Forgive me for not be among the braves who went more than three decades ago to Asimba to make real their dream of united and equal Ethiopia. I have to be honest with you that I came for the first time to see this historical mountain because of the writing of AFP correspondent, Emmanuel Gujon on Dec. 22 about the Irob community at Asimba ‘s determination to keep their Ethiopian land and identity no matter what.
The writer focuses on the last ten years of the Irob community history and did not ask questions what Irob looks like before TPLF and Shabia controlled the surrounding area militarily eighteen years ago. Before them there were young Ethiopian visionaries who came to Asimba from all areas of Ethiopia to realize their dream of free and united Ethiopia and start an armed struggle from their base at Asimba about which many songs and poems were written.
The Irob community joined this struggle by feeding and sending its young sons and daughters. The main reasons for Irob people’s determination to be courageous now facing two enemies, Isaias and Meles is the historical bond it had with the rest of Ethiopia and the close relationship it developed with other Ethiopians fighting fascist Derg, TPLF and Shabia in its recent history.
Young students from colleges and high schools, professionals all joined hands to fight for freedom and paid a high price together with the sons and daughters of the Irob community and that relationship which was temporarily broken by TPLF anti-Ethiopian clique failed to destroy the bond of love for a country according to the piece, “Tiny ethnic group claims Ethiopian allegiance ” by writer Emmanuel Gujon (Dec. 22).
However, this Irob community is now a bargaining piece for TPLF. It can be sold any day and time for TPLF’s own survival. The only thing which stops this transaction is finding a reliable buyer in Asmera. Meles Zenawi who told us in his own sleeping parliament about the generous Sudanese who received Ethiopian land as a gift could say the same on giving back Ethiopian Irob community and all the land to his beloved Eritreans one day.
This love of Ethiopia by our Irob community we have witnessed and recently disclosed to the whole world through the foreign journalist will not be different if foreign journalists were sent to our western boundary and talk to the people of Metema and south to Gambella. The people on those areas like the Irob in north have resisted giving away their land and identity and are now fighting to remain Ethiopian.
The role of those EPRP visionaries, love for a country and freedom, in our western front thirty years ago was also written on their blood and it is now one of the motivation factors to fight both TPLF and Sudanese militia. Many like me who have not contributed to this struggle as fighters in Irob/Asimba, and western Ethiopia should come out from our closet and honor these gallant Ethiopian fighters.
I thank the foreign journalist for writing about the Irob community and waking up many like me to research our own recent history of heroism which is still going on long after many died and forced to leave Asimba. I salute the website Asimba and Asimba paltalk room for carrying this historical name and educating Ethiopians about our beloved country struggle for freedom and equality. I also suggest for this website to post mount Asimba on its home page permanently to honor those brave Ethiopians and the Irob community who are still continuing the struggle.