DEBTERAW -The Missing Link
Footprints of Assimba and Wallelign, II
By Obo Arada Shawl
February 13, 2010
In the 1970s, the educated class of M’huran and Tsinhate M’huran collided head on ideological as well as on the political agendas for Ethiopia. But for the average man or woman, there was no difference between these two concepts – ideology & politics.
For the rural people ባላገሩ ሀገረሰብ ideology was based on their religious beliefs while for the urban dwellers, it was based on the political power of money and on the whims of the kingmakers.
DEBTERAW’s teachings, however, was simple and straightforward. It includes distinguishing between a human being, a citizen and a patriotic citizen. First and foremost, he used to encourage members to give priority to human beings, as it is so natural for him. And I guess, philosophically, human is an all-inclusive element. Moreover, DEBTERAW appreciates and encourages the patriotic citizens without demeaning the ordinary citizens.
MIESON (All Ethiopia Socialist Movement), EPRP (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party) were the two contenders to teach and disseminate the power of ideology and politics to Eathiopians. On that account both have succeeded to a certain degree.
Notwithstanding their accomplishments, both organizations have failed to provide RTE (Radio, Television and Electronics) to the populace. I am referring to the provisions of tools for communications. As the result of lacking these tools of communication, the revolution went astray. Note that liberty and freedom was not the same thing as the tools of communication (RTE).
The ordinary guard ላብ አደር as called by EPRP ወዝ አደር officer as called by MIESON not only deciphers the names of these two political organizations but also the concepts behind their names. MIESON signifies all, Ethiopia, Socialist and Movement whereas EPRP is associated with Ethiopia, People, Revolution and Party. Out of these terms, today, only Party seems to be validated. Nowadays, let alone for an outsider, understanding the meanings of the terminology for revolution, socialism, political party and democracy, it was and still is difficult even for the members of the organizations.
As if concepts of Socialism, Revolutionary, Movement and People were not enough to do harm, we are again confronted by such phrases of EPRDF – same thing but with addendum of democratic, front and other names and adjectives. These days there are too many acronyms and abbreviations in the Eathiopian political scenarios. In Eritrea, an acronym of PFDJ has replaced EPLF and the opposition websites is growing by the day also with many acronyms and abbreviations. Will these trends clarify or obfuscate? To obfuscate our problems with extraneous information will not help us in any way. We need to learn from our past history.
Take, for instance, the following name confusions that had blocked Ethiopia’s revolutionary development.
Confusion from the past
Without knowing the meanings of our given names, the languages of our culture, there will be no communication among us, and without communication there will be no progress of any sort human or technological – it will just be a messed up situation. I remember the case when one of our friends was summoned to a court via a letter written in Ge’ez, he did not respond but when it was written in Latin script he responded believing that justice would prevail in his favor because of the Latin Script. Such conditions terribly annoy DEBTERAW. Let me take examples from past experiences.
Can anyone differentiate between the names of?
- Tsegaye vs. Tsegaye?
- Mesfin vs. Mesfin
- Nigusie vs. Nigusie
The first names refer to the copycat and to the revolutionary artists respectively. The first artist has been translating foreign literature for domestic consumption; the other artist has been creative. The second name groups refer to the professors one of whom is a pretender par excellence and the other as true to reality. And the third group names refers to the radio journalists one of whom who has practiced journalism but neither has the capacity nor the integrity for the trade while the other was not educated in journalism but possessed the integrity of the trade. Whom do we choose? Give the answer for your close friends.
Confusions from today
Abraham Belay = AB = በላይ
Abebe Belew = AB = በለው
Aregawi Berhe = AB = በርሔ
All three of the last names signify ‘feudal’ culture; call me by my name, what is my name?
I have heard conversations of the above individuals who are the managers/owners of website, radio and author respectively.
It is amazing that in the past, we were confused by our given names and now trade and foreign names are confusing us. The discussion was about Abay River (they call it the Nile). The discussion was about the current regime of Melese who gave it away to Egypt.
On the eve of the Eway Revolution, Egypt announced that it would go to war if Ethiopia dams the Nile. This was right after Debella Dinsae, a member of the Derg ruling committee addressed to employees of Ethiopian Airlines that each Ethiopian citizen would put a stone on the Abay River so that we can bargain for one liter of water to one liter of oil. For that reason, the Airlines employees gave the name of Debella as the “ዓባይ ገዳቢው - one who blocks the river flow - of Abay. At the time I was neither knowledgeable of Abay nor of the Nile Basin. As at now, I have a working knowledge of the Abay River Basin and a remote interest in the Nile River.
During the DERG era, I was on assignment to connect Godjam with Wollega. It took me many years to study the project for the simple reason for lack of access to the Water Resources Library Department. No one was allowed to use the Blue Nile Basin Study. For the delay, Ato Hailu Shawl who desperately wanted the project to be ready for Russian financiers reprimanded me verbally. (This may be another topic for another day).
I am of the opinion that the discussion either on the Abay River Basin by Belay and the Belew or the writing of Berhe will clarify neither the Eathiopian agriculture nor the Eathiopian Revolution. In both cases, there is far more to it waiting for discussion and elaboration.
Nevertheless, on today’s world, unlike MIESON and EPRP who were unable to provide the Ethiopian people RTE (radio, TV and electronics), pal talks, websites and radio talk shows are being mushroomed all over us. Of particular interest, the following instruments of change, in my opinion are striving to accomplish the following tasks.
Assimba pal talk helping in creating institutional relationship
Website Ethiomedia – giving advice
Radio Addis Dimtz – building relationships
I understand that a common temptation is jumping too soon to the answer. It is human for us to want to be understood, before being ready to listen to radio talk show. We all know that earning trust is both emotional and rational and above all trust is mainly personal as opposed to institutional relationship. I hope Assimba, Ethiomedia and Addis Dimtz will heed to my suggestions.
The reality check
The purpose of merging Eritrea and Ethiopia is simple and straightforward for the foreign powers. On one hand, there are groups of foreigners who believe that the two countries should be together for the simple reason that their strength will help the West. The rational and emotional reason for them is that the Red Sea Corridor (RSC) and the Blue Nile Basin (BNB) will be very useful for security, and trade upon which their value depends. While on the other, there are groups who wish that Eritrea and Ethiopia should never become one. The reason for this group is inasmuch as opposing the West’s view; they wanted to destroy the ancient name of Ethiopia with all its heritages and values.
The American interest
Africa twice the size of America in population, resources and size is on the eyes of America. For initial controlling purposes, America focuses on Egypt-Eathiopia-South Africa.
The European Union
Europe has more contacts with African countries and it claims, EU knows African languages, EU knows African culture and EU has relations with African economy.
What is our stand on these issues? Are we to side with those who want to yoke us or to separate us? The discussion should not be about the foreigners who receive water and soil or investors. It should be about us, the local population – the peasants and workers. It is within this context that the Eway Revolutionaries have embarked on a long struggle. Both peasants and workers should continue to be producers and manufacturers and not consumers. As at now, we have nothing to consume unless we import and to import we need to export.
The Unfinished Ethiopian Revolution
Revolution Yekatit 66 was a welcome event. Initially, it was well received by everybody and everyone, I presume, including the Emperor himself. According to reports, the Emperor was ready to relinquish his political power provided his concerns were met. His concerns were of
I don’t know how his concerns were met by the DERG. What I know is that the same concern is still persistent in our Community. If you associate with the Tsinhate Muhur Akal, you perhaps know the answer but if you belong to the Muhur Akal, probably you are in denial of the reality.
No average human would understand the conditions in Eathiopia unless he or she is in denial of the reality. Neither the question of continuity of the Monarchy nor of the question of Eritrean Independence was raised on Yekatit 66. Both issues for political independence and modernization were predated of Yekatit 66. What Yekatit 66 has done was a usurpation of power and ideology – the power of political leadership and the concept of ideological independence.
Those who are unable to look inward have failed to even trust themselves. They have developed a tendency to blame others or circumstances which is a recipe for unhappy life. Blame is the flip side of credit. There is an old saying that says “ It is amazing what you can achieve if you are not wedded to who gets the credit.”
Ego strength is not the same as self-confidence. Those who were not involved in the Eway Revolution were and are insecure and those who understood the need for change were and are self-confident. They followed the leadership of CC and C. That is Confidence-Commitment by EPRP collective leadership and Contribution by its members.
What is an Ethiopian Revolution?
I have written articles on revolution of different kinds before and I have even coined a word phrase to be helpful for Ethiopia, the Eway Ethiopian Revolution. Does this have meanings? I bet it does.
One way of defining the Revolution of Ethiopia was the attempt to replace Emperor Haile Sellasie, who had ruled Ethiopia for over four decades and whose line of heritage to rule over Ethiopia would have been 226.
This line of thinking for replacement – only in form – was and still being attempted by those who failed such as the DERG and the EDU and many others and currently who would also fail by EPRDF, TPLF and all currently engaged with the government “supposedly” to share a seat in government. What government are we talking about? The elected government of Ethiopia! If the government has been elected, why will there be any fight in the country of the peace loving country? The situation in Eritrea, the condition in Ogaden, the complaints in Oromia and more recently in the ethnics of Amhara, Gurage, Anjuak and others would reveal the dire need for change. And more importantly who wants to be ruled by ethnic minority? I mean by the ethnic minority of Yemi population probably of less than 50,000 or Adare minority? Nobody wants that kind of governance. If we take the logic far enough to its conclusions, we will reach there.
There are various types of missing points not to mention, religion, culture, and social lives. Of particular importance is the politics of election along with its economic policy. The question at hand, even after four decades, is the legitimacy of political power in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Instead, there seem too many side issues. It is true that the Revolution and counter-revolution have brought changes in our culture, social and religious behavior and belief. If we believe these changes are not to our standard values, then, we should be able to change the governments in power whether by ballot or bullet (BB).
The game of “election 2010” is a foregone conclusion. The Tigrai nationalists have won, either we should accept it or reject it. In Eritrea, the Hamasien nationalist has won, either we accept it or reject it. The difference is that in Hamsien, there is no game of election whereas in Tigrai, there is what normally in this age could be labeled as “primitive or outdated”. We have to make, a choice. End of story.
The Eway Ethiopian Revolution
The Eway Revolution is a search engine and it is the path that DEBTERAW and his Revolutionary Party followed. The origin is Assimba mountain, it is being negotiated by DEBTERAW’s life and death situations and finally reaching the goal of Waleligne to become one strong, stable, democratic and open society in the name of Eathiopia ኤትዮጵያ .
In other words, EPRP is the sole organization that looks inward to search the best way for solving the leadership vacuum that is hanging after the end of the Monarchy. Already, EPRP has asked to be called by its name, function and its goal. The name is ETHIOPIA, the function is REVOLUTIONARY and the aim is DEMOCRACIA and the bell rings for the PEOPLE. What more do we need? Call me by my name what is my name?
We should come to a common ground and symbol. What are these common symbols and grounds? My own suggestions are the three Fs (One Flag, One Fidel and many freedoms).
TRUTH WILL PREVAIL
For comments and questions