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May 28 2006
History repeats itself
                                                                                                    By: Aregay Yohannes.

Emperor Yohannes who ruled Ethiopia during the last quarter of the 19 centaury was deeply religious, highly patriotic, most honest, and most gallant son of Ethiopia in particular and of Africa in general. He was very discerning, farsighted, observant, and visionary. It takes all these to observe, identify and select a highly talented leader and a military genius that was Ras Alula Abanega to work for him.

Had the Tigrian chiefs who were in his cabinet been united, devoted, and honestly rallied around him during that formative period, the face or fate of Ethiopia would have been completely different  United, we could have defeated the Mahdists in Metema i.e. If Ras Alula  had planned the war and commanded the Ethiopian armed forces.  Yohannes could then have proceeded to the Merbmelash and defeated all our enemies that were operating there and our boarder would have been the Red Sea at this time. If we were united, Menelik could not have continued conniving with foreign countries to weaken Yohannes and take power, Ras Michael and Ras Adal and Menelik himself would have obeyed Yohannes and he could have built a prosperous Ethiopia with a formidable army. Incidentally, Emperor Yohannes appointed these vassals to govern in the Federal states that he created. Note that Emperor Yohannes started the Federal system of government but was abolished by Emperor Menilik and replaced it with the dictatorial central government which continued until the demise of the Dergue Regime.

We are proud as being the only country in Africa that have not been colonized and kept our unity and integrity. This we owe to Emperor Yohannes and his most able army general Ras Alula Abanega who were ruling Ethiopia during that formative period.  They were the watch dogs of Ethiopia’s freedom and integrity during the scramble of Africa by the colonialists.

After the tragic and unfortunate death of Emperor Yohannes because of our trivial bickering among us and so being victims of our internal conflicts, political power was transferred to the central dictatorial Regimes that kept Ethiopia backward, illiterate, poor, deforested, eroded, and denuded for the last more than one hundred years. Ethiopia became unstable and affronted because of the partial and backward central dictatorial system of government which created dissent and fighting in the country.

We now have a Federal system of government based on consent, equality and fraternity consisting of the Federal states. The Federal States have established a bicameral parliament House to which each State sends its representatives. Thus, we have government of the overwhelming ordinary mass of Ethiopians in place.

Now the playing field was leveled and opposition parties were able to compete peacefully for political power thanks to the thousands of young Tigrian men and women who died fighting against the cutthroat Dergue regime to bring about a democratic system in Ethiopia for the first time. But the opposition parties were intent on snatching power whether they won or not in the election using mass insurrection or civil disobedience paying thousands of money flowing from the Diaspora to the poor uninitiated young men that died fighting against the police. The masses went on rampage throwing barrages of stones, bullets and bombs, destroyed buses and houses, looting indiscriminately. The police fired to the air to disperse the immense crowed but were met with bullets, bombs, and barrage of stones. The police who had to keep law and order, protect themselves and protect Addis Ababa from destruction were forced to retaliate. In the ensuing battle dear blood was shed from both sides.

These so called opposition parties consist of the remnants of the discredited Dergue regime and the regime before it They are intent on overthrowing the present government using a system used in Georgia and Ukraine and form a dictatorial central government and take Ethiopia back to the Stone Age.

With this background, I would like to comment on the articles on Dekialula mainly those by Berhe Hagos and Tafere Hailemariam and others who criticize the present government in Ethiopia. The present government has started democracy where there was none before and gave opportunity for loyal oppositions if there were any to peacefully participate though the CUD blew it all up because they have an axe to grind as explained above. Many, many infrastructures, like the many roads running from Addis to the federal States and in all the Federal states, schools, universities. Hospitals, clinics, are built and being built. Telephone lines and electric power are reaching many cities and rural towns, huge hydro powers are built and being built, many modern runways and terminals are built and being built. The economy is steadily growing where there was none before to speak of.

With due respect, are you gentlemen telling the government to keep their hands and feet tied up and let the paid masses destroy all these work done with the meager means the country has? Do you in fact think of the thousands that died to bring this change and the thousands that died in Hawzien or only about the 80 people that died fighting against that part of the thousands that died to bring about this change?  Now please, please let us put our differences and personal grudges aside and let us not act like the Tigrian chiefs (our ancestors)  that left Tigrai desolate, poor, backward illiterate and behind  all the regional states because of partiality. Only the spirits of Yohannes and Alula have been hovering above Tigrai in particular and Ethiopia in general looking for change to come. And the change has come. With due respect I would like to entreat Ato Aregawi Berhe and Ato Hailemariam of Dejen Radio to reflect what happened in Metema due to the disunity of the Tigrian chiefs Now Tigrai is not remaining behind, it is progressing like the rest of the regions slowly but surely. Slowly because of the meager means the country has. But believe me the country is starting to grow fast because the economy is growing and aid money is flowing.

The donors are seeing to it that the money is properly used and they have confidence in the government. It looks to me most strange why some of us are begging the donors to stop aid. Is this being Ethiopian or being unEthiopian? So, let not history repeat itself. Let us be united. A house divided against itself cannot stand as Abraham Lincoln said. Remember that the CUD has said they will exterminate the Tigrians. I heard this from their leaders when they staged the big Rally at Meskel square.

Some of us blame Meles for giving away Eritrea or Assab. But was it not Menilik who blundered ignoring Empress Taitu’s and Alula’s warning?  I don’t have to repeat this but he was only power hungry and didn’t give a damn about the fate of the northerners. Haileselassie annexed it but failed to legalize it. Worst of all though, Haileselassie agreed at the Cairo accord to accept colonial boarders as they were though his advisors warned him that he was making a serious mistake. It tantamounted to the recognition of Eritrea

When the EPRDF took control of Ethiopia, this same group calling themselves CUD now, organized a big rally clandestinely shouting “Woyane go home,Woyane shall not rule over us.” It was very difficult to maintain law and order and keep Ethiopia united. Realizing this problem, the Eritreans could demand anything and get it. So the EPRDF had no choice but say first things first and struggle to keep Ethiopia united by recognizing Eritrea and make it a nominal ally. Again lack of unity helped the EPLF to get what they wanted. Eritrea became an independent country.

Why didn’t Meles continue and take control of Eritrea during the last War? Could he do that now that Eritrea is a sovereign country? I will leave this question for the esteemed readers to answer. I am not saying Meles is perfect. He may be making mistakes here and there. But we have to be united and give him the moral and advice that he needs. He is a very smart man and we should thank God for giving Ethiopia such a man at this time. He will change Ethiopia within a short time. Ethiopia shall transcend under this man. But only if we unite and rally around him. Let us put our differences and grudges aside for the sake of the country. Let us not be like the Tigrian chiefs who let down Yohannes and Alula which resulted in grave consequences.

Coming to the May elections. Some of us believe the CUD won. In Addis, yes they did. But you know it was not a genuine election. It was a conspiracy. The people of Addis were told “Woyane shall not rule over you, vote for CUD.” And so the CUD swept Addis. But in the rest of the country, EPRDF won overwhelmingly. The Cater mission and the African Union witnessed this fact.