Through the years since 1974, so much lies and propaganda has been spread about InI Jah and Negus Qedamawi Haile Selassie. One of the more persistent ones is that H.I.M. was trying to hide and cover up the ongoing famine in the northern province of Wollo, that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. This was used as a pretext to slander HIS name on the international arena by all means available.
In early 1997, I Ras was fortunate to attend a lecture in Stockholm, Sweden dubbed ” Haile Selassie 1st , the person and the statesman” giving by Professor Sven Rubenson, a well known historian and author of many books on Ethiopian history. He spent about 30 years working in various positions in Ethiopia for His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I. The lecture was truly rewarding, uplifting and enlightening as this elder gentleman, being a staunch supporter of I-Majesty and Ethiopia, cut down one after another of the lies that for so long time been regarded as ”truths”.
He explained that when he heard of the large famine in the Ethiopian provinces of Wollo and Tigre, he was in Sweden and immediately decided to travel to Ethiopa to find out for himself what was really going on. He had spent many years there and was familiar with the local situation, and knew that overly dry seasons and a shortage of rain and crop failure was a somewhat regular feature. Just like in the whole sub-saharan zone. Furthermore, he also took time to highlight the fact that at that time, Ethiopia consisted of 13 provinces and every province was governed by a provincial Governor that was responsible to report to the Central Government in the capital city of Addis Ababa. And that no Governor wanted to be the first to report to the Central Government and to H.I.M. that he had failed in his duties and had a situation that was escalating out of control.
So when rain failed that season in Wollo and Tigre provinces and the following crop was far too small to feed the population. The Governor, instead of immediately reporting to the Central Government and asking for assistence, kept silent until the people, who now was succumbing from hunger, finally left their homes and started to walk over to the neighbouring provinces in search of food.
On his way to Ethiopia, Professor Sven Rubenson landed in Geneva where he met with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Ato Getaneh. Ordered by Emperor Haile Selassie 1st, he had flewn there, after first sending a telex explaining the urgency, to personally ask for assistance from United Nations. He was there told that they could not assist until he followed the procedure, and that he first had to go back to Ethiopia, gather the parliament, and have everyone sign a petition that Ethiopia was experiencing a severe drought. and was in need of urgent assistance. This he did, meanwhile wasting valuable time that could have been used to rush international assistance to the area. He returned to Addis Ababa, gathered the parliament and had everyone sign the petition. And then sent another telex to Geneva….
The final outcome of this urgent appeal for international assistance was truly shameful. United Nations and the world was not willing to assist, and Ethiopia only received 10.000 US Dollars from a private Christian relief organisation.
Imagine, Ethiopia never asked for food! Only money to tank up available trucks, buy up food locally and transport it to the drought affected region. But United Nation and the world turned their back on Emperor Haile Selassie 1st and Ethiopia.
After the lecture, I Ras approached Professor Sven Rubenson, thanked him for the powerful presentation, and asked him if he could back up some of the things he had revealed to us, and particularly the above mentioned famine incident. He said he had copies of the original documents so I gave him I link and some time later he forwarded copies of the following telexes sent from Addis Ababa to Geneva at that time.
So beloved RasTafari Sons and Daughters hold the faith, stand firm and know that Great I AM, Qedamawi Haile Selassie live, reign , shine and prosper forIver more.