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The H3O/Art of Life Blog

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Ethiopia: Preserving a Three Thousand-Year-Old Kingdom

By Dr. Asantewaa Oppong Wadie Presented by Omni Virtual University

Psalm 68:31: Princes shall come out of Egypt: Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. Ethiopia has long been the coveted prize of Europeans. As early as 27 BCE when the legendary Kandake Amanirenas, leader of Kush, acted preemptively to stop the imperial land grab of Rome’s Emperor Augustus, Europeans have failed miserably in their efforts to occupy ancient or modern Ethiopia. Seemingly unsatisfied with being repelled, Europe- specifically Italy- was back, in 1896, seeking to make a colony of modern Ethiopia (also known at that time as Abyssinia). A resounding defeat was meted out to Italy on March 1, 1896, at the legendary Battle of Adwa. The Ethiopian victory shocked the European world. Up until then, no colonizing Western European power had ever been soundly beaten and sent home without colonial treasure. In the 20th century the Italian fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, actually boasted that he was going to avenge the loss at the battle of Adwa. Mussolini’s 1935 invasion was almost a victory for Italy. The use of chemical warfare decimated the Ethiopian army and sent Emperor Haile Selassie into exile. However, with the start of World War II, Mussolini was shaken out of Ethiopia by allied forces and sent home penniless. Today, once again we stand on the brink of what looks like an invasion of Ethiopia. What is the problem? The minority rebel group called Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), ruled the country of Ethiopia from 1991 to 2018 when they were ousted from power. While in power, the TPLF had cordial relationships with the United States and other foreign governments. However, many Ethiopians complained of a repressive government that embezzled the wealth of the country. In 2018, the Ethiopian people elected Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. In 2021, Ahmed was democratically re-elected and is currently serving his second term. The TPLF, however, are unhappy with their lack of power. On November 20, 2020, the TPLF acted preemptively and attacked an Ethiopian National Defense Force base located in the Tigray region. The TPLF attempted to steal artillery during this attack. The attack against the national army could not be allowed to go unanswered by the national government. Hence, the beginning of the current ongoing conflict. The attack of the TPLF is equivalent to the attack of Fort Sumter that started the American Civil War. No one would have expected then President Lincoln to be passive in the face of such an attack. However, when the Ethiopian government responded with force, their actions were immediately called genocidal by the TPLF. The global news media has reproduced many of the talking points of the TPLF without validating that information from the accepted channels of information within Ethiopia. Prime Minister Ahmed’s press secretary, Billene Seyoum, has accused CNN, the New York Times, The Washington Post, and Reuters of exaggerating the information around the conflict, and creating baseless concerns that the capital city Addis Ababa is under immediate threat of being taken over by the TPLF. On November 12, 2021, United States Major General William Zana was interviewed by the BBC. Zana is the commander of the U.S. Joint Task Force for the Horn of Africa. In the interview, he stated that Ethiopia is very concerning for his team and they are prepared to respond to protect their embassy and evacuate their citizens should the capital city fall into the hands of the TPLF. The idea that the conflict is being reported from only one side- and that the U.S. is ready and waiting to use military invasion- has unnerved Africans all over the world. It feels like imperialism under the guise of humanitarian help. Amid accusations that the United States is actually supporting the TPLF and supplying them with information and possibly weapons, African people are calling on the United States to end its imperialistic ambitions. This is shocking because the TPLF has been labeled a "terrorist organization" by the Ethiopian national government. On Sunday, November 21, 2021, global demonstrations were held in 19 major cities across the United States, London, and Canada. Using the hashtag #NoMore, thousands of Ethiopian supporters chanted for the United States to re-think their political position. What seems pretty clear is that all black people will have to organize to protect the democratically elected government of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is not just anywhere. It is a shining “north star” in the black experience. Ethiopia is the only country to remain unconquered and sovereign in spite of the colonialism that swept through Africa. Our ancestors did their part to keep Ethiopia independent, so we, African Americans, must get involved on some level to make certain Ethiopia remains unbowed, unbroken, and unconquered. A. Oppong Wadie, Ed.D. Co-Director Aba Educational Consultants Recommended Viewing Watch "Queen Of Kings - Dr. Asantewaa Oppong Wadie - H3O Art of Life Show" on YouTube Recommended Readings Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization. by [Ancestor] Dr. John G.Jackson My Life and Ethiopian Progress: The Autobiography of Emperor Haile Selassie. by [Ancestor] Haile Selassie. Translated by Edward Ullendorf Pillars in Ethiopian History. by [Ancestor] William Leo Hansberry Prevail: The Inspiring Story of Ethiopia's Victory Over Mussolini's Invasion. by Jeff Pearce The Real Facts About Ethiopia. by [Ancestor] J.A.Rogers The Lost Prophet of the Bible: Enoch the Ethiopian. by Indus Khamit Kush I Didn't Do It for You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation. by Michela Wong The Ethiopian Prophesy in Black American Letters. by Roy Kay Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia: Monarchy, Revolution and the Legacy of Melee Zenawi. by Gerard Prunier A Road Called Down on Both Sides: Growing Up in Ethiopia and America. by Caroline Kutz

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