Honoring African Women
Wubalem Alemaheyu’s son, Nebiy, was 14 years old.
My son was walking peacefully, and he was blown apart. He wasn't even holding a stone. He was just a scared little boy who they killed. As he was being shot he even begged for mercy.
He was asking for mercy from government forces that were unleashed to quell an uprising after
In the late 70s, during the bloody White Terror followed by even more bloodletting in the Red Terror, Ethiopian mothers buried their sons and daughters who were slaughtered in the name of a wanton revolution. They were forced to pay the government for the bullets that killed their children. And later, they dug up skulls and skeletons from mass graves and held belated funerals.
These days, Ethiopian mothers have to sign an affidavit swearing that it was the opposition party that killed their children before they can claim the bodies lying in morgues. They line the offices of the International Red Cross holding pictures of children and husbands who have disappeared in mass and arbitrary arrests.
A new generation of Ethiopian mothers is burying their young.
Wubalem Alemaheyu, Nebiy’s mother, sent the schoolbook her son was carrying to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi with a question attached: "If your school-age son was shot, how would you feel?”
The prime minister did not respond. But she remains defiant.
On International Women’s Day, I honor the many thousand Wubalems of
May their defiant tears finally dry._____________________________________