Who Will Tell Their Stories?
There are times when you almost don’t want to know any more information. You are able to function better that way. Distance makes pragmatism possible.
There are times, my friends, when you are debilitated by information.
I had a long talk with my father in
The generation Ato Meles belongs to went on protests marches on the streets of Addis Abeba in the early 70s without the indignity of being mowed down. They were demanding a revolution—the usurping of the Ethiopian constituency, and the deposing of the Emperor. They held placards calling the Emperor a ruthless dictator who had to be brought to justice. They told the world that they were standing for the poor, the downtrodden and the forgotten.
Yet they were not shot at from point blank range.
Today, those same people are pointing guns at children and firing because of the urgent need to “protect the constitution.” Today, “destruction of government property” gets a swift response in the form of assassination. The same people who called for the overturn of a government by any means necessary now think any form of peaceful protest is “anti-peace.” Those same people now kill the poor, the downtrodden and the forgotten in the name of “keeping the peace.” They now round off the young and pack them in disease infested camps because “it is the government’s responsibility to keep the people safe.” My, my. How times have changed.
When the dust settles and the truth surfaces of what has been happening to Ethiopians these past few weeks, it is my hope that Ethiopians will have the strength for justice and not revenge.
There are yet untold stories of the families of those “wanted” being arrested and held as hostages; of torture; of beatings; of killings; of planted grenades; of staged ‘protests’… stories which will eventually see the light of day. It’s not just Ato Meles who will be held accountable. It is also those in Ato Meles’ entourage who have stayed silent.
We should start taking pictures of all the boys in red berets and start gathering evidence.
Eventually, when Ato Meles is held accountable, he better pray that the Ethiopian people are half as kind to him as he has been cruel to them.
More reason to write to Jeffrey Sachs: “Sachs and Violence” on ethiopundit, who as always breaks it down marvelously.
Bilal Mohammed, 29, has been working at the SSI for eight months as a reporter. On Wednesday, he and photographer William Connors had pulled up at the
“What happened after that is revolting…I was beaten, was told to take my clothes off and actually crawled on the hard floor…but I didn’t break my fast and was tortured until my boss bailed me out about ,” whispered Mohammed.
Can you imagine then what is being done to Ethiopians who have no cell phones and no way to tell their stories…to Ethiopians in the countryside who have dared stand up to EPRDF’s atrocities?