Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. He was born on May 31, 1934. His father served in the Ethiopian military. Belachew Welbekiros served as Imperial Bodyguard Division for Emperor Haile Selassie before going to Korea. He participated in the Battle of Triangle Hill that ended in a stalemate. Ethiopian soldiers were one of twenty-one member nations of the United Nations that participated in support of South Korea. Above all, he is proud of his service and hopes the Koreas can come together in the future.
Battle of Triangle Hill
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros describes the Battle of Triangle Hill. Ethiopian forces were located on Papasan Hill (Hill 1062) during the battle. Ethiopian forces never went on the offensive and defended the Hill. In addition, Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros also describes how no Ethiopian forces were taken as prisoners of war (POW). Ethiopian forces never surrendered.
Bleak Aspects of Korea
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros describes the hardships of Korea. One of the hardest things for Ethiopian soldiers was the weather. Amazingly the heat during the summer months was difficult for Ethiopian soldiers. Further, winters were extreme and caused conditions they were not used to. In addition to weather, mortars were a constant threat.
Legacy of the War and Korean Progress
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros describes the legacy of the Korean War in Ethiopia. The war, comparable to many nations is underrepresented. He attributes this to the greater context of the war on communism. Also, Korea was destroyed for many years following the war and could not raise awareness for the war.
Transcribed by Natnael Yosefe on 24/7/20
00:00:00 [Beginning of Recorded Material]
Interviewer: Its November 11th 2019 the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa my name is Jongwoo Han. I am the president of Korean War Legacy Foundation. We have about fifteen hundred interviews of Korean War Veterans from 19 countries including Ethiopia. We are doing this to make a special website for the 70th anniversary of the Korean War break out in 2020. It was Ministry of Patriots and government
…Patriots and Veterans Affairs specially commissioned my foundation to do this we are doing this to preserve your memory but at the same time we want to make this into teaching material so that history teachers in Ethiopia can talk about the war that you fought for. So it’s my great honor and pleasure to meet you and please introduce yourself your name and spell it for the audience please?
Belachew Amneshwa: በላቸው አመነሸዋ ወልደ ኪሮስ። በላቸው አመነሸዋ
…ወልደ ኪሮስ (Belachew Amneshwa Weldekiros Belachew Amneshwa Weldekiros)
Translator: My name is Belachew Amneshwa Weldekiros. B E L A C H E W my middle name A M N E S H W A and the last name is W E L
…D E K I R O S.
Interviewer: Yes thank you and where were you born?
Belachew Amneshwa: ሸዋ (Shewa.)
Translator: I was born in Shewa.
Interviewer: And what is your birth date?
Belachew Amneshwa: May 30 first 1934.
Interviewer: 1934 so now you are 86?
Belachew Amneshwa: Not, May 85.
Belachew Amneshwa: I will be 86 in May.
Interviewer: In May?
Belachew Amneshwa: Yeah.
Interviewer: Next year?
Belachew Amneshwa: Yes.
Interviewer: So you are 11 years old younger than him? And tell me about your family background when you were growing up as a teenager your father your mother and your brother and sisters?
Belachew Amneshwa: የኔ አባት ወታደር ነበር። (My father was a soldier.)
Translator: My father was a soldier.
Belachew Amneshwa: እናቴ ያው የቤት እመቤት ነች። (My mother was house wife.)
Translator: My mother used to be a house wife.
Interviewer: So in did your father fight in the war?
Belachew Amneshwa: አዎ (Yes)
Interviewer: And tell me about the school that you went through?
Belachew Amneshwa: ቁስቋም ትምህርት ቤት አዲስ አበባ እስከ አምስተኛ ክፍል (Qusquam School Addis Ababa up to fifth grade.)
Translator: It was founded in Addis Ababa it was called Qusquam. I was learned up to fifth grade.
Interviewer: And then what did you do
Belachew Amneshwa: ክቡር ዘበኛ ገባሁ በመገናኛ (I joined the imperial guard in communication.)
Translator: I was at the security guard for the Emperor Haile Selassie Palace.
Interviewer: So tell me about the Emperor?
Belachew Amneshwa: ንጉሱ በጣም ተወዳጅ የነበሩ በህዝቡ ጋር በህዝቡ በኢትዮጲያ ህዝብ እንደ እግዛብሄርም ይታዩ ነበሩ በመጨረሻ ግን ያው ሰራዊቱ መፈንቅለ መንግስት
ሙከራ አደረገ ከዛ በኋላ ተበተነ በየ በየጦር ሰራዊቱ ተመደበ አይበቃም? (The Emperor was lovable with the Ethiopian people even they were like God. But at the end there was Coup Government that led to the government to be destroyed by the army.)
Translator: The King the Emperor Haile Selassie was really loved with the people of all over the Ethiopia and then they were even like a God to Ethiopia everybody was like a God for Ethiopia. So the community tried to destroy them and then that is
…the history of the Emperor.
Interviewer: I see. And do you know why Emperor Haile Selassie decide to send the Ethiopian soldier to Korea?
Belachew Amneshwa: ኢትዮጲያ በጣሊያን በተወረረችበት ጊዜ ሊግ ኦፍ ኔሽን የሚባል ነበር እና እዛ እርዳታ ጠይቀው ነበር ጃኑሄ ሊግ ኦፍ ኔሽን ግን ለኢትዮጲያ እርዳታ አልሰጠም እና የጦርነትን ቁስል እሳቸው ስለተረዱት አሁን
…ኮሪያ በተወረረችበት ጊዜ ልክ በኢትዮጲያ ላይ የደረሰው በነሱ ላይ ሰለደረሰ ቶሎ ምላሽ ሰተው ወታደር ለመላክ ወሰኑ። (When Ethiopia was invaded by Italy Emperor Haile Selassie asked for help to League of Nation but they didn’t get help so Emperor Haile Selassie knows the pain so they immediately decided to send the troops to Korea.)
Translator: I think the reason behind why the Emperor Haile Selassie sent the troops of Ethiopia is even when the Italian try to conquer us for six years the UN never help us so they know the pain of how the other country try to conquer so
…it is the reason why Emperor Haile Selassie send to help that poor country at that time because they needed help so they wanted to help.
Interviewer: Did you know that Korea was also attacked by Japan?
Belachew Amneshwa: በዛን ጊዜ አላውቅም ነበር ከዛ በኋላ ግን አሁን በተለይ ኮሪያን ጎብኝቼ ከመጣሁ በኋላ
በጃፓን ስር እንደነበሩ አውቂያለሁ። (In that time I didn’t know but after specially I visited Korea and come back I know that Korea was under japan.)
Translator: At that time I didn’t know
…that Japan try to conquer or conquered Korea but when I was in Korea last time I heard about what Japan did to Korea.
Interviewer: So you were soldier when the Korean War broke out right?
Belachew Amneshwa: አዎ (Yes)
Interviewer: Yes. When did you go to Korea?
Belachew Amneshwa: In 1952.
Belachew Amneshwa: Yes.
Interviewer: You arrive in Busan?
Belachew Amneshwa: Yes.
Interviewer: So tell me about Busan you saw for the first time in your life you didn’t know where Korea was right? So give me the detail explanation how did Busan look to you how about people there?
Belachew Amneshwa: አሁን በእውነት እዛ ከመርከብ ስንወርድ ዞሮብን ነበር እና ወደ መኪና ነው
…ገብተን የተጓዝነው እና ብዙም ስለ ቡሳን የማስታውሰው ነገር የለኝም። (To be honest when we take off from the ship we were dizzy so we go straight to the car so I don’t remember Busan that much.)
Translator: To be honest at that time when we arrive there in the ship so we were dizzy at that time. So when we left from the ship we was so dizzy so we just go with car so there is nothing I can remember from Busan.
Interviewer: But what about other place that you were there how was Korea at the time?
Belachew Amneshwa: ኮሪያ በዛን ጊዜ በጣም ገጠር ገጠራማ ከተማ የሌላት ተራራማ የሆነ ሀገር እና ህዝቡም ደሞ ህዝቡን የምናየው በጣም ብዛት የሌለው ህዝብ ገበሬ ነው ያየነው እና ያው የምንኖረው በካምፕ ስለሆነ ካምፕ ውስጥ ርስትሪክትድ ነን አንወጣም ከካምፑ
…ውጪ እና ግን አካባቢያችን እንትን ነው ገጠር ገጠራማ እና ተራራማ። (Korea in that time was very rural and lots of mountain there was no city it was only mountains and the people was not much and they were farmers. We were living in camp so it was restricted to go outside but our village was all mountains and rural.)
Translator: The country I used to remember at that time Korea was really all over there it was mountains and it was jungles and then there was farmers most of them they are farmers. And then there were not much people at that time when we were there. And then we used to live in the camp we was
…restricted not to go outside so we couldn’t see more about Korea.
Interviewer: But wasn’t Ethiopia much richer and stronger than Korea at the time right?
Belachew Amneshwa: ትንሽ (A little bit)
Translator: May be a little bit.
Interviewer: So then what was your unit and what was your specialty?
Belachew Amneshwa: ሬዲዮ ኦፕሬተር ነበርኩ እና ኮሪያ ግን ስሰራ የነበረው የመገናኛ
…ሽቦዎች የቴሌፎን ዋየር ማለት ነው በአዳፍኔ ይበጠሳል ከዛ ፈልገክ ሄደክ መቀጠል አለብክ የተበጠሰውን ሽቦ እና ብዙ ጊዜ ትግል የነበረው ከ አዳፍኔ ጋር ነው። (I was radio operator but in Korea I was on fixing communication cables I mean Telephone wire because most of the time this wire destroyed by heavy machines so we will search and fix it.)
Translator: I was radio operator but in Korea I used to work a telephone wire that has been destroyed by the bombs and everything so we was
…fighting with the bombs and everything.
Interviewer: And did you know where you were in Korea?
Belachew Amneshwa: ቹንቾን ነው ቹንቾን ሆኖ መጀመሪያ እንደሄድን ትሪያንግል ሂል የሚሉት ነበረ ፊት ለፊት እናየዋለን እሱ ግርጌ ነበርን ግን አዳፍኔው በተራራ ላይ እየመጣ ያርፍ ነበር። (It was in Chuncheon when we go first the place name was Triangle Hill it was found in front of us and we were under the hill so the bombs comes passing the hill.)
Translator: It was in Chuncheon it was called Triangle Hill so we can see the mountain but we couldn’t see
…the bombs coming from inside the mountain so.
Interviewer: Yeah the iron Triangle, Kumhuwa, Chuncheon and all this places was one of the most severe battle ground.
Belachew Amneshwa: Yeah.
Interviewer: So tell me about that the severe battle that you experience.
Belachew Amneshwa: የኛ ስራ እንግዲ የመገናኛ ስራ ነው ኮምዩኒኬሽን ሲቋረጥ ኮምዩኒኬሽኑ እንትን ማለት ነው። ነገርን በተለይ እኛ
…የሰጠነው ስም ትሪያንግል አጠገብ ሳይሆን ባበሰን ተራራ የምንለው ነበር ባበሳን አባት ማለት ነው መሰለኝ ትልቅ ተራራ እና እዛ ይታየናል ተራራው ላይ ውጊያው ሲካሄድ በመጀመሪያ ያየነው የኮሪያኖች ከኮሪያኖች ጋራ በጣም ከባድ ከባድ ውጊያ ሲያደርጉ ይታያል ከባድ መሳሪያውም ያታያል ወታደሮቹም
…ጥይት ሲተኩሱ ይታያል ከነሱ ቀጥሎ አሜሪካን የአሜሪካ ብርጌድ ነበረ እዛ ላይ ጦርነት ያደረገው በሦስተኛው ላይ እኛ ያንን ተራራ እንድናጠቃ ታስቦ ነበረ ነገር ግን እኛ ያኔ የነበረው አንድ ሻለቃ ስለነበረ ሌሎቹ በብርጌድ ስላጠቁ እኛ ብርጌድ ስለሌለን እዛ ስር በተከላካይነት እንድንቆይ ተደረገ
…አዳፍኔ ተተኩሶ ሲመጣ አንድ ሰው ይቆስል ነበር አይበቃህም። (So at that time our job was when the communication line is disconnected we repair it. But there was a mountain we call it Babasan I think it means father it was a big mountain and we can see battle going on at first it was Koreans with Koreans it was really severe battle between them we can see heavy machines, soldiers firing guns we can see in the mountain and then at the second it was the American Brigade had battle in there. And then in third it was planned for us to attack that mountain but they are attacking with Brigade but we only have one Major and we don’t have Brigade so we just do only defense.)
Translator: So at that time our job was to on the communication so when the communication was destroyed we used to fix it but in the triangle hill inside the triangle hill there was a mountain we called it Babasan Mountain so we gave that and then from there we can see
…the battle with Koreans each other that was the severe war at that time and then the second one was the Americans came and that was also the severe war and then after that we were supposed to fight but it was only one dispatch from there so just they make us to defend and to wait.
Interviewer: And I heard that there has been no prison of war
…from Ethiopian soldiers what’s going on how did it possible?
Belachew Amneshwa: ያኔ የነበረው ሞቶ ለሚሽን በምትሄድበት ጊዜ እዚ ጋር ቦምብ ታንጠለጥላለህ ያቺ ቦምብ የመጨረሻዋ አፈንድተሃት እንድትሞት እንጂ እንድትማረክ አይደለም እና ጓደኛህን ደሞ በተቻለ መጠን ከቻልክእንዳይሞት ማድረግ
…ካልተቻለ ቁስለኛውን በምንም ተዓምር ትተክ ወድኋላ አትሄድም አንድም ሰው ቢቀር መከላከል አለብክ እና ያ መመሪያ ነበር በቃ ሙርኮኛ መኖር የለበትም የሚል ይሄ ሞቶ ነው በቃ። (The motto that time was when we go for every mission we well have one bomb put in our chest that bomb is for our last time to trigger it on our self when we think enemy is going to surrender us, it is nor for to be prison of war. Even we don’t leave wounded soldier that is much prohibited even though it is one soldier left we don’t leave him behind. The motto is not to be prison of war in any situation.)
Translator: Our motto was at that time we used to have a bomb in our chest so that, that bomb we used it at the final time
…it was no surrender so we are not possible to retreat or defeat them we have to kill our self at that time that was our motto. So we never leave our friend that was been injured or wounded we will defense and then we will never leave our friends wounded there.
Interviewer: That’s very Ethiopian and it’s really unique and compared to other country like United States,
…UK, France, and many other countries came but what are the most important characteristics of the Ethiopian soldiers during the Korean War?
Belachew Amneshwa: መቼም የሌሎቹን ሰራዊት ወስጣቸው ሆኜ ስላላየሁት መናገር አልችልም። ኢትዮጲያዊያኖች ግን ሁሉም ለሚሸን ሲሄዱ
በተቻለ መጠን ለመሰዋት ነው እንጂ ለማመዛዘን ትንሽ ያስቸግራል። በመከላከል ላይ ሆነን በአንድ ወቅት እንግሊዞች ከኛ ጎን ነበሩ እና እነሱ ብዙ ከባድ መሳሪያ ያስተኩሳሉ እኛ ግን ጠላት መምጣቱን ካላረጋገጥን አንድም ጥይት አንተኩስም ያ
…ልዩነት ሊኖር ይችላል አሜሪካኖችም እንዲዚሁ ነው መትረየሱን ይለቁታል ምናልባት ያ እንግዲ። የኛዎቹ ግን ምሽግ ውስጥም ሆነው መነጋገር እንኳን የማይቻል ከሆነ በምልክት ሽቦን በማነቃነቅ በምንም አይነት መንገድ ነው ተነቃቅተው እንትን የሚሉት እና እርግጠኛ መሆን አለባቸው ጠላት መኖሩን። (I can’t talk about the other countries soldier because I haven’t been with their army. But Ethiopians all of us when we were going out for a mission we was out for sacrifice our life so it’s a little bit difficult to compare with the other army. When we were in defense one time the UK were beside with us and they have a lot of heavy machines and they were firing endlessly but us unless we see the enemy we don’t fire not even one bullet may be in this case we might be different. Our soldiers even in the banker if it is difficult to talk we used to communicate by sign and by moving things we find.)
Translator: I can’t tell
…the difference between the American the UK because I never fought with them together like I couldn’t tell much but I was with the UK once we used to know that the UK shoots so many powerful machines and weapons at that time but in Ethiopia’s case the Ethiopians shoot when they are really knows the enemy is near to them that’s I think one thing we are
…different and then but unless we see our enemy we never shot. And then we can even communicate with if we don’t if our commander said there is no talk we can even talk with sign language and we can just talk with the wires by rubbing by a sound of wire so think that’s the most thing of characteristics of the Ethiopia.
Interviewer: Yes. What was the most difficult thing to you
…when you were in Korea? What did bother you most weather or food or sleeping what was it?
Belachew Amneshwa: ምግብ ከመርከቡ ጀምረክ እኛ የለመድነው አይደለም በግድ የለመድነው ነው እና ከምግቡ ጋር ለመለማመድ ከባድ ነበር። ከመርከብ ጀምሮ የመርከቡ ሽታ ሁላ ያስቸግረን ነበር የመጀመሪያ ጊዜያችን ነው። ኮሪያ እንደገባን ደሞ
በተለይ እኔ አዲስ አበባ የአየሩ ጠባይ ጥሩ ነው በጣም ሞቃት ነበር በጣም በጣም ሞቃት የሚገርመው ግን ቅጠሉ ደሞ ለምለም ነው እዛ ለምለም ቅጠል ውስጥ ጥላ ስር እንቀመጥ ነበር ሙቀቱ ኃይለኛ ነበር ክረምቱ ሲመጣ ደሞ በረዶ በቃ ጣትህ እግርክ
…ሁሉ አስቸጋሪ ነበር እና ሽቦ ለመቀጠል ሄደክ ከመጣክ በጣም ስለሚበርድክ ጓደኛክ ይሄንን እጅህን ብርዱ ሲወጣ እዚህ ጋር በጣም ያማል እዚ እዚ እዚ ላይ እዚ ብብቱ ስር አስገብቶ ያሞቅልክ ነበር እስከዛ ድረስ እሰፈር ያለው ማለት ነው እንግዲ እና ሙቀቱም ከባድ ነው ለኛ ብርዱም ከባድ ነው ለኛ ምግቡም
…እንግዳ ነው ለኛ። (The food starting from the ship it was not something we used to it was difficult to get used to the food. Even the smell of the ship was difficult because it was our first time. When we arrive in Korea especially I in Addis Ababa the weather is really good, but in Korea the weather it was really hot but the most amazing thing is the land is really green even we used to get cover in the green area. And when the winter comes the coldness is really difficult even for our fingers it was difficult to move. Especially when we come back from our duty we will be very cold so our friends warm us by taking our fingers in side their shoulders. So the hotness was difficult for us, the coldness was difficult for us and the food was new for us.)
Translator: So the most difficult thing was started from the ship even the smell of the ship was really difficult for us because it was new for us, and then the food was entirely new for us so it was also very difficult at that time even from the ship. And then also it was very, very hard that the Addis Ababa weather was really good but when we were there it was really, really hot but
…the most amazing thing was the leaf of the Korea when we get there it was really green but that was really exciting and then the winter came when the winter came also it was really difficult for us because it is also new for us so we couldn’t even move our fingers our whole body gets cold even at that time out friends used to warm our fingers by taking into his inside his
…arm so that was really, really difficult things in Korea.
Interviewer: When was the happiest moments during your service in Korea? Be honest? When were you happy?
Translator: በጣም እንደው ያስደሰትዎት እንደው? (The happiest moment?)
Belachew Amneshwa: እኔ ለነገሩ በ… (I actually…)
Interviewer: The day you come back?
Translator: የመጡ ጊዜ ይሆን ወደ ኢትዮጲያ? (The day you come back to Ethiopia?)
Belachew Amneshwa: በአራተኛ ቃኘውም ሄጃለሁ እርግጥ ጦርነት አልነበረም በዛን ጊዜ ትሬኒንጉ ከባድ ነበር ተራራውን መውጣቱ
…ከባድ ነበር ካለው የአየር ጠባይ ጋራ እና የተደሰትኩበትን ጊዜ አላስታውስም። (I actually go in the 4th battalion though there was no war but in that time the training was difficult going up the mountains in the weather like that was really difficult so I don’t remember the happiest moment.)
Translator: To be honest I couldn’t remember the day I was happy at that time because I was in the 4th battalion even, even though there was no war still the training was really difficult so I couldn’t remember any happy moment.
Interviewer: Was there any dangerous moment that you might have been killed?
Belachew Amneshwa: አንድ ጊዜ በከባድ መሳሪያ ምሽጋችን በጣም
…ተደብድቦ ነበር እንትኑ ሁሉ ይረግፍ ነበር እላያችን ላይ አሸዋው። አሸዋው ያኔ ምሽጉ ተደርምሶ እዛው እንቀራለን ብለን ነበር ያን ነው የማስታውሰው። (One time our banker was attacked with heavy machines even the sand was all over us. When the sand covered us I thought we were going to be buried in the banker so I remember that time.)
Translator: One time when we was in our banker it was really, really heavy mortals shooting from up even the earth and the cement was really going down almost it was destroying
…I think that was really the difficult thing the dangerous time of my life.
Interviewer: And tell me about this soft side of it where did sleep, what did you eat, and how often were you able to take shower? If there were any opportunity?
Belachew Amneshwa: Well…
Interviewer: You never took shower?
Belachew Amneshwa: No, no we do, we do. Not only shower… ሻወር እንወስዳለን
…በወርም በሁለት ወርም ሻወር ብቻ ሳይሆን ዩኒፎርምህም እግር ሹራብህም ይቀየራል በሌላ ትቀይራለክ እና ሄደንሻወር ወስደን እንመጣለን ነገር ግን ሰሃን የምናጥብበት ውሃ ይሞቃል ይፈላል ያንን ንፁህ ውሃ እየቀዳን
…በዛ እንታጠባለን ከወገብ በላይም ቢሆን በተለይ በሙቀት ጊዜ አንዳንድ ጊዜ ደሞ ወንዝ አጠገብም ውሃው ኩልየመሰለ ውሃ ነው በዛም እንትን እንላለን እንታጠባለን። (We do take shower per month or per two month but not only shower we also change our uniform and our sweather and took shower and come back and some times the water for washing dishes are hot so we took the clean water and also take shower especially when it is very hot we go to the river and take shower the river was clean.)
Translator: We used to have shower may be within one month or two month. And also we used to change our military clothes but at that time even we used to have shower with the water of dish
…cleaning water because it was too hot we used to have shower. And also there was a river it was really, really nice and clean water sometimes we used to have shower there.
Interviewer: Have you been back to Korea after you left from Korea? Revisit?
Belachew Amneshwa: አዎ። ሄጃለሁ፣ ሄጃለሁ ጎብኝቻለሁ ከአምስት ስድስት አመት በፊት መሰለኝ ሄጄጎብኝቻለሁ። አስጎብኝተውናል ለአንድ ሳምንት
…ስምንት ቀን መሰለኝ ያላየነው ቦታ የለም እና ብዙ ቦታ ጎብኝተናል በተለይ 38ኛው ፓራለል እና እኔ ግን እጅግ በጣም በጣም በጣም ያስደነቀኝ ኦሎምፒክ ፓርክ ሰርተዋል እዛ። እዛ ኦሎምፒክ ፓርክ ውስጥ ሰፊ ነው የሌለ ነገር የለም
…እጅግ በጣም የሚያስደንቅ ነው ሙዚየም አለ የስፖርት እንትን የሌለ ነገር የለም በቃ እና እሱ በጣም አስደንቆኛል ይሄ ኦሎምፒክ ፓርኩ ስጎበኝ ማለት ነው። (Yes. I did visit I think before five years ago or six. We stayed there for 8 days and we have seen almost everywhere especially 387th parallel and the most amazing thing I visited was the Olympic Park it have everything inside that park.)
Translator: Yeah I was in Korea back around six years ago so we visited almost every side of Korea. We stayed for 8 days around there. And then the most wonderful thing
…and the most exciting thing that I see in Korea is the Olympic Park it have everything inside it so I was really, really amazed.
Interviewer: So did you know that Korea is now 11th largest economy in the world did you know? And we have very strong democracy. So when you left Korea when did you leave Korea 1953 right?
Belachew Amneshwa: Yes.
Interviewer: Yes. When you left Korea
…did you ever imagine that Korea would become like this today?
Belachew Amneshwa: Never!
Belachew Amneshwa: በጭራሽ በዛን ጊዜ የምታየው ነገር ሁሉ ገጠር ነው ገጠር ምንም ነገር የሌለ እኛ ያየነው ከተማም ውስጥ አልነበርንም ቹንቾን ያ የነበርንበት ቦታ አንዱን ተራራ አልፈክ ስትሄድ ተራራ ነው አንዱን ተራራ አልፈክ ስትሄድ ተራራ ነው የሚገጥምህ እና በመንገድም እረዥም መንገድም ስትሄድም ጫካ ወይንም
…እርሻ ነገር ባዶ ነበር እና አሁን እንዴ በጣም ከፍተኛ ልዩነት አለው እና እኔ እንደዚ ይሆናል ብዬ አስቤ አላውቅም። (Never in that time all you see was urban nothing was there we were not in the city we were in Chun Cheon when you pass one mountain you well get another mountain even if you go by walk you will find jungle nothing else. It was empty in that time but now it have high changes so I never imagine it will be like this today.)
Translator: I never imagine Korea will become like this because when you pass one mountain there is another mountain when you pass that mountain there is jungle so it was really, really, really very changeable thing they do
…after this short years.
Interviewer: So think about it? Korea was miserable, very poor right? Almost everything destroyed and you didn’t think that Korea will become like this today but now it is 11th largest very good thanks to your help and thanks to your fighting right, but in Ethiopia in Ethiopian history class or history text book doesn’t talk about the Korean war
Belachew Amneshwa: ከባድ ነው። እንግዲ ስለ ኮሪያ ጦርነት መፃፍ የነበረበት በጦርነቱ ገፈጥ ቀማሽ የነበረው ሰራዊት ነው እንደ እድል ሆኖ ያሰራዊት የመጨረሻው በ1953፣54፣55
…መሰለኝ በ1955 ወደዚ ተመለሰ በነጮች ማለት ነው በኛ 45፣46፣47 ገደማ ከአምስት አመት በኋላ መፈንቅለ መንግስት የመጀመሪያ መፈንቅለ መንግስት ያካሄደው ክቡር ዘበኛ ነው። ክቡር ዘበኛ ደሞ ከመፈንቅለ መንግስቱ በኋላ ተበታተነ በየ ክፍለ ጦሩ ተበተነ ስለተበተነ
…ያንን ነገር አንድ አደራጅቶ ለመፃፍ እድል አላገኘም ስለተበታተነ አንዱ ያይመስለኛል ቢቆይ ኖሮ እርግጥ ታሪክ አልፃፍንም ግን እንደመጡ የክቡር ዘበኛ ኦርኬስትራ ስለ ኮሪያ ገና ሰራዊቱ ሲሄድ ጀምሮ ስለ ኮሪያ ያቀነቅን ነበር ከኮሪያ ደግሞ የኮሪያ
… ሻሽ የሚባል የተባበሩት መንግስታት ያጦርነቱን የተካፈሉት ሃገር ሰንደቅ አላማ ያለበት ኮሪያ ሻሽ የሚባል መቶ ከተማ ውስጥ ስለተሰራጨ ስለ ኮሪያ ብዙ ይዘፈን ነበር የክቡር ዘበኛ ኦርኬስትራም ይዘፍነው ነበር። ምን አልባት ያየመፈንቅለ መንግስት ሙከራ ተደርጎ ባይበተን ኖሮ ይፃፍ ነበር ብዬ አስባለሁ። ያ ከሆነ በኋላ ደሞ የኮሚኒስት
…ሶሻሊስት ሆነች እና እንደውም አድሃሪ ከአድሃሪዎች ጋራ ሄደው የተዋጉ እየተባለ ስለተባለም ሊሆን ይችላል ብዙ ነው ብቻ ታሪኩ ያይመስለኛል። ምሁራኖች ለምን አልፃፉም ሜይ ቢ ኤክስፖዠሩ የላቸውም ይሆናል። (It’s difficult to say. So the history about Korea war was supposed to be written by the army itself. Fortunately the army come back around 1953, 54, 55 I think in G.C in E.C around 45, 46, 47. Then after five years there was the first coup that coup was made by the Imperial Guard. And then the Imperial Guard after the coup got scattered after that no one got the chance to gather and wrote about the history I think that is the first reason. The Imperial Guard Orchestra sang about the Korea War since the beginning. And from Korea there was this bandage that have the flag all the countries participated in Korea War the because it is spread all over the country the Imperial Guard sang lots of songs about Korean War. I think it would have been written had it not been for a coup attempt. After that, Ethiopia became a communist, socialist, and in fact that we were called Adhari, they fought with the adharis, anyways the story is a lot.)
Translator: It’s difficult to say but the duty that to be written this history about the Korea was the number one duty
…was the soldiers by itself because he seen the sacrifice, he seen the haters, the war himself so the duty was to be write by the soldier but when we come back after we finish that war every soldiers was differently going to separately another country so we couldn’t even write. And then at that time the communist used to see us like we fight for something else
…even there was a kind of flag that have the Korean history on it so there was also so many music about Korea. So he thinks that we are the enemy of the communist so because of that the army and the power of Korea destroyed so if it wasn’t destroyed I think the history will be strong and will be teach.
Interviewer: So let’s say in ten years
…not many Korea War Veterans alive right? Because everybody dies I die you die except him. He will leave forever and in ten years who is going to talk about the Korean War that you fought for with the beautiful story. So in my opinion I think we need to work with the history teachers and give them material so that they can continue to teach
…even after ten and twenty years what did you think about that and my foundation actually working with history teachers did you know any history teachers here in Ethiopia who can do that working with my foundation?
Belachew Amneshwa: አሁን እኔ ተስፋ የማደርግው የኮሪያ ዘማቾች የኮሪያ ዘማች ልጆች አሉ። የኮሪያ ዘማች ልጆች በሁሉም ዘርፍ የሚማሩ አሉ
…እነኚህ ልጆች ከአስር አመት በኋላ እኛ ብናልፍም እነሱ ይቀጥላሉ የሚል ተስፋ ስላለኝ በነሱ ተስፋ አደርጋለሁ የታሪክ ምሁርም እነሱ መሃከል ሊኖር ይችላል። ሌላው ምንድነው ዛሬም እንዳየሁት አሁን የኮሪያ እንትን ለአዳማ ላለው ዩኒቨርሲቲ ለአዲስ አበባ ላለው ዩኒቨርሲቲ ትምህርት እየሰጠ ነው ለዘማች
…የልጅ ልጆች። ከነኚ ምሁራን መሃከል የሚወጡ ይኖራሉ። ሌላው ደሞ ምንድነው ኮሪያ አሁን ከመዘጋጃ ቤት ጋራ እህትማማች እንትን ተፈራርመዋል እነሱም ግንኙነት ስላላቸው በኢኮኖሚውም ትስስር ስላላቸው ወደፊት የሚጽፍ እንደሚኖር ሙሉ ለሙሉ እርግጠኛ ነኝ። አሁን የዘማች ልጆች ከእነሱ ፋውንዴሽን
…ጋራ ግንኙነት ቢያደርጉ በጣም ጠቃሚ ነው። (Now what my hope is that there are Korea War Veteran descendants. This descendants they are in different study fields after ten years even though we might pass they will continue so my hope is for those also there might be history scholars. And the other thing is that now in Adama University and Addis Ababa University Korea is giving education. So from this students one might be historian. Also now I see Korean working with the City Administration so they have link between economies so I am sure there will be one who will write about it. Now if the descendants work with your foundation it will be very good.)
Translator: What I’m hoping and then what I’m thinking right now is so that you work with the veteran’s descendant because there are so many veteran’s descendants they are history study they are in every, every, and every educational stage right now what am hoping and what I am thinking is if you work with them it will be really great things to do because now Korea
…is working with the descendants in my opinion it is better to work with the descendants of the Korean War Veteran.
Interviewer: So I want to find out history teacher of Korean War Veterans Descendant if you know anybody let me know please.
Belachew Amneshwa: እሞክራለሁ አዲስ አበባ ዩኒቨርሲቲም አሉ መሰለኝ አሁን የልጅ ልጆች የሚማሩ እና በነሱ በኩል አድርገን የታሪክ ምሁራን አዲስ አበባ ዩኒቨርሲቲ
…ውስጥ እንዳሉ አውቃለሁ በነኛ ልጆች በኩል ግንኙነት ለማድረግ ይቻላል። (I will try to find I also know there are history teachers in Addis Ababa University and there is an association. So maybe you could work with them and you can continue.)
Translator: I will try to find I also know there are history teachers in Addis Ababa University and there is an association. So maybe you could work with them and you can continue.
Interviewer: You didn’t know much about Korea now you know Korea. What is the relationship between Ethiopia and Korea
…right now? And what is Korea to you now personally?
Belachew Amneshwa: ቅድም እንዳልኩት አንደኛ ኮሪያ አሁን የቹንቾን ከንቲባ ከመዘጋጃ ቤት ከንቲባ ጋራ የከተማ የአዲስ አበባ ከተማ የቹንቾን ከተማ እህትማማች ከተማ እህትማማቾች ናቸው አንዱ እሱ ነው። ሌላው ደግሞ ያው ኮሪያኖች በአዳማ ያለው ቴክኖሎጂ ሳይንስ እና
…ቴክኖሎጂ ዩኒቨርሲቲ በእነሱ ስር ስለሆነ የእነሱ አለ የኮሪያ ሆስፒታል አለ ሌላ ሌላም አለ እና አሁን በሁለቱ መሃከል ያለው ግንኙነት በጣም ሰፊ ነው እና ግንኙነቱ እየተጠናከረ ይሄዳል ብዬ ነው የማስበው። (So right now even the Chun Cheon county and the Addis Ababa city mayor they have already signed sisterhood today just today. So and also there are so many kind of
…Korean organization there is Hospital, there is a scholarship program for student there are so many things so the relationship between the Korea and then Ethiopia is really wide so I think this will be stronger and will be take a longer time.)
Translator: So right now even the Chun Cheon county and the Addis Ababa city mayor they have already signed sisterhood today just today. So and also there are so many kind of Korean organization there is Hospital, there is a scholarship program for student there are so many things so the relationship between the Korea and then Ethiopia is really wide so I think this will be stronger and will be take a longer time.
Belachew Amneshwa: እና ኮዪካ ደሞ ብዙ የሚሰራው ስራ ስላለ በኮዪካ በኩልም የሚሰሩ ስራዎች ስላሉ ግንኙነቱ ይጠናከራል
ብዬ ነው የማስበው። (And also there is a Koica organization his doing so many things in Ethiopia so the relation between the Ethiopia will remain stronger and stronger.)
Translator: And also there is a Koica organization his doing so many things in Ethiopia so the relation between the Ethiopia will remain stronger and stronger.)
Interviewer: What did you do after you retire from military?
Belachew Amneshwa: እኔ እንኳን ከሚሊታሪ ሪታየር አላደረኩም ከ 53 በኋላ ሚሊታሪ ለቅቄ ወጣሁ እና ወደ ተግባረዕድ ትምሀርት ቤት ገባሁ ከተግባረዕድ ትምሀርት ቤት ጨርሼ ስወጣ
…ኢትዮጲያ አየር መንገድ ገባሁ በመካኒክነት እና ጡረታ እስከምወጣ ድረስ የ አቪዮኒክስ መሳሪያዎች ጥገና ክፍል ነበር የምሰራው። (I actually didn’t retire from military in 53 i resign from military an go to Tegbared college and when I finish I joined the Ethiopian airlines as a mechanic and up to the day I retire I was in Avionics material as maintenance.)
Translator: ከተግባረዕድ ወደ አየር መንገድ ነው የሄዱት? (After Tegbared you go to airlines?)
Belachew Amneshwa: አየር መንገድ አዎ። (Yes to airlines.)
Translator: So when I came back to the military I just go to Tegbared School and study about…
Belachew Amneshwa: A technical school.
Translator: A technical School and go to the Ethiopian
…airlines and then work there and then after that also I was a technician at Avionics.
Belachew Amneshwa: Aviation communication and…
Interviewer: Very good I like Ethiopian airline.
Belachew Amneshwa: Good, Thank you, Thank you!
Interviewer: So next year will be 70th anniversary of the break out of the Korean War this is actually ridiculous because we signed the seize fire and has not
…been replaced with the peace treaty so there is War technically at War in Korea peninsula still but did you have any message to the Korean people about 70th anniversary of the Korean War.
Belachew Amneshwa: እምመኘው እግዚያብሄርንም የምለምነው ይቺን ግሩም የሆነች ከተማ በኢኮኖሚ የዳበረች የከባድ መሳሪያው ጦርነት አሁን እኛ ከነበርንበት ጊዜ
…በጣም በጣም የተራቀቀ አውዳሚነቱም ከባድ የሆነ ሁለተኛ ጦርነትን ለኮሪያ በፍጹም በፍጹም አልመኝም ለሁለቱም አይጠቅማቸውም እግዚያብሄርን የምለምነው ሁለቱ እህትማማች ሀገሮች እርቀ ሰላም አውርደው አንድ እንድትሆኑ እመኝላቹሃለው። (What I wished and what I pray to God is this great county which is advanced in economically to be in a war of attrition specially this time weapons is more advanced and the destruction is very high than the time we participated so I will never want to see war in Korea it will not be benefit for both. I pray to God that the two sister countries reconcile and unite.)
Translator: What I wish and pray for God is for this beautiful country is that the North Korea and South gate
a sisterly and become a good sister and brother hood because I never, never think about that war for both country again because if we can see the north and the south Korea they have so many technological weapons right now that can kill at that moment I never wish that war so I just wish they can come together and make peace.
Interviewer: Thank you again on behalf of the Korean nation.
I want to extend my sincere appreciation of your very thoughtful comment. And your honorable service during the Korea War. And I want to really work with the history teachers in Ethiopia that’s the best way and longest way structurally the longest way that guarantee so that Ethiopian young students will continue to know about this beautiful and wonderful
…story between Ethiopia and Korea so please help me. But I want to thank you again.
Belachew Amneshwa: የምችለውን ሁሉ አደርጋለሁ እኔም ይሄንን እድል ስለሰጠኸኝ አመሰግንካለው። (I will do my best and thank you for giving me this opportunity.)
Translator: I will do everything I can do. And so I am very thankful for giving me this chance and this interview. Thank you so much.
Interviewer: Thank you sir.
[End of Recorded Material]