By Obo Arada Shawl December 23, 2009
The spirit of Wallelign
The process of Debteraw
The writings of Hama Tuma
have triggered respectively, to the downfall of the Monarchy, the military Dictatorship and to Ethnic Tyranny
The politics of Eathiopia tend to pull in different directions. It is definitely three-dimensional class, the class of EPRDF led by TPLF, the class of EPLF led by EPDJ and all others with or without EPRP. The collective thoughts of Wallelign, DEBTERAW and Hama have predicted the end of nation states long before they began the struggle for change. Nowadays, the Nation State appears to be almost a nostalgic fiction. Take, for instance the State of Eritrea, or Tigrai state, for that matter, ten years ago, both TPLF and EPLF were fighting tooth and nail to become a nation state.
Recently, I have been reading a book entitled the generals by Eyob A. Endale (shambel) It is a book about how the Ethiopian generals attempted to overthrow one of their own military dictator, Colonel Menghistu Haile Mariam. Why on earth do the generals attempt a coup detat? This week, we are hearing about death sentences against coup plotters. I thought we have passed the stage of coup detats!
What was/is wrong with the elites of Eathiopians? Where do they learn their life lessons? Is it from their parents, peers or genes? Or is it something else? Perhaps, their education or training is alien to the Eathiopian masses. Where were these coup detat plotters during the Ethiopian Revolution and counter-revolution? I was not only surprised but also shocked to read about the way the generals died. No wonder, the so-called generals had to loose the war against EPLF and TPLF. They seem not to learn anything from the Eway Revolution.
The concept of self-determination by Wallellign Kassa Mokenen, the Eway Revolution as applied by DEBTERAW, Tsegeye G. M and the challenge of electoral politics by the writings of Hama Tuma are all – assets and heritage of EPRP. No one seems to deny that the experience and heritage of EPRP would come to be the prime mover of struggle in the context of Eathiopia.
In the entire struggle for power and politics in Eathiopia, notwithstanding with the above assertions, there are two missing points. First, it is the nature of the Eathiopian Revolution and second, it is about how the strategy and tactics for the Revolution were applied. In the first instance, the Eathiopian Revolution was about change of concepts and attitudes and not changing of personalities. In the second instance, the methodology applied was guerrilla warfare – የተራዘመ ትግል – not coup detat – መፈንቅለ መንግሥት – or Insurrection – አመጽ –. Unless and otherwise, Eathiopian politicians are clear about these concepts, theories and applications, there will be no common ground to reach at a solution via reconciliation or negotiation.
For a good period of years, the Eathiopian politics will seem to pull along three-dimensional directions, i.e. Nationalism, Reaction or Revolution. In other words, Separation, Unification or Division. In actual fact, Eway Ethiopia has stepped into five dimensional directions, according to my mentor DEBTERAW. Let me briefly go over the missing points of departure.
The DERG military Factor: a power player
Although the DERG (comprised of 120 members) assumed political power without the generals of Ethiopia, nominally, they had placed personalities like generals Aman Andom and Teferi Bante, at least to lead them in name – hypocrisy.
On the one hand, it was true that the DERGs pronouncement was based on a revolution and not on reform. The DERG led by Colonel Menghistu had attempted to destroy, the ancien regime, to harass the Bureaucrats, and to become friendly with Moscow and Havana in order to oppose western countries political system of government. While on the other hand, the DERGs Politburo was mainly comprised of military men. This means that the generals were part and parcels of the military rulers of Eathiopia another hypocrisy.
The generals have seen not only the movement of the guerrilla fighters but also, their organizational set up. It was a truism that the nationalists were embarked on a long struggle based on the peasant masses. From the DERGs side of movement and organizational structure, it was similar with a flavor of fear of the Dictator Colonel. What I dont understand is the generals attempt to overthrow the dictator without throwing him from the plane or putting him under house arrest. Besides, not only a coup detat was massacre considering the generals power position. Why did they not learn from Menghistus slogan of massacre ለምሳ ያሰቡንን ለቁርስ አደረግናቸው
Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that some of the military Eathiopian elites have learnt to accept a struggle for a democratic Eathiopia – a step in pentagonal dimension.
TheBEKAGN and the NOW Generation Factor
This generation includes the victims of the DERG who were cheated by the military regime, particularly those students who were involved in Edget Behbret, those soldiers, marines, air forces or national guards; actually those who were promised by the DERG that it will return to its barracks once it has eliminated the ancient regime and its allies. Or alternatively, to those gullible Eathiopians who believed that Menghistu would fight until the last bullet to be used by him. Besides, this group includes those who were in prison or who saw deaths and mayhem within the Revolution.
The second groups of NOW are those would not believe that Ethiopia had a glorious history of trade, religion, independence and civilization. Even if it had, this generation claims it is of no value. All they are interested isquick cash. The amazing thing is that they dont know what cash is let alone money and finance. This generation is a product of EPRDF.
The Walleligne Factor: Concept of Self-determination
The Eritrean concept of struggle for Indepndence obviously was initiated in 1896 right after the Italian occupation. 65 years later, the Eritrean struggle formally started with an armed struggle.
Politically, the struggle took shape when the University students especially the radical students determined to solve the question of nations and nationalities. The university students challenge against the administration, the professors and the subject matter became obsolete. The student body became followers of the radical student leaders.
As to the national question, many papers and discussions were presented but the most important article was written by WMK and it was presented on the occasion of freshman party. Later on, Wallelignes article was published in the popular student magazine of struggle. The Ethiopian government newspapers condemned WMKs article on the national question. The Ethiopian University Students were also depicted as anti-Ethiopia. Wallellign was labeled as an agent of Imperialism as well as anti-Amhara.
However, both charges against Wallellign were absolutely false. Once the Ethiopian government propaganda machine lied about Wallellign and the student body, other news media continued to lie about WMK and the student body.
Despite TPLF and EPLFs distortion and damage of the question of nationality, WMK has sacrificed his life for the unity of Ethiopia via theory and application for he was Tsinhate Muhur Akal. The democratic nature of Wallellign will be honored when truth prevails.
Wallelign and his seven comrades* had attempted to hijack a plane and all killed but one by anti-hijackers. WMK and his comrades were not to kill or blow up themselves as in the current terrorists practice. They just wanted to scare the crew, the anti-hijackers and the passengers in that order. WMK and his team did not have the heart to kill but to sacrifice as their comrades in Assimba shading blood if necessary not in the name of the Eathiopians but in real terms. That event was a testimony for action.
As to the spirit of WMK, he was a highly motivated person and an honest thinker. He thought hard about the role of the ruling class. He knew that oppression (cultural and social) had created more damaging effect on the Eathiopian populace than exploitation (economic). WMK emphasized in his writings about the pretension of not only the Amharas but also even the Tigrians pretension of becoming Ethiopian with an Amhara face.
I do not think it is fair to blame WMK for the cession of Eritrea and others that would follow. And we should blame the TPLF for perpetuating the concept of self -determination out of context. Even now, the TPLF are caught between the followers of WMKs article or becoming a wholesome Eathiopia. There is no creativity but copycat.
The DEBTERAW Factor: The Eway Revolution
DEBTERAW was prepared mentally, physically and emotionally to finish what was started the Eway Revolution. He was not for coup detat; he was not for insurrection but for the long march of educating, organizing and arming the people of Eathiopia to empower them with information, knowledge and wisdom. DEMOCRACIA for DEBTERAW was a process not an end.
Articles on CALL ME BY NAME: a debate with DEBTERAW or Solutions with DEBTERAW should be revisited for grasping the essence of the Eway Revolution. They can be found on Debteraw.com Assimba.org Ethiox.com or by goggling on Goggle.
EPRP was the best political party fighting for the Eathiopian people. EPRP was a visionary political party for it saw the future and explained it in a new way
The Hama Tuma Factor: the struggle for Electoral politics
Hama Tuma is a prolific writer of Eathiopia as well as on African affairs. Since his early days of youth, he has been consistent with his ideology for combating against real or perceived enemies of Eathiopia and Africa.
EPRP was not well known for its political prowess or for its populist discontent, according to Hamas writings
A politically correct struggle was a lost struggle. Take the Badme war, take the generals May coup detat, take the current article 39 in the constitution, and take Ginbot 7 Election or the coming election of 2010. They all depend on political correctness or in our parlance, feudal mentality.
However, it is time to reconsider EPRPs role in the current Eathiopian situations/conditions, as its enemies were ferocious to disrupt its mission and physically destroy its entity. EPRP can only win when its leaders talk head to head, when its army meets face to face, when its members communicate heart to heart and when the party regardless communicates with all Eathiopians soul to soul.
The most dissenting generation against EPRP have been those groups who became vengeful of events and circumstances. Such groups are those who really believed that Eathiopia was first in everything but was destroyed by those who were involved in one way or another in a revolution or socialism. Or alternatively, these are the groups who prefer to blame others but not themselves or rather who are scared to express their opinions in public but mostly involved in back biting. Hama Tumas writing usually targets against such groups of hypocrites- አስመሳዮች – ፈሪዎችና ምንደጝች –
WMK has contributed a lot of ideas and thoughts for all Eathiopians to act whereas DEBTERAWs contribution is immensurable in terms of implementing the ideas and concepts of the Eway Revolution.
Hama Tumas writing and exposition of opportunists and self-conceited Eathiopians along with their foreign masters have done incalculable damage to EPRPs image but an immense benefit and pride to the majority of Eathiopians.
If Eathiopians were to sacrifice lives and resources in the Eway Revolution, we must finish the war and the struggle to its conclusion. We must be committed to win and reach the goal.
In addition, EPRPs associates* its supporters should be educated and informed on EPRPs current mission and vision. Its leaders should lead, its army should defend, and its members would support. All these three units were supposed to sacrifice lives and resources. EPRP was not for political correctness. It was founded on correct political and democratic system to be instituted in their country Eathiopia.
TRUTH WILL PREVAIL
For comments and questions