By Alemayehu G. Mariam
Ethiopian lives matter!
Exactly ten years ago in 2005, almost to the month, the late supreme leader of the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (T-TPLF), Meles Zenawi, personally directed a campaign of brutal suppression of unarmed protesters following the general election that year. On May 16, 2005, Meles Zenawi declared a state of emergency, outlawed all public gatherings and placed under his direct personal command and control all police, security and military forces, and replaced the capital city police with federal police and special forces. In the coming weeks, Meles’ forces went on a killing rampage slaughtering193 innocent protesters and severely wounding nearly 800 others. The unarmed protesters were hunted down and shot in the streets and in their homes simply because they chose to exercise their right to peaceably protest that rigged election. Those protesters died as martyrs to Ethiopian democracy.
I have been carrying the pain of that slaughter every day for the last ten years. I have preached about it every single week, without missing a single week, for the last nine. I joined the struggle for human rights in Ethiopia as a result of the Meles Massacres of 2005. The victims of the Meles Massacres cry out for justice. I am their voice.
In April 2015, almost a decade later to the month, I witnessed a revolting video clip of the slaughter of 30 Ethiopians by a barbaric self-styled terrorist group known as “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) (also known as Islamic State of Iraq and (Syria) al-Sham (ISIS)) in Libya. (I shall refer to this malignant cancer of a terrorist organization in the rest of my commentary here as “the terrorist group/organization” because I find it unconscionable, blasphemous and outrageous to associate the name of one of the great religions of the world with a barbarous, bloodthirsty and psychopathic group of criminal thugs in the world.)
The sadistic terrorist group in Libya decapitated — beheaded, butchered — young Ethiopian Christians like lambs at a slaughterhouse because they were “followers of the cross from the enemy Ethiopian Church” and steadfastly refused to change their faith. The 30 young Ethiopians died as martyrs not just of Christianity but also humanity of all faiths and beliefs. They died in the true spirit of Angus Dei (“Lamb of God “).
The ruthless terrorist group that is responsible for the unspeakable crimes against the young Ethiopian men, and among others, including victims from Egypt, the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Iraq and Syria, is believed to control territory in parts Iraq, Syria, Libya and Nigeria. In June 2014, that terrorist group proclaimed itself to be a worldwide caliphate (religious state) with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as its caliph (the leader supposedly acting in the place of the Prophet Muhammed).
That terrorist organization is believed to have attracted a motley crew of psychopaths, adventure-seekers and other disaffected and disenfranchised elements from the Middle East and Europe. Its members are infused with an apocalyptic world view. They expect the end of the world to begin when they meet the “army of Rome” (that is crusaders literally sent by the Pope in Rome, or more metaphorically, the armies of the “infidel” West) in Dabiq, Syria. To be sure, for that terrorist organization, the “infidels” also include Shia Muslims and other Muslims, and every Muslim state which does not subscribe to the terrorists’ ideology. That terrorist organization to date is responsible for the massacre of untold number of Muslim in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Nigeria. In Dabiq, the terrorists expect to vanquish all they consider “infidels”, including Christian, Muslim and others, and emerge victorious to spread their caliphate throughout the world.
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