As hardliner Abyssinian commemorate centennial of Emperor Menilik II, the conquered Nations and Nationalities mark 100 years of colonial subjugation under successive Abyssinian rulers.
Abyssinian commemorate the epoch when their beloved emperor( Emiye Menelik – literally translated as ‘mother Menilik’)annexed free people into his Empire. Towards the end of 19 century, Emperor Menilik led Abyssinian’s murderous colonial army into the lands of Oromo, Somali, Sidama, Kambata, Walayita,Gambella and other Nations and Nationalities. Armed to the teeth with latest European arms, the army of Menelik annihilated millions of natives who were armed only with wooden spears. In over a decade of armed resistance, most nations and nationals outside Abyssinia proper fall under the army of Menilik. In this colonial campaign Menilik army killed more than 5 million innocent civilians in Oromo land alone. Those who survived death were taken into captivity and sold into slavery. The remaining population were dispossessed of their lands and reduced into serfs to labor on the lands distributed to Menelik’s nobility, army and priests- until freed by death.
The brutalities of Emperor Menilik and his army were unseen and have no parallel in the African continent. The Harma Muraa( breast cutting) and Harka Mura( arms chopping) at Aanolee in Arsi region of Oromia epitomize the cruelty and barbarity of Menilik’s army, while it also captures the greatest human tragedy that Empire builder had carried out in expanding their empire. Today, in Oromia region, monuments are being built in memory of millions of innocent civilians murdered by Menilik and his Army. (Aanole Martyrs memorial monument and cultural center)
This very week, those who share the legacy of Menilik commemorated 100 year anniversary of Menilik in the heart of Oromia, SHAGGAR( Addis Ababa as colonialists call it). This very land where they celebrate the event is the land confiscated by Menilik from Oromo peasants and distributed to Abyssinian Orthodox church. ( click here to watch the commemoration event). Traditionally, Orthodox Church priests were/are legitimisers of the Abyssinian throne. The Tabot( tablet) followed the army of Menilik everywhere they fought the conquered people. As such, after the conquest of free nation was completed, the Orthodox Church was granted 1/3 of every inch of the conquered land as it’s fiefdom along with the conquered peasantry as its own property. The Orthodox priest also played essential role as ideologues of the colonial undertaking of Abyssinia. (Follow this link to read more about the role of Orthodox Church in Abyssinian politics).
For Oromo Nation and other conquered people who survived the brutalities of Menilik and his army, this hardliner Abyssinian are opening our wounds afresh. They are boldly telling us that they have no respect for the millions killed brutally during Minilk’s colonial campaign. They are re-victimizing and insulting those who survived the heinous genocide carried out by Menilik and his army. There seems nothing will stop them from repeating Menilik’s heinous crime if they get the chance.
Regardless of this evil forces shameless attempt to reincarnate Africa’s Hitler as a benevolent Emperor, for Oromo Nation and other conquered Nation and Nationality in the Ethiopian Empire, Menilik will remain a BULGU, a murderer, a villain , a butcher, and a genocidal Emperor.
I summarized my comment by this African proverb. “Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter”. Jailers will continue to criminalize the innocent until free people stand up against them. The conquerors will continue to tell their glory until the conquered stands up and stop them. Free Nation Shall Prevail. Oromia Shall Be Free!