When the politicization of ethnicity and the politicization of religion meet and start feeding on each other, a society spins out of control; it goes over the precipice of blind violence and uncontrollable destruction from which it takes decades if not centuries to recover.
Consider the European Wars of Religion that lasted from the 16th to the early 18th century. The religious conflicts between Catholics and the supporters of the Reformation were intertwined with political and territorial ambitions. In Germany alone, a third of the population was killed in these wars, which is, as historians point out, almost twice the mortality rate of the First World War!
The effort to create in Ethiopia an ethnicity based Orthodox Täwahedo Synod in February 2023 was interlocked with political and territorial objectives. It was a dangerous mix of ethnic politics and religion. There were ominous signs that Ethiopia may be marching towards the precipice of an ethno-religious conflict. Religious emotions were boiling over. Some, and sadly the rebel Bishops, were working hard to ethnicize and politicize these religious emotions. Fortunately, the threat of a devastating ethno-religious turmoil was nipped in the bud.
Since this conflict was in part of a religious nature, we might as well refer to a passage from the Bible, “Render therefore to all their due. …Honour to whom honour is due.” (Romans 13:7). That is, we have to give credit where credit is due. The February 15, 2023 statement of the Holy Synod explicitly recognizes the constructive role PM Abiy Ahmad played in the peaceful resolution of the conflict, all the while respecting the Church’s independence, rules and regulations. We have thus to give credit where credit is due and thank the Prime Minister for having facilitated the resolution of the conflict.
Above all, we should be thankful for the calm, the humility, the steadfastness of the Holy Synod in its defense of the integrity of the Church and her teachings, and its generosity towards the rebel bishops. We must also be thankful for the courage the rebel Bishops showed in finally recognizing the unholiness of their acts, in repenting, and in coming back with humility into the fold of the Holy Synod. The reconciliation rolled back the dark clouds of a devastating ethno-religious conflict hovering over Ethiopia.
Would it that the PM’s constructive role in the resolution of this conflict, coming on the heels of the establishment of peace in Northern Ethiopia, be a harbinger of a peaceful life for Ethiopians, particularly in the Oromia kilil? Innocent Ethiopians–women, children, the elderly, farmers, traders, manual and office workers—are killed daily in this kilil for no other reason than their ethnicity or politics. That this madness should stop is the demand of all Ethiopians.
The PM has in his powers to bring this political insanity to an end. After having brought peace to Northern Ethiopia and played a constructive role in the resolution of the conflict between the rebel bishops and the Holy Synod, Ethiopians expect him now to roll up his sleeves and put himself to the task of putting an end to the senseless bloodletting and destruction in the Oromia kilil.
For the last few years, the hope for an alternative Ethiopia that lit up in 2018 has been receding and the darkness of despair spreading. Prime Minister Abiy has now the occasion to reverse this trend by grasping and accelerating the momentum for peace that he has created. He must mobilize the peace dividends of the end of the war in Tigray and of the nipping in the bud of a catastrophic ethno-religious conflict and use them to end the ethnic killings, persecution, dispossession, and uprooting of innocent Ethiopians in the Oromia kilil.
It appears there are forces and individuals in the government and the political party the PM has created (The Prosperity Party) who are committed to promoting ethnic interests and goals that are inimical to peace and unity in Ethiopia. It is obvious that they are subverting and derailing his publicly claimed pursuit of peace and unity. The Prime Minister should infer from the support Ethiopians gave him in the recent war and from the recognition he has received from the Holy Synod for the good work he has done that Ethiopians will always support his struggles against ethno-centric forces. The PM should mobilize and activate this support to bring peace and unity to Ethiopia.
He would then be building on his recent successes in peace-making and reconciliation. He would be fulfilling the many bright promises he has made to Ethiopians in his numerous talks and speeches, many of which are infused with patriotic sentiments. In bringing peace and unity to Ethiopia, he will be truthful to himself for he would be acting and living in ways that are in harmony with his proclaimed philosophy of Mädämer.
After his double success in peace-making, Ethiopians are now watching him, hoping that his actions will allow them to believe that hope will eventually triumph over despair.
Editor’s note : views in the article reflect the views of the writer, not the views of borkena.com
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I saw this on a postcard: “Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds!” About 75% of Ethiopia’s population is under 45 and what the Self-serving Activists in various hats/cloaks teach them is Growing Weeds.
Ethiopia with its 86 ethnics is hard to administer let alone topped up with COVID, West’s embargo/sanctions, Birr devaluation, TPLF-OLA Proxy Wars wreaking havoc, drought…
Well, Abba Sawiros is Amara and doesn’t speak Affan Oromo. His father is the founder of one of the monasteries. One needn’t be Oromo to right EOTC’s age-old wrongs. The EOTC had the time and the resources to preach the Bible in all the 86 ethnic languages.
The Synod is mostly Amara since the dawn of Orthodox Christianity in Ethiopia. Worse, Mahbere-Qidusan has become Amara Supremacist Institute in Orthodox Christian hat! Should any ethnic advance & assert its hegemony over the 85 others posing as X/Y/Z?
Ethiopia is a country of 86 ethnics each with its language, culture, etc. NONE of them is a Second Class Citizen or Step Child! So, they are ALL entitled to equal rights: justice, education, health care, etc. Till when should we keep kicking the can down the road?
The Germans are the largest population in the US, and are not “Second Class Citizen” using your misguided-measuring tools out of your own “weed’.
You seem to have deluded your mind, by thinking there are ample “teachers” who could “teach” in all the “86 ethnics” languages… ( including you, which begs the question, “Are your records strait ?” No.
(I will point that out later… based on one of your recent postings…) .
I invite you to read the resent 12 grade exam outcome based on “killil” and you will find the scheme you are pushing has NOT produced the desired-outcome in all killil, yet Addis Abeba and Amhara killil did better in comparison.
“In the most recent college entrance national exams, the Oromo tribal homeland lagged behind the national average. For example, the average scores for all subjects by regions were, Addis Ababa (38.46%), Harari (32.88), Dire Dawa (31.42%), Amhara (30.37%), Sidama (28.34), Southern People (28.17), and Oromo (27.96). Oromo performed below Amhara in almost all areas. Of the top 5 best performing high schools in the nation, three were in Amhara and one in Oromo. Further, Amhara performed better than the national average by 9 percentage points. Oromo was under by 41 percentage points.”
Source = borkena.com/2023/02/05/ethiopia-existential-crisis-without-a-leader-but-this-too-shall-pass/
Which means speaking ones-language does NOT make one a “teacher”. (2) if so, one is spreading what little one-knows, making the wider community (ethnicity) “dumb & dumber”.
In one of your recent posting you mentioned:
“i_Mognu January 25, 2023 At 2:48 pm
It’s your Reasoning Disability that can make me Abiy’s Cadre! Your Oxford graduate monarchs did nothing for Ethiopia. Haile-Selassie’s regime brought only shame to Ethiopia(ns)!
His regime let millions die of famine and made Ethiopia synonymous with “Famine”, “World’s Poster Child of Poverty”, and the song “We are the World” whereas Abiy feeds 10 million school kids twice a day [rich or poor].
Your ‘Heil Haile-Selassie!’ rant is no consolation to me and the millions who died in the famine. I have never been to Wollo, but I was bashed by White Supremacists with the “We are the World” song whistle twice: First, while on a job training field trip and another one while waiting on line to enter exam hall for a final exam! ”
1) “Haile-Selassie’s regime brought only shame to Ethiopia(ns)!”
He and his warriors across the the land fought the Invading Mussolini Italian-modern army, and defeated it whit the help of our allies.
As a result of that you, Abiy, I, and millions of Ethiopians walk a free man /woman across our land. Speak the language our ancestors spoke ( all 86) , the food they ate, the land they walked on, and their burials undisturbed.
2) His speech & words at the “league of nations” in 1936, the essence of that speech still reverberates on the world stage, passed on from generation to generation.
Read it, you will learn a lot about your nation, and the leaders that passed it to you intact: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_the_League_of_Nations_Haile_Selassie_June_1936
3) ““We are the World” song”:
The song was written in 1984, in the US, and “Do they know it is Christmas” in the UK ( little they know we have known Christmas (Genna) for 2000 years, unlike themselves for the last few hundreds… )
*** The song was in response to the 1983 drought (which many of us participated in collecting donations (door to door) overseas…)
*** Haile-Selassie’s government has ended in 1974, and he allegedly was killed by the Derg in 1975.
You need to set the record (your history knowledge) straight.
I hope the people you telling/”teach” the above “story”, do know the real story and “dates” those events took place.
To teach one has to have (1) the “qualification” (2) needs to be “trained” (3) teaching materials have to be designed .
To assume all the above are in abundant supply in all 86 ethnicities is simply a lie.
Amharic & Geez before it are the only “written languages” in Africa & the 6 in the world for over 3000 years.
*** “Bete Kehenet” (place of higher learning) existed in Amhara/Tigray/Eretria before Christianity came 2000 years ago.; reading and writing wat thought in those areas .
*** “Bete Christian” was added to it much later, and Bible was translated from Hebrew to geez and later in Amharic to teach. And as bible teaching expanded to the other 86 ethnicities the “teachers” thought with the language they know.
That is not a “conspiracy” as you like to put it, but pure availability and not knowing to speak the other 86 including Oromo, most are first and 2nd & 3rd, very few 4th generation exposed to reading and writings.
As the Priests learnt to speak the local languages they communicated better with the local languages, but that is still not sufficient enough to ‘teach’ with the local languages. That needs to be understood first and most; there is no conspiracy. If there was one, none of the 86 would be able to have what they have now, a dominate-power (as the Europeans, the Americans, the French were) would have done the same as the colonizers have done all over the world.
The Americans, made sure none of the locals reman alive, The French, Italians, Spanish and Portuguese forced the locals to abandon their languages & traditions and take the colonizers. In Canada as we speak are using “sonar” to locate “buried” native children in “boarding schools” where they were “Canadianized” as recently as 1970s/80s.
All my teachers in high school in Ethiopia were Foreigners, except for Amharic.
Should we resent these foreigners did not tech us in our own languages?
That would be “ignorance” wouldn’t you agree.
So let us not twist things to make them look as if they were intentionally done. Please, please, give credit where credit is due; these priests that thought Amharic “fidel” were doing it for no pay in most cases going village to village, and begging for their daily food, including those students that went to learn also begged for food while at school far away from home.
Nothing harmful was done in Ethiopia, as activists today want people to believe, to make way for their personal ambitions.
Jawar’s “Oromo out of Ethiopia” strategy has one major caveat in it, there are fewer compotators to “lead” such a partition; that is all.
Most of the youngster drowning in the waters between Libya & Italy are our “former Ethiopian” brothers heading overseas to avoid military service in Eretria, as well as joblessness. There are YT videos showing so…
A separate any part, will have the same issues regardless of who is at the top.
It is always the “Economy”.
Abiy is doing what a leader is supposed /required to do, so let us help him by first reading on the subject matter that we try to voice our opinion on, without being “anti” this “anti” that. All the past “leaders” have contributed “something” that is why we have what we have. There is no nation that did not have an average leader who was self absorbed… Read about British kings… Even better the chaotic-church what is has done over the centuries (boys, Nunes, artifacts of the world, including ours…) In comparison EOTC has done no such “degrading things” in its entire 2000 year history of teaching Christianity, and Bete Kehenet before that. And we all should be proud of that.
Forgive me, i_Mognu, I did not mean to pick on you, just to set the record & “dates”.
Typo, Last paragraph line 5,
“chaotic-church” should read “Catholic-Church”
* In addiction the Catholic Church is credited for “Blessing” & encouraging Colonization of indigenous-peoples (“none Believers”, Pagans) in the Global-South (Africa included) by the Europeans (Christians (“Believers”) .
** Doing so, “being doing Gods work”.
I have posted my partial answer below. You raised tons of Ethiopia’s ills in one shot. I can only address a fraction of them now. Please write articles on them and post them! Let others comment, too! Thanks!
Subject: “Ethiopia : A Step Towards Sanity” by Maimire Mennasemay, February 16, 2023″
Humble Commentary, 16 Feb 2022
Ethiopia will eventually find itself to its natural sanity and decency out of temporary quick temper of madness!!!
NO doubt about it — after all, ETHIOPIA — THE ANCIENT BLACK AFRICAN COUNTRY — is one of the oldest independent countries around the Globe, with solid sane experience on LIFE.
If in doubt, refer to ANCIENT rare accurate history books in nearby Libraries — you will be surprised about the extent of ‘hypnotism’ that had been going on in Life to give a negative image of Black Africa, in generality (around the Globe) It is equivalent to open free murder ……………. with immunity!!! YES, with immunity in the killings of black human beings?!?!?!?!.
However, I would like to change the ” ‘double’ success in peace-making”, in your last paragraph, to read ” ‘triple’ success in peace-making”, to acknowledge his very first monumental “peace-agreement” that he initiated & signed between Eretria & Ethiopia, that later breath a life of its own in containing & defeating the “Tigray-Rebels”, (aka TPLF).
Thank you, for sharing the European experiences of religious conflicts…
Peace is a precondition for successful program of economic development and poverty alleviation. Investors need to have confidence in being able to reap the benefits of their investments before embarking in any programs that otherwise are financially rewarding. And those investors have the options to use their money in competing regions or even countries. Regions and countries that are deemed to be unstable politically would be the least priority areas for investor.
Which regions in Ethiopia are the most attractive for investors and as corollary least attractive? For domestic investors who may not have the option to invest outside of Ethiopia (for lack of access to foreign exchange and other management related reasons), the best option for private investors at this time would be to use their domestic currency (where cash is losing value rapidly) in the Amhara, Southern , Gumuz, and Gambella regions, and avoid Oromo Region altogether. I would even avoid highly speculative investing in real estate in Addis Abeba; any rudimentary financial analysis shows real estate investing in Addis Abeba (and other cities/towns) does not make sense at all as evidenced by cost-benefit analysis.
The root cause of ongoing instability in Oromo Region is grounded in poverty and hopelessness to improve the self through own efforts. The Oromos have been in charge of managing their region for years and even more recently. Instead of using that power to develop the regional economy in all priority areas of their choice, they rather want to rob from others outside and inside the region under the pretense of compensation for purported wrongs done to them 100 years (by their own invention) back. They have set their eyes on Addis Abeba and other big public investments to expropriate for the benefits of few ‘activists cum politicians’ and not the masses of Oromos. Those ‘activists cum politicians’ are also trying to cover up their utter failure to use the new found governing power of Oromo Region by stopping and pushing back success in other regions and endeavors. Let them destroy themselves, while smart money should flow elsewhere!
Meanwhile, I want my dear countrymen/women to shift their attention to what concerns Africa at large. Our brothers and sisters in Madagascar are once again at the crosshairs of a devastating cyclone that will arrive there on February 21, 2023. It is projected to have wind gusting at more than 145 mph at a landfall. I don’t know how people in its path will survive living in makeshift houses. This potent cyclone will wreak havoc in Mauritius before it is heading to Madagascar. Let’s have our dear brothers and sisters in Madagascar in our daily prayers.
Cascade of events led to “We are the World!” How did Ethiopia go from “Bread Basket of Africa” to “World’s Poster Child of Famine” just under Haile-Selassie himself? Does air-dropping bread for starving citizens take rocket scientists? It’s unfathomable to me!
Well, you are barking up the wrong tree! I am only here to deter people like you from making my past the future of the over 75% of Ethiopians who are under age 45. To me, it is a matter of conscience to denounce injustice of any kind regardless of the perpetrator.
Look, from what ‘Ethiopians’ like you put me thru [back home & abroad], I should be handing truck loads of gasoline to those burning Ethiopia down: Egypt, Egypt’s White Supremacist West [WSW] Patrons, Egypt’s & WSW’s Proxy Dogs [TPLF, OLA, etc.]…
Although my family wasn’t even remotely affiliated with the monarchy, I paid the price for its greed. I was a child prisoner and my family never knew where I was for 6 years. Oh, Menelik Palace was one of the prisons where they left me starving, thirsty and cold.
I was skin-and-bones when they transferred me to Alem-Bekagn [for indefinite detention] where I saw/met Prince Mekonen’s three sons, Ras Asrate-Kassa’s three sons, and others. The irony was that even EPRP, Meison, EDU, etc. were serving utmost 5-year sentences.
You asked : “How did Ethiopia go from “Bread Basket of Africa” to “World’s Poster Child of Famine””
a) In 1936 Ethiopian population was 12 million (“bread basket”), in 1974 it was 36 million do the math, triple the population but food production did not triple, meaning “the bread basket” went empty faster. (too many mouth to feed.)
“Well, you are barking up the wrong tree! I am only here to deter people like you from making my past the future of the over 75% of Ethiopians who are under age 45.”
a) People “like me” did not add a single child to the population explosion you are talking about since 1975, from 36 million to 122 million now.
Neither Haile Selassie nor “people like me” are to blame for you “quadrupling ” the population with little food produced to feed them.
So, stop blaming someone else for your own short comings.
Teach the girls in the country, one week before their period they are prone to get pregnant, and for 3 weeks after their period-stop, they are okay to have sex and are unlikely to get pregnant. (this is from my high school biology class, not from experience, as a man ).
Simple economics, if you have more kids you will have less money, to support them. No one needs to go to school in Ethiopia to learn this, they see it every day from the people in their villages.
By 2040 Ethiopia’s population might reach 250 million, by 2100 (roughly 80 years from now) 1.5 billion, looking at the the las 40 years population explosion. Which means no matter how much more Food you grow, Poverty is multiplying many fold.
“To me, it is a matter of conscience to denounce injustice of any kind regardless of the perpetrator.”
a) “Poverty” breads “injustice” of all kinds. As “affluence” breads “we know what is better for you” injustices of WAR waged by the rich ( “the great powers” ) on the poor nations; (Ukraine’s & Ethiopian-recent Proxy -wars… Iraq, Libya, … etc., etc…)
Remember, this not a blame game, simply a “realty-check” practice. (“you do this, this happens, else that one”, (algorithm )) .
I always see you promoting your Haile-Selassie Era Monarchy using ingenious devious ways circumventing the intent of posted articles. Anyway, my partial response is below!
I want to interject something of a different concern. I first reported here as heads up about a lethal cyclone that heading toward New Zealand last week. My fears confirmed and it is now reported that more than 10 people are with thousands still unaccounted for. I suspect there are members of own Diaspora who live in that island nation and I hope there are no casualties among them. If anyone of you who happen to read this comment please give us a shout out and tell us you have dodged the bullet from a calamity once again. I hope and pray you are all fine. Insha’Allah!!!
NB: I have confronted Major Dawit on Borkena & Colonel Goshu at a meeting long ago.
Where do I come in in all your allegations? I was just a kid back then! Was I Haile-Selassie’s/Mengistu’s Minister of Agriculture/Education/Social Services? In which curriculum drafting, policy making, or advisory board did any of you hire me? My family and I have never been part of your Haile-Selassie Era Monarchy or its successors?
When I managed to leave Ethiopia, MOST of the RATS abroad in Ethiopian Hats were Haile-Selassie Era Monarchy’s Beneficiaries & their Dogs OR Mengistu/Derg Era’s Beneficiaries & their Dogs. Travesty of justice: YOU BOTH BLAME YOUR VICTIMS!
I have seen your self-serving distorted verdict on the EOTC vs. Languages above. That’s just another of your travesty of justice! It is after becoming a refugee and doing my courses in foreign languages that I saw how privileged I was & how disadvantaged the non-Amharic-speaking Ethiopians were in my schools back home!
Had it not been for the 75% of Ethiopians under 45 who are used as cannon fodder for the return to power of your likes staging evil scenarios [with White Supremacist West’s backing], I should have left ‘Ethiopians’ at: አህያ-ለአህያ – ቢራገጥ – ጥርስ አይሳበር! Yet, I don’t want my past [under regimes like yours] to be the future of these 75%!
Correction: The punctuation mark at the end of the first paragraph should be (.), NOT (?) – as follows:-
Where do I come in in all your allegations? I was just a kid back then! Was I Haile-Selassie’s/Mengistu’s Minister of Agriculture/Education/Social Services? In which curriculum drafting, policy making, or advisory board did any of you hire me? My family and I have never been part of your Haile-Selassie Era Monarchy or its successors.
Sorry about that! Thanks!