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Ethiopia: When we were the peacemakers



  01:11:38 am, by admin   , 2024 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Yilma Bekele

Ethiopia: When we were the peacemakers

Ethiopia: When we were the peacemakers

By Yilma Bekele

There is a term some use to describe the US as being special. They call it ‘American exceptionalism.’ What the theory tries to define is the special and unique place the US holds due to the revolutionary nature of its founding and the emergence of an American Ideology that is based on individualism, equality, and unfettered free enterprise. Conservatives use the term to claim the higher ground while the left dismiss it as nothing more than myth. Both sides agree the US is a ‘shining city on a hill’, ‘cradle of liberty’ ‘indispensable nation’ etc. For a country that is the wealthiest, the most powerful and Continent size big it still requires its ego massaged. You will not find an American that does not think his country is exceptional. One cannot be elected even a dogcatcher without recognizing the uniqueness of good old USA.

I brought this up because there seems to be all sorts of attempts to knock down or demean our past. It is very shameful and destructive. The whole idea is so strange that it is difficult to find a rational explanation why our ‘leaders’ will resort to such ugly method to stay in power. It is understandable if our so-called enemies use such tactic. But our own government doing that is a little bizarre.

There is no denying our Country has existed for a very long time compared to other Nations. That is verifiable fact. It is also true that Ethiopia is prominently mentioned in the Holy Bible and spoken of favorably by the prophet Mohamed (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) in the Holy Koran. I am not even going to mention Dinknesh. I just want to point out that we are the source of Abay that nourished and sustained the Great Pharos. The Pyramids of Giza were built from the waters and dirt from our Highlands. Ethiopia was there before written history.

Now the Victory at Adwa was our crowning moment. Emperor Minilk accompanied by Queen Taitu Betul and the combined might of our ancestors dealt a heavy blow to European Colonialism. That victory of an African nation against the big and ugly European that has been tormenting Black people for over three hundred years was heard across the Galaxy. Hey, you never know where you will find black folks. You think I am exaggerating? Ask Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Dubois, Kwamen Nkrumah and Nelson Mandela. I will leave the Rastafarian’s out of this brouhaha. Our esteemed Black leaders all wrote the significance of Ethiopia in helping them keep hope alive in their struggle for freedom and dignity. The Establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) is the continuation of that central role our country has played as a bright light that defines the hope and aspirations of all Black people. Just because we are at the bottom now it don’t mean we were always there.

This attempt to belittle, gloss over or cover up the pivotal role Ethiopia played in the formation of the OAU is futile and should definitely be considered to be a criminal act. We should never allow the spirit of our ancestors to be trampled upon. That is my opinion and I am unanimous in that. His Imperial majesty Haile Selassie I, his Cabinet led by Prime Minister Aklilu Habteweld and his brilliant protégé His Excellency Ato Ketema Yifru, Foreign Minster deserve the lion’s share of the credit for this Herculean effort. This is not to belittle the efforts of hundreds and thousands of others that worked hard. Not at all, but somebody always gives life to ideas and our leaders were smart enough to know the moment and act on it. That is how history is made.

OAU came at a time of “African Spring” of the 1960’s. The Europeans and Asians have managed to kill each other in a spectacular manner and were tired of war. Africans were waking up from their slumber. To say Black people were created to suffer does not describe the reality. Slavery and colonialism ‘s after effects will take centuries to erase. We are resilient people, thus we took the lull at the end of the war to assert our coming out. Young dynamic leaders graduates of the struggle for independence were emerging. They maneuvered and gained independence from the colonial powers. Their name still evokes pride and hope.

The 60’s Africa was a child of two worlds. On one side were the ‘Casa Blanca Group’ molded by the young Turks that have emerged from the yoke of colonialism as the new leaders. They included Gamal Abdel Nasser, Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Toure, Ben Bella, Jomo Kenyata to mention a few. They were fired up and thinking big. Pan-Afrcanism that meant one big Continent Country like the USA was their goal. One Continent one Nation was their motto. They all were big people with big dreams.

On the other side were the ‘Monrovia Group’ led by the old and cautious. They wanted to go one step at a time. They were not willing to experiment. Sengor, Tubman, Boigney, Tafewa Balewa were formidable leaders in their own right. The two camps were vying for leadership. It is at this particular juncture in time that Ethiopia showed up to assert its leadership. Our credibility was unshakeable. Both sides respected and trusted our country and leader. We were not a product of this or that colonial master. We were an island of freedom and dignity in a sea of black suffering and abuse. The African leaders were conscious of this fact.

The much-heralded black people unity was realized in Addis Abeba Ethiopia in 1963. It came about by the hard work, far sighted and decisive leadership of our Emperor and his savvy Foreign Minister. The impossible was achieved in Addis Abeba and Black people all over the world celebrated. This is our contribution to African unity and no one can take that away from us.

Why we are discussing this past history is due to the current inauguration of a new building to house the Organization. It is a modern building. As buildings go it could be considered beautiful, more European than African if I might add. It was financed and built by the Peoples Republic of China as a gift to Africans. Why they would want to do that is a whole other discussion. I am not going there today. My interest centers around the issue of statue and the credit for the existence of the Organization in general.

The statue of His Excellency Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah former President of Ghana was prominently unveiled during the inauguration. No question he deserves the heart felt thanks of Africans and all Black people. It is a proud moment for all of us. His Excellency played a major and pivotal role in advancing the concept of Pan-Afrcanism and cemented the relationship of Africans and the African Diaspora in the West. It was an important linkage in showing the commonality of our struggle for freedom and dignity.

Some of us Ethiopians feel there is something missing here. Without taking away from others we believe may be it would have looked a little better if Dr. Nkrumah’s statue was accompanied with others that have labored as much to form this august body. Of course we have His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie in mind. Is that far fetched with a hint of selfishness on our part? I plead guilty. Since I am an Ethiopian I will let my African brethren answer that question. I am sure they will agree with us.

Why do you think HIM’s statue is not part of the new building? Here we are going to open Pandora’s box. All the evil is going to be spilled and you have no one to blame except yourself. Let us start with Osagyefo Nkrumah first. As you know he was the first President of Ghana. He led his nation on its transition from British playground to a free African nation. That was 1957. He has a tumultuous relationship with his people until he was overthrown in 1966. Truth be told that the builder of hydroelectric dams, champion of Pan Afrcanism and founder of the OAU was given to be an opponent of civil liberties and wrecker of political parties. So much so that he made his party (CPP) the only legal one and was declared President for life. All great leaders come with a baggage. What do you think the present leaders and people of Ghana think of their leader?

Here is where we part company with our Ghanaian friends. In Ghana the Osagyefo is seen as the most respected leader of Africa. Father of their country. Universities are named after him. Large boulevards carry his name and commemorative stamps bearing his face are the rage. In fact it is the current President of Ghana that have the statue made and delivered in Addis. They admire and love him very much warts and all.

See what I mean my friend? What is the hobby of our leaders? Kicking Ethiopia around comes to mind. Haven’t you noticed the inordinate amount of time spent by the TPLF mafia in discrediting all our early achievements and history? It should not be news to no one. The chances of our Emperor’s statue in Addis is no more than the chances of Meles Zenawi winning a free and fair election in Ethiopia. In other words hell will freeze over before that happens. These assorted simpletons even felt threatened by a dignified funeral service for the Emperor let alone allow erection of a statue. A Statue will definitely be the cause of mind melt. After all isn’t Ato Meles that called the emperor a ‘reactionary’ in front of all Africans? What makes you think they will honor the leader we ourselves condemn?

Please watch the speech given by dictator Meles supposedly defending Ethiopia in an AU meeting. TPLF cadres are so proud of his defense of our nation that it is heralded out on every occasion when they think it necessary to build his credentials as a lover of our country. It is a shame that the leader needs such crutch to make us a believer. I saw the video and I wanted to hide. It is a shameful performance worthy of a cadre. Where in the world did he get that larger than life Holly Wood reading glass? Was there something placed in the chair to make him jump around like a grasshopper? From what I can see he was as usual demeaning other representatives trying to make enemies rather than friends. By the way ‘reactionary’ Haile Selassie did not train revolutionary Nelson Mandela. No sir we trained fighters of African National Congress. It is not about individuals here but a cause. Our country was a welcome haven to all Black militants and freedom fighters.

We are not happy with the sidelining of our Emperor and thru him the contribution of our government and people. Recognition of the hard work and wise leadership of our Emperor is a reflection of the single minded and fiercely independent trait of our ancestors. The issue is not Haile Selassie but all of Ethiopia. Credit given to his Majesty for a job well done is something to be proud of by all of us. We love and respect him very much wart and all.

Today this fact of HIM’s statue missing is a no-brainer. Our country is misruled and on the verge of collapse is what should worry us. The sale of our land to foreigners is what should keep us awake at night. The fourteen million or more in need of food should be our focus. The lack of unity and determination to do good for our people and ourselves is my agony.

When the time comes we will build the biggest and baddest monument to our Emperor and other heroes. I have no doubt that will happen. If not us our children will rise up to this challenge and do what is right.

Materials used in this article:


Comment from: [Member]

Yilma Bekele, a typical diaspora politician, who is looking for something to blame the current regime, now came up as a defender of HIM.
Wow! I don’t mind if you pick and drop the let king however you prefer so long he isn’t with us anymore, but when you say atlast, “our country is misruled and on the verge of colapse…..", one can only assume, that you are nothing but a fiasco who is hallucinating and delirious.

02/09/12 @ 05:23
Comment from: Afarman [Visitor]

Ato Yilma Bekele, I tried to read your article, you always atempt to find an excuse to launch your nevomous attack against the EPRDF. I wounder why people like you keep on engaged in 24/7 cyber attack against the EPRDF ? The only reason I can think of is obliteration of the army which your hero Hailesellasie the “Peace maker” built in time, the army which the dergue controlled to silence those who were lebeled as separatists.

Hailesselassie and dergue have launched a barbaric and inhuman attack against Ethiopians, particularly against Tigreans and Eritreans. Now people like you who supported the regime are suffering from nightmares, flushbacks and sleepless nights. You always think you will be victim of an eye for an eye justice. There is no need to worry about that, the EPRDF has pardoned all your uncles from Legese to Fikresellassie all are released. Its time to stop writing trash online.

Ethiopia under the EPRDF is safe, all the leftovers of the Dergue who got defeated in 1991 alongside shaebiya slaves will continue to cry.

Ethiopia will continue to deal with those individuals and groups who try to destabilise our country. No crying will bring down the government of Ethiopia. We have a government which is capable of walking the walk, no rebel, no prophet of rage will be able to destabilise the country.

The EPRDF should continue to be firm on those loosers and hate mongerers. Their prophecy of rage, doom and gloom in Ethiopia has evaporated into the thin air.

I always feel good to see some members of the opposition crying out loud on ESAT. Thats what they deserve for the crimes they committed against Ethiopia. The people of Ethiopia have suffered under the brutal amhara dominated regime of Mengistu Hailemariam. They have massacred thousands of civillians in broad day light. The people of Hawzen and Sheeb have witnessed the brutality of the previous regime.

When Hawzen was on fire, when people of Sheib got crushed and killed by moving Tanks no single member of the opposition spoke on their behalf, deep in their heart they loved the action of the dergue against Tigreans and Eritreans. Those who are writing trash day in and day out are mainly non eritrean and non tigrean rebels with no cause.

The faulfof the EPRDF if any is one, letting the dergue and its supporters walk free from the prison. If the EPRDF took revenge against Legese and other codefendants the situation would have been different. Those who killed innocent civilians should have been faced the death penality. They and their supporters havent learnt a lesson, if they get the chance they will do it again. the current opposition groups are being led by rascists and hatemongerers like Tamagn and Abebe Belew, former comedians who turned to be politicians. The are accompanied by their intellectual mentors which include the prophets of doom like Prof Alemariam, Mesay, and other idiots who have neither gut nor the skill to fight the actual fight. They seat behind their PC and spread venom

Ato Yilma Bekele, If you got nothing to do keep on writing trash weekly. kkkkk, you guys are all funny.

02/09/12 @ 05:30
Comment from: Dagnachew Koru [Visitor]
Dagnachew Koru


02/09/12 @ 06:25
Comment from: warya [Visitor]

Dagnachew Koru

You get it wright,and if that Ato Yilma is not the prince of showa then of course that Ato Bekele,he wouldn’t had been the member of the Imperial body guards. Nonetheless,beside that our political view difference I should Congratulate my friend’s articulated articles and that I’ll hope in the future (in his next articles) Ato Yelma will be focusing the future and not the past era or compliant towards Melese and his regime.We had been complaining enough into each others and that fought enough wars and yet nothing peaceful solution was accomplished in our homeland.Some were the victims of yesterday and today you are the ones who keep crying,although that the our cases were varying but the lack of happiness will effect the human life. Therefore,its better to talk from now on how to overcome our past agony and that our present problems.Instead we should talk,write and discuss solution.If we only understand how to complain each other not how to solve,then forever we will remain in same situation.Please bring some betterment idea and stop to blame Melese or Tigray ethnic. Remember,your your heroes where many Ethiopians oppressors,the Derg were the enemy of many including ur favorite kingdoms.The Dergs,killer Mengust no one elected,so the same the TPLF and tomorrow no will give us the granted save regime will be replacing the EPRDF…..etc
The choices of the good/bad it all depending on us.

02/09/12 @ 09:58
Comment from: peace [Visitor]


You sound like you are holding Ethiopians and Afaris like a hostage while defending Tigryans and Eritreans. Why don’t you give your nick name Tigrayan or Eritrean man instead of the innocent Afaris you are trying to hold on too. Do you know how fake you sound? No matter how hard you try, Tigray and Eritreans leaders, you will never mount to be like the great Haileselassie. Haven’t you noticed, he is living through many people even to those Jamaicans. I know you hate that everytime his name comes up because you can just feel yourself getting smaller and smaller because he is enormous. By the way if you are Eritrean defender, what are you doing in Ethiopia? Aha you love the economic advantage in Ethiopia that is right. I think you are also giving us hint, are you the one who shot the peaceful Western tourists in Afar region and blaming it on probably the Afaris? By the way, the Afaris might not like you using their name as your nick name as you have divided their family into two countries in Eritrea and Ethiopia. How cruel can you be?

02/09/12 @ 13:55
Comment from: [Member]

It is a genuinely written article by a genuine Ethiopian. As we are seeing these days the TPLF mafia group is wearing a non-Ethiopian cloth deniying their Ethiopianess.
I am no more surprised since the mafia leader- AKA Meles the “Chimp” outrightly belittled the famous Ethiopian Emperor Theowdros II. The Weyanegroup agenda seems to show it’s ugly face that at the expense of destroying the country let’s loot lie, and embarass Ethiopia and run the hell out of here.
Every day I see the brazen Ag***lunacy. In what way can one habesha forget if not accept the HIM contribution for the unity of the African nations is beyond my comprehension. The very existence of the nation of Ethiopia has to do with part to the late leaders of our country. Without which we would have been gypsy like nomads on the horn of Africa. Atleast we owe our unity and unique culture to the history of Ethiopia under one flag.
As sad as it may seem the new tyrant meles the shifta is trying to rewrite history by denying the very exisence our mother land whose rich history and culture is an asset to the current and future generation of all Ethiopians.
United we shall restore our dignity.
Death to the current shifta leaders.

02/09/12 @ 13:56
Comment from: HaK [Visitor]

Ato Yilma,
Have you heard this metaphor the best of everything does not need to get advertised? It is obvious that people know or have heard already it is the best. People all over around the world know more about Haile Selassie and his good deeds in connection to OAU. When it comes to Haile Selassie’s exceptional contribution, I would think he deserves more than erecting his statue, like naming the main meeting hall after his name… I also would think the right thing to do was to put the statues of all founding member leaders. It is so sad no one who was involved in the project dare to lobby to leave him or them some historical remembrance.

02/09/12 @ 15:41
Comment from: Observer [Visitor]

Addis Zemen and Afarman ( will just call you ar),

There is a saying “siga quter belut tafea and ale yebalale". You stupid morons you are tyring to comapre Hileselasse with this goat face monkey with HIM. Tigrans are trying to erase the history of Ethiopia by trying to dismissed any history related to HIM and Minilek. Listen my friends, you have complex that is beyond comprehanshion. You can never rewrite history. Whither you like it or not if you were slave at one time them you can an do that. You were slave and get over it and move on. Just hide the shakel scar if that makes you fell good. Look at Nelson Mandela, he didnt dwell on the past, instead he moved on to the future understanding the past. You will never accept the past because of your narow minded losers. If you are confident about your self and what you can do in the future you should not try to rewrite the past. That shows your weekness and your inferiority complex and nothing else. I feel sorry for you.

02/09/12 @ 18:17
Comment from: ONGORI [Visitor]

Every time I looked at the picture of HIM, the FATHER OF AFRICA it takes me back into the days of African pride. Defeating colonialism.

The FATHER OF AFRICA was very kind and genius. Mengisu definitely is living and will live in hell forever. Like the saying goes good people and moment does not last for long. He is missed by all Africans

02/09/12 @ 19:51
Comment from: peace [Visitor]


When we compare Mandela and what SA went through is not even comparable to Ethiopia so, we have to becareful because our past leaders are the greatest that can happen to us before Mengistu, that is. SA was going through hell then. The reason the above commenters bark is because they didn’t take power that is why, despite minor problems in the past that only required reform. Igrnorant and extremist people like Mengistu and TPLF are where we are today. Of course to materilaize their agenda, TPLF, OLF, etc they will do anything to exaggerate, blow up the leaderships of the past.

02/10/12 @ 04:57
Comment from: Afarman [Visitor]

LOL Peace and the Observer, you guys seem to have no future, you keep on talking about the good old days of the 60,70.and 80’s, this is loughable. Your army and regime has been obliterated by the gallant fighters of the EPRDF. This is the fact I and the people of Ethiopia know, you never fought a war, you and your uncles were all cowards, they made ethiopians fight eachother, thats how they staye in power for 100 year. Now Ethiopia is changed, all nations and nationalities are responsible for administering their regions.

I have seen tremendous changes in Semera and other areas of Afar, all this is because of the federalism policy introduced by the EPRDF.

Bunch of morons are engaged in glorifying the past, hailesselasie and Mengistu can be your heroes but they are not mine, don try to impose your ideas on us specially the people of Afar. Hailesellasie or Mengistu were both reactionaries and brutal. They have made us bleed for decades. If you love them both no problem, u can erect their statute in your backyard, but not in my space.

For us Meles is the best, he and his party have transformed the state of Ethiopia, we are now enjoying peace stability and economic development.

Let those who want to cry cry as long as they want, we the people are in charge of running our affairs.

02/10/12 @ 05:02
Comment from: [Member]

Observer,. I will just call you obese,

You messed up the saying, which should be, ” sew tiri biluwat rassua metach”
Anchim sew honesh lelawun stupid, moron tiyalesh.
Obese, stupid is what a stupid does. Nobody else here trys to rewrite history except you and the rest of diaspora wanna be politicians in the diaspora, who are denying the reality on the ground.
EPRDF is writing history practically by changing and transforming our nation Ethiopia beyond your imagination. There is nothing you can do about it. Except of course crying night and day on cyber space.
Stupid asshole!!

02/10/12 @ 05:13
Comment from: Ras Mitat [Visitor]
Ras Mitat

Re-write history all you want, Haile Selassie was a tyrant who ruled for 50 years.


02/10/12 @ 10:31
Comment from: ONGORI [Visitor]

Looking at this picture speaks a lot. Look at them. All confident yet humble. We no long see those kind of genuine and respected people in Ethiopia. Where ever HIM goes there used to be huge welcome of receptions with foreign dignitaries and people lined up and on the street, hurried to shake his hands and to see him. Ethiopia was the most respected country in the world because of HIM.

Now African dictators, Mengistu and Meles are whisked in and out of the country without being noticed. Always behind bullet proof glasses or hollow speeches from their hide. There don’t see people eye to eye. Their body language shows lack of confidence ,deceive, insecurity and shallowness.

They are afraid of their own people because they are ruling without being wanted and by force. So they are at odd with their people.

Meles Zenawi and Mengistu Haile Mariam are the only dictators who started the cold bloodedness and hiding from their own people.

Who never go out in public, shake hands or meet their subjects. That shows how these people are not accepted.

02/10/12 @ 13:45
Comment from: Amhara Princess [Visitor]
Amhara Princess

I pretty much said most of what Ato Yilma addressed here on my previous comment. A*ames are trying to rewrite history but they are too dumb, retarded to understand it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to rewrite recent events for it is well documented, accounted for. They keep trashing Emperor Minelik II & HIM simply because these two prominent leaders eradicated their Italian worshipping, MAJOR slave trader ancestors.

… Some folks, like the village fairy-tell specialist Dejazmach and his brick head namesake Dejazmach Aroge, proudly brag about these filthy, Italian cannon fodder pigs aka the so called kedamawi A*ames for collaborating with Areteran Askaris and Italian army to defeat HIM’s Northern Front Army during the Italian war. With the same filthy mouth, they degrade Emperor MIlelik II, HIM and other non Tigray rulers. Desperate to say the least. You’ve officially become laughing stocks of the world.

02/10/12 @ 18:11
Comment from: Aisha [Visitor]


You may want to portray yourself as an Afar person but your comment is a total contradiction with Afrar’s feeling and sentiments. Don’t waste your time.

You are 110% Woyane dedebit person.

We Afars love Emperor Haile Sellasie. We had a respectful and honest relationship with him. We understood the Emperor had to deal with difficult situations. Presssure from outside and dealing with our old very traditional culture as a whole.

How ever unlike Meles and EPRDF cadres the Emperor selflessly and without amassing wealth and killing anybody brought Ethiopia into light and modernization to some extent.

Mengistu then and Meles now walked and lived in a Palace and country that he built. Mengisu and Meles came in with guns not with wisdom and sacrifice. They made themselves rich by snatching wealth. They made the country poor and killed millions.

02/10/12 @ 20:32
Comment from: Mulugeta T. [Visitor]
Mulugeta T.

The peacemaking Ethiopians got murdered by the educated TERAMAGE derg. Ethiopia have lost all peacemakers since then. Now the Ethiopian economy is a war economy. Peaceful economy is not an option for Ethiopia anymore.

H.I.M. HAILESSELASIE “Until there is nomore first class and second class citizens of any nation I have got to say war.”

02/11/12 @ 22:06

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