EDITOR’S NOTE: We believe that the majority of the poor and exploited people of Tigray must not suffer because of the criminal and anti-Ethiopia acts of the Tigrean elites, including some of those who claim to oppose the Meles regime, but continue to promote Tigrean supremacy. A public dialogue is necessary to avoid potential violent backlash against fellow Ethiopians of Tigrean ethnic group as a result of the evil deeds of the politicians who claim to represent them. It’s is with this spirit that the following article is published.
By Assta B. Gettu
When that Day comes what will happen to the Tegarues (Tigreans)? That Day is to some a Day of doom; to others a Day of Joy and celebration, and that Day is the final Day of Meles Seitanawi (Zenawi).
After Meles Seitanawi’s regime is terminated and all of his political gangs have vanished from the face of the earth, I always fear many Ethiopians who have been marginalized for so many years under Meles’ political party whose main purpose has been to enrich the few selected tribes may retaliate disproportionately against the Tegarues, who are also to be Ethiopians but badly misguided by one of their evil sons – Meles Seitanawi.
To protect such fallen victims from being completely erased from the map of Ethiopia, the avengers – the Amharas, the Oromos, the Somalis in the Ogaden and the other Ethiopian tribes – must gingerly take immediate actions against those hot-tampered Ethiopians who want to destroy the Tegarues because of Meles’ vicious political leadership.
As in all wars or conflicts, the victors do not always completely destroy their enemies: some they capture and send them to jail, and some they pardon and send them home without harming them. In this way, all Ethiopians, it is my hope, are expected to do better than this toward the Tegarues, their own people, not their foreign enemies. This does not mean the few criminals must go unpunished, and most Ethiopians well know who these hard core criminals are and who have been terrorizing Ethiopia for almost twenty years. If captured, these evil men and women who have been eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the unfortunate Ethiopians should face justice and should be told what they have done to their own people and why they have done such heinous crimes against humanity.
The conflict in Ethiopia is a family conflict, and as such it could be solved by the Ethiopians themselves; in fact, it could have been solved long time ago if, for instance, Washington’s support for Meles Seitanawi were a legitimate one to help Ethiopia elect a democratic government.
Conflicts occasionally exist in a family, no matter how strong, or spiritual, the family is, and when the family is unable to solve its conflicts, a good neighbor comes in and tries to solve the conflict; however, Ethiopia, at this time, does not have a very concerned neighbor, thanks to Meles Seitanawi for a job well done in rendering Ethiopia almost a friendless nation.
The friendship between Ethiopia and the West is an artificial one on which Ethiopians should not rely at all; if it were a genuine one, the West, with all its overwhelming power and economic might, could have helped Ethiopia to remove the dictator Meles Seitanawi from his corrupt regime as the West helped Iraq by overthrowing Saadam Hussein; rather, the West has emboldened Meles Seitanawi by training his army and by financing his criminal activities continuously and shamelessly.
Therefore, when the conflict in Ethiopia comes to an end naturally or by waging war against Meles Seitanawi, the Tegarues who have not committed any crime should not fear any retaliation from the oppressed Ethiopian tribes, for most Ethiopians could remember the divine words: “Vengeance is mine” – and they should prevent themselves from shedding the bloods of some innocent Tegarues. The Apostle Paul firmly declares: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). These particular divine words should be learned diligently and practiced effectively by every Ethiopian who has the propensity to harm another Ethiopian from the region of Tigray.
When Meles Seitanawi divided the country on ethnic lines, the main purpose was to give the Tigreans an economic and political advantage over the other tribes without first thinking carefully what would happen to them after he leaves office. By doing special favor for them, he is, in fact, isolating them from the rest of the Ethiopian people and making them an easy target to fall into the hands of an angry mob from the other tribes of the Ethiopian people as soon as he is removed from power.
So in the long run, Meles is hurting the Tegarues rather than helping them, and some of the Tegarues may not yet realize the danger they are heading to after their master Meles Seitanawi abandons them and flees the country and asks for an asylum in America or Saudi Arabia to save his life before he is caught and handed over to the International Court for his crimes against his own people.
We may fail to identify all the criminals, but we will never fail to identify Meles, Azeb, Abune Paulos, and Al Amoudi when that final Day – a “Day of Reckoning” – comes, and those who escape from the wraths of the Ethiopian people on that final Day are those who have never given up their struggles to overthrow the Meles regime, and these heroes are the ones who can determine the final fate of the Tegarues.
These well-disciplined Ethiopian heroes will not automatically destroy everyone who speaks Tigrigna but carefully examine if one has been involved with Meles criminal activities when Meles was in power and bring him/her to justice. In this way, the innocent Tegarues are spared from being executed, and they will be reconciled with the rest of the Ethiopian people.
After all, most Ethiopians follow the teaching of Jesus, that is, they can forgive the Tegarues as many times as the Tegarues ask for forgiveness; what matters here the most is not revenge on one’s own people but forgiveness for the sake of Christ, who taught us to forgive our brothers and sisters and live together in peace. As it has been difficult to live in peace with our neighbors during Meles’ reign of terror, it would be possible for every Ethiopian to enjoy freedom and to live in peace under a democratically elected Ethiopian Prime Minister whose priority is the Ethiopian people not his/her own interest.
Someone may say that the Jews persecuted, one by one, the Nazi criminals wherever they had been hiding but forgave the world that failed to protect the Jews, and it would be the same thing with the oppressed Ethiopians: they would hunt the Meles family and his death squads and impel them to confess their atrocities toward the helpless Ethiopians but allow the peace-loving Tegarues to go free and work in their country without a fear of any reprisal from the other oppressed Ethiopians.
Mengistu Haile Mariam and Meles Seitanawi slaughtered many Ethiopian students, priests, and political leaders without giving them a chance to defend themselves in the court, but such offensive and arbitrary killings will never happen again in Ethiopia once Ethiopia has a democratically elected leader from whatever tribe he or she might be. This is my dream, and, I think, it is also the dreams of many Ethiopians in the diaspora and at home; of course, dreams sometimes may not come true, but I hope this time they will come true because Meles is morally, economically, and politically weaker than ever before.
The good Tegarues, the Amharas, the Oromos, and the many other Ethiopian tribes should stick together and work hard never to bring to power the evil leaders to govern them once the Meles regime is over through peaceful negotiation or arms struggles or through what ever means necessary.
No one in his or her right mind wants to see Ethiopians wage an ethnical war except Meles Seitanawi so that he could stay in power indefinitely; an ethnically divided country, like Ethiopia, may not prosper because of the conflict that exists among the different tribes, each tribe claiming superiority over the other tribe instead of thinking as one nation, as one Ethiopia. If, for example, the Tegarues believe in the Abay Tigray; the Oromos in their big number; and the Amharas in their Imperial dynasty, then such conflict of interest would take Ethiopia further to more disintegration and instability. Such uncalled for disintegration and instability would create continuous hostility between each tribe, and each tribe claiming victory over the other tribe and trying to subjugate the weaker tribe. In such rare or perhaps common cases, the weaker tribe may ally itself with the other stronger tribe, and the internal conflict will continue until a lasting solution to the conflict is found through a democratically elected leader, and this democratically elected leader will benefit not only the Tegarues who fear retaliations from the other tribes but all the tribes of Ethiopia after that final Day of doom for Meles Seitanawi and his entire political advisers.
(Originally posted on Aug. 11, 2008)