Korean War Legacy Project

Mekonen Derseh


Mekonen Derseh served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. He went to Korea at the age of sixteen. Part of the reason for going to Korea was to stop an aggressor nation. This is something that stuck with him, being from Ethiopia defending against the Italian aggressor. He is proud of his service in the Korean War. Mekonen Derseh has revisited Busan and is amazed at the transformation.

Video Clips

There's a Snake in My Bed

Mekonen Derseh describes the toughest thing that happened to him in Korea. The fighting was over when Mekonen Derseh was in Korea. He describes the cold winter as being the toughest part of his service. One night a snake was cold and made its way into his sleeping bag. He did not know until he was folding his sleeping bag up.

Tags: Busan,Cold winters,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions

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Condition of Busan

Mekonen Derseh describes the condition of Busan. People were starving and Ethiopians gave them leftovers. Ethiopians were supplied by the Americans and needed the supplies also. He tries to make a comparison between Ethiopia and South Korea. The main difference was Ethiopia was not going through war.

Tags: Busan,Civilians,Food,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Poverty,South Koreans

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Excitement for War

Mekonen Derseh describes an excitement for going to war. He went to Korea partially because of his personal experience with Italy trying to conquer Ethiopia. He did not want this to happen to another country. Mekonen Derseh still has some resentment for Italy and aggressor nations.

Tags: Busan,Civilians,Home front,Impressions of Korea,South Koreans

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Video Transcript

00:00:00          [Beginning of Recorded Material]

Interviewer:                November 12th 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 of Korean War Veterans interview from 19 countries that participated in the Korean War and we were asked to conduct this interview for the special occasion for the 70th anniversary of the break out of the Korean War


…by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs of Republic of Korea. It’s my great honor and privilege to see you and to meet you and to be able to hear from you. Please introduce yourself your name first and then spell it for the audience please?

Translator:                  እኔ የመጣሁት ከኮሪያ መንግስት የናንተን ታሪክ ለማስቀመጥ ነው የመጣሁት እናም የናንተታሪክ ለወደፊቱ የናንተ ጀግንነት ለወደፊቱ ተቀምጦ ለወደፊት የልጅ ልጆቻቹ


…እና ለልጆቻቹ እንዲቀመጥ ነው የመጣሁት እና እኔ ከኮሪያ ነው የተላኩት ስለዚህ አሁን ሙሉ ስሞትን ይነግሩኛል ከዛበኋላ እያንዳንዱን ቃል ይነግሩኛል። (I came from Korea Government to preserve your memory and to save your heroism for the future grandchildren and children. Now introduce your name and spell it for the audience please?

Mekonen Derseh:       እሺ እኔ መኮንን ደርሰህ የሀምሳ አለቃ መኮንን ደርሰህ እባላለሁ። (Okay, my name is Mekonen Derseh.)

Translator:                  My name is Mekonnen Derseh. First name M E K O N E N middle name D E R S E H.


Interviewer:                And what is your birthday?

Translator:                  መቼ ነው የተወለዱት? (When were your born?)

Mekonen Derseh:       የተወለድኩት በኛ በኢትዮጲያ አቆጣጠር በ1930። (I was born in 1930 in Ethiopian Calendar.)

Translator:                  I was born in 1937.

Mekonen Derseh:        Ethiopian calendar.

Interviewer:                So how old are you now?

Translator:                  ስንት አመቶት ነው ማለት ነው? (So how old are you?)

Mekonen Derseh:       ምን? (What?)

Translator:                  ስንት አመቶት ነው ማለት ነው? (So how old are you?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አሁን 82 ይዣለሁ። (I am 88th now.)

Translator:                  It means now 82 years old.

Interviewer:                82 years old. You’re very young.


Translator:                  በጣም ወጣት ነው የሚመስሉት። (You look very young.)

Mekonen Derseh:       አመስግናለሁ። (Thank you.)

Translator:                  Thank you so much.

Interviewer:                Where were you born? Was it in Addis Ababa or somewhere else?

Translator:                  የተወለዱት የት ነው አዲስ አባባ ነው ወይስ የት ነው? (Where were you born? Was it in Addis Ababa or somewhere else?)

Mekonen Derseh:       ምዕራብ ኢትዮጲያ ነቀምት የሚባል ነው። (West Ethiopia called “Nekemt”)

Translator:                  West Ethiopia called “Nekemt.”

Interviewer:                And tell me about the school you went through when you were growing up?

Mekonen Derseh:       እስኪ የት እንደሚማሩ እንደነበር ያኔ ልጅ እየነበሩ የት እንደሚማሩ እስኪ ይንገሩን? ያደጉትእንዴት እንደነበር (Tell us where you were studying when you were growing up?


Mekonen Derseh:       በዛን ጊዜ ሚሺን አለ እዛ ነቀምት እዛ እስከ 6ተኛ ተማርኩ ከዛም በኋላ ወደ እዚህ መጣሁ ወደሚሊታሪ ገባሁ። (At that time there was a mission school there and studied up to grade 56 and then i came to here and joined the military.)

Translator:                  There was a school called Mission around where I used to born. So I studied there up to my 6thgrade.

Interviewer:                Did you learn anything about Korea from the school?

Translator:                  የዛኔ ስለ ኮሪያ እዛ ትምህርት ቤት ተምረዋል? (Did you learn about Korea at that time in that school?)

Mekonen Derseh:       እንደውም አላቅም ምንም። (In fact, I know nothing.)

Translator:                  Not at all.


Interviewer:                So, when did you join the military then?

Translator:                  መቼ ነው ውትድርና የተቀላቀሉት? (When did you join the military?)

Mekonen Derseh:       በ1945። (In 1945e.c)

Translator:                  In 1952 I joined the military.

Interviewer:                So, then already Korean War broke out right?

Translator:                  ያማለት ጦርነቱ አብቅቶ ነበር ማለት ነው እርሶ ወደ ኮሪያ ሲሄዱ? (Does that mean the war was already over when you were there?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አዎ አብቅቶ ገና መቆም ጀምሯል። ነገር ግን ያው ወደ መስመር ገባን እኛ። እዛ መስመር ላይ ዛሬይነሳል


…ከነገ ወዲያ ይነሳል እየተባለ ጦርነቱ መስመር ውስጥ ባንከር ውስጥ 6 ወር ከቆየን በኋላ ወደኋላ ተመልሰን ደሞዝግጁ ሆነን እንጠብቅ ነበር። (Yes, it was over. But we go to the front line. And we wait if there will be a war today or may be tomorrow and for 6 month we stayed in the banker. And we went back and wait ready.)

Translator:                  Almost the war was broke out, almost stopping time but it was not exactly stopped at that time when I was in Korea.

Interviewer:                So, how did you came to know? How did you know that Korean War broke out did you hear from radio or newspaper? How did you come


…to know about that?

Translator:                  ስለ ጦርነቱ መጀመር ያወቁት እንዴት ነበር በሬዲዮ ነው? በቴሌቪዥን ነው?

Mekonen Derseh:       በዛን ጊዜ እኔ እንደተቀጠርኩ ከመቀጠሬ በፊት የሄዱ ሰዎች አሉ ተመልሰው ከጦርነቱ ሲመለሱአያለው ከዛም በኋላ እኔም መሄድ አለብኝ ብዬ በማሰብ ተቀጠርኩ። ወዲያው ከአንድ አመት በኋላ ከስልጠና በኋላወደዛ ለመሄድ ቻልኩ። (At that time, before i was hired i saw people coming back from Korea and then immediately I said I have to go. And after one year training I went to Korea.)

Translator:                  I heard about the broke out of Korea because there was


…the other battalions come from Korea and then we used to see them so I get motivated and then after one year I just joined the military.

Interviewer:                So wore you not afraid that you are going to war and you may be killed in the action?

Translator:                  አልፈሩም ነበር ግን ስለ ጦርነቱ ለመቀላቀል ሲያስቡ ምክኒያቱም ከጦርነት ነው የመጡት?(Were you not afraid when you thought of joining the war?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አልፈራም አልፈራሁም በሁሉም አያስፈራም። (I have never scared at all.)

Translator:                  I never scared.

Interviewer:                Why not? Are you idiot?

Translator:                  እንዴት


ግን አልፈሩም ማለት እንደው ጦርነት ነው የሚሄዱት አስበዋል አባባ? (How did you come not to scared, I mean you are going to war?

Mekonen Derseh:       ያን ጊዜ አንደኛ እድሚዬ ወደ 16፣ 17 ገደማ ነው። ስለዚህ ምንም እኔ ምንም አይሰማኝም።ስለዚህ እዛም ሂጄ ብዙ ነገር ሳየው ምንም እንትን የለውም አልከበደኝም። ጦርነቱንም አልፈራሁም። (At that time, I was about 16 and 17 years old. So I don’t feel anything. So when I went there and saw a lot of thigs, it didn’t matter to me. I was not afraid of war.)

Translator:                  At that time I was 16 years old so you know you can say that am idiot because I couldn’t know


…about the feelings because I was a teenage at that time. That’s how.

Interviewer:                So were you then excited to be in other country for war?

Translator:                  ያማለት በቃ ወደ ሌላ ሀገር ሄደው ጦርነት ለማድረግ በጣም ደስብሎት ነበር? (That means you were happy to go to other country for war?)

Mekonen Derseh:       በጣም ደስብሎኝ ነው። በጣም ደስብሎኝ ነው እንደውም ለመዝመት የፈለኩት ፈልጌ ነውበጣም። (I was so excited. I was so excited that I really wanted to join the military.)

Translator:                  Yeah I was really excited to go to see and to fight in other country.

Interviewer:                So when did you… yeah go head, go head.

Translator:                  እሺ ቀጥሉ። (Okay go head.)

Mekonen Derseh:       ምክኒያቱም


…እኔ በልጅነቴ በጣሊያን ጊዜ ነው የተወለድኩት። በወገኖቻችን ላይ የደረሰውን ስቃይ ከአባቴም ተረድቻለሁ ከልዩ ልዩሰዎችም ተረድቻለሁ ኢትዮጲያኖችን ሲሰቅል ሲያቃጥል ስላየሁት ኮሪያኖቹም ላይ ይሄ ነገር ይደርሳል የሚል ሃሳቤውስጥ ስላለ ይሄን ሁሉ በልቤ ይዤ ነው እንትን ያልኩት እና ምንም ፍርሃትም ሆነ ምንም አይሰማኝም ነበር። (I was born in the time of Italy. I learned from my father the suffering of my people and from other peoples too. When my Ethiopians get hang, get burned I have seen that. So because of that I think this will happen to the Koreans too, because of this I went there was no fear and I feel nothing when I go to the war.)


Translator:                    You know I used to grow up seeing the Italy killing Ethiopians, burning Ethiopians body so I don’t want this kind of thing to happen to another country that’s why I was really motivated and then that’s why I wanted to go and save some country that I didn’t even know.

Interviewer:                That’s very good. And do you still hate Italy?

Translator:                  ጣሊያንን አሁንም ድረስ ይጠሉዋታል? (Do you still hate Italy?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አዎን ቂሜ ከውስጤ አይጠፋም። ምክኒያቱም ወገኖቻችን


…ሀውልቱም አለ እንዳንረሳ ሀውልቱም ተሰርቷል። በተጠንቀቅ ነው የምጠብቀው አሁንም ቢሆን። አሁንም ቢሆን።እና አልረሳም ለማለት ፈልጌ ነው። እንዴት ይረሳል ወገን ሲቃጠል አልረሳም። (Yes, my resentment will not go away. Because the statue was erected so that we should not forget our people. I’m still cautious still. And I mean I won’t forget. How can I forget when my people get burned?)

Translator:                  I still couldn’t forgot about what Italian did so there is a hate inside me I still waiting for Italy to attack I will be the one who is going to be fight with them.)

Interviewer:                I agree with you


…because Korea was also attacked by the Japan for 35 years and we still cannot leave without this you know past.

Translator:                  ይገባኛል ምክኒያቱም እኛም በጃፓን ለ 35 አመት ተገዝተን ነበር እና እስካሁን ያጥላቻ እኛምውስጥ ስላለ እረዳዎታለሁ እያለ ነው። (I understand because we were also have been in Japan for 35 years and there is still hate we cannot forget so I totally understand.)

Mekonen Derseh:       አዎ ምክኒያቱም የነሱን ፊልም ደሞ አይቻለው ጃፓኖች ኮሪያ ላይ የሚፈጽሙትን ከፍተኛ ስቃይአይነበር በፊልም


…ቀርጸ አሁን እነሱ እዛ አይቻለሁ። (Yes, I saw their film how the Japanese tortured the Koreans in that time there.)

Translator:                  I have seen the history what Japanese used to do in Korea so yes exactly how you could forgot?

Interviewer:                So, we Koreans and Ethiopians share the history together and friendship.

Translator:                  ያማለት እውነት ነው እኛ እና ኮሪያ የሚያጋራን ታሪክ አለን እንደ ጓደኛ እንደ ወንድማማችየሚያጋራን ታሪክ አለ ተመሳሳይ ነው እያለ ነው። (It’s true that we and Korea have story to share and friendship like brothers.)

Mekonen Derseh:       አዎ። (Yes.)

Translator:                  Yes.


Interviewer:                So when did you arrive in Korea?

Translator:                  መቼ ነበር ኮሪያ የሄዱት? (When did you go to Korea?)

Mekonen Derseh:       በ1946። (In 1946)

Translator:                  በ1946 በኢትዮጲያ አቆጣጠር? (In 1946 in Ethiopan calendar?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አዎ። (Yes)

Translator:                  It was in 1953.

Interviewer:                53? Was it war ended or still going around?

Translator:                  ጦርነቱ አብቅቶ ነበር ወይስ የሆነ ትንሽዬ ቀዝቀዝ ብሎ ነበር? (was the war over or was it a little going around?)

Mekonen Derseh:       ቀዝቀዝ ብሏል እንደሞቆም ነው በቃ እንትን ላይ


…ነበር መነጋገር ላይ ነበሩ መሰለኝ ቆሟል እንደቆመ ነው የሚቆጠረው ቆሟል።

Translator:                  The war has stopped.

Mekonen Derseh:       ግን ነገ ይነሳል ከነገ ወዲያ ይነሳል እየተባለ በጣም በተጠንቀቅ ነው ሁልጊዜ የምንቀመጠው።(But we are always very careful because we were not sure if it will be tomorrow or today when the war is, so we were ready every time.)

Translator:                  But in that time we were not sure the war was stopped so we still wait.

Interviewer:                Please tell me honestly, how was Korea when you landed


…in Korea? How was it compared to Ethiopia?

Translator:                  እባኮትን ግልጹን ይንገሩኝ እናንተ እዛ ልክ ሲሄዱ ያዩዋት ኮሪያ ምንድን ነበረች ምን አይነትነበረች?

Mekonen Derseh:       በእውነቱ በዛን ጊዜ በጣም የሚያሳዝኑ ኮሪያኖች ናቸው ያሉጥ በጣም የሚያሳዝኑ ናቸው።ምክኒያቱም እኛ ከቀለባችንም ቢሆን ወደሁላ ከተመለስን ከቀለባችን እየቀነስን ለነሱ እንሰጣለን ሬሽን አለን አይደል? ከሬሽናችን እየቀነስን ለ እነሱ እንሰጣቸዋለን።


…እና በዛን ጊዜ የነበረው ኮሪያ በጣም የሚያሳዝኑ ናቸው። ነገር ግን በአሁኑ ጊዜ ደሞ አሁን በቀደም ሄጄ ነበርእንዳጋጣሚ ከአንድ ሁለት ወር በፊት ያሁኑ ኮሪያ ደሞ በእውነቱ ከአሜሪካኖች ይበልጣል እንጂ አያንስም በእውነቱይሄ የህዝቡ ጠንካራ እና ስራ ሰራተኛ በመሆን መሪዎቻቸው ጠንካራ በመሆናቸው እና አመራር በመስጠታቸው የኮሪያእዚህ ደረጃ የመጨረሻው ላይ ነው ያሉት አሁን።


እና በጣም ደስ ብሎኝ ነው የመጣሁት አሁን ያፊት ያየሁት እና አሁን ያየሁት በጣም ልዩነት አለው። (In fact, the Koreans were the saddest at the time. Because if we go back to from the war we have our ration food, we will reduce our ration food and give it to them, we have ration food don’t we? We give them less and less. And Korea at that time was very sad. But now I have gone before. Luckly, a couple of months ago, the present-day Korea is actually bigger than the Americans, but not least. And I’m so glad I went back. What I’ve seen before and what I’ve seen now is very different.)

Translator:                  To be honest at that time it was really sad to say some country destroyed like that so it was really, really sad we even give our food for them because they don’t have anything to eat at that time so we used to give them even our left over because they don’t have anything. From the America they gave us the food we will eat because we also don’t have


…anything to eat so even our left over we gave them we used to help them. So it was really sad to see that.

Interviewer:                So Ethiopia was much better than Korea at that time right?

Translator:                  ያማለት ኢትዮጲያ ትሻል ነበር ብለን ማለት እንችላለን ከኮሪያ የዛ ሰዓት? Can we say that Ethiopia was better than Korea at that time?)

Kekkonen Dorsey:      በጣም ፈታኝ ነገር ነው። እርግጥ በደንነት በፀጥታ በኩል ትሻላለች


…በደንነት በፀጥታ በኩል ማለት ነው። ምንም ጦርነት አልነበረም ኢትዮጲያ ውስጥ ያን ጊዜ። እንጂ በሌላ በኢኮኖሚበኩል ሳይሆን በፀጥታ በኩል ከኮሪያ ያን ጊዜ ትሻላለች። (it is very challenging. Of course, safety were better than Korea. There was no war in Ethiopia at that time. But in terms of economy no. But in terms of peace and security Ethiopia were better than Korea.)

Translator:                  It is hard to say but Ethiopia maybe I could say maybe in peace or there was no war at that time. In peace Yes Ethiopia is better because it was no war in economically to say I am not sure.

Interviewer:                So, from Busan


…where did you go and what did you do? I mean there was after I mean war ended but still there are lot to do right? So please explain what did you do and where for? Because young children in Ethiopia will listen from you listen from this interview so please give us detailed explanation what did you do? Where did you do? And how you do it?

Translator:                  ያኔ ልክ እንደሄዱ ያው ጦርነቱ ኦልሞስት ቆሟል ቢባልም በቃ ሊያቆም ነው


…ቢባልም በጣም ብዙ ስራ ይቀርባቹ ነበር የዛኔ እና የዛኔ ምንድን ነበር የሚያርጉት? የትስ ነበር ከቡሳን የሄዱት? ምንምን ነበር የሚያረጉት? ምክንያቱም የኢትዮጲያ ልጆች አሁን ብዙዎቹ ስለሚያዩት ይሄን ፕሮግራም? (As soon as youleft, the war was said to have stopped it was said that it was about to end but you still had a lot of work to do. What did you do? Where did you go from Busan? What were you doing? Because so many Ethiopian children now see this program?)

Mekonen Derseh:       ከቡሳን ዳይሬክት እኛ ከመርከብ ከወረድን በኋላ ወደ መስመር ነወ የገባነው። የትምአልሄድንም። መስመር ገባን እዛ ስድስት ወር እዛ ጉርጓድ ውስጥ ቆየን። ከዛም በኋላ ከወጣን በኋላ ወደኋላ ተመልሰንበድንኳን ቦታ ያዝን


…እና እዛ ዝግጁ ሆነን እንጠባበቅ ነበር። ቡሳን እኔ አሁን ነው ያየሁት አሁን በሄድኩ ጊዜ ቡሳን ድረስ ሄደን ለጉብኝትሲያስጎበኙን አየሁት በጣም፣ በጣም፣ በጣም ደስ ብሎኝ እና ሞተው እዛ መሬት ላይ ያረፉ ሰዎች በእውነቱአልሞቱም፣ አልሞቱም እንዳሉ ነው የሚቆጠሩ፣ ምክኒያቱም የኮሪያ መንግስት እንደዚ አሳምሮ ቆንጆ አድርጎየሁሉንም ማስታወሻ እዛ ላይ አስቀምጦ እንደዚ ማድረግ በጣም


…ትልቅ ነገር ነው እና በጣም ደስ ብሎኝ ነው የመጣሁት። እና ወደ ቡሳን አሁን ነው የሄድኩት እንጂ ስንመጣ በዛመጣን እንጂ ልዩ ነገር አላየሁትም። (After disembarking from the ship, we entered the line. We did not go anywhere. We lined up and stayed there for six months. Then we left and went back to the tent, where we waited. I just saw Busan when I went to Korea for visiting. We were very, very, very happy. I am very happy and the people who died on the ground are not really dead, they are not dead, because the Korean government put beautiful monument for the fallen one. It’s a big deal and I’m very happy to be there. And I went to Busan now, but when we arrived that time we didn’t see anything special.)

Translator:                  From Busan we just go straight to front line in the battle so we came around 6 month there and then go back to our camp. And then to be honest I just see I was in Korea before two month I have seen Busan.


…The one who died in Busan really to be honest they didn’t died because that Busan was really changed to beautiful country they kept it well and beautiful so thanks to them they keep they didn’t died because of nothing they are still alive. Thank you so much for keeping that Busan.

Interviewer:                Because thanks to your sacrifice and your soldiers from Ethiopia and your honorable service Korea was able


…to re build a nation again and we are thanking all the soldiers from 22 countries especially from Ethiopia.

Translator:                  በእናንተ ምክኒያት ነው በእናንተ መስዋእትነት ነው ቡሳን የምትባለውም ሆነ ሁሉንም ኮሪያያተረፋችሁት እና ለእናንተ ነው ትልቁ ምስጋና የሚገባው በእናንተ መስዋእትነት ይህዚ ሃገር ሰላሟን አግኝታለች። (It is because of your sacrifice that Busan become like this today. It is because of the sacrifice you made Korea become like this so we are thanking you for this.)

Mekonen Derseh:        እናመሰግናለን። ካምሳ ሃሚዳ። (Thank You. Thank You.)

Interviewer:                 So what was the most difficult thing during your service when you were in Korea? When you were there?


Translator:                  እዛ በነበሩበት ጊዜ በጣም፣ በጣም አስቸጋሪ የነበረው ሁኔታ ምንድን ነበረ? (What was the most difficult situation you had while you were there?)

Mekonen Derseh:       ብዙ እንኳን ችግር የለም ያው በረዶ እኛ ሃገር ስለሌለ በረዶ በሚመጣበት ጊዜ በበረዶ ጊዜበጣም እዛ በጉርጓድ ውስጥ መቆየት በጣም ይከብዳል እና ቅዝቃዜ አለ ብዙ ነገር አለ። ብዙ ነገር አለ እና ትንሽ ችግሩእሱ ነው እንጂ ብዙም ችግር የለም ደህና ነው። እና እዛ ባንከር ውስጥ ሆነን እንደ አጋጣሚ ሆኖ


…እባቡ መጣና እዚህ ውስጥ ይገባል ለሊት እኔ ሳልሰማ ተኚቼ ሁለት ሆነን ነው የምናድረው አንዱ ይጠብቃል አንዱይተኛል በተራ በተራ ነው የምንጠብቀው። ኋላ ለካ እባቡ ገብቶ እዚ ስሊፒንግ ባግ አለ አይደል እዛ ውስጥ ገብቶተኝቷል እኔም ተኝቻለሁ ኋላ አደርን እና ጠዋት ሲነጋ ዚፑን እንደዚ ቁልቁል ሲሚጣ እባቡ ይወጣ እና እንደዚ ዞሮ እኔጋር ይለኛል፣ እንዴ ምንድነው ይሄ ከእንቅልፌ አልተነሳሁም ምንድነው፣ ምንድነው ብዬ፣


በኋላ  ያጓደኛዬ እሱ ቁጭ ብሏል። በኋላ ምንድነው ይሄ ነገር የሚታየው ነገር አልተነሳሁም ከእንቅልፍ አልኩ? ኧረተነስተካል። ምንድነው ታዲያ እዚ ፊት ለፊቴ ያለው? ኋላ መቶ ሲይየው እባቡ ወደዚ እንደዚ እንደዚ ይላል ዝምብሎ።ኋላ ያንን እባብ እንትን አለ እና ገላገለኝ። እና ከዛ በላይ ምንም ብዙም ችግር የለም ጥሩ ነው። (There is no problem, because there is no snow in our country, so when it comes to snow, it is very difficult to stay there in the snow. And there is a lot of cold. That is the least of the problem otherwise it was not that much problem that time. And while we were in the banker, unfortunately the snake came and got in here and then at night I slept without hearing, we guard for two and one waited and one slept. We guard one by one. Later, the snake came in and there was a sleeping bag he went in there and slept, and I also was slept. We spent the night and in the morning, when the zip came down like this, the snake came out and turned around and stand to me, why didn’t I wake up? I said to myself. Later, my friend sat down. What’s this? I didn’t wake up? I said to my friend. He said “no you are wake”. So what’s in front of me? When he saw it the serpent moved up and down. And then he took away the snake and saved me. Rather than that it was good not bad that much.)

Translator:                  The most difficult thing was the winter weather because it was really cold. Especially we were in the banker


…so the winter was really, really, really hard for us. So one thing I remember I was sleeping in the banker inside the sleeping bag you know when we when one soldier sleep one soldier will wait and then see everything so at that time there was one snake insert in my sleeping bag I didn’t know when I wake up in the morning when I zip up my sleeping bag the snake just


…like stand and watching me and so I was…

Interviewer:                Who?

Translator:                  the snake.

Interviewer:                Snake?

Translator:                  yeah the snake was inside my…

Interviewer:                You mean during the winter?

Translator:                  Yeah. በበረዶው ጊዜ ነበር አይደል? (Was it during the winter right?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አዎ በበረዶው። እሱም በርዶት ነው እዚ የመጣው። (Yes it was during the winter. He was also cold that’s why he came.)

Translator:                  Yeah, because the snake also was cold I think because it was inside my sleeping bag. So the whole night it was in my sleeping bag so in the morning I wake up and then when I try to open there was a snake. I said


…am I still dreaming or what? Because I couldn’t even believe there is a snake in my chest so even my friend said “what are you doing” and I ask him am I dreaming still? So he said no you are not there is a snake in your chest so we killed him so that’s the most difficult thing in Korea.

Interviewer:                So you killed the snake?

Translator:                  እባቡን ገደሉት አይደለ? (You killed the snake right?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አዎ። (Yes.)

Translator:                  Yes. They killed the snake.

Mekonen Derseh:       ምርጫ የለውማ ምንም ማድረግ አይቻልም በንትን ሲመታ ወጣ። (We have no choice so we can’t do nothing else we hit him and he was out.)


Translator:                  We had no choice then to kill.

Mekonen Derseh:       ጥቁር እባብ ነበር። ጥቁር እልም ያለ ጥቁር። (It was a black snake. Very hard black snake.)

Translator:                  It was black snake.

Interviewer:                Off course you have to kill. Did you eat that snake?

Translator:                  የገደላችሁትን እባብ በላችሁት? (Did you eat the snake you killed?)

Mekonen Derseh:       ኖ ኖ አንበላም እኛ። (No, no we don’t eat.)

Translator:                  No.

Interviewer:                Come on its delicious?

Translator:                  በጣም ይጣፍጣል እኮ? ይጣፍጣል እኮ እያለ ነው? (But it is delicious? He said it is delicious?)

Mekonen Derseh:       ኖ እነሱ ይብሉት። እኛ ካልቸራችን አይፈቅድም፣ አይፈቅድም። ሃይማኖታችን ማለት ነው። (No can’t eat it. Our culture forbids it. Our religion forbids it.

Interviewer:                Where there any Korean


…children working, cleaning your tents or the bunker or any other Korean people working for you and other Ethiopian soldiers there?

Translator:                  ኮሪያዊ ልጆች ኮሪያዊ የሆኑ ልጆች የናንተን ልብስ ወይ የናንተን ድንኳን ምናምን የሚያፀዱላቹነበሩ በዛ ጊዜ? (When you were there at that time where any Korean children clean your bunker or tent or even your clothes?

Mekonen Derseh:       አያፀዱልንም ልጆች አሉ ይመጣሉ እኛ ጋር ምግብ እንመግባቸዋለን ከዛ በኋላ ተጫውተው እኛእራሳችን የራሳችንን እናፀዳለን


…እንጂ እስከዚ፣ ወጥ ቤት አለን፣ ወጥ ቤት አንድ ኮሪያዊ አለ። አንድ ኮሪያዊ አለ አማርኛ ጥሩ አድርጎ የሚናገር ሰውዬነው። በጣም ጥሩ አደርጎ አማርኛ ይናገራል። አሁን በሂዎት ይኑር አይኑር አላቀውም። እና ልጆቹ ብዙ ልጆች አሉ ወደሃያ ሰላሣ የሚሆኑ ይመጣሉ እኛ ጦር ጋር ምግብ ቤት አለ ምግብ ቤት ይበሉ እና ምንም ብሎ ወደዛው ይሄዳሉ። እንጂሌላ ነገር የለም። (They don’t clean, there are children. They come and eat with us. Then they play and we clean ourselves. We have a kitchen, there is a Korean in the kitchen. There is a Korean who speaks Amharic fluently. He speaks Amharic very well. I don’t know if he is alive now or not. And the children have a lot of children, about twentyor thirty of them come. We have a restaurant with the army. There is nothing else.)


Translator:                  There were kids but they came to us every time so they will eat we will feed them and then they go back they didn’t clean because we clean ourselves, our tents, our guns by ourselves. But the kids came then they will play in the bunker or something and then they will go back. But there is one Korean chef he can speak Amharic very well Ethiopian language that I remember.

Interviewer:                Wow, how did he learn


…your language?

Translator:                  እንዴት አማርኛ አወቀ? (How did he know Amharic?)

Mekonen Derseh:       ከሚለዋወጠው ጦር ጋራ ቆይቷል። ምክኒያቱም አራት አምስት ጊዜ ነው ተለዋወጠ አራት ጊዜነው የተለዋወጠው ከዛ ጦር እየተለዋወጠ አማርኛ በልምድ ነው የወሰደው በልምድ ነው። (He has been with the changing army. Because it changed four, five times, five times it change. Then with the changing army he got the experience.)

Translator:                  He experience Ethiopian language because he have been from since the first battalion up to the fourth.

Interviewer:                I see. At that time when you


…were there where there still US seventh division working with the Ethiopian military there?

Translator:                  7ኛው ዲቪዥን የአሜሪካ እስከዛ እናንተ እስከ ምትሄዱበት ድረስ ነበረ? (Was the 7th Division American until you were gone?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አዎ ነበረ 7ኛው ዲቪዚዮን ነበር። እኛም በ7ኛው ዲቪዚዮን ውስጥ ነበርን። (Yes there was the 7th division. We were also under the 7th division.)

Translator:                  Yeah, there was the 7th division still because we are even inside the 7th division.

Interviewer:                So, how was the relationship with the US soldiers?

Translator:                  ከአሜሪኮች ወታደሮች ጋር


…ግንኙነታቹ እንዴት ነበር? (How was your relationship with the American soldiers?

Mekonen Derseh:       ያው በስፖርት እንገናኛለን አንዳንድ ጊዜ በስፖርት ጋር እንገናኛለን በዚ በዚ። ቢ ኤክስ ደሞ የነሱማነው ሾፕ አለ አይደለም እዛ እንሄዳለን አንዳንድ ከነሱ የሚሸመተውን ነገር እንሸምታለን በጣም ጥሩ ግንኙነት ነውያለን በጣም ጥሩ ግንኙነት።

Translator:                  We had good relation with the Americans. So also we used to meet in sport together because we play


…so many sports together. And also there was BX shop so sometimes also we used to meet at their in the shop.

Interviewer:                So, when did you leave 1954 right? When did he leave Korea?

Translator:                  ከጦርነቱ ወደ ኢትዮጲያ የመጡት መቼ ነው? (After the war when did you come back to Ethiopia?)

Mekonen Derseh:       ከአንድ አመት በኋላ። በ47። (After one year. In 1947e.c.)

Translator:                  In 1954 I came back to Ethiopia.

Interviewer:                So,


…you said that you’ve been to Korea since then you watch Busan changed when you left Korea in 1954 did you ever think that Korea would become like this today?

Translator:                  ያኔ ከኮሪያ ወደ ኢትዮጲያ ሲመለሱ ቡሳንም ሄደው ነበረ ጦርነቱ አልቆ ወደ ኢትዮጲያ ሲመለሱኮሪያ እንደዛ ተለውጣ አያታለሁ ብለው አስበው ያውቃሉ? (That time when you come back from Korea after the war ended when you come back to Ethiopia did you ever think Korea would become like this today?)

Mekonen Derseh:       በፍጹም አላሰብኩም። ተመልሼም አያለው ብዬም አላስብም ነበር። ግን የነሱ


…ጥረት በእውነቱ ኮሪያኖች ለኛ የሚያደርጉልን ቀላል ነገር አይደለም። እና ውለታቸውን የማይረሱ ትልቅ ሰዎችናቸው። እኔ አሁን ሌላ ቦታም ሄጃለሁ። ሌላ ሰላም አስከባሪ በኋላም ሄጃለሁ ነገር ግን የት እንዳለን እንኳን አያውቁም።ግን ኮሪያኖች ቀጥ አድርገው ልጆቻችን የልጅ ልጆቻችን አስተምረው ለኛ አስፈላጊውን ነገር እርዳታ እየሰጡን እዚህአድርሰውናል። በእውነቱ የነሱ እርዳታ ደሞ ህይወታችንም ጨምሯል


…ህይወታችንም አስጨምሯል። እና ኮሪያኖቹን በእውነቱ ከምንም ጋራ አላገናኝም በእውነቱ እውነተኛ ሰዎችእውነተኛ ክርስቲያኖች እውነተኛ ሰዎች ናቸው። ውለታቸውን የማይረሱ ናቸው። የኛ ውለታ እና የነሱ የዋሉልን ሰማይእና መሬት ነው የነሱ ይበልጣል አሁን። (I never thought of it. I never thought I would even see Korea again. But their efforts are not easy for the Koreans. And they are great people who never forget their gratitude. I have even too other place I went to another peacekeeping later but they didn’t even know where we were. But the Koreans are right here, teaching our children and grandchildren and helping us with what we need. In fact, their help has enriched our lives. And I don’t really associate the Koreans with anything. Real people and are real Christians. They will never forget their gratitude. Our did and theirs are the heavens and the earth, theirs is greater now.)

Translator:                  I never thought that Korea will be changed this much, even I never thought that Busan will still exist because at that time there was nothing almost


…everything was destroyed at that time so I never thought this would be happen because I have been to any other peacemaking for after the Korea but the other forgot about it but still Korean never forgot what we have done for them so for that we are very thankful.

Interviewer:                In 1974 the communist regime really try to erase


…about the Korean War in the history of Ethiopia. What did you think about it? And how do they treat you the communist regime?

Translator:                  ደርግ ስለ ኮሪያ ጦርነት ስለ ኮሪያ ጀግኖች ስለ እናንተ ሊያጠፋ ሞክሯል ማለት ሊያስተላልፍምንም አልሞከረም እና እንዴት ነበር እስኪ የሚያደርጓቹ የነበረው? (The “Derg” regime tried to destroy the history of Korea War or not even try to pass the history so how do they treat you?)

Mekonen Derseh:       በእውነቱ በዛን ጊዜ ደርግ ስለዚህ ነገር እንዲነሳም አይፈልግም ማህበር የሚባለውምእንዲቋቋም አይፈልግም እኛንም በፍጹም ስለዚህ ጉዳይ አያቀነም በቃ አያቀነም


…ጨርሶ። እና ምክኒያቱም ጥላቻ በካፒታሊስት ሃገሮች ጥላቻ ስላለ እኛንም በዛው አይነት ነው የሚያየን እኛም ምንምማደርግ አንችልም በዛው አይነት ቀጥለን እዚህ ደርሰናል። ከዚም በኋላ አሁን ይሄ ኢሀዲግ ከተፈጠረ በኋላ ማህበሩምተቋቋመ እነሱም እጃቸውን ዘርግተው መጡ ተቀበሉን ይኸው እስካሁን ድረስ አንቀባረው ያኖሩናል እና በደርግ ጊዜ


…በፍጹም። እና በእውነቱ ብቻ ሌላውን ነገር ማንሳት አያስፈልግም እና ይሄ ነው። (In fact, at that time, the Derg did not want this issue to be raised, nor did it want the so-called association to be established. And because hatred exists in capitalist countries, it looks the same to us, and we can’t do anything about it. After that, now that EPRDF was formed, the association was formed and they(Koreans) came with their outstretched arms. They accepted us, they are still helping us and never during the Derg regime.)

Translator:                  In that time the “Derg”, the “Derg” or the communist party he doesn’t even want to hear about anything about the Korean War because he think that we are his enemy. So there was no association at that time he don’t want anything to hear even to hear about that. So it was really difficult


…at that time. So after that the next party just tries so many things for that history.

Interviewer:                How many times have you been back to Korea after the war?

Translator:                  ከጦርነቱ በኋላ ምን ያህል ጊዜ ኮሪያ ሄደዋል? (How often did you go back to Korea?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አንድ ጊዜ ብቻ ነው በቀደም ነው የሄድኩት። ከሁለት ወር በፊት። (I’ve only been there once. Two months ago.)

Translator:                  I have been there only for one. It was last time.

Interviewer:                Once?  Okay.

Mekonen Derseh:       በእውነቱ ሂጄም ያየሁት በእውነቱ ጭንቅላቴ ታድሶ ነው የመጣሁት። ኮሪያ እዚ መድረሱበእውነቱ፣ በእውነቱ እኔ ምን አይነት


…ሰዎች እንደሆኑ አላቅም በጣም ጠንካራ ህዝቦች፣ ጠንካራ መሪ ያላቸው፣ ጠንካራ መሪ በመኖሩ ነው ህዝቡ መርጦእዚህ ላይ ያደረሰው። የከተማቸው አቀማመጥ፣ የማንኛውም ፋሲሊቲ ተሟልቶ ሁሉም ነገር እኛም እዛ ከሄድንበኋላም ትልቅ ሆቴል ውስጥ አሳርፈውን ትልቅ መስተንግዶ አርገውልናል። እና ደስ ብሎን ሄደን አይተን መተናል።አንድም ቀን ሳናርፍ በአውቶቢስ የትም እያዞሩን እስከ


…ቡሳን፣ ቡሳንም ሄደን ያመቃብሩን አይተን በእውነቱ እዛ ሞተው የተቀበሩ ሰዎች እድለኞች ናቸው፣ ዘለዓለም ሲጎበኙበጣም ደስ ብሎዋቸው በሂዎት መቼም እኔ አላጋጠመኝም እዚ እድል ቢያጋጥመኝ ኖሮ ቆንጆ ነው በእውነቱ።ምክኒያቱም ዘለዓለም ሲታወሱ ነው የሚኖሩ። እንደዛ ያሸበረቀ ቦታ ኮሪያ መንግስት ማዘጋጀቱ በጣም በእውነቱ ምንእላለው ምንም ማለት አስቸጋሪ ነው። (I actually went and saw that my head had been renewed. The fact that Korea is here, I really don’t know what kind of people they are, because they are very strong people, they have a strong leader, they have a strong leader and they have brought him here. The layout of the city, the facilities, and everything else made perfectly. We stayed in a big hotel after we went there. And we happily went and saw it. The people who died and were buried there were really lucky to be there. They were so happy to be visit forever. I have never got that in my life but it would be nice if I had the opportunity there. Because they live forever. It is very difficult to say how the Korean government really setup such a beautiful place.)


Translator:                  When I was in Korea really I refreshed my mind when I see Busan. That much beautiful because they keep it well the government was good, the leader was good, the people was really, really, strong they worked together then they build so many sky scrapers I have seen so many things even the Busan cemetery the one who passed away in that Busan really in my opinion they are really lucky because they will be remembered so many years,


…they will never be forgotten.

Interviewer:                That’s very moving. How many children and grandchildren do you have?

Translator:                  ስንት ልጅ እና ስንት የልጅ ልጅ አሎት አሁን? (How many children and how many grandchildren do you have now?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አሁን 7 ልጆች አሉኝ። 7 ልጆች አሉኝ ቢያንስ ወደ 12 ገደማ ይኖራሉ የልጅ ልጅ። (I have now 7 children. And I have at list around 12 grandchildren.)

Translator:                  I have 7 children.


…And at list around 12 grandchildren I have.)

Interviewer:                Wow, and I think I am hearing from Ethiopian people that they don’t teach about Korea, Korean war in the history class in the middle school in high school why is that di you know about that?

Translator:                  አሁን የሰማሁት ነገር አለ ማለት ብዙ ጠይቋል እና ስለናንተ ታሪክ በሂስትሪ ላይ ትምህርት ላይአይሰጥም ይሄ ያቃሉ አይደለ? (Now he is hearing that they don’t teach about Korean War in the history class you know that right?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አዎን አውቃለሁ። (Yes I know.)

Translator:                  እና ለምን ይመስሎታል? (And why do you think so?)


Mekonen Derseh:       እኔ በእውነቱ እንግዴ በፊት የነበረ ተጽኖም ሊሆን ይችላል። ለምን እንደሆነ አላቀውምምክንያቱም ሂስትሪ ሲባል በተለይ በዚ መንግስት ባለፈው መንግስት ሂስትሪ የሚባለው ሞቷል እኮ። የኢትዮጲያሂስትሪ በሙሉ ዝግ ነው። የትኛውም አልተነገረም የትኛውም ሌላው ህዝብ እንዲያውቀው አልተፈለገም። አሁንቅርብ ጊዜ ጀመሮ ነው አሁን እንደዚ ከነሱ ጋራም ግንኙነትም መንግስት ማረግ ጀመረ


…ከነሱም ብዙ ነገር በተሳሰረ ነገር ሆነ በዚ ምክኒያት ነው እንጂ በየተኛውም ትምህርት ቤት አይሰጥም። እንዲህያለው ነገር የኢትዮጲያ ሂስትሪ ወደ ሌላው እንዲያልፍ አይፈልጉም። እና ችግር ያለበት ፓርቲው ነው የያለፈው ፓርቲየኢሀዴግ ፓርቲ አንድ የሆነ ነገር የተጠነሰሰው ነገር ይኖራል አላቅም። (It may have been with the influence from the last one. I don’t know why, because history is dead, especially in the last government. All Ethiopian history is closed. None were reported and no other public was required to be identified. It has only recently begun and the government has begun to establish relations with them. They do not want such a thing to happen in Ethiopian history. And it’s the party that’s the problem.)

Translator:                  The reason why they never learn the students because the past the communist


…he have done so many things on us the history of the Korean War and also after that the federal party he also not good keeping the Ethiopian history. He don’t want the history to be passed for the next generation. I think that is the why they never teach the students.

Interviewer:                Do you know of any history teacher in middle school in high school here?

Translator:                  ስለ


…ታሪክ የሚያስተምር ከመሀከለኛ ትምህርቶች ላይ ለምሳሌ ኢለመንተሪ ላይ የሚያስተምር አስተማሪ ያውቃሉ? ታሪክመምህር? (Do you know of any history teacher in middle school in high school here?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አላቅም። (No I don’t)

Translator:                  They don’t.

Interviewer:                Next year will be 70th anniversary of the Korean War break out. Do you have any special message to the Korean people?

Translator:                  የሚቀጥለው አመት 70ኛው ክብረ በዓል ነው። (Next year is the 70th anniversary.)

Mekonen Derseh:       አዎ። (Yes.)

Translator:                  እና ለዛ ልዩ የሆነ መልዕክት ማስተላለፍ


…ይፈልጋሉ ለኮሪያ ህዝብ? (And do you want to convey a special message to the Korean people?)

Mekonen Derseh:       አዎን። አዎን። በእውነቱ 70ኛ አመታችው ነው የሚመጣው? (Yes off course. To be honest, is it 70th anniversary the coming?

Translator:                  አዎ። (Yes.)

Mekonen Derseh:       እና በእውነቱ የኮሪያ መንግስት እና ህዝቡ ጠንካራ በመሆናቸው በእድገታቸውም ቢሆን ከአለምጋር ተወዳዳሪ በመሆናቸው እንኳን ለዚ አበቃችው እላለሁ። ይሄንንም ያረገላቸው የራሳቸው ጥንካሬ፣ ጥንካሬያቸውእና የመሪዎቻቸው ጥንካሬ ነው።


…እና ለዚህ እንኳን አበቃቸው እላለሁ። እና በጣም ደስ ይለኛል ስለኮሪያ ሁለቱም ተቀላቅለው ባየው እኔ በጣም ደስይለኛል እኔ ሳልሞት ሰሜኑ እና ደቡቡ ተቀላቅለው ባይው ጥሩ ነው። እና በጣም ጥሩ ነው በእውነቱ።

Translator:                  I wanted to say something for the people of Korea so I wanted really I want to say I respect the people


…and I respect the government of the Korea because you work together as one so you make this beautiful country so we are I want to say really, really you are luck and you build this country keep it up. And also what I want to see before I passed away is I want to see one Korea before I passed away.

Interviewer:                Any other story that you remember but you haven’t told me yet?

Translator:                  ሌላ መንገር የሚፈልጉት እስካሁን ያልነገሩኝ ታሪክ


…ከጦርነቱ ላይ ካለ? (What else do you want to tell me if there is a story from the war that you have not told me yet?)

Mekonen Derseh:       ምንም የለም ምንም ነገር የለም። አዎ እዚኛው ላይ ምንም የለም በሰላም ተመልሰንወደሃገራችን ገብተናል ጥሩ ነው። (Nothing, nothing. Yes, there is nothing here. We have returned safely to our country. It is good.)

Translator:                  Not that I remember there is no history.

Interviewer:                Sir, I want to thank you for your honorable service because of your service, Korea was given another opportunity to rebuild our nation. Now we are very


…happy with what the Ethiopian soldiers did for us 70 years ago. We want to work together so that we can help each other you helped us before now it’s time for Korea to help you and Ethiopian people. So that is the spirit that I want to share with you and again thank you so much.

Translator:                  በድጋሚ ደግሜ ደጋግሜ የምናገረው ነገር በናንተ ምክኒያት ኮሪያ የዛኔ እርዳታ ትፈልግ ነበረ


…እናተ መታችሁ እራሳችሁን መስዋት አድርጋቹ ይቺ ኮሪያ አሁን የምትገኘው ኮሪያ ምክኒያት ሆናቹሀል እና ደግሜደጋግሜ ላመሰግናቹ እፈልጋለሁ። ስለዚህ ያኔ እኛ እርዳታ ፈልገን እናንተ እረድታችሁናል ያማለት ደሞ አሁንም እኛበምንችለው አቅሙ ለመርዳት ነው የምናስበው ለመክፈል ሳይሆን ለመርዳት እና ለማገዝ በጣም አመሰግናለሁ።(What I want to say again and again is that because of you, Korea needed that help, you give it us and sacrifice yourself. And I want to thank you again and again. So, we will help you like you help us that time.)

Mekonen Derseh:       አምሰግናለሁ እግዚአብሄር ይስጥልኝ። እኔ እራሴ በእውነቱ አመሰግናቸዋለው፣ እነሱለሚያረጉልን


…እርዳታ እድሜያችንም የረዘመ መሰለኝ እኔ በእውነቱ። ምክኒያቱም ህክምና አለን፣ ህክምና ኮሪያኖች ያክሙናል፣ለማንኝውም ነገር የሚሆነን ደሞ የገንዘብ እርዳታ ያረጉልናል፣ የሞራል፣ ሞራላቸው እራሱ አሁን እሱ አነጋገሩ እራሱየሚያጠግብ ነው በቃ እራሱ በቂ ነው። አሁን የተናገረው እራሱ በቂ ነው። እና ለኮሪያ ህዝብ ከፍተኛ አክብሮት አለኝ፣ከፍተኛ አክብሮት አለኝ እና በጣም አመሰግናለሁ


…በልልኝ። (Thank you God. I really thank them, I think we live longer with the help they give us. Because we have medicine, medical treatment Korean doctors treat us, they help us financially for anything, their morale, their morale itself is satisfying now. What he has just said is enough. And tell him I have a lot of respect for the Korean people, I have a lot of respect and thank you very much.)

Translator:                  I want to thank every Korea government because we had hospital, we had supporting money. Even what you said that’s the only thing what we want that’s why we respect Korea that is the only thing we want the respect you still respect you never forgot what we have done you didn’t even know about the war but still you heard from your father your grandfather and you came back respect us for that I am really, really grateful.

Interviewer:                I am speaking to the people who will


…listen to this interview okay. So I will tell, I will talk about it and just translate him it’s not for him but people who will listen to this interview.

Translator:                  ይሄንን የምናገርውን እና እርሶ የሚናገሩት ነገር በጠቅላላ ሄዶ ለኮሪያ ህዝብ ነው ቀጥታየሚሄደው እና እኔም እነሱን ወክዬ ነው የመጣሁት ቀጥታ ብሏል። (What I am saying and what you are saying goes directly to the people of Korea and I have come directly on their behalf. I will say this for those who are listening to this.)

Mekonen Derseh:       በጣም አመሰግናለሁ። (Thank you very much)

Interviewer:                Those people who are listening this interview you just heard from


…Ethiopian soldier who were in Korea 68 years ago he was praising about what Koreans were able to achieve after the war and after he left from Korea. You may feel like that I almost like make him to praise about Korea say good thing about Korea as you heard I didn’t mention anything, I just ask him whether have you thought about it


…and what did you think about it and have you been back to Korea and that’s just what it said right and but the problem is we don’t talk about it, it’s been known as forgotten war and we don’t teach in the classroom in many, many of the country that’s what we are trying to fix we want to change the reality so that their honorable service can be respected remembered okay and that’s why we are doing this.


Translator:                  ይሄንን አሁን ያው ለነሱ ነው መልዕክት የላከው ምክኒያቱም ይሄ የተናገረው ነገር በጠቅላላ እርሶኮሪያን ከፍ አድርገው እንዲናገሩ አይደለምኣ የጠየቆት? ነገር ግን ካዩት ነገር ተነስተው ነው ያመሰገኗት የወደዷትኮሪያን ስለዚህ እነሱ የሚፈልጉት ይሄ ታሪካችሁ ይሄን የመሰለ ድንቅ ታሪክ እንዲረሳ አንፈልግም እንዲቆይ እናለሚቀጥለው እንዲተላለፍ ነው የምፈልገው። እና በጣም አመሰግናለሁ እያለ ነው። (He sent this message to the ones watching this interview right now because what he said is not what you are asking them to say to Korea? But you thanked Korea for what you saw, so they want this story of yours to be preserved and passed on to the next generation. And he says thank you very much.)

Mekonen Derseh:        አመሰግናለሁ እኔም። (Thank you too.) KAMSA HABMNIDA.

Interviewer:                KAMSA HABMNIDA. Thank you.


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