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27/12/2018 16:15 PM
Stop the hate-campaign epidemic, internalise the spirit of reconciliation and Go win-win:
By Petros Tesfagiorgis
In the Amhara owned social media there is an awful hate campaign against the TPLF and the People of Tigray such as: ኣስደሳች ዜና፡ ወያነ ዳግም ሞተች : Pleasant news TPLF died for the second time. It is simply a death wish. It is sawing the seeds of violence gripping Ethiopia every day. The hate-campaign has impacted these tragic violence in Ethiopia.
The campaign is of epidemic proportion and the standard of decency is shamefully low. It is provocative, threatening and may lead to armed clashes, God forbid. As usual the victims of conflict are the ordinary Ethiopian citizens not the campaigners because most of them do so from their comfort zone in the West. They and their family can’t be displaced, murdered or maimed as is happening in many areas of Ethiopia today particularly in the South. We Eritreans are very clear that peace with Ethiopia means with all nations and nationalities in Ethiopia and not to be used as a weapon to undermine the people of Tigray.
However it is Abiy who allowed Isaias to interfere in the internal affairs of Ethiopia in order to appease the extremists Amhara. As a result of side-lining the people in the peace process and interfering in the internal affairs of Ethiopia, the resentment of the people of Eritrea against Isaias is growing fast. The attempted murder of General Sebhat Ephrem should have been a lesson to Ethiopians of what is brewing in Eritrea. PM Abiy has shown no interest in the people of Eritrea. The least he may have done is to show some concern to Eritrean refugees trapped in Libya and plead the UNHCR to take them to a third country or join in the refugee camps in Ethiopia. They are starved, tortured and subjected to other forms of violations. See Photo of Eritrean refugees in Khom, Libya.
The only consolation for Eritreans is that on the border there was great happiness as Eritreans and Ethiopians greet each other, tears flowing down their cheeks. It is a sign of genuine people to people solidarity. It is peace building move of a kind that shined during the armed struggle. After all it was the military cooperation of TPLF and EPLF that defeated the Soviet armed and trained army of the fascist military junta led by Colonel Mengustu Hailemariam. Of course the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has also contributed a lot to the defeat of the Junta (Dergue). OLF together with EPLF had a lightening attack that destroys military garrisons of the Dergue in the South.
The Tigreans were clear of the right of Eritreans for self-determination and supported the independence of Eritrea like the rest of the world while the Amhara wavered. Even to this day, while the peace process is unleashed many Ethiopian writers keep writing undermining the Eritrean struggle. Few Eritreans that support Isaias have failed to see the big picture and are siding with Isaias against Tigray.
MJ Waliku Arsema
Refugees in Al Khoms, Libya. They are being enslaved, sold off and tortured, there are 90 refugees, 44 are minors, 10 are women, and they are being abused and forcibly disappeared. Please register them immediately and evacuate them to safety! Write to UNHCR Libya and Italy.
By Activist Julia Tranchina- human rights lawyer in London:
The Tigray politicians, intellectuals and the youth are taking the threat seriously and are organizing conferences and debates nationwide to analyse and understand the whole motive behind the hate campaign and the extraordinary witch hunt.
They organised demonstrations in many cities. The demonstrations were the biggest expression of a popular culture of defiance and reflects the combative mood of the entire Tigray nation when they find themselves under attack. It was also a show of unity and confidence.
During the demonstration, The Tigray regional State Vice President Dr Debretzion Gebremikael gave a talk with calm and restraint. He appealed for the rule of law, which is in short supply, and criticized the Abiy Government for failing to protect the victims of Ethnic conflict and called for active involvement to end it. The hate-mongers does not accept this constructive criticism because it came from Dr Debretzion. The hatred of Tigray blinded the hate-mongers that Debretzion is reformist who is putting the welfare of the people of Tigray centre stage. Interestingly he expressed his priority to combat the main enemy, poverty. This has reminded me of a big Poster at Meskel Square Addis Ababa during Eritrean Diaspora civil society meetings in 2011. The posters had pictures of Late PM Melles Zenawi with children – It said “we will inherit our young development and not hunger”. I stood mesmerized and murmured “Cry my beloved Eritrea” Eritrea that won the war for independence but lost the peace when Isaias started the war with Ethiopia and further declared war on the people of Eritrea, subjecting them to extreme repression. It gave rise to the influx of huge number of refugees to exile.
The disease-of hate has deeper roots in the body politics of Ethiopia. It is an attack against the federal system that ended the supremacy of the repressive Amhara feudal system and gave the ex-oppressed nationalities self-rule, dignity and identity. The ex-oppressed nationalities have achieved visible and effective political representation and they would not let this supremacists abort the federal system in order them to rule from the centre “Addis Ababa, the seat of Menlik from where he build a strong feudal Empire by invading the Oromos. They know they can’t reclaim their supremacy they don’t have the power. But they took as a holy mission to take revenge on TPLF.
The hate promoters are so insincere and vicious they never mention that Ethiopia is transformed from years of poverty stricken country into a country who scored the highest economic growth in Africa. Do they remember the 1972 famine which killed 2 million Ethiopians? It heralded the downfall of Emperor Hailesellasie, who tried to hide the famine? Do they remember the 1985 famine when the Band aid singers, led by Sir Bob Geldof, raised millions of dollars – to fed the hungry in Ethiopia? “The title of the Song was “Do they know it is Christmas” The song is sung every X-mass in UK ever since. As I write this article I have listened to it on the radio. But I can’t help thinking “Do the Eritreans men, women and children trapped in Libya know it is Christmas? No. they don’t know. They know they are in hell and no Isaias nor Abiy the soul mates want to know. The campaign by Eritrean in the West is so weak except for few Eritreans and human rights activists who are making a difference. Some Eritreans refugees were lucky, they are being rescued and managed to go to a third country.
Since the reign of EPRDF such terrible famine became history. There were draught but the EPRDF had laid down effective support structure to avert any famine – they distribute food from Ethiopian resources with some international help.
TPLF/EPRDF have connected the whole country for the first time by building an amazing roads and railways. Giving lots of support to rural development and the historical building of the Millennium dam etc. As a result today Ethiopia is the most respected country in Africa.
The federal system is spearheaded by TPLF dominated EPRDF under the leadership of late PM Meles Zenawi- He was hailed as a leading African Statesman. He was a member of the group together with Embeki the ex-president of South Africa and Tony Blair the then prime minster of United Kingdom – who worked on a projects to make “poverty history in Africa” After Meles’s death a number of us, Eritrean human rights activists and from the opposition were invited to attend his commemoration in London. There were a number of prominent British people. Among them was Gordon Brown UK Prime Minster – and Clair Short development secretary both expressed their experience dealing with him. They talked highly of Meles as the most able statesman and competent African leader. But the hate-promoters are morally bankrupt and mediocre not to acknowledge these facts. There was no leader in Africa that have that kind of high credentials internationally. Yes Meles was no Saint. He has reputation to be intolerant to the opposition and for the shooting and imprisoning of demonstrators. His Government had uprooted more than 70,000 Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritreans origin from Ethiopia to Eritrea during the senseless Ethio-Eritrean war in 1998. Ethiopia committed gross human rights violations in the process of deportation. Citizens for Peace in Eritrea (CPE) has documented all these violations. It was documented by Professor Asmarom Legesse.
The hate campaigners are not benefitting the people of Ethiopia they are distractive. Ethiopia has many external enemies and they will rejoice to see Ethiopia weak and divided. As a matter of justice to the people of Ethiopia and as a peace activist I don’t want to see that. In fact it is in the middle of the war in 1998 that CPE that includes me, Tewolde Estifanos from California, Professor Asmarom Largesse and four others, embarked on lobbying for sustainable peace with Ethiopia and made people to people solidarity at the central of our peace campaign.
CPE held peace building conference in Eritrea. And then aimed to meet Ethiopian civil societies in a third country. –Kjetil Tronvoll – a researcher at Norwegian Institute of Human Rights, University of Oslo arranged for me and the professor Asmarom to meet the then head of ERSHO Dr Gatachew Kibret in Norway. It has become difficult to arrange conferences but agreed to help deported victims in both Ethiopia and Eritrea instead.
The hate-campaigners would do positive contribution to Ethiopia if they live up to the spirit of re- conciliation, love respect advocated by PMAA instead of sabotaging it.
Merry Christmas: Let peace prevail
NB: In his season’s greetings, Kassahun Chekole director of Africa World Press and The Red Sea Press announced that the Eritrean distinguished professor of Anthropology Dr Asmerom Legesse has been honoured with an honour degree from Addis Ababa University: He is the author of Oromo Democracy. The order was rendered by Ato Lemma Megersa the governor of the Oromo region.
SELAM peace song for Etiopian and Eritrean: