The prospect of an end of a year of war in Ethiopia which saw insufferable loss may be upon us yet there will be no time to celebrate. I pray a bloody conflict in vain is avoided. Attempts to turn back time to the Zemene Mesafint solution of the past has failed. Jesus said war will always be with us recognizing the fallibility of man to solve his problems reasonably.
As Winston Churchill said about the Battle of Britain when the Royal Air Force though outnumbered managed to defeat the Luftwaffe by superior tactics it was not the end but the end of the beginning so it is for Ethiopia.
The Federal government under Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party now on the final step of defeat by Tigray and Oromo forces still has managed to destroy the economy in its last gasp. Means of manufacturing in not only Tigray but also Amhara have been destroyed by carpet bombing, artillery barrage, and intended ransacking. This has resulted in default of repayment of billions of dollars in loans made by Ethiopian banks to build these factories and businesses.
Discussions with knowledgeable sources in Addis Ababa reveals that government coiffeurs are now empty with almost no payment to government employees. The Ethiopian federal government is broke.
The airport for now remains open but thousands are fleeing the country. Inflation will hit 50% up and the birr will hit 50% down in value. Millions are displaced and without employment. Food stocks and crops are sparse. Hope for the future is fragile at best.
Victory will bring a new challenge for the whole country but will only be the end of the beginning of new era which will take time. Addis Ababa will be named Finfinne as it should have been all along. Tigray more then another region has been devastated and will have to rebuild its infrastructure, health system and economy from scratch. The Oromo region, the most fertile land of Ethiopia, and her people deserve to finally have their say and I hope they will be heard. Their concept of gadaa, that is learning from the past about the right use of resources for the community as a whole in consultation with elders, should be respected.
Once again the area we call Ethiopia will have to persevere to find a way to live together in mutual benefit and peace.
The public beating of a mother and child by police shows Addis Ababa once the shining city of divergence and enlightenment now has a very dark soul of malevolence and nihilism.
I cannot get a video posted today from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia out of my head. Two big Addis Ababa policemen find a small Tigray woman with her child of about 1 and 1/2 years on side walk street vending. Upon hearing her speak Tigrinya they viciously kick her feet out from under her and begin pummeling her head.
One has to understand that no Tigray would be out in the street of Addis Ababa where they are subject to such abuse or even disappearing without a trace in a detainment center where extrajudicial killings have happened according to prosecutors from Addis Ababa.
No doubt she was poor and needed money to feed her child. We don’t know the exact story of why she was there but losing her family to marauding death squads of Ethiopian or Eritrean soldiers, or starvation, or just being isolated because of the communication block could be one or all contributing to her desperate current plight.
There were many bystanders but not a single one defended her. Instead when they saw someone was filming the senseless brutality of police officers whose job is to protect the vulnerable they blocked the filming. What happened after that we do not know. Unfortunately though it is well known that for some time there has been no safe place for Tegaru in Addis Ababa.
If she goes to the Medhanialem Church near the wealthy social center of Addis in a neighborhood called Bole she would not find refuge now. Always in the past this Ethiopian Orthodox Church was a sanctuary for all Ethiopians where they could sleep, find water, clothes or other hand outs from fellow Christians. Today the Tegaru rightful head of this ancient denomination is under house arrest while Amhara replacements preach a false Gospel of death rather then life in those sacred abodes which once proclaimed the charity and brotherhood of Jesus Christ but now are replaced by hate even of a widowed mother and her small child.
Maybe it is time to return Addis Ababa to its original name Finfinne and to it’s original peaceful owners, the Oromo, who are known for creating Africa’s first democracy, Gadaa, before they were conquered and enslaved by Amhara expansion.