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General Seare Mekonnen Memorial Avenue and Park commendable move

General Seare Mekonnen _ Avenue _ Park
General Seare Mekonnen Photo: EBC

borkena
Editorial
July 6, 2019

On Friday, the Ethiopian government has announced that an avenue will be named after General Seare Mekonnen-Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defense Force who was assassinated by his bodyguard in his residence on June 22, 2019. 

The avenue from Bole Rwanda to Atlas hotel in the capital Addis Ababa will be named General Seare Mekonnen Avenue. 

As well, a memorial park is to be named after him in the part of Addis Ababa where he planted trees, along with Addis Ababa City’s acting Mayor -Takele Uma, among others,  in the morning of the day he was assassinated.

General Seare Mekonnen
General Seare (right) shaking hands with Tefera Walwa during tree planting in the city. General Seare was killed same day. Photo : Addis Ababa City Administration

In the memorial park, a statue of him will be erected, according to state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) report on Friday. 

Based on the report, it is Addis Ababa City administration that passed the decision to name the above-mentioned parts the capital after General Seare – one of the few revered figures in the country. And the city administration will also pay for the cost of building and erecting the statue. 

As a member of a guerrilla group, general Seare fought for the cause of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and has made a significant contribution to the military success of the organization. TPLF people tell the story that Seare, as a rebel, was given a mission to free prisoners at Mekele, which is now the seat of TPLF led administration (otherwise known as Tigray regional state) and Seare was successful in the mission. There are also other military victories of TPLF that are attributed to Seare Mekonnen’s military leadership. 

But what Ethiopians remember him and revere him is not for his contribution to the military successes of TPLF. What he is revered for is for his unflinching stance on the question of Ethiopian identity and Ethiopian Unity. 

During the funeral farewell at the Millennium Hall, one of his colleagues in the military, General Abebew Tadesse (now retired) made it public that TPLF leaders treated General Seare Mekonnen as a traitor on grounds of his stance on the unity of Ethiopia and his determination for the cause of Ethiopia, as opposed to the causes of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders, after he was appointed as Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defense Force. 

As Chief of Staff of the Defense Force, General Seare Mekonnen inculcated the principle that a soldier does not have an ethnicity. A soldier has only a country and people to fight for. In light of growing ethnic nationalism that is ravaging the country, General Seare’s principle is right and needs to be enshrined in the years to come. 

General Seare died as an Ethiopian hero, not as TPLF hero, and the decision of the city administration to honor him by naming an avenue after him is commendable, to say the least. 

That said, it is important to note that details of the circumstances under which General Seare was killed, along with an old comrade Bri. Gen. Gezai Abera, in his residence, and how his killing is linked to the alleged “coup d’etat” in Bahir Dar which happened on the same day is still not entirely clear and the government has the responsibility to make details available to the public. 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. What a loss and very, very sad story. I read a story how he was gunned down in the presence of his wife and his daughter. This was just another racist attack/killing 2019 Ethiopian style. It is just sickening to see people justify his murder just because he fought and served in the not-so-popular TPLF. The behavior of that young man who pulled the trigger that night was a result of the poison being spewed around by hate mongers. These bigots target people as a group but not individuals. These bigots, these scourges of our time do not want to know that organizations like TPLF/Woyane were founded for a noble cause which was to liberate the people and the region from despots. But in the process of the struggle during the years, a few with tendencies and characters of despots were able to wrestle their organization away from the people and made it their own. Such very few individuals usually smart alecks turned out to be heavy handed rulers over the people the organization was intended to liberate. They are usually excellent orators with pockets full of words that can easily feed on the raw emotion of the gullible. They are experts in how to pick the best of the best among the crowd to make their diehard supporters and surround themselves with such lackeys. They are merciless toward those they take as treats. They are ruthless in purging every living, breathing opposition even those with mild criticism. That was done in almost every political grouping of the old country. One will call you a traitor before your liquidation. The other one will call you a faction to justify your banishment or disappearance without a trace. They blackmail you and come up news that you died of a bad cold or food poisoning. The rest of the rank and those who just mind their day-to-day obligations are innocent of the vile behavior of these newly crowned mob bosses. That was why I have been urging everyone to target individuals and not the organization as a whole. Otherwise, we are going to see more and more of such senseless killings just because you are an Oromo, Amhara, Tigre or whatever!!! .

  2. A very good move by the city of Addis Ababa!! Saere was a man among men, a man of principle, a man who could see the future, a man who could not give in to the barbaric, backward ethnic politics of today in which Mother Ethiopia is languishing!!

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