Prof. Bisrat Amare: The man who tortured history
By Abebe Gellaw
There are new breed of historians in town that are endorsed by the TPLF to rewrite and narrate Ethiopian history. A “professor” from America is the late arrival to launch a book recently at Axum Hotel, Addis Ababa. The book, Finote Gedil, is not an ordinary book. TPLF’s singer Abebe Arayaand Tirhas Tareke, among others, reportedly led the Whiskey-laced fanfare and drumbeating at the launch of this book that has been endorsed by TPLF veterans as part of their effort to re-write Ethiopian history and toglorify their victories.
The attention given to the author, who resides in Columbus, Ohio, was also evident as the high priests of the TPLF like Sibehat Nega and Abay Tsehaye publicly endorsed the book that glorifies TPLF’s history of terror at the expense of the rest of Ethiopia.
The author, who enjoyed the limelight, was none other than former TPLF torture czar and spymaster “Professor” Bisrat Amare. After the author jetted all the way from Ohio to Addis to promote his book, he widely introduced himself as “a university professor in the United States.” But Mr. Amare attracted even wider attention among Ethiopians not for his lectures but for Gebremedhin Araya’s exposé detailing the mass killings, torture, brutality, rape and robbery that the learned professor and his TPLF accomplices have committed in the name of liberation.
Mysteriously enough, no one in the United States attended Prof. Amare’s university lectures, save his torture chamber, despite the fact that his grandiose talks were found to be very educative and enlightening to TPLF’s lightweight intellectuals, Sebhat Nega, Abay Tsehaye et al. Nonetheless, it should be noted from the outset that the effort of this writer to locate the American university where Prof. Amare claimed to work as a professor could not bear any fruits. One may wonder why but the simple truth is that Prof. Amare’s “university” never exists in real life except in the small imagination of this runaway professor, who is widely known among his friends for his addiction to lies, mischief and tall-tales.
From exile back to TPLF
A high school drop-out from Axum, Bisrat joined the TPLF in mid-1970s and managed to become one of its 06 (torture chamber) chiefs and executioners. When TPLF took control of Ethiopia in 1991, Mr. Amare became the security chief of Addis Ababa. But that did not last long as he was accused of theft and corruption by his own ethnic party. A close confidant of Bisrat Amare who spoke with Addis Voice on condition of anonymity says that the professor is an accomplished con artist. He fled to the United States in the early 1990s after he allegedly robbed a huge amount of US dollars and gold seized as exhibit. “That was actually the reason why it didn’t take him long to open a store in Washington DC before he moved to Ohio,” the confidant said.
As the security chief of Addis Ababa, he had indeed got access to gold and dollars that he started to hoard and give out to his kin and kith, including his rugs-to-riches brother rightly nicked named Tefni who runs businesses in Addis, according to a reliable source. Bisrat was sent to jail for stealing a significant amount of gold and hard currency. Bisrat bitterly told a friend, who was a former TPLF fighter, that it was Tewolde Wondemariam, a former TPLF top gun who had locked him up. But the slick former spy used his connections with Sibehat Nega to get out of jail and fled to the United States. As soon as he arrived, he applied for political asylum under false pretense that he fled Ethiopia as the TPLF persecuted and tortured him.
Until the 2005 elections, Bisrat was known as a dissident of the TPLF, which he used to condemn publicly as a dangerous fascistic mafia group. He particularly expressed his hatred and disdain to Meles Zenawi, whom he accused of being an Eritrean wolf in a Tigrian skin. He was one of the founders and secretary of the now defunct Tigrian Alliance for National Democracy (TAND), which was led by Aregawi Berhe and Hailu Mengesha, who also re-joined the TPLF after the 2005 elections.
Prof. Amare wrote a series of insightful articles in Hawaraya, a Canada based newspaper, that exposed the crimes of top TPLF leadership including Meles Zenawi, Abaye Tsehaye, Arkebe Ekubay, Siyoum Mesfin, Tewolde Wondemariam, Hasen Shifa, Abebe Zemichael et al. (Addis Voice will soon serialize the treacherous history of the TPLF as written by Bisrat courtesy of Hawarya newspaper.)
According to Bisrat’s Hawaraya story, Meles Zenawi is a power-hungry pathological liar and deceiver who can never be trusted. Bisrat says that Meles took control of the TPLF after he set up the Marxist Leninist League of Tigray (MLLT), an anti-democratic and cultic dictatorial group that has committed untold atrocities against innocent civilians and TPLF fighters. One of the enablers of Meles that betrayed the original leaders of the ethnic front, according to Bisrat, was Abaye Tsehaye, whom he describes as someone who goes with the wind of the day. Another enabler of Meles, Bisrat claimed, was Sibehat Nega.
When opposition parties gained the upper hand during the 2005 elections and change seemed inevitable, Prof. Amare not only changed the history he was writing but also joined TPLF to fend off the threat of losing power. Prof. Amare was rehired as a US-based TPLF spy and started to sing a new poisonous song composed by the TPLF. They were saying that Tigrians would be “exterminated” if change comes in Ethiopia. Suddenly the professor became a mouth-piece of the TPLF and ventured out to condemn anyone opposed to TPLF’s tyranny.
A few years ago, professor Bistrat had an interview with the pariah broadcaster Nigussie Woldmariam. He used Napoleon Bonaparte’s quote to explain what history is all about. “History,” he quoted Bonaparte, “is a pack of lies agreed upon.”
He said lies are the political weapon of anyone opposed to the TPLF because the history of the TPLF is all about heroism, sacrifice, justice and liberation. But he also contended that, the history of Ethiopia is full of lies and told us that TPLF would rewrite history.
True to his words, his book, “Finote Gedil”, or rather Finote Wishet, turned out to be Prof. Amare’s pack of lies that contradict the story he had already written. One of the major targets of Prof. Amare’s book is Emperor Menelik II. According to the learned professor, Emperor Menelik was not a hero but a coward. His rule was based on deceit as he did not even have the right to claim the throne unlike Emperor Yohannes because he did not have the lineage of Axumite kings. Menelik’s objective was not to unify Ethiopia, as historians wrote, but to spread his “Amhara philosophy”.
Repeating the arguments of TPLF’s crude historians like Sibehat Nega and Meles Zenawi, the professor wrote in his new book that the cause of the Weyane’s rebellion against “fictitious Ethiopia” was Emperor Menelik, who invaded and crashed Tigrians in collaboration with Italian invaders. Prof. Amare tells us that even the victory of Adowa over Italian colonialists was worthless. Menelik divided Tigrians into two “nations.” He also made Ethiopia land locked…, the professor lectures. He went on to tell us that the legacy of Emperor Menelik to Ethiopians was lies, cowardice and treason…. The professor failed to mention the fact that the worst enemies Ethiopian patriots had faced were mercenaries and Askaris from Tigray and Eritrea. The factual irony is that today Ethiopia is being ruled by the grandsons and granddaughters of Italian Askaris, including Meles Zenawi and his wife, Azeb Gola, who both have mercenary heritages.
The professor forgot the fact that Emperor Menelik was a 19th century Ethiopian emperor who can only be judged in the context of his time. Anti-Ethiopia tyrants like Meles Zenawi, Abay Tseyahe, Sibehat Nega, Arkebe Ekubay, Seyoum Mesfin,…and the false history professor Bisrat Amare should have known a better way of speaking to a nation than spreading divisive and backward tactics of attacking the past. TPLF has proven to be an archaic and brutal group that cannot criticize the past while complicating the future of our country….
Creating division, animosity, hatred…and pitting one ethnic group against another will only have disastrous consequences. Twisting, distorting, and falsifying history can only add petrol to the already volatile ethnic relations in Ethiopia that has been precariously maintained through the hegemony of the TPLF. TPLF’s new historians endorsed by hate mongers like Sibehat Nega and Meles Zenawi will not do any good. Emperor Menelik was a unifier…; his deeds and visions were much more advanced than those of the 21st divisive rulers like Meles…
The professor confided to a friend a while ago that he hated Meles Zenawi. This has nothing to do with the tyranny and atrocities that Meles is committing against Ethiopians. When Derg’s senior military officers attempted an aborted coup d’état in the late 1980s, Bistrat listened to the news on the BBC. He rushed to tell the exciting news to TPLF’s leaders. He broke the news to his bosses but Meles, who does not know how to be gracious, bluntly humiliated Bisrat by accusing him of distorting the BBC news because of his poor grasp of English. Bisrat was so bitter that he wanted to exact a revenge on Meles Zenawi.
The moment arrived for Prof. Bisrat, who relegated the role of Meles within the TPLF to almost nothing. It is quite surprising that Abaye Tseyahe and Sibhat Nega endorsed a book written by a false professor that tortured history. The book reduced the most domineering figure within the TPLF to a nonentity by ignoring his role within the TPLF. This may be a sign of a dangerous gamble that Prof. Bistrat is out to play with the tired kingmakers of the TPLF, Sibhat Nega and Abaye Tsehaye.
One may wonder whether the good professor went all the way to Addis to oust the man he hates to become the next legitimate ruler of Ethiopia from Axum, a quality that even Emperor Menelik could only dream of. While Prof. Amare’s effort to write the embellished history of what he once called a “fascistic” group called MLLT/TPLF, it beggars questions why he is selling a pack of lies compiled as a book. Luckily, we have copies of the real history of the TPLF that the dummy professor, who is not even sure what he does for a living, has already published. For the record, we will be publishing them all.
Bistrat Amare’s Hawarya piece on Meles Zenawi is a must read to understand the true nature of the TPLF. Please read and judge for yourself.
Bisrat Amere on Meles Zenawi (Amharic)
Postscript: This piece would not have been possible without the invaluable input of a few informed sources. I must acknowledge the contributions of Hawarya editor and publisher, Muluken Muchie, who kindly sent me a series of articles authored by Bisrat Amare all the way from Canada. Two former confidants of Bisrat Amare, who were members of the TPLF until they rejected the brutality, crimes and divisive agenda of the group ruling Ethiopia with brute force, gave me valuable insight and information.