AMHARA-TIGRAY PEOPLE TO PEOPLE DIRECT TALK NECESSARY AND QUITE NORMAL
Yohannes Gebresellasie (Ph.d) Addis Ababa 08-18-17
The people of Amhara have lived with their Tigrian brothers and sisters in peace and harmony for generations. The same happened with the intermarriage between them. They have known each other and considered each other as brothers and sisters and helped each other in good and in bad times since time immemorial. The people of Amhara just like other Ethiopians have protected and preserved Ethiopia’s freedom, safety, security and territorial integrity fighting internal and external enemies of our nation with their brothers and sisters since time immemorial. They also fought aristocratic and dictatorial regimes side by side with the rest of their Ethiopian brothers and sisters. Amhara has produced gallant freedom fighters like Adisu Legesse, Teferea walewa, Tamerat lynie, Bereket Semon, Kassa Tekleberhan and many others who stood against the former military dictatorship: The Derg and fought side by side with their Tigrian brothers and sisters and comrades such as Seium Mesfen, Sebhat Nega, AbayTsehaye, Meles Zenawi, Seiye Abraha, Hayelom Abraha and thousands of other Tigrian fighters in order to liberate the nation from dictatorial military regime and in order to bring peace, security, prosperity and democracy to our nation and to our people.
The people of Amhara are perhaps the closest people to the people of Tigray. They have the same culture, tradition, way of living and physical and psychological makeup as the people of Tigray. One cannot differentiate a person from Amhara to that of Tigray. Most of the people in Amhara speak or understand Tigrigna and almost all people in Tigray speak or understand Amharic. An excellent testimony of that are Amhara students studying in different universities in Tigray. They live and study in Tigray speaking their birth language Amharic and even speak the local language Tigrigna. They live and study in Tigray with no problem, none what so ever. In fact, the local people give more respect and hospitality to them than their own residents.
At one encounter with one student who came from Gonder to Mekelle to study at at the University of Mekkele, I came to learn from him that he was not ready to go back to Gonder after his graduation because he loved the city and the people of Mekelle and he considered Mekelle as his birth place. He added that he will stay there at least until his girl friend’s (who happened to be Tigrian) graduation on the coming two years. This kind of relationship is what is happening within the rest of the Regions of our nation and this is what is expected from all Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of our nation in our era of 21st century.
That relationship between and among our people is what we inherited from our ancestors and that noble relationship is what we must pass to the next generation and not violence, conflicts and wars. Conflicts and war, illegal and violent activities as ways and means of achieving individual, group or institutional goals and objectives will always have detrimental consequences on peace and development of any nation because they cause damage, destruction and underdevelopment that are highly regrettable.
The nation was saddened by the recent regrettable incident that happened in Gondar. Few chauvinists guided by the rogue regime of Asmara burned public transport; killed few residents of Tigray Origin, killed Federal and Regional Police deployed for public safety, destroyed hotels especially those owned by Tigrian business people. This became a major cause of loss of human lives and destruction of invaluable materials. As there are Tigrians in Gonder, there are and should be Gonderes in Tigray because that too is their country. There are millions of Gonderes everywhere in different places in Ethiopia and they have been living side by side with their Ethiopian brothers and sisters of different languages, religions, cultures and traditions for centuries. Few negative people want to deny them of these precious values and norms they shared together for centuries. How can one separate these men from mercenaries? A mercenary sells his country and his people for money. That is exactly what these mercenary men have done in Gonder. These mercenaries are guided by Shabia and his loyal mercenaries in the Diaspora from their sanctuary in North America living comfortably there and wanting Ethiopians who live in this country together sharing the same values and norms for centuries to kill each other. What these mercenary men do not know or do not want to know however that is here in Ethiopia, there is a tradition where all people live understanding each others’ language, culture, religion and tradition. However, these mercenary are full of hatred and are racists, bigots and ethno-centrists; therefore, they do not possess peace internally and consequently; they are dominated by fear, hate, mischief, sorrow and many other wrongful characters. These negative acts revolve around them and they become internally and mentally sick. Further, since they are not peaceful internally, they are less tolerant and they have developed aggressive behavior and aggressive act such as violence both verbal and physical. As a result, they not only become major instigators for both human as well as material damages and destruction but they also become causes for instability, lawlessness and anarchy. Therefore, all Ethiopians must be very careful and very vigilant not to be associated with such sick people. Instead, they should focus and work hard in order to fight poverty, eliminate conflicts and wars, guarantee prosperity and most importantly preserve and retain peace in a country.
Whereas it is very clear that peace is extremely momentous for everything positive, it can also slip away if people are not careful and if they become too much reluctant. Peace as precious as it is can easily be disturbed by peace-hating people like the ones we currently saw in Gonder and the result of this could be catastrophic and dangerous. It is important therefore, that people give their utmost value and significance for peace by directly challenging those anti-peace individuals and groups and by enhancing their people to people communication in order to maintain peace, security and stability of their people because without peace nothing can be achieved. Further, whatever time they might take, this fundamental phenomenon of a civilized society will help narrow differences, strengthen healthy relationships and cooperation amongst the public at large and most importantly help reduce and avoid damage and distraction and enhance mutual respect and unity in diversity.