How Balcha Saafo, the Great Warrior Fell into the Trap of Haile Selassie

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ethiopia
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#1

In the mid-1920s, the powerful warlords of Ethiopia were coming to the realization that a young man of the nobility named Haile Selassie, also known as Ras Tafari, was outcompeting them all and nearing the point where he could proclaim himself their leader, unifying the country for the first time in decades. Most of his rivals could not understand how this wispy, quiet, mild-mannered man had been able to take control. Yet in 1927, Selassie was able to summon the warlords, one at a time, to come to Addis Ababa to declare their loyalty and recognize him as leader.

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Some hurried, some hesitated, but only one, Dejazmach Balcha of Sidamo, dared defy Selassie totally. A blustery man, Balcha was a great warrior, and he considered the new leader weak and unworthy. He pointedly stayed away from the capital. Finally Selassie, in his gentle but stem way, commanded Balcha to come. The warlord decided to obey, but in doing so he would turn the tables on this pretender to the Ethiopian throne: He would come to Addis Ababa at his own speed, and with an army of 10,000 men, a force large enough to defend himself, perhaps even start a civil war. Stationing this formidable force in a valley three miles from the capital, he waited, as a king would. Selassie would have to come to him.

Selassie did indeed send emissaries, asking Balcha to attend an afternoon banquet in his honor. But Balcha, no fool, knew history—he knew that previous kings and lords of Ethiopia had used banquets as a trap. Once he was there and full of drink, Selassie would have him arrested or murdered. To signal his understanding of the situation, he agreed to come to the banquet, but only if he could bring his personal bodyguard—600 of his best soldiers, all armed and ready to defend him and themselves. To Balcha’s surprise, Selassie answered with the utmost politeness that he would be honored to play host to such warriors.

On the way to the banquet, Balcha warned his soldiers not to get drunk and to be on their guard. When they arrived at the palace, Selassie was his charming best. He deferred to Balcha, treated him as if he desperately needed his approval and cooperation. But Balcha refused to be charmed, and he warned Selassie that if he did not return to his camp by nightfall, his army had orders to attack the capital. Selassie reacted as if hurt by his mistrust. Over the meal, when it came time for the traditional singing of songs in honor of Ethiopia’s leaders, he made a point of allowing only songs honoring the warlord of Sidamo. It seemed to Balcha that Selassie was scared, intimidated by this great warrior who could not be outwitted. Sensing the change, Balcha believed that he would be the one to call the shots in the days to come.

At the end of the afternoon, Balcha and his soldiers began their march back to camp amidst cheers and gun salutes. Looking back to the capital over his shoulder, he planned his strategy—how his own soldiers would march through the capital in triumph within weeks, and Selassie would be put in his place, his place being either prison or death. When Balcha came in sight of his camp, however, he saw that something was terribly wrong. Where before there had been colorful tents stretching as far as the eye could see, now there was nothing, only smoke from doused fires. What devil’s magic was this?

A witness told Balcha what had happened. During the banquet, a large army, commanded by an ally of Selassie’s, had stolen up on Balcha’s encampment by a side route he had not seen. This army had not come to fight, however: Knowing that Balcha would have heard a noisy battle and hurried back with his 600-man bodyguard, Selassie had armed his own troops with baskets of gold and cash. They had surrounded Balcha’s army and proceeded to purchase every last one of their weapons. Those who refused were easily intimidated. Within a few hours, Balcha’s entire force had been disarmed and scattered in all directions.

Realizing his danger, Balcha decided to march south with his 600 soldiers to regroup, but the same army that had disarmed his soldiers blocked his way. The other way out was to march on the capital, but Selassie had set a large army to defend it. Like a chess player, he had predicted Balcha’s moves, and had checkmated him. For the first time in his life, Balcha surrendered. To repent his sins of pride and ambition, he agreed to enter a monastery.

Do not underestimate the power of Tafari. He creeps like a mouse but he has jaws of a lion.
~Balcha of Sidamo’s last words before entering the monastery.

Balcha Safo

~Robert Greene


#2

DABNI HOJJACHUUF DEEMTU AKKA SIRRATTI
HINBEEKKAMNE GOLGAA ITTI FAKKEESSUN DHIMMA BAYII.
(USE SMOKE SCREEN TO DISGUISE YOUR ACTION)
Nama mooksuun yeroo hunda tarsiimoo mishaa yaa ta’u malee akka gaariitti mooksuuf waan hojjachuuf karoorfatterraa yaada namaa dabsuuf (distract gochuuf) ammoo golgaa itti fakkeessu (screen of smoke) sibarbaachisa. Gubbaan kee homtuu akka irraa hinmul’anne yoo goote golgaa fakkeessuu cimaa waan ta’uf waan yaadde hundumaa rakkina tokko malee dhoksuun sihindhibu. Nama barbaadde sana karuma baramerratti yoo kan bobbastu ta’e amma kiyyoo kee keessan geessutti sirratti hinbeekamu.(Yaada kana kitaaba mata-dureen isaa THE 48 LAWS OF POWER jedu kan nama Robert Greene jedhamuun afaan Engiliffaan barreeffame keessaa seensa barru mata-duree olitti tuqame fuula 23irraayin fuddhee gara afaan Oromootti hiikee. Mata-dureen kuni kutaa lama yoo qabaatu kutaa tokkooffaan waan nu hinilaallef asirratti tuquun nahinbarbaachifne. Kan nu ilaalu kutaa lammaffaa akka kanaa gadiitti hiikee yaada nakaase itti dabalee diyeessee jiraa akka dubbiftan kabajaadhanan isin afeera. Hiikan saa yoo dogoggora qabaate durseetan dhiifam gaafadha, naa sirreessaa too dubbisaa.)
SEERA HOJIRRA OOLCHUU II
Bara giddu-gala 1920 keessa abbootin waraanaa Itoophiyaa dargaggeessi sanyii kabajamoo keessaa bahe H/Sillaasee ykn Ras Tafarii jedhamuun beekkamu isaan caalaa dhufuufii biyyatti tokkoomsee hoogganaa saanii ta’ee labsuuf akka qopha’a jiru hubatani. Warri waldorggommi keessa turan kuni namitti tuffatamtuu, qabbanooftuufi lallaaftuun tuni akkamitti akka waan kana toowachuf deemtu isaanii hingalle ture.Yaa ta’u malee bara 1927 keessa H/Sillaaseen abbootii waraanaa tokko tokkoon Shaggaritti ofitti waamee isa jalatti bulaniif hooggana isaa fudhacuu saani akka mirkaneessan (ibsan) taasisuu danda’ee ture.

          Tokko tokko ariitidhaan yoo dhaqu kan akka Baalchaa faa ammoo harkifachaa turani. Kana keessatti namni tokkichi ifatti diddaa agarsiise Dajjaazmaach Baalchaa qofaadha. Baalchan nama waan itti amane ifatti dubbatuufi goota waraanaa beekkamaa yoo ta'u hooggana haar'a kana akka dadhabaafii kan faayidaa hinqabne jedhee ilaale. Kanaafis Shaggar irraa fagaate ture. Dhumarratti garuu H/Sillaaseen Baalchan akka dhufu ajaja cimaa itti erge. Abban waraanaa kunis ajaja kana fudhachuuf murteessee, kana gochuun garuu nama barcuma aangoo Itoophiyaa qabate of fakkeessaa jiru kanarratti balaa buusuuf kutate. Karoora kanas fiixan baasuuf loltuu isas ofis eeguuf gahaa ta'efii waraana ummataa (civil war ) adeemsisuu danda'u 10,000 hiriirsee Shagaritti qajeele. Loltuu isaa cimaa kana sulula Shaggarirraa maayila sadi fagaatu keessa qubachiisee akka mootitti H/Sillaaseen dhufee akka isa simatu eegaa ture.

           H/Sillaaseen garuu Baalchan dheena kabajaa isaati qophaayeerratti akka argamu nama itti himu itti erge. Yaata'u malee Baalchan seenaa darban waan beekuuf gowwaa of dagatu hinturre. Moototiifi abbootin waraanaa Itoophiyaa afeerraa akkanaa kana akka kiyyootti akka itti gargaaramaa turan hubatee jira. Yeroo tokko achi seenee dhugaatii quufnan H/Sillaasen akka hidhu ykn akka ajjeesu nibeeka ture. Haala kana shakkuu isaa  ibsuuf loltoota isaa kan isa eeganiifi ofirree eegu danda'an 600 hidhannoo saani waliin yoo fudhatee dhaquu danda'e qofaa akka afeerricharratti argamu itti ibse.Wanni Baalchaa dinqisiise H/Sillaseen gaafii isaa kana haala gaarin simatee gootota akkasii kana keessummeessuun isaafuu kabajaa akka ta'e deebisee dhaameefi.

     Yeroo gara afeerrichaatti deeman Baalchan loltoota isaa akka duganii hinmachoofneef eegumsa saanii hindaganne akeekkachisaa ture. Yeroo masaraa gahan H/Sillaaseen hedduu miidhagee argan. Baalchatti H/Sillaaseen nama biraa ta'e itti mul'ate, deggersa isaa kennuun (mirkaneessun) akka gargaaru Baalchaa kadhate. Baalchan garuu jecha isaa bareedaa kana fudhachuu nidide,yoo galgala buufata loltoota isaatti deebi'u baate loltoonni isaa ajejni magaalatti weeraruu itti kennamee jira jedhee H/Sillaasee akeekkachiise. H/Sillaasenis amantii irraa dhabuu Baalchaa kanaan akka hubame ibseefi. Yeroo dheenaa faaruu aadaa hooggantoota biyyatti faarsun yoo jalqabamu H/Sillaaseen faaruu kabajaa abbaa waranaa Sidaamoo ibsu malee nama biraa akka hinfaarsine ajaja dabarse.Kuni Baalchaatti akka waan H/sillaaseen sodaatee fii rifatee itti fakkaatee ofii saa goota hiriyaa hinqabnetti of lakaaye. Jijjiramni akka dhufaa jirtu waan itti dhagahameef guyyoota gabaabduu keessatti dhukaasa akka banu amane.
           Gara galgalaa Baalchaf loltoonni isaa gammachuudhan dhukaasaa gara buufata saanitti qajeelani. Baalchan of duuba garagalee gateetti isaatirraan magalaatti hubachaa tarsiimoo saa karoorfate.Torban tokko keessatti akkamitti loltoonni isaa injifannoon magaalatti keessa akka burraaqaniifii H/Sillaasee iddoon isaa akka kennamuuf-iddoon isaas hidhaa ykn du'a akka ta'u murteesse. Yaata'u malee yeroo Baalchan buufata loltuu saatti dhiyaatu balaan guddaan wayii akka huummame arge. Iddoo dura amma ijji arguu danda'utti dunkaanni halluu adda addaa qaban dhaabbatee ture amma homtuu hinjiru, aara barbadaa keessaa aaruu qofaatu mul'ata. Kuni hojii seexanaati moo maali?
             Namni balaa kana ijaan arge waan raawwatame Baalchatti hime.Yeroo dheenaa deemu loltuun deggeraa H/Sillaseetin hoogganamu hedduun akka Baalchan hinarginetti karaa biraa goruun hannaan gara buufata Baalchaa dhaqani Baalchan dhukaasa yoo dhagaye loltoota isa eegan 600n wajjin ofirra garagaluu akka danda'u waan beekaniif lola banuf hindhaqne ture. H/Sillaseen loltoota isaa warqiif qarshii shaaliidhaan baachisee itti erge. Isaanis loltoota Baalchaatti marsanii meeshaa hidhatan irraa bituutti ka'an. Kan didanis salphaatti doorsifamani. Sa'aa muraasa keessatti loltoonni Baalchaa hidhannoo harcaafatanii gara gara bittinaa'ani.

            Baalchan balaa isaa xiinxaluun loltoota isa waliin turan 600n qabatee loltoota hafan gurmeessuu murteeffate gara kibbaatti qajeele, yaata'u malee loltootuma humna saa irraa hiikkateetu karaa itti cufe.Karaan biraa isa baasu magaalatti weeraruudha, garuu H/Sillaaseen humna gudaa magaalatti tikisu achiinis qubachiisee eege.Akka nama cheezii taphatuu adeemsi Baalchaa dursee waan hubatameef kiyyoo mootin itti nyaatamu (check mate) keessa galche.Umrii isaa keessatti Baalchan yeroo jalqabaatiif harka kennate.Cubbuu oftuulummaf hawwi hintaane hawwuurraa of qulqulleessuuf gadaamitti galuu filate.
                                                  HIIKAA
                   Yeroo dheeraa H/Sillaaseen aangorra ture sana keessatti eenyumtuu keessa iasaa beekuu kan danda'e hinturre. Itoophiyaanonni moototin saanii yoo sodaachisoo ta'an jaalatu,yaa ta'u malee H/Sillaaseen fuulduratti eenyumayyuu caalaa nama gaarii,nama naga jaalatu of fakkeessee hunda caalaa angorra ture. Gonkumaa kan hin aarrefii tasgabbi hindhabne, namoota balleessuu barbaadu hanga balleessutti itti seequun kan kiyyeessu,naga'af gammachuun kan itti haasawufii gadi jedhee kan simatu ta'e mul'ata. Gara Baalchatti yoo deebinu H/Sillaaseen cinqama Baalchatti dhimma bahee shakkii isaa afeerran akkanaa kiyyoodha jedu-kan inni shakke ta'u baatus dhugumutti afeerrichi kiyyoo ture. H/Sillaaseen sodaa baalchaa tasggabbeessuuf Baalchan loltoota isaa afeerrichaaf akka fudhatee dhufu eeyyamuun,iddoo guddaa kennuufii, Baalchan waan hundumaa akka toowachaa jiru akka itti dhagahamu taasisuun isaa-golgaa itti fakkeessu (smoke screen) yabbuu huumee waan maayila sadi'irratti ta'a ture dhokse.

               Yaadadhaa : Nama sodaa dararamu fii cinqama qabu mooksuun salphaadha.Karaa tokko amantii saani yoo horatan golgaa itti fakkeessaa (smoke screen) akka karaa biraa hin ilaalle isaan jaamsu fii akka lamuu ka'u hindandeenyetti lootanii rukutuuf isin dandeessisu horattan jechuudha. Sochiin isin gargaaru amanamaa ta'ani mul'achuu ykn namni barbaadamu suni akka isin caalu eeruu ,isaan kuni guututti meeshaa yaada nama sanaa karaa irraa dabsaniidha.

               Golgaan itti fakkeessaa (smock screen) sirriin tolfamnaan meeshaa aangoo guddaati.Kanatuu H/Sillaasee qabbanaawwan suni oto rasaasa takka hindhukaasin diinota isaa maraa akka balleessu dandeessise.

                “Humna Tafarii xiqqeessitanii hin ilaalinaa.
                Akka hantuutaa loo'aa yaa ta'u malee
                   ha'oo akka leencaa qabaa.”

            Jecha Baalchaa isa dumaa oso gadaamii hinseenin dubbate.
            * Kitaaba olitti tuqame fuula 25-27 ilaalaa.

Dagnu hiikan isaa kanaa yoo barbaadde suuraa Baalchaa irr kaahii.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=734542243419445&id=100005910275121