By Ephrem Madebo
“The marriage of of leader with no heart and a nation with no rage is a recipe for disaster” My father
In 1991, Zenawi handed Ethiopia’s port of Assab to Eritrea against the will of the Ethiopian people. In 2002, he obstinately gave Bademe to Eritrea after shading the blood of thousands of brave Ethiopians. In 2008, he gave a large strip of land to Sudan. In 2010, 2012, and in 2014 ... What else, and who knows? Does anyone want to know what is left in Zenawi’s gift bag? Well, it is you; it is me; our children, our legacy, and everything that we’re proud of having. Recently, after he gave a good part of Gondar to Sudan, PM Meles addressed the parliament to explain his action. This is what he said:-“The demarcation of the Ethiopia-Sudan border will not displace anybody on either side”. Surprisingly, the applaud in the comatose parliament sounded as if Omar al-Beshir was addressing the Sudanese parliament. What a same! I don’t blame Meles; the problem is all with us. Meles observed us for 17 years and he saw in us what he eagerly wanted to see. Hey, wake up Habesha! Meless’ next move is to export our wives to Dubai and Abudabi and tell the parliament - Don’t worry they will not sleep with another man. Sorry for the foul language, but this is what is looming and I can’t hold it anymore. After all, the plot is on my country!
Oh! My God! What is wrong with the Ethiopian parliament? What is it composed of? Representatives of the people, or a bunch of nitwits that blindly follow the blind move of Meles Zenawi? I can buy your notion of party loyalty, but there is no party loyalty that defies national responsibility. Your ultimate loyalty is to your country, not to your party. Constitutionally, in Ethiopia, sovereignty resides in the parliament i.e., parliament is the ultimate legislative body in the country. Article 8.3 of the constitution states: “Sovereignty shall be expressed through the peoples' representatives, elected by them in accordance with this Constitution, and through their direct democratic participation”. In 1998, the Ethiopian parliament approved a war bill to liberate Bademe. In 2002, the same parliament approved a bill that handed over liberated Bademe back to Eritrea. Dear honorables and fellow country men, do you know that Meles has no business of defining the Ethiopian border? Territorial and border issues are considered only by you [parliament]. You were supposed to be the last line of defense to Ethiopia's unity and territorial integrity; yet, last week, when Meles Zenawi told you that a land has been awarded to Sudan, you applauded just like a fool that missed the joke, but laughed anyway. As long as a bill comes from Isayas Afewerke [through Meles] to annex Tigray, I have no doubt that our lousy ‘yes only’ parliament will gladly pass the bill. Dear honorables, when you as a legislative branch agree with Meles 100% of the time, our nation needs one of you, not both. At least my readers will agree because it’s less of an evil.
Thanks to our fathers and forefathers, the name Ethiopia was synonymous with national pride and valor. I wonder if this is still true and if we still call ourselves the sons and daughters of Tewdros, Menelik, Abdissa, and Balcha. Each of these heroes died so that we can live valiantly today. Actually, they didn’t die; they gave a new beginning to Ethiopians and continuity to Ethiopia. All of these heroes have one thing in common – They all loved Ethiopia more than themselves! Do we? Tewdros and Menelik created a larger Ethiopia. Balcha and Abdissa maintained the greatness of Ethiopia. Emperor Haile Selassie was a failure in his domestic polices and the one who replaced him was a failure in everything. However, both Haile Selassie and Mengistu fought with unmatched tenacity to make sure that each inch of land that belonged to Ethiopia stayed within Ethiopia.
Today, we have a leader that gives our land to outsiders and tells us about a GDP growth to keep us passive. I’m afraid, if our land is sold at this rate, I don’t care if our economy booms or explodes, by the time Ethiopia grows in to the group of middle income nations, there will be no more Ethiopia. All of our past national leaders settled or solved territorial problems before they become national emergency. Emperor Yohannis made a one-way journey to Metema, and “Emeye” Menelik traveled all the way to Adwa to stop aggressor. Today, we have a leader afflicted with psychosis that gives our land to a foreign nation and addresses his parliament to justify his wickedness. If a psychotic glib tongue from no where has the heart to justify the breakup of our country, then either we are created with no heart what so ever, or our existence has no justification. An existence that can not be justified has no value and purpose; and when life is so empty and filled with invariable misery, I think it is worth sacrificing if for the good of the next generation. Are we scared of dying? Well, we all died long time ago when we quietly allowed Meles to realize his dream, so why fear the past? By the way, the strength of our enemy emanates from our fear and weakness. If Mandela was scared of dying, apartheid would have still been the norm in his country; and he wouldn’t have lived to be the first black president of South Africa. Are we scared of losing our property or wealth? Forget wealth or property! We are on the verge of losing mother Ethiopia. What more can we loose? No more hallucination! Ethiopia is making her last call from a virtual grave, let’s wake up and answer the call.
There is no human being that snores when his/her life is in jeopardy, and there is no nation that has no will to fight when its sovereignty is endangered. Why should we? It is true that Ethiopia is a country where principle dominates emotion. This has been proved in the 1960 coup d’état, in the 1974 revolution, and in the very dangerous days of 1991 when we virtually had no government for almost a week. It is good to be a nation of principle, but it is also very important to blend principle with emotion when the moment is right. Emotional reactions are not inherently bad, wrong, rude, or immature. They can often add valuable context to our struggle, making the human element impossible to ignore. The TPLF mobs have hurt us, angered us, and belittled us for seventeen straight years. I don’t understand why our anger doesn’t grow in to rage. Rage, especially now, in this most crucial time of our history, is the most important emotion to heal. Yes in deed, range is necessary to heal a nation that suffers from past and present wounds. Mind you, like I said it above, we are not healing rage when we use angry words in scathing articles. When principle fails to work due to lack of reciprocity, rage is the only way that carries our ability to say NO! Rage helps us to rise to the occasion and forces the bad guys to follow principle.
Is it PM Zenawi’s never-ending conspiracy against our country and his disrespect to the people that shapes Ethiopia of the new millennium, or our determination to continue as a nation? Whose will is stronger; his, or ours? This is not about Tigray, Gondar, Sidamo, or Wellga etc, this is about Ethiopia. Our greatness comes from our indivisibility, and our survival as a nation comes from our collective oneness. For many years our response for the treasons of Zenawi has been a little anger, a little cursing, and a little denouncing. Such soft and toothless responses did not and will not stop Meles Zenawi from completing his diabolic mission. Obviously, it is easy to denounce a traitor like Meles, what is not easy is to understand him and to stop him from committing the next harm. Do we understand Meles? If our answer is yes, then we need to stop him from diminishing Ethiopia. Meles can not and must not prevail; all that is necessary for him to prevail is that we keep on acting like a toothless lion.
I wish I had the opportunity to campaign all over Ethiopia and express my emotion by shading my tear like Hilary Clinton. I’ve had many joyous and sad moments in my life, but I have never felt so empty and powerless in my entire life. When you finish reading this article, please don’t just sympathize with me, gnash your teeth, and go back to dormancy. No, please don’t! We all know that the past hasn’t been so easy and there were many wounds that were never allowed to heal. However, you, I, and we as a society have to depart from the past for the sake of a new begging. Forget the past? Absolutely no because the past is a lesson for tomorrow; we just don’t have to dwell on it. When we have a common destination and a common country that we call home, trust is the only relationship of reliance between us. What is trust? Trust is letting others know our feelings, emotions and reactions, and having the confidence in them to respect us and to not take advantage of us. Trust is the ability to let others into our life so that we and they can create a mutual respect, caring, and concern to assist one another in growing, and lifting our nation independently and collectively. Trust is the only way to transform our individual weaknesses into collective strength; therefore, we should trust each other individually and as a group. Ethiopia is much stronger when the Oromos trust the Amharas, and most importantly, our country will be indivisible and her growth shall be guaranteed when all the other nationalities of Ethiopia trust every move of the Amharas and the Oromos.
Ethiopia is a country that fought for the freedom of other countries, but her own people are dispersed around the globe looking for the very thing that they fought for others. Ethiopia had a well-defined border way before the Norman Conquest of England, today; thanks to a thoughtless leader, Ethiopia’s border is being redefined to appease a country created by England at the dawn of the 20th century. Ethiopia is one of the ancient countries that roamed the seas, today, Ethiopia’s 75million people depend on the port of tiny Djibouti while their pig-headed leader tells the world - “the majority of Ethiopians love to be landlocked” Mind you, this is a script from his interview broadcasted to his own people. Yes, you heard me right! Broadcasted to his own people. What a disgrace and what a pathological liar! My fellow Ethiopians, the story goes on and on and on unless we go out of our way to stop it.
As much as we love our adopted culture of outdoor cooking and a journey to the beach, this summer we must hold back ourselves from all summer rituals to redefine our association with our native land. Yes, summer is a time to renew ourselves with the solar power of the sun; but this summer must be a moment of reflection and a time to renew our covenant with our country. This summer we have to choose between “to be” and “not to be”, between respect and disrespect, between Ethiopia and no Ethiopia. If we fail to make the right choice, we will be ridiculed as a human being, humiliated as a nation, and possibly nicknamed - “African Gypsies”. A war has been waged on our identity. My fellow country men/women, this is not just a war; it is a conspiracy to diminish our geo-political importance in Africa. NOT ON OUR WATCH! I repeat, NOT ON OUR WATCH! We are in a promising horizon and in a new millennium. Our nation is in labor, the cramping and the contraction has begun. Let’s induce this unique labor and welcome the birth of a new leader, a leader that loves Ethiopia and restores the pride of Ethipiawinet. A leader that has the wisdom to lead and the loyalty to follow. Fellow Ethiopians, we are confronted with two choices: a choice to die for others, or a choice to see others die. Well, either way we die. When we die for others, we give them hope and a sense of purpose to live. When we choose to see others die, we die, they die, and we all die. Let’s lead by example, let’s make the right choice. True leadership is not the urge to stand above all; it is the urge to stand for all. God bless Ethiopia!