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Ethio-Eritrean Border Tension

Tens of Ethiopian civilians allegedly kidnapped a month ago by rebels–operating out of Eritrea and supported by its government–have been released yesterday. An Ethiopian radio station announced the news.

Other reports indicated the prisoners were “sent across the border to the Sudan on their way to be returned to Ethiopia.”

Earlier today, reported that, “around fifty armed Eritrean soldiers and civilians who crossed the Eritrean border to the Sudanese territories about four days ago, are now in the custody of Sudanese intelligence outfit.”

Sources from Gedaref, Sudan, who spoke to Gedab News couldn’t confirm if the reports actually, “referred to two separate batches of arrivals or only one.”

The sources also said, “so many people are arriving in Sudan through the borders close to the triangular region.”

The three towns of Humera (Ethiopia), UmHager (Eritrea), and Hamdait (Sudan) are located in a triangular region straddling the three countries.

Ten days ago, Ethiopian sources indicated that as many as 80 Ethiopians were kidnapped by Ethiopian rebels who infiltrated the Tigrai region from its northern neighbor, Eritrea.

The Ethiopian civilians were allegedly kidnapped on January 29,  from an area called “Idris” near Humera, where many Ethiopians illegally mine for gold in a traditional way.

On February 18, 2016, an eyewitness told VoA Tigrinya program that around 400 people were working at the gold mining site when armed men from Eritrea surrounded them. The eyewitness also indicated they were taken to the Eritrean side of the river from where they attempted to escape and chaos ensued. Consequently, they were shot at and one person was killed while another drowned in the Mereb/Setit River.

Since the beginning of this year, the Eritrean opposition organizations have also claimed they were engaged in several skirmishes with government forces inside Eritrea—the Eritrean regime never acknowledges the presence of an Eritrean opposition and doesn’t mention incidents involving its armed and unarmed opposition groups and organizations.

The security situation between the two countries has now escalated to an alarming stage. While the Ethiopian government has accused the Eritrean government of having a hand in the unrest in Ethiopia which has resulted in the loss of many lives, the Eritrean Ministry of Information responded to that accusation today in a press release. It stated:

“The TPLF regime has marginalized the Ethiopian people in the past twenty five years to install an economy beset by endemic and unbridled corruption and that is controlled by embezzlers. It is this grim reality, at odds with a spurious and embellishing narrative, that has prompted and underpins the ongoing protests of the Ethiopian people.”

As a result of the escalation, the two countries are amassing their armed forces in the border areas where they have brought engineers and large number of earth moving equipment to work on the border area terrain.

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  • Amde

    Selam Awatistas,

    Sorry completely off topic.

    But I wanted to share this page with its funny graphics on the US primary/Caucuses.

    It looks like the ChristianTaliban may be beating the Fascist tonite in quite a few states.


  • dawit

    Selamat AMDE, SAAY and SJ.

    I will try to answer your questions by combining them in one ‘Hateta’, since all are related to “Dawitism”.

    These discussion emanated from a post made by Honorable AMDE the Ethiopian delegate, requesting AT members to send a congratulation message to celebrate the 120th year anniversary of Aduwa Victory by King Menelik II over Italy. Several AT lined up to send their congratulations claiming it was a victory of Black people over European Colonization including Eritreans!. (It is unbelievable how those ‘Eritreans’ celebrating the Aduwa “Victory’ could claim to be Eritreans? To celebrate the battle that sealed their country to become an Italian colony some 120 years ago is just mind- boggling)

    Now dawit being AT’s ‘contrarian’ as once SJ described him, wrote a remark opposing and condemning the Aduwa Victory Day as a Day of Mourning to Eritreans. I condemned Menelik as barbaric king who
    chopped Eritrean askaris prisoners of war while letting Italian to go free. That was dawit speaking as an Eritrean. Then condemnations of AT members started flying left and right. Amde came up with his skillful answer splitting hairs, he said the Eritreans soldiers were ‘traitors’ who deserved to be butchered and Italians were nationals of sovereign civilized government of Italy!

    So, the smart and Honorable A mde was not happy with dawit’s challenge and wonder how that could come from an Ethiopian’ who believe ‘Znegese Ngusna’? Dawit replied that he only recognized three Nguses in the whole Ethiopian history, Lalibela, Twedros and President Isaias. That opened a new floodgate, Saay picked it and questioned the idea of ‘Znegese Ngusna’ of “Dawitism” that he labeled a few days ago. Dawit responded that there was no any contradictions but it was in line of world history of Monarchism, still found common throughout the world today. Then Saay came with his another famous 2% statistics from his compulsory Ethiopian history course he took decades ago making fun of “Dawitism”. Then SGJ joined the fun asking dawit if he supported Haile Selassie as legitimate king who deserved
    acceptable ‘Znegese Ngusna’?

    1a. Now Mr. A-mde if you want to have a separate buckets of prisoners of war, you have the wrong label for the brave askaris. They were not ‘traitors’ because they were not Menelik’s soldiers, they were Italian soldiers called askaris. The only government who could have label them logically as ‘traitors’ was the colonial government of Eritrea under Italy for refusing to fight against the Ethiopians. Italy clearly
    as traitors who deserved harsh punishment. But from Menelik’s point of view they should have been put in the ‘Heroes’ Bucket. But Menelik was serving and pleasing his Italian masters to punish the poor helpless Eritreans by chopping their limbs, perhaps as a lesson for future askaris not to abandon their Italian colonial master’s command. The war was a profitable business for Menelik who signed a fresh
    agreement, fresh supply of arms and 3 million liras, build him a new palace in his new capital Addis Ababa and a statue of him riding a horse in Addis as the hero of Aduwa.

    1b. A mde, first some correction, Queen Yodit was an Ethiopian Queen, not Jewish. It is shame to group her with Grange Mohamed who was a Jihadist and Turkish paid terrorist. Yes you can group her with King Twedros and PIA. If you want to learn more about her you need a microscope to study PIA. He is the live specimen then use a historical telescope or a time machine that can take to the past tegadalit Yodiits historical time. You can examine what the media is writing today about PIA and interpolate it to her and Tegadalai Ksa (Twedros) and you will get the exact picture. I am adding Queen Saba and Itege Taitu Bitul to the list of the notable Ethiopian rulers. I think that improves the gender inequality ratio but it is going to throw away SAAY’s probabilistic statistics!

    2a. Cousin Saay- What I gave you before is the best I have. What did you learn in your compulsory or required course of Ethiopian history learning about the 196 kings and queens except which baboon killed or chased which one, where at which battle and the dates? Did you learn any history that represented the people except one person the great musician Yared? Did you learn who invented the plow, kirar, wata, mogogo or meshrefet or the kebero that were used throughout our history and still we use today extensively?

    2b. As to the “ceremonial kings and queens” of Europe and Japan, don’t forget they were un-ceremonial dictators for 1000s years. Don’t expect Eritrea to reach that stage just by its first trial in 25 years? Now Saay have you observed how the elite Eritreans and Ethiopians cast their UP and Down votes her at AT forum. People give you UP votes even without reading what you wrote. You get them anyhow, otherwise how would Eritrean in 21 century line up to cast an UP vote for a butcher like Menelik who chopped their great grandfather’s limb? For a man who sold their grandparents like cattle to Italian Colonialists? When PIA said Eritreans may need 40 or more tears to learn the ABC of true democracy, he is over optimistic. If AT represent a microsomal of the people of the horn of Africa, if may even be centuries and not decade for people to be judged by their true characters and not be fooled by what they hear.

    3a. SJ the elder cousin asks “what would be dawit’s position if, say any of our neighbors occupied Eritrea–Haielamrian Desalegn, Al Bashir, even Ismaïl Guelleh helped by a superpower, Kenyata, Moseveni or the Saudi –would it be znegese negusna?

    The Answer is clear NO. For the simple reason they are not Eritreans, even though we look alike us. We will not see them any differently from King Vittorio Emanuele, Queen Victoria or King George. They all are

    3b. A second question: Haile Sellasie was “zenegese negusna” were you, dawit, okay with that? Well there are two answers Yes and No.

    Yes dawit was okay with that as an Ethiopian. Dawit loved and respected Ababa Janhoy till the day he was overthrown. Then Gereral Aman became his new king for few months, then he accepted Guad Mengistu as his new king!

    No dawit was not okay Haile Sellasie as ‘Znefese Nigusna” as an Eritrean. He became Ngus of Eritrea, through treachery and bribery. Haile Sellasie betrayed Eritreans who helped Ethiopia fight the Italians, they restored his kingdom and he betrayed and sabotaged them at UN when Eritrean demanded their Independence by collaborating with US and Britain. As an Eritrean hated HSI and fought his administration in Eritrea.

    Cheers and Regards to All


    • Hope

      Abshirka Wed Adjiye Wo wed Emiye Bekitet(Bekita)
      More than interesting hateta and rebuttal,indeed!

      Arhib Wo Feddel for a Double minted Berad Shahi Missil
      I thought you are an Economist only but I see a Prolific Historian as well,the ERITREAN gene,I guess!
      Mai De’Arit satiy enta melehey?
      Stubborn,proncipled ,neg-freg zeibilu straight shooter!
      Keep it up,Big Bro!

    • Amde

      Selam dawit,

      1a) Do you know the phrase “point of view”? It is only three words. From Menelik’s “point of view”, he considered the Askaris as traitors to him, and he treated them as he deemed appropriate for traitors. It doesn’t matter who has the legitimate right to call them traitors or not. At the end of the day, they were in his possession and he took action as he saw fit. Was it cruel? Yes – absolutely. The Italians he considered prisoners of war. A different category altogether.

      This distinction between “traitor” and “prisoner of war” is well codified in the laws of all nations and international law. It is not Amde splitting hairs. Here is a little read up for you about the issue of Treason in the US constitution (the constitution no less). Prisoners of War are quite extensively addressed through the internationally recognized Geneva convention.

      Your point that Menelik punished the Askaris to serve Italian desires makes me question what you are smoking. Are you for real? You being OK with the Italians being legitimate under your “znegese ngusna” philsophy is well noted though. So according to you, Menelik as a sovereign was quite correct to treat the askaris as he did because it was important they learn the lesson that they should remain loyal to their “znegese” – or as you put it “…as a lesson for future askaris not to abandon their Italian colonial master’s command…”

      And since you are so enamored of the concept of “znegese ngusna” and divine right of the sovereign, here ( you can read about the sentence for Treason meted out to the people that tried to blow up England’s Negus James qedamawi. “each of the condemned would be drawn backwards to his death, by a horse,
      his head near the ground…. ‘put to death halfway between
      heaven and earth as unworthy of both’. Their genitals would be cut off
      and burnt before their eyes, and their bowels and hearts removed. They
      would then be decapitated, and the dismembered parts of their bodies
      displayed so that they might become ‘prey for the fowls of the air’……body was nevertheless quartered and, as was the custom,
      his body parts were then distributed to ‘the four corners of the
      kingdom’, to be displayed as a warning to other would-be traitors”

      I still want you or someone else to tell me what the policy of EPLF or ELF was to those it considered traitors.

      1b) On the issue of Queen Yodit, you said “Queen Yodit was an Ethiopian Queen, not Jewish.” Well, I had hoped it was evident from what I said that I considered Yodit an Ethiopian queen of the Jewish faith, who fought against the Axum dynasty of Christian faith. Unless there is a religion called “Ethiopian”, or a political entity called “Jewish” huletu negeroch Har Amba enna Qobbo nachew. Anyway, I consider her a historic figure I would like to know more about.

      Thank you for this episode of the Twilight Zone.


      • dawit

        Dear A mde,

        This is direct quote from your writing right in this AT forum.

        “Queen Yodit. She is also one of the mysterious historic characters . I always thought she was a Jewish queen who sacked the upstart Christian Axumite empire.”

        I did not made it up or fabricated it.” I always thought she was a Jewish queen”. Made by AMDE 2 days ago March 3, 2016. For the rest of your staff I shall respond later if have the time.

        • Amde

          Selam dawit,

          I still dont see what the issue is. As far as I know, she was an Agew speaking queen from perhaps somewhere in today’s Gojam or Gonder, with Judaism as her religion. I called her Jewish because of her religion. In this context, a Jew is not a tribe, just a religious affiliation.

          It is quite likely that, just like in the Arabian peninsula (Yemen etc..), Judaism was a well established religon, and not related to a certain Tribe or people.

          It is quite likely that Judaism was a state religion as well as very widely practiced for a few centuries prior to the birth of Christ. Hence the transition from Judaism to Christianity may have been quite traumatic for the people and the political elite. Just recall how the attempted transition from Tewahdo to Catholicism caused such conflict the only way to stop it was for the Emperor to abdicate.

          When I say someone is a historical figure, I am not passing a value judgement as to admirable or contemptible or some such. I am just looking at their historical impact. And for me, as a Tewahdo adherent, I am quite comfortable saying Ahmed Gragn was probabaly the most consequential historical figure of the millenium from 1000-2000 AD. This is my opinion, even knowing the incalculable losses Ethiopia incurred in those yeats.

          Queen Yodit is “accused” of sacking Axum, rendering it from being a powerful empire to a historically irrelevant place. This is obviously silly, but the fact remains she was a formidable enough leader that she has remained on the books as being accused of ending an Empire. That is incredibly high praise, especially for a woman. That is why I am very interested in what you may know about her.


          • Hayat Adem

            Amde, please tell us more about this interesting queen. So, she filled the time between the two Abyssinian civilizations: Axum and Lalibela? Does she has her own reference of advances in civilization as in the two or she is just famous for arresting civilization?

          • Amde

            Selam Hayat,

            That is the mystery about her. Here is the Wikipedia entry on her.. … and as you can see, she is accused of acts of significant historical import. Yet, she is not very well know, and as the Wikipedia article indicates, it is mostly speculation.

            The name “Yodit” is “Judith” – a very Jewish name. If you ever read “The Sign and the Seal” by Graham Hancock, he does a good job of placing ancient Jewish communities within the Ethiopian highlands in the Gonder/Gojam region. They would have been established by people simply following the Nile upstream, and then settling among the relatively cooler and fertile lands. This note from the Wikipedia entry on the Felasha I think captures the origin of the ancient Jewish faith reasonably… “A 2012 study showed that although the Beta Israel more closely resemble
            the indigenous populations of Ethiopia, they have some distant Jewish
            ancestry, going back 2,000 years. This has resulted in speculation that
            the community was founded by a few Jewish itinerant traders who moved to
            Ethiopia, converted locals to Judaism, and married into the local
            population. This evidence has been used as an explanation as to why the
            Beta Israel had no idea about the holiday of Hanukkah
            until they were resettled in Israel. The holiday commemorates events in
            the 2nd century BC, long after their ancestors had left Israel.[78]”

            In any case, this would place a Judaism dominated Agew speaking political entity in that area, which would be geographically contiguous with the Axum empire, and quite likely part of it. Another Wikipedia article refers to the Kingdom of Simien, and specifically mentions Yodit as one of the Monarchs in that line ( This article states this Kingdom was established when Axum adopted Christianity as the State religion in the 4th century. If that is the case then they would be the forces of tradition, splitting off in rejection of this newfangled faith called Christianity. It sounds to me more likely that the conversion to Christianity forced an elite split.

            As such, I can see political competition being natural between/within the two. Add to that the potential religious differences, and there would be reasons for skirmishes and wars over the years, that could not get reconciled. Usually reconciliation happens through the adoption of the religion of one by the other, but in this case if both sides hold fast to their religion, the conflicts continue unresolved, simply deepening the feeling on both sides. This might very well explain why Yodit sacked Axum, but I did not read anything that says that she reigned/governed from there.

            What is interesting is that today/s headlines about “Are the Qemant Amahara or not?” “Does Welqayit belong in Tigray or not?” find their echoes in those times.

            In any case, I feel that she has been written out of history because of Christian prejudices. She is definitely worth exploring. I was hoping dawit would add in what he knows.


          • Hayat Adem

            Thanks Amde, from now on I’ll keep learning her.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Hayata,
            All you have to do is look up!

          • Abi

            She is looking up an Abisinian not a Ghanian.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abisha,
            You would like that very much; wouldn’t you? Be careful though. This queen is too complicated. The more she sees the more dangerous she will become.

          • Abi

            The more dangerous, the better. Black widow, kind of.

          • dawit

            No she didn’t fill just fill a time period. She gave us the Zaguwe Dynasty of which Lalibela was the last king. There was only one period of true civilization in the 3000 years of Abyssinian history and that was the period she initiated by unplugging the sleeping Axumite slave kingdoms modeled after the Egyptian Pharos. In 1000 years, their history the only thing worthy to remember they left behind is a hip of stones at Axum. They erected obelisks to decorate their tombs and one was left laying on the ground when Tegadalit Yodit pulled the plug on Axumite Kingdom. I have written about King Lalibela, you can read it to catch-up in my discussion wit AMDE.
            The Priest Abune Tekle Haymanot tricked Lalibela to retun power to the baboons of Axumite for another knap cycle. until Tegadalay Tewodrs showed up to shake the Axumites baboons from their Amnesia. Tewodros was betrayed and sabotaged by the next Axumite baboon Yohanis IV to continue the ‘Kilibosh’ and ‘Gebeta’ game with pebble stones. The last Axumite baboon Mengisu Haile Mariam was removed by Tegadalay Isaias Afworki in 1991. So Hayat Queen Yodit is known starting and moving civilization. It is the Axumite Baboons known for arresting civilization.

          • Amde

            Selam dawit,

            This is the first I am hearing about Yodit being the precursor to the Zagwe dynasty. The thing is, it makes sense geographically. Lasta being the epi-center of the Agew speaking highlands south-west of the Axum area. It makes sense also that a pre-existing political dynasty or family would be the most likely predecessor of a new one.

            But it does not make sense ideologically if it is true that Yodit was part of a Jewish dynasty. The Zagwe kings built Lalibela both due to their deep Christian piety, and also as an act of political legitimacy. Since they paradoxically could not claim the Solomonic line as their source of legitimacy, they decided to recreate Jerusalem in the Ethiopian highlands.

            In any case, am open to learning.


          • Hayat Adem

            My history knowledge period, if at all I can call it a knowledge, is as young as the American history. You seem to know stuff a lot better than me. Nonetheless, you are also reputed for distorting history so I have to check you for authentication. For example, Axumite civilization is known as one of the earliest and shiniest on earth. So was the Egyptian. You are calling them baboons. Why? You are not serious when you invoke derogatoriness in the slavery system then, are you? Have we realized we are talking about AD time?

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hayata, Amde, dawit, Nitricc….

            Queen Yodit/Gudit/Aster was a very successful military commander, but she was so consumed by rage and revenge that she spent her entire adult life chasing after a single purpose which was the complete annihilation of the Axumites. Her story is riddled with several unanswered questions*, but here is an excerpt from a small but very interesting Amharic book “የንግሥታት ገድሎችና የፍቅር ታሪኮች” by Tadele Gedle Tsegaye.

            The priests and common folks, who supposedly came from Jerusalem accompanying Minilik I, had converted the locals into the then Judaic belief of one true God. They intermarried and lived in relative happiness for generations. However, when the majority of Axumites accepted Abraha & Atsebeha’s Christianity, a rift started to form among the community. Those who refused to accept the new belief began to experience extreme hate and prejudice by their now Christian compatriots.

            Those who insisted to fight for their old belief started forming a resistance by fleeing south into today’s Semien, Wegera, Lasta, and Wolkait environs**. They appointed a man named Gedeon as their leader, and lived waging and defending, losing and wining wars with the Axumite Christians. Over time, Gedeon*** had a daughter named Aster.

            Aster was extremely beautiful, and she married a Lasta governor Zer’a Yaeqob. She converted Zer’a Yaeqob into Judaism. Realizing that the then King of Axum, Anbesa Wudim, was but a child she campaigned an attack against Axum, and the Axumite Royalities took their child king with them and fled into Shewa. He was afforded with a grand reception in Shewa and they subsequently defended him with all they had.

            Angry at Showa’s reaction to Anbesa Wudim, Aster, now commonly known as “Yodit Gudit,” she redirected her war campaign toward Shewa. Embarrassed and angry by her experience of first defeat in Shewa, she, reenergized by sheer determination to annihilate Anbesa Wudim and all his family, went after him leading her army herself. Shewa aristocrats decided to hide him somewhere that would be difficult for “foreigner” army to access, and the place they chose is now known as Merha Bete (መን መርሐ ቤቴ፣ who lead them to my house).

            Givivng up on her Shewa expedition, she went back to Axum and then Debre Damo to wreak havoc to what was left of it and she ruled another 17 years to a total of 40 years of reign. AD 842 – 882 or 850 – 890. If anything at all, she was the anti-thesis of civilization to the core.


            * Acording to ‘The Sign and the Seal” by Graham Hancock, the first Jerusalem migrants followed the Nile and first came to Gojam, and then eventually settled in Axum. SO, Gedeon’s and his followers fleeing south may have been encouraged by the prospects of joining or finding long lost relatives around the areas mentioned.

            ** Memhir Mitku Demse in his book claims that Yodit/Gudit is actually the then King of Axum, Wudim Asferi’s daughter which makes her Anbesa Wudim’s sister. He claims that she was an orphan, and she grew up in Axum. Liqe Maemiran Fentahun Alemu in the other hand calls her Gedeon’s daughter, but agrees with Memhir Mitku’s assertion that she was an orphan and she grew up in Axum. Since both writers agree that she was an orphan and king Anbesa Wudim was but a child when he reigned, it is plausible that King Wudim Asferi may have been her father after all. Why was she then not aknowledged and recognized as princess is one of the unanswered questions.

            *** There are other small discrepancies by other historians about whom she married, where and why, her source of rage, and who her father really is, but my focus here is what she did once she grew up. I based my excerpt on the areas all or most of them agree on.

          • Amde

            Selam Fanti,

            Wonderful!! Thank you so much for the addition. I didn’t know any of this.

            It is strange – how she would grow up in Axum and harbor such extreme prejudice against both the empire and the religion. Perhaps, she would have felt entitled to the throne due to being born before Anbesa Wudim, and yet if she grew up as an orphan, and ultimately pushed out of the capital to one of the provinces, it might make sense where her grievances come from.

            There are a number of Gedeons throughout history, so this first one must be the one that started a Jewish dynasty.

            Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.


          • dawit

            Hi Fanti,

            Most of the history you cited including ‘The Sign and the Seal” by Graham Hancock, is pure fiction. I have read Hancock when it was published in the 90s and make believe fiction about The Arch of Covenant. He wrote a detective Movie in which as the main actor.
            They hated Yodit because she stood with the masses. The same with Tewodros, the crazy cruel dictator who pushing or forced priests to fall from a cliff! There was also one great leader from our region I failed to mention earlier Sayyīd Muhammad Abd Allāh al-Hasan Referred to as the Mad Mullah by the British, he established the Dervish State in Somalia that fought for the 20 year Somaliland Campaign against British, Italian and Ethiopian forces

            They were all nationalist leaders who sided with ordinary citizens just like what we witness today in our time about Isaias, ‘the dictator’, ‘the crazy, the drunkard, womanizer, whose mother was ‘sewa comarit’ ….”.
            Yes Yodit was a great revolutionary leaders in our history.

            Unlike our society look how the European French treated their heroen martyr from Wikipedia source.

            Joan of Arc (French: Jeanne d’Arc,[4] IPA: [ʒan daʁk]; 6 January c. 1412[5] –
            30 May 1431), nicknamed “The Maid of Orléans” (French: La Pucelle d’Orléans) is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years’ War, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. Joan of Arc was born to Jacques d’Arc and Isabelle, a peasant family, at Domrémy in north-east France. Joan said she received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years’ War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission.
            She gained prominence after the siege was lifted only nine days later. Several
            additional swift victories led to Charles VII’s coronation at Reims. This long-awaited
            event boosted French morale and paved the way for the final French victory.

            On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Compiègne by the Burgundian faction which was allied with the English. She was later handed over to the English,[6]
            and then put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges.[7] After Cauchon declared her guilty she was burned at the
            stake on 30 May 1431, dying at about nineteen years of age.[8]

            Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, debunked the charges against her, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr.[8] In the 16th century she became a symbol of the Catholic League, and in 1803 she was declared a national symbol of France by the decision of Napoleon Bonaparte.[9] She was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. Joan of Arc is one of the nine secondary patron saints of France, along with St. Denis, St. Martin of Tours, St. Louis, St. Michael, St. Remi,
            St. Petronilla, St. Radegund and St. Thérèse of Lisieux
            I visited Orleans near Paris France about two years ago, there is a Museum at the home she was born and entrance was free. There is her statue in the center of the town.

          • Amde


            You said, “They hated Yodit because she stood with the masses…..Yodit was a great revolutionary leaders in our history.”

            You provided a good context for Joan of Arc being a French nationalist during the Hundred Years War. What was the context for Yodit? Did she lead a Jewish people’s uprising against a Christian elite? Did she have an issue with Axum’s civilization? Did she stand for anything than burning Axum and its royalty? I am geuinely curious since you compare her to Tewodros, whose revolutionary aims and deeds are well known. we know nothing equivalent about her.


          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Amde and dawit,

            I was about to say something similar to dawit. I always thought her story had an aura of foreigner’s. Her beginnings and purpose are shrouded with mysteries. Her mention is almost always an after thought of another story such as oh by the way, Yodit Gudit also did this and that. However, in all of the books I have read about her, there never is any mention of any social agenda or political belief she upheld or expanded.

            For example, in her march to Shewa hunting for Anbesa Wundim, she never tried to convert or even to ask about anyone’s belief there or on the way. Any reference to her anywhere is about her rage toward and devastation of Axum and its churches. Perhaps dawit’s attraction to her is based on his belief that she was the underdog, but then again we are talking about dawit. Who knows why he believes something over another these days.

          • Amde


            To be fair, who or which leader in those days espoused any social agendas, or political beliefs (other than divine right)?

            Religion, territorial conquest or power competitions are however very understandable and quite par for the course.

            According to Wikipedia, the last Jewish king was defeated in the 1600s, so her Gedeon dynasty supposedly survived another 500+ years with its Jewish character after she sacked Axum. But it is not clear that her 40 years reign was able to snuff out Christianity, or even if she cared enough to try and snuff it out.

            The context is missing. I have a feeling she was just one of many Jewish monarchs who had a constant state of belligerent competition with the Christian empire, and somehow during her era she was lucky/skilled enough to get some military breakthroughs. That afforded her the opportunity to eliminate the Axum Royal line once and for all. It just didn’t work out that way.

            In any case, she still should be recognized as a phenomenal military leader.


          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Amde,

            I agree “which leader in those days…” What I was thinking was that she just never showed any other ambition except her devotion to eliminate the Axumites. She was quite different from other queens and Kings in this regard. Her obsession with the Axumites cannot just be explained by her desire for power. For example, once she conquered Axum, why go to Debre Damo and kill all the priests there? Why not try to convert all those Ethiopians between Lasta and Shewa? She went on and on her quest looking for priests of Axum origin.

            Besides her family feud like rage, the one other explanation that makes sense is that she was looking for the arc of the covenant, and these priests were not cooperating to guide her to or tell her where they were hiding it. I also agree that she definitely should be recognized and admired for her military skill. I just hope we will learn more about her in the future to fill in the missing gaps.

          • dawit

            You don’t have to agree with dawit, just follow your conscious. Yodit was not a Religious fanatics like your hero Yohannis IV. or Jihadist like Grange. Look all the Christian Ethiopian story writers referred to Queen Yodit, as ‘Gudit’ and always her portrait was as a mean lady. They don’t even refer her as Queen always ‘Gudit’ the same way you refer to Isaias today as some mentally unstable person not worthy of the title of President. You don’t even listen to him what he tells the people who follow him as the leader of their country.

          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Dawit,
            You seem to be very knowledgable on Ethiopian History , albeit an editorialized one. It is a pity though it is of no value to you:-you know, because you used to be Ethiopian and you are Eritrean now? You know how your former employment business card, no matter how good it looks, it has no use for you? That’s what am talking about. I just honestly can’t see anywhere other than here, at AWATE.COM, where you can utilize it, which explains the bulky paragraphs you write on the subject. You know, you remind me of my college history exams:-) I used to write pages and pages of essays on the ones that I studied always run out of and used to always run out of time for the remaining questions.

            While I am at it let me also weigh in on your juvenile snides at Emperor Yohanned 4th, What is it that rubs you the wrong way about him? Was it the fact he used to dispatch his general subjugate loosely incorporated territories Mereb Milash? Or is it his shrewd diplomatic skills reminds you of ,your nemesis, his contemporary-A.K.A Meles Zenawi?

            Modern Ethiopian diplomacy can be directly traced to Emperor Yohannes 4. When Yohannes assumed the throne after the demise of Emperor Teowodros, the Showa negus was still contesting for the Neguse Negest title and Yohannes 4 needed to settle this and moved his troops closer to Wollo to deal with him but cooler heads prevailed and instead settled for a compromise whereby Menelik would still the remain a Showan King but still acknowledge Yohannes 4 as the King.

            So, my fiend we know your strong dislike for your cousins next door but don’t use a distorted history to make your points.

          • dawit

            Hi Yoty Topy

            ከዝንጀሮ ቆንጆ ምን ይመራርጡ። Yohanis big Baboon, Meles little Baboon

          • dawit

            You need to clean your language. There is no and there was no so called Jewish religion. There was ORIT and Christian religions. She was an Ethiopian who believed in the old testament. Like the fake historian who wrote about Yodit looking her with their Christian lenses. The Zaguwe Dynasti started with Yodit. Yes she had an issue with the Axumite kingdom which was based on Slave economy and the slaved followed her to destroy the Axumite kingdom. Religion was not the main issue, but it so happened the Rulers was using Christianity as a tool to oppressed the people. Even if you look the Orthodox Church is not pure Christian religion like the one you find in the West, which is mainly based on New Testament. The Ethiopian orthodox church is a mixture of Old and New Testament believes. That is why modern Ethiopian Pente, do not refer to the Orthodox believers as Christians. They refer to them as idol worshipers, because the believe on Tabots etc. like eating clean and unclean animals, that is why they eat pork and we don’t. The Zaguwe dynasty some were Ortit and some were Christians, Lalibela happened to be a Christian. Jerusalem was not only a Holy place for Christian alone. Queen Sheba was not a Christian yet she travelled to Jerusalem. As I told you, you need that historical telescope to see what was there in her time. You have some thing about Tewodros (That sun of koso retailer), who revolted against the slave system of the Axumite kingdom, whose qualification was only to have some drop of blood that they claim, came from King Solomon). AMDE Look Yodit without your Christian glasses.

          • Amde


            Well it is semantics, but i see what you mean. Perhaps Jewish has modern connotations for you, but for me I think of it as adhering to the Old Testament and one can say even referring to the Felasha. Technically speaking, Orit refers to the first five books in the Bible also called the Pentateuch, and what the Jews would call the Torah. Everything else beyond that is not considered part of the Orit. For example, in your opinion, are the Psalms of David (mezmure dawit) considered part of the Orit or not?

            To consider Yodit as leading a slave rebellion is a stretch. Slavery was well supported in the Orits. It was also a well accepted practice in our region to quite recent times. I know of no evidence or reference that states that Christian areas supported slave trade while the Jewish (sorry Orit) areas did not.

            It certainly was the custom for a long time, that if you were conquered in war and taken prisoner, you would likely be made a slave, especially if you were of a different religion. I assume this rule basically applied to anybody whether you were Christian, Orit, Muslim or Waqefecha. This is one of the main reasons for the spread of one religion over another – people chose to change their religious affiliation rather than be enslaved or dead.

            If you have any references to this slave rebellion she was leading, I would like to hear about it. Maybe she would be a good example for the young Eritreans currently enslaved in the Isayyas agelglot system.


          • dawit

            AMDE again there is a difference in definition, you said “young Eritreans currently enslaved in the Isayyas agelglot system”. I am sure you didn’t use that term to “Edget Behibret” Zemecha students during Mengistu’s time. Building a dam or road to irrigate your farm or take your produce to market, you refer to it ‘Slavery’ the same way the Revolutionary Queen Yodit as Gudit!

          • Amde


            it is a fact the edget behibret zemecha students came back home in short order. When will the agelglot people ever go home?

          • dawit

            A mde,
            When your new baboon sitting on Menelik chair decides to live Eritrean territory that Ethiopia stole on broad day light. I assure you the creeping revolution is gone catch the fire as soon as wind of change gather from all corners of the country. Relax and watch the live show.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Dawitom,

            Actually a historian by the name of Stuart Monreo Hay, who studied Axum extensively, tried to cross examine all books and word of mouth regarding The Arc of Covenant, and naturally, referred to The Sign and the Seal extensively. Except for minor corrections and disagreements, he seems to highly value Graham Hancock’s work. His other book he seem to equally value was written by Abu Saleh, an Egyptian historian, in the 12-13 centuries. Although most of what Abu Saleh and Graham said is similar, Abu Saleh believes that ጽላተ ሙሴ is actually resting in Adefa (Lalibela). In case you ask why Abu Saleh is that the most authoritative history of the Arc of the Covenant is found in Arabic history books more than any other language.

            The book Mr. Hay wrote is called “The true History of the Tablets of Mosses,” and its Amharic translation as translated by Muluken Tariku is the best book I read regarding the Arc of the Covenant. He convincingly separates fact from fiction and he makes a compelling argument about certain stories’ validity and visa versa. He scrutinizes all books written before him on that subject, and puts it in perspective with amazing clarity.

            For example he is the first one to clarify what is meant by ጽላተ ሙሴ፣ ታቦተ ሙሴ and the origin of the name ማርያም ፅዮን and its significance to Moses’ Tablets. Many history books refer to ጽላተ ሙሴ and ታቦተ ሙሴ as one and the same, but he convincingly separates the two and shows the historical confusion that followed due to that confusion.

            I cannot defend Mr. Hancock’s conclusion regarding the Tablets, but most of what he said in his book have been said in several books in several languages and it is hard to argue against.

          • dawit

            Dear Fanti,
            Ultimately if it is true or false is a matter of religion which is a matter of faith not reason or facts on the ground. I learned that lesson in elementary school when we argued about religion. There was no way I can convince what my friend believes are wrong or mine is right or vice versa. It is the same with the Arc. There is one person who is condemned for life imprisonment without parole by the church. When he dies another monk will be appointed for another period of life sentence. The church prohibits from anyone to approach it or see it. No one can prove the existence of the Arc in Axum or anywhere in Ethiopia. Hancock novel also contradicts the arrival of the Arc. Most Ethiopians believe the Ark as brought with Menelik at the time when King Solomon was ruling Israel around 900 BC, but he place it on much later time by Israel refugees after the distraction of his Solomon’s temple at a much later date. Axumite kingdoms and its capital were founded around 200 BC. Therefore my dear Fanti, If The Ark exist or where it exists is a matter of faith. Have you ever wondered where the ancient Saba the Biblical kingdom actually located?
            dawit .

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Dawitom,

            I was just about to go where I will not be found until tomorrow afternoon, but you stirred a point that has been a source of contention among historians. The commonly known rumor that Minilik stole it from Jerusalem is hard to believe, and I am not subscriber to that part of our history. How and where Mussie’s Tabot is kept in those days was not easy for someone to go in and carry it away. Why Graham’s account makes more sense is that at the time Graham believes it was removed for safety, the Canaanites were conquering and striping the area for gold.

            The Tabot is housed in a container covered with pure gold, and thus it is understandable if the priests themselves removed it and hid it for safety. That is Graham’s reason for believing that they run to Egypt with their precious cargo and eventually settled in the Nile Island called Elephantine. Why they continued to Gojam some centuries later is because the Egyptians began to worship a ram god and the Jews do slaughter a lamb to commemorate Abraham’s Sacrifice of his son.

            The artifacts and the monasteries in Gojam collaborates this part (the missing years) of his explanation. Why then was it necessary to claim that Minilik brought it with him may have something to do with security and to mislead whoever maybe interested in finding out its whereabouts. That said, I am more interested on the soundness of the sequence of events much more than the religious aspect of it. So, my brother, I must agree that it is all a mater of faith!

          • Hayat Adem

            St Fanti,
            this is a great great material. I will reread it and explore more when March 8 comes and all the time…thanks.

          • dawit

            Yes I am talking about AD in fact 21st. Century 2016, March 5, 2016! Look Hayat, I didn’t study written “History” that much. I study people, I study places by visiting and observing. I have fairly travelled in our region, some part of Africa, Europe, America, Middle East, Asia, Japan and Australia. I have never seen so much poverty like that of our region, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea combined. I am ashamed of our recorded history. It was in 1924 that Haile Selassie officially declared abolishing slavery. I grew up with children whose parents were slaves growing up until Haile Selassie abolished it. The king you worship Menelik was one of the largest slave owner in his time. Now today March 5, what do you here about our region famine and rumor of war overcast on the people. We have one baboon sitting in Menelik palace, talking about overthrowing the next guy who is trying to help his people to overcome poverty, building dams and roads, schools, clinics etc. 100s of our young people are trapped in the army weighting for the next war to start. It is not by accident that we are poor, because we misuse our human resources. If we tie our young able bodies to carry guns, who is going to farm the land, old women and men? Here at AT spend our time trying to fun enmity between our people just to feel good. Think deep about it.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Amde, you said
            “As far as I know, she was an Agew speaking queen from perhaps somewhere in today’s Gojam or Gonder,”
            It is in Gojjam specifically place called Dangla; 86 KM from Bahirdar.

          • Amde

            Selam Nitricc,

            Ok good information. So what else do you know? Why don’t you share?

            PS I find Gojjam place names simply wonderful.. I don’t know why.

          • Amde

            Selam Nitricc,

            dawit posted something in response to your post then deleted it. He claims that Yodit was born in Lalibela/Seqota, and that an old Wagshum he knew told him personally when dawit was young that the Wagshums claim descent from Queen Yodit. I posted this in response

            The Zagwe epicenter was indeed Lasta-Seqota. Seqota was the capital of Wag awraja. Part of the deal made when the Zagwe gave up power peacefully to the Solomonic line was to keep their name and maintain some kind of sovereignity within the Wag Awraja. Hence the leader was called Wag-Shum. The awraja is now known as Wah Hemra zone with Amhara region. The Hemra name refers to its Agew character.

            In any case, if the Wagshum you spoke to said he is descended from Queen Yodit, then that is new information. Can I ask which Wagshum that was (what was his name – at this point it does not matter)? There were a number of them. I may some of their descendants.

            Looking at the map, Dangla is closer to Lalibela, than it is to Axum. What Nitricc proposed is plausible, she could have been born in the Dangla area. It would be interesting to know where he got that information. The town is even today within the Agew-Awi zone of the Amhara region.


          • dawit

            I don’t have the means or ability to delete once I posted it as guest.
            Right now I don’t remember his name. I will as my mother if remember his name. I was very small at that time. He was a political prisoner of some sort, for what reason I don’t know, but like I said he was a lonely person. I was probably 5 or 6 year old, I may not have started Qes timhrert bet. He was the one who told me the story of Queen Yodit, before I learned about Yodit Gudit in Elementary school of Ethiopian history.

    • Dis Donc

      Dear Davy,

      Just a quick note for political correctedness which you and Sir Amde missed to highlight. Judaism is a monotheism religion and its followers are called Jews or Jewish on personal level. It has nothing to do with race but faith and faith related cultures. We have to be very careful with these words as Germany’s Hitler went on a gassing/killing rampage by claiming that they were the inferior race. Race being the highlighted word….

    • saay7

      Cousin Dawit:

      While I am enjoying the tutorial on Ye Ethiopia Tarik (because it was compulsory, I didn’t pay serious attention to it: I did just enough to get a passing grade) I am more interested in Dawitism. Here’s what I’ve learned so far about Dawitism and I want you to grade it for me:)

      1. Dawitism recommends a system of government that has a 98% failure rate. This is because Professor Dawit taught us that only 4 of the 196 rulers of Ethiopia from Minelik I to Haile Selasse I were worthy of the crown;

      2. Haile Selasse I, though another “baboon” to use Professor Dawit’s term, was worthy of being obeyed and remaining a loyal subject to, for as long as he confined his kingdon to Ethiopia proper. When he extended his kingdom to Eritrea, then it was right for somebody to rebel against him;

      3. Kings should be obeyed for as long as they don’t get in the way of the people getting their God-given “sunshine and rain.” There was no example presented of kings who, like locusts, blocked the sun and conducted rain dances to demand that God deny rain to the people. This means that “sunshine and rain” is a metaphor for anything that we want it to mean.

      I would now like my grade please, Professor Dawit on my understanding of Dawitism.


  • Berhe Y

    Selam Semere,

    That was beautiful I couldn’t stop laughing. May be it was not meant to be funny but I really enjoyed it.


    • Semere Tesfai

      Selam Berhe

      It’s meant to be funny and intended to make you laugh.

  • Saleh Johar

    Really beautiful story and I am sure you tear up remembering such stories. I wonder what your answer to Saay’s question would be !

    On a different note, I sure a lot of people, after all these years, are wondering why you didn’t scream “Zeraf.” Though we feel and pretend that we know our cultures enough, most of our acquaintance are of a personal nature, we are not well versed on the cultures and characters. Your story triggered old memories. Thank you.

  • saay7

    Selamat Semere T:

    What a grand story; I really enjoyed it. I am going to lock you and Saleh G in a room and listen to your stories–something about Ghedli makes people great story-tellers, I think. Thank you very much.

    This being Friday, eve of the weekend, I will let you slide but at some point, at a time of your choosing, I hope you will provide clarification for the question I asked. Imagine if I were to tell you that your comrade Ghesir was a political prisoner and has been in PFDJ prison for over a year and you were to say, “well, I don’t know why the PFDJ just doesn’t drop him at the Eritrea-Ethiopia border…” Never mind, to be continued..

    Have a great weekend!


    • Semere Tesfai

      Selam Saleh

      I promise, I will.

  • saay7

    Selam Semere:

    1. In the words of Fihira: ሕጂ ግርም:: That’s the whole purpose of these discussions; for us to learn from one another. Maybe our Somali, Sudanese, Yemeni friends can join in and with our Ethiopian friends here, who knows, you might progress to ለማና ሙሓመድ and even ላሜ ቦራ and graduate with ኣልወለድም::

    I hope you had your seat belts on because you point 2 and point 3 are in a head-on collision. You began by saying you are an optimist, now you are expressing a pessimist (realist) view: one that recognizes that we are not immune to what goes around our neighborhood, one that recognizes that our peace and security is dependent on the goodwill and kindness of the US and its allies—but. But then spends its time antagonizing the US and its neighborhood ally: Ethiopia. If that is what you believe (that our exists depends on the kindness of the US), then you must know that the US’s (a self-described “Judeo-Christian” country) alliance with Saudi Arabia is a total marriage of convenience which will expire when Saudi oil expires whereas its alliance with Ethiopia is almost spiritual. Never mind Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia for now: if you believe that Eritrea’s future is dependent on having a positive relationship with the US, how come I have never heard you express once a criticism of the Eritrean government’s disastrous policies over the last 7 years?

    Your # 4 I had to read and re-read and re-read because it shocked me and I am not easily shocked. You could have stopped at “why don’t they release them [the political prisoners]?” But you said this and I have to quote it so I don’t paraphrase you and misunderstood you:

    I always wondered, why the PFDJ government is getting all the beating for the arrest of the journalists, G-15, and the US embassy workers. Why don’t they release them, escort them to the Ethiopian border, let them join the opposition, and let the Eritrean opposition devour them like they did to many others before them. That way, they (PFDJ leaders) would look good, and the ex-prisoners will be lost in the wilderness of the opposition – if they choose that route that is. Case closed.

    Before I go all postal on you (figuratively speaking), will you kindly explain what you meant by the above. For surely, you can’t possibly mean that the G-15 and other political prisoners can either rot in prison or be escorted outside their own country.


  • Hayat Adem

    Hi Aman,
    A Complement from you is special and precious.