Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Honoring African Women

It’s International Women's Day.

In Ethiopia, yet another generation of mothers are burying their children.

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 Ethiopia’s disputed elections of May 2005. Live ammunition was used on protestors and bystanders.

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.

The dreaded ‘concentration camps’ are back-- Robbit and Dedessa hold countless Ethiopian youth, most in their teens.

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 Ethiopia- past and present; women who, as my mother put it, “have not stopped crying for thirty years.”

May their defiant tears finally dry.


Thanks, Sokari, at Mshairi and Global Voices for organizing African women bloggers on IWD.


Blogger UARIDI said...

I join with you and honour all those mothers who have seen their joy and hope of their future destroyed. May all wars end soon, for the sake of mothers!!!

11:42 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger geja said...

ርኩስ የሰው ዝቃጭ የተፈጥሮ እንከፍ፣
ሲወለድ በሀገር ላይ ጥላቻን ሲለፍፍ

ይህ ዘር አይደለም በሀገር ሰው የሚነግስ፣
የጥፋት ጥላቻ የሀገር ስንካር ንጉስ፣
ምንም አንለውም እንጃ እንጂ ዘረ-ርኩስ።

ህፃናት ሲያለቅሱ የጥይት ድምፅ ሰምተው፣
ዕንባቸው ሲረግፍ እናት አባት አጥተው፤

እሱ ይቀልዳል በህፃናት ዕነባ፣
የሀገር ትውልድ ንቀዝ፣ ዘመነ-ቀዣባ።

ዘሩ የረከሰ የትውልድ ጥቀርሻ አረመኔ ባንዳ፣
ሀገር እየሸጠ ህዝብ እያስለቀሰ ገድሎ በመደዳ፣
ጭራሽ አፍ ይከፍታል ንፁህ ደም ሳይፀዳ፣
እናትም አልቅሳ ሀዘኗ ሳይወጣ ልቧ እንደተጎዳ።

እሹሩሩ ብላ አንገቷን ደፍታ ያሳደገች እናት፣
ደፋ ቀና ብላ ድህነትን ውጣ የለፋች እመቤት፣
ባሏ ተነጥቆባት እሮሮ ማለቷ መስሎ ገዳይጥይት፣
ፋሽሽቱ ወያኔ ገደላት በራፍ ላይ ከልጇ ፊት ለፊት።

ወጣቱ ቢመረው ድምፁን ለማሰማት ቢወጣ ከመንገድ፣
እናትም አድምጣ ጭንቀቱን የህይወትን ንዳድ፤
መረጠች እንዲጮህ ክወገኑ ጋራ ከመሀሉ ሜዳ፣
መስሏት ሰሚ ያለ ጩኸት የሚሰማ ልጇን የማይጎዳ።

ግን....ግን ....አውሬው መለስ

ጠመንጃውን ይዞ ለጭፍጨፋ ወጣ፣
ወጣቱንም ገድሎ ደም ጠሙን ተወጣ።

እናት ምን ታድርግ???
እንባዋ ደረቀ አንጀቷ አረረ ደረቷ ተመታ፣
ባሏ ተነጠቀ ልጇ ተገደለ መንፈሷ ተረታ፣
መሄጃ አጥታ ተንገላታ ለቅሶዋ በረታ፣
ሀዘን ሞላው ቤቷን መግቢያ አጥታ ቦታ።

ሕፃኗም ምን ትበል?
ታልቅስ እንጂ እርር፣ድብን ...ወላፈኑ እየፈጃት፣
ስቃ እንዳላደረች ከጎኗ ተነጥቃ ...ያንን ብፁዕ አባት፣
እሮሮዋ በዛ ለቅሶ ተሞላበት ሕይወቷ በብሶት፣
ያች እናት ስትወድቅ አብስላ ያበላች ሙሉዋ አመቤት።

11:47 PM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger Kenyananalyst said...

Happy IWD. This is belated...bt tiz for a woman and country I respect lots....
Link: http://kenyananalyst.blogspot.com/2006/03/liberia-experience.html

7:51 AM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger geja said...

check my blog
Thank You

1:23 AM, March 12, 2006  
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1:28 AM, July 17, 2009  

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