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Is A 25 Years Old Disgrace in the making in Ethiopia?

By TeKa
Tigrai Online, April 21, 2019

Ethiopians need to watch not to repeat what happened 25 years ago in Rwanda
Abiy Ahmed reshuffled his cabinet for the third time this year as Ethiopia slides to deep crisis it might be an indication of worst times coming.

The Rwandan genocide, also known as the genocide against the Tutsi,[2] was a mass slaughter of Tutsi in Rwanda during the Rwandan Civil War, directed by members of the Hutu majority government between 7 April and 15 July 1994.[1]

An estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed, about 70% of the Tutsi population.[1]

The genocide had lasting and profound effects on Rwanda and neighboring countries. Today, Rwanda has two public holidays to commemorate the genocide. As a result of the genocide, nations collaborated to establish the International Criminal Court.“ Wikipedia

During the Rwandan genocide of 1994, members of the Hutu ethnic majority in the east-central African nation of Rwanda murdered as many as 800,000 people, mostly of the Tutsi minority. Started by Hutu nationalists in the capital of Kigali, the genocide spread throughout the country with shocking speed and brutality, as ordinary citizens were incited by local officials and the Hutu Power government to take up arms against their neighbors. By the time the Tutsi-led Rwandese Patriotic Front gained control of the country through a military offensive in early July, hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were dead and 2 million refugees (mainly Hutus) fled Rwanda, exacerbating what had already become a full-blown humanitarian crisis.”  History Channel

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The mass killings in Kigali quickly spread from that city to the rest of Rwanda, with some 800,000 people slaughtered over the next three months. During this period, local officials and government-sponsored radio stations called on ordinary Rwandan civilians to murder their neighbors.”  History Channel (highlight was article’s writer)

It has been now exactly 25 years since this shameful human episode happened in Rwanda that began in April 7, 1994. 25 years around this time, the Tutsis were being massacred, thrown out of their home, and humiliated by their Hutu brothers like animals. Rwanda made us, Africans, look like real animals, just like some white supremacist believe we are. Rwanda seemed to have proved their point, on their very racist minds at least.

Call me pessimist, I do not care, but I smell something like that coming home, unless we change course.

On one of my humble articles, “Is this what we really want?, not so long ago, I attempted to tell my story. A story that I thought might wake some people up. A story that might remind some that there is an “Ethiopia” that, regardless which ethnic group we belong to, we all share with the same passion. I was hoping that I would hit the target with my plea for some saneness from all of us. I guess I was wrong. Things are getting out of control, killings are no more news, and displacements have ceased to have the shock effect. We are becoming numb to any bad news from Ethiopia and we are becoming a disgrace in every sense of the word.

I told you that I descend from two beautiful Ethiopians, an Amara father and a Tigrean mother. Throughout my life, I always felt a special pride just because of that; because I have blood from these two awesome ethnic groups. I actually wish I was a result of a combination of ten or twelve or more different ethnic groups. That would be awesome! Wouldn’t that be? The good news (maybe not these days) is that my two kids can claim four different ethnic groups, two from my side and two from their mother’s side.

If Amaras cannot live in some Oromia region, if the Gedeos or Gujis are being massacred and displaced from their own land that they only know as theirs forever, if Tegarus cannot keep their businesses and home that they built for generations and are  thrown out from some Amara and other cities, if  Oromos are being killed and cannot live without watching their backs in Benshangul, if Awassa is no longer that safe and beautiful city where I met my beautiful wife and the city that used to be a stress reliever for everyone from anywhere  in the country, and if we still fan to help grow all this hating to the next level, then, let me just put it in a very mild way, WE ARE SOME IDIOTS OF FIRST CLASS!!

 Oh, how proud I still am when people here in the US ask me “Are you from Ethiopia?” They do not know whether I am from Amara, Tigrai, Oromo, Benshangul, Sidamo, Wolaita or any other ethnic group. They for sure know that I am Ethiopian. Folks, when you are in a diaspora, no one gives a rat’s  *** (except us, the morons!) whether you are from this or that ethnic group. All the other people see on us is that we all look alike: we look Ethiopians!! The Burnt Face, as the meaning of its Greek origin says.

 Every time I listen to Jiji’s song “Eske Meche”, I cannot help but wonder if we all got her message. In this beautifully written and well-arranged song, the intro with her beautiful voice starts like this:

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Eske Meche Yazalikenal,….
 Gena bizu Menged….Bizu Yiqerenal…”

 And she goes on to say, I believe, on her second verse, and maybe the best part of her lyrics, like this:

 Yerabegn Injeraw weyinu Mesluachew…
Yetemagn wetetu wey Teju mesluachew….
Chigire Chinkete Minchu Yalgebachew…
Yachi Sew terabech Silugn Smahuachew
Enes Yerabegn Fiqir new! Fiqir new!
And she continues on the next verse:
Gojam Yaresewin le Gonder kalshete
Gonder Yaresewin le Gojam Kaleshete
Ye Showa abat lijun le Tigre kalsete
Ye Harer Negade Wolega kalshete
Fiqir wodet wodet wodet zemem zemem
Hagerima Alechign Ager yene himem
Siru Indaybetes mequateriyaw demu
Arenguade Bicha qey new kelemu!!!

How poetic and beautiful words! Yes, that was what was meant to be: to move around freely, trade freely, live anywhere we wish freely, marry whomever we love freely etc...

My experience here as Ethio-American is that, every time I see an Ethiopian that I never met, all I say is “Tena Yistilign” with confidence, because I can tell an Ethiopian even from their back, even from how they walk, no matter from which ethnic group they are. We are the same, fools! We are diverse at the same time as well, Let’s celebrate that, let’s be proud of all of that, lets respect the fact one can be an Oromo and an Ethiopian at the same time, one can be a Woliata, or a Tigrean, or a Sidamo etc. and still be an Ethiopian. Where is the problem with that? If you meet a Swedish here in the US and ask him where he is from, I bet you his answer would go like this “I am from Europe, from Sweden”. Try to meet a Texan and  ask him where he is from. His answer would be “ I am a Texan, from the USA” Do you see anything wrong with that? I do not!!

 I remember the day when Haile Gebreselasie wept during the Medal Ceremony in Sidney Olympics (I believe it was there, I could have googled it. I leave that for you), we all wept with him. I remember, I watched it with my mom (a Tigraweyti) who happened to be in my house for a visit. We both wept with him. We wept with him because Ethiopia’s flag was being raised for the rest of the world to see. It still gives me chills thinking of that very moment. When Derartu won her 1st Olympic medal, 1st for any African woman, we all cheered as Ethiopians, Ethiopians from the very north of Tigray to the very South of Moyale, from very east of Somalia to the very west of Gambela. We all cheered as Ethiopians, we all wept with Haile as Ethiopians. We all cheered with and for Miruts Yifeter as we cheered with and for Kenenissa Bekele and so on. We all cheered and wept as Ethiopians. What a beautiful feeling that was!!

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Now, there  an atmosphere that reminds me what happened in Rwanda exactly 25 years ago. During the time when the Rwandans were massacring each other 25 years ago, we were trying to figure out what the future was holding under the newly founded EPRDF government.  But, against all the odds and against all the doomsayers prediction, we showed our wisdom and behaved like civilized people.

Now when the Rwanda genocide started to feel like a distant memory, our people are living under the awful feeling that that may repeat there in our own land.

 25 years ago Rwanda had the  Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLMC).  Then, radio was a powerful weapon used to incite and direct the Rwandan genocide. Georges Ruggiu was then the notorious voice of that evil and shameful episode of Rwandan Genocide. Georges Henri Yvon Joseph Ruggiu (born October 12, 1957 in Verviers, Belgium) was a presenter on the RTLMC, which played a significant role in promoting the Rwandan Genocide.

Someone put it this way “The station was rowdy and used street language - there were disc jockeys, pop music and phone-ins. Sometimes the announcers were drunk. It was designed to appeal to the unemployed, the delinquents and the gangs of thugs in the militia. “In a largely illiterate population, the radio station soon had a very large audience who found it immensely entertaining.” (Linda Melvern)

Now we have our own George Ruggiu: Johar Mohamed.

Johar is committing the same crimes as Ruggiu, only more sophisticatedly and subtly. Now, thanks to Johar’s constant, clever, and sinister tribal rhetoric, we are killing each other as if were some pagan uncivilized tribes. Where is the 3000 years old civilization? Civil people do not kill each other, they talk to resolve issues.

Johar is not alone. There are so many Joharites in every corner of the country nowadays. They sure will be responsible for any genocide that may come next in Ethiopia. It may be too late for some innocent people, though. They are fanning hatred and discord among different group of people that lived together for, like, ever. The difference between Joharites and George Ruggiu is that Riggui did not have the luxury of spewing his poison through the web. His only weapon was his diabolic voice through the airwaves of Rwanda via RTLM. Johar and Joharites have even a better weapon, more advanced, far reaching, more deadly, and effective: The Internet or The Social Media, as we all call it.

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Johar, sorry but I wish you were never born. You are an evil, a maniac, sadistic, selfish, and an ignorant. You are freaking wrong if you think you are doing some good to the Oromos, or the rest of the country by extension. You are a disgrace who cannot even keep his own beliefs and words for more than a year. You are a chameleon. You keep changing your views depending on how hot or cold the water is. You say whatever comes from that filthy mouth of yours based on what suits you at that particular time. You are a snake. You and your likes are cowards. Just remember where George Ruggiu ended up. That is where you will also end up. But, unfortunately, after many innocent lives have been lost.

Thanks to you, Johar and your imitators in all regions, I am becoming ashamed beyond anyone’s imagination of what is happening in my beloved country right now. Some say that this is a product of the last 27 years failed federal system. It maybe! I agree that the Federal system, though inevitable at some point, was implemented in a rush without considering the level of consciousness of the people and level of exposure to such kind of arrangement or any kind of democracy for that matter. I wish EPRDF waited a little while before implementing the Federal System. And yes, EPRDF should be blamed for what is happening now. I remember few months into their rule how Amaras where being massacred in remote cities of Oromia and some other regions. Do you remember the massacre of Beddene? I was mesmerized beyond belief by the heartless and savage treatment in the some regions on the  “settlers” or “Neftegnas:”

Imagining of what is going on in Ethiopia right now makes me feel sick, makes me want to puke. I am ashamed beyond description.

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For me, “Ethiopia” is a concept, a convention, a beautiful idea and a fact at the same time. We can only make it work or break it. It can only work if we all respect each other and if every ethnic group’s right to practice their own language, govern by themselves is also respected. In short, Federalism that works, period! If Ethiopia is to stay as is now, Federalism is the only way.

Remember: 25 years ago to date, over 800,000 Rwandans perished because of ignorance and evilness. Just remember how the mass media played a role and remember how it all started and how it ended. I see all the elements that fueled that shameful episode right  at home as well. Watch Out folks!!

And last but not least: Johar and all of you who imitate him, please either try to bring our people together and stop your fanning of hate or just go to HELL!!

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