Ethiopian & Rastafari
by Aster Sellassie, Millennium Ed.
Read and come back.
If you did, let me tell you what is ahead...
I began web-building in 1998 and to a great degree because of the new war. I thought that Haile Sellassie's legacy may help to understand that statesmanship is about seeing more than the crowd can see. That diplomacy HIM applaied for so many years did save a lot of Ethiopian lives. I thought...
And placed the poll for you, readers, to vote how do you see the future of Africa, the new century, which is here already.
From time to time I would check the results -- at least one third sees the dark time ahead. More of the same -- The Troubled Time...
I thought that I should know who are they the people who vote -- and placed another poll to understand who visits our pages. One thrid of them are Ethiopians. More than one third...
If you ask them, most likely they won't admit it; it's hard to accept that there is no future.
It is hard to accept the facts -- the present and the past. Hard to take responsibility for your life...
Ethiopia has no problems. Ethiopians do.
Ethiopia's problems are simple. Ethiopia has only one problem -- the Ethiopians are this problem.
GeoAlaska: Theatre & Film
(c)2004 HIM contents (summary of the HS web-biography) *
"An Ethiopian Boyhood"
2004 & After
"You don't have much time to question Us. We shall only last one year," he said after they arrested him.Ethiopia after Haile Sellassie
King has to be a prophet. A year later the Emperor was suffocated and his body thrown in a sewage.
"He knelt down and wept and started praying," the imperial servant, a prosecution witness, told the court. "He understood that it was the end of his days."....The second witness said he was ordered by guard to leave the adjoining room where he normally slept. "The next morning I knocked on his bedroom door and opened it. There was a sort of odor and his face was totally black," the witness said, adding that the emperor's bedclothes were not his usual ones and that a bandage was around his neck.
Witnesses said that Mengistu, now in exile in Zimbabwe, came to the palace and saw the body.
The third witness, a maintenance worker at the palace, said security officials ordered him to dig four graves in the grounds that morning.
The trail was adjourned untill tomorrow. Reuter, 1997
Ethiopia began its longest and bloodiest war -- against itself. Nobody yet has counted the millions that have vanished since 1974. The history of Ethiopia is a history of wars.
Ethiopia changed its National Anthem, the new songs were old news -- "We will destroy the old world.... who was naught will be all...." Now this generation is old, what songs should their children sing?
Ethiopia or Revolution? "Ethiopia Takdem".... [text is not posted yet]
When was this photo taken? 1937, 1978, 1984, 1998? Click on picture to see how big the losess are.
In 1995 we saw the compound Kebele 10
which housed Addis Ababa's most infamous prison during the red terror.
It became a home for the yesterday's masters.
A padlocked door still has the words -- The Revolution Above All Else!
There is a line outside -- the relatives of the former communist bosses, the women.
Is the food provision for the prisoners still a responsibility of the family?
Customs die hard.
For the politics and the present day ideas go to a new page Ethiopia Today I posted my views on the conflict over there. I'm not a political scientist to say much.
Wars in Africa seem foul and far away. And incomprehensible. Now that it has become unfashionable to ascribe them all to "tribalism", people have taken to blaming the continent's borders. Drawn on a largely blank map by European governments 100 years ago, the borders of today's "nation-states" take no regard of ethnic, commercial or even geographical realities on the ground. Some frontiers blithely slice through communities and mountains alike, following lines of latitude or longitude. By creating artificial countries, the argument goes, yesterday's map-makers are responsible for today's wars. It sounds plausible, but it is not true.
There is not a single significant movement in Africa today that wants secession or a change in borders. No ethnic group divided by a frontier is demanding reunification; on the contrary, most such groups have learnt to exploit their situation commercially and politically. Almost every time African presidents pronounce on the ills of their continent, they reaffirm their commitment to the inviolability of their borders.
This tradition is one reason that most frontiers have remained sacrosanct. Stupid they may be, but trying to redraw them could plunge the continent into chaos. Pre-colonial Africa contained 6,000 to 10,000 political units, ranging from simple tribles led by a chief to sopisticated kingdoms with parliaments and officials. Africans recognise that it would be crazy to try to re-establish them. Early attempts at secession from Africa's new states-by Katanga in the Kongo (Zaire) and by Biafra in Nigeria-failed, as did the Somalis' attempt to grab a bit of Ethiopia that they thought was "traditionally" theirs. The only successful secessionists have re-established COLONIAL, not pre-colonial, entities. Eritrea, recognised as an independent state in 1993, was originally carved out of Ethiopia by the Italians. Somaliland, unrecognised but existing de facto since 1991, was originally a British creation.
The appetite for more map-making seems sated, at least for the moment. The main exception is to be found in southern Sudan, whose people are very different, as well as distant, from the northerners against whom they have long been fighting. But even they, or most of them, do not usually say their intention is a new independent state, though that is plainly what their victory would lead to. Few others want to split. The rebels in eastern Zaire say they want revolution...
Maybe now is the time for Ethiopians to recall that H.S. wasn't that bad. After all, he was there to work for the liberation of Ethiopians from the Italians. He was there to reunite Ethiopia with Eritrea. Maybe, it wasn't all his fault this "Eritrean Question". Politics is the art of possible. There are many things we can't solve today. Not even tomorrow.
Here are Eritrean links, you can hear their side of the story....
that's how wars are born -- when the sides do not respect their own history.
U.S. State Department data on Eritrea
Government of Eritrea Home Page
Not only the question of Eritrea has a long and painful history, but the relations between North and South in Ethiopia are no less complicated than between North and South in Italy, or in U.S. for that matter. The difference is that Italians or Americans know that the bullets never resolve anything. Not in the long run. They paid for their knowledge with blood. We should respect this price.
Infestation: December 1992 Number killed, Number affected, Number homeless: unknown Date declared as disaster by US: 04 March 1993 NORTHERN COASTAL PLAINS AND HIGHLANDS OF ERITREA WERE INFESTED WITH DESERT & MIGRATORY LOCUSTS. Drought: 1992 Number killed: unknown, Number affected: 500000 Date declared as disaster by US: 26 October 1992 EASTERN & SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA; CONTINUING EMERGENCY DUE TO DROUGHT, INSECURITY, & INFLUX OF RETURNEES FROM SOMALIA Accident: 04 June 1991 Number killed: 100 Date declared as disaster by US: 06 June 1991 ADDIS ABABA; EXPLOSIONS IN AMMUNITION STORAGE FACILITIES; BUSINESSES DESTROYED & SHANTY HOUSES LEVELED; SEVERAL THOUSAND DISPLACED & 200 INJ. Displaced persons: May 1991 Number affected: 400000 Date declared as disaster by US: 17 July 1991 HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF GOVT. SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS IN NORTH DISPLACED IN AFTERMATH OF CIVIL WAR Drought: 1991 Number killed: unknown Number affected: 6160000 Date declared as disaster by US: 09 October 1991 AFFECTED INCLUDES DROUGHT VICTIMS IN TIGRAY, WELLO, & GONDAR IN N., THE OGADEN, HARERGHE, & PARTS OF SOUTH, AS WELL AS DISPLACED PERSONS, RETURNEES, & REFUGEES Flood: September 1990 Number killed: unknown Number affected: 350000 Number homeless: 350000 Date declared as disaster by US: Not declared GAMBELA REGION OF WESTERN ETHIOPIA; STORMS AND FLOODING DESTROYED THOUSANDS OF HOMES Drought: 1990 Number killed: unknown Number affected: 6500000 Date declared as disaster by US: 17 October 1990 ERITREA, TIGRAY, & HARERGE; POOR RAINS AND CIVIL WAR THREATENED TO LEAD TO SEVERE FOOD SHORTAGES; AFFECTED INCLUDES ALSO THE OGADEN Drought: 1989 Number killed: unknown Number affected: 2300000 Date declared as disaster by US: 14 October 1989 NORTHERN ETHIOPIA/ERITREA, TIGRAY, WOLLO, GONDAR, HARERGE; CIVIL WAR & POOR RAINS LED TO FOOD SHORTAGES; UP TO 3.8 MIL. PERSONS AT RISK Flood: 25 September 1988 Number killed: 45 Number affected: 2240 Number homeless: 2240 Date declared as disaster by US: Not declared SIDAMO PROV./DOLLO; FLASH FLOOD; THOUSANDS OF ANIMALS DROWNED Epidemic: September 1988 Number killed: 7385 Number affected: 41139 Date declared as disaster by US: 06 March 1989 COUNTRYWIDE, ESPECIALLY WELAITA, GAMA GOFA, SHEWA, AND WELLO; MENINGITIS Infestation: June 1988 Date declared as disaster by US: 02 September 1988 DESERT LOCUSTS IN TIGRAY AND ERITREA; ARMYWORMS THROUGHOUT COUNTRY EXCEPT TIGRAY AND ERITREA Drought: 1987 Number killed: unknown Number affected: 7000000 Date declared as disaster by US: 14 September 1987 ERITREA, TIGRAY, WELLO, & SHEWA MOST AFFECTED Infestation: 1987 Date declared as disaster by US: 28 July 1987 LOCUST AND OTHER INSECT INFESTATIONS Drought: 1987 Number killed: 367 Number affected: 330000 Date declared as disaster by US: 16 June 1987 OGADEN; SOMALI NOMADS MOST AFFECTED; EXTENSIVE LIVESTOCK LOSSES Infestation: 1986 Date declared as disaster by US: 24 July 1986 DESERT LOCUSTS, AFRICAN MIGRATORY LOCUSTS, AND ARMYWORMS, ESPECIALLY IN ERITREA AND TIGRAY Flood: August 1985 Number killed: 9 Number homeless: 8000 Date declared as disaster by US: Not declared RIFT VALLEY REGION Accident: 14 January 1985 Number killed: 392 Number affected: 500 Date declared as disaster by US: Not declared TRAIN WRECK NEAR AWASH; OVER 500 INJ.; ESTIMATES AS HIGH AS 449 DEAD Drought: 1983 Number killed: 300000 Number affected: 7750000 Date declared as disaster by US: 14 October 1984 AFFECTED PROVINCES INCLUDE WOLLO, TIGRAY, ERITREA, SHOA, GONDER, HARERGE & SIDAMO; NO RELIABLE FIG. FOR NO.KILLED; ESTIMATES RANGED 250,000 TO 1,000,000 Drought: 1983 Number affected: 5000000 Date declared as disaster by US: Not declared (Second report) Number affected: 2000000 Date declared as disaster by US: 05 May 1983 WOLLO/GONDAR Drought: 1979 Number killed: 157 Number affected: 25000 Date declared as disaster by US: 12 May 1980 SW. GAMO GOFO; DYSENTERY EPIDEMIC Flood: August 1978 Number killed: 9 Number affected: 1000 Date declared as disaster by US: Not declared Drought: 1978 No data Date declared as disaster by US: 24 November 1978 FAMINE; WOLLO, TIGRE PROVS. Civil strife: 1978 No numbers Date declared as disaster by US: 10 August 1978 DISPLACED PERSONS; BALE, SIDAMO PROVS. Drought: 1978 Number affected: 1400000 Date declared as disaster by US: 10 April 1978 WOLLO, TIGRE PROVS. Flood: November 1977 Number affected: 16000 Date declared as disaster by US: Not declared AWASH RIVER VALLEY Civil strife: July 1977 Number affected: 650000 Date declared as disaster by US: 24 September 1977 OGADEN CONFLICT; OGADEN REGION Drought: 1977 Number affected: 300000 Date declared as disaster by US: Not declared FAMINE; WOLLO, TIGRE PROVS. Flood: April 1976 Number affected: 50000 Number homeless: 20000 Date declared as disaster by US: 07 May 1976 GODE, KELAFO, MUSTAHIL ....
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