Seyoum Gelaye, Professor
July 22, 2010
Ethiopia.orgs July 18, 2010 interview with Mr. Hassan Abdullahi- Ogaden Liberation Fronts (ONLF’s) Ethiopian Affairs, and Foreign Relations officer- is a good start. We trust that this dialogue will be perused further because Mr. Hassan was allowed to echo-unchallenged- Oromo Liberation Fronts (OLFs), Eritrean Liberation Fronts (EPLFs), and Tigri Liberation Fronts (TPLFs) fictitious histories as his justification for Ogades Non-Ethiopianess by repeatedly pointing out article 39 (1) in TPLFs constitution, which states, Every Nation, Nationality and people in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to self-determination, including the right to secession.
The fallacies of TPLFs constitution and Mr. Hassans subsequent declaration have not been adequately challenged by the interviewer. Ogaden has never been an independent African Nation, such as: Uganda, Kenya, Sudan etc., for a nation signifies a self-governing and sovereign territory, inhabited by people sharing similar culture, values, and mores with a strong economic interrelationship, and recognized as such by other independent nations throughout the world. Ogaden or the other nine so called nations and nationalities in the present Ethiopia are TPLFs creation emanating from Joseph Stalins Communist Constitution.
The nation and nationality designation, unfortunately, are direct copies from the constitution of the then Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin forcefully annexed officially independent nations in Europe, Asia and formed the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). The Radical Leftists of Ethiopia and other dubious individuals like: Melese Zenawi, Isayas Afewerk etc have copied verbatim the defunct Marxism and Leninism ideology of the then USSR and have attempted to impose these alien USSR experiences on the nation of present Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a home to many linguistic groups. During the Countrys 5000 years of recorded history, its citizens have interspersed sometimes voluntarily, and at other times due to internal conflicts or because of trade resulting in intermarriage, and settlement in various parts of Ethiopia. As a result, one time Oromo speakers are now speaking Tigrigna, Amargna, Guragigna, Sidamegna, Wolayetagna and vice versa.
Also, according to Mr. Hassan, Ogaden has been an independent country prior to Menelik IIs (Reign 1889-1913) invasion and annexation. He further stated that ONLF is not only fighting to fully enshrine TPLFs constitution but also to enforce United Nations post colonial charter designed to give rights to only the nations who were occupied by European colonial powers. This UN Charter does not have relevance to Ethiopia.
Eritrea was granted its independence by Melese Zenawi using the same assertions and presently OLF, ONLF, TPLF are pursing the same bankrupt agenda.
Mr. Hassan has gotten away with the distortion that Ogaden was a colony of Ethiopia. However, the fact is that Ogaden and- for that matter- the whole of Somalia was one time part and parcel of Ethiopias territory.
There are no nations and nationalities in Ethiopia. Instead, in Ethiopias context there are Negedes or Gossas and not Nations and nationalities.
Immam Ahmed Ebrahim, who was multi-ethnic Ethiopian (Somali/Adal/Belew), invaded Ethiopia using the present Somali (Including Ogaden) as his spring board and ruled for fifteen years all the territories extending up to Lake Tana. After Immam Ahmeds defeat, a large number of his surviving fighters settled in all parts of the Country, adopting the local languages, cultures, and since then most have become Amargna, Tigregna, Guragigna, Wolaitigna, etc. speakers.
Immam Ahmed Ebrahims war of destruction took place during and after the era of Atse Libna Dengel of Ethiopia (1508-1540); this was 373 to 381 years prior to the coronation of Menelik II as an Emperor of Ethiopia.
Mr. Hassan also emphatically declared that the Amhara King, Menelik II of Shoa, invaded all independent nations in the south, including Ogaden, some hundred years ago and forcefully annexed these independent nations with the highland territories of the then Amhara Kinggom.
Menelik II- akin to most Ethiopians then and now- is multiethnic. His mother (Woizero Ejigayehu Lemma Adyamo) was a concierge in King Sahle Sillasse Palace in Ankober. Menelik II was, therefore, the son of Prince Haile-Melekot (son of King Sahle Sillasse) and Woizero Ejigayehu Lemma Adyamo. After the birth of Menelik, Woizero Ejigayehu Lemma Adyamo had to move to Angolel near Debreberhane, where the baby Menelik spent his 11 Childhood years among his lifelong Oromo friends, like Gobena Dacho, the son of Tulema Oromo leader Dacho.
Contrary to Ato Hassans assertion, Ethipias history did not start and end with Menelik II. Menelik II succeeded Yohannis IV (1831-1889). Yohannis Ethiopia was threatened and invaded by various colonizing powers from Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Emperor Yohannes was always, therefore, seeking diplomatic and/or military support from Christian Nations all over Europe. The following is an excerpt of a letter Yohannis wrote in 1881 to Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany:
I will be satisfied if Your Majesty will mediate, so long as it is done on the basis of what my ancestors, the Emperors of Ethiopia, held prior to the fall of the regime due to the advent of Gragn. After Gragn, the Empire was regained during Sertse Dengel, Iyaasu I, and Fasil, and later was lost by a certain Gugsa To the east and south […east] the boundary is the sea. To the west north, where there Haran Dawa, Gash, Massawa, Bedew Shoho, and Tiltal. Further, the regions inhabited by Galla, Shankilla, and Adal is all mine and yet recently in the middle of Shoa [!], a place known by the name of Harar was taken [from us]. All the same I listed these places so that my countrys boundaries be known, Page 321.
It is time for all Ethiopians to unite and struggle so we may fight back folks like Mr. Hassan Abdullahi, Melese Zenawi, Isayas Afewerk and other indigenous ethnic warlords, threatening the survival of this glorious nation, Ethiopia.
Atse Mnelik. By: Pawlos GnoGno, Yekatit 1984.
Immam Ahmed Ebrahim (Ahmed Giragne). By: Teshome Berhanu Kemal, Miazia 2000;
Kasa and Kasa: Papers on the Lives, times and Images of Tewodros II Yohannes IV (1855-188). Edited by: Taddese Beyene, Richard Pankhrust, and Shiferaw Bekele, Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University, June 1990;
Radicalism and Cultural Dislocation in Ethiopia 1960-1974. By: Messay Kebede, Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, December 2008;
YeEtiopia Regim Yehizbena YeMengist TaRik, Andegna Metsehaf. By: Lapiso Ge. Dilebo, Nigde Matemia Bete, Addis Ababa, 1982; and
YeEtiopia Tarik, Be Asra Sdestegnaw Kifle Zemen. By: Yeilm Dressa, Hidar 20, 1959.
Seyoum Gelaye, Professor
July 22, 2010