The legacy the martyrs left behind

By Robele Ababya / March 22, 2012

ተነሳ ተራመድ (Stand up and stride) was a revolutionary rallying song authored by progressive youths (in their twenties) of the former Imperial Ethiopian Air Force in 1974. It was broadcast over the national radio and soon captured the spirit, soul and mind of the Ethiopian people. The young authors of that all-inclusive famous song in my opinion rekindled the legacy of heroic deeds of their ancestors in preserving the unity and independence of Ethiopia while at the same time passionately calling for fundamental bloodless change to engender democracy, equality, liberty, dignity and prosperity for all regardless of ethnic origin or creed.

The coward Mengistu Hailemariam took the famous song off the air on the advice of Marxist-Leninists because it was nationalistic! Since 1974, communist ideas have been collapsing giving way to the rebirth of nationalism as the best weapon for defending and preserving vital national interests – a crystal clear development oblivion to TPLF graduates of Dedebit school of ideology.

In some of my previous articles, I had argued that the theory of the vulgar dictator Joseph Stalin on “Nations and Nationalities” is not applicable to Ethiopia because of our unique history confirming common values of dignity, freedom and sovereignty for which all ethnic groups fought dearly paying heavy sacrifices in lives and damage to colossal material resources. Add to this the fact that no one ethnic group can claim racial purity because each individual today is an offspring of mixed marriages. So, why is unity of opposition forces to confront their sworn common enemy nowadays stubbornly elusive?

Some Ethiopians attribute the incessant plight of the masses as a kind of curse imposed on us by the creator of the universe. Others blame bickering among political elites for the suffering of the masses living in abject poverty to the point where life for the ordinary people has become unbearably acute under the dictatorial rule of TPLF.

The first assertion in the above is answered by the common adage that “Heaven helps those who help themselves”; the second one is answered by the quote attributed to Shakespeare in Julius Caesar, which reads:

“Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

 "Unless we acknowledge that Ethiopia is under a mercenary rule, we will remain vulnerable to the machinations of Meles, and unity among opposition groups may remain elusive because they mistake him for a Tigrian from Adua, and hence an Ethiopian dictator, which is profoundly wrong." Abraha Belai, Ethiomedia Editor

So, in all cases the fault lies with societies that allow dictators on the loose to exploit their silence. We ought to be ashamed for letting Meles Zenawi in power for the last twenty years. As the popular saying goes “Every nation deserves the government it deserves”. I believe that we deserve far better if we Ethiopians unite and act together. We have a glorious history of scored victories over external aggressors by acting in unison knowing that the TPLF regime is an aggressor serving foreign interests.

Sitting under a giant African tree, I wrote the following stanzas in tribute to our martyrs and heroes that had made us proud in wars and political arenas. I hope that fellow Ethiopians will appreciate the message therein expressed:

The tyrant is cruelly infringing on my basic human right And I am ready to fight the dictator with all my might He has abused my beloved flag Green Yellow and Red Which I have a moral duty with all my power to defend

The Green on my flag symbolizes prosperity
The Yellow color portrays faith in perpetuity
The Red for our ancestral blood for freedom shed
A priceless sacrifice paid to keep dignity to the end

The Oromos and Amharas take the brunt of his rant
Often unleashed in wrath by the misruling TPLF tyrant
Oh! People are sick and tired of his incessant threat
So nothing more than deposing the dictator is great

So stand up my fellow Ethiopians in resolute unison
To demand the release of all political leaders in prison
And pledge holding political prisoners will never happen
So that the hope for freedom and dignity shall shine again

Investment in high rise buildings, roads and infrastructures
Without the motto of “people come first” betrays our martyrs
Relegates social justice to the backburner & defeats our aims
To build democracy and prosperity for future generations

We have legacy of martyrs marvelously written in blood
Given to us by our heroic ancestors in trust tightly sealed
Therefore the onus is indeed on all of us young and old
To expunge the evil thugs so our history in glory be told

A bizarre combination of arrogance, ignorance, bigotry, lust for power, greed and other inhuman evil attributes such as these intoxicated the tyrants of Ethiopia and Eritrea and led them into committing gruesome human rights violations and incalculable damage to life and property in both countries as well as destabilization of the region through their proxy war.   Their central theme was disempowering of the Amhara and the Oromo combined majority of 61.4% of the Ethiopian people. But they have of recent realized that their strategy is failing rapidly.

And according to the news posted on Abugida website on 16 March 2012, the twin brothers in crime, Isaias and Meles are going to meet to resolve their differences. It is widely believed however that the two had concocted a drama aimed at how best to stay in power in the face of rising opposition to their unbridled brinkmanship. Meles’ arrogance emanates from his insatiable lust for power, hatred for the Amharas, contempt for the Oromos, dominion over Tigres constituting only 6.1% of the Ethiopian population and neglect for the rest of the minority ethnic groups. Isaias is an absolute dictator who has been misruling Eritrea without a constitution and destabilizing the Horn of Africa region for the last 19 years; he has reduced Eritrea to a pariah state condemned by the United Nations for supporting the religious fanatic extremist Al Shabab linked to Al Qaeda.

All-inclusive dialogue is welcome. To avoid bloodshed is noble. However the two tyrants, Meles and Isaias, do not represent durable interests of the people of both countries. Both of them lack the moral character and integrity of visionary leaders that give top priority to human development and the rule of law. They are utterly corrupt dictators sleeping in separate tents but thinking alike.

Meles, immediately after the outbreak of hostilities initiated by Isaias in 1998, complained of being “stabbed in the back”. The reported meeting may be to settle their differences that led to the stabbing. As to the rest of us Ethiopians, we have yet to discover what their secret deal was? We can only guess and my guess is that there could have been a secret agreement allowing Isaias to keep Eritrea for himself alone and share Ethiopia with Meles. Let us stay tuned for the breaking news that someone in the know may one day reveal the secret!

 I would like to close this piece with the quote below attributed to Margery Eldredge Howell:

“There is dignity in suffering
Nobility in pain
But failure is a salted wound
That burns and burns again “

Dignity, nobility and decency do not exist in the lexicon of thugs. Tyrant Meles is a sadist adept at swiftly passing on sufferings and pains to the masses; he is quick to pull the trigger to silence his peaceful opponents. In doing so, he goes into trance chewing psycho thermal plants, while trusted scribes read to him litanies of his ‘historic’ achievements as a ‘Statesman leading Africa’. But failure is fast approaching to burn him incessantly till death – and the bloated parasitic bureaucracy of his TPLF regime is fueling the inferno.

Let us jealously guard our priceless legacy written in blood and given to us by the Ethiopian  martyrs and heroic patriots; let the present and future generations forever keep their valiant deeds alive in the annals of history.


Release all political prisoners in Ethiopia including Andualem, Eskinder, Nathnael et al!