A Riposte to Gedu’s Foot Soldiers
By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, Ethiopian News, Dec. 25, 2016
It seems my article titled ‘Gedu Andargachew: A fifth column on the loose’ which appeared on Tigrai Online (TOL) sometime this month has inflamed emotions in ANDM circles. Two articles that were authored by Mr Tekola Mekonnen and Mr Bewnetu Zeleke in response to my piece posted on TOL amply indicate the current political mind-set pursued by ANDM since the demise of Meles Zenawi. Prior to this, ANDM’s real views remained latent waiting for an opportunity to come its way, and the departure of the late Premier was the coveted moment that the leaders of the organisation were yearning for.
For simply highlighting the crimes perpetrated against Tigrians living in Amhara region, Bewnetu has denounced myself, Tigrai online, Aiga Forum and its journalist Tamrat Yemane for ‘targeting’ ANDM and leaders of the regional administration. If defending our people is misconstrued as an attack on ANDM, then there isn’t a lot we can do about it.
Aside from this, there were other issues mentioned in my article that compelled Bewnetu and Tekola to put pen to paper. Among them being Gedu’s hand in the recent unrest which caused numerous casualties as well as destructions of factories and properties owned by foreign and indigenous investors estimated to run into hundreds of millions of dollars.
Furthermore, the country’s tourism industry has also been hit hard as a result of the unrest, and the sector’s projected loss for 2016 budget year is expected to be 400 million dollars according to a report released by africanews.com on 12 November 2016. Gedu should have been held accountable for conniving with undesirable elements within ANDM responsible for the bloodshed, significant financial loses and for disrupting the flow of foreign direct investments to the country.
Anyone with the slightest bit of decency would have tendered his resignation forthwith but not Gedu. In such a situation, why shouldn’t we call for his head to roll? It is downright wrong for Bewentu and Tekola to state that this was an interference in the internal affairs of the regional government, when the effect of the disturbances were felt across the nation. ANDM members are in a really bad state. They have caused so much havoc in Amhara region and instead of accepting their responsibilities and move on, they seem to be searching for scapegoats. Bewentu claims that the tension and disagreement that existed between Qemant and Amhara were utilised by elements of Tigrian origin and played a part in the destruction of properties and large numbers of civilian deaths. Even Dr Addisu Geberegzabeher, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRC), has been blamed of concocting a report that laid the responsibility for the massacre on the regional government. The commissioner’s honesty and credibility has come into question simply because of his Tigrain origin and support for TPLF according to Bewnetu.
Equally guilty in the eyes of Bewnetu were the Police for being trigger happy and ANDM members whom he describes as chauvinists and TPLF lackeys. He is correct in stating that ANDM is crammed with chauvinists but not those he categorises as TPLF lackeys simply because they stood-up to the extremist elements in ANDM. Would the people Bewentu classed as subservient include the likes of the charismatic and competent Kassa Teklebrehan who also has been routinely maligned by diaspora extremists? This is indicative of the cooperation between ANDM and the fanatics on the payroll of the Eritrea tyrant.
Bewnetu’s futile attempt to shift the blame elsewhere would not impress the Qemant because they know full-well that Gedu was solely responsible for the heinous crime. The undeniable truth is that the buck stops with him and no one else. And what many people would like to know is that, when anarchy and wanton mayhem were sweeping through Amhara region, where was Gedu? Why was he not able to detect this before it caused destructions and fatalities? Was it because he was part of it as many people believe this to be the case?
In any case, the calculated gamble seems to have paid dividends as Gedu has succeeded in consolidating his position by clearing his opponents from ANDM. The focus has now shifted to removing Tigrians in key positions such as Isaias Bahre, President of the Development Bank of Ethiopia, who lost his job recently after receiving a dismissal letter from the Director General of the Public Finance Enterprise Agency, Dr Sentayohe Weldemichael, who is a member of ANDM. A competent man with many years of experience in banking had been booted-out on trumped-up charges while Gedu with all his glaring failings is still at the helm. What is amusing is that Dr Sentayohe was a Minister of Education in the early years of the EPRDF but he was shown the door because of his utter incompetence.
It is pretty obvious that ANDM has been taken over by undesirable elements and reading Bewnetu’s article clearly confirms large scale infiltration of ANDM by the terror group G7. His article touches on many issues among them being TPLF’s role in creating very parochialist nations/nationalities mode of system as well as fostering racism/apartheid and incorporation of land to Tigrai that was previously part of Amhara realm.
Moreover, the piece accuses the TPLF of claiming areas currently under Amhara control as part of Tigrai and for ensuring and preparing the ground for Tigrian socio-economic supremacy. These are the kind of wild accusations that have routinely been broadcasted by the Eritrean sponsored ESAT for a number of years. Now, ANDM members and the leadership seem to be regurgitating them openly which brings into question the organisations alliance with the EPRDF.
Clearly, there are affiliates of ANDM who are colluding with diaspora fanatics to reverse the current political system in Ethiopia that came into being after the termination of over 100 years of misrule. Ethnic based federalism caters for all including those that were categorised as second class citizens in their own country. The present style of governance, routinely described as ‘apartheid’ by Bewentu and his likes, has empowered the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia ; and the futile and desperate act to re-introduce the old order which only served the Amhara elite would not work.
A nation which was synonymous with hunger and civil war has now been transformed into one of the rapidest growing economies in the world benefiting all but more so in Amhara, Oromia and SNNP regions. And yet, the likes of Bewnetu and his associates who show so much hate towards Tigrians invariably claim that the current system was designed to benefit the northerners more than the other peoples of the nation. This is simply a fabrication and not a grain of truth in it. Chauvinists at home and abroad used this erroneous assertion to whip-up emotions against Tigrians and make them susceptible to hate induced attacks as happened lately in Gonder and its environs. Of course, there are Tigrians in very high positions but this means nothing to a Tigrian farmer struggling to survive under very difficult circumstances as well as to an urban dweller facing chronic shortage of potable water.
Tigrians more than anyone else paid a heavy price to usher the present federal order. Over 60,000 fighters perished and a 100,000 of them were made severely disabled. In Hawzen alone, 2500 people were killed as a result of the dawn to dusk ariel bombardment that took place on a market day in 1988 where helicopters were used to circle the market in order to prevent anyone from fleeing the scene of the massacre. The chauvinists in ANDM and elsewhere ought to know that the struggle was for justice and equality and nothing else. Tigrians are modest and respectful, and never had any inclinations of economic dominance at the expense of their fellow citizens.
So much hate has been directed towards the resilient and industrious people but to date they have not opted for retaliation. And the best instance of this was when 20,000 Tigrians were expelled from Amhara region after hate driven campaign was orchestrated against them. Thousands of Ahmara nationals live in Tigrai but not a single act of reprisal was reported. Dashen Beer is still heavily consumed in Tigrai making huge profits for TIRET (Amhara Endowment) to invest in various projects in its domain. Would Raya Birra sell a single bottle in this locality when fanatics like Bewnetu are lingering? But now we have to say enough is enough and prepare to take any measures necessary to protect our people and prevent Qeshi Gebru and Amora, who showed ANDM the ropes, from turning in their unmarked grave. Ayam Belu!
FYI below are the two articles - TOL