CALL ME BY MY NAME: A debate with Debteraw, XV

Wolde Tewolde alias Obo Arada Shawl, August 3, 2007

A time to killA time to dieA time to reflect
Leadership 101 has arrived

Defining Moment (LEADERSHIP)

And that having been relieved from the sentences of death and from the agony of imprisonment, the fate of CUD leadership seems to be over. Last week, a new phase of struggle is made. The Team of Debteraw Website has to be commended for bringing forward into the limelight those heroes and heroine Ethiopians/Eritreans who stood for Justice and Freedom for all Ethiopians regardless of ethnicity, nationality or religion. Debteraw Team in its Web Page has launched a second step – posting -the pictures of the leaders of struggle who not only reject the TPLF’s way of governance but also defy death to save Ethiopia and Ethiopians. How many of us do we know about this leadership and followership? What kind of Azmatches/zematches were they? What were their personal background, their common cause, their common bond and their political experiences? It is high time to know them closely. Hurray – Bravo – Congratulations to Debteraw’s team.

Better late than never, the Ethiopian intellectuals and other experts will see for themselves who and what these heroes and heroines stood for. And to learn why and how they are living under the cruel shameless and faceless government of present day Ethiopia. The fiercest battle is no longer between the left and the right but between partisanship and bipartisanship. That is between those with ethnic names who follow the style of TPLF and those who follow EPRP’s bipartisanship.

The following local title also known as the PENTAGONAL LEADERSHIP is an amalgam from past Ethiopian tradition. From the way of doing businesses, it seems that they all have forgotten the Ethiopian Revolution. I hasten to add that the DERG’s way was perhaps revolutionary but it was not a Revolution in the true sense of the concept. The DERG was appropriately labeled as Fascist as it was engaged in demagogue, violence and nationalism, the hallmark of fascism. That was why it has crumbled in the end. Call me by my name. What is my name?




THE RASES headed by PFDJ

The DEJAZMATCHES headed by OLF are all advised to solve, first and foremost, their own crisis before they attempt to salvage AETHIOPIA.

A good thing is happening in Ethiopian politics: though

On the one hand, it seems to me, that five types of leadership are emerging – fighting for partisanship albeit with dictatorial leadership style. All of them seem to fight for their own party even though all of them do not have a political party. Nevertheless, some sanity may actually be returning to Ethiopian politics. Too often, organization leaders hide their values in vague languages and programs. The leaderships of the above named organizations operate in the old system of feudalism where there was no rule of law but law of fear. The old titles seem to be replaced by Doctors and Generals! Debteraw prefers the traditional titles of GRAZMATCHes and so on, unless we can come up with better titles.

While on the other hand, The AZMATCHES & ZEMATCHES headed by EPRP also known as the EWAY Collective LEADERSHIP that demand justice for all victims and freedom for all living individuals.  It is about leadership and follows ship in the true sense of the words. Justice and freedom are its criteria. Title is not a primary importance to EPRP. EPRP is about responsibility (disciplined) and it is about choices (Democracia)

The Eway Revolution was an initiation of all progressive forces that merged into the leadership of Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Party or Eritrean Peoples Revolutionary Party.

EPRP seems to be ready to tell its stories, its values and visions. How about the rest? Are they ready to do the same? The public has the right and the desire to know what really has happened in the past. It is not for revenge but for learning purposes. Call me by my name. What is my name? Faith-Love and Hope.


ALL changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; For what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves We must die to one life before we can enter into another (Anatole France) 

Debteraw has carried out his responsibilities for all Ethiopians as READ, namely   

  • Revolutionary
  • Educator
  • Artist and
  • Democrat

Debteraw always suggest that individuals should be critical thinkers in order to be an agent for change. He worked so hard as a teacher and as an advisor to change the educational curriculum of Ethiopian schools.

He consistently advocated for making KINET (Arts) as the property domain of HAFASH, SEFIEW HZB, MASSES or however you call them.

As far as Democracy is concerned, Debteraw used to tease college freshmen students as follows “TE’TERATER YABAT NEW METERATER”. This was not as some opposition group’s claim that he meant for malicious intent. It was an effective guide for the new comers to be critical in their learning. I hope all of them are thanking him for his advice.

It is not about side issues such as left or right. It is about real issues of faith of the people, love from the power holders and hope from the universities Debteraw struggled to be a true revolutionary until a political system that is legitimate and acceptable to all Ethiopians be instituted.

There is an old saying that champions do not become champions in the ring – they are merely recognized there. The case of EPRP is a case in point. The three qualities that are necessary for the collective leadership of EPRP are competence, connection and character (3Cs). For the follower ships of EPRP, trust is the fundamental issue. Trust comes in turn from Relationships. Both collective leadership and follower ship have Shared experiences, common bonds, and common causes resulting in strong glue of relationships. As a result, both groups respect, trust and reciprocate in their mutual pain or care.


If we keep missing the purpose of why the Ethiopian Revolution has taken place, we are again doomed to failure.

At the onset of the Ethiopian Revolution, the land question was of paramount importance to the rural population (peasants) and the question of enrollment in the university was also crucial to the urban population of Ethiopia.

Debteraw was against the nationalization of lands in Toto and he was anti quota system of enrollment to the university. Piecemeal and in isolation was not palatable for Debteraw’s idea of Revolution. As we have seen in both instances, Debteraw and his party of EPRP were right then and now in regard to these issues.

What about now? What is this attempt of negotiation? It is not negotiation. It is arbitration, no it about mediation (Shimagle) and so on and so forth.

Mediation-Arbitration-Negotiation (MAN) should work in unison not in isolation.

Debteraw has told us in the past that the land issue of Ethiopia or Education cannot be done in isolation. We have to remember the issue of unity-in-diversity. It is not about size and shape when we speak about diversity. The diversity by the TPLF’s of ethnic diversity and the Shaebia’s language diversity is a balloon. It is designed as a marketing device for organizing people. It does not have real substance. Think of Badme and think of Kinjit!!!

The French have a marketing expression that sum up this strategy rather neatly. Cherchez le creneau. “ Look for the hole.” Cherchez le creneau and then fill it. Those Ethiopians who live and struggle from European countries seem not to follow or seem to heed to EU directives and instructions.

That advice goes against the “bigger and better” philosophy ingrained into the American spirit. Americans have been taught to think in a certain way in the power of positive thinking and as a result they may sell a lot but in the process they can destroy a person’s ability to find a creneau. Ethiopians/Eritreans in America do not seem to accept this bigger and better concept.

However, CUD and TPLF seem to fight for the favor of USA government. Both seem to clap with one hand. Can they do it? We shall see! A gun of the TPLF, a Vote of CUD is not compatible. What both are missing are the peoples’ voice, our voices, workers, teachers, farmers and students of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

To find a creneau, EPRP has the ability to think in reverse, to go against the grain. That is if everyone else is going north it can see if it can find its creneau by going south. A strategy that worked for Christopher Columbus who discovered America should also work for Ethiopians and Eritreans.

Kindling new hope (Woman)
It is said that women have choices and
Men have responsibilities.

Men from Ethiopia and Eritrea have taken responsibilities for far too long. Even Menghistu Haile Mariam has announced that he was given the responsibility to lead the Revolution. Who gave him the responsibility? Men can answer me this question. So far, I have not seen a single organization that takes care of its responsibilities seriously. Everything was for self-aggrandizement. Women have to be tested. After all this is the time for Choices. We should challenge them. I hope they will not repeat what we have done, using power for our own survival.

We must make at least one assumption; boys and girls are born differently. That is not to say that we are unequal, have different basic human rights, or that either gender is the lesser. It is to acknowledge a very basic biological reality. Maleness and femaleness are complementary, not identical.

What Debteraw and his colleagues did not focus was to build a family. Their own family was enough for sacrificial lamb. They sacrificed their own families. Should or would God revenge now? I doubt but he will give justice to all the victimized Ethiopians or Eritreans.

Conversation for women is more focused on context while for men it is on content.

Women talk to affiliate, men to pass information. Because of this, women are likely to want to speak at great length, enjoying the connectedness. By contrast men will be prone to listening for the problem and getting on with solving it. This is a perfect time for Ethiopians to be connected by women and a perfect timing for us men to listen. Let us pass information to them.

Currently we as Ethiopians and Eritreans should demand for Debteraw’s release from the dungeon that he is in. Choice is the answer. By the way Debteraw’s middle name is anchi a female, Beta not Alpha. As an Alpha, Debteraw fought for the rights of Adam (Eritrean), and now he is fighting for Eve (Ethiopian).  


It is not enough to be convinced that one’s idea is different – the message must be heard, too. EPRP has terribly failed on this one.

The solution is to think in terms of opposition rather than progress. It is not a question of being better but of showing oneself to be different. EPRP has done this. What about the rest political organizations of Ethiopia and Eritrea? They will be in a better position if they do not blame EPRP. It is far better to understand it closely.

The end of the era of continuous progress as ESZ (Ezana-Solomon-Zagwe), or MTY (Minilik-Tewodros-Yohannes) should give way to an era of creativity and revelation.

EPRP is listening to new sources of inspiration. New comers are having their say as well as those people who have been struggling for over 33 years.

Finally it does not matter whether we are of that ethnic or nationality, whether we are in America or Europe, whether we have power or powerless, have killed or been killed. What counts is that we are all motivated to IMMORTalized Debteraw. So, let us ask ourselves the question. Are we sufficiently honest to tell the truth and underline the lies, which jeopardize the future of Ethiopia? Is it about fear? It is telling about truth. Ethiopians and Eritreans are ready for the truth. The fighting faith of Debteraw will prevail.

For comments or questions:

Published in: on August 4, 2007 at 10:31 am  Comments (12)