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Statue of Nigus Haileselassie unveiled at the headequarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa

Tigrai Online, Feb. 12, 2019

Why Ethiopian people reject erecting statue of Emperor Haile Selassie in Ethiopia.

With extensive lobbying from Dr. Abiy Ahmed the Ethiopian prime minister, the African Union hesitantly decided to erect a statue of the so called last emperor of Ethiopia which is questionable at best. Amhara groups are exhilarated by the desperate action of Abiy Ahmed, however the majority Ethiopians almost unanimously are infuriated. Especially Oromo activists are extremely angry about the erecting of yet another Amhara king’s statue in the capital city of their regional state.

In the eyes of the Oromo people in particular and southern Ethiopians in general Menlik II and his cousin Haileselassie I are responsible for countless abuses in their dignity, language, culture and history. Not only that the two kings who are partly Oromo by blood are accused of carrying out genocide the region. The Somalis, Afars, and every other ethnic group in Ethiopia have the same accusation on the two Amhara kings.  

When it comes to the people of Tigrai, both Menlik and Haileselassie are hated more than any Ethiopian rulers. Most of the reasons are similar to the rest of Ethiopians, but in addition to that Tigraians are disgusted by Menlik II for conspiring with the Italians and dividing the Tigringa speaking people of the Horn of Africa, for selling half of the land of Tigraians and its ports to the Italians, for helping the Derbush of Sudan against Emperor Yohannes fourth. The people of Tigrai are equally disdained by Haileselassie for fleeing the Ethiopia abandoning the people when the Italians invaded Ethiopia in 1935.

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The Tigraians real contempt for Emperor Haile Selassie comes from the crimes he committed against them especially in 1943. In and around 1935 a rebellion called the “Woyane” was born in southern Tigrai centered in Raya and Ederta areas, but eventually spread to the rest of Northern provinces of Tigrai.  By 1943 the rebel army has defeated the central imperial forces led by the then Minsiter of war Ras Abebe Aregai, General Essayas, General and Abebe Damtew. The imperial army was armed with tanks, modern artillery, and supported by British air force and British Special Forces.

The Tigrai rebellion born in the south of Tigrai spread north to Tembien, Wuqro and other parts of the state. In the battle fields the Tigraians completely annihilated the much larger Imperial army which has superior weaponry humiliating the Ethiopian military generals and their British allies. Thousnds of government soldiers General Essayas among them and many of the British soldiers were killed. The capital city of Tigrai Mekelle was captured by the Woyane rebels and they declared they will administer their state by themselves asking the rest of the provinces of Tigrai to join them. At this point the Hailesilassie government asked their British friends to begin bombardment of the city of Mekelle. The British Royal air force bombarded Mekelle city and other strong holds of the movement on October 6, 1943 until October 9 1943. They dropped 68 bombs in the city of Mekelle alone killing thousands of civilians and rebels.

The rebellion in Tigrai was temporarily put under control, but shortly after the defeat of the first Woyane Haile silassie decided to take away huge parts of Tigrai land in the south and north west and made them part of Wollo and Gonder.

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Here you have some of the reasons why the Tigrai people would hate to see the traitors statue erected anywhere in Ethiopia, but we will see what action the Oromos will take against this treachery of Abiy Ahmed for letting the Amhara extremists to defecate yet another ugly reminder of their suffering in their state capital.

Statue of Emperor Haileselassie unveiled in Ethiopian capital
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