Ethiopia has lost one of its best sons, Sultan Ali Mirah Hanfere, yesterday. Sultan Ali Mirah, 95, is a great Ethiopian patriot, a staunch advocate of Ethiopia’s unity, and a leader of the Afar ethnic community in eastern Ethiopia.
The Sultan is remembered and honored among patriotic Ethiopians for his famous quote: “Even our camels salute the Ethiopian flag.” He reportedly made that comment in response to Meles Zenawi’s description of Ethiopia’s flag as “just a piece of rag.”
In a 1992 interview with Dr Fikre Tolossa, Ali Mirah said:
The people of Afar like other Ethiopians are proud of their heritage and history. We are one with all Ethiopians. No one can make excuses and take this identity from the Afar people. Only the forces who are anti-Afar people will make claims of separation. We will not hesitate to expose them for what they are. This must be done for the unity of our Ethiopian people.”
Sultan Ali Mirah’s political activities have been brutally suppressed for that past 20 years by the anti-Ethiopia ethnic apartheid junta that is currently ruling the country.
Ali Mirah will be buried in the town of Assaita tomorrow.