Amhara, Tigray, and Egypt: the history of betrayal and the current baseless accusation


(By Kalayu Abrha, First published on – 

France 24 English saw its respectable studio messed up by a Key Ethiopian politician who preferred to defend the genocide in Tigray, by behaving so childishly. The gallant and genius Meaza Gidey has brilliantly reduced Neamin Zeleke into a naughty boy. That was enough for him to learn from if he really has the desire to learn. She is much younger than he is, and he is expected to be more dignified; but it turned out to be the other way round! He claims to be a politician of international level; but has no idea about the most basic rules of political engagement. Neamin is not alone; most Ethiopian politicians of Amhara origin are xeroxed from the same original. Meaza has hit a thousand birds with one stone. If you see one, you know them all. One statement from Neamin Zeleke is accusing Tigray of collaborating with Egypt. By responding to Neamin I will be responding to those thousands who can see a speck in Tegaru”s eyes, while their own eyes are filled with rocks and boulders.

Before I go on with the details of my reaction to the allegation about “Tigray-Egyptian connection” allow me to enlighten readers about how an entire generation of the Amhara political elite failed to upgrade its political thinking to fit the political realities of the 21st Century Ethiopia. Amhara political thinking, from the ‘shepherd to the professor’ is petrified in the comfort of an “eternal truth of Amhara supremacy; in which Amhara is the able ruler and the rest of Ethiopia are lazy and uncivilized subjects”. This sick narrative is deeply tattooed in the brains of the Amhara regardless of economic and educational status. Now technologies are available to remove tattoos from the skin; but removing tatoos from the brain requires soft not hard technologies. Tattoos in the brain are not visible dark patterns but stubborn ideas that have become change-proof. The goal of education is not the mere amassing of information in the brain but bringing about the capacity to process and filter information. With the passage of time more receptor cells are created. However, Amhara political mentalities are frozen in time as soon as the Federal Constitution became the law of the Land in Ethiopia. Instead of trying to grasp the reality of the existence of nations and nationalities and their craving for self-rule, the Amhara political elite knowingly twist the argument and cry-foul of a conspiracy to destroy Ethiopia. This is clearly a game of “wax and gold”. The wax which the Amhara show to Ethiopians in flying colours is the ‘harm brought on Ethiopia by the Federalists’. They use all kinds of primitive terminologies like “gotegnent” (localism), and gosegnent (tribalism) to belittle the noble peoples’ agenda of self-determination. Some even dare to refer to the Federalism in Ethiopia as “Apartheid” without caring to know how different the two are. It is little wonder that the popularly elect civilian political party (TPLF) is being referred to as a “Junta”, without caring to turn the pages of any English dictionary. Even professors, who have better access to a dictionary than the ordinary fans are heard using the word matter-of-factly.

Misnomers are abundant in their vocabularies because since 1991 the Amhara Elite are determined to win in the war of words and character assassination of thinkers who even slightly deviate from their stone-rigid medieval ideas rather than engage in scholarly debate. Scholarly debates are possible only between political opponents who are willing to update and upgrade to the state-of-the art political paradigms relating them to National realities however bitter to swallow they may be. The gold covered by the wax is Amhara supremacy. The wax will melt if the Amhara are successful with their camouflage (saving Ethiopia) by persuading Ethiopians to crush TPLF and OLF: arch advocates of Federalism. If the wax melts the gold will appear. By this time Ethiopians are assured that they back in the 19th Century forever!

Neamin said “Tigray has drawn Egypt to its side”. If the fox calls the lion a “fox” what should the lion say or do? There are a few possible reactions: one could be, the lion feeling strongly that such bad examples should not exist in its wild kingdom crushes the fox to death. Another possible reaction could be to laugh at the fox hilariously and leave. Unfortunately, foxes are stubborn animals who could nag the lion to madness. The lion must take his time and tell the fox in uncompromising terminology about a list of nasty attributes that have made him a fox. The lion should show the fox evidence in the fox that are not shared by the lion. Who is the real friend of Egypt? Unless Amhara betrayal comes with every opportunity as it almost invariably does, the Amhara are the dearest friends of Egypt in the Horn of Africa. The Amhara elite were busy destroying or modifying the contents of books and other documents that expose the realities of the past. By over exaggerating some books and documents, glorifying selected authors, and fabricating god-like characters in the ubiquitous drama, songs, and videos they have overcrowded the minds of Ethiopians diverting their attentions away from the wealth of historical truth possessed by the nations and nationalities of Ethiopia.

It was Tigray, the heir of the Axumite Civilization that got connected with Egypt first. This was not a military alliance; it was a trade link. Powerful Axum never needed a military support from Egypt. The next contact Egypt had with Tigray was not related to Tigray. Egypt was interested in the headwaters of Blue Nile and this was not located in Tigray. The Gojjames, who had to worry the most about Egyptian interest in the Amhara land did neither contribute nor celebrate Yohannes IV’s victory in Gundet and Gura. To the contrary the Amhara under Menilik were conspiring from behind Yohannes putting him in a weaker position against Egypt. When Meles Zenawi “disappointed” Egypt by building the GERD. The Amhara elite, including the uneducated, were on the same side with Egypt condemning the construction of the dam as “Meles grandest scheme of destroying Ethiopia”. There were even opposition politicians who travelled to Egypt to pay allegiance and do their best to stop or weaken the dam. They succeeded by overthrowing Tigray and messed up the process of dam construction and the skillfully handled negotiations. It was not Tigray that sent Abiy to Cairo to “Wollahid” the Dam.

These three unmistakable evidence of Amhara elites overt and covert support to Egypt don’t allow finger pointing by the culprit at the innocent. These are bad times for Egypt because currently Ethiopia does not have one head and one mouth to negotiate properly with. It is impossible to get a sober deal from a leadership in Ethiopia which is engaged in genocide in Tigray; Eritrean invasion in Tigray, Amhara and Oromia; border war with one of the three partners (Sudan); officials lying profusely and cannot be trusted for negotiations; armed conflicts all over Ethiopia; and a very weak central government restricted to the Capital. Egypt must have become nostalgic to the Meles Era.

It is better to have a strong and unified enemy than a mess of a government to negotiate with. Egypt can trust the stable and consistent Meles Government for the proper implementation of deals. Egypt is not helping Tigray; but if after a century long Egypt’s enmity with Tigray and friendship with the Amhara is there anything wrong if Tigray becomes friends with Egypt? It means Tigray has corrected its mistakes of creating enmity with Egypt to protect and benefit the Amhara. If the Amhara become so ungrateful and so cruel to Tigray, what obligation does Tigray have to remain foolishly loyal and bear an unfounded hate for Egypt? Tigray must repent for serving the devil at its own expense and should sooner or later strengthen its friendship with Egypt. If we use the measure of morality to judge us, how does Ethiopia justify its alliances with foreign states against Tigray and accuse Tigray of allying with Egypt?

Tigray does not need assistance. It fought against the mighty Derg army for 17 years and defeated it. Even now, when Ethiopia turned the invasion of Tigray into a world war, Tigray is still waging a people’s war using arms taken the enemy. It has professors and shoe shiners fighting among its ranks. It needs external support to feed its people who are denied food by their compatriots. Even if Egypt is not involved now, Tigray will forge a lasting friendship with Egypt and collaborate in science and technology. Tigray may have to apologize to Egypt for Gundet and Gura and for launching of the GERD. Yohannes should have allowed Egypt to occupy Gojjam for good! Tigray could have lived in peace! Tigray thanks the Amhara politicians for helping it to correct its historical mistakes even if it is damagingly late. Noble people as Sudanese and Egyptians are they did not try to revenge against Tigray for its ill-advised battles against them. They were noble enough to understand the betrayal Tigray faced in the hands of compatriots. Who are our compatriots now? Neamin Zeleke! A Sudanese is closer to me than you are. Tegaru are your brothers!? Is this the feeble political tactic you were able to learn in your lifetime of training on Amhara chauvinism? Keep on barking while we keep on walking!


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