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Posts Tagged ‘NYTimes’

How Local Guerrilla Fighters Routed Ethiopia’s Powerful Army

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on July 11, 2021

By The New York Times

A scrappy force of local Tigrayan recruits scored a cascade of battlefield victories against the Ethiopian military, one of Africa’s strongest. Times journalists witnessed the decisive week in an eight-month civil war.

SAMRE, Ethiopia — The Tigrayan fighters whooped, whistled and pointed excitedly to a puff of smoke in the sky, where an Ethiopian military cargo plane trundling over the village minutes earlier had been struck by a missile.

Smoke turned to flames as the stricken aircraft broke in two and hurtled toward the ground. Later, in a stony field strewn with smoking wreckage, villagers picked through twisted metal and body parts. For the Tigrayan fighters, it was a sign.

“Soon we’re going to win,” said Azeb Desalgne, a 20-year-old with an AK-47 over her shoulder.

The downing of the plane on June 22 offered bracing evidence that the conflict in the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia was about to take a seismic turn. A Tigrayan guerrilla army had been fighting to drive out the Ethiopian military for eight months in a civil war marked by atrocities and starvation. Now the fight seemed to be turning in their favor.

The war erupted in November, when a simmering feud between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Tigrayan leaders, members of a small ethnic minority who had dominated Ethiopia for much of the three previous decades, exploded into violence.

Since then, the fighting has been largely hidden from view, obscured by communications blackouts and overshadowed by international outrage over an escalating humanitarian crisis. But during a pivotal week, I went behind the front lines with a photographer, Finbarr O’Reilly, and witnessed a cascade of Tigrayan victories that culminated in their retaking the region’s capital, and altered the course of the war.

We saw how a scrappy Tigrayan force overcame one of the largest armies in Africa through force of arms, but also by exploiting a wave of popular rage. Going into the war, Tigrayans were themselves divided, with many distrustful of a governing Tigrayan party seen as tired, authoritarian and corrupt.

But the catalog of horrors that has defined the war — massacres, ethnic cleansing and extensive sexual violence — united Tigrayans against Mr. Abiy’s government, drawing highly motivated young recruits to a cause that now enjoys widespread support.

“It’s like a flood,” said Hailemariam Berhane, a commander, as several thousand young men and women, many in jeans and sneakers, marched past en route to a camp for new recruits. “Everyone’s coming here.”

A column of thousands of Tigrayans who joined the rebels. Many said they were motivated by atrocities perpetrated against civilians by the Ethiopian military and its allies.

Mr. Abiy, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 and has staked his prestige on the Tigray campaign, has downplayed his losses. In a self-assured address to Parliament on Tuesday, of a kind that once dazzled admiring Westerners, Mr. Abiy insisted that his military’s retreat from Tigray was planned — the latest phase of a fight the government was on course to win.

Seen from the ground, though, Tigray has been slipping through his fingers.

In the past three weeks, Tigrayan fighters have captured a wide swath of territory; retaken the regional capital, Mekelle; imprisoned at least 6,600 Ethiopian soldiers — and claimed to have killed about three times as many.

In recent days, Tigrayan leaders have expanded the offensive to new parts of the region, vowing to stop only when all outside forces have been expelled from their land: Ethiopians, allied troops from the neighboring country of Eritrea and ethnic militias from the next-door Amhara region of Ethiopia.

“If we have to go to hell and back, we’ll do it,” said Getachew Reda, a senior Tigrayan leader.

Press officers for Mr. Abiy and the Ethiopian military did not respond to questions for this article.

We flew into Mekelle on June 22, a day after national elections in Ethiopia which had been heralded as major step toward the country’s transition to democracy.

In Tigray, though, there was no voting and the Ethiopian military had just launched a sweeping offensive intended to crush for good the Tigrayan resistance, now known as the Tigray Defense Forces, commanders on both sides said.

An Ethiopian airstrike had struck a crowded village market that day, killing dozens. We watched as the first casualties arrived at Mekelle’s largest hospital.

Days later, three aid workers from Doctors Without Borders were brutally murdered by unknown assailants.

In the countryside, the war was moving at a furious pace. Ethiopian military positions fell like dominoes. Hours after the Tigrayans shot down the military cargo plane, we reached a camp holding several thousand newly captured Ethiopian soldiers, about 30 miles south of Mekelle.

Clustered behind a barbed wire fence, the prisoners erupted into applause when we stepped from our vehicle — hoping, they later explained, that we were Red Cross workers.

Some were wounded, others barefoot — Tigrayans confiscated their boots as well as their guns, they said — and many pleaded for help. “We have badly wounded soldiers here,” said Meseret Asratu, 29, a platoon commander.

An estimated 3,000 Ethiopian soldiers captured by the Tigrayans were being held at a makeshift prison camp about 30 miles south of Mekelle on June 29. Many were wounded, others barefoot.

Further along the road was the battlefield where others had died. The bodies of Ethiopian soldiers were scattered across a rocky field, untouched since a fight four days earlier, now swelling in the afternoon sun.

Personal items cast aside nearby, amid empty ammunition boxes and abandoned uniforms, hinted at young lives interrupted: dog-eared photos of loved ones, but also university certificates, chemistry textbooks and sanitary pads — a reminder that women fight on both sides of the conflict.

Stragglers were still being rounded up. The next day, Tigrayan fighters marched five just-captured prisoners up a hill, where they slumped to the ground, exhausted.

Dawit Toba, a glum 20-year-old from the Oromia region of Ethiopia, said he had surrendered without firing a shot. War in Tigray was not like he had imagined it. “We were told there would be fighting,” he said. “But when we got here it was looting, robbery, attacks on women.”

“This war was not necessary,” he added. “Mistakes have been made.”

Driving off, we came across a figure sprawled on the roadside — an Ethiopian, stripped of his uniform, with several bullet wounds to his leg. He groaned softly.

The wounded soldier appeared to have been dumped there, although it wasn’t clear by whom. We drove him back to the prisoner camp, where Ethiopian medics did some basic treatment on the ground outside a school. Nobody was sure if he would survive.

Artillery boomed in the distance. The Tigrayan offensive was continuing to the north, using captured heavy guns against the Ethiopian troops who had brought them in. A platoon of fighters walked through, bearing a wounded man on a stretcher. Teklay Tsegay, 20, watched them pass.

Before the war, Mr. Teklay was a mechanic in Adigrat, 70 miles north. Then, last February, Eritrean soldiers fired into his aunt’s house, killing her 5-year-old daughter, he said. The following day, Mr. Teklay slipped out of Adigrat to join the resistance.

“I never thought I would be a soldier,” he said. “But here I am.”

As Tigrayans quietly mustered a guerrilla army this year, they drew on their experience of fighting a brutal Marxist dictatorship in Ethiopia in the 1970s and 1980s, under the flag of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

Then, Tigrayan intellectuals used Marxist ideology to bind peasant fighters to their cause, much like the Viet Cong or rebels in Angola and Mozambique.

But this time, the Tigrayan fighters are largely educated and hail from the towns and cities. And it is anger at atrocities, not Marxism, that drew them to the cause.

The wave of recruits has included doctors, university professors, white-collar professionals and diaspora Tigrayans from the United States and Europe, colleagues and friends said. Even in government-held Mekelle, recruitment grew increasingly brazen.

Two weeks ago, a T.D.F. poster appeared on a wall beside St. Gabriel’s, the city’s largest church. “Those who fail to join are as good as the walking dead,” it read. Hours later, Ethiopian soldiers arrived and tore it down.

Mulugeta Gebrehiwot Berhe, 61, a senior fellow at the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, in Massachusetts, was visiting Mekelle when war erupted in November. I found him near the town of Samre, a leather-holstered pistol on his hip.

“I joined the resistance,” said the academic, who once helped broker a peace deal for the United Nations in Darfur. “I felt I had no other option.”

Even some Ethiopian commanders felt alienated by Mr. Abiy’s approach to the conflict.

Until late June, Col. Hussein Mohamed, a tall man with a gold-tooth smile, commanded the 11th Infantry Division in Tigray. Now he was a prisoner, held with other Ethiopian officers in a closely guarded farmhouse.

Of the 3,700 troops under his command, at least half were probably dead, said Colonel Hussein, confirming that he was speaking voluntarily. “The course of this war is political madness, to my mind,” he said.

He always had serious reservations about Mr. Abiy’s military alliance with Eritrea, Ethiopia’s old foe, he said: “They ransack properties, they rape women, they commit atrocities. The whole army is unhappy about this marriage.”

Still, Ethiopian soldiers have been accused of much the same crimes. I met Colonel Hussein in a stone-walled room, with a tin roof, as rain splattered outside. When the room’s owner, Tsehaye Berhe, arrived with a tray of coffee cups, her face clouded over.

“Take it!” she snapped at the Ethiopian officer. “I’m not serving you.”

Moments later Ms. Tsehaye returned to apologize. “I’m sorry for being emotional,” she said. “But your soldiers burned my house and stole my crops.”

Colonel Hussein nodded quietly. Col. Hussein Mohamed, who commanded an Ethiopian army division, was captured with his troops and held in a closely guarded farmhouse. He called the war “political madness.”

Even before Ethiopian forces abandoned Mekelle on June 28, there were hints that something was afoot. The internet went down, and at the regional headquarters where Mr. Abiy had installed an interim government, I found deserted corridors and locked offices. Outside, federal police officers were slinging backpacks into a bus.

Smoke rose from the Ethiopian National Defense Forces’ headquarters in Mekelle — a pyre of burning documents, it turned out, piled high by detainees accused of supporting the T.D.F.

Weeks earlier, Ethiopian intelligence officers had tortured one of them, Yohannes Haftom, with a cattle prod. “We will burn you,” Mr. Yohannes recalled them saying. “We will bury you alive.”

But after he followed their orders to cart their confidential documents to the burn pit on June 28, the Ethiopians set Mr. Yohannes free. Hours later, the first T.D.F. fighters entered Mekelle, setting off days of raucous celebration.

Residents filled streets where young fighters paraded on vehicles like beauty queens, or leaned from speeding tuktuks spraying gunfire into the air. Nightclubs and cafes filled up, and an older woman prostrated herself at the feet of a just-arrived fighter, shouting thanks to God.

A woman in Mekelle fell to the ground and shouted thanks to God on June 29, as it became clear that Tigrayan forces had taken control of Mekelle.

On the fourth day, fighters paraded thousands of Ethiopian prisoners through the city center, in a show of triumphalism that was a pointed rebuke to the leader of Ethiopia. “Abiy is a thief!” people chanted as dejected soldiers marched past.

The celebrations eventually reached the house where Mr. Getachew, the Tigrayan leader and T.D.F. spokesman, now descended from his mountain base, was staying.

As the whiskey flowed, Mr. Getachew juggled calls on his satellite phone while a generator rattled in the background. Mr. Abiy had once been his political ally, even his friend, he said. Now the Ethiopian leader had cut the power and phone lines to Mekelle and issued a warrant for his arrest.

Buoyed by victory, the guests excitedly discussed the next phase of their war in Tigray. One produced a cake with the Tigrayan flag that Mr. Getachew, sharing a knife with a senior commander, cut to loud cheers.

For much of his career, he had been a staunch defender of the Ethiopian state. But the war made that position untenable, he said. Now he was planning a referendum on Tigrayan independence.

“Nothing can save the Ethiopian state as we know it, except a miracle,” he said. “And I don’t usually believe in them.”

Source

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Posted in Ethiopia, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ድንቅ ቪዲዮ በNYTimes | የኢትዮጵያ ቤተክርስቲያን ደኖች እንደ ኤደን ገነት ናቸው

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on December 4, 2019

ባለፈው ነሐሴ ወር ላይ መላው ዓለም በተዋሕዶ ቤተክርስቲያን ላይ አትኩሮት በማድረግ ላይ ነውበማለት ይህኛውን ቪዲዮ አቅርቤ ነበር። ዛሬ ከኒው ዮርክ ከተማ ጋር ተያያዘ ፥ በኒው ዮርክ ታይምስ ጋዜጣ ቀረቧል።

The Church Forests of Ethiopia

On the Ethiopian highlands, church grounds have become accidental time capsules of biodiversity.

I wrestled with judging the Ethiopian Church for holding its beliefs imperfectly, like all things human. Why not save more of the forest than just a small patch around the church? Where was the church when 97 percent of Ethiopia’s primary forest was destroyed?

For me, these little blips of green forest rising out of vast swaths of deforested brown earth represent hope. They are a powerful intersection of faith and science doing some good in the world.

E.O. Wilson, in his book “Half-Earth,” declared the church forests of Ethiopia “one of the best places in the biosphere.” They are proof that when faith and science make common cause on ecological issues, it results in a model that bears repeating. We have the blueprint of life held in these tiny circles of faith, and that’s something to rejoice over and protect and expand with every resource we can muster.


ከጋዜጣው ተመርጠው የቀረቡ አስተያየቶች / Selected Comments:


Don’t think there was anything accidental about the survival of these forest. The church protected them.„

እነዚህ ደኖች መኖር በአጋጣሚ አይመስለኝም ፡፡ ቤተክርስቲያኗ ጠብቃቸዋለች፡፡”

Thank you for producing this story. If only the following priest’s quote could be taken to heart by all faith communities, “…when someone plants a tree, every time it moves, that tree prays for that person to live longer.” The world would be a more lush, peaceful place.„

ይህንን ታሪክ ስላቀረባችሁልን እናመሰግናለን። “… አንድ ሰው ዛፍ ሲተክል ፣ እያንዳንዱ ዛፍ በሚንቀሳቀስበት ጊዜ ያ ሰው ረጅም ዕድሜ እንዲኖረው ይጸልይለታል” የሚለውን ካህኑ ጥቅስ በሁሉም የእምነት ማኅበረሰቦች ዘንድ ልብ ተብሎ ሊወሰድ የሚችል ቢሆን ኖሮ ዓለም ይበልጥ ምቹና ሰላማዊ የሆነች ስፍራ ትሆን ነበር።”

The Ethiopian Church is one of the Oldest Christian Churches. They are humble, live frugally and have no scandals. God bless them.“

የኢትዮጵያ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ከጥንታዊ የክርስቲያን አብያተ ክርስቲያናት አን ናት ፡፡ እነሱ ትሁት ናቸው ፣ በአስተዋይነት ይኖራሉ ምንም ቅሌት የላቸውም ፡፡ እግዝአብሔር ይባርካቸው!

What a beautiful and inspiring film. I wish every church in America could see it.”

እንዴት የሚያምር እና አነቃቂ ፊልም ነው። በአሜሪካ ያሉ ሁሉም ቤተክርስቲያናት ያዩት ዘንድ እመኛለሁ።”

Thank you for this beautiful, sublime piece. I shed a tear, not only for the sentiment expressed for forest.preservation, but for the utter decimation of the surrounding landscape. Joni Mitchell’s lyrics in Big Yellow Taxi come to mind: “Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. They paved.Paradise and put up a parking lot.” As go the forests, so goes humanity.

ለዚህ የሚያምርና ማራኪ ቪዲዮ አመሰግናለሁ። ለደን ጥበቃ ሲባል ለተገለጹት ስሜቶች ብቻ ሳይሆን በዙሪያው የሚገኘው የመሬት ገጽታ በመጥፋቱ እንባየን አፈሳለሁ። ደኖች ሲጠፉ ፣ የሰው ልጅም እንዲሁ።”

This beautiful video leaves me saddened and hopeful at the same time. We’ve mostly lost the connection between our spirituality and creation. In the industrialized world we seem to think that we need sanctuary from nature rather than sanctuary within it. Could it be that declining spirituality can be at least partly explained by this? Even if you are not religious there should be room for wonder about the natural world around us and a desire to protect it so that it protects us.„

ይህ የሚያምር ቪዲዮ በጣም አዛኝ እና በተመሳሳይ ጊዜ ተስፈኛ ያደርገኛል ፡፡ በመንፈሳዊነታችን እና በፍጥረታችን መካከል ያለውን ትስስር አጥተናል በኢንዱስትሪ በበለጸገው ዓለም በውስጣችን ካለው መቅደስ ይልቅ በተፈጥሮው ውስጥ የሚገኘው ቅድስና ያስፈልገናል ብለን እናስባለን። ምናልባት እየቀነሰ የመጣው መንፈሳዊነት ቢያንስ በከፊል በዚህ ሊብራራ ይችል ይሆን? ሃይማኖተኞች ባንሆን እንኳ በዙሪያችን ስላለው ተፈጥሮአዊ አለም የምንደነቅበት እና እሱን ለመጠበቅ የሚያስችል ፍላጎት ሊኖረን ይገባል፡፡”

I am a nature lover. Beginning my day with a walk in nature and hugging a tree is my church. This story speaks to me and the video was a feast for the eyes! Thank you! I now want to add Ethiopia to my list of places to visit.„

እኔ ተፈጥሮ አፍቃሪ ነኝ ፡፡ ቀኔን የምጀምረው በተፈጥሮ ውስጥ በእግር መጓዝ እና ዛፍ በማቀፍ ነው፤ ዛፍ ቤተክርስቲያኔ ነው። ትረካው ያናግረኛል ቪዲዮው ለዓይኖች ድግስ ነበር! አመሰግናለሁ! አሁን ኢትዮጵያን ከምጎበኛቸው ቦታዎች ዝርዝር ውስጥ ማካተት እፈልጋለሁ፡፡”

That was beautiful. Thank you NYT, and thank you Mr Seifert.“

በጣም ቆንጆ ነው፤ አመሰግናለሁ!”

Source

ታዲያ… እባባዊ በሆነ መልክ… “አባቶችን አስታርቀናል፣ ችግኝም ተክለናል” እያሉ ይህችን ድንቅ ቤተክርስቲያን በመዋጋት ላይ ያሉት እነ ገዳይ አብይ ከዲያብሎስ አይደሉምን?

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Posted in Ethiopia, Faith, Infos | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Emperor Menelek Wasn’t Barbarian

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on October 17, 2009

The following amazing article was written and published by the World’s best Newspaper, by the New York Times, 113 years ago, on May 4, 1896

Negus-Of-Ethiopia-Menelik

Origin of Monastic Live – Africa. Not so Dark After All – Emperor Menelek’s Descent from Sheba—Priests Can Divorce—The Problem in the Soudan—Many of the Monasteries Said to Possess Valuable Documents and Manuscripts.

Christendom has a deeper interest in Abyssinia and its remarkable monarch, Emperor Menelek, than the world at large has stopped to consider. It is not the fate of the Italian Army nor the march of the British toward the Soudan that attracts thinking people. It is the general focusing of the world’s lenses upon that part of the globe which was literally the cradle of culture and of Christianity.

It has been the vogue to speak of Africa as a “dark continent.” a God-forsaken and debauched region. There has been some foundation—nay, one had almost said positive justification—for this practice because among the wild and untamed tribes of Central Africa and the inhabitants of the South and West all the excesses of debased carnalism prevailed.

Not so, however, in Abyssinia has this been the case, despite the habitudes of sensational correspondents and those who were part of or accompanied besieging and invading European armies. Abyssinia/Ethiopia and Egypt have been and still continue to be the repositories of the relics and treasures of a wondrous civilization, a grandeur, learning, and culture to which modern historians referentially defer and point with reverential awe.

If the wars which have begun in Africa, particularly in that region of which Ethiopia is part, reveal the treasures hidden in the monasteries of the Coptic monks and the monophysite priests, they will be a blessing to Christianity, science, and progressive civilization.

Emperor Menelek has been regarded as a “barbarian” by Europeans, who seem to have adopted the term with even less justification for it than had the Roman people when they applied it to all other races on earth. But when this “barbarian” is investigated he turns out to be by birth and possibilities very much of a gentleman of lofty lineage and invaluable possessions. He rules to-day a country of about 100,000 square miles, inhabited by 5,000,000 persons, whose forefathers were believed to be the oldest and greatest people known to history. They are divided into three great subdivisions of the whole: First, the Ethiopians of Tigré, who speak the ancient Geez language; second the Amharic tribes, living in Amhara and Shoa, and, third, the Agows of Wag Lasta, said to be of Phoenician origin. There are also the Gallas, who settled in Amhara and Shoa.

It must be admitted that the frequent civil wars brutalized and depraved these people by engendering evils and vices and by destroying the literature that once belonged to Abyssinia and which tradition tells us was important and extensive. Abyssinia is situated between latitudes 8 degrees 30 minutes and 16 degrees 80 minutes north, and between longitudes 34 degrees 20 minutes and 43 degrees 20 minutes east. It is bounded north and northwest by Nubia and south and east by Galla and Somali and Adal. Its topography may be described as elevated table land and extensive valleys, and it has many thriving cities. So much for the geographical summary of Emperor Menelek’s dominions. Of its relations to Christianity and the world’s early greatness a few words of description will be interesting.

Menelek claims to be a direct descendant from the Queen of Sheba and her son Menelek, whose father was said to be Solomon, and the legendary lore of this part of Africa says that the first Menelek was a Jew and was educated by the wise King himself. Be this as it may, the present Menelek is a wise man, and is bent on being classified by his European cousins as their peer—a potentate of common sense and progressive, of longer descent and loftier lineage—prepared to take his place among them for the benefit of his people and humanity. He wishes to belong to the Geneva Convention, and it is asserted that he stands ready to throw open the innermost recesses of his kingdom and its monasteries to the properly accredited explorer.

There should be plenty to repay research of this character in a land so wealthy in Biblical tradition, and where stands the oldest temples and religious edifices. In Axum, the city of the Queen of Sheba, there stands a cathedral to-day as old as Christianity itself. If historians are to be believed.

Coptic Christianity was and is the religion of the people. There are, of course, many Mohammedans and Jews. The first apostle of Christianity in Abyssinia chroniclers claim to have been the Chamberlain of Queen Candace of Ethiopia, whose baptism is recorded in Acts Vll., 27. But Frementius and Adesius of Tyre were slaves to the King of Abyssinia, and on his death the former became tutor to the hereditary Princes, and Adesius went back to Tyre. This was in A.D. 320, and Frementius formed a Christian Church among the Greek and Roman merchants in Axum. He then went to Alexandria and was consecrated by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria. The King was baptized and Axum became the See of a Metropolitan, with seven suffragans. In the fifth and sixth centuries the monophysites controlled the patriarchal See of Alexandria.

Subsequent to this Christianity spread over Nubia and Abyssinia and continued to spread until the Mohammedans overran the country and planted the faith of Moslem wherever they appeared. Through the frightful days of the seventeenth century Abyssinia remained faithful in a large sense to Christianity, and Rome, through the Portuguese, made vigorous efforts to bring the Abyssinian Christians beneath the Papal rule. The effort was not successful for any length of time any more than was the effort to establish the Anglican Church there when Andraos was consecrated Abuna, or Metropolitan, of Abyssinia by the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria, in 1841.

The Church has always been monophysitic and has many peculiar features in its ritual; the Jewish Sabbath was observed as well as the Christian; circumcision preceded baptism; dancing was in the services just as it was in the Jewish Temple; baptism among the Coptic Christians was by immersion, and communion was administered daily to the laity.

The Church is a monastic Church. The beginning of the monastic life was in the deserts of Egypt, and the Coptic Christians gave the impulse to the development of Christian asceticism, which later resulted in monasteries and convents. The most celebrated convents in Abyssinia are Debra Libanos, in Sliso; St. Stephen, on Lake Haik; Debra Denus and Axum Thion, in Tigré, and Lahbela, in Lasta.

Each Church has a Tabot, or ark of the Covenant, behind the curtain of is own holy of holies, which may have lent some color to the tradition that the Ark of the Covenant from the Temple had been transferred for safety to Axum by the early Menelik when it was imperiled. But, as Mr. Kipling points out, “that is another story.”

At present this article’s purpose is to show that this “barbarian” Menelek is not such a barbarian after all, and that he really may be, and very likely is, the custodian of the archives and secrets of the earliest Christians and the orthodox Jews. One thing is quite certain. It is that the Coptic Christians were the first of great Christians, and that Africa was not so dark a continent then as people imagine. The Copts were the principal sect of Christians in the Valley of the Nile, and were and still are descendants of the inhabitants of Egypt in the days of the Ptolemies. There is ancestral greatness.

A few additional peculiarities in Abyssinian Christianity are worthy of note. Priests have power to divorce, and a married man can cast his matrimonial gyves and throw the support of his children on to his wife’s shoulders by becoming a monk. The Bible is in eighty-one books and is written in the ancient language of Axum, and contains the Roman Catholic canon and many other books.

Thus it will be seen that Christendom, through these wars and strifes now raging in the Valley of the Nile, may acquire information hitherto hidden from all but Abyssinian and Coptic fanatics’ eyes for centuries.

It is asserted that in many of the monasteries valuable documents and manuscripts have been saved for ages, just as were manuscripts in the Middle Ages in Europe. It has even been suggested and published that tomes, parchments, and volumes believed to have perished with the library at Alexandria were in reality secreted in Coptic convents and sanctuaries throughout Ethiopia, Abyssinia and Nubia to be resurrected shortly by means of these bitter conflicts and annihilation of armies.

Abyssinia and Ethiopia – once the Ethiopian Empire – are repositories of secrets vital to history and to progress. Shall they be revealed by force of arms or by moral suasion and courtesy to a monarch who has hitherto been proclaimed a “barbarian”?

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