The naked lies of Sebhat Nega

By Robele Ababya / July 2, 2009
TPLF cannot be reformed; like apartheid, it should be dismantled.
"TPLF cannot be reformed; like apartheid, it should be dismantled." Ethimedia
Ethiopia is a museum of ancient history characterized by uniquely diverse cultures. All that one has to do is delve into this rich history made by multiple ethnic groups over several centuries to find answers to ones questions or solutions to ones problems. We need no outsider to tell us who we are!

Unfortunately, this ancient history, dating back as far as before the advent of the Axumite Kingdom in 500 BC, did not serve the Professor of Dedebit, Sebhat Nega; his pathetic ignorance has made him a target of attack owing to his blatant denial that Ethiopian ethnic groups did not know one another before his TPLF regime held power in 1991.

Since he has earned the reputation for good appetite, one would be sure that he has sampled sumptuous foods spread over buffet tables comprising Kitfo, Kurt, Kinche, enjera, ambasha, dabo, kotcho, zignie, doro wot, keiy wot, alitcha wot, kikil, tibis, ergo, ayib and numerous others that are globally renowned as exclusive product of our mosaic culture perfected over centuries. These mouth-watering foods spread over the buffet table are impeccable manifestations reminding us of the interwoven achievements of our unique diversity. One does not expect him to have read or heard the famous poems of Dr. Fikre Tolosa about the unique diversity of Ethiopian culture existing in harmony. The French are proud of their cuisine presumably because it is also an indicator of high level of civilization. The achievement of the diverse Ethiopian people in this regard is not only a matter of pride to themselves but also to the black people of the African continent. Mr. Nega is either low on his IQ to have over looked this basic fact or is suffering from senility; it is sad that the Party in which he enjoys dominance as its founder has been let to misrule Ethiopia and destabilize the entire region of the Horn of Africa for the last 18 years.

Sebhat Nega is apparently in denial that the Ethiopian people came out in their millions to vote at the historic election of 15 May 2005 and dealt a humiliating defeat to his party’s policies of divide-and-rule along tribal lines. He must have wondered how these millions representing all the ethnic groups could do such a thing as thwart his effort to introduce them to one another for the first time.

The Ethiopian people are tempered by shared common history of repeated external invasion, internal conflicts, forces of nature including hunger and famine caused by drought each of which has drawn them together for collective defense or reconciliation in case of internal conflicts. The march through time spanning centuries has not been easy but we have come close to forging nationhood albeit some problems are awaiting amicable resolution through civilized dialogue.

The thugs in Menelik’s Palace are taking advantage of our attributes of enviable civility, decency and patience to steal our dignity and national pride.

Here below are irrefutable facts stories for the young to know and take Sebhat to task:

  • Emperor Haile Selassie, immediately upon return from exile, issued an edict to ensure his subjects that their culture, customs, ritual practices shall be protected by law appealing to the people to tolerate and respect each other regardless of their creed or ethnic origin.
  • Emperor Haile Selassie established the “Ye Hager Fikir Mahiber” (Association of Lovers of Country) immediately after his return from exile in which prominent patriots and renowned personalities were members. This writer recalls that a popular clairvoyant by the name of Gifti Gifare was at one President of the Association until her death (the Crown Prince was present at her funeral); she was a daughter of the famous Jida Tufa (an Oromo) whom the Italians hanged upside down for his refusal to cooperate with the invader. The point is that the Association was a cultural center where people saw spectacular plays and folk dances of all ethnic groups. To be fair, the quality and geographic coverage of folklore dances elevated to a new height during the Derg regime.
  • During the Imperial regime, students from all over Ethiopia in boarding schools shared various facilities such as dinning halls, dormitories, libraries, laboratories, classrooms, playgrounds et al. Or is it that the racial superiority sickness Abboy Sebhat is suffering from today was also a factor back then to have prevented him from mixing with others?
  • Qualified teams from football clubs in the provinces converged on Addis Ababa for spirited competition at the national stadium entertaining the spectators and getting to know each other.
  • The armed forces and the police recruited and trained Ethiopians of all ethnic origin. Does he deny that it was NOT the Amharas that dominated the top echelon of command?
  • Traders and laborers from the north came in droves to the south of their country, the former to sell and buy and the latter to work during harvesting seasons (particularly in the coffee provinces like Jimma or rich farms of Betcho and Minjar in Shewa) to earn money and return to their homes in time to catch another farming or harvesting season. They also came to escape famine and hunger due to natural disaster. Unfortunately this free movement of people was to a large extent curtailed during the Derg regime.

This writer would like his readers to note that the examples given above come from the period of the Monarch in power. Despite His political mistakes, Emperor Haile Selassie has been credited, by none other than the distinguished Professor George Ayittey, as one of the only 30 African leaders who did a good job out of the 208 heads of state/government since the independence of Ghana. This is a hard pill to swallow for the likes of the Patriarch of lies hell-bent to deny history.

To Sebhat Nega one would put the question: How else does he expect people of various ethnic groups to know each other? Is it by relegating them to their Kilils denying freedom of movement as in the Apartheid days of South Africa? Is it by preaching division rather than encouraging the development of common values of their enormous collective achievement?

It is well documented that the Axumites comprised Cushitic speaking people in Ethiopia and Semitic speaking people who migrated from southern Arabia. Neither Amharinga nor Tigringna was spoken. All of us are the rightful inheritors of the past that has taken us through the period of the Era of the Princes embroiled with power struggle and repeated foreign aggressions both of which provided the basis for the ethnic groups to know each other.

In closing, this writer would like take the Patriarch of lies to the highest plane of the glorious achievement of our forebears – the famous Victory of the Battle of Adwa that forced the European powers to recognize Ethiopia as a state to reckon with in her own right. It was a spectacular victory for all oppressed black people on our planet; a powerful guiding light in the struggle for emancipation from the dehumanizing and exploitative rule of imperialists.

Adwa is a sacred land; a historic custodian of the bones of Ethiopian patriots of all ethnic origin who, with weapons and provisions of their own, willingly rallied to the call of Emperor Menilik II and paid the ultimate sacrifices to make us proud and independent people. Surely, Sebhat Nega has insulted the spirit of our forebears and us their living descendants of all ethnic origin in arrogantly uttering that there was no historical bond among them. The truth is that his Party is hell-bent to scatter, weaken and rule the Ethiopian people.

This should suffice in dealing with pathological liars holed up at Arat Kilo.

Release Judge Birtukan and all political prisoners!


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