Violence Wracks Ethiopia — But Don’t Expect Anything to Change
Political divides are deeply entrenched
by PETER DOERRIE
Violent protests have shaken Ethiopia in the last month. More than 50 people have died, most of them shot dead by security forces. In contrast to an earlier wave of demonstrations that claimed the lives of more than 400 protestors and security agents early this year, this time the protests weren’t limited to the Oromo federal state, but instead originated in the Amhara region.
The spread of the protests — and the accompanying violence — points to increasing dissatisfaction with the government among large segments of the population. Together, the Oromo and Amhara people, whose presence largely correlates with the eponymous federal states, account for more than 60 percent of Ethiopia’s population.
Ethiopia is a key ally of the United States in the Horn of Africa region. It’s landlocked but occupies a strategically important position bordering Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia, all of which have hosted or supported terrorist groups hostile to U.S. interests. Parts of the massive U.S. targeted killing and intelligence program rely on drones based in Ethiopia and neighboring Djibouti.
The protests’ exact origins are murky, but the demonstrations seem to have originated in what security forces claim to be an anti-terror operation in the city of Gondar, north of the capital Addis Ababa. Officials rounded up several men accused of murder, robbery and hostage-taking, sparking protests by supporters who claimed the men were targeted for their involvement in an Amhara identity movement and their association with a contentious land-rights issues involving Ethiopia’s third ethnic group, the Tigray.
Contrast this with the protests of the Oromo people, which erupted in November 2015 around the issue of the expansion of Addis Ababa, for which a government master plan required the resettlement of thousands of Oromo farmers.
So while some observers have described the recent protests as an historic alliance between the the country’s two largest ethnic groups, which in the past have often been at odds, in reality it’s not so much a shared vision, but shared grievances, that have led representatives of both groups to protest against the government.
These grievances are well-founded. While Ethiopia in theory has a federalist constitution that guarantees wide-ranging autonomy for the ethnic-based federal states and equal participation in national politics, in practice political, economic and military power is concentrated in the hands of a Trigray-dominated elite.
These power structures can be traced back to Ethiopia’s civil war that lasted from 1974 to 1991 and which was eventually won by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which later transformed itself into the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.
The EPRDF, like many resistance movements that have ascended to power, has displayed authoritarian tendencies. But these tendencies worsened in the later years of resistance leader and later prime minister Meles Zenawi, as well as under his successor Hailemariam Desalegn.
Zenawi, influenced by the example of China, organized Ethiopia around the principle of a developmental state, prioritizing economic growth above all else.
These efforts have had a certain measure of success. Ethiopia’s GDP per capita more than doubled between 1991 and 2015, rising from $270 to $619. And while some commentators have attributed the protests to rising inequality, by most measures Ethiopia is not suffering from high inequality — at least not in the typical sense of the word.
Instead, an U.N. report has warned of an increasing gap between rural and urban growth, something that is reflected in the Oromo protests. But these rising discrepancies shouldn’t hide the fact that most Ethiopians, Oromo and Amhara included, are economically better off today than they were 20 years ago — and that this is a feather in the cap of the government.
The protests are therefore unlikely to reflect frustration with the country’s economic development, but rather the lack of political space, for young people in particular, to influence this development. And in contrast to the current narrative of inter-ethnic solidarity between Oromo and Amhara youth, it should be read as a continuation and evolution of Ethiopia’s long-standing problems with ethnic competition, this time pitting Oromo and Amhara against Tigray.
The ethnic dimension shouldn’t come as a surprise, least of all to the ruling elite. Tigray dominance of the armed forces has long been accepted as a given in Ethiopia, as has the political dominance of the Tigray elite. And while not every member of Ethiopia’s military-political complex is of Tigray origin — Prime Minister Desalegn for example hails from the minority Wolayta ethnic group — the narrative is by now accepted as fact by most Ethiopians.
Proponents of the developmental state defend the required authoritarianism with promises of rapid economic growth. In their minds, pluralistic democracies and effective poverty reduction are incompatible.
Unfortunately, Ethiopia is currently on track to become exhibit A for the counter theory. Any gains made by rapid economic growth are nullified if insufficient political participation leads to widespread social conflict and violence.
The Ethiopian government has so far shown a complete unwillingness to address the concerns of the protesters. While the Addis Ababa master plan, the original source of the Oromo protests, was cancelled, a general dialogue about the relationship between the state and its citizens and Ethiopia’s political trajectory in recent years has never been proposed.
Instead, the government has chosen to treat the protests as an existential threat to the state, using anti-terrorism legislation and rhetoric to justify the extreme brutality of its actions against the protesters.
Ironically, this reliance on overwhelming force and in the eyes of most observers unjustified delegitimization of the protests only proves the protestors’ point. And even if the government should decide to enter negotiations at some point, this is easier said than done. Thanks to the repression of all organized political opposition over the last few years, there are essentially no individuals or organizations that would be able to speak credibly on behalf of the protesters.
For the United States and other Western governments this situation is becoming increasingly uncomfortable. Ethiopia has been not only a close ally in the war on terror, in some way rendering the United States guilty in the misappropriation of the term to largely peaceful protesters, the government is also a major recipient of development aid, which it has used to legitimize its increasingly authoritarian tendencies.
In a world where foreign policy was value-based, the United States and other Western democracies would use their economic, diplomatic and military influence to pressure the Ethiopian elite to reduce the violence and address the grievances voiced by the opposition.
But the reality is fundamentally different. Both the United States and European countries are focused primarily on “stability” in their foreign relations, defined as the perpetuation of the status quo wherever possible. This is especially true for countries like Ethiopia, which are perceived as beacons of stability in otherwise chaotic and threatening regions.
For Ethiopia’s protest movements, this means that there is little hope for outside pressure on the Ethiopian government. Given the coherence of Ethiopia’s elite and its control over the very capable and well-equipped security forces, forcing the government to address their grievances will be an uphill battle, to say the least.
The West, meanwhile, will waste another opportunity to mitigate the very real long term risk of a destabilization of a major regional power, because it prioritizes short-term stability.
Why the Oromo protests mark a change in Ethiopia’s political landscape
Country-wide demonstrations by the Oromo in Ethiopia have flared up again. Ethiopia’s authorities reacted with heavy force, resulting in the death of 100 civilians. The Conversation Africa’s Samantha Spooner asked Professor Asafa Jalata about the country-wide protests.
Who are the Oromo people?
The Oromo are the single largest ethno-national group in northeast Africa. In Ethiopia alone they are estimated to be 50 million strong out of a total population of 100 million. There are also Oromo communities living in Kenya and Somalia.
Ethiopia is said to have about 80 ethno-national groups. The Oromo represent 34.4% while the Amhara (Amara) 27%. The rest are all less than 7% each.
The Oromo call themselves a nation. They have named their homeland “Oromia”, an area covering 284,538 square kms. It is considered to be the richest area of northeast Africa because of its agricultural and natural resources. It is often referred to as the “breadbasket” of the region. 60% of Ethiopian economic resources are generated from Oromia.
The capital city of Ethiopia is located in the heart of Oromia. What the world knows as Addis Ababa is also known to the Oromo as their capital, “Finfinnee”. When the Abyssinian warlord, Menelik, colonised the Oromo during the last decades of the 19th century he established his main garrison city in Oromia and called it Addis Ababa.
Despite being the largest ethno-national group in Ethiopia, the Oromo consider themselves to be colonial subjects. This is because they have been denied equal access to their country’s political, economic and cultural resources. It all started with their colonisation by, and incorporation into, Abyssinia (the former Ethiopian empire) during the Scramble for Africa.
Today, comprising just 6% of the population, Tigrayans dominate and control the political economy of Ethiopia with the help of the West, particularly the US. This relationship is strategic to the US who use the Tigrayan-led government’s army as their proxy to fight terrorism in the Horn of Africa and beyond.
The Oromo community has been demonstrating since November last year. What triggered the protests?
The Oromo demonstrations have been underway for over eight months, first surfacing in Ginchi (about 80 kms southwest of the capital) in November 2015. It began when elementary and secondary school students in the small town began protesting the privatisation and confiscation of a small soccer field and the selling of the nearby Chilimoo forest.
The sentiment quickly spread across Oromia. The entire Oromo community then joined the protests, highlighting other complaints such as the so-called Integrated Addis Ababa Master Plan and associated land grabbing. The master plan was intended to expand Addis Ababa by 1.5 million hectares onto surrounding Oromo land, evicting Oromo farmers.
Last year’s demonstrations were the product of over 25 years of accumulated grievances. These grievances arose as a result of the domination by the minority Tigrayan ethno-national group. Because of this dominance the Oromo people have become aliens in their own country, lost ownership of their land and have become impoverished.
What was different about these demonstrations was that, for the first time, all Oromo branches came together in coordinated action to fight for their national self-determination and democracy.
Which part of the Oromo community is organising the rallies?
It is believed that underground activist networks, known as Qeerroo, are organising the Oromo community. The Qeerroo, also called the Qubee generation, first emerged in 1991 with the participation of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) in the transitional government of Ethiopia. In 1992 the Tigrayan-led minority regime pushed the OLF out of government and the activist networks of Qeerroo gradually blossomed as a form of Oromummaa or Oromo nationalism.
Today the Qeerroo are made up of Oromo youth. These are predominantly students from elementary school to university, organising collective action through social media. It is not clear what kind of relationship exists between the group and the OLF. But the Qeerroo clearly articulate that the OLF should replace the Tigrayan-led regime and recognise the Front as the origin of Oromo nationalism.
What are their demands?
Their immediate demands are for the Ethiopian government to halt the so-called Addis Ababa Master Plan, land grabbing, corruption, and the violation of human rights.
Their extended demands are about achieving self-determination and sovereignty by replacing the Tigrayan-led regime with a multi-ethno-national democratic government. These demands gradually emerged to create solidarity with other ethno-national groups, such as the Amharas, who also have grievances with the regime.
How has the government reacted to the protests?
The government reaction has been violent and suppressive. Despite Oromia being the largest regional state in Ethiopia, it has been under martial law since the protests began. The government has been able to use this law to detain thousands of Oromos, holding them in prisons and concentration camps.
Security structures called tokkoo-shane (one-to-five), garee and gott have also been implemented. Their responsibilities include spying, identifying, exposing, imprisoning, torturing and killing Oromos who are not interested in serving the regime.
There have also been deaths and reports of thousands of Oromos who have been maimed as a result of torture, beatings or during the suppression of protests. For example, during the Oromia-wide day of peaceful protest on July 6 the regime army, known as Agazi, massacred nearly 100 Oromos. According to Amnesty International, 400 Oromos were killed before July 6. But in reality nobody knows exactly how many Oromos have been victims of violence.
What impact have these protests had on the country?
The Oromo protest movement has started to change the political landscape of Ethiopia and shaken the regime’s foundations. Erupting like “a social volcano”, it has sent ripples through the country with different groups changing their attitudes and standing in solidarity with the Oromo. The support of the Ahmaras has been particularly significant as they are the second largest ethno-national group in Ethiopia.
For the first time in history, the plight of the Oromo people has also received worldwide attention. International media outlets have reported on the peaceful protests and subsequent government repression.
This has brought about diplomatic repercussions. In January the European Parliament condemned the Ethiopian government’s violent crackdown. It also called for the establishment of a credible, transparent and independent body to investigate the murder and imprisonment of thousands of protesters. Similarly, the UN Human Rights Experts demanded that Ethiopian authorities stop the violent crackdown.
Not all global actors are taking a strong stance. Some are concerned about maintaining good relations with the incumbent government. For example, the US State Department expressed vague concern about the violence associated with the protest movement. In sharp contrast they signed a security partnership with the Ethiopian government.
Nevertheless, the momentum of the Oromo movement looks set to continue. The protests, and subsequent support, have seen the further development of activist networks and Oromo leadership, doubling their efforts to build their organisational capacity.
Is this the first time that the Oromo have demonstrated their grievances in this way?
No. The Oromo have engaged in scattered instances of resistance since the late 19th century when they were colonised.
In the 1970s the Oromo started to engage in a national movement under the leadership of OLF. The front was born out of the Macha-Tulama Self-Help Association, which was banned in the early 1960s and other forms of resistance such as the Bale Oromo armed resistance of the 1960s. Successive Ethiopian regimes have killed or sent Oromo political and cultural leaders into exile.
How do you believe their grievances can be resolved?
Critics believe the Tigrayan-led minority regime is unlikely to resolve the Oromo grievances. Oromo activists believe that their national struggle for self-determination and egalitarian democracy must intensify.
I am sure that, sooner or later, the regime will be overthrown and replaced with a genuine egalitarian democratic system. This is because of the size of the Oromo population, abundant economic resource, oppression and repression by the Tigrayan-led government, the blossoming of Oromo political consciousness and willingness to pay the necessary sacrifices.
Ethiopia: Rise of the “Amhara Retards” and Oromo “Criminals and Terrorists” in 2016?
By Al Mariam
Are Amharas “retards”?
Are Oromo protesters demanding an end to confiscation of their land “criminals and terrorists”?
Are we now witnessing the rise of the “Amhara retards” and the Oromo “criminals and terrorists ” in Ethiopia?
The T-TPLF (Thugtatorship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front) and its handmaidens say Amharas and Oromos are just a bunch slobbering “retards, idiots, low lifes, criminals and terrorists”.
This is what one T-TPLF hate-monger had to say (translated into English below; Amharic transcript of statement available here ):
… Did I speak in Tigrinya? Yes, what was I just saying was? Like the voice of Meles said, what’s the translation in Chinese? Ha ha! When you translate it from that, hee, hee, hee, hee hee… What did he say? He [Meles] brought an example which said, ‘Even if you die in the air, you will not be buried in the air. Ok. What I wanted to say is that I am not criticizing what’s his name Gobezay [name of a man?] by any means. I understand his feelings and he’s right.
Unfortunately, the Amharas in different ways are scheming to create some kind of conflict among Tigreans, to divide them, to tear them apart, that’s what they want. And using different forms, they are trying to cause us [Tigreans] mental anguish. And because they [Amharas] have a strategy to swoop on Arat Kilo [symbol of T-TPLF power]. But we have caught on their scheme for some time now.
You are right. Our brothers [TPLF rebel fighters] have paid the ultimate sacrifice. They have fought and given up their lives. For that equality, those of our brothers who have died, they have paid a huge price for this equality, for this equality and reality to happen in Ethiopia.
Those who cannot stomach this, the people who hate this, the people tending goats in Eritrea, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee… Ok. Anyway, those who came from one area, they are retards.; it means retards. Where do they come from?
Yes the Gojames (Amhara people) are called retards. Gonderes (another Amhara people) are enemies. They should not be given awards. They are retards. In terms of thinking, their brains, they are low, very low. They are low retards. They are in a separate category. They represent a retarded idea, a retarded way of doing things. They are a type that follow a way of doing things that is un-Ethiopian. Because they are failures and low-lifes. We need to refer to them. If we have to refer to them [saying], ‘You low-lifes. You don’t represent us. You don’t dare talk to me like this.’ We can even call them low-lifes, retards and idiots.
This is a type of thinking that has rolled and fell yesterday [outmoded]. We don’t have time to dig it up. We are marching forward. We are building Hidase Dam. We are laying rail lines. And, hee, hee, hee,… these retards unfortunately, they are not filtered. The vast majority of them spend their time on paltalk. I mean the retards. Ninety percent spend their time on paltalk. They have nothing to do. They have nothing. During the Derg [military regime] time, they were majors, lieutenant this or that.
Whether you like it or not, we have come to power after we paid a price. End of story. For the next time, we will pay for them. I wonder what militia will come. Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee hee. Anyway…. [Emphasis added.)
T-TPLF villification and humiliation of Amharas and Oromos continues unabated.
The T-TPLF’s driving organizational force from the very beginning has been hatred for and advocacy of the total annihilation of the Amharas, a fact meticulously explained by Gebremedhin Araya, the former treasurer and top leader of the TPLF, who left the TPLF and distinguished himself as a fearless and uncompromising patriotic Ethiopian truth-teller.
According to Gebrenedhin (move clip on video to 7 minutes 26 seconds), T-TPLF leaders taught their members, followers, and supporters:
… The Amhara are the enemy of the Tigray people. Not only that, Amhara are the double enemy of the people of Tigray. Therefore, we have to hit Amhara. We have to annihilate Amhara. If the Amhara are not destroyed, if the Amhara are not beaten up and uprooted from the earth, the people of Tigray cannot live in freedom. And for the government we intend to create, the Amhara are going to be the obstacle. That is what it means…
(For a detailed analysis of the T-TPLF’s politics of hate, see my November 2014 commentary “ The de-Ethiopianization of Ethiopia.”)
This sentiment continues to be repeated by T-TPLF mastermind Sebhat Nega who regularly brags in the hotle lobbies and bars about the need to cleanse “Amharas” and members of the “Orthodox” church to ensure the supremacy of the T-TPLF.
Of course, the T-TPLF represents no one but its corrupt leaders and their cronies and supporters. It has no moral or political legitimacy to claim representation of any other group in Ethiopia.
The T-TPLF has vilified and demonized peaceful Oromo protesters and called them “criminals and terrorists”. The T-TPLF “speaker of the parliament” had to issue a public “rebuke” to those making the outrageously false charges.
T-TPLF supporters spew hate like their demi-god, the late T-TPLF thugmaster Meles Zenawi, who loved to demean and demonize Amharas and Oromos.
Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice in her eulogy of Meles in 2012 recounted that Meles was “tough, unsentimental and sometimes unyielding. And, of course, he had little patience for fools, or idiots, as he liked to call them.”
Meles reserved some mean and nasty words for his opponents, especially Amharas.
Meles often talked about his opponents as “dirty chaff”, “mud smearers” (mud people), “enemies” and “terrorists”.
T-TPLF leaders, members and supporter,s consider all Ethiopians “retards, fools and idiots”.
The T-TPLF will not miss an opportunity to humiliate even Amhara political prisoners. According to “Eyewitness accounts who were present at court said General Asaminew Tsige told the court that his torturers were hurling ethnic insult at him saying, “Amhara shintam new!” … and “men tametalachihu?” meaning “Amahras are cowards who piss on themselves, what are you going to do?”
Thugmaster Meles Zenawi seemed to have a morbid fascination with genocide.
Whenever the going got tough for him and his criminal band of brothers, he would whip out the specter of Rwandan-style “interhamwe” (which in Kinyarwanda or Rwanda means “those who stand, work, fight, attack together”) in Ethiopia.
When Zenawi decided to jam Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts in Ethiopia in 2010, his justification was that the VOA was promoting genocide:
We have been convinced for many years that in many respects, the VOA Amharic Service has copied the worst practices of radio stations such as Radio Mille Collines of Rwanda in its wanton disregard of minimum ethics of journalism and engaging in destabilizing propaganda.
At the time, I challenged Meles Zenawi’s genocidal speculations in my May 2011 commentary “In Defense of the Voice of America”.
The hateful rants of T-TPLF supporters are not only deeply offensive but also provide a window into the dark souls of the T-TPLF thugs and “thugesses”.
Those who are vectors of hate, fear and smear must always be exposed and challenged. Silence is to hate as gasoline is to fire. Silence breeds hate. Silent indifference to T-TPLF hate-mongering is the moral equivalent of complicity.
What motivates T-TPLF supporters and mouthpieces to launch vicious and unprovoked slanderous verbal attacks on ALL Amharas and Oromos can only be explained by their monstrous and revolting hatred for ALL Amharas and Oromos.
It is easy to dismiss T-TPLF hate-mongers as inconsequential ideologues. But that would be a grave mistake.
The T-TPLF supporters have weapons of mass media distraction and destruction in their hands. They can easily spark and unleash a genocidal civil war with their media hate-talk.
That is precisely what happened at the onset of the Rwandan Genocide.
Ferdinand Nahimana, Hassan Ngeze and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza used Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, a private FM they operated as regime cronies, to broadcast inflammatory and rabid propaganda against Tutsis, moderate Hutus, Belgians, and the United Nations mission.
The three disk jokeys of Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines coordinated the genocide by describing Tutsis as “cockroaches” and communicating the location of Tutsis and moderate Hutus for execution by Hutu thugs.
The Rwandan disk jockeys fiercely urged, “You have to kill the Tutsis, they’re cockroaches.”
For using Radio Mille Collines in the Rwandan Genocide, Ferdinand Nahimana, Hassan Ngeze and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza were prosecuted at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2003, convicted and given very long prison sentences.
Are we waiting for a radio broadcast from the T-TPLF messengers of hate to deliver the message, “You have to kill Amharas. They are retards.”
What is the difference between what the Rwandan disk-jokeys’ description of Tutsis as “cockroaches” and the T-TPLF hate-mongers who repeatedly describe Amharas as “retards”?
There is little difference. What is a “cockroach” for one is a “retard” for another.
There is only one unanswered question: When will the crimes against humanity inflicted on the Rwandan “cockroaches” be inflicted on the “Amhara retards” ?
The Nazis launched a propaganda campaign to exterminate and sterilize “mentally retarded people” and others with disability.
The “mental retards” of Nazi Germany were not capable of doing things the Aryan way; just like the T-TPLF hate-mongers articulate the Amhara “retards” are a “a type that follow a way of doing things that is un-Ethiopian.”
In Nazi Germany, the “mental retards” were considered “low lifes” just like the T-TPLF hate-mongers consider Amharas “retards”.
The Nazis used a slightly different word to describe Aryans (Ubermenschen [supermen]) and non-Aryans (Untermenschen [subhumans]) in Germany.
The T-TPLF hate-mongers proclaim, “Our brothers [TPLF rebel fighters] have paid the ultimate sacrifice. They have fought and given up their lives.”
The T-TPLF hate-mongers’ unmistakable suggestion is that Amharas, Oromos and others are cowards and wimps who will never raise arms to defend their honor or dignity. What they are saying is that Amharas, Oromos and others would prefer to live like slaves than “pay the ultimate price” and gain their honor, dignity and freedom.
That is why T-TPLF hate-mongers say they have earned their place as supermen and as undisputed rulers of the thugdom they have established in Ethiopia.
But for the T-TPLF, Amharas “are retards. In terms of thinking, their brains, they are low, very low. They are low retards. They are in a separate category.”
In “a separate category of” subhumans?
Are the “Amhara retards” the T-TPLF’s new Untermenschen and the T-TPLF the Ubermenschen of Ethiopia?
Are T-TPLF hate-mongers campaigning for the extermination of the “Amhara retards”?
Or is the T-TPLF and its appointed hate-mongers challenging the “Amhara retards” and “Oromo criminals and terrorists” to rise up? Up from T-TPLF slavery!
Pray for the “retard” Amharas?!
Reaction to the rants of T-TPLF hate-mongers ranges from disappointment to outrage.
Some suggest responding to trash-talking loud-mouth T-TPLF hate-mongers is the equivalent of dignifying their hateful messages.
There are some who believe hate-mongers will go away if they are ignored and overlooked.
I don’t believe in giving a free pass to hate-mongers; it does not matter to me if the hate-mongers are called Donald Trump-aryans or Trump’s African Clones (corps).
The undeniable truth is that what the trash-talking hate-mongers are talking in the media are exactly the things the T-TPLF leaders, members and supporters talk in the privacy of their homes, behind closed doors and in their conference and boardrooms.
It is easy to be disgusted by all of the hate-filled statements of the T-TPLF and its supporters and turn a deaf ear. It is easy to dismiss them as gabby hate-mongers as “tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
The fact is that the T-TPLF leaders, members and supporters are on the same page when it comes to hating Amhara and Oromo people.
The T-TPLF hate-mongers articulate the hate, fear and loathing burning ceaselessly in the hearts and minds of the T-TPLF leaders, members and supporters.
The trash-talking hate-mongers get their hate talking points straight from the very, very top of the T-TPLF leadership. They are ordered to monger hate.
That’s the way the T-TPLF comrades talk everyday when no outsider is listening.
I know because they tell me.
Make no mistake: There are some (a few) among the T-TPLF who believe they are Ethiopians first and foremost before they are T-TPLF or anything else. Not all who wear T-TPLF stripes are T-TPLF in the heart. Bless their hearts!
There may be some who may be tempted to mudsling it out with the T-TPLF hate-mongers.
Not me. Like George Bernard Shaw, “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig [or a sow]. You get dirty, and besides, the pig [sow] likes it.”
As I have often said, you can take the thug out of the bush, but you can never take the bush out of the thug. No amount of fine jewelry, designer suits and handbags can ever change a thug or thugess. A thug is for life! A fact of life!
But those hate-mongers who point an index finger and insult and vilify an entire ethnic group as “retards, idiots and fools” should take a careful look at where their three fingers are pointing.
T-TPLF hate-mongers mock the “Amhara retards” by offering to “pray” for them.
They should save their prayers for themselves and their T-TPLF partners-in-crime. They are going to need it more than the “Amhara retards”.
Since the T-TPLF hate-mongers present themselves as praying (preying?) people, they can learn from Scripture: “He who troubles his own house will inherit wind, And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted.”
The T-TPLF hate-mongers offering their prayers should also remember from Scripture, “There is a time for everything.”
It is now time to be free of the T-TPLF scourage!
The T-TPLF, its leaders, members and supporters will inherit the wind on their way to the trash heap of history.
All indications are the “Amhara retards” are defiantly standing their ground declaring: “Praise the Lord! Pass the ammunition.”
But the “retard Gojames” have a final and irrevocable answer for the T-TPLF:
Gojam is [land of ] of heroes. We will die for our country.
Welqait is ours.
We want a strong leader not a blind one.
Ethiopianity is our language.
Weyane are a bunch of cowards.
What is the business of a front established to liberate Tigray in Ethiopia?
The military belongs to the people.
The boundary of Tigray is Tekeze.
Release political prisoners.
Andargachew Tsigie is our leader, not a terrorist.
Andualem Aragie is our leader, not a terrorist.
Bekele Gerba is our leader, not a terrorist.
There can be no negotiation in the case of Col. Demeke.
End of the story for the T-TPLF?
The T-TPLF hate-mongers say it is “the end of the story” for the “Amhara retards”?
It sure looks like the end of a horrendous story that began 25 years ago.
For 25 years, the T-TPLF has ruled the “Amhara retards”.
For 25 years, the T-TPLF has ruled Oromo “criminals and terrorists”.
But the T-TPLF is learning belatedly and much to their surprise the “retards, criminals and terrorists” are actually awakening tigers who have pretended to be in slumber for 25 years.
The Tigers are rising. The Tigers are growling. The Tigers are on the prowl!
Ecce Tigris! (Behold the Tiger!)
The T-TPLF no longer has the Tigers by their tails.
The Tigers have set themselves free.
The T-TPLF is looking straight into the eyes of the Ethiopian Tigers, assembled together — fearless, defiant and hungry.
The T-TPLF is now facing the TRUTH: The Ethiopian Tigers!
Can the T-TPLF handle the TRUTH?
The T-TPLF believes it can handle the Ethiopian Tigers by massacring them, arresting, jailing, torturing and persecuting them.
The T-TPLF cannot win a war on the Ethiopian people when it has lost the battle for their hearts and minds.
There is no military might on earth that can defeat or contain the rage and outrage of a people who have been subjected to a long train of abuses, daily indignities and mistreatment.
There is no military might that can defeat the Ethiopian people UNITED.
The Ethiopian people UNITED, can never be defeated!.
I have often reminded the T-TPLF to think about an eternal truth spoken by Gandhi: “I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.”
T-TPLF’s ONLY Option: Massacre innocent citizens on an industrial Nazi-scale to cling to power
The T-TPLF has many options to save itself and the country. But it will not take any of them because the T-TPLF leaders, members and supporters believe they can, once more, outwit, outthink, outsmart, outplay, outfox and outmaneuver the “Amhara retards”, the “Oromo ciminals and terrorists” and all of their opposition in all parts of the country.
The T-TPLF is said to be doing contingency planning for direct martial law (military rule) if things cannot be controlled in short order.
Like that is going to make a difference.
The T-TPLF is in power today only because it has control of the military, but that control is actually minimal. Though nearly all of the “officers” are T-TPLF cadres and the rank and file from the other groups, the T-TPLF will be making a big mistake if it believes it can maintain its killing machine by feeding the rank and file extra cash and perks.
The T-TPLF should heed the words of Ho Chi Minh from another time fighting against the most powerful military power in the world: “You can kill ten of our men for every one we kill of yours. But even at those odds, you will lose and we will win.”
The T-TPLF will lose. The odds are against it. Do the simple arithmetic!
Let the T-TPLF be forewarned in the words of MLK: “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness.”
In the end, that T-TPLF strategy of making Ethiopia its killing fields will fail because the rank and file in the military will not stand for it.
But one cannot kill a people who feel living under T-TPLF is the equivalent of a thousand deaths.
In one recent video online, a man in the street is heard saying, “Under TPLF rule, we are already dead. Worse than dead. We can’t be anymore dead than we already are.”
But the T-TPLF underestimates the bravery of the Ethiopian people in general. They underestimate the fierce capacity of a people who successfully fought and defeated one of the mightiest European colonial powers not once but twice.
The T-TPLF in their ignorant arrogance believe Ethiopians are cowards, “retards” “fools”, “idiots”, criminals” and “terrorists” and only they are the bravest of the brave.
Meles Zenawi believed he and his T-TPLF could remain in power forever by using crushing force and dividing Amharas and Oromos, Tigreans and all the rest.
Exactly four years ago to the month, Meles died from a terminal disease called HATE.
In August 2016, the T-TPLF is ready to harvest the hate it had sowed for the last 25 years.
To the T-TPLF who believe Amharas and Oromos are gutless cowards and wimps, I say you are wrong, dead wrong.
Amharas and Oromos are brothers and sisters to Tigreans, Sidamans, Welayita, Hadiya, Afar, Gamo, Ogadeni, Anuak… Christians, Muslims…
They are all ETHIOPIANS before they are anything else.
We rise up or fall down as ETHIOPIANS!
It has long been told in Scripture that “Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands to God.”
That time is NOW!
Ethiopians need to stretch out their hands and embrace each other in peace, brotherhood, sisterhood and friendship. That is the holy way.
For those T-TPLF leaders, members and supporters “praying” for the “Amhara retrads”, I will remind them one more time the old prophesy told in the lyrics of a song of African slaves from the harrowing days of slavery in America: “God gave Noah the Rainbow Sign: No more water. The fire next time!”
Can you see the rainbow Ethiopian nation of Oromo, Amhara, Tigray, Gurage, Sidama, Welayita, Hadiya, Afar, Gamo, Ogadeni, Anuak… Christians, Muslims, Animists, young, old, men, women… embracing each other, holding hands and rising up together as one?!
Stretch out your hands, Ethiopians!
Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia sets world record in women's 10,000-meter race, finishing in 29 minutes, 17.45 secondsAugust 12th, 2016
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia sets world record in women's 10,000-meter race, finishing in 29 minutes, 17.45 seconds
Runners world: Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana produced one of the greatest runs in Olympic history to win the women’s 10,000-meter final in 29:17.45, a world record
Last year’s world champion, Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya, took silver in 29:32.53, just off of the previous world record of 29:31.78, set by Wang Junxia of China in 1993. Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia, winner of the last two Olympic titles, overtook early leader Alice Aprot of Kenya to get the bronze medal in 29:42.56, a lifetime best that was 14 seconds faster than the previous Olympic record she set in 2008.
Molly Huddle finished sixth in 30:13.17, an American record that took 9 seconds off the mark Shalane Flanagan set while winning bronze at the 2008 Games. Emily Infeld finished 11th in 31:26.94, a personal best. The third American, Marielle Hall, dropped out.
Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana smashed one of the longest-held records in athletics in Brazil on Friday to win the 10 000m and claim the first gold of the Olympic track and field competition.
The 24-year-old pulled away from the field midway through the race and never let up before powering home in 29min 17.45sec.
Her winning time was nearly 14 seconds quicker than the previous world best over the distance of 29:31.78 set by Wang Junxia in Beijing in 1993.
Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya took silver while defending champion Tirunesh Dibaba took bronze.
Almaz Ayana smashes world record to win women’s 10,000m gold medal
August 12, 2016
at 10:48am ET By: Seth Rubinroit
The women’s 10,000m world record had stood since 1993
Gold: Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia)
Silver: Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya)
Bronze: Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia)
Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana broke the world record on her way to winning the women’s 10,000m gold medal in 29 minutes, 17.45 seconds.
The women’s 10,000m world record had stood since 1993, when China’s Junxia Wang clocked 29:31.78.
2015 world champion Vivian Cheruiyot finished more than 15 seconds after Ayana to earn the silver medal. Tirunesh Dibaba, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion, claimed the bronze medal.
The women’s 10,000m was the first track and field medal event at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
U.S. runner Molly Huddle finished sixth in 30:13.17, breaking the American record. Emily Infeld finished 11th, and Marielle Hall was 33rd. The last U.S. woman to win and Olympic 10,000m medal, 2008 bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan, will run the marathon in Rio.
Dibaba’s younger sister, Genzebe, will race in the first round of the women’s 1500m tonight.
Ethiopian pop star Milly Wessy building successful career from St. John's
Performer hopes to 'fuse' his style with local N.L. musicians to create original sound
Most locals have likely never heard of him, but one of Ethiopia's newest music sensations is growing his international fan base, all while living in St. John's, Newfoundland.
Milly Wessy is a performer from Ethiopia who came to St. John's to be with family. However that didn't stop him from racking up millions of views on YouTube and other social media sites with pop music videos sung in his own language.
In fact, the video for one of his biggest hits, Shemshirshaye, was even filmed in St. John's.
He even used some local volunteers as extras in the video, which had 600,000 views on YouTube as of Aug. 10. It's one of two videos Wessy has filmed since he moved to Newfoundland.
Peace and quiet
Wessy and his manager Hamerti Melka admit it's unusual to be making and promoting Ethiopian pop music from a place like Newfoundland, but they say it's been working out so far.
"I like St. John's, it's a very quiet and a peaceful place," Wessy told the St. John's Morning Show.
Manager Melka said they can still keep track of Wessy's growing popularity even though they aren't in Ethiopia. She said they would like to stay in St. John's, but will leave for a while if it's necessary to continue building his career.
In the meantime, the pair would love to become more involved in the local scene in St. John's, despite the fact that the language barrier means most locals have no idea what Wessy is singing about.
"We aren't really active in the music scene here. Not because we don't want to, but just because we thought people wouldn't be interested," she said. "But we are hoping to fuse with local musicians to create a different sound that people in St. John's can relate to."
"Obviously our audience is not here — it's an international audience, but we do want to promote our home here."
Check out more of Wessy's videos on his YouTube page.