Sunday, July 02, 2006

Lt. Andualem Ayalew

Since news reports suggest Ethiopian army chief of staff General Samora Yunis is in the US seeking treatment for AIDS, should we assume he too will be dismissed from the military without even a pension, same as Lt. Andualem Ayalew and other heroes, jegnoch, like him? Dare I ask, is ethnicity an issue? What kind of policy robs soldiers of their pensions in their time of need?

Andualem Ayalew, a former lieutenant in the Ethiopian army who was kicked out without a pension after contracting HIV from a prostitute at the Eritrean front, now educates fellow soldiers in Addis Ababa on the dangers of the virus.

"...Very many of my friends and comrades were killed and I was also injured so many times [he shows gunshot wounds all down his legs and on his shoulder]."

"...It pains me to think that if these soldiers who died of Aids had lost their lives at the front, they would be heroes now." Full Text

'I fought at the Eritrean front' (BBC) 27 June, 2006