There is no visible sentiment of narrow nationalism among the people of Tigrai; rather our “Culture of Excessive Sikifta” has hampered our developments


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5 Responses

  1. Tesfay Alemseged says:

    Quite a great thought Gere.
    More than any time before, the last fourteen months have clearly though us about the saying “Everything will be fine at the end, but if it is not fine, then it is not the end”. The popular public struggle has managed to physically deprive the monarchy from their power. However, recent events have revealed that we are not at the end, but right at the middle of the struggle, and we still have a long way to go in fighting their opportunist but inconsistent psychological war through shading more light on our real history in order to expose their destructive and useless dreams.
    For sure, building a strong nation can be more certain if we really understand how the entire societal and political systems have been working across the last decades and centuries, and this demands adequate knowledge (lessons) of our history. In other words, we need to be frank on understanding the root causes of most of our existing problems; we need to learn from our yesterday. I this regard, building knowledge based and transparent social system can help us to efficiently use today, and prepare ourselves for more trustful and more secured tomorrow. Masking yesterday’s (historical) facts; failure to learn from the roles played by different groups and individuals in the course of our history, and even failure to understand current realities can encourage yesterday’s negative forces to stay alive and look for another chance (room) and create continued bias, distortion, lies and trigger psychological discomfort in our society.
    Traditionally, Tigaru consider individual and organizational “Sekefta” as sensibility, due respect and selflessness to others. On the other hand, it emanates from the deep rooted social value and norm inherited from our Geez ancestors. By doing so, what is traditionally expected from the other party is more understanding, and possibly a doubled (Athefa) positive reward (feedback) like what is traditionally said “KEBUR SEB YEKEBER”.
    However, this could be quite a “norm or a language” that works better on the Ethiopian public at large, and specifically in Tigray. The sense of unnecessary “Sekefta” and failure to use our fair and equitable advantages and opportunities could be misunderstood when practiced out of its context; in the western culture, it could be even seen as message that sounds “this is what I deserve”.
    Despite its size, historically Tigray is seen as a threat to the former monarchies. As a result, they have a long-standing policy of depriving the people from any kind of economic development. Besides, they understand our culture and they use to exploit our weakness and blow such a “hot-air” and give us pre-hand vaccination through leveraging the deep-rooted sense of “Sekefta” as much as possible; contain the minds of individual politicians and ordinary citizens; and ultimately deter us from using our legitimate economic advantages.
    If Tigrai gets its fair share in the national economy, and become economically better off through mobilizing its people and registering shining awards like the recent “Global Environmental Award”, they use to get frustrated. They are still working tirelessly because, If Tegaru are economically healed they are quite sure about the irreversibility of the system, and it would be unthinkable for them to get another chance.
    Therefore, we must better understand the very purpose and relationships of such a long-standing state of mind through enabling a more courageous and transparent public communication, awareness, and feedback system and clear the dust through avoiding unnecessary (excessive) “Sekefta”.
    Essentially, despite it’s immediate (temporary) “discomfort” and “pain” we need to have the necessary courage to open spaces, and enable us to better know about our historical facts and correct historical distortions in order to realize sustainable and solid ground for building a stronger nation.

  2. aradaw says:

    Very interesting Sikifta, since you ask , let me try to answer.
    1. Could there be any rationale for thepeople of Tigrai who had practically exhibited unselfishness during its’ seventeen years of intense and arduous armed struggle that resulted in the removal of the Dergue Fascist Regime at the cost of the scarification and injury of hundreds of thousands of it’s’ sons and daughters to be labeled as narrow nationalistic?

    This question can be answered from the reason why Tigrians started armed struggle. Whether you like it or not it is not secret that the struggle started to liberate the Tigrian region and has nothing to do with the country Ethiopia. Even the name of the party still say Tigrian People Liberation Front. The core of their selfishness starts tfrom the time the struggle started, it started for selfishness for Tigrians.

    2. Did the people of Tigrai requested compensation for all the scarification and destruction due to the 17 years of the arduous armed struggle?

    Compensation for what? You struggled for your own Tigray liberation. It is not a secret Mr. Herman mentioned it many times and we know it. Yes, you liberated Tigray and the rest of the war is simply invasion for the resources of the rest of the country. It is not a secret that there were groups of your army who stayed in Tigray after liberation who did not want the invasion. They accomplished their goals and want to stay put. I have absolute sympathy for the young people who lost their lives. You came for what you wanted and shoed it for the last 26 years expropriated everything you found useful.
    3. Are the people of Tigrai favored by the federal government and did it take federal resources in excess of its share?

    Good you ask this question. If you are honest, the answer is clear; it can be seen walk the street of Addis or anywhere in Ethiopia. All government offices filled with Tigrians. You can see “them” and “us” around. The army, the security the business anywhere you mention are all Tigrians. Do you think this is because they are smart or hard working? Not at all, it is favoritism. At the beginning factories, machines, power generators anything useful dismantled and moved to Tigray. This is a known fact, you know it and the people know it.
    5. Is it not the people of Tigrai who had primarily shouldered the impact of the Ethio-Eritrea war; and who still continue to be the victim of the “No War, No Peace” policy?
    Wow, you started it, you lost and unfortunately, the Ethiopian people the returned derg army lost their lives for a piece of land not useful for you and them. The core of the conflict is not the land. It is the resource of the land of Ethiopia.

    7. Is it not the people of Tigrai who has and who is tolerating all the targeting and discriminations by some of the opposition groups both locally and abroad?

    This is laughable!!!! Yes you are targeted because you invaded us expropriated the resources unfairly. Your party killed, prisoned, tortured and so on and the Tigrians kept quiet.

    • sisay says:


      Instead of coming up with concrete facts to counter the writer’s arguments you are jumping here and there. Some of the opposition groups and some individuals are purposely portraying a destructive propaganda towards the people of Tigray; and they are disseminating a wrong information that the people of Tigray is much more benefited than the other regions; while the region is facing with a number of socio-economic problems. I think if you are to argue professionally, come up with facts otherwise it is a similar rhetoric we have been hearing against the people of Tigray during the last 25 years.

      Let me share you my experience during my recent visit to Tigray, Mekelle, the main town of Tigray with population of nearly half a million is a town suffering of shortage of potable water. This I’ve witnessed myself. Therefore, had Tigray been specially privileged than the other regions; Mekelle may not have suffered due to the scarcity of water for the last 25 years; and the required amount of money might have been allocated b4 years. But, federal budget is allocated to the regions based on a model which takes into account of various demographic and economic variables; and which is checked and approved by the house of federation and by the House of Representatives encompassing representatives from the respective regions.

      Moreover, your argument of most government positions held at federal and in Addis Ababa Administration are Tigrayans doesn’t hold water. Is the PM, speakers of the house of representatives and the house of federation, foreign minister, defense minister etc Tigrayans?. Do you know that there are only two out of the more than twenty ministerial positions held by Tigrayans. Thus, instead of just echoing what the diaspora oppositions are saying, you need to come up and convince us with researched facts to counter the writer’s arguments.

      Do you know that Tigray is the region with hundreds of thousands of disabled people mainly due to the previous civil war; and can you imagine the burden the people of Tigrai is shouldering? I can give you a number such multifaceted socio-ecomomic objective problems on the ground.

      ______, Let me ask you one question. Have you ever been to Tigrai? Or did you get the chance to meet and talk someone who have recently been in Tigray? If yes, what is your observation on the livelihood of the more than 90% of the Tigrayans? Are you talking from your bottom of your heart and of your consciousness that the people of Tigray is the most privileged of all the other nations and nationalities? Can you substantiate that in terms of the federal resources allocated and the special federal projects implemented in the region?

      Another funny argument you raised is if the people of Tigray didn’t move against the current regime; you are arguing that it is because the people of Tigrai is getting a special privilege. This is a poor and irrational argument. How can you say a people facing critical drinking water shortage be special beneficiary or unless the Tigray people revolts; you are labeling it as an enemy. The people of Tigrai is conscious of the interests of its enemies and will not be trapped by the agendas of its enemies.

      Finally, instead of arguing subjectively, would you come with researched and concrete facts and figures showing the people of Tigrai is much more privileged than the other Ethiopian regions and answer the questions posed in the article one by one and convince us.

  3. mahmoud says:

    The Amhara and Tigray people are often described as belonging to the same ancestor’s as they share similar culture, religion and literature etc. Moreover, intermarriage, social relations and mobility is common among those people. Ethnic difference isn’t also a source of conflict but conflict is likely to arise when some radical groups like the Diaspora Ethiopians led media extensively propagate (Lies fabrications, exaggeration) against the people of Tigray. The hate propaganda against the Tigray people dates back to hundreds of years but further exacerbated this time due to Different Ethiopian groups migration to western countries, entrée of social media and various mass media sources from abroad (VOA, ESAT, DW Amharic, Eritrean government media and others.) unless the government became fully aware and work on this issue, the hate propaganda doesn’t affect only the Ethiopian people but also misled international community perceptions about Ethiopia

  4. Tujuba says:

    I think it is a very good starting for the Tigri scholars to say what is wrong/ it is long awaited. please convince the TPLF elites to come to negotiation forum to solve all the relevant question you asked, OK! let them use their common sense to negotiate with the broad Ethiopian mass in relation to what wrong things they dis during last 26 years. they removed the relatively fair adminstratin of derg to Ethiopian people and put him in total slavery. they monopolized the political power, they controlled the economy, they developed a brutal military which fights the whole nation without any exception. this brutal army had fought the Amhara, The Gambela, the Somali, the sidama, the konso,the kuraz, by and large confronted the oromian nation. what else do you want as ab evidence. you removed Gurges and silxes from thir market place in markato, you displaced the whole Amhara frrom the inner of Addis to periphery, you pontificated the whole land of Oromia and sououth nations and sold it cheaply for the so called investors. this enough for all your questions, if you are wise it is not to late to come to the negotiation table and transfer power to the people of Ethiopia peacefully and also save the innocent Tigrian people from being a victim of your discriminatory and narrow nationalist based administration.

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