I am an Amara. “ene Amara negne”
By Yilma Bekele
“Ich bin ein Berliner.” – “I am a Berliner” Those words were spoken by President John F. Kennedy on
June 26, 1963 in West Berlin. He said that to show solidarity with the people of Berlin after the East
Germans with the approval of the Soviet Union erected the Berlin Wall to prevent their captive citizens
from fleeing to the west.
The passage I like the most is when he said “Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was civis
romanus sum[“I am a Roman citizen”]. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is “Ich bin
ein Berliner!”… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free
man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner!”
Today it feels me with so much pride to say all Ethiopians where ever we live say in unison “ene Amara
negene” Injustice against any of Ethiopia’s children is injustice to all of her children. We feel each
other’s pain. When one Ethiopian is marginalized, when a single Ethiopian is put in harm’s way it is an
affront to each one of us and we all suffer. It was none other than Martin Luther King Jr. who took
injustice to heart when he declared “he who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to
perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
Tell me my fellow Ethiopian. What do you see in the picture above? It is a picture of people huddled together. It
must be night time, what are they doing outside in the cold? Why are they sad? There is no mistaking that they
are our people. I can tell that Ethiopian face from a mile away. Look at that slender chiseled face, kind eyes and
welcome demeanor. They are our sisters, brothers, mothers or fathers sitting on bare soil, with no chairs and it
is difficult to tell whether it is outdoors or inside. There is no question they seem to be confused, tired, and sad.
Notices the young girl on the left with barefoot and looking resigned and observe the father on top right holding
his chin and just seeming to wonder about the dire situation. I want you to see the child on his mother’s lap
looking sad and his mother looking straight at the photographer not for pity but seems to be saying ‘take a good
look, don’t forget my ace!’ I cried because I am human, I hurt because I cannot be there to hold their hand, rub
their shoulders and ‘whisper itis ok, I am here to help.’Oh my God the pain is killing me; it is tearing my soul
apart. Why is this happening to my people? Why am I witnessing this suffering? They are not just numbers. They are not statistics we refer to from some paper. They are living, breathing
human beings. There is no Ethiopia without them. A house cannot stand without a foundation and a country
does not exist without people. The people you see above are Amaras from the region referred to as
Beneshangul/Gumuzl Kilil in Western Ethiopian that were deported from their own land to places they don’t
even know. They are the homeless Ethiopians. They are stateless people within a country called Ethiopia. They
are the surplus Ethiopians. How does such calamity happen? Was there an invasion by a foreign forcer? Was
there some kind of natural disaster? Was there a civil war?
No they are the victims of a policy carried out by a rogue regime gone wild. Their plight is a calculated and
thought out policy put in place by the regime in power. They are the recipient of a plan drawn by Meles Zenawi
and his friends to keep our country in perpetual conflict and destroy Ethiopia from within. This is not an isolated
event or an opportunisticmove on the spur of the moment. No this is a plan drawn over thirty years ago same
as Adolf Hitler’s plan of what he called to as the ‘Final Solution’ to annihilate the Jewish people. This is Meles
Zenawi, Sebhat Nega, Seyoum Mesfin, and Abbay Tshaye’s and company nefarious plan directed at a single
ethnic group. The ‘Final Solution’ against the Amara people.
Fascist Mussolini in his own evil ways knew that he cannot conquer Ethiopia without partitioning us. Thus he
divided our country into six units as follows: 1) Eritrea to include Tigrai – capital Asmara 2) Amhara to
include Begemeder, Gojjam, Wello and northern Shoa – capital Gonder 3) Galla and Sidamo –capital
Jimma 4) Addis Abeba 5) Harar 6) Somalia-capital Mogadishu. Meles Zenawi and his Woyane party
went further and created what we today call nine Kilils. He called it Federalism but in actuality it was
South Africa’s Apartheid system in East Africa.
Musoloni and the Italians were in charge of the six units they created. The white minority government
in South Africa was the boss of all the Bantustans. In Ethiopia Meles Zenawi with his Tigrai ethnic based
Woyane party ushered a new era of abuse, conflict, civil war and the beginning of the destruction of
our ancient land.
All Tigray’s are not Woyane. On the other hand there is no reason to shy away from stating the
obvious-most Tigrais are the beneficiary of the system set up by Woyane warlords. They are the
number one Ethiopians standing heads high above all others. This is not hate. This is not a figment of
my imagination. Nothing happens in Ethiopia without the knowledge and consent of the Woyane
party. This is a very painful statement to write down but why hide from the truth.
It is also true that Woyane agents and provocateurs planted among us are posing as Amara/Oromo
among others and making ugly and hateful statements directed at our brothers and sisters from Tigrai
ethnic group. This is the Way Woyane operates and we are all familiar with that mentality. We should
also be aware of the fact that Woyane has been systematically attacking Ethiopian history, Ethiopian
heritage and the concept of being an Ethiopian in order to carry out their goal of setting us against
each other. They have convinced a few gullible people, uneducated and lumpen individuals that our
country is not worth saving and separation and going your own way is an option. We should all try harder not to allow any kind of hateful speech; any put down of each other based on
ethnicity and should at no time and place tolerate such ugly and backward behavior. It is commendable
to be proud of one’s ethnicity and heritage but it is not a license to attack and degenerate someone
from another group. We do not have choice what ethnic group to belong to when born, we are what
we are. No one decide ahead to be white or black, to be Chinese or Indian, to be short of tall or be
female or male. Thatis all in the hands of a higher authority. Ignorance and pettiness is what makes us
stressed and lash out against those we are not familiar with.
Then some evil people like our Woyane warlords use our weakness to divide us, to be suspicious of
each other and plant the seeds of hatred in our society. It is a struggle not to be taken by such
propaganda that is intended to make us feel better even with an empty stomach. Let alone our old and
poor backward country even the industrialized and educated countries have not been able to tackle
this cancer in their body politic.
But we Ethiopians are resilient people. The fact of the matter is over twenty years of hate filled
propaganda by Woyane has not been able to accomplish their goal of setting us against each other.
Proof in point being during Woyanes deportation of our Eritrean citizens it was heartwarming to see
our ordinary people crying and being distressed following the busesthat was hauling our brethren, it
was a display of true Ethiopian love to see the citizens of Gurafereda washing their hands of Shiferaw
Shigute’s ugly deed and today we are sure that our citizens of Bena Shangul do not agree with this
current nightmare visited on them by the new Woyane warlords in Arat Kilo.
Do you really think puppet Shiferaw Shigute of Southern Region, do you for a second believe puppet
Ahmed Naser Ahmed Of Beneshangul/Gumuz Kilil will carry out such ugly deed without the approval
and consent of Meles Zenawi then and Debretsion Gebremichaeltoday? No sir, this kind activity is
carried out with the direction of the highest body of the party that is run by Debretsion and company.
It does not do us any good to speculate why they are doing this criminal act. Why would a government
declare war on its own people is a question history always tries to answer. It is nothing new. It has
happened before we have witnessed it unfold all around us. Rwanda was yesterday, Bosnia is still fresh
in our mind and Gurafereda and Beneshangul are close to our heart. No matter how you put it in
Ethiopia under the leadership of the Woyane Tigrai based TPLF party our country is turning into hell on
Earth. Our Gambellan citizens are uprooted from their ancestral land, Sidama citizens are hunted like
wild animals and the Amaras are the favorite target of these disturbed and sick individualsin charge.
Of course we can fight their hatred based criminal act with more hate. I believe MLK Jr. said it better
when he wrote ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out
hate; only love can do that.’ I do not hate Woyane. I do not want to be like them. Again I will quote
you MLK when he said “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too much a burden to bear.” My heart
aches when I think of the dead Meles Zenawi, I cringe when I see the picture of Bereket Semeone,
Debretsion Gebremichael, Sebhat Nega or Abbay Tshaye’s. They must carry such a burden with them how do they ever sleep at night? How do they function among the company of people with such
overwhelming evilness engulfing the depth of their soul?
We all have responsibilities in our daily life. We are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, cousins,
neighbors and workers interacting with other fellow human beings. Sometimes our duties and
expectations from those around us is a source of stress and uneasiness. Fathers and mothers worry
about the welfare of their family, children are under constant pressure to perform better and our work
place puts up so much demand on us we are driven to the edge. It is all because we all want to be
loved, needed and do better for those around us. The ultimate satisfaction is when a job done comes
out perfect and those around us appreciate the effort. That is the reward that feeds the ego.
Our leaders do not seem to understand that. Given the chance to lead and make a better world for
their fellow citizens that put so much trust and faith in them they callously throw away the opportunity
to excel. They choose the path of hate, divide and rule and the road of destruction. Instead of sharing
the bounty that comes from all working together and lift everybody higher they choose to hoard little
crumbs for themselves and those around them. They play with words to fool themselves. They try to
manipulate reality to fit their myopic vision. They think calling famine nutrition deficiency changes the
pain, naming their terror squad internal security wipes the blood of their hands or doctoring the book
balances the account for real. It is a sickness with no cure.
I wrote down I cried and felt broken heart when I saw the picture of my people from Beneshangul then
I thought about it. Yes it is human to feel their pain but that is not the answer to our problem. I went
back to MLK to see what he tells me about mending a broken heart. How did the great leader deal with
such ugliness in the world. This is what he said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
It is true my response should be what am I going to do about this situation that is keep me up all night?
I am going to be proactive. I will not sit down and observe and take this abuse silently. I am in the USA.
I will do my best to discuss with my people so we can find a solution that is sustainable. I will write and
talk every chance I get to develop a culture of inclusiveness based on equality, respect and justice. I will
support all those forces that are struggling to overcome this force of darkness by any means necessary.
I will strive harder to learn from this negative experience and turn it into a positive experience so we
can together build a better and just society. I will organize my fellow exiles to contact their Senators,
Representatives, locally elected officials so they can pressure the US government to stop coddling such
a criminal enterprise masquerading as a government.
I am also heartened by political parties, civic organizations and groups that are currently working under
harsh conditions in Ethiopia to gather information, proof and documents regarding the ethnic
cleansing situation. I also believe upon getting our documents in order we could be able to do a
citizen’s arrest of all the mentioned criminals when they show up outside the country. We can as
victims of government atrocity hold these despicable individuals and hand them to our local police.
Armed with our documents we have every right as human beings to ask that they be brought to justice
since they are breaking international law which our country is signatory of. It is just but another arsenal
in our fight against injustice. Finally since information is power I give my word of honor that I do my at
most best to strengthen and make ESAT the most powerful media in my beautiful homeland. I ask my fellow Ethiopians to sit down and think hard because indifference has not brought us any amount of
measurable respite from this from this never ending atrocity by a regime one wild.