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Ethiopian president’s flag day key message, the contradictions 

Ethiopian News-flag-day
President Sahle Work Zewde making a speech during flag day, Oct 16,203 (Photo : Public Domain)

borkena 

Ethiopians were among people known for strong attachment and fierce love for their flag. Now it is a different story as ethnic politics has weakened that sentiment.  Allegiance is now to regional flags. 

Ethiopian President Sahle Work Zewde key message during the Ethiopian Flag Day celebration seem to demonstrate the extent of the damage of patriotic attachment to the Ethiopian flag.

“For it is a binding factor to our unity, we should always honor and protect our flag,” she said. 

For the Federal government flag day was celebrated in the Premise of the Ethiopian Parliament. Tagesse Chafo, speaker of the House of Representatives, and Agegnehu Teshager, Speaker of House of Federation, were among senior government officials who attended the celebration. 

It is also reportedly celebrated in regional states. State media featured flag day messages from regional state presidents including from the Oromia region – where Ethiopians wearing clothes bearing Ethiopia’s colors (green,yellow and red) are consistently harassed, and at times killed.

Several video footage circulating on social media purportedly show Oromia regional state security officers scrapping Ethiopian flag stickers on vehicles crossing the Oromia region. 

That sentiment seems to have a noticeable ground within the Federal government too. 

When one of Ethiopian Church’s open air religious festivals, Meskel, was celebrated last year in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the Federal government itself issued restrictions banning the green,yellow and red flag to the Meskel Square. 

Security officers were collecting ribbons with the three colors and ripping them when they noticed them in skirts and scarves. Videos purportedly showing policemen in uniform doing so were circulating on social media too.

In a striking contrast, the Oromia regional flag is emerging as the dominant, including in the capital Addis Ababa. Apart from attempted government policy to hoist flags across schools in Addis Ababa and impose regional anthem, ethnic oromo nationalist forces dominating at the Federal government of Ethiopia – many people include PM Abiy Ahmed to that group – are exploiting ethnic Oromo religious practice ( Irreechaa) as occasions to familiarize Ethiopians with the regional flag.  Hundreds of students were arrested in Addis Ababa for resisting the impositions of a unEthiopian flag and regional anthem on schools in Addis Ababa. 

From the messages President Shale conveyed, Perhaps Ethiopian President Sahlework Zewde was aware the harassment in the Oromia region in connection with flag use. 

“Our flag is our national identity and we always must give it the respect it deserves,” she said.  The message is likely for those not persecuted because of honoring it. 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is just run of the mill misogynist criticism. There is nothing vile in her speech as quoted in this article. Leave our women alone. She brought grace and dignity to the office of the president. What else is to be said about the other women in the government there? Look at our daughters/sisters doing managing the health system, telephone and other ministries. Every ministry and government outfit being managed by our women is now an envy for others on the continent. When COVID arrived there thanks to the commies from Beijing, our daughter Dr. Lia bint Tadesse did not throw her hands up and give up. She stared at the pathogen and faced it head on. COVID is the one to first blink. The country is one of the few countries with the lowest infection rates. What can I say about the telecommunication company? It is the best of the best in the region run by another daughter of ours. So leave our women alone!!!

  2. Palestinian children's lives matter as much as those of their peers in Israel or elsewhere in the world. Western hypocrisy has to stop. Palestinian children's lives matter as much as those of their peers in Israel or elsewhere in the world. Western hypocrisy has to stop.

    Palestinian children’s lives matter as much as those of their peers in Israel or elsewhere in the world. Western hypocrisy has to stop.
    ““Things happening (elsewhere) in the world are not going to stop,” Ibrahim added. The children of Afghanistan deserve equally as all children in the world.” Cnn Ms-Word showed grammatical errors in this line posted by CNN, just like many of the articles posted by Borkena, Fanno Communication Office in Canada.
    The death of a Palestinian child is viewed as less important than that of the rest of the children from western nations and their allies in a corrupt society where one citizen is perceived as superior to the other.

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