect to the spiritual father. You can’t just send away a patriarch. However the answer was the same.

Soon after there was an unusual visitor, a visitor with a bigger entourage. There was a commotion outside. Here was the Emperor himself. He has travelled hours on horse back. Menelik was carrying a stone on his shoulders (a small stone as it is but yet a sign of seeking forgiveness).

Abate never expected this at all. There is no way he can turn away from the Emperor. That is unthinkable not because he was afraid of him but out of respect. The Emperor is an embodiment of Ethiopia not just a mortal person. You can not turn away from Ethiopia.

There was order, there was custom, there was responsibility.

Pride was restored, forgiveness and magnanimity shown. They were BIG men that we had as leaders.

Humbleness is greatness. Compromise is never a weakness but a strength. Revenge is about diminishing returns.

While a student I remember our severe complaints about police “beatings”. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is true that the Police did some times disburse demonstrations. And with batons mind you. We could demonstrate almost at will. When we did and we did often, we were afraid of maybe a beating but never death.

When the Police hit (I am a witness) they even selected where to hit. They were not there to maim or kill. There was never an order to kill. They did not act with impunity. They might not be the best of political systems. However there was a line they did not cross. There was humanity.

Our rulers had at least the fear of God - a God that they are answerable to. They feared the tears of their citizens.

Who have we got since then? Nobody, unfortunately. We are tied up with bunches of up comer nobodies with no morale, no responsibilities, no allegiance, no respect for people and culture. All who came and left and all who are around and will one day go look small in mind and scope. Their allegiance is/was to themselves. Batons were replaced by bullets and used abundantly throughout the years since Haile Selassie. Where did such people came from?

How come the humanity, compassion, courage, humility, tolerance, magnanimity, vision and civilization our forefathers possessed have become alien to them?

I am at a loss for answers.

09/25/12 @ 20:55
Comment from: C'est moi senait [Visitor]
C'est moi senait

C’est kebreab Z lagar.

Kebreab. I think I know who you are . You lived in lagare Sefer , with tigrian parents, 3 brothers and two sisters. You know one of your brother did to Royal HAILE selase train ? Do u still carry fiction books? Drive a charity car? Am I right? I can read human brain . I poses the lost book of xxxxx

09/26/12 @ 02:22
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Woshe good ,TPLF Thugs are once again trying to write en “Français",
Extrapente ,ferensayunun yetemarkew
Lycée nehu woyes ,Tchemane De Far be
Tchat Merkana ,Ke gedel gibu Tedji bet Djerba ,ke wodadjeh Tchiffenee gara…LOL !!!By the way why don’t you go and ask ,your Leba Master’s
children Marda and Senayi to give you a lesson in French ,while 99% the Ethiopian Peoples are starving ,
your Looter Mistress has a means to
pay more than 12000Birr at Lycee G/Mariam …TCHINKILATEBIS DEDEB BANDA !!!!!!

09/26/12 @ 03:12
Comment from: Red Sea State [Visitor]
Red Sea State


you have been telling people,Eritrean responsible for crime, agames(woyanes) did in Ethiopia.ok.we know meles is mother Eritrean and Bereket origin Eritrea.even though both them they fought for power and tigray.why do use Eritrea as escape goat for your own failure?.now you strat another cheap propaganda.HD new prime minister wife is from Eritrea .balh..blah…you are using Eritrea for your internal problem but your frog is ended like that.woyanes killed your abay tigray state after they like their self and choose to live in luxury addis abebe.go and hung your self body buy your crap here.Eritrea make weak Ethiopia balh..blah…muldeta twisted heart can fool people like your self but not Eritrean

09/28/12 @ 22:22



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