By: Abraha Belai
The Return of Abebe Belew to Ethiopia
The return to Ethiopia of Addis Dimts Radio host Abebe Belew was unthinkable a few months ago. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in absentia along with the famed journalist Eskinder Nega.
With the coming to power of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, however, everything changed for the better. Dr Abiy amnestied all the defendants (mainly dissidents and journalists who were thrown into prison on trumped-up charges of terrorism) and hence Abebe’s a dream-come-true homecoming event!
Abebe has been running his famous radio program, Addis Dimts, from Washington, DC – the hub of almost all political, civic, media organizations out of Ethiopia.
While many organizations have come and gone, one media establishment that sailed through the storm and survived is undoubtedly Addis Dimts Radio, and that was possible due to Abebe’s incomparable steadfastness as a unifying force of Ethiopians.
Abebe has never swayed from his powerful conviction of Ethiopian identity, a challenge in the era of ethnic politics fueled by a government bent on weakening the unity of the Ethiopian people.
In his strong desire to see united Ethiopain groups triumph over TPLF, Abebe has played key roles in the emergence and progress of political organizations such as Kinijit, and later Andenet. He was also the spokesperson of ESAT, the satellite based TV organization which is now a household name. In each instance, Abebe would leave his family behind, and go from city to city campaigning for the realization of the lofty ideals each entity carried in its program.
Now Abe, as is endearingly called by his friends, is now in Ethiopia, rejoicing with friends – thanks to the new fresh political air that has enveloped Ethiopia since great Ethiopians like Lema Megersa, Gedu and Demeke worked in unison and freed the country from the grips of a brutal and archaic TPLF rule.
Abe, the Voice of Reason and Love, and against Hate and Division is now visiting home after being forced to stay away from Ethiopia for over 20 years.
Abebe moved back to Ethiopia together with the legendary Alemtsehay Wodajo as well as Dawit Tegegne, the latter being a Toronto-based chairman of the Board of Directors of Addis Dimts Radio.