Sunday, July 13, 2014

Author Asfaw Damte key to disappearance of novelist Ba'alu Girma.

 Asfaw Damte, author and critic widely known among the literary circles in Addis, has been implicated in the disappearance in 1984 of renowned journalist and novelist Ba'alu Girma, a new report sheds light.  Authored by Abera Lemma, journalist, poet and novelist, the report quotes Ba'alu's wife as saying: "Asfaw Damte was the person who set up an appointment and invited my husband for an outing on the night of March 2nd, 1984, from which ba'alu was never seen again." The words of Woizero Almaz Abera, the wife of Ba'alu, are also contained in a report submitted to a court in Addis about two decades ago.  Though 79-year-old Asfaw Damte has made guest apperances on national radio and TV, he has never been asked nor he talked about his link to Ba'alu's death. Ba'alu, who was also information minister at the time, wrote a much-talked-about book, Oromai, the possible cause for his death during the Mengistu era.  Oromai is a Tigrinya word meaning "it is over, finished", and the book was a narration of Eritrea's war of secession from Ethiopia, which Ba'alu summed up as "Oromai" - the inference of which means "Eritrea is a lost case for Ethiopia."  The book, which was considered by the military junta as a blow to its war efforts to defeat the northern secessionists, was banned in the country but had for a long time remained a literary sensation underground.  Former military dictator Mengistu Hailemariam denied any link to the novelist's killing, counter to public belief that no one would have ordered the murder of the nation's numero uno novelist except Mengistu.  But the first step into the murder begins with Asfaw Damte, a man who was a close friend of the Ba'alu family and cut off all ties after Ba'alu was killed nearly 30 years ago in mysterious circumstances. Read Abera's Lemma  full article  here.   Source ( Ethio Media)


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