By Meron Getachew
As opposed to the ridiculous crime of mass atrocities and conducting ethnic cleansing on ethnic Tigrayans to possess the historical territories of Tigray, we expose their false narrative and fallacy claim by providing credible documents and chronicles about the genuine and authentic historical lands and geographical map of Tigray regional state from 17th century to present. There are significant documents and pieces of evidence in printed books – recorded and written by several European travelers to Ethiopia in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
The following credible evidence and text materials come from Prof. Ghelawdewos Araya’s who presented the history of Tigray from the 17th century to the present on the Cyber Power of Tigray Media.
Mr. Manuel de Almeida is a European traveler who went to Ethiopia in 1622. Mr. Almeida describes Tigray as the foundational head of the entire Ethiopian monarchy. Mr. Manuel Barrados is a Portuguese traveler who lived in Tigray in the 1620s and 1630s and wrote first-hand information about historical facts and the districts of Tigray. Mr. Manuel Barrados book was published in 1634 and was later translated into English entitled “A 17th Century of the Historical and Geographical Account of Tigray, Ethiopia.” In his book, Mr. Manuel Barradas tells us that Tigray is so resourceful and rich in water. Mr. Manuel Barradas tells us how most parts of Tigray are fertile and rich in agricultural production, by going into detail. Among the wide variety of crops and vegetables Mr. Manuel Barradas mentioned, Barradas emphasized that “Taff” is a unique crop native to the land. Mr. Manuel Barradas in his book stated, “I must say that in all the lands I have traveled and even in the small portion of the world I have visited, I have found none so gentle favorable and fitted to human life as Ethiopia and in particular this kingdom, Tigray.” The name kingdom in the 17th century is an expression in today’s term for the province.
The following credible documents and chronicles are evidence that attests Welkait, Tselemt, Tsegede, and Raya are historical territories of Tigray as opposed to disputed territories.
In 1620, when Susenyos was the Emperor of Ethiopia, Welkait was mentioned that it is the territory of Tigray. Mr. Hioh Ludolf the author of “A New History of Ethiopia” stated the 27 districts of Tigray in his book including Wag. Mr. Michael Russell in his book entitled “Nubia and Abisinia,” he stated some of the districts of Tigray namely: Agame, Enderta, Wegerat, Ofla (Aluhamlash), Lasta, Abergele, Temben, Shire, Welkait, Waldba. Mr. Manuel Barradas in his book stated that Tigray begins at the twin ports of Massawa and “hergaga” and Mr. Manuel de Almieda wrote the border of Tigray in the East Danakil (lands such as Berhale, Abala, Maglalla in the present Afar) and in the West Semen Begemedre (lands such as Addi Arkay, Adi Selam, Adi Awde, Adi Rihitslan, Metema etc). Mr. Manuel de Almieda account of Tigray is incorporated in a book entitled “Some Records of Ethiopia” by C. F. Beckingham and G. W. B. Huntingford. Mr. Balthazar Tellaz, a European missionary, in his book entitled “Encyclopedia Aethiopiaca: Volume 4” stated “These mountains are snow top and are found in the district Semen, referring to Tigray. Mr. Henry Salt, in his book entitled “A Voyage to Abyssinia” 1814, said on top of Semen, areas such as “Bequilla,” “Buchi,” and “Baquwe” – which he calls the “land of Shanquella” were the territories of Tigray. According to Mr. Henry Salt account, the geographical map of Tigray in the 19th century is 102,000 square km. Mr. Henry Salt himself confirmed the map of Tigray province is the most accurate. During Emperor Yohannes, the Semen mountains were the territory of Tigray, as they had been throughout the centuries before. The Semen mountains were named after Ras Dejena. Ras Dashen is the corrupted name. He’s Tigray’s high ranking official during the reign of Emperor Yohannes. Ras Hagos was a successor of Ras Dejena, then followed by Ras Gugsa Aray, and finally Ras Siyum Mengesha. Mr. John Camden Hotten, in his book entitled “Abyssinia and Its People” 1864, stated about the majestic and graceful monasteries of Tigray including Akum, Waldeba, Debre Damo, and Debre Abay.
In addition to the above seven credible pieces of documentary evidence and chronicles, there are life testimonies from the elderly who attest to the two historical lands of Tigray, namely Welkait and Tsegede, during Emperor Hayleslase. The two districts of Tigray, Welkait, and Tsegede, were included in Goder in 1948. Another testimony comes from Fitawrari Muauz Beyene, who was a member of the Ethiopian parliament and advisor to the emperor Haileslase, who attests that the border of Tigray is Aluhamlash. In 1949, Kobo was given to Wello with the assumption to create a large dominion under the administration of Asfaw Hawse. Fitawrari Muauz Beyene attests that it happened during his lifetime. When regional states were formed under EPDRF leadership, a significant portion of the historical lands of Tigray was not returned to Tigray after they were included in adjacent regions during the reign of Emperor Menelik and emperor Haileslase, because the restructuring of regions was not based on historical territories but rather based on language and identity.
It is logical to return Kobo to the Tigray region but it has not been returned to Tigray because more Amhara-speaking people settled in the land after its incorporation in 1949. Tselemt was given to Taytu after the battle of Adwa by Emperor Menelik. However, Tsigede and Tselemt were returned to Tigray because the more Amhara-speaking people had not infiltrated these historical territories of Tigray. With all these credible evidence and historical facts, we conclude Welkait, Tseged, and Tsilemt are lands of Tigray.
But we want to say this, history can not be fabricated or coined, the act of barbarous invasion and the act of committing mass atrocities and ethnic cleansing in order to grasp lands of the Tigray region is nonsense and unacceptable. The so-called disputed areas namely Welkait, Tsegede, Tselemti, and Raya are historic territories of Tigray where Tigrayans native to the land are living. They all retain Tigrigna names. Secondly, there is appalling ignorance about the historical territories of Tigray as to when they were part of Amhara. The fallacy of their narration contradicts the history, culture, and language of native Tigrayans. Thirdly, it has become the ridiculous practice of the flag-waving charlatan to claim lands from all adjacent regions. Fourth, they are hypocritical and pretentious and they can not provide one piece of evidence about the lands they are claiming which is why they resorted to ethnic cleansing to possess lands that do not belong to them.
Reference 1) ttps://www.tghat.com
[Survivors Recount the Mai Kadra Massacre]
[Days 54 of War on Tigray: Mai Kadra]
[The Mai Kadra Massacre]
Reference 2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmT6YEvxsCY&t=2117s
[The History of Tigray: 17th Century to Present]
Reference 3) https://youtu.be/QGwf7iv4Gng
Season1Eouside2 GRW-Amnesty Joint Report on Tigray with Prof KapilalP / CPOTM