By Ephrem Madebo -When I recently heard the sickening news of mass deportation of ethnic Amharas form the southern regional state, my stomach flipped and somehow I was catapulted back to my boyhood when I was a student in Awassa Comboni Elementary School. The Comboni School of my time was home to Amharas, Ormos, Wolayitas, Sidamas, Tigrigna speakers [ from Tigray and Eritrea] and students of many other nationalities that enjoyed classes together and called themselves nothing but Ethiopians. If ethnicity was what really matters in defining who I am, I don’t belong to the Sidama ethnic group, but I always took pride when I said – I am from Sidama. I believed and I still believe the group name “Sidama” defines me more than my actual ethnic group because I was born and raised in Sidama. So according to the recent troubling news coming from Ethiopia, if I go back to Ethiopia and settle in Bensa, Shebedino, Aroresa, Arbegona, or in my home town of Awassa, does it really mean that Meles Zenawi and his slave Shiferaw Shigute can tell me “you don’t belong here”? Can they? Where else do I belong? God save the king- Oh no! Read more..
Here in the United States, I’m surrounded by law and freedom; hence, saying “yes” or “no” to the above proposition is so easy. But, the 22 thousand Ethiopians who were told “you don’t belong here” were told so at gun point and did not have any option other than running for their lives. Most of them were born and raised in the south and the south was the only place they called home until Zenawi’s Bantustan like ethnic policy made them homeless.