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2011 Person of the Year

It’s Ethiopian Review’s annual tradition to choose Person of the Year at the last day of the year. Person of the Year is some one who made significant contributions to improve conditions in Ethiopia during the past 12 months. The final selection is made by the editor-in-chief after consultations with readers and advisers.

Ethiopian Review’s choice for 2011 Person of the Year is the Ethiopian journalists. In 2011, the Ethiopian journalists kept the torch of freedom burning and paid tremendous sacrifices. Currently, Woubshet Taye, Reeyot Alemu and Eskender Nega are languishing in Woyanne jail charged with terrorism. Woubshet lost hearing on one of his ears as a result of savage beatings in the hands of Meles Zenawi’s henchmen. Sisay Agena, Dawit Kebede, Abe Tokichaw, Abiy Teklemariam and others were forced into exile, but they continued to give voice to the people of Ethiopia from foreign lands.

Dictators fear free press like vampires fear sun light. That is why Meles Zenawi’s Woyanne junta intensified its attack on the media in 2011, shutting down all independent newspapers, arresting journalists, and spending tens of millions of dollars to jam radio, TV, and web sites. As a result, Ethiopians today have less access to information than most countries in the world. There is a parallel between poverty and people’s access to information. Forbes Magazine has ranked Ethiopia the 3rd saddest country in the world where literacy is only 30% and undernourishment is a staggering 40%. And yet, the Meles regime spends over $100 million to buy equipment from China that jam the media.

Despite all the challenges, Ethiopian journalists have been tirelessly working to empower the people of Ethiopia with information. When change comes to Ethiopia, it will be due in large measure to the effort of Ethiopian journalists.

Honorable Mentions

In 2011, there were other heroes as well who stood up for the cause of freedom in Ethiopia. They are too many to list, but the most prominent among them include:

* The people of Ogaden who refused to submit to the Woyanne junta’s apartheid rule.

* Abune Mekarios, Ethiopian Orthodox Church senior leader who has taken a strong stand against the Woyanne injustice and called for regime change.

* Yenesew Gebre, the teacher who burned himself to protest the injustice against himself, his students and the people of Ethiopia.

* Andualem Aragie, the young UDJ leader who is currently languishing in Woyanne jail for saying that the people of Ethiopia have the right to choose their government.

* Alula the bird, who took out 9 Woyanne thugs.

36 thoughts on “2011 Person of the Year

  1. I am proud of Alula the bird. Can you iamgine what Alula the person can do?

    Ark replies:

    Alula the person is Tigrian Ato Tilahun. Shame on you!

    Ahadu replies:


    Allula the person is Tigrian but not a banda (traitor)like the woyannes dont mix apple with orange

    Yigermal replies:


    You are wrong naming the great Ras Alula a Tigre, he was an Ethiopian hero. It a sad time for all of us to make accusations like this.

    Alem B. replies:

    Elias this is just perfect. You made my day. Thank you so much for all you have been doing. Recognizing our journalists was long over due. If Aba Mekarios continues to lead against the TPLF mafia he will get my vote for 2012. Alula is the icing on the cake.

  2. Great job, Elias. I could not agree more. I hope in 2012 the people of Ethiopia as a whole will be Ethiopian review’s persons of the years after the elimination of TPLF parasites from our beloved country. Again great choice. Keep up the good job!!

  3. I say out of all the journalists the punishment the two Swedish journalists suffered in 2011 is the most severe and they both should be awarded the top 2 persons of the year award by ETR . Judge Shemsu Sirgaga ruled that the two freelance journalists — Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye — will serve “rigorous imprisonment” following their convictions .

    Also the three journalists who have been abducted sometime in mid December in Addis Ababa by Security forces for publishing the Ye Moslimoch Gudai,a monthly publication covering the affairs of the Muslim society in Ethiopia Ahmedin Jebel, Akmel Negash and Isaac Eshetu need to be recognized in this list too.

  4. What the woyane dictatorial divisive and ethno-centric vicious maniac security men did against Wobeshet Taye is what American CIA and FBI interrogators calls it ” Interrogation 4″ damaging suspect inner ear. Woyane’s interrogators are CIA and FBI prototype. Before our journalist, human right activist, political leaders and other prisoners of conscience are succumbed to death we have to raise our voice high to the world and demand their unconditional release; otherwise they would collapse to death sooner or later. united we are stronger, divide we are weak. God bless Ethiopia

  5. Happy New Year to you and to all Ethiopians of freedom loving. It is a great chice for person of the year, but i will add you on my list as you are giving nightmares to Woyanes where ever they are, be it in Ethiopia or abroad.
    Thanks for everything you do and i wish you and your family all the best in the new year. God Bless.

  6. It may not include all and is difficult to satisfy all but the choice is great. Elias keep it up, your contribution to free Ethiopians from woyane state terrorism and ethnic politics is great and keep it up.

  7. Elias, I am just counting the days to see you in court.

    I am sure that you will have no room in your Eritrean review to report the demise of a terrorist group (Al-shebaab) that your own country (America) is earnestly fighting to cripple.

    Adal Isaw

  8. Thx Elias again good job happy new year and sucess with your 2012 real
    transformation as it is not a child play like woyannes and dont forget we are with you.

  9. Its true. undoubtedly, its the ethiopian journalists who should take the credit for awakening the people rather than the opposition parties whom as far as i am concerned have done nothing. Infact, the opposition exists to only justify and glorify Woyane’s so called “democracy.” may god bless the journalists who are languishing in prison.

  10. Mr Elias,

    Although, I agree with the selection of those jailed right now, I disagree with your recognition of the “Bird.”

    Accidents happen anytime. Unfortunately those musicians “deceived and used” by the TPLF mafia clique were sacrificed unnecessarily. All naive Tigreans will also continue to be used until fascists go. I think the musicians were the right guys to persuade the Tigreans about tyranny (the mafia’s tyranny on all Ethiopians is the most ruthless compared to all previous regimes). No previous cruel ruler can be compared to the current rulers. No one can witness about this in previous Ethiopia. The musicians were responsible to demonstrate this to all Tigreans. People in southern Ethiopia started to label and call TPLF as colonialists. Recently they were heard discussing that Italian colonialists were better than tplf mafia clique. Italians didn’t sell their land, they built roads to transport crops. THE MAFIA now is constructing road that will serve transporting the crops of foreigners (NOT TO ETHIOPIANS BUT TO THE WORLD MARKET/THEIR OWN COUNTRY PEOPLE). That means Ethiopian will serve as slaves on their land, and will not get their fruits of production. After convinced about all these facts, one brave Ethiopian burnt himself alive refusing to live under tplf’s colonial rule. Tigreans living abroad have more responsibilities to convince their relatives at home about the fascist regime in Ethiopia now before it is too late.

    No fascist ruler in world history has ever lived long. People will not burn them selves anymore. One day in all over Ethiopia, victimized people will start burning the fascists. Before that day comes, Tigreans living abroad should tell their bosses in Ethiopia to obey to rule of law. It is true that the tplf fascist clique will not be convinced about true democracy. So, Tigreans should join hands in the struggle for freedom.

    To Mr. Elias, I agree with all your selection but still disagree with your “Bird” recognition.

  11. Thank you Elias for your courage and hard work, in my book, you are among the courageous journalists you’ve mentioned. There is no doubt that if these lawless TPLF thugs get a chance, they would like to chew you alive and spit you out. Happy New Year to you, your father, the rest of your family and to all peace loving Ethiopians at home and around the world. Deaths to the most heartless Meles and his TPLF hoodlums! May God bring the end of tyrant Meles, his heartless wife and his bloodsucker TPLF looters!!!!!!!!!

  12. Good people, dedicated and selfless ones should always be remembered and their names must be recorded in the history book, and that is what Elias Kifle, a distinguished journalist, has done.

    Thank you, Elias, for letting the world, on this New Year of 2012, know we Ethiopians have heroes who always fight for the freedom of the oppressed Ethiopians, and some of those Ethiopian freedom fighters are in jail; some in exile, and still some living in fear in their own country. It may take us few years to liberate ourselves without any foreign support, and, for sure, we will, one day, surprise the world for bringing our country to the communities of the democratic countries.

    We will not use revenge against those few Ethiopians who betrayed us in our struggle during the past years, but, certainly, we will use justice to settle the grievances of those fathers and mothers whose sons and daughters were slaughtered by the merciless Woyanne government whose support to remain in power is dwindling by the hours.

    During this New Year, we have to fight the old organization – the Woyanne regime – with a new spirit, with a new organization, and with new strategies. These new strategies must include some from the armies, some from the Church, some from the Muslim communities, some from the elites, some from the merchants, some from the high school and university students, teachers and professors, and some from the peasants. The other Ethiopians in the diaspora must be a driving force, a galvanizing movement, and a push-forward agent behind all the old and the newly emerging organizations.

    The Old 2011 Year gave us few persons of the year, and we must work hard in this New Year of 2012 to bring millions of Ethiopians to the lists of men and women of the New Year of 2013. Of course, any person who brings down the Woyanne government will be one of the best man or woman of the year in 2013. We may even vote for him/her to be the first democratically elected president of the Ethiopian people. Therefore, I encourage those Ethiopians to work hard to end the dictatorial leadership of the Woyanne government and run for the Ethiopian highest office to lead Ethiopia in the right direction – democracy.

    There are only four rules among many others that may help us bring down the Meles regime: Cooperation, Trust, selflessness, and finance. In this New Year, we may be able to establish hundreds of new organizations, but without cooperation, trust, selflessness and financial support, they all will be like the organizations of the past; they will disappear, leaving their members in utter confusions and giving one victory after another victory to the old and hated regime of the Woyanne government.

    It is not easy to have cooperation among various groups of different ethnicity, geographical location, language, culture, and religion. Among the newly formed groups, the Tegaru may say they would not give up their present leadership but are ready for change; the Amharas may say that leadership is in their blood so that they will not easily give up their innate leadership to some body else. On the other hand, the Oromos may say they have never been in a leadership position even though they are the majorities; therefore, they want to have the leadership position through election. In this case, the Tegaru and the Oromos have convincing cases: the Tegaru are ready for change; the Oromos are willing to take the leadership through election. The only ethnic groups – the Amharas – do not have a convincing case like the Tegaru and the Oromos. The only thing they could say is that they are the most experienced, tested, dedicated, and talented groups to have back their leadership to rule Ethiopia.

    When such disputes about a leadership position arise among the new organized groups, trust, selflessness, and finance will disappear because of lack of cooperation among the new groups. Hence, it is essential to have selfless and well dedicated members who are not influenced by ethnicity, geography, color, religion, history, experience, the statuesque, majority rule, and language to invent a new leader for the Ethiopian people.

    May the Almighty God give us in this New Year of 2012 a new democratically elected leader and a new face with a new idea from any Ethiopian tribes to rule the mighty nations of the Ethiopian people!

  13. Elias I am sure most of if not all of stone head TPLF members are mad with your “Alula the bird, who took out 9 Woyanne thugs.” Anyway I saw your interview on Ethiopian satelite Television I can tell you that you are deadly serious person. I think you need to post your interview on Ethiopian review I am sure that Ethiomedia will not post it if you are waiting for Ethiomedia to post it you will be wrong.

  14. Happy new year Elias!
    Although I understand and appreciate your choice, your wording is a bit confusing. When you say ethiopian journalist, does that include those hodams that serve woyane like Mimi sibhatu? Or are you cosidering the hodams as none Ethiopians? I think you should reword it by saying journalist that stood for truth and for the people. This is just my opinion but if you I am wrong then ibappologize.
    Mot lewoyane and his shameless servants.

  15. No #10 Adal isaw: Huh u remember the london days Yante Neger Yigermal.U are a good Woyane Banda even no one comes close to u. You betray every cause and friends of u for the sake of u r ethnicity. What a shame and disgrace personality u r ? the day will come when u exposed as a traitor. shame on u for turning a woyane tigre. U R ethnic ideology at the end of the day will hurt self not others.

    Any way,I think the Bird should get unanimous vote for being a Banda Geday. He is a true hero.

  16. Abune Mekarios, one of the most senior leaders of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
    According to the Ethiopian orthodox Bible evil must be condemned publicly.’Abune Mekarios Has Done this and he deserve to be person of the generation.

    “መጋደላችን ከደምና ከሥጋ ጋር አይደለምና፥ ከአለቆችና ከሥልጣናት ጋር ከዚህም ከጨለማ ዓለም ገዦች ጋር በሰማያዊም ስፍራ ካለ ከክፋት መንፈሳውያን ሠራዊት ጋር ነው እንጂ። ስለዚህ በክፉው ቀን ለመቃወም፥ ሁሉንም ፈጽማችሁ ለመቆም እንድትችሉ የእግዚአብሔርን ዕቃ ጦር ሁሉ አንሡ።“

    (ወደ ኤፌሶን ሰዎች 6:12-13)

    Bless man

  17. Dear Elias,

    Why you did not post my comments like the others? Is it because you believe in free press and because you are democract? is the litmus test of you? Ahun Tazebku Alias, beafh new free press yemtelew enji betegbar yelem. Yemtwedew meletef yematwede metal? They say this in Tigrignea, dinkdae. Ematarew negernew lela sew endiyaregw yemtnager. For me whether you post my comment or not, it does not matter, but does say something about you that you are not what wish other to be. And the other thing, you posted one of my snippet message to you, but you removed my name? is that honesty, high intgrity of you? wow!

    Anyway, have a great year Elias

    Henok replies:

    Good choice!

  18. Happy New Year everybody, special thanks to “Ethiopian Review” for being the voice of the voiceless Ethiopians.
    Let’s make this year the beginning of the end of the cruel and unethiopian ruler that our Ethiopia never known before, for the past 20 years Ethiopians found them self under an occupying force, inhuman” an Android” who is selling the country in small pieces at a time for foreign capital to higher bidders.
    Still many Ethiopians are fooled, deceived, some because the huge money invested for those who are willing to deny their country in exchange for money and cheap personal comfort others paralyzed by fear or just praying to God without raising a finger. The first Group is traitors who don’t care about Country or their own people suffering as far as they are paid.The responsibility fall, to the next vast majority group to rise unified, once and for all until victory is achieved, that of course require determination, sacrifice, willing to pay the price of freedom, as the saying goes “kezelalem barnet, yand kan netsanet” the land mark of Ethiopian magic word.
    Above all, we need unifying unselfish patriot leaders, politically, strategically, intellectually capable, their main goal being, to bring the people to victory not to bring themselves to the palace replacing the current colonial like ruler.

  19. Dear Ato Elias,
    Well deserved picks and happy new year 2012 with your entire ER families that includes ofcourse myself. Back to the hot topic, ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about innocent brave patriot journalists; the real daughters and sons of the ancient land that gave birth to the famous weizero Lucy as well.
    They sacrificed their priceless lives for their beloved people/nation and humanity in general to set them free from the parasites of terrorism such as the kitfo seeker immigrats at the Addis who are still secret admirers of their beloved Abay Tgray. They sure wedged nonviolent just struggle for genuine democracy, human rithts and justice for all where let alone feeding leftover for human S.O.B puppets even for dogs is punishable by law in post woyane Ethiopia at peace with itself and nieghbours that absolutely frown upon extending her hands for uncoditional harmful aids and rather preffers exploiting its natural resources itself and why not exporting the surpluses to the modern colonizer landgrabbers home countries, too!
    It’s all prodemocrats hope that the real honorable Menelik Palace occupiers stand up please and introduce themselves to all their innocent victims in the hoods just like the good folks members of alcoholic annonymous club do to cleanse thier sins for posetive change. Hopefully then terminate their highly lecurative profit making addictive criminal activities for the sake of long term mutual developments and lastint peace.
    My apology and excuse my stupidity dear ER fans requesting the impossiblity of rising the sun from the west from certified robats whom seem as if they are programmed to march only one way of endless choas and hunger. After all, this is not fortunate land blessed with visionary leadership unlike the warsay/ykalo which is known as one of few countries that gives its citizens first priority believing in the doctorine of self-reliance and one people one heart ideology, a daring dangerious giant step indeed for a young nation hailing from historically exploited dark continent that some expects her to set always low expectation.
    No wonder, the accidental stranger busboyz of division who currently holds the fortune chair at the magnificent his highness Menelik Place theaten by the probablity of spreading out of this noble example as they do by the good message of freedom activist journalists. The corrupt envading/aparthied expert dictators indirect year in/out message to the lawabidding Ethiopian people is obvious: stop raising your expectation high like the next door forward looking cousins!

    United We Stand replies:

    Hey bro Elias,
    I would like to make one serious correction on the third paragragh. It supposed to read ‘It’s all prodemocrats hope that the real TERRORISTS at the honorable Menelik Palace occupiers stand up…”, although it’s common sense that for those of us who are well aquinted figuring out woyane’s wicked nature by now.
    Tnks anyway in advace for your attention to this matter.
    From one of ER’s silent majority fans:)

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