“LIKE Sarajevo, 1914,” said the late Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi, of the first gunshots fired on May 6th 1998. “An accident waiting to happen.” Neither he nor his counterpart in neighbouring Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki, imagined that a light skirmish at Badme, a border village of which few had heard, could spiral into full-scale war. But two years later about 80,000 lives had been lost and more than half a million people forced from their homes
THE speed of events caught Ethiopians off guard. When Abiy Ahmed took office as prime minister on April 2nd he did so as the head of a deeply divided ruling coalition. The inexperienced 42-year-old, who came from the Oromo wing of the ethnically based coalition, was viewed with deep suspicion by many of his establishment colleagues. He was taking charge of a country under a state of emergency after more than three years of anti-government protests and ethnic unrest. Few expected him to achieve much soon.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
“Life is but an empty dream!”
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
ሲጠራ አቤት ብሎ የተማረ
ሲልኩት ወዴት ብሎ የዘመረ
ሲያዙት አንዴት ብሎ የመረመረ
ከልቡ አይርቅም ርቆ
ውሉን አይስትም ረቆ
Do not run away.
as unripe grapes hurry toward their own sweetness.
ያን የዘመን ጉዲፈቻችሁን፤
እባካችሁ፤ አላምዱኝ ፍርሃታችሁን።
Do not underestimate the power of Tafari.
He creeps like a mouse but he has jaws like a lion.
Bacha of Sidamo’s last words before entering the monastery
It was but yesterday we met in a dream.
You have sung to me in my aloneness, and I of your longings have built a tower in the sky.
But now our sleep has fled and our dream is over, and it is no longer dawn.
They were genuine revolutionaires who were wished their country the best. Many came from the well-to-do famiies or well placed in society. They were doctors, lawyers, engineers, university lecturers, pharmacists, geologists, economists, accountants, businessmen, nurses, military officers, and students.
የቱ ይሆን ኩኒኔው፣ የትኛው ነው ፅድቁ?
የምድሩ የቅርቡ፣ የሰማዩ የርቁ?
በእንጀራ በጠላ በሥጋ ሢሣይ፣
አካል ብቻ እንጂ፣ ነብስ አታድግም ወይ?
ብአእላፍ ቐቲሉ…ከምኡውን ማራኻይ?
The beloved arrives.
My roof and door become living tissue.
Freedom is wealth, peace and light;
On it is founded human delight.
Freedom is comfort and glorious life,
Absence of wars and bloody strife.
Were the great ideals for which nations
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide
ጉንጭሽ ፅጌረዳ ሞቆት የፈነዳ
አይንሽ የጠዋት ጨረር
Far are those days,
Far in a distant past;
But their memories still shine.
ምንም ነን አንድ ምንም
ሁሉንም ነን አንዱን ብቻ አናምንም
የምንቸረው የልንም እንጂ…
ነውር ስለሆነ ብቻ ዘለልነው
ግን … ያለአንቀልባ በልብ አዘልነው
ብዙ ትውልድ አልፎ፥ ለትውልድ ደርሼ፣
ደግሞ በዚያው መንገድ፥ መጣሁ ተመልሼ።
እንደገና ተወለዱ ከምኒቀዲሞሰ
ሰናይ ዘበን ነኽመለስ
ተጠመቑ አብ ማይ ዮርዳኖስ።
If only that final rest
Could also be like this
ልጅ ባባቱ ያፌዛል
አባት በልጁ ያለቅሳል
እናት ማሕፀንዋ ትረግማለች
Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
And your staring eyes
Cynical, yet wanting
Shall haunt me in my dreams.
ፍቅር እስከ መቃብር በሙልጌታ ተስፋዬ መነፀር
ጊዜ በረርክ በረርክ
ጊዜ በረርክ በረርክ
ግን ምን አተረፍክ
ግና ምን አጎደልክ?
Who but man can ease this load
Who else, but man for man?
I cannot live with you,
It would be life,