By Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi.

In the early 1980s,  Bakayimbira Dramactors composed a song which goes;

ebonabona, America esagambiza; Afirika ebonabona, America esagambiza; Afirika ebonabona, America esagambiza; Afirika Afirika, Afirika! Afirika Afirika! Afirika Afirika! Afirika Afirika!

It was full of sorrow that Africa was suffering while the United States was jubilatin

It It It suits well in Libya, after the killing of Col. Myanmar Qaddaffi following NATO invasion, that was once one of the most prosperous welfare state (Janahariya) has gone to the dogs and is almost stateless.

Somalia, without AMISOM support where UPDF has the leading contingent, will be stateless again as the Federal Government has no control on the so called break away Somaliland and Puntland republics.

The Sudan both South and North are also on the verge of collapse due to civil war and civil strife but facilitated by imperial powers scrambling for their oil wealth among others.

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia seems to be the next target, with the ongoing civil war between the Federal Government Forces under Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy and Tigray rebels.Unlike the rest of Africa, Ethiopia is independent throughout history except the brief occupation of Italy between 1936 and 1942.

King’s African Rifles including Ugandans, played a vital role in driving Italian fascist from what was known as Italian Somaliland in Mogadishu, Ethiopia and Libya.

Ethiopia is an Amharic word meaning Land of the Black people. So the country and the people preferred Ethiopia to Abbysinia as a national title due to Pan Africanism, yet both names are for the same country.

Other names that mean Land of Black People,include Bilad Al Sudan, which is Arabic, Egypt, the first state in history under Pharaohs, where monotheism started, literacy, agriculture among others. Ancient Egypt was Black and remnants are the Nubians in Aswan on the boarder with the Sudan.

The Sudanese former President Marshal Jaffir El Niemery was a Nubian.Libya, which was a province in Roman Empire, also means the same and it had a famous city state of Cathege, now in Tunisia, that produced General Hannibal that almost conquered Italy.

Phoenicians called Land of Black People (East Africa Coast) Azania, which Tanzania borrowed and which Pan African National  Congress preferred as a new name for South Africa after dismantling Apertheid.

The Greeks called it Zenj, that is where Zanzibar borrowed the name as “Bar” means “the coast”. The Portuguese called it Guinea, when their explorer Dennis Dias disembarked at Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, as there is also a nice birdin the gulf, that is called Guinea.

It is now part of a national title for three countries; Guinea- Conakry, formerly a French colony, Guinea Bissau, formerly a Portuguese colony, and Equatorial Guinea, that was part of the si called French Equatorial Africa.

But there is also New Guinea in Austrasia, where the original inhabitants, Aboriginals or Maoris are Black. Neocolonialism being the root cause of coups, civil wars and civil strife in Africa, Ethiopia should have been exceptional as it was not colonized.

But it’s recent history is full of coups and wars since the sixties when Eritrea waged an independence war in 1963 it win in 1983, the 1974 revolution that deposed Emperor Haile Selassie who wa starved to death by the Derg which it’s own palace coups until Lt.Col. Mengistu Haile Marism succeeded after eliminating others and became on of Africa”s butchers, worse than Obote and Amin combined.

Secession wars waged by Oromos, the majority ethnicity and largest in Africa but marginalized, where Ahmed Abiy belongs, but they are predominantly Muslim and he is a Born Again Christian, Ogaden, who are ethnic Somalis, whom Ethiopia also “colonized” during a scramble and partition for Africa.

Tigray which also has a hidden agenda of secession (which is in the federal Constitution under the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi) if they are not in power. Then the struggle for Nile waters find Egypt clashing with Ethiopia over constructing a Hydro Electricity Power plant on the Blue Nile which may reduce water going to Egypt and the Nile is the life line of Egypt which is a desert and depends on irrigation.

But according to Kenya’s press reports especially The Star, Abiy’s reconciliation with Eritrea’s strong man Issaias Afgirwerki not only angered Tigrayans who are traditional rivals of Eritreans, but also regional powers like Kenya, who are suspicious of Affirwerki as a secret ally of Al Shabaab.

There is also fear that if Abiy crushes the rebels, he will boost Somali nationalism including some Kenyan Somalis in North Eastern, who since 1864 Shiftas’ war, wanted to secede from Kenya and reunite with Somalia. Those fir a Greater Somalia want a reunion of Somalia, Birth Eastern Kenya, Ogaden from Ethiopia and even Djibouti,which was French Somaliland.

The imperialists are also fueling the conflict as they did before and as they are doing elsewhere in Africa. If Ethiopia is dismembered, it will set a bad precedent in the Horn of Africa and beyond as almost all African countries are a creation of colonialists, and over 100 years we can not return to ore colonial nation states where even twin sister kingdoms like Buganda and Bunyoro, Rwanda and Burundi, Ashanti and Dante in Ghana, had turned into traditional enemies.

Since both Sudans are not giving a good example of secession, so are Ethiopia and Eritrea, yet Tanganyika and Zanzibar 1964 union provided a stronger country, we should strive for regional integration especially East Africa Federation where divided people like Waswahili at the East African Coast, the Luo in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and DR Congo, the Waluhyabin Kenya and Bamasaba in Uganda, the Kakwa in Uganda, South Sudan and DR Congo, the Tesovand Pilot  in Uganda and Kenya, the Banyamitara in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo, the Somalis in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti, will be reunited.

If reality dictates that we start with a confederation, let us do so, and the coalition of the willing was not a bad idea.

The writer is a veteran journalist and Deputy Resident City Commissioner Masaka City.

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