Jun 05 2011

Reality-check: Tigray annexed Amhara lands?

You must have heard the allegation that ‘Tigray annexed Amhara lands’That is mainly in reference to the four Woredas(districts) that were part of the former Gondar province, now part of western Tigray.

Yes, it is a 19 years old issue and it has lost steam after its peak in 2005, when CUD(Kinijit) used it in a bid to inflame the Amhara people and also to create disillusionment on the Tigrayans themselves and other ethnic groups.

Yet, among the Ethiopian diaspora it is still a favorite talking point among the right wing opposition media and parties.

True to form, the issue appears to be a chief mobilization tool of Ginbot 7 – a party led by Berhanu Nega, one of the leaders of the former CUD. A random check on Ginbot 7 publications between Feb. 11/2010 and Jan. 13/2011 reveals that the issue is raised at least 8 times(probably more) – all in the context of showing the ‘conspiracy against the Amhara people’.

Indeed, this is a propaganda theme shared by most groups and media in the far right camp.

The issue and The fallacy

Ethiopia had been organized in fourteen provinces for most of the Dergue era.

Though Dergue issued a new map in 1989, that map didn’t stick to the public memory. Thus, the pre-1991 Ethiopia is remembered as one with 14 provinces.

Thus, the provinces north of Addis Ababa were: Eritrea, Tigray, Gondar, Wello, Gojam, and Shewa Provinces. (See map)

Northern Ethiopia in 1988

[Map – North Ethiopia until 1988]

Following the downfall of the Dergue, the Transitional Government Council issued, in 1992, ‘A proclamation to provide the establishment of national/Regional self governments’ which reorganized sub-national units based on identity.

Thus, the country was organized into 14 National Regional Self-governments – that is, excluding Eritrea which had become de facto independent by May 23, 1991.

Consequently, Tigray, Amhara, Afar, and Benshangul-Gumuz states make-up the northern Ethiopia currently. (See map)

Northern Ethiopia in 1995

[Map – Northern Ethiopia in 1995]

The process of forming the new states was conducted based on identity, essentially language, and without regard to the pre-1991 provincial maps.

Thus, the new Tigray state consists areas previously located in Tigray province, Gondar province and Wello province. Afar state is composed of the previous eastern Tigray province and eastern Wello province.

The current Benshangual/Gumuz comprises areas previously parts of Gondar province and Gojam province.

Amhara state consists most of the areas in the previous Gondar province, Gojam province, Wello province, Shewa province as well as some areas of Tigray province. 

It is in this process that the four weredas – namely: kefeta humera, wolqait, tedege, and tselemet, which were part of Gondar province – became part of Tigray state. And, it is in reference to these Weredas that you hear the right-wing saying – ‘the lands Tigray took from Gondar’.

By ‘Gondar’, they mean Amhara.

The fallacy is that Gondar province was not an “Amhara Province” – be it by law or in terms of composition. Gondar was inhabited by Amharans and Tigrayans, just like Tigray Province was populated by Tigrayans and the Afar.

In fact, there is no relation between the current States and the former Provinces, though, accidentally, there has been a Province by the name Tigray before 1991.

Thus, the real claim is that ‘there are areas in Tigray state that should have been assigned to Amhara state.’

A Constitutional solution

A Constitutional solution to such issues is to hold a referendum in the area.

Since the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is organized based on identity, the constitution stipulates border delimitation to be conducted based on demographic data and, if necessary, by a popular referendum in the concerned area.

Article 48 of the FDRE Constitution states:

“All State border disputes shall be settled by agreement of the concerned States. Where the concerned States fail to reach agreement, the House of the Federation shall decide such disputes on the basis of settlement patterns and the wishes of the peoples concerned.”

But that would not satisfy the far right.

Because, as part of their development denial mantra, they started to reject all data presented by the government in the last 6 or so years – in which the government mostly reported a double-digit growth.

Thus, it is likely that they would reject a decision based on the 2007 Census data. Likewise, holding a referendum in the areas won’t help, as they might reject the outcome.

Even a new census and referendum that could be conducted by the far-right themselves if and when they seize governmental power won’t answer the issue, either.

Because, in a bid to complicate the matter, they claim the demography of the areas has been altered by settlement programs.

They must be referring to the farmers’ Voluntary Settlement Program (VSP) conducted in all regions after 2003. An idea praised at the time by Berhanu Nega himself as a good move to achieve food self-sufficiency.

They could also be talking about the high influx of day-laborers due to the surge in agricultural investment in the area recently. (For example, for several weeks in Oct-Nov. 2010 an organization named ‘Humera Investors Union‘ was running an ad on the national TV claiming 500,000 day-laborers were needed.)

At any rate, since they allege the demography of the area is changed, the ‘Tigray annexed Amhara lands’ allegation is supposed to linger on the relationship of the two people, no matter what any future census or referendum may reveal.

In fact, even a future government by the right-wing themselves may not bother to clarify the matter, since they aim to dismantle the current states and re-organize them based on a new formula.

Thus, we shall look into the past for answers.

The 1994 Housing and Population Census

Perhaps, the right-wing may accept the 1994 Census results. After all, that was the data unquestioningly cited by the opposition in the run-up to election 2005, even in the ‘Vision 2020’ forums, organized in 2003, and attended by almost all the well-known personalities in that camp.

Here is the data from the 1994 Housing and Population Census. [Source:Central Statistics Agency – CSA]

Wereda Kefta Humera Tsilemti Welkait Tsegede
All persons 48,690 97,630 90,186 59,846
Tigraway* 41,999 87,012 87,099 45,532
Amhara 3,800 10,382 2,734 14,226

[Table – 1994 census, CSA]
[*Tigraway refers to Tigrayan or a person from Tigray nation. – see foot note.]
[There are about five smaller ethnic groups that I left out in the table above]

Still, it is not improbable that the far right might come up with some reason to reject this data. Perhaps, they might take a U-turn and start rejecting the 1994 Census data.

In that case, we would only be left with the 1984 census – the only other census Ethiopia conducted in her recent history.

What about the 1984 census?

Though I couldn’t yet find the 1984 Census data, it is unlikely to be of much help. At least for two reasons.

For one, the questionnaires of the 1984 Census didn’t not contain ethnic identity.

Second, it is doubtful if the Census had been conducted properly in those areas – as they were conflict areas and partly controlled by the then insurgent group TPLF(Tigray Peoples Liberation Front).

A Rare Dergue era map

At this point, you might say, justifiably, there is no point in debating with one who wouldn’t accept two pervious Census data and unlikely to be convinced even by a future one either.

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and present them a rare map published by the Dergue regime – a regime with undisputed credentials as a nationalist right-wing and could not be suspected of favoring Tigrayans.

A ‘Nationalities in Northern Ethiopia’ map (see below) was prepared by Dergue and published in a book, titled ‘Class Struggle and the Problem in Eritrea’, in 1978(1971 Ethiopian calendar) by ‘Ethiopian Revolution Central News Disseminator’.

It is a 165 page book and one of the few that explain Dergue’s ideology concerning the issue of self-determination, including the history of the Oromo, religious disputes and on ‘chauvinist and narrow-nationalism tendencies’.

The book is divided into five chapters. The first chapter contains President Mengistu’s speech, the second is about the ‘peace efforts’ conducted in Eritrea, the third chapter is ‘an interpretation of Ethiopian History’, the fourth deals with ‘Marxism and the National Self-determination Question’, and the fifth discusses ‘historical background of the problem in Eritrea’.

The last page of the Book contains a map that is titled ‘Nationalities in Northern Ethiopia’.

The book provides no explanation or background information about the map. Thus, it is not clear how accurate it is about the distribution of ethnic groups in Northern Ethiopia. Yet, it will at least give us a general picture.

Why on earth would Dergue publish a map that shows the residents of northern Gondar province as Tigrayans if it weren’t true?

If this wouldn’t sway the extremists, perhaps, nothing will.

Map - Nationalities in northern Ethiopia [published by Derg regime]

[Map – Nationalities in northern Ethiopia]

Note – In the map above:

  • the shadings and the legend on the right-side refers to ethnic groups or nationalities.
  • the word Tigray, on the right-side legend, refers to the Tigrayan people.[See footnote]
  • All those written in red, including the left-side legend, are my insertions.


Footnote: Words about words

As you noticed above, there is a confusion on the proper term to refer to a person of Tigray origin. For example; the Central Statistics Agency, which used the word Tigraway in its publications of the 1994 Census, uses Tigrie and Tigray in other publications.

Similarly, in the above Dergue era map the words Tigrinya and Tigray are used in the Amharic and English legend, respectively. It appears an effort to avoid confusion with the other ethnic group Tigre, yet they were unsure of the proper word.

To complicate matters further, texts in English language use the words Tigrayan and Tigrean(a derivation of the word Tigrie). On other hand, documents in Tigray language employ the words Tigraway, singular, and Tegaru, plural.

The word Tigrie, on the other hand, is an incidental term with no meaning in any language and considered as a pejorative one in some context.

At any rate, it is the word Tigray – say, ‘she is Tigray’ – the one in official use, also suggested by historians and a politically correct one, so to speak.


  1. Edossa Kenea


  2. Matthew P-F (@mattpfunk)

    Daniel – not a very good rhetorical piece …. the truth of the matter is that G-7 and the CUD and the TPLF are all part of the same of dirty coin …!!! Nasty, name calling, and childish politics that rules the political landscape of Ethiopia. And you are just another flame fan. Your desire for fame has a makes intellectual honesty pay a high price. You know what they say about facts in politics. They can serve any pimp who is willing to make a profit off of them.

  3. Abba Tobia

    Not only the border but rather the natural border between Amharic speakers and Tigrigna speakers is the Takazze river and the Ashenghe Lake for ages. In 1800 and for the first time, Ras Woldeselassie of Tigre crossed the Takazze and invaded Wolkait. This powerful Ras committed genocide on the locals following his conquest. That is how Tigrayans came to know Wolkait. About South Tigray, lands annexed by Woyane are originally lands of the Amharas, next this land was invaded by Gallas and was named Kobo. It is as simple as that. both lands were stolen by Woyane for their productivity. Woyane can not be serious about his nation nationalities(?) stories.


    hay bro,…what is this controversy?,…do you know tigray is anexed us by power to be tigre…tigres are influiencing us to teach tigregna but we are amaharic speaker ,…&tigre was one empire as gondar and others …how could you take our to be agreat nation ………………yalachuhin yizachihu meketel achilum? ………………….one day one day……………..one day ….we retun to be named as before………….GONDERYANS

  5. Ancient Ethiopia

    I hope and I pray for the separation of tigray from ethiopia. that will be the great relief for ethiopians. living with out them by locking your borders will be our relief. what are we going to loss from tigray? teff, fruits or what else? most ethiopians have never experinced with hunger, but we share aschaam, with them because of them. but they must be sure that there will not be any chance to get out of tigray and dance every where, take any thing what you need. we will rejoin with eritreans

  6. Ancient Ethiopia

    Why do you need to jump here and there? you can tell us that you have arm in your hand for that reason you have all rights to take what ever you want from all corners. The annexed weredas from wollo and gonder have no any historical relationship with Tigray. If you think those places which you annexed and took from gonder are the parts of tigeray, why did you kill all the residensts? why do you need to committe genocide against the Amharas in gonder and wollo? were not they tigray’s people or only the weredas are the parts of tigray? all weredas have never been the parts of tigray. just the out lawed terrorists group found tigray as useless and stony, so they need to annex more fertile lands from gonder and wollo. peroid , as far as you have arms, you can keep all weredas in your hand, but once others get the arms in their hand you will give back with out any reservation. we know you need to have a border with your lovely friend [ sudan] and djbuti , to have that access you need to loott fertile land from gonder and wollo. Now you come out with your bloody prpoganda to fill our mind with your lies and try to convince us that yes the lootted weredas were the parts of tigray. what a shame.

  7. abel

    simply waste of time to read a shit piece (the most below par articulated peice). TPLF bandites even don´t know how to write to deceive those who don.t know this issue. The amhara people believed any territory of Ethiopia is for Ethiopian, But thanks for the venomous tplf ethnic devision if a land must be based on who owned it earlier then we will see who deserve to take it those 4 woredas. Now the tigrie guys are enjoying everything in Ethiopia at the expense of the 96% of people. However, the opportunity the tigrean people get is not the intention of the majority people rather driven by tplf to pursued the tigrean that it is woyane who can sustain your existance otherwise a setback.

  8. Feature

    After all the land was there since its volcanic times. But no one has the right to own it nor it belongs to anyone, be it a person, ethnic group and/ or states. Better to understand it can entertain for people who in it, if you are then who live there, it belongs to you, either amharawi or tirgrawi ! Punto!

  9. siccaalaa

    Well, I see your attempt to silence the critics to be important, but not sufficient. 1) the Amharas are accusing the regime for forcefully evicting the indeginious people before it come to power and then put the woredas under Tigray Region after coming to Power
    (2)Neither referendum nor a manipulated demographic caharcteristics seems to be a solution in such cases. The best example is the conflict between South sudan and Sudan on one of the oil rich areas near the border. Sudan completely changed the ethino-demographics to claim the area.
    You did not address these issues sufficiently. By the way I would appreciate if you and your likes understand when others cry for the similar question. When others raise such issues it is illegal!

    1. Meron

      Which Ethiopia are you talking if the Tigrians leave? Are you equating Amhara region with Ethiopia? If you want to push Tigrai away from Ethiopia (though I know you cannot), you have to say there is no Ethiopia, but Tigrai, Amhara, Oromo, Afar…

      For your info: The main purpose of our struggle was to decide our destiny by ourselves — self determination. if that means secession for you, you are wrong. But still, if one wants to secede, that is up to them, you cannot force them!

  10. Filmon

    good job. this is a good example for many writers who write toxic articles and claim that their reference is mr x. or mrs. y. who don’t want their name to be mentioned.
    Some claim that tplf is following the divide and rule method. but even previously ethiopia was divided in to provinces so isn’t that divide and rule too? I don’t think so! it is all about administration. previously it was possible to incorporate people with different languages into one place because the only language that was recognized by the then governments was amharic. but now there is no superior or inferior language or ethnicity!!! that is why tigreans are in the tigrai region and amhara are in the amhara region. any body who is against this is an amhara fool who has not given up pursuing the cruel dream of the amhara rulers who were trying to amharize everyone in ethiopia.
    No way! it will never happen. let alone now when every body is not ashamed of their ethnicity and is proud that they are using their mother tongue language in their primary education, even when the derg was at its height it was beaten by tplf and eplf fighters, but now if a derg like government ever comes, the afars, oromo, wolayta, and all others who don’t want to be amharized will fight!

  11. bbla

    u brought z CSA as an evidence here?
    i was zer a few yrs bak,welkayit,
    z ppl didn’t give any recognition for zat, u can hear may b zat some ppl come from tigray as an autority from mekele zey call zem as a tigrawan coz zey doesnt count zemselves as a tigray
    actually am talking like zis coz u bring zis however it doesnt matter zat z gvt say its for tigray or amhara, all Ethiopian
    Though its useful for u n ur bosses to divide n rule method…
    ppl realy matters n determins, not z politicians!

  12. Jonathan

    @ welkayit tigray

    You are talking about tigrayans been heroes and other people becoming betraying well I think there are many tigrayan heros as well as amhara’s oromo’s eritreans and as well there are coward in all tribes but what took me was that yohannes was a hero who died to save ethiopia funny the real history is that Ras Alula who fought for him was hero. Any way I don’t like taking sides but let me tell you about the TPLF who came to power by serving the crazy EPLF needs betraying the rest of Ethiopians and then when they became sure of defending themselves betrayed the Eritreans please don’t be like that there are heros who fought with TPLF like Hailom who were betrayed by their brothers and there were many heros in Amhara,oromo and eritrea. you talk like the tigreans were who ended the derg men please I believe they have contributed but the whole Ethiopia was in civil war that is how derg fall nobody took side for derg but u took about amhara been the derg ok i didn’t see these coming but go to gonder you will find the most evil deeds derg did to the amharas. Please be proud to be Ethiopian than to be tigreans because that is the truth we all know 90% of beggars in Ethiopia come from that region not to proud to be a beggar.

    1. Welkait-Tigray

      @ Jonathan, I think Ras Alula was not involved in the war against Mahadists at Metema, rather he was behind taking care of the base army while Hatse Yohannes IV was in charge. I can repeat is again and again that Tigreans are heroes and this is a fact but Did I say Amhara or Oromo are cowards? The fact is that Dergists and their strategists are kicked by the gallant TPLF/EPLF joint army will you deny that? so those people are heroes and determined for their freedom and justice.
      I am not ashamed of being Ethiopian But I am proud Tigrean and will remain so for life there is no reason to neglect my true ethnic TIGREAN pride! But do those two identities conflict? For me I am first Tigrean and next Ethiopian because Ethiopianism is a universal common identity for you and me but we are different you are not Tigrean and I am!
      1. Ethnic identity is an international human rights to enjoy and celebrate their ethnic pride.
      2.If you don’t love yourself you can’t love your friend and denial of ones ethnic pride is rather a pseudo paint identity! So both identities are not conflicting rather they do synergize your pride!
      3. As beggary “Aboy Sibhat said there are many beggars in Debretabor than in Tigray” remembering the time when he was a teacher in the village Debretabor.
      4. I know Gonderes were annihilated by Derg! but what does it have to do with our discussion? Did I say Gonderes were better off with Derg? or you are asking for soft heart for you?
      5. I have been in addis last month but I didn’t get a Tigrigna speaking beggar! Amazingly poverty is our brand identity and none of us are in a position to claim as better of in a poor nation/
      6. Why should I ask people about my identity? I am in Adiremets/Welkait/ and do you know that there are no even Amharay in Kafta-Humera, Welkait and Tsegedie? Even Derg had put it that this land was and is inhabited by Tigreans.
      Its a fact that less that two percent Amharus might exist as daily laborers or state farmers there but there are also Tigreans in Gonder town but that doesn’t mean Gonder is Tigray
      7. What will you say of Afar region which was totally under Tigray, wollo and Shewa? these people were annexed under different localities while they have now a region “AFAR” the same hold true with Oromiya, and these people are now under their ethnic language and that is what happened in the nation! this is a fake futile game we are and we will remain Tiigreans forever
      Good luck with your dreams but we are Proud Tigreans and Welkait is where I am born and raised in Adiremets and you can’t tell me who I am and to whom I belong to.
      Good luck kid

  13. Jonathan

    Funny why talk crazy talk about maps made by derge and weyane just go ask the people and they will tell you that they are not tigre but majority would say they are gondere amhara these is just bullshit talk i have been there and those people talk both amharic and tigrinya but they said they are gondere. This was done by the weyane in case a way out to Sudan been in center by Eritreans enemy dictatorship and Ethiopian aggressive revenge if thrown out from the high sit a way out not to die in the middle. good luck with that trying to bring another problem some times i think the crazy blood sucking derge was some how Ethiopian tried to keep the pieces Ethiopia become by royalist and colonists. some problem brought to our beautiful Ethiopia(Eritrea considering) but power hungry royals and they crazy wealth hungry Italian dictators. I don’t have any problem with tribes in Ethiopia actually I have three tribe blood line but i see people going crazy about Tigray Amhara Oromo bullshit talk rather than keeping Ethiopia together that is called unity people when some one is united there is strength get a life people. I feel sorry to our Ethiopa.

  14. Dinsho

    I like your latest response but I disagree with part of it. Today Eritrea is a country of its own legally. However, let’s agree that Eritrea was part of Ethiopia and as such recognized legally (post the British administration of the area). Agreed? This is important in that, you can legitimately bring up as to how or why Eritrea was allowed to be controlled by Italy during Menlilik’s rule as King of Kings, but, at the same time you must recognize the simple fact that Legesse Zenawi handed over Eritrea to Shabia. Agreed?
    Now to your other points. I believe ELF or EPLF had no popular support in the beginning. The times were of high temperatures, and the restless students were up to making revolutions here and there (observed in every part of the world then). So it did seem the Students were supporting ELF for example, but the vast majority of people (farmers and such) did NOT support ELF or EPLF. This is the same case in Tigrai. Well then, how did they manage to gain support from the people? They managed to do this by endless propaganda and things they did for propaganda gains. For instance, the amount of murders perpetuated by TPLF, EPLF or ELF is yet to be revealed, and yet they would blame the massacres on Derg. Do you know that people still have their doubt as to the hand of TPLF in massacres like Hawzen? How many were murdered by supposed Ethiopian army units but actually were just TPLF or EPLF fighters wearing captured uniforms and using captured military hardware? Is this hard for you to believe? The other side of this coin is that, DERG with its murderous tendencies in return murdered civilians in Tigrai and Eritrea, but rest assured, if these two parties didn’t start war for separation, then nobody would have fought for Derg. Derg would have fallen earlier. What Woyanes and Shabias and Dergs did was hold the population hostage.
    Yes, I repeat this: TPLF and EPLF (and OLF) waged war on Ethiopia, because their aim was to break down Ethiopia. EPRP, Meison etc didn’t wage war on Ethiopia, but within Ethiopia. The difference should be clear.
    Ok so the Elites overpower and control the masses. The masses, if ever asked, I am sure don’t see any goddamn reason why they should fight with other poor people like them. Eritreans, Tigrians, etc etc people are just people, so hence, would love only peace and not bloodshed based on somebody’s idea of inferiority or ideology. I am sure Kedamay Woyane had reason to start their revolution, but they had no reason to open door for separation. That was never the solution. Look at Eritrea now. What did they gain?? Nothing. Eritreans would have been better off feeling at home in the rest of Ethiopia and vice versa. By the way, I don’t say anything about unity. Unity isn’t really important, but peace and coexistence is important. Just like taking care of your neighbors simply.
    Is Eritrea gone for good? On what grounds? I’ll tell you this. Subsequent generations may realize that they have more in common than not with the people south and start movement to rejoin. We may rejoin with Kenya, Sudan etc too, who knows? So never say never.
    Take care

  15. dinsho

    Uhh Menkem,
    Let’s be rational buddy. Eritrea was back with its mother Ethiopia after what Welkait wrote. The separatist cancers like TPLF and EPLF, supported by the likes of Iraq and Egypt, waged war on Ethiopia and they succeeded. Then Mr. Zenawi gave Eritrea to Isaias. Simple history. Hundreds of thousands have died to destroy EPLF and TPLF, but, it seems western intelligence, moral/material support and the terrible actions of Derg bastards made it possible for the cancers to grab power.

    The people of Eritrea will unite with the people of Ethiopia one day, once we take out all cancers.

      1. Welkait-Tigray

        @ Dinsho, Lets focus on few points, you said EPLF is not representative of the people of Eritrea, I do partially agree but do you think EPLF could have resisted and prevailed over Derg in the 30 years war? Hard to believe but possible, in addition Eritreans have said it loud 0ver 98%? voted for independence through an internationally mediated referendum so what is your basis to argue that Eritreans were indeed willing to be part of Ethiopia? I hope you are not saying these Eritreans were infested hateful people? It rather give sense if you refer to the 1% who voted for unity while their people bleed and bruttly killed these are better defined as “infested elites”.Good word wrongly placed!
        As to the people of Tigray and its front TPLF you have to learn from the deadliest and brutal Derg to kneel Tigreans and the superb resistance of this proud people supporting its front all the way since 1967. TPLF or EPLF couldn’t have won over Derg had it not been for the full support of the people of Eritrea and Tigray. Your sympathy for a united Ethiopia should never emanate from blaming the shining victorious heroism of the people of Eritrea and Tigray, rather you have to look in to your dads document and see what went wrong that led to the disapointment of this historic people, who are the origin of the great kingdom of Axum, Abysinia and Ethiopia so that you at least can live in peace and respect. For me Eritreans were Sabeans, Ageazians, Abysinians and even Ethiopians till they were betrayed by Menilik-II. None of you can claim to be more Ethiopians that these ancient people of the Axumite kingdom. But thanks to Menilik II(Tikur Sew) they were betrayed and awarded to Italian colonization the wuchalie treaty. The continued brutality of the shewan discriminator hegemony disappointed Eri-Tigreans and led to the kedamay (1st) Woyanie(1930s) and the Eritrean resistance for independence and the Kaleay (2nd) woyane of (1960s) this shows for how long people fought and resisted to the shewan/Ankober/ unjust leadership!
        Eritreans fought for over three decades for independence and Ethiopian spilled their blood for equity, equality and justice, and they managed to achieve it we are autonomous, we are enjoying our regional autonomy and still we are free to determine our destiny as Tigreans, Oromos, Amharas, Afar or Somali.
        But when you say EPLF/TPLF waged war over Ethiopia, I laughed because 1. You forgot that Derg was military government in the country and 2.You are putting yourself as Ethiopian while TPLF/EPLF intruders.
        Had you been a fair thinker you couldn’t have put such a silly but important point. it was a civil war and not an intrusion from outside! If you have Ethiopia where TPLF is not part probably it is going to be in your grey matter.
        Finally Eritrea is gone for good! And we are living in peace and equality and we will still keep on developing and prospering.
        Good day Dinsho.

      2. Dinsho

        Well I wish you health too compatriot, but I am perfectly ok.
        On the other hand, what proof do you want? That TPLF and ELF/EPLF fought to separate Tigrai and Eritrea? That Leggese Zenawi gave up Assab and Massawa without the say of the Ethiopian people? Excuse me, Eritrea was recognized as part of Ethiopia. Hell, Eritreans believed they were part of Ethiopia (and probably still do, except for the infected elites maybe). But the likes of Jebha and Shabia and Woyanes were too selfish and devolved in their own hateful ethnocentrism that they waged war, conscripting by force or propaganda poor peasants spilling their bloods for NOTHING. They waged war on ETHIOPIA. So much would have been saved if they had sense enough to fight Derg only.

        If you need proof of what’s well documented, then I will suggest a brain transplant.

  16. Banda

    Meles will go and Truth will last forever, dismantling the country and landlocking
    the country is nothing to you. Giving huge fertile land to Sudan is nothing to you
    Your worry is Amharic

    You are conserned about Amharic and say Ethiopia is not looted by Tigreans.
    Amharic will remain the national language whether you like it or not. Your thick and narrow brain will burn and die if you did not like it. It is unfortunate.
    The narrow shifta group “TPLF” seized power because Amhaharas helped them. Let me tell you that had it not been for the help of Amharas, they will not pass out of Michew. However, to their credit, Amharas thought that TPLF’s are Ethiopians without knowing their hidden toxic venoums.
    TPLF-created ethnic based maps not because they wanted to help them , but to enable themselves rule them by creating hate among Amaras and Oromoms. Thanks to GOD even Oromos are now aware about TPLF”S mission. TPLF is almost hated by every one except ‘Tigreans educated beneficiareies’ as it helped them to to accomualte wealth without working just by ethinicity and narrow arogance. Even Eritreans consider Tigreans-TPLF as arogant pigs-
    who just grab every thing. Who else will like you

    Where is TPLF now-let me tell you: The southern nationas have been with AMharas and has been speaking Amharic. Even the Afars are with Amharas. The Oromos are now back with Amharas. Whoelse is with TPLF? Just their big belly and their narrow mentallity? Amharas nation is 4 times Tigray. Fortunately, Amharas are not as arogarnt and narrow as you. There are many Tigreans in Amhara region and I will wander what will happen to you pigs when this government falls.

    One final remark though: Youhanes IV brought british to kill Tewodros. Meles lanlocked the country and gave huge land. TPLF is just a mafia organizatioon and will go soon
    Tigray is the land who enabled to fruit Bandits (Kehadiwoch MINCH)

    1. Welkait-Tigray

      I agree with your forecast that Meles will go any time in the future and you shouldn’t have wasted this all to tell me this! But coming to your points, You better know your history before youwaste your time, At least you should have known that the Wuchale threaty was not signed by Meles Zenawi and it was not Meles who gave away Djibouti to France. In general Ethiopia was landlocked by Menilik the Ankober. Hahahaha
      Your agrarian brain is killing you can you tell me how many hectares of fertile land did the Sudan take from Ethiopia? I know you have nothing credible source other than word of mouth from your likes!
      Amharic is a language for Amharas and it is no more a language you can find it across as you used to during the last decades of the hegemony! I have no problem is Amharic flourishes all over the country but I don’t think it is possible ever! I hope you know that regions are having a center of linguistic excellence in their native regional language to the level of MSc and different literatures and books are flourishing all over the regions which indicates you that regions are making sure that their regional language is leading the regional politics! Now you don’t find an Amharic speaker in Oromiya, Tigray, Somalia, except very few people here and there just counted it’s is irreversible.
      But Mr Banda, I think your rusted head is unable to see what is happening all over the country. Do you know Ethiopia doesn’t yet have a national language? I am sure that you don’t have any clue that the government is now looking for possible national language like AmhaOromifa, Geez, English etc are proposed while these are under assessment? You are far behind the national politics Mr. Baboon…I can see how desperate you will be when these facts come in your face.
      I love your twist that the Amhara people were on side of TPLF during the fight against Derg. That is good of you Mr. Baboon so what? I didn’t get it what you are trying to tell? Any way that is true but I didn’t find who is Amhara? Is it North Shewa or Sekota and Gondar? I mean it includes the Oromo and Awi ethnic groups as well and that is why I dare to ask you whom you are referring to.
      In general I learned that your dead grey matter is totally detached from the federalist system and its role in this country, Let me tell you this, Tigray and its people are not living on the good will and sympathy of who ever in the world and have proven it, and nowadays whether you love or hate, every ethnic population is autonomous and self managing, nobody is looking for one’s sympathy and good will for its survival and prosperity, taking note that a unified national interest is still in place.
      I know people like you fell they are good at forecasting while are idiotic in reality, I shouldn’t go far to tell you that TPLF have led the people of Tigray and won over its strategic and historic enemies. A fox undercover of a sheep hid will take you nowhere except to be annihilated as what happened to your colleagues. I expect nothing other than foul words like Grabs, pig, tyrant, selfish that emanates from your dead shallow head. Mr. Baboon it is a total idiocy to equate yourself and your clan with the front of the people of Tigray /TPLF/. May this be a deadly try to test for possible options to search a gap between these two exactly similar identities? This is funny.
      I can see how blind and narrow you are just looking at your feelings towards Yohannes-IV who died defending his nation at Metema, I know Menilik was in Ankober when Ethiopia was occupied by Egypt(Gurae, Gundagondo) and the Mahadists (Gondar and Gojam) dreaming of his future throne that betrayal was the start which was winded up by awarding Eritrea and Djibouti to Italia and France, as to Tewodros you better read what Tewodros did to the UK and what went wrong with the diplomatic relation between him and the UK, and you need to look at what Tewodros did to Yohannes IV and Menilik which led to loss of his legitimacy in the face of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church! Do you think Yohannes IV should have defended the UK army against Tewodros who imprisoned him for decades and who stalled him from any political position for fear of his acceptance in the Orthodox Church as he is the real descendant of the solomonic dynasty? Hahah So should the Tigrean Yohannes IV take care of Tedros’s ass when he pretend and get trapped with UK superpowers it is his arrogance to be blamed if at all he need to know diplomacy not arrogance!
      I know the people of Amhara is 4 times Tigray so what? Does it have anything to do with Ethiopian politics? I am not sure if you know the global politics? Had I been you I could have tried to calculate via critical factors like the religion, ethnic mix and geographic integrity etc.
      I am proud that I am from the Tigray the land of the Axumite Kingdom, Yeha temple and the seat of the Arc of Covenant. The land of the first mosque Negash, The birth place of Saint Yared father of Ethiopian pentatonic melody, land of genius military mastermind Raesi Alula Abanega, Home of Emperor Yohannes IV the savior of the people of Gondar and Gojam, The land of a heroes and heroine Amora, Keshi Gebru, Hayelom Araya, and the untold heroes of TPLF! The birth of Ethiopian millennium! Land of no cowardice surrender and or flee! Here is all who the pigs and selfish are found! Kkkkk

      “There are many Tigreans in Amhara region and I will wander what will happen to you pigs when this government falls” hahaha this is really Funny you are just funny, what do you think will happen? Mr. Baboon
      Finally take a look at the following few points,
      1. Emperor Yohannes fought and freed Gurae and Gundagundo from Egyptian occupation
      2. Continued his fight against the Mahadists at Gondar and Gojam and fearlessy paid his life at Metema Yahannes the Ethiopian border and freed the annihilated land of Gondar and Gojam!
      3. Yohannes declared Italia and UK doesn’t belong to land south of the red sea and said no to any external force in Massawa and Afar land of the current Eritrea.
      4. Menilik II(not the Tigrean Menilik I) betrayed Emperor Yohanees IV and kept quiet while Gondar and Gojam was annihilated by mahadists
      5. Menilik continued his conspiracy with Italia and France to hand over Eritrean and Djibouti at Wuchale and beyond to ensure his throne thirst.
      6. Still Menilik II signed agreement with the UK not to use and to control the people of Ethiopia not to use the Nile River ever!
      7. Menilik annihilated ethnic people in country to ensure his power where Oromos and Guragies and other ethnic groups were stripped of their land and other properties by the then greedy military and durgognas.
      8. Etegie Taytu Butul is suspected of killing Menilik II? Through a poisoned milk to quench her power crave to be empress(awaiting approval)
      9. Haileslasie betrayed the people and heroes of Ethiopa and saved his azz where he went further to kill heroes of the land like Belay Zeleke in pretext of free surrender.
      10. Haileslassie betrayed and killed Zewditu to ensure his power to be the king of Ethiopia.
      11. Mengistu hahahahah let me just stop this coz this tells me telling the trend might be enough to show you as to how you are raised!
      Few evidences of national betrayals this is how Ethiopian betrayers of those whom you are proud of looks like! Get proud of the Tikur baboon that is it and we have nothing to be ashamed of coz we know who we belong to.

      1. Menkem

        @ Welkait-Tigray that is the fact and though I am not a historian it was during the reign of Menilik II that our country lost Eritrea and Djibouti to Italia and France! This is a dredible fact and I appreciate your efforts!
        @ Dinsho, Lets be rational rather you are a big crap ever

      2. dinsho

        Holy crap!
        That’s a lot of fluff you wrote there son. I don’t mind analyzing past leaders, but your toxic focus on discrediting Minilik (as all your ilk were raised to do) shows nothing but hate– a thin veil to the hate to Amhara people that lies beneath. In fact, you are hateful towards the very concept of Ethiopia.
        Why don’t you go back to Dedebit with your AK and start fight for separation? Of course nobody will come fight you because we’re all tired of your crap 🙂 Like Meles says, Mengedun Cherk yargilachihu

  17. dagm

    where is the power grab? አውቆ የተኛን ቢቀሰቅሱት አይነቃም? getch aren’t almost all relevent power positions (top) controlled by tigreans? think economic, security, military blah blah. also why keep invoking ‘evil amharas robbers of identity’? is that an excuse to let this regime off the hook? and do you support gay equal rights movement in ethiopia? what is your opinion on that

  18. visitor

    Getch what is your complaint? woyane fought derg to separate tigrai from ethiopia first, then, they decided to rule the country as a minority group without democracy. isn’t this fact? on the other hand, it is proven that in 20 years people choose to speak amharic, not forced to spek it. what you talk about? it isnt amharas that have been robbing country for 20 years. it is this regime killing and torturing and imprisoning. stop trying to divert

      1. Getch

        Your view reminds me of the Amharic proverb አውቆ የተኛን ቢቀሰቅሱት አይነቃም people choose to speak Amharic on their will? Robbing a country is better than robbing identity if you like though both are devastating. Tigreans are on the helm of leadership? oh God I hope HE Ayalew Gobeze is not Tigrean neither is Abay Weldu an Amhara, Aliseiro is Affar and Shiferaw Shigutie is from nowhere but Southerner. Where is the Tigrean power grab, Just looking at Meles Zenawi? please be rational deep hatred takes us nowhere.
        Lets look at the bigger picture.
        Had people of Ethiopia got the drive to use Amharic it would have been a national language. But it is rejected by almost all ethnics and there is still a lot to think in this angle. Hope there will be a solution for this may be Amharic or a multiple languages like (Oromiffa, Amharic and English) or ENGLISH as a national language.
        Don’t think looking at the superficial picture there is still a lot to look at. We can also think of Geez as a national language.
        Any way don’t fool yourself there is an invisible soft power that is not visible to you who are not even interested to see beyond their interest and wishes.
        Good day

  19. Ashenge

    Hilarious. Brainwashing at its best right here son.
    Buddy, there’s no Tigray land or Amhara land or Oromo land. It is all Ethiopia. Until I feel free to live anywhere in Ethiopia no ruling regime will be safe: including tplf.
    TPLF can’t deny or grant people their identity. It is already there. It has already been there. Thanks to unrefined and terrorist regimes like Derg and TPLF there continues to be repression. All the land belongs to everyone. Do you understand? I’ll tell you this: the day I believe Tigrian people by majority feel that I don’t belong in that part of Ethiopia will be the day I will fight for Tigrian separation. Get it? Selam

    1. Motuma

      I don’t think there is a law that prohibits an Ethiopian to live and work in any part of the country where ever he/she likes! Is there? You can live in Oromo land but you have to know and be able to communicate their language and don’t expect our people to welcome you in your Amharic as it is Oromiya not Amhara land, You got it? As to supporting Tigreans for cessation! hahaha you know that they don’t need anyones support just look at their Eritrean brothers who determined to secede as they were so annoyed with the Amhara shewan idiotic hegemony which forced them to use Amharic language and they were bitterly sick of the tyrant Amharas. Look we all have our own special and unique language, culture and geographic locality called the Tigray, Oromiya, Afar, Somali, Gambella, Amhara etc. We can only live in a country which democratically recognize praise and entertain our uniqueness and differences! It is where all begins if you think to see people who live and speak Amharic then you just should create a country called Amhara not Ethiopia! FYI If Tigray went away I think we will determine our destiny to make sure that our Oromo land is guaranteed and you will go to your Ankober, Menz and Shenkora land and you should not crave the fertile Oromiya!
      I hope that to happen and guarantee our Oromo land!

      1. Getch

        Well well well, Am amazed to see a desperate Ethiopian/Eritrean who is so low to this level…It is just amazing from your few words I can see your forgetfulness. Look my friend don’t forget that Tigreans together with their Oromo and Amhara brothers fearlessly fought for justice and equality! Do you think Tigreans fearlessly fought the Derg junta because they don’t to leave peacefully? Or what? Do you think there is a reason for any ethnic be it Amhara or Oromo to go to an armed struggle taking the context at hand? And do you think it will bring any difference? For success your mission should be for a tangible reason but if you cry loud saying Amharic should be used by Tigreans Oromos and the other Ethioians hahahahahaha you gonna dye craving for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REALITIES doesn’t show that most people need to speak English than Amharic and this will value nothing to any of us Amharic is a regional language to Amhara and SNNPR but we all the rest we have a unique language that perfectly represents our identity, values …..Look at you are you telling me TPLF is a distinct entity which is trying to destroy Amharic? This is really sad my friend, Let’s be honest Amharic do represent Amhara it is Amhara’s identity though we all get proud of it as a language in our country we don’t romantize Amharic as what you pseudo nationalists do! You have to know that we will never welcome pigs who do try to impose their values languages and what so ever in the name of Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s reality doesn’t show you that Amharic or Amhara is the only ethnic and language in the country. If need be we will be working to introduce other language as Amharic is an identity representing a minority in the country and it has imposed so bad memories which we should not touch painful wound of victim ethnicities in the country.
        I am very well aware that Amharic and Orthodox were instrumental in forging a pseudo identity of Amharizaiton in the coutry these are facts and realities which Amharas effectively annexed the Shewa of the Oromos land these mechanisms and Adi-Arkay, Raya Kobo of Tigray region. As these tact are closed now you have come with a new version of annexation “the cross migration mission to the SNNPR Guraferda district” as its regional language is Amharic you are desperately destroying the people’s culture settlements and what have you these are the results of agrarian mentality of you and your identicals!
        Don’t try to tell me Amharic is just a language better to look at the intentions you are trying to propagate, I am very aware and clear with Amharization and Ethiopianism and don’t try it ever as a proof of unity for the people, You know what these social approaches are well designed to amalgamate and annex other ethnic identities and make the dead horse revive. This is an idiotic approach the only way out is not confronting Federalism, rather it is better to accept diversity and enjoy its fruits on equity basis that is the viable and preferred approach.
        To tell you the facts there couldn’t exist Ethiopia of your dreams ever as there are multiple and diverse identities and interests in this big country.

      2. soccergod

        lol you mad bro? Looks like he hit a nerve. The fact is TPLF is a total failure in trying to destroy Amharic as the national language. I have to almost everywhere in Ethiopia and people have no problem speaking their language or Amharic. The only place this is an issue is inside the narrow mind of tplf people. Even OLF broadened their horizon lol. What will you do now? pull out your machine guns and kill everyone that says Ethiopia? Even Eritreans see tplf for what it is by now clearer than the day. In other words, tplf is all alone.
        Ashenge, don’t feel man. tplfites are past their peek, all fat, old and useless now (yes like derg became). Ethiopia is Ethiopia is for Ethiopians, not for separatists like tplf. love for all Ethiopians.

  20. Getch

    First let me start with what you labelled as “anger”. I have no reason to be angry bec this is just a blog to share ideas though we have a low limit, I mean you need to know history and politics beyond the zemene mesafint! If not it will be so low even to be on z same page. Having said this coming to your point; I think we are talking about group identity not individual migrants which you can find hundreds if not thousands of Tigreans by ethnicity and language. First you shouldn’t have gone this low to know that there are millions of Amharas within all the regions and are obliged to live and abide by the region’s rule and respect the culture they are in! Here you can see that or was within Tigray admin before it was annexed to Amhara and you do understand even Adiarkay! Better to look at what is ethnicity and ethnic group that talking hypothetical ideal! Good Luck

  21. faith

    “The process of forming the new states was conducted based on identity, essentially language, and in disregard of the pre-1991 provincial maps.

    Thus, the new Tigray state consists areas previously located in Tigray, Gondar and Wello provinces. Afar state is includes the previous eastern Tigray and Wello Provinces. ”

    Essentially anyone with guns can come and create myopic “new state” based on whim, huh? Good to know!

  22. Nunu

    Ethnicity isn’t only about language. Shared history and customs, age grades, etc must go in any usable mapping. The details should go as far as family and clan identities. This isn’t exact science. Jamming location and language to form the basis for ethnic based politics falls on almost all accounts. I, as a layman, will call this fatuous and artificial.
    The question is, how far back in history shall we go? Another question is, how far down the ethnic granularity should we go? You have a perspective here, but, you aren’t necessarily right from other points of view (legitimately). Unless you are ready to play the game all the way (rather than this shallow analysis) it is better to leave it alone.

    1. Getch

      Dear Nunu, as you said ethnicity is not only a shared language and It takes you nowhere putting these all trashes will spare you from being exposing your idiotic proof to cover-up facts! This is your reckless view as to how you are foolishly trying to put trashes among facts as a cover to tell that these Tigrinya speakers are not Tigreans!
      This is so rusted idea Nunu and coming to prove your idiocy These people Amhara and Tigreans have been living there together as neighbors these people of Welkait/Adi remets, tsegedie/ketema Nigus and kafta Humera do speak Tigrinya even when they were annexed to Begemidir! Do you know why? Yes; It is because they are Tigreans and not Amharas, They don’t identify themselves as Amharas because they have nothing in common with the Amharas that could affiliate them beyond being tigreans. They used to identify themselves as Tigreans because they are Tigrean people who were annexed to Begemidir while they have similar cultural and historic ties with Tigray! Don’t forget that the people of welkait, Tsegedie and kafta Humera were fearlessly fighting with TPLF /Weyane Tigray/ to free their people of Tigray from the Oppression of the ethnic Amhara if you like! These people are Tigreans but you have imprudently tried to put your trash baseless arguments. You don’t need to go a century back to tell a Tigrinya speaking who are culturally connected but annexed to Begemidir for 50 years are ethnic Tigrinya! Why should you go back in time if you go back to haileslassie era then you will find these Tigreans were with their Tigrean brothers! Nothing more nothing less! And on what basis are you to prove us that these Tigrigya speaking people are Amharas? I know you can’t! They can’t be Amharas as they don’t speak Amharic and they don’t have any cultural connection with Amharas but they do share the same boundary as what the Tigreans share with Eritreans.

      1. Ngg

        Dear Malik,
        Identity isn’t something given by others including one’s parents neither by labeling nor by heredity. Identity is something one assumes he/she is to start with. If one says he/she is Tigray, nobody can come and tell him/her he/she is Oromo, Amahara, or other ethnicity. Moreover for one to fit in to the people he/she claims to belong he/she shouldn’t do or be involved in something that erodes the values of the group.

      2. Malik

        I read both your and Nunus comment. Most of what you wrote is out of anger and emotional. Amhara people never oppressed anyone, as much as Tigray people aren’t oppressing anyone now. The rulers are another story.
        If I have Tigray blood (grand parents) then I guess I could come in Tigrai and claim land, right? If a person is born of Oromo parents, speaks Tigrigna and is born in Mekele, is he Tigray? He accepts all customs and culture, let’s say. What if he believes he is Tigray, does that make him Tigray? Even if both his parents are Oromo and yet he speaks no afan Oromo? Please answer this question and I will come back to comment. Hint: consider Bereket Simon.

    1. Getch

      Sorry? Meaning why did you say the ward Fuck? Do you know who Tigreans are? They are proud Erhiopians who you should be proud of! Your Ethiopias pride starts there, Hopae you won’t deny this. Should you say this it is shame to use that word for the proud determined and honest Tigreans! I doubt if you are real Erhiopian.

    2. Getch

      Dear Enich, I can tell you are a child or if not childish, To come to my point, Do you know about the helm of Ethiopian civilization? what about the Yeha and the kingdom of Axum?
      Do you have any information about Metema Yohannes? I hope you do.
      It is where it all began.

      Good day

    3. Getch

      Very shallow comment Bejas are Eritreans who migrated to Eritrea and the same holds true with the Eritrean Bihere Tigrigna who are ethnically Tigreans, but they have determined their will and are no more Ethiopians. From your comment I can tell you are an Eritrean intruder and better to make your home work with the impending danger with the nine Ethnic groups back home; here we are doing good with our Amhara, Oromo, Afar, Gambella and other brothers and I can confidently tell you that an Eritrean intruder can score nothing except waste of time!
      If you are an Ethiopian brother then lets look at Ethiopian civilization and respect one another, We are in good hands. Long live the nation, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia.

  23. Getachew

    Dear Birhane

    This is really true, as you have rightly indicated even Dergue regime has correctly put it genuinely that the area is inhabited by Tigreans. some haters might not accept because their agenda is just looking for the land but in reality Welkait(Adiremets), Tsegedie(Ketema Nigus), Kafta Humera and Humera town are inhabited almost 98% are Tigreans or Tigrigna speaking people so there is no reason that Amharas can claim for it not because we are living in the same great Ethiopoia but because it is inhabited and is of Tigreans, This is the fact.

  24. Tariku Hussein

    I agree completely. There is plenty to criticise about Meles’s government, but inflaming hatred between fellow Ethiopians of different ethnic groups is NOT the way to go about this, and Berhanu Nega gives the impression that he wants power at ANY COST, and that would be a lot worse than Meles.

  25. Daniel Berhane


    Comment – 6

    Daniel Berhane : you have opened a very bleak matter. I personally, feel that you have endeavored to delve on the matter better than the groups you crawl to refute/contradict.You had maps,years, census,and constitutional articles albeit you sketched/numbered the last map(Durege’s) on a concocted way you liked it to look and you also controverted at some points.And however,detailed and analytical they may sound, they weren’t plausible enough in deconstructing the other school. I don’t like the mantra of Tigre,Tigray,Tigrawaye,Tigregna..and what else by the way.Gist : Specialization blogging is a hard nut.It is a cool venture but requires skilling.That was your attempt i suppose.I guess, your idea came to enter this blog when you found the map on Class Struggle and the Problem in Eritrea book. That was short of u – you see. This topic should have been blogged by someone with a geo-historical specialization and politico-academic and activism guru on the Northern issue.I am sure you will soon get floods of responses :most by specialists who know the Knitty and gritty of those provinces.

    My Reply

    I welcome any response and even correction.
    This is an issue that should not be allowed to linger on Amharans with whom Tigrayans are going to live for the next thousands year as part of one great country.

    What did you mean by this – ”you sketched/numbered the last map(Durege’s) on a concocted way you liked it to look and you also controverted at some points”
    Would you be kind to explain?

    Commenter 6(again)
    Daniel Berhane : Yes i am always kind to explain. Map–look at the last map you numbered.What measurements did you use in labeling the numbers ? Did you at least apply basic map reading techniques? And even the original map itself which is less scientifically mapped and vague to understand,is bound to confusion and lacks contemporaneousness.The maps , you used are incomparable themselves: one is done with a different grid,scale and ‘scientificness’ while the other was done manually with obsolete and basic mapping techniques. One of the maps seems to have been done for census purposes while the other was mapped purely for spatial purposes: this is where care is needed:”Specialized blogging”.Futher than this, you conflated matters towards your agenda i.e. in uses of terminilogies.

    My Reply

    1/Pradon me.
    I don’t need a measurement tool to locate Gondar, Wello, Tigray, etc Provinces on such a big map.

    2/ Yes, the three maps are prepared for differemt purposed and their scale is not the same.
    That is why I didn’t try to compare the three as if they are perfectly the same.
    That is why I stated on the post that the ‘Dergue map’ will give use a general picture.

    The bottom line is the Dergue era map indicates parts of North Gondar were inhabited by Tigrayans. It may not necessarily tell us the exact square Killometer they covered.

  26. Daniel Berhane


    Comment – 4
    Are you sure these lands belong to the Amharic speaking people? Do you know when Semen Teklay Gizat was annexed to Begemidir Teklay Gizat(renamed as Gondor Province during the Dergue regime) ? And please refer the census conducted during 1984 by the Dergue regime and see the ethinic composition of the districts mentioned.Also read about the history of Semen and Begemidir and their adminstrative history,Trimingham’s map of linguistic distributions in Ethiopia.

    My Reply

    I didn’t say these lands belong to the Amharic speaking people. Did I?

    I have already stated why I didn’t include the 1984 data and why it won’t be helpful.
    The 1984 Census didn’t inquire ethnic identity – as far as I know.
    Plus, it didn’t cover most areas of Eritrea and Tigray provinces.
    Third, the Humera area was TPLF’s route to Sudan, thus partly controlled by TPLF.
    Fourth, TPLF was present in Tesegede areas as early as 1980. And other reasons…..

    Commenter – 5

    How those 14 provinces came to exist in the first place?? was it the map drawn by the Negus or Menelilk and in what basis it was drawn…..???

    My Reply to Comment 5(as well as to Comment 4)

    I will discuss the pre-Dergue history if it interests you.
    However, I think the current borders are drawn mainly based on current demography, rather than history.
    Yet, I am not sure how far back into history we shall go. Shall I begin with Minilik?

  27. Daniel Berhane


    Comment – 1
    Daniel, this is indeed one of the best i have read from you.

    Comment – 2
    Where in the Ethiopian constitution does it say that only Amhara ethnic group should be leading the country??….it is really repulsive to even listen or read about this issue over and over again……Once for all those retarded right wing Diaspora – mostly composed of old royalist and families of the Dergue – should come to term that Tigray people are also Ethiopians and they have the right to be at the helms of the political party of the country….Tigray people are not outsiders …they are the core of the Ethiopian civilization ….Unless they accept this simple fact……these right wing Diaspora will never accept this land partition along ethnic line…….Because these 4 woredas – mostly populated by Tigray ethnic group – have become part of Tigray “Province” does not mean that Tigray will escape with these 4 woredas. The land is still part of greater Ethiopia…….whatever the partition along ethnic group is …..the land is still there. .

    Comment – 3

    ‎Daniel, it is your agrarian left(gasp!) government with highly particularistic ethnic partiality(i.e chauvinism for lack of a better term) that partly nourished the soil congenial to sustain this sort of lem meret-tef meret bollocks. But be it as it is, if you claim that the Dergue map is that solid evidence to back your claims, you should be worried about the can of worms you are opening. If the new Tigray(T) is different from the old Tigray(t)(which by the way is a convincing starting point), if T ought to be(not is) a contiguous territory inhabited by Tigrayans or Tigregna speaking people, and if that standard is universalistic, that is, similar cases are treated similarly, I can see that per the Dergue map there are a lot of uncontested areas in T that should not have belonged to T. I know that you are making a political argument, not an academic one, and most political arguments are made on contingency basis. This is just to warn you that as it is usually the case, contingent arguments have bigger implications than the speaker making them intends.

    The issue is not that complicated, at least insofar as extreme ideas and views remain in the margins of political discourse, and you had the solution nailed in the article: a credible census. But census by the Ethiopian government would be rejected prima facie, you wondered. The skepticism about institutions which generate knowledge which has implications in politics in Ethiopia is, I believe, warranted. This may be a self-serving argument because I am one of the more radically skeptical citizens on this issue. I would also like to believe(though there is no way of knowing it since there are few credible public opinion surveys in Ethiopia) that I am firmly in the mainstream. Even if we the skeptics are in the margins, it is not a big issue insofar as our skepticism substantively relates to what we purport it to relate. If we are convinced that the system is open enough and there are accountability mechanisms in place, there is no reason for skepticism(at least at face value). There will be people who continue to be skeptical, but their operation will be limited to the territories of the Ethiopian version of AlterNet. So in the end, only open and accountable system guarantees that the question your raised, however trivial it is in my opinion, will be solved in a politically satisfactory way. You know…sunshine…best disinfectant etc. Until then, no amount of peevish DanielBerhane blog responses to Ethiopian Review and no amount of tossing the word “extreme” around the corridors of the political net make a serious dent to the epistemic status of the claim you want to refute.

    My Reply

    I didn’t subscribe to all data and maps of the Dergue.
    In fact, Dergue era data and maps of the late 1980s are suspect, due to its assimilationist policy.

    Even with regard to the map I posted, I noted that I can’t weight its accuracy for lack of background info about it.
    Yet, as you well know and probably agree, using a piece of evidence only for rebuttal purpose, without fully conceding to it, is acceptable and legit.

    In this case, I deem it proper to use Dergue era data or map when it agrees with TPLF.
    1/ Dergue’s interpretation of the national question is endorsed by those in the extreme right wing.
    2/Dergue cannot be suspected of conspiring with TPLF.

    Thus, while we need further info to decide in cases where Dergue and TPLF disagree; we can safely assume it true where Dergue and TPLF concur. Especially, in issues concerning Tigray.

    By the way, weighting the value of areas by their fertility, rather than historic value is an attitude that predates TPLF – it has entered the mainstream at least during Dergue and Haileselassie era, if not during Minilik.