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Obo Arada Shawl alias Wolde Tewolde

October 13, 2008

This is a response to some queries emailed to me by (Ato) Berhanu Tesfaye. My response may be politically incorrect. The questions are placed at the bottom of the article for reference.

1. 36-years of struggle by EPRP

2. The need for Research

3. Reasons for the fallout

4. Cursed generation

5. Six main parties

36 years of struggle

EPRP’s struggle was not only about 3 decades of struggle. Politically it was and is a struggle of a century. It was also about five centuries of struggle for social, environmental and cultural change/revolution.

Politically, EPRP in principle recognizes the efforts and attempts of Miniliks’ modernization, Tewodros’s concept of Unity, Yohannes’s religious faith and Haile Sellassie’s efforts for education. All these four kings lived in the last hundred years and they are the source of the perceived problems of the nationalists. DEBTERAW and his Revolutionary political party, EPRP foresaw the will and the sacrifice to further Modernization program through Unity and the value Belief through Education. But this unity and education goes further into centuries when Ethiopia lived without printing privileges.

According to DEBTERAW, however, modernization did not meant the importation of manufactured goods but through creativity and innovation by AEthiopians unlike that of Minilik who strived to access to the products of by scientists. DEBTERAW believed that Arts – littérateurs, art and culture collectively known as KINET could play important role in the development of Ethiopia.

The RE i.e. Yohannes’s belief could only be furthered by education alone. I guess that was why perhaps DEBTERAW became an educator/teacher. So you see Ato Berhanu, 36 years is nothing compared to the centuries of cultural and political change? In today’s terminology, EPRP was software as opposed to Shaebia or Woyane’s hardware organizations. In other words, unless and otherwise we collectively understand the history and culture (ዘር) of AEthiopia, there are plenty of years ahead of us before we reach our goal. The contribution of EPRP to the consciousness of AEthiopians to politics as well as to Arts and Literateaure should be recognized.

I am not denying the fact that EPRP’s struggle for collective leadership, trust among its members, justice for everyone and everybody by way of DEMOCRACIA was perfect. It was full of missteps and errors.


Who is going to do the research? Are there researchers who are interested in what EPRP has done or what has not done? I see and hear only people who only condemn EPRP. How much does the research cost? Professors and PhD. holders or others should address such questions... Most of the organizations you mentioned were doing something of value. I cannot emphasis to you the fact that some are good at actions while others are good in theories. EPRP has the traditions of having designers-planners-theoreticians and practicing individuals and groups. It is known as Sin’huate M’huran (ጽንሐተ ምሁራን).

Reasons for the fallout

You seem to be puzzled by addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It is the nature of mathematics –which is necessary in all walks of life. We cannot do without arithmetic let alone mathematics. There is no way to avoid this phenomenon. I think you ought to read about philosophy, psychology, sociology and economics. It will help to grasp the nature of human beings.

Cursed generation

Why do you use this word “curse”? It is not a proper word to use in politics. It is very unfortunate that Ato Kiflu Tadesse used “that generation while writing his book, ‘the generation’. That was a misnomer. He should have used an appropriate term instead of that generation. It is an abstract word – compare this to “that one” used by Senator McCain against Obama, which is interpreted in different ways. AEthiopians especially the youth are interpreting “that generation” as vague and foolish. It should be explained time and again with cyclical nature of life.

The generation that BT is referring was the generation that was selfless. The generation of AEthiopians who were searching for victory based on vote on the basis of voluntarism not on adventurism. And it is improper to call ‘that generation’ a cursed generation. What do you call this generation of today?

Six main parties

I cannot tell you that neither the life struggle between EPLF and ELF, OLF and TPLF, MEISON and EMALEDHI nor between EDU and EPRP. You have to do your own studies and research, though I can give you some guidance as to where to find data.

What I can elaborate to you is on the real fallout of EPRP from the others.

To make it easy for you and a lot of others, I have to use the following written documents in Amharic about EPRP’s strategy and methodology.

አለባብስው ቢያርሱ በአረም ይመለሱፍሬ ነገሩ፡ የአክሊሉ ካቢኔ በእንዳልካቸው ካቢኔ መተካቱን የሚቃውምና መሠረታዊ ለውጥን የሚጠይቅ ጽሑፍ (This was the first warning for AEthiopians by EPRP) የኢትዮጵያ ሰፊው ሰርቶ አደር ሕዝብ ይቅደምፍሬ ነገሩ፡ የመሳፍንት ስርዓትንና የውጭ አገር ከበርቴዎችን የሚቃወምና ከሠራተኛ፤ ከገበሬ፤ ከወታደርና ከምሁራን የተውጣጣ ጊዜያዊ መንግሥት እንዲቓቓም የሚጠይቅ። (This was a response to DERG’s slogan “ETHIOPIA TIKDEM”. ለውጥ ለሕዝብ - በሕዝብፍሬ ነገሩ፤ ዴሞክራሲያዊ ስርዓትን ለማምጣት ሕብረተስቡ መታገል እንደሚገባው የሚያትት።(This was a reply to those in doubt about the Revolution) ትክክለኛው ጎዳናፍሬ ነገሩ፡ መሳፍንት፤ አሳራሸ፤ አቀባባይና የቢሮ ከበርቴዎች የለውጥ ተቃዋሚዎችና የስፊው ሕዝብ ጠላቶች መሆናቸውን የሚያትት። (This was a reminder to all opposition groups at the time) አልሸሹም ዞር አሉፍሬ ነገሩ፤ ሕገ መንግሥቱ የሕዝቡን መስረታዊ ነፃነቶችንና ስብዓዊ መብቶችን የሚያረጋጥ፤ ኤኮኖሚው ለስፊው ሕዝብ ጥቅም እንዲውል የሚያደርግ፤ በኤትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች መሐከል በእኩልነትና በፈቃደኝነት የተመስረተ አንድነት እንዲገነባ መሠረት የሚጥል መሆን እንዳለበት የሚያትት። (this was written in response to MEISON’s derailment of the Revolution by giving the DERG green light as a Revolutionary group and this has become the beginning of the end for all our ill defined history of the Eway Revolution.)

Dear Woldetewolde

It is a nice piece of idea to give us some highlights about the nature and some core inception of the ELF, TPLF and EPRP but i differ in your ideas in such a way that all the three have the same zero sum game in bringing democratic rule and the rule of law because all of them have different visions from inception, ELF as you stated it focus on geographical liberation which is the same as EPLF but what astonish me that of EPRP, at inception being the core party to bring democratic rule in Ethiopia in conjunction with unity did not moved a millimeter during the last 36 years, why? Is it a curse or a blessing to the ruling party as well the Ethiopian people? Why always we prefer division and subtraction than addition and multiplication? What is the core reasons that after a while we disintegrate in all sectors of our struggle?

The above issues need detail research in terms of physical, mental and circumstantial evidences in the past years but to me the major fall out are simple and straight forward the reasons being: -

  • Egoism
  • Cultism
  • Nobody knows better than me
  • Refuting discussion on issues but focus discussion on individuals
  • (Maybe not sure), parties use some source of income to fill their bellies

Since I also call myself the product of this cursed generation which believe in division and grabbing new names whenever and whenever the branch start to grow, I did not belong to one or another party which were established in the beginning of the struggle whether we like it or not belong to four. Six main parties EPLF (ELF), OLF, EPRP, MEISON, EDU, EMALEDIH?

Would you please elaborate me some of the real fallout if they are different from the above.

With regards


Reconciliation for EPRP is all about having justice for ME and We. If really we want to be reconciled with EPLF, OLF, MEISON, EDU and EMALEDIH and other recent comers, here are two thoughts for consideration.

Advice for anti-EPRP:

The zebra of ነጭ ሳር in Gemu Gofa belongs together for one zebra is weak, many are powerful. That is their strength. It is our strength too. No person can live alone; it is not possible. We need each other. When we come together we are powerful. This wisdom is as old as humanity. Aesop, the Greek storyteller who lived many centuries ago, put this wisdom to words when he wrote in “The Four Oxen and the Lion,” “united we stand, divided we fall.” It is as simple as that; community is in our bones. AEthiopians are not particularly strong or fast, but their ability to cooperate with others to think, to communicate and work together makes them powerful. Mr. BT and others should think how to decipher his/their name in terms of GEEZ, Latin and Numbers, then try to communicate from the lowlands (ቆላ) to the highlands (ደጋ) and vice versa. It is not about language, it is about temperament and understanding.

Advice for EPRP members

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.



Empathy is crucial for living for oneself and others. It is empathy that helps us to connect our own desire for happiness to that held by others and to understand how similar we all are despite our differences. Empathy also unites. DEBTERAW’s EPRP was no short of empathy and happiness.

EPRP should be grateful for all its opponents for fighting a political Revolution and in return the Nationalists, the Monarchists, the Renegades and the Fascists will accept their wrong doings in the name of truth, justice and freedom.

Education was of paramount concern for DEBTERAW as such we should strive to achieve it.

The search to find DEBTERAW and his comrades should be given priority not for their sakes and their families but also for JUSTICE and DEMOCRACIA to prevail

For comments and critics

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