Tecola W. Hagos, 2 October 2018
I. In General
Dictators are not born complete as dictators but molded and shaped into one especially those individuals with propensities and with the underlying genes. Certainly, behaviorists will shrink in my generalized claim if I do not put in enough statements on the significance of social and cultural influences in the shaping of personhood of an individual. Excessive accolade of a person as a reinforcement would end up destroying such a person, for human beings are very fragile beings that even honey could poison them to destruction if over indulged. Or as behaviorists would put it, the wrong reinforcement could create a monster out of an angelic child.
Another disconcerting event was the Press Release delivered by Bekele Gerba fronting for five Oromo secessionist organizations. Why would groups who begged their way into Ethiopia ridding on the misapplied good-will of PM Abiy Ahmed and the Peoples Representatives granting them amnesty turn around and bite the very hand that fed them such grace? The monumental failure of the policy of “forgiveness” and “medemer” of Abiy Ahmed need not seek any further proof of its failure more than the destructive Press Release delivered by Bekele Gerba.
Of much less importance is my disappointment watching video records of the Meskel celebration in the middle of national disaster and millions of suffering Ethiopians. What is wrong with Ethiopian elites? The other day I watched some of the videos how Meskel is being celebrated by different Ethiopian political personalities. I was amazed to watch the festivities at the palatial home of the parents of G -7 Leader (whom I thought of as a lot more Ethiopia-oriented individual compared to the secessionists OLF and Jawar), wherein Birhanu Nega, Andargatchew Tsige, Mesfin Woldemariam et cetera were stuffing their faces with choice Kitfo, koort, et cetra totally obscene overindulgence while tens of thousands displaced, homeless, starving Ethiopians are out there suffering. Shame on you All not just Abiy Ahmed. [Incidentally, I noted that to the great credit of the EPRDF, Berhanu Nega’s Family wealth was not confiscated that could have been justified because of Berhanu’s Eritrea based G-7 Arbegnoch misadventure of military attacks on the Ethiopian Forces.]
II. Al Mariam’s Excessive Accolade
If Abiy Ahmed lasts long enough in power, the form of psychopathic accolade in writing by Al Mariam [“Ethiopia and Abiy Ahmed: What a Difference 180 Days Make?”] will turn him into believing he is perfect, and in time he will become impervious and intolerant to any criticism of his ideas. This is the making of a dictator.Already, Abiy Ahmed has shown tremendous self-love, which can be legitimately characterized as narcissistic. He is not yet vicious, but soon enough he will turn into one when challenged by serious patriotic Ethiopians and brought down to earth by the disastrous events on the ground. OLF and similarly oriented secessionist organizations are doing the most harm at this time. The honey-moon is over and the vicious struggle to dismantle Ethiopia is under way.
I am very disappointed and upset by Al Mariam’s uncalled for sycophantic and disgraceful sucking-up to Abiy Ahmed, forit goes against the wisdom expected of Al Mariam’s extensive learning and experience as a first-rate academician. By all measurements of academic decency, he failed in my estimation because of his writing such long-winded flattery. This piece that Al Mariam wrote is trash in light of numerous disastrous events that took place in the 180 days of Abiy Ahmed’s administrationwhere tens of thousands of Ethiopians are uprooted from their homes, thousands are butchered, their homes are burned down, their property looted et cetera. According to Reports from several sources including the UNCHR, close to two million Ethiopians are uprooted and have become internal refugees. Abiy Ahmed failed to address such crises properly and is busy making colorful feel-good speechesand zipping around in super sophisticated jetliner B787 wasting millions of dollars of our hard-earned currency. Such wasted fund would have helped our displaced brothers and sisters.
III. Displaced and Suffering Ethiopians
Latest figures as reported on 12 September 2018 from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) reveal that“The most affected country has been Ethiopia, where 1.4 million people were uprooted by violence between January and June – about 200,000 more than in Syria – as intense fighting has broken out in country’s Southern regions.” That 1.4 million Ethiopians displacement numbers does not include those Ethiopians who have been uprooted and brutalized since June to October 2018, which increased the number to over 2.5 million Ethiopians internally displaced and under horrendous degradation and suffering.
Oromo Kilil Government on October 1, 2018 reported over seventy-three thousand displaced Ethiopians from Benshangul-Gumuz and were getting assistance in Oromo Kilil. No smaller number of Ethiopians have flooded into nearby Amhara Kilil villages too. The number of displaced Ethiopians from the suburban communities close to Addis Ababa tops fifty thousand. With all such horrendous human suffering all over Ethiopia, and yet PM Abiy Ahmed is planning to visit Ethiopians residing in Germany next Week. What is wrong with this man that he is planning to do frivolous PR work when he is supposed to lead a nation in serious crises of displacement, hunger, death and distractions all over Ethiopia except in Tigrai and Afar Kilils. Whereas, the reality of the failed administration and governance of Abiy Ahmed is smacking us in the face, and must we read the idiotic accolade written by Al Mariam of Abiy Ahmed thatis being propagated all over the Websites of hateful narrow ethnicists.
IV. Bekele Gerba – Addis Ababa
A week ago, there was a Press Release that was insulting, unnecessary, and full of unsubstantiated claims on the ownership of Addis Ababa by Bekele Gerba fronting for five secessionist Oromo organizations [ESAT, Video 25 September 2018]. Till this moment, I had genuine respect for Bekele Gerba and fully supported his release from incarcerations.But I find this last Press Release destructive and polarizing of all the pressing problems that need be attended to urgently without these additional controversial claims. For once, I sincerely appreciate Yilma Bekele, a person I disagreed with for years, for his eloquent and very constructive criticism of the absurd claims made at the Press Release by Bekele Gerba fronting for the five Oromo secessionist organizations. I have condemned and pointed out the danger of the Kilils/States structure from the inception at the beginning during the Transition period debate and the 1995 Constitution drafting and after to this day. Here, Yilma Bekele has articulated what should have been the focus for the "new" Ethiopia of our future by criticizing the territorial claims by Bekele Gerba.
The demography of Addis Ababa is 70% Amhara, 15% Oromo, and the rest made up of Gurages, Tigrais, mixed individuals, foreigners et cetera. There is no historical evidence that Oromos settled the area of Addis Ababa before Amharas, Angottes, Agews and several indigenous tribal groups. Oromos are late comers as settlers to all the parts that they claim is theirs. They invaded the areas following in the footsteps of Gragn and after. It is recorded fact by eyewitness accounts and serious historians not by politicos like Bekele Gerba and Oromo secessionists in general. Yes, there were very limited Oromo family nomads before Gragn mainly inAfar, Bale, Shoa, Wollo regions. I have been made to be aware of the inclusion of names of some Oromo tribes in the Gedl of Abuna Tekelehimanot, which should not be given any credence for it has been doctored for years by his followers with inclusions of names of pagan tribes in order to glorify the work of the Saint. At any rate, nobody knows when the Gedl was written, for it might have been the works of Debre Libanos Gedam after the destructive war of Gragn and the invasion of the area by Oromo tribes in the wake of that destruction. What is authentic is Aba Bahrei’s eyewitness chronicle of such invasion in one particular area.
Addis Ababa is Shoan Amara fundamentally with other Amaras from Gondar and Wollo. the indigenous people, as is the case allover Ethiopia,were Agew and Angot. Oromos never were even then settlers, they were pastoral or nomadic people traveling for good pasture and water. The land designated as Oromo Kilil is totally absurd and unacceptable. There is no historical ground for such ahistorical designations. It was very wrong to arbitrarily create territories as was done by the TPLF dominated EPRDF in the 1995 Constitution. The prime mover of such destructive scheme was Meles Zenawi with his handful sycophantic supporters. The sooner we get back to the old Teklie Gizat administrative structure that fits our limited managerial abilities the sooner we will solve all these ethnic conflicts. Kilil system is a monumental error so is the language based ethnic emphasis in governance.
Moreover, it is not necessary to put such large territories such as the present Amhara Kilil, Oromo Kilil, Somali Kilil in the hands of individual Governors who do not have the competence to run even a village school. The problem is that the Citizens in such Kilils cannot be properly served for the individual Governors do not have the abilities and temperament to govern such large territories. I prefer TeklaiGizat sized administrative designated areas to be run by relatively efficient governors that corresponds and matches our abilities. I even wrote academic papers and numerous articles on that subject. My main push is to use the old TeklaiGizat as manageable administrative structure for Ethiopia in order to give the central power a chance to promote Ethiopian Citizenship, cohesion, and harmony in such multi-ethnic Country. Mind you that the identity and culture of a designated TekliGizat will still retain its language, culture et cetera in similar way the Swiss twenty-six Cantos retained their particular Languages (French, German, Italian) and culture. More than one cantos may use as the official language from the three languages. Thus, the Oromo language could be official language for more than one TeklaiGizat (Wolega, Bale), and the same goes for more than one TeklaiGizat (Gojjam, Gonder, Shoa, Wollo) using Amharic as their official language. Amharic and Oromo could be designated as the Official Languages of the Ethiopian Government.
Our Ethiopia is in big trouble. And we have a leader who is more interested in the trappings of Power and does not seem to understand his unique role as a leader of a country going through tremendous difficulties. It is time to remove such a leader and install a practical local-grounded individual. I want a sensitive, resolute, and visionary leader not someone who is fascinated by his recent toy (B787 Jetliners). Abiy Ahmed is a tragedy, despite all this suffering, he has not even established an emergency Commission especially dedicated to tackle the tumultuous displacements, killings, lootings et cetera all over the country. He is far more interested in international summits and fly the Ethiopian Airlines B787s to conferences of no real worth to the immediate needs of over a hundred million Ethiopians.
I understand that our world is divided between two ideologies of globalization (internationalism) and localization (nationalism). It is no more a World of class-struggle in the Marxist-Leninist sense. So far, the world seems to be moving in the direction of more and more cooperation by nations in multi-national programs and structured organizations. The World seems in the mold of PëtrKropotkin’s. Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution(1902).“The animal species, in which individual struggle has been reduced to its narrowest limits, and the practice of mutual aid has attained the greatest development, are invariably the most numerous, the most prosperous, and the most open to further progress. The mutual protection which is obtained in this case, the possibility of attaining old age and of accumulating experience, the higher intellectual development, and the further growth of sociable habits, secure the maintenance of the species, its extension, and its further progressive evolution. The unsociable species, on the contrary, are doomed to decay.”
The work of the United Nations is a clear example of the accelerated globalization of economics, health, industrialization and technology transfer et cetera. In times like this, it is totally anachronistic for Ethiopians to base their conflict on tribal territorial claims. Famine knows not tribal boundaries, Hunger knows not tribal boundaries, Epidemics knows no tribal boundary limits. Of course, with the added interactions between nations, it is inevitable that there would arise very many conflicts between members of this Global community. However, there are ample structures and agencies to tackle such international conflicts. Do not lose hope, Ethiopia.
Tecola W. Hagos