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Commiserations Motherland -Tigrai!

By Yared Huluf
Tigrai Online , Sept. 19, 2019

Commiserations Motherland -Tigrai!

The treachery inflicted by Menlik a century ago is still reverberating and sending shockwaves of misery in Tigrai


One can forgive but not forget, and forgive Tigray shall the wicked acts inflicted upon when the people had done nothing untoward to deserve the payloads. 

Menelik and his successors were no ordinarily villains; they were rogues and Svengalis in a skid row one happens find. Menelik actively collaborated with the fascists to break the backbone of Tigray to vitiate its Potency to assert its sovereignty as well as for financial and military hardware gains to help retained the power he had cunningly usurped.

The damaged and treachery that was inflict well over a century is still reverberating and sending shockwaves of misery and destitution, Tigray  is still unable to recover from; as if the primordial sin against own subject Menelik had committed has atavistic trait that passes on from one generation to the next in an ever more intensity and depth. It is difficult to tell, but one wonders if Menelik was an evil genius with Rasputin’s mind to come up with such a plot. Menelik is the only despotic ruler he had crossed the line and sold his own subject to yet another imperial power.

Actually Menelik did not possess Rasputin’s complex mind evil as it was. He was rather cupidinous, wanting to have it all. If he had his druthers he would have had compromised the entire of Bahere Negash and Tigray up to and including Ale Weha Melash as he was so desperate to hold on to the power, to the Italians for the same amount of money and armament They had already pledged had it not been for his spouse, Etege Teytu’s yet another flimflam to a different end. But make no mistake she was not a God sent angel either. She had her own sinister plan in the making to care for and execute when the time ripened. The worst effect Tigray had to be weary of which Menelik had hoped he had caused to come to last, did in fact come to last to this day though not because of him but because of Itege Taytu’s counter plot unbeknown to him and The Shoran aristocrats. Taytu preposterously protested that her husband’s seat on the throne could not be blessed and consummated without Axum being part of his domain. The move to shove off Axum and its environs to the Italians was beyond the pale, she argued and was positively listened to.


Had Menelik succeeded in implementing what he had in mind, things would have been different for Tigray after the defeat of the Italian in the Second World War. There would not have been Tigray and Eritrea per se but something different and better for both the two nations. But fate had it; coincidence and conjuncture of opposing views and desires of two Powerful couple sharing the same space but representing antagonistic cabals that of the Showa and Begemedir dynasties led to current outcome, Tigray  still finds it difficult to overcome.

Taytu did not want all Tigray to be handed over to the Italians, for sure;  but why one would ask? Well, it appears she was preparing herself and the Siemen nobility to ascend to power if and when Menelik gave way as he was suffering from incurable ailment he had little or no chance to recover. She knew this and she was working tirelessly to maximize her gain. To this end, she felt she had a potential force amassed in Begemeder under her brother, Welle; following the footsteps of deceased of Uncle Ras Wube Hailemariam. She had also assumed Tigray was under her Oxter as the husband  of her nice , Emebet Hoy Kefey Welle- Ras Mengesha ‘Yohannes' was in command and he or his son Ras Seyum would come to her aid to wrench the throne from the Showan cabals. She and her brother had the plan to move the capital to Gonder, and they nearly succeeded; forcing the Shoah cabals to take the unpalatable step to put Eyasu IV on the throne under Tessema Nadew as Regent Plenipotentiary. That failed she had also another plan up in her sleeves - that Zewditu, in her fourth leg, married her nephew Gugsa Welle to ensure the power transfer took place come high or low water. To spice her marriage Empress Zewditu in turn Offered Gugesa Welle the fertile land of Tigray, Wekait Tsegede as a dowry to incorporate it with his larger domain of Begemedir. In the end the Shoan cabals wake up from their slumber and dealt with the imminent danger they faced from Taytu, Welle, daughter-in-law, Zewditu and Gugsa. Finally they eliminated Gugsa Welle at the battle of Anchem March 31 1830 and two days later April 2 1830 she too dead in mysterious circumstances.  

But for Tigray and the land stolen the Shoans cabals were happy to endorse and exploit it as intended. This was not all, down the line, as time moved on or is it moved back! another great nephew of Itege Taytu, Ras Seyoum Mengesha, who only had felt comfortable snuggled in the blossoms of Amhara ladies, bestowed yet another fertile swathes land of Tigray- Ray- as a dowry to his daughter and granddaughter of Ras Ali of Wollo,  Leilit Welete Israel - bridegroom, Crown Princes AsfaWossen, who was also great grandson of the same Ras Ali.

Under the Shoan rulers, Tigray lost its self identity: its alphabet and vocabularies were stolen. 90% of Amharic language has its roots taken from Tigrigna and Geez and yet Tigrians were compelled to learn the Amharic language. Religious ceremonies including Qudasie began being conducted in Amharic as if Geez and Yates’s hymns are not relevant. Young students were enticed to treasure and cherish a notebook with the portraits of the Emperor and selected few members of his family. The Emperor lived as jannock appointed by God.  Incidentally, the public has never heard or seen some members of the family. For example the four sons and daughters of Itege Menen (Belaynesh Ali, Asfaw Ali, Desta Amede and Gebreegziaber Amede) Their right to live with their mother appeared to be denied and it seems they were rusticated to a place they would not be seen. This says a lot about the Amhara historian and politicians who were complicit and could not defend the rights such dignitaries let alone the ordinary people. They are telling us now we all ought to subscribe to a unitary identity, where only Amhara, Amharic language and culture prevail.

You have worldwide airline called Ethiopian where the mode of communication and entertainment is Amharic and Amharic music and films. This ought to stop now if people are to live together. You can’t have your cake and eat it!!