This week a member of the now defunct WPE (Workers Party of Ethiopia) and a former Deputy Administrator of Gondar, Comrade Abebaw Yigzaw, passed away aged 70 after a long illness. Last night, his body was flown to Ethiopia – to the very country which he had portrayed as a “basket case” during his 20 years self-exile in London. At the time of his death, the national carrier, EAL, which transported his body and members of his immediate family to Addis Ababa, was one of his boycott targets.
Personally, I seize this opportunity to express my heart-felt condolences to his family and friends and wish his soul eternal peace. The fraternity of former Derg officials and WPE members have, indeed, lost an intellectual mentor who, through his lectures and writings, had kept them in hock to their vainglorious hope of restoring the exiled Derg and its exiled patriarch.
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As my intention, here, is not to write an obituary of this remarkable and learned, yet puzzling son of EOTC (Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church) – who, after turning EOTC into a robot of the Derg, had succeeded in becoming a genuine Marxist-Leninist cadre for the Dreg – I will, instead, dwell briefly on the significance of his burial taking place in the land of a revamped union of nations, nationalities and peoples – a galaxy away from the Ethiopia Abebaw Yigzaw and co had fled from 21 years ago.