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Ethiopia: Bahr Dar and the wonderful art of silence



  10:31:21 pm, by admin   , 1607 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Yilma Bekele

Ethiopia: Bahr Dar and the wonderful art of silence

Ethiopia: Bahr Dar and the wonderful art of silence

By Yilma Bekele

Last Sunday May 12 a Federal police officer opened fire and murdered twelve or eighteen people depending on who is doing the counting in the City of Bahr Dar by the shores of Lake Tana. It was a random killing and the only reason he stooped shooting was because he run out of bullets. What makes this crime unique is that it was committed by some one that is trained to protect and serve. At least in most places that is what we think of the armed officers that move around with loaded guns amongst us. I said in most places, our Ethiopia is not such a place.

The Federal Police serve the TPLF party that is in charge of our country. Meles Zenawi set up the Federal Police to be accountable to him and his party and used this force to quell down any kind of native unrest against his group. The Federal Police is the most fearsome weapon of the TPLF party. Like everything else concocted by the late criminal the Federal Police is a uniquely Ethiopian force supposedly created to resemble other Federal institutions in the developed West. The name is the same but the purpose and mission is different.

In Ethiopia the TPLF party’s Federal Police is an instrument of terror. Their motto is shoot first, ask questions later. You will not find a single Ethiopian that would not be engulfed with fear when the Federal Police is mentioned. The force was purposely designed to instill fear. From what I know of the Federal system here in the US the FBI does not involve itself in local matters. The local Police that are answerable to the Mayor or elected official is the first line of response. The State Police is under the elected Governor who is accountable to the citizen. There is a clear line of jurisdiction built into the system.

Meles Zenawi’s Ethiopia is different. The Federal Police force under him is the ultimate arbitrator of justice or injustice in this case. The Different Kililis or Bantustans have no power or authority on this rogue force. No sane Kilil head will challenge the power of the Federal Police. I can safely say that regarding all Killis except the Sovereign State of Tigrai. Abay Woldu would not allow a Kenbata, Oromo, Amhara or Somali Federal Police to roam around in his State with immunity.

When the late dictator copied the Kilil system from Mussolini with upgrades from the South African Bantustan system he made a few improvements of his own. Bahr Dar is the capital city of the Amhara Kilil. What in the world is a Federal Police doing in the streets of Bahr Dar with a loaded is gun is one of the peculiarities of the Ethiopian scene. That practice is one copied from Apartheid system. Why the local Police are not enough to keep the citizens of Bahr Dar safe is not clear at all.

Thus on the evening May 12 a certain Federal Police officer opened fire and killed all he can find in his aim of fire. No one confronted the individual and once he run out of bullets in his high capacity gun he left the area. Things got more interesting after that. First there was a lot of argument regarding the numbers killed. Apparently counting dead bodies lying on the street is not an easy task. Before the blood was dry on the highway Awramba a new and obscure Website here in the US that seems to be on the know felt it was important to label the ethnic origin of the killer as if that will make the heinous act more palatable or clear.

This childish attempt to misinform was followed by the TPLF party in a more bizarre press release that defiantly can only happen in a country where there is no independent press to raise questions and demand answers or by a government that does not have an iota of respect for its citizens.

According to the Ethiopian government the above is the picture of individual that committed the crime. His dead body was fished out of a river. They did not bother to name the river. A body left in the water for a day or two will show all the symptoms of death by drowning. Our killer shows none of the effects of being in the water dead. His shoes are polished, his uniform is crisp and the blood on his face is not of someone left in water for any length of time. Do you think the rope tied around his feet is how he was dragged out? It is just curious he did not get dirty and with all that blood on his face no fish bothered to nibble. It is a miracle.

The story did not end there. While the Federal Police was displaying his dead body the Kilil administrator was issuing press release regarding the ongoing search to look for the criminal. It is just two versions of the same lie. The newly minted Prime Minter whose force murdered fourteen people did not even bother to go to the scene and console the victims’ families. He choose to send a high sounding message promising further investigation. What is the death of fourteen citizens when you can stay in the palace and play host to some Arab delegation? To add insult to injury several high ranking officers of the Federal Police in full uniform showed up at the funeral location the next day. I can see the whole drama from here with the officers arriving in their four wheel Range Rovers accompanied by zillions of security while descending on the poor folks sitting in a tent trying to console each other.

A week later the Federal Police put out a press release that they have detained ten members of their force for ‘neglecting and failing to act’. Do you mean to tell us there were armed police around while he was shooting randomly and they just watched, or did they know he was intending to do just that and they kept quiet which one is it my dear Workeneh?

No matter how you look at it the whole story is bizarre. Starting with the action of the insane individual to the conflicting press reports by the officials and the reporting by ETV that doesn’t even ask why the criminal’s clothes don’t show any signs of being in the water - it is vintage Woyane drama.

The report by the Diaspora press was something to behold too. We were told the citizens of Bahr Dar were fuming. They were showing signs of anger and were seating ready to let of steam. No adjective was spared to describe the mental and physical anguish of Bahr Darians. Thus I waited to see how this criminal act of an invading force was going to manifest itself by the citizen reacting back. Pictures of Palestinian citizens under the watchful eyes of the Israeli Army burying their dead clad in their beloved flag and defiant in their tone passed thru my head. I remembered the scene from Cairo where the citizens carried the dead bodies of their martyrs shot by the Mubarak’s police during the Arab spring as it flashed vividly in front of my eyes.

Nothing like that happened. Someone once said we Ethiopians have even lost our capacity to be angry. The best explanation that comes to mind is what was said by our Holy Father Abune Melkesedek explaining the silence of his people a while back as ‘Bechelema Gelmecha’. That is what took place in the city of Bahr Dar ‘Bechelema Gelmecha’. It must be very satisfying to the individuals but no one saw it. What is the point is a good question to ask. How is the evil doer going to understand the hurt inflicted on those families and the entire city? Is a simple defiant procession to protest and let the regime know the citizens feeling much to expect? Isn’t there one brave soul in the whole of Bahr Dar that is not afraid to respond in kind?

Well to settle the matter once and for all the Woyane government brought in ‘Special Forces’ unit to Bahr Dar to even control the thought of defiance let alone the act. I still do not understand the presence of all this armed groups in such an idyllic location. Bahr Dar is far from any border and currently there is no one threating the peace and harmony of the city. I just don’t understand why our cities are military camps during a peaceful time. I also don’t understand why we have so many people serving the military while so many of our schools are starving for teachers and books, our hospitals and clinics are poorly stocked and our children and grandparents are fed once a day if lucky. I guess it is all about priorities. The regimes first order is to protect itself from the people and it is perfectly understandable budget allocation favors security over anything else. As for the citizens of Bahr Dar I say to you no one can save you from yourself you just have to figure a way out of the current dilemma of occupation by an outside force of course in collaboration with you present day bandas. It has been done before and I have no reason to think you will not rise up to the challenge. We can echo your scream from afar but there is just no one like you to do the job. Good Luck!


Comment from: Lazy Observer [Visitor]
Lazy Observer

Yilma Bekele

You stated “Apparently counting dead bodies lying on the street is not an easy task.”

At the beginning of your article you stated “twelve or eighteen people” as the number of people killed. From the middle of your article to the end you seem to have settled with a more definite number of “murdered fourteen people".

Apparently it is also difficult to stick to one number in 14 paragraphs.

pathological lying has been defined as “falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime… Wikipedia

The death of 12 people was enough to make your argument however flawed. What was the point of adding 2 or 6 more people?

The reason why “Bahir Darians” haven’t exploded their vent up anger may be because there is no vent up anger to explode.

05/21/13 @ 23:56
Comment from: [Member]

This is a guy with good english language proficiency, but full of hate politics. no substance in his writing. one of the reason why EPRDF will rule for many more years to come. you are just a foolish man! can not explain you more.

05/22/13 @ 00:07
Comment from: [Member]

The hopeless diaspora crybabies wish to score a point or two on every isolated incident, by twisting things which ever way they think it serves their satanic cause of distabilisation.
Dream on losers!

05/22/13 @ 00:58
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

You people are literally insane, arrogant and outright liars.

Since when is that killing people become unusual for Amhara people? The monkey Amhara have been killing people throwout history, killing is part of the culture, what is new and what makes it political now!

As far as I know the value of a bullet is greater than the value of human life for Amhara Monkeys.

05/22/13 @ 01:35
Comment from: Hewan [Visitor]

a yante neger!! You even tried to politicize this unfortunate incident!!?? You see how desperate you are!? Ugly in look; ugly in heart.

05/22/13 @ 03:27
Comment from: Dagmawi [Visitor]

Why he choose Bahir Dar? Why He shoot randomly? The only anwser is because he was in Bahir Dar and was crazy, sick and lost his self control. Such individual are every where in the world. The difference is, he belongs to the armed force, federal police, supposed to protect civilians. We can imagine he was mad to do such cruel,,abdual,,.Sory for those victims who were at wrong place during the wrong time.,,Aital new; I hope it will be the last or rare phänomens/events in my beloved coutry ETHIOPIA!
May GOD rest all victims in Peace!

05/22/13 @ 04:49
Comment from: [Member]

አቶ ይልማ አንልዳከው የ ወያኔው አረመኔ መግስት እድሜውን ለማራዘም በ ጨካኞች ወታደሮች ይጠበቃል::
የ ሽፍታዎች ማህበር ዋና አላማው እንደምንም በ ስልጣን ላይ ቆይቶ ሰሮቅ ለማምለጥ ነው::
ታድያማ እንዳልከው የትኛው የ አገር ጠላት በ ባህር ዳር ተገኝቶ ነው ወታደር የተላከው !!!
ወያኔ ቀናቶቹን ለማራዘም የመጨረሻ ምርጫው የ ጥይት ሃይል ነው::
እነኚህን የቀን ጅቦች በተመባበር መደምሰስ የቀኑ አንገብጋቢ ጥያቄ ነው::

05/22/13 @ 06:26
Comment from: Markos [Visitor]

Simply junk! waste of time.

05/22/13 @ 07:12
Comment from: sab [Visitor]

i think you do not have background of law as a writer, read before you write sth that touches many international and national laws. But i am not in support of the regime but not in this argument/way.Read what federalism is? and exprience of other countries.
Read stuffs that have a link to law

05/22/13 @ 08:01
Comment from: Maritu Kebede [Visitor]
Maritu Kebede

Were you there? did you see what happend? how are your sources. Have a life please and try to test some compassion and love, I assure you will love the feeling.

05/22/13 @ 09:13
Comment from: Kena Keb [Visitor]
Kena Keb

Yilma Bekele along with his friend Alemayehu G/Mariam who are members of the editorial board of the anti Ethiopia website, Ethiopian Review, is not a stranger to us who have read his many articles dedicated to anti Ethiopia cause.
What happened in Bahir dar is very tragice. My heart goes to the family who lost their loved ones. But inflating one isolated incidence out of proportion to make it look like it is the policy of the Police force in Ethiopia is a far fetched and concocted attempt to score any political point. Are we not blessed and proud of our armed forces who have won the trust of the United Nations and the International Community to approve their assignment as peace keeping forces in Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and West Africa? A tragic incidence which happened in Bahir Dar can not tarnish the thousands if not millions of our police officers in Ethiopia who have won the hearts of its citizens for their dedication to the cause of keeping peace and order.
By the way incidences of this character(I do not in any way mean to condone them) have happened by highly trained soldiers and police officers in Afganistan, Iraq and elsewhere who we are told were due to some mental or other disorders the perpetrators were affected with. We do not know in what state of mental situation this particular police officer was when he rampantly started shooting.
Yilma your conspiratorial assumptions will not take you anywhere nor will your spinned theory will accredit you as a worthful person on matters in our country.

Ethiopia is prospering and shall continue to prosper!!

05/22/13 @ 09:45
Comment from: Abyssiniangirl [Visitor]

Typical retarded Tigre cadres. Instead of addressing any of the valid points he raised, you make noise about his, looks, ethnicity, style of writing, etc. No wonder they call you korkoro. I would like to add doma ras to that.

05/22/13 @ 11:34
Comment from: jo [Visitor]

Here us another cry baby who knows how to write the english language very well by virtue of being in the USA for most of his life ofcourse is
talking trash.
Let’s just call him the little brother of Al-mariam. Full of hate
no substance.

05/22/13 @ 12:11
Comment from: [Member]


Look at you Extra trash!

There are a lot of ambiguity in the news which are tending to cause or excite suspicion. From the past experience of our rulers, citizens are distrustful and suspicious.

But, when we come to your moronic comment we can see your behavior , displayed through a lack of self-worth, an increase of doubt and uncertainty.
Your fictional final goal of rationalizing one ethnic group to bring security to oneself inferiority feelings has once again shown you are a psychopath.
You are a demented dude, with all day long thinking about a left over. Anopheles mosquito in the habit of sucking blood.

You are no more than a louse hidden in the pants of an Amhara panties, which is ready to be squashed with their finger nail!…..


05/22/13 @ 18:30
Comment from: Observer [Visitor]

Lazy Observer,

Lazy A$$ MF. What is your Stupid point? Are you denying the event or denying the response of the government? Do you think if it was somewhere else where there is free press and democracy people would not have been going out on the street and complaining about explanation how a Federal police can kill not 12 or 18 but one person for no reason? Only STUPID idiot like you who is a paid BANDA will say “MAYBE THE PEOPLE DONT HAVE ANYTING TO VENT ABOUT” Really??? That is no less than saying MAY BE THERE ARE NOT HUNGRY to starving people. Most of TPLF supporters are STUPID like you so I am not surprised.

Let see if a Federal police comes and wipe out your entire family and see if you don’t have anything to vent about, OK?

05/22/13 @ 18:33
Comment from: Gayint [Visitor]

The forensic department of the Federal Government ruled that the body was in water nomatter what the picture or Yilma says. In the Woyane’s court of law forensic science do not hold water instead the fictious report designed by the federal government. eventhough forensic evidence and Circumstantial evidence points that the latest report on who,why,how , how many and so on killed these civilians the federal government is sticking to the story the feds in ethiopia fabricated . displaying his dead body while the Kilil administrator was issuing press release regarding the ongoing search to look for the criminal shows how much grip the government is loosing when it goes down to kilil levels which is a sign of the escalating danger of disintegration in Ethiopia. Gondar is in danger because they got so many Agew bandas (Amhara converted Tigrayans) due to the land of Agaw been put as a kilik of tigray since Tplf seized power they are heavily suffocated with no thrust except join the brave rebels that are in the jungle training for violence .

05/22/13 @ 18:40
Comment from: john john [Visitor]
john john

Dear Yilma
This is just isolated incident and keep your daydream to yourself.

05/22/13 @ 19:53
Comment from: addisethio [Visitor]

“From the days of Spartacus, Weishophf, Karl Marx, Trotski, Belacoon,
Rosa Luxenburg, and Ema Goldman, this world conspiracy has been steadily growing. This conspiracy played a definite recognizable role in the tragedy of the French revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the 19th Century. And now at last this band
of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities
of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of
their head and have become the undisputed masters of that
enormous empire.”

Sir Winston Churchill

05/22/13 @ 22:18
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Ethioadgi , typically your Agazi Bros and Masters .Days and Nights suffering of
the Syndrom of Inferiority Complex and developping Public HYSTERIA within their Bandits and Bandas .Specially against the Amhara Peoples ,whom they are targeting .

05/23/13 @ 12:58
Comment from: Brain on Tella [Visitor]
Brain on Tella

Kids, this is what Tella ( the Ethiopian moonshine beer ( LOL) does to your brain.

Never try it! I did it and I was observed walking the halls only in my underwear HAHAHA. Had no recollection of it.

I heard on a certian Community radio that the killer was an Oromo! Maybe these “shinshin kumta lebash” Gojjames called him the G-word so many times that he finally went postal!

I’m sorry that he didn’t turn his gun on his ARMED ( not civilian) Tigre Masters :-(

RIP to the innocent civilians murdered by this obviously disturbed man. To turn it political somehow shows that how the Diaspora “Opposition” is lost for any coherent argument against the TPLF government.

It’s a tragedy and we better start separating government sanctioned murders from lone-wolf crazies. The government has no interest in having little kids murdered when they’re not actively engaged in direct confrontation with security forces.

05/23/13 @ 13:39
Comment from: Jemal [Visitor]

To everyone.

Doesn’t the editor have the right of opinion, what is wrong with these people. Just because you are of ethnic Tigray doesn’t give you the right to call other ethnic group “monkeys". What does that make you. I don’t agree with ideology of Amharas we are in this Mess because of their incompetent decades of brutal rule but I will never call them monkeys. How can one who live in the west, who faces racism on daily basis call other human beings monkey. Shame on you ! ! ! Shame on you ! !. I have a mix fillings about the Amharas I don’t trust their motive, I don’t believe in their ideology. They think the country belongs to them rather than them
Belonging to the country. Personally I have alot of reservation on them taking the power again. Hopefully this generation is better than the previous generation.

Get this fact and accept it.

1. Never again will we accept the self titled ” Solomonic dynasty".

2. We will never accept one religion to sole religion of the country.

3. We will never accept the notion of one language above others.

I think the TPLF would have been a better goverment than all the past Amhara government combined. Out of fear fear they made an enemy of every one. Sooner or later this junta is going to fall, it is a matter of when not if.

Good luck to the people of this country.

05/23/13 @ 21:13
Comment from: Lazy Observer [Visitor]
Lazy Observer


Equating the existence of hungry people in Ethiopia to a revolution right around the corner is just unrealistic. How long are you going to wait for this wave of “discontent” so erupt….? And to think that the act of a crazy Police man would be the trigger….? What u somkin..? Com’on..!!!

This revolution/uprising/spring/whatever ain’t happening bro… What can I tell you, it just ain’t happening…

Get with the program brother,Its called “Agricultural led Industrialization using the Developmental State Model of government” and it is yielding results.

05/24/13 @ 01:01
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Gashe mamo [Visitor] & Abyssiniangirl [Visitor]

Why is that you only speak out when the monkey Amhara are exposed, why is that it is normal to you when Tigre, Oromo, Wolayta … are bundled together and are lashed out day in and day out on this site, where were you?

It is an eye for an eye: Amhara monkeys first learn to respect others if you want to be respected.

05/24/13 @ 05:58
Comment from: Jemal [Visitor]

Extraterr- Asseb

I can understand your frustration with the Amharas but do you seriously think that the current government is being fair to everyone. Do you seriously think that the foreign Aid and the wealth of the country is evenly distributed to everyone?, do you seriously think that their is democracy in this God forsaken country?, do you seriously think that the ethnic trigray dont have by far special treatment above everyone else?.

The TPLF led government is as brutal as as you can get. I have traveled all my life and I have never seen citizen fearing for their well being as they do in Ethiopia, not even in Zimbabwe. I just wonder how people do business in this country.

In ethiopia if you are Muslim and you oppose the government you will be charged with terrorism. If you are of other faith and you oppose the goverment you will be charged with corruption.

Dear Extratte - Asseb.

Unfortunately Your people(Tigray) will be the biggest looser in all of these, the animosity toward this ethnic group is beyond Comprehension and your children and grandchildren will be faced with bigotry and hatred. The whole generation will be purnished for the mistake of the of the few. I hope people will learn to forget and forgive and move on.

It is not to late for TPLF to more inclusive. I think most people will appreciate them if their basic rights are not violated.

I think the oromos will agree to work with the tigrayan if given a fair go. I don’t want the Amharas to be back in power, I hate to think what will happen to the country.

To the good people of Tigray I urge you to convince your goverment to step back and think what kind of future they want for the coming generation?, do you want your children to be beggars in the street of addis ababa.

Remember the 1970s and 1980s it was horrible for your community.

Peace to everyone

05/24/13 @ 18:32
Comment from: [Member]

Miskin Extraterrstrial from Asseb who needs a [ Visitor]

lose one’s mind, insanity, starts the same way as you are experiencing now and ends at the same way as the police officer who committed the crime in Bahr dar.
It seems your common sense/wits are wilted. You put yourself in the position of a protector, defender or guard while you are a cross breed mutant.
This is not normal. Can you please take your medicine regularly.


05/24/13 @ 20:34



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