BY Alemayehu G. Mariam
It will be an understatement for me to say what happened on June 22 2019 in Bahr Dar, Amhara area of Ethiopia and in Addis Ababa has triggered me deep sorrow and anguish. Phrases fall brief in expressing my regrets.
On June 22, 2019, we lost a few of our best and brightest political and army leaders in a hail of bullets at the hands of misguided gunmen.
It was a senseless act of political violence harking back to Ethiopia’s “Darkish Ages”, the last 27 years.
The utopian Ethiopian I’m, I asked, “Why must brother kill brother?”
How applicable poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s edict in his Declaration of Rights, “Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only provides the infamy of servitude to the crime of homicide.”
It was a criminal offense of homicide that was committed by individuals in uniform on June 22, 2019.
It was a homicide that smacks of Shakespearean tragedy.
Brutus was an in depth ally of Basic Julius Caesar. However he grew disaffected and joined a faction that opposed Caesar. When that faction was defeated, Brutus surrendered and Caesar granted him amnesty. A lot later, Brutus joined one other plot which ended within the assassination of Caesar. Brutus dedicated suicide in the long run.
As Caesar was being stabbed to dying, he acknowledged Brutus among the many assassins and as he lay dying, Shakespeare wrote, uttered the words, “Et tu Brute?” (Even you, Brutus?).
The political leaders who have been massacred in Bahr Dar — Amhara Area President Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen, Lawyer Common Megbaru Kebede, Advisor Ezez Wassie and others — toiled to free the overall who executed them in cold blood from an almost decade-long imprisonment.
They obtained that basic amnesty and made him a free man. Then they prolonged him the good honor of joining their leadership to serve the individuals within the Amhara area.
They trusted their killer as a brother, as a colleague and as a comrade-in-arms. But he proved to be the proverbial man in Ethiopia who “has butter on his mouth but a dagger in his coronary heart.”
I questioned if the final phrases of the young leaders to the overall spraying them with bullets have been, “Why? Et tu Brutus! Is that this the way you repay us for our kindness? ‘No good deed shall go unpunished.’”
The army leaders who have been killed in Addis Ababa – Common Seare Mekonnen and Basic Gezai Abera – have been brothers in arms to the rogue common who masterminded the Bahr Dar massacres. They served their country honorably, patriotically and above and beyond the decision of obligation.
All Ethiopians owe a debt of eternal gratitude to the political and army leaders who have been massacred on June 22, 2019.
But the common that went rogue and have become a villainous murderer was as soon as our pal, our hero and our trustworthy brother too.
Like Brutus, he was as soon as an honorable man who stood for justice and equality and towards oppression and tyranny.
He was once liked by so lots of his compatriots for all his sacrifices, for his braveness and defiance and for his struggling throughout lengthy imprisonment.
But our good friend and brother abruptly became a brutish beast and misplaced his cause.
He turned formidable and the worth he exacted for his ambition was the dying of our greatest and brightest leaders.
I am still reeling in thought making an attempt to fathom the character of the mind that believes on the finish of the second decade of the 21st century that power comes out of the barrel of the gun.
I have come to the conclusion that only the weak will search power from the barrel of the gun.
The robust struggle with the facility of their ideas. They need no weapons as a result of they know weapons are not any match for ideas.
Victor Hugo wrote, “There’s one thing stronger than all of the armies on the planet, and that is an concept whose time has come.”
The time has come for many ideas to flower in Ethiopia.
But the time for concepts of warfare, hate, prejudice, division and exclusion is long gone.
The time for the thought of getting political power by the barrel of the gun has handed.
The time now’s for concepts of peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, unity, equality.
The time now’s for resolving differences by exchanging concepts, presenting new and artistic ideas and letting the individuals determine in the market of concepts which ideas are greatest.
But as I ponder deeply concerning the assassination of our distinguished leaders, I’ve come to the compelling conclusion that they were not murdered by a demented common and his lackeys but an concept that had poisoned their minds and hearts.
It is an idea that drove strange human beings with goodness of their hearts and purpose in their minds to turn out to be stone chilly killers.
It’s an idea that pulled the trigger fingers of those who committed the cowardly act.
It is an concept that has develop into a most cancers within the bodies and souls of all Ethiopians for the past 27 years.
It is a toxic concept all Ethiopians have been force-fed for the past 27 years.
It’s a viral idea that has been programmed deep within the minds of every Ethiopian for the past 27 years.
Those who pulled the trigger on June 22 have been programmed robots. They have been in a frame of mind control. They have been brainwashed.
That concept, the software that guided the trigger fingers of the killers on June 22 is “ethnic federalism”.
What is ethnic federalism?
Ethnic federalism is the greatest rip-off, con job and and best snake oil of the Tigrean Individuals’s Liberation Front (TPLF) ever bought to the Ethiopian individuals.
It is a poison capsule administered day by day to every Ethiopian by the TPLF.
Ethnic federalism is bastardized federalism.
It is perverted federalism.
It’s pretend federalism.
Ethnic federalism is to federalism as fool’s gold is to gold; astroturf is to grass; pretend news is to news; silk blooms are to real flowers; margarine it to butter; naugahyde is to leather-based; army music is to music and imitation crab meat is to real crab meat.
Ethnic federalism seems to be like federalism, talks like federalism and walks like federalism.
However at close inspection, ethnic federalism is stark naked ethnic apartheid.
That concept of ethnic federalism gave delivery to ethnic homelands referred to as kilils or kililistans in Ethiopia identical to racial apartheid created bantustans or black homelands in South Africa.
That idea of ethnic federalism created a nation of ethnic robots operating a software program program that all the time chooses the fallacious binary code.
The people who committed the atrocities on June 22, like many others in Ethiopia, ran the ethnic federalism software program and chose hate over love; division over unity; strife over dialogue; revenge over forgiveness; warfare over peace and falsehood over fact.
So, I say our brothers who died on June 22 have been murdered by an concept. By a bit of viral software program.
We all carry the ethnic federalism virus in our hearts and minds. The only distinction is a few of us are better capable of maintain it beneath control whereas others act out in wanton violence.
Let us not be smug in our holier-than-thou angle.
But for the grace of God, go we.
Allow us to look around. Allow us to look into our hearts and minds.
How many of us nurse and harbor the hateful ideology of ethnic federalism?
Once we point an accusatory finger at the killers on June 22, allow us to take a look at the three fingers which are pointing immediately at our hearts.
Allow us to be aware the leaders we lost on June 22 are only the newest victims of ethnic federalism.
The thought of ethnic federalism has been killing, maiming and displacing a whole lot of hundreds of Ethiopians for the previous 27 years.
Until we remain vigilant and defiant, the ethnic federalism that killed our brothers immediately will kill our Mother Ethiopia tomorrow.
But how can we battle and win towards this wicked concept and beliefs of ethnic federalism?
In June 1940, when France was beneath withering Nazi attack driven by an ideology of racial supremacy, the Allies requested, “How are we going to win?”
Winston Churchill on job barely a month spoke to Parliament. “In casting up this dread balance-sheet, considering our risks with a disillusioned eye, I see nice cause for intense vigilance and exertion, but none whatever for panic or despair.”
I, too, contemplating the risks of ethnic federalism with a disillusioned eye, am crammed with dread of potential civil struggle and civil strife.
However I’m in neither a state of panic nor of despair.
Certainly, I see great purpose for intense vigilance and exertion.
That’s why we should all the time keep in mind the worth of liberty, the worth of peace, the worth of justice and equality is everlasting vigilance.
Over the past yr, we now have witnessed evil by no means sleeps nor the wicked relaxation.
I see the palms of the Forces of Darkness behind the trigger fingers of the killers on June 22.
The Forces of Darkness assume they can’t be seen as a result of they reside within the valley of the shadow of demise and orchestrate evil all through the land.
But we will see them in a candle mild of fact. Let it’s recognized we won’t journey or fall into the traps they set day by day.
We must remain eternally vigilant towards those who seek political energy by means of the barrel of the gun.
I’m extra hopeful than ever the martyrdom of the brothers we misplaced will usher in a new era of civilized politics the place we struggle to win hearts and minds of the Ethiopian individuals with the weapon of uplifting ideas.
I’m more hopeful than ever that the blood of the patriots shed on June 22, 2019 won’t have been in useless.
Their blood will nourish the oak tree of liberty, democracy and peace in Ethiopia.
There isn’t a level in finger pointing now.
We all share the blame for what happened on June 22.
In July 2008, I wrote a commentary entitled, “We Have Met the Enemy, and He is Us”:
A few years ago, there was an previous cartoon referred to as “Pogo” which appeared commonly in American newspapers. The humorous animal characters in Pogo lived in a swamp group, which figuratively represented the range of American society and points dealing with it. That group started to disintegrate because its residents have been incapable of communicating with each other to cope with crucial and pressing points dealing with them. They wasted beneficial time on non-issues. In the future, Pogo noticed the swamp they stay in crammed with particles and litter. In reflective frustration he sighed, “We’ve met the enemy. He’s us!”
Pogo has an excellent point. As members of the Ethiopian pro-democracy motion we should always look within the mirror and ask primary questions of ourselves: Why can’t we unite as a worldwide drive for justice and human rights advocacy in Ethiopia? Why can’t we construct robust bridges across ethnic strains and use the language of human rights to speak with each other? Why don’t we shout together — and sometimes — a mighty shout of protest when the human rights of our Oromo brothers and sisters are trampled by Zenawi day in and day trip? Or defend the Amharas when they’re maligned because the persecutors of “Tigreans, minority groups and Muslims”? Or converse unreservedly towards those that seek to color all Tigreans with a broad brush of ethnic hatred? Why are we politely silent concerning the plight of our individuals in the Ogaden, the Afar and Gambella regions? Where is our outrage — where are our tears — once they have been bombed, strafed and slaughtered? Driven from their houses and made refugees by the lots of of hundreds? Why aren’t we becoming a member of arms — locking arms — to defend the territorial integrity of the motherland? And so forth… Is Zenawi in charge for any of the above? Pogo is true: “We have now met the enemy, and he’s us.
What I wrote in July 2008 holds compellingly true in July 2019.
If ideas can kill, ideas can even give life. Choose life. Select Medemer.
How can we battle and win towards the poisonous concept of ethnic federalism?
In my March 2015 commentary, I defined how the poison of ethnic federalism has destroyed Ethiopia:
The TPLF structure is designed to create a perpetual disunion, among the Ethiopian individuals by dividing and corralling them like cattle into insular “nations and nationalities”. By segregating the individuals of Ethiopia into communal, linguistic, cultural and regional teams, the T-TPLF put a constitutional scheme in place that may permanently and irreversibly destroy the social glue of tolerance, harmony and understanding that has stored them united as a individuals for millennia.
But how can we detoxify the poison of ethnic federalism in the blood stream of Ethiopia?
I consider we now have the antidote, the silver bullet, that may rid Ethiopia of ethnic federalism as soon as and for all.
The antidote is an concept referred to as Medemer.
Medemer is an concept that resonates the maxim, “United we stand, divided we fall.”
It is an idea that resonates an previous Ethiopian saying. “If spiders’ net could possibly be made into twine, it might tie up a lion.”
If 100 million Ethiopians might solely lend each other a hand (“Medemer”), they might dismantle and root out ethnic apartheid.
If 100 million Ethiopians might solely lend one another a hand (“Medemer”), they might uplift not only Ethiopia but in addition Africa.
“Medemer” means to help each other. To help means to provide a hand, not a handout but a hand up.
Medemer is our roadmap out of the mountainous wilderness of tribalism, poverty, disease and ignorance.
I’ve written on the thought of Medemer on a variety of events over the past yr.
I’ve also written on the “The Praxis of Medemer in the Horn of Africa”.
I even created an equation on the “physics” of Medemer:
Are there teachable moments type the tragedy of June 22 2019?
“Those that don’t study from historical past are doomed to repeat it.”
We must draw classes from the crimes of June 22.
Lesson #1: “For all they that take the sword (or gun) shall perish with the sword (gun).”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught, “All the time keep away from violence. In case you succumb to the temptation of utilizing violence in your wrestle, unborn generations would be the recipients of an extended and desolate night time of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the longer term will probably be an infinite reign of meaningless chaos.” There will probably be no meaningless chaos in Ethiopia in the present day or in the future.
Lesson #2: Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Hate the sin and never the sinner is a principle which although straightforward enough to know is never practiced, and that’s the reason the poison of hatred spreads on the planet.”
Let’s be trustworthy. The evil that lurked within the hearts of those that killed also resides in the hearts of each certainly one of us.
Let’s us not feel smug in “We’re holier than thou” angle.
Let her or him who has not ethnic and communal hatred in their coronary heart be the primary one to forged stones.
Lesson #three: We all share the shame and blame.
What happened on June 22 has brought disgrace and blame to all Ethiopians.
Many have referred to as to inform me of their deep disappointment.
What happened in Bahr Dar is a day of shame for Amhara individuals. Our enemies will eternally say ‘Amhara only kills Amhara’. Amhara can’t be trusted. The killers have given a black eye to all Amharans. Amharans are like crabs in a basket. When one tries to get out, the others will pull him down. The killers did the dastardly deed of our enemies and so on.
(There’s even one washed up overseas diplomat who tried to degrade and humiliate Amhara individuals as political predators. I’ll assure NEVER AGAIN will that previous idiot slander and scandalize any Ethiopians, let alone Amhara individuals.)
What occurred on June 22 has absolutely nothing to do with Amhara individuals.
What has occurred over the previous 27 years underneath TPLF rule has completely nothing to do with the Tigrean individuals.
It’s unfair to scandalize and lump all Amharans with a number of demented killers and convict them of guilt by affiliation.
It is unfair to scandalize and lump all Tigreans with a number of corrupt thugs and convict them of guilt by association.
We should always by no means generalize and stereotype a whole individuals by what good or evil a couple of people do.
We should always never decide the apple orchard by few rotten apples.
Lesson #4: The evil that males do lives after them. Allow us to not condemn to eternal damnation the misguided and misbegotten individuals who dedicated the atrocities on June 22. However let us use the ugly experience to teach the youth the admonition of Niccolò Machiavelli, “He who blinded by ambition, raises himself to a position whence he can’t mount larger, must fall with the best loss.”
What can I say of those that sought power within the sword and not the phrase?
I will paraphrase the words of Marc Antony in Julius Caesar to precise my feelings:
Associates, Ethiopians, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to eulogize my brothers who have been minimize down in the prime of their lives, not to send their killer to everlasting damnation.
The evil that males do lives after them.
The great is oft interred with their bones.
So, let it’s with the misbegotten who chose to stroll on the dark aspect, on the path of dying and destruction, on June 22, 2019.
Lesson #6: Ethiopia may have peace when the facility of love of Ethiopia overpowers the love of energy to rule Ethiopia.
“The best way of peace is the best way of affection. Love is the greatest power on earth. It conquers all issues.”
Without peace, there isn’t any democracy, human rights, good governance. There isn’t a Ethiopia with out peace.
There shall be no peace for the depraved.
But haven’t any doubts.
Ethiopia may have peace.
“Blessed are the peacemakers.”
It is a maxim that guides those who seek to deliver the message of peace and reconciliation to humanity.
It is a message that teaches true peace is found between people or nations by restoring broken relationships in a reconciliation process.
Ethiopia is actually blessed to have a blessed young peacemaker.
He walks the speak of peace, forgiveness, fact and reconciliation.
God smiled on Ethiopia when He gave her Abiy Ahmed.
They died with their boots on!
I shall all the time observe June 22, 2019 as “Peace Builder Patriots Day” as a result of each one of the leaders gunned down in chilly blood driven by the ambition for energy sacrificed their lives for the peace and prosperity of all Ethiopians.
June 22, 2019 was our darkest day. It was the best hour of our fallen brothers.
“A coward dies a thousand occasions earlier than his dying, however the valiant taste of demise but as soon as.”
Our brothers tasted demise unafraid and valiantly dwelling out the oath of service they took before their individuals.
They died manning their posts.
They died with their boots on.
Their patriotic deeds shall reside endlessly.
At this time, our hearts are in the coffins with our brothers.
We’ll pause for only a whereas, and shortly we will put our shoulders to the wheel and noses to the grindstone and finish the job our brothers began.
Might they all relaxation in peace within the hearts and minds of the Ethiopian individuals.
Might their households be showered with blessings and luxury.
WE SHALL OVERCOME!