By: Getachew Reda (February 19, 2008)
My dear Tigrayans; – I am writing this piece of message to address to you to look the ethnic issue seriously. The dangerous trend that is leading our people, in particular, the young generation of Tigrayan community is affected and transformed dangerously into ethnocentric thinker in the last sixteen years. When I write this communication with you, I have had both to remember and forget that I am Tigrayan or for that matter an Ethiopian. The forgetting was to see the human universal within the memory of ethnic specifics, under, race, ethnic, racial differences in no way spare one from being human. Therefore, when I address to you with a specific attention regarding our community, my intention was not to single out my Tigrayan community as a racist community different than the rest racists out there overwhelmingly very bad.
But, there is no secret to the writing/addressing of this article in specific. The generations that were moving mountains had been rotten by corruption from top to bottom (Meles Zenawi- reason for the Tehadiso &split of TPLF into two). Currently, for second time, the generations that were shaking the mountains not only had been rotten by corruption, but dangerously also became a racist and chauvinist. This is my secret to address to you. It is painful for me, I was been agonizing in the last many years how to address and minimize the growing issue of racist attitude against Amhara by some TPLF and none TPLF educated and uneducated Tigrayns. It is time, to tackle the issue together in an open discussion to stop it once for all.
I was been fighting racism for many years beginning my childhood all the way in my adulthood in the actual battle in the field and here in writings. My name was been labeled as the only Tigrayan for CUDP Hailu Shawul party (taken by TPLF Amhara party) featured on Aigaforum.com (TPLF supporters website) and many, many slanderous names for standing against TPLFs, OLFs, EPLFs racist teachings.I know there are few good determined Tigrayans out there fighting TPLF, but few of us is not enough to challenge TPLF which is supported by outsiders money power. Here it is the call to the rest of you help me to come out on the open air together to tackle the growing racism and misunderstandings by opening public symposium and exchange an idea among us even calling TPLF supporters to explain their position to why they support the ethnocentric TPLF who is the source of so much hate among Ethiopians, beside TPLF dedicated its struggle and still swear its pledge of allegiance for Eritrean rights than to the Tigrayan/Ethiopians rights.
I am not going to tell you in detail what web sites TPLF and OLF supporters to intimidate me and my few strong fellow Ethiopian patriots on the websites. You have read them all from telephone harassments, insults & including death threats. That is a small sacrifice to pay when one stands for truth. This reflection is a matter of time to see it affect the entire society if we cant tackle it on time. The growing work of some racist elements from Tigrayan, Amhara, Oromo, Sidama, Hararee, and Somali Ethiopians posted on websites and in the form of books, public speeches, magazines one against the other labeling as natural enemy is dangerous and must be taken seriously. Tigringa TPLF magazines, books, radio propaganda been published that we heard, read far all those years against Amhara by Tigrayans that poisoned the mind of the youth and the community lead by TPLF has played a big share to harbor the negative attitude.
Some Tigrayan elites or others might think such negative teachings will go away with TPLF when TPLFs power is done. But, racism is mental sickness/ it is a cult behavior. Once brain is set to be racist, it will be there for a longer time and might even transfer to generation and family attachments. Therefore, the consequence would be very negative to our Tigrayan community and to others if we do failed challenge and response to all published ethnocentric propaganda works on websites, books/magazines in order to educate the ill informed community. Last week, I engaged my self on several websites that associated with ethnic/TPLF government or cult type opposition political websites like that of EMF edited by Kinfu and Dawit Kebede both claimed to be journalists spread poisonous, distractive anti Tigrayan, and anti Ethiopian soldiers and anti opposition dignified leaders respected by millions of Ethiopians in Ethiopia. These individuals are worst than the Aiga TPLF cadres who attacked opposition leaders and patriots in the open websites worst than any enemy.
All of you are by now familiar to be familiar with such individuals on where many Amharic articles were published about them to expose these individuals intentional anti POPULAR Ethiopian patriots and worked hard in the propaganda fields with anti Ethiopian Somali groups and other anti Ethiopia secessionist groups. On these and other open forums, I intentionally engaged there to see how many racist and political cults are breed and how intense they are; – I found it very, very concerning. Leaving the cult type opposition supporters of BB ON the EMF aside for now, I like to duel with what I saw on the TPLF sympathizer website. Reading these individuals at any of their concern, many of their publishing are ethnic focus. Majority of the writers seemed to be from the Diaspora (Tigrayans and Eritreans) and some directly from Tigray/Ethiopia. That was where I wanted to stay on discussing since the website is allowed to be read in Ethiopia by the public when other oppositions are blocked. The discussants at the forum, the racism, the hatred attitude they reflected, towards Amhara speaking community is higher than ever, active and unbelievably irresponsible. Though, the said Amhara is not in power currently, attacking Amhara as anti Tigrayan seemed to be their obsession.
For your information, I will post one among the many racist writings faxed/ posted from Tigray and judge it yourself how far the mind of Tigrayan youth is affected, and another one from Amhara ethnic who is predicting future vengeance by Amhara against Tigrayan once TPLF out of power as if TPLF defend Tigrayans. Here, the following message is from Tigray.
Quote <Author: Anonymous I am not like Diaspora and I can give more information what Amhara are doing to Tigray. Forget about Nebreu wede Mekelle that happened in the past. Don’t think the hate towards Tigryans was born with Kinjit and will disappear with Kinijits’ death. The hate towards Tigryans is more than century old. We all remember the atrocities committed during “zemene shewa” of Menelik and “Zemene Amhara” of Haileselasse. The hate was there and it will stay there until I think, we bring a permanent solution to it. Forget about Nebreu wede Mekelle that happened in the past. I am not like you Diasporas I lived in Tigray and I can give more information what Amharus are-doing, to-Tigray-now.
The main road from Addis to Tigray passes through Debrebirhan, dessie woldiya to Tigray. Tigray trucks are now forced to use non-asphalt road that passes through Nazareth and Afar areas to Alamata The reason is the hate filled chauvinist amharus are robbing, killing and damaging the Tigray (TIG) coded trucks.
The hydroelectric line that is coming from Gojjam is repeatedly damaged because the local people disconnect the line that passes through the Amahra areas.
Tigryan development project like that passes through Amhara official will always be sabotaged. Ex while new highways are built in every parts of Ethiopia in the last 17 years, our only old road mekele- Endasellasse was not built b/s the so-called Amharu experts who approve projects rejected. Right now there is a big fight between Tigryans and the so-called experts in Addis about water supply project for Mekelle. While the Tigryans are demanding a dam to be built in WerEi so that towns like Adigrat, wekuro, hawzein, abiadi, can benefit from the project the Amahru “experts” are spoiling the project and simply want to build wells in-Mekelle. There are a lot of ugly stories done to Tigryan people. What is saying doesnt waste your time the Getachews who deny nebret wede mekelle. I have heard them ridiculing Hawzein massacre is fabrication of TPLF.2008-02-14 10:12:19 GMT >
As you read it in the above quoted writings from a person who simply is a racist but victim of TPLF teachings and without searching the actual information on the ground, he is been accusing the Amhara community from nothing. To begin with the issue of Haussien; – such accusation was not at all sourced from Amhara but from X- TPLF members. The fellow must be a new cult who simply rose up to the stage recently. Recalling when we see the attempted failed accusation by TPLF government against CUPD playing the Interahamuwe card (Interhahamuwe- is group of militant youth trained &recruited by the militant in the governments MRND in Rwanda to carry indiscriminate genocide against the TUSI claiming the Tutsi has to go back out from Rwanda to Ethiopia where they (HUTU) claimed the Tutsi belong), the slogan of Nibret Wedemekele, Tigre wede Mekele was conceder by TPLF as Amhara provocation from Kinijit (considering Kinijit as Amhara party) against Tigrayan is been talk much about. We all are familiar with the story, that the person who from Kinijit party accused of saying was been arrested, went to TPLF court, found not guilty and sent free. No need to duel with such intentional accusation that could have been sourced from other racist opposition armed groups or could have possibly came /said by any racist or frustrated, ill- informed idle, unemployed elements at a situation which TPLF is manipulating to link it to the Kinijit party as if it came from the manifestation of Kinijit.
Leaving the other irrelevant and serious baseless accusation how the Amhara professional Engineer officials working for TPLF government are sabotaging Tigrayan development as if the Amhara are leading the government power working against Tigrayans and accusing them as such and as if they (Tigrayans) are subordinate of Amhara ruling shows absolutely how their breed are odd and out of touch and hypnotized by untruthful and poisonous TPLF teachings. Let me just give you one simple falsehood how the fellow accusing Amhara falsely for attacking Tigrayan coded trucks that traveled through Amharic speaking communities forced to change rout through Afar lands and Alamata rout leaving the old Asphalt rout/road to the side, accusing the Amhara chauvinists robbing, killing Tigrayans and Tigrayan coded trucks.
The reason for the rout change was made for few reasons. One- the old rout is on reconstruction, (patching and asphalt works). The second reason why it was chosen was the said Afar rout leaving Maichew town to the side (without connecting/entering to Maychew town directly from Wollo and the rest of the next routs of small towns) that lead to Maichew) using The Afar routs/roads entering Mockoni, Wajrat, Adishehu, Betmara to Mekele was chosen because it is an easy access, no hills, mountains, curves, and cliffs. It is simply long wide clean natural road with no cliffs, curves and rocks friendly to the new or old driven trucks /cars and comfort road to drive regardless it is not paved yet with asphalt. That was what the authority in Tigray is said. But, what we read from the fellow claiming he was debating us live from Tigray with such ludicrous accusation against Amhara community is unfounded truth absolutely spread to create community conflict.
Let us say, happened, but killings, robbery didnt only occur against Tigrayans by Amhara Shifta/outlaws if happened, but Tigrayns too are robbed, killed by Tigrayans on broad day light in Mekelle city, Maychew, Adua and the like.
The fellow is living in Tigray physically, but he doesnt know what is happening in Tigray in reality. All he/she need or should have done was to read Woyin Gazetta under the column of the Police investigations and crime reports. May be he is not well aware that the same Tigrayan are robbing, beating by targeting at times women only by bruising and leaving blacked-eye to their face in Mekelle town by a town outlaw gangs and robbers. It is been a very concerned issue and there was a repeated meetings and public gatherings to solve the problem that singled out women only in an orchestrated crime. Still robbery and intimidation is number one issue in Mekelle ranging from snatching cellular phones and jewelry from citizens in particular areas to cover drug addiction that was never been seen occurred before during the king or during Derg regimes.
People in Mekelle dont walk or entertained many times without going in pair for fear of gang attacks or vicious robbers. Amhara didnt create the intimidation and town terror in Tigray? It is been carried by Tigrayans against Tigrayans. Crime and outlaw didnt stop there. It is been occurring everywhere in Ethiopia. In Gonder, and in Baherdar- I know close friends lost their parents/father and children by outlaws and robbers. They are all Amhara outlaws who killed, robbing Amhara law-abiding citizens. Some of them went from the Diaspora to visit their relatives in villages/towns in Ethiopia and is been murdered and robbed their money and possessions and jewelries by a highway robbers who are lawless and unemployed elements looking for money. I have never heard families complained about the incidents related to ethnic issues, perpetrated by Tigrayans or Amhara.
It is been focused only perpetrated from unemployed outlaw who robe or kill passengers on the highway for money as use to be during the monarch time. It is not new phenomenon, to see armed robbery during TPLF on highways. It is a failed state. Criminal who killed or intimidates community for money is color or ethnic blind as long as he robbed for looking for money. To present social problems as if it was perpetrated by Amhara to hampered the development and transportation and rout that go to Tigray as if there are no Tigrayans in the government or as if the government is not lead by individual Tigrayans who control/rule the entire nation is untruthfulness.
Accusing as if the people of Wollo or Gonder/Gojam are anti Tigray because of few outlaw and unemployed well organized Shiftoch/shefatu from such locality that might had damage electric lines, that said stretched from Gojam/Gondor or Tigrayan robbed coded Tigrayan trucks is intentionally misguiding the public to create hatred against the people of Amhara by Tigray community. My information so far didnt show any record that is been reported by the government or by the Tigrayan authority labeled it as such, so far as I know until this days.
If such is really happening on the ground, then there is no TPLF government in power. If this is true, trucks that are going to Tigray forced to detour through another rough and far routs for fear from Amhara intimidation on the highway, then, The community in Tigray are in deep trouble (I remember there were some Derg officials in Wollo preventing Teff from going to Tigray and used to unload the trucks- but, it is odd that this happened now when the government is now Tigrayan individuals controlling the power Could this be because the leading elements in power are Eritreans in spirit and they can careless about Tigray). If it is found to be true, it could also be a sign that TPLF is loosing control of governing territories as a government. And that is a serious matter that all Tigrayans need to come together to fasten its isolation and created understanding and brotherly cooperation with the said neighbors and others before issue gets worst. Either ways, it is our problem to solve it.
My fellow Tigrayans; – I tried to show you in my limited ability what I could alone and what I couldnt all those years as an individual concerned Ethiopian to indicate the movement of the needle how far TPLF is breeding old and new racist generation. It is now up to all of you to come together how to tackle such growing racism before it affected vast communities. We have to learn from previous incidents to what happen in 1991 in Ethiopia by OLF leaders and its guerilla armed group and learn from Kenya in the recent ethnic clash perpetrated all by few greedy reckless and irresponsible political animals who deserve to be in the world courts not freely allowed moving and propagating inside communities still continue doing their dirty political games in the name of the people. At last before I finish my message, I will quote another good intention but reckless provocateur indicating future avenge against Tigrayans to see yourself how such provocation could also is a signal for future trouble, though, the following argument could have come from an honest writer, but such element could be easily manipulated during ethnic conflict by connive leaders. Here, I will quote what was posted on Ethiopian Review website discussion forum last week. Quote:
<GOBEZ G!!! I think you are wrong about Ethiopians hated the Tigray people but to correct you it’s the woyanee teaching most of Ethiopia how to hate each other by showing a race card do you blame us for hated them back after all we have been suffering for the past sixteen years and have not seen on inch of good treatment from the woyanee and it’s supporters and you are right about one thing it’s not right to hate the majority because of the few but what do you want us to do after all we need to survive …
NOTE: Meles is not all alone there are lot’s of Tigray supporters with him which they dont know there is pay back time ones the coast is clear .it may be too late, I suggest the Tigray people to rethink about this and make peace with the rest of Ethiopia when there is still a chance…> end of Quote.
While I still appealing to act all as Ethiopians together to stop the growing racist attitude in our community, I like to inform you that some few websites are also allowing racist elements to spew their hatred towards Ethiopia on an open forums without no restriction and that should stop as soon as possible. Negative provocations that we have so far /heard/read is been a signal to show us to take the problem on time seriously and break it before it goes far and wild into action. We as Tigrayns and as Ethiopians in general have to worry about our Tigrayan, Oromo, Gurage, Amhrar, Wolaiya, Hararee, Sidama, Gambella and the rest as our families who are living spreading all over Ethiopia as farmers and business people and professionals and their families and their livelihoods from being a target of racist elements by the time TPLF is out of power, as we recall the record of history registered in the past genocide carried by OLF/EPLF/TPLF against Amhara in Arba Gugu and other areas and periods in before and after 1991.
As you know TPLF leaders are not going to say there defending the Tigrayans as we witnessed them done anything damaging force against the Eritrean group currently in power who slaughtered/bombed the children and parents of Tigray in Aider children school with a cluster bomb similar to the act of the fascist Italy during the second world war that occurred in Ethiopia (we know TPLF minimized the bombing of school children by EPLF while working hard to magnify the bombing of villagers and markets by Haileselassie headed by the British air force commanders). When TPLFs power sooner or later is weakening as to every tyrants in history happened, the leaders will definitely run in every direction to save their neck as we saw similar tyrants in history in the past or even in a small scale public disobedience/riots that we saw in Addis Ababa which forced some of its Diplomats and members of the TPLF parliament for defection before it is too dark for them to escape.
It is fact that not them (TPLF), but we are the only people might remain for the public to settle the conflict now or for the future to pave the way to a smooth transition. Therefore Educated Tigrayans need to think a better strategy to harmonize and teach our communities than to still sit idle or bought into the game of TPLF echoing similar false and dangerous propaganda.
In the meantime, I like to thanks those few Tigrayans from Canada and Washington and elsewhere, which contacted me via telephone and emails how to create a joint task regardless our political differences to stop the growing racist teaching of TPLF in our community. We have to stop our own ignorant racists and reversed them to their normal thinking able them to associate with the rest before we focused and complained how other ethnic racists hate us. Obviously such elements that hate Tigrayan society are also similar brain washed victims by their elites and they have to be seen as such/victims.
(1) Concerned Tigrayan educated elites should call other educated and uneducated Tigrayan community to stop the growing negative view against Amhara that was there and still actively growing dangerously by OLF/TPLF sympathizers than to be possessed by Kenyan ethnic conflict or other countries while we are here our communities are infested with growing ethnic hatred of attitude at each other.
(2) All Ethiopian elites together with Tigrayan elites should arrange worldwide conference how to tackle the growing ethnic problem before it grows dangerously. Together we should create a united, harmonious and prosperous community.
If financial issue is the problem, all of us will be there to contribute for such positive mission. Racism is eating our people like fungus and we need to cure the ugliness of it before it completely corrupt the mind of our people. All we need is start talking about it now. History is recording. Ethiopia will prevail!