Ethiopian Lives Matter !!! [Getachew Abera]

Many fled as security forces used tear gas
Many fled as security forces used tear gas

Ethiopia knows no peace throughout its long history. The same is true in the current case, too.

The governments that came to power (which came to the throne) never required the consent of the people to rule on its behalf. The demand to the establishment of popularly elected gov’t was always met with brutal suppression by the dictatorial regimes, past and present.

  1. Imperial kings claimed to have got political power directly from God and never intended to give up power to the people until the last emperor was dethroned   in 1974 by popular revolution.
  2. The military junta was set up by men-in-uniform and hijacked the revolution to turn it to its own greedy interest, It soon turned to be military dictator and stood against all the youth who demanded for people’s gov’t.

The pro-Soviet military junta was dressed with M-Leninist cover and was confronted by underground leftist organization called EPRP (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party). EPRP, in so amateurish style launched urban guerilla against the military gov’t which was later branded as “White Terror” by its cadres. The response was so brutal and indiscriminate killing of all youth that may be suspect of EPRP members. Tens of thousands of lives were lost in short span of time in the name of the infamous “red terror” between 1976 and 1978.

The rest of the world rarely reported such cases, as if our lives did not matter!

Ironically, injuries in the clash between the Israelis and Palestinians or the attempt of the IRA to assassinate British official were the headlines of the largest Western media networks in the same period.

j6Lives, be it Ethiopian or otherwise, black or white, Arab or African, etc equally matter. Isn’t it?

Not only that, in the conventional civil war between the military gov’t (it claimed to be civilian later) and ethnic and secessionist groups in the north of the country, tens of thousands were killed in single front almost on regular basis. Although both sides claim to be successful against the other, that the country was loosing dearest human lives was true. However, reports on international level were rare or even if it was made, only in a minor scale.

The civil war that was widely ignored by the rest of the world resulted in the:

–  Replacement of the military regime by ethnically organized groups in Addis Ababa;

–  Creation of two countries: Ethiopia and Eritrea (based in Asmara).

  1. The nation-hating group which assumed power in Addis Ababa soon started to silence down its opponents by means of arms.

The main targets of the TPLF-led (Tigrean… ) regime are students(university and secondary school), intellectuals and party politicians. If we particularly pick out only the killing crime that this gov’t made, the following are worth mentioning:

  1. The 1992 massacre of the AAU(Addis Ababa University) students in reaction to their peaceful protest to the visit of the late Secretary general, UN, Boutros B. Gali;
  2. The 2001 massacre of university and high school students in as a result of gov’t intervention in the academic independence;
  3. The massacre of religious believers by gov’t forces in the sacred sites(churches) such as in Gondar and Wolayita 20 years ago;
  4. The brutal killing at Hawassa town in reaction to a peaceful demonstration demanding that Sidama be given the status of regional state;
  5. The massacre of Agnuak people by the regime army in reaction to the allegation of the ambush and killing of the ‘Northerners’ by the Agnuaks(one of the largest ethnic groups in Gambella region);
  6. The post-2005 election killing in A.A. and other cities which resulted in the death of more than 200 persons;
  7. The murder of hundreds and arrest of thousands of Oromo ethnic members in reaction to the protracted protest in Oromiya region more than a year ago;
  8. The very recent barbaric massacre of youngsters in the  Amhara region (mainly in Gondar, Bahir Dar, etc) in reaction to the popular demand that Wolkait of Gondar be restored to its original part from Tigrai; the action of the gov’t and reaction of the people take wide coverage and is seemingly the starting point of the crumbling of the system
  9. As I am writing this note, I am sadly listening to the news and watching very horrible pictures while believers were being killed during stampede at Debre Zeit; un exhausted report of the causality is more than 700 dead and thousands injured. The gov’t as usual plays the key role in this savage killing at a sacred religious site.

In all the above damage inflicted upon us, Ethiopians the rest of the world was not let to know much. No due attention was not given to us. Why? Does not our life matter?

Three Mistaken Parties

  1. Ethiopian Diaspora

The angry and louder Ethiopian Diaspora is always tireless in condemning the current gov’t and calling the local population to rise violently. This group uses all means to express its extreme stand and desire to change. However, this group lacks:

–  Unity and coordination to add a valuable support to the force/s of change;

–  Strategy and meaningful organization to compel for change and stand as a viable alternative if the opportunity of setting up of a new system/state is created;

–   Regularity, commitment and effectiveness to lobby foreign statesmen or legislatures to support the cause of the Ethiopian people. Had the Diaspora been so effective in this sector, many states would have passed laws, would have designed policies, would have curtailed their aid to TPLF-led gov’t  that it tends to change;

–  Cohesion and is deeply divided into different polarized and hostile groupings.

  1. Diplomatic Community in Ethiopia

Ethiopia has many embassies and diplomatic councils among African countries, since it is the seat of AU(African Union) and UNECA(United Nations Economic Commission for Africa). There is no doubt that the diplomatic community has a clear look and information on what is going on in the country.

Suppression of political opponents by the gov’t, clear violations of human rights by state organs, enforcement of repressive laws, etc are not hidden to the diplomatic in Addis Ababa. However, they make no attempt to exert their influence on the gov’t or to provide constructive advice to have a change for good. Some key embassies, including the US and EU are merely reserved in inviting some opposition groups/renowned individuals in their respective embassies and pay lip service. Their meaningless nod had never been productive to date. They pretend to listen and understand our case, but no reasonable action on the ground.

They do not stand for universal human rights as they claim, They are rather for their greedy principle: “In politics there is no permanent enemy, but permanent national interest”.

  1. Big Media Networks

No reasonably average person can understand why the biggest international air medias such as CNN, BBC, Aljazeera, etc ignore our case that is characterized by death, violence, imprisonment, compulsion to flee abroad, election fraud, and what have you. Their frequency and level of coverage is by far incompatible to the reality what we encounter in Ethiopia. Particularly the bloody confrontation between gov’t forces and the public in the Oromiya and Amhara regions deserves attention. Even the state media is accepting the death of significant number of people. Then, why do not such powerful media give time and budget to cover our deaths? We know that they make injuries in USA or single stabbing in Israel or the founding of fake explosion in Brussels the headlines of their news.

Do not our Lives Matter?!



  1. Pertinent question! Ethiopians are being killed in silence as if their lives won’t matter.

    No, regular Western media gives coverage of the day to day deaths in the country unless the incident is linked to multinational companies which are illegally operating in Ethiopia.

    Hence, to them our lives don’t matter.

    But, our lives matter.
    Not only that:-

    1. We are descendants of the just people, who fought for human equality and justice.
    2. we are the beginning of the modern human species and modern culture


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