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Ethiopian History

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Ethiopian & Rastafari
by Aster Sellassie, Millennium Ed.
Ethio-Music CD



Get your favorite HISTORY videos/dvds at HistoryChannel.com

Did you read Revolution Page? You should.

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.


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25 YEARS LATER

"You don't have much time to question Us. We shall only last one year," he said after they arrested him.
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 after Haile Sellassie The data from USAID is at the end of the page.

THE YEARS OF THE RED TERROR
....Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? -- Jeremiah XIII

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, land of our fathers,
the land where our God wants to be....
like bees to hive swiftly gather
God children are gathered to Three....

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]


That's what the earth keeps. Why do we have to rush to feed it?

When was this photo taken? 1937, 1978, 1984, 1998? Click on picture to see how big the losess are.


No, not the politics, but the facts. Twenty five years is a long time in our fast paced history. We saw the transformations of Asian countries in one generation. What did you have, Ethiopia, during the last quater of century?

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.

The Economist, 15 Jan 1997

Imposed arbitrarily, defended illogically and blamed incessantly, Africa's frontiers are largely irrelevant to its problems.

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...


This Yahoo search engine is set for Ethiopia, click on to see the news!
[ Yahoo! News Search ]

Another WAR?

Eritrea. The bad news. May 6, 1998 -- a new war

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

Eritrea WebSite

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.


The records are incomplete, only a few samples from 1977-1992 (the 15 years of the Dergue)

  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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