Korean War Legacy Project

Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen


Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen served in the Ethiopian military in Korea. His service in Korea came after the signing of the armistice. He came from a family of soldiers. His father served in the Imperial Guard and was a hero to his son. Tasks for soldiers after the signing of the armistice were to be a presence in case of invasion. While there was no fighting, Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen went on patrols and protected Korea from the threat of invasion. He also saw children starving and donated part of his wages to an orphanage in Seoul. He is happy for what South Korea has become, but wants the brotherhood of Korea to be united.

Video Clips

Arriving in Korea

Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen describes his voyage to Korea. Men aboard the ship were mixed between Ethiopians and Greeks. At first, both countries were friendly but soon erupted into constant fighting. Upon arriving in Korea, Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen did not see anything memorable. He describes one farmer having an ox, but that was it.

Tags: Busan,Civilians,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Poverty

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Service During Armistice

Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen describes his service that started after the signing of the Armistice. The war was technically over. However, patrolling was very important. Constant observation for lights or fires were reported to commanders for a possible enemy. Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen describes constant climbing of mountains as the toughest part of his service during Armistice.

Tags: Chinese,Front lines,Physical destruction

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Daily Non-Combat

Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen describes the living conditions for the soldiers. He describes that there were no beds and soldiers slept on the ground. He provides his pay in the Ethiopian dollar. His pay could buy a sing good chicken and two medium chickens per month. Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen also describes life upon returning to Ethiopian. People did not care, however, the majesty did receive the soldiers for a dinner.

Tags: Food,Home front,Living conditions,Pride

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Video Transcript

[Beginning of Recorded Material]

Interviewer:    It is November 13 2019 the capital city of Ethiopia Addis Ababa my name is Jongwoohan I am the president of Korea war legacy foundation we are asked by the Korean government ministry of Patriot and Veterans Affairs to conduct a special series of interview for all 22 countries and now you are representing Ethiopia to the World and it is my great honor and pleasure to meet you sir thank you for coming…


…What is your name and spell it for the audience please.


Translator:      ስላገኘሆት በጣም ደስ ብሎኛል የመጣሁት ከኮሪያ ነው የናንተን ታሪክ ለወደፊቱ እንዲቀመጥ እናየእናንተን ቃለምልልስ ሰርቼ ለወደፊቱ ትውልድ ለማስተላለፍ ነው የመጣሁት እና ሙሉ ስሞትን ይንገሩኝ. (I am so glad to meet you I came from Korea to save your history for the future and to do your interview and pass it on to future generations and tell me your name.)


Tesfaye Asmamau:     Tesfaye Asemamaw. (ተስፋዬአስማማው)


TRANSLATOR:        My name is Tesfaye Asmamau: Kewen spell like…


…..T E S F A Y E my middle name A S M A M A U and my last name K E W E N


INTERVIEWER:        And so when were you born and where were you born?

TRANSLATOR:        መቼ እና የት ነው የተወለዱት? (When were you born and where were you born?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       በ 23 ዓመተ ምህረት ዋግ የሚባል ሰቆጣ….


….የሚባል ሀገር ነው. (In 23 A.D., it is a country called Wag Sekota.)


TRANSLATOR:        I was born in 1930, it is called wage.


INTERVIEWER:        So how old are you today?


TRANSLATOR:        ስንት አመትዎት ነው አሁን? (How old are you today?)




TRANSLATOR:        I am 89 years old.


INTERVIEWER:        You are almost 90.


TRANSLATOR:        90 እኮ ሊሆኖት ነው. (You are almost 90.)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ተስፋ አለኝ. (I hope so.)


TRANSLATOR:        I hope so.


INTERVIEWER:        And you look very good.


TRANSLATOR:        በጣም የሚገርም ነው አሁን ያሉበት ነገር (It’s amazing what you are now.)



INTERVIEWER:        What is the secret of this healthy young life?


TRANSLATOR:        ምንድን ነው ሚስጥሩ እንደዚህ ጠንካራ እና ጤነኛ ያረገዎት ነገር እስቲ ሚስጥሩን ይንገሩኝ? (What is the secret that made you so strong and healthy?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ሸክላ ሰሪውን አምላክን ጠይቅ በለው. (It is the work of the creator GOD.)


TRANSLATOR:        You have to ask GOD.




TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       እኔ እራሴን አልሰራሁም. (I did not make myself.)


TRANSLATOR:         I did not make myself.


INTERVIEWER:        So tell me when did you join the military and why did you join the military in…


….Ethiopia not Korea here in Ethiopia when and why?

TRANSLATOR:        እዚህ ኢትዮጵያ እያሉ ውትድርናን ለምን እና መቼ ነበር የተቀላቀሉት? (Why and when did you join the military here in Ethiopia?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       አባቴ አስማማው ከውን ጥንታዊ ክቡር ዘበኛ ነበረ. ቀዳማዊ ሀይለስላሴ አልጋወራሽ ሳሉጀምሮ እስኪነግሱ ድረስ ክቡር ዘበኛ ነበረ. በእኔ እድሜ ነው የሞተው ጦርነት ላይ. በዛታሪክ ምክንያት…


…ቅድም የጠቀስኩት ሀገር ዋግ ሰቆጣ ዘመዶቼ ወስደው እዛ አሳደጉኝ ባላገር አደኩኝ. ታሪኩን በመከተል በ 17 አመቴወደ አዲስ አበባ መጥቼ ትምህርት ቤት ስላጣሁኝ ሰዎችን ማመልከቻ አፃፌ አባቴ ወደ ነበረበት ወደ ክቡር ዘበኛ 1945 ገባው…


…በ 1946 ወደ ኮሪያ ዘመትኩ. (My father Asmamawkewen was a member of the National Guard. He was a member since Haile Selassie was keeper of the throne and also during his regime as a king. He died in a battle. Due to that my relatives took me and I grew up in the country side wage sekota. I came up to Addis Ababa at the age of 17. I could not find a school to attend at the moment, so I went to the National Guard and applied to attend. I joined the National Guard in 1952 and at the end of 1953 I went to Korea.)


TRANSLATOR:        So the reason why I joined the military is my father is to be the emperor guard and he also passed away in the war so I learn and I was motivated to go because my father was a hero to me for all of our village’s people and when I was a 17 years old at that I came back to Addis Ababa to….


….so that to learn in school but I could not find any school at that time so I try to find where my father is to work and then I told that I want to work and I joined there so I joined the military at that time in 1952.


INTERVIEWER:        52, so you already knew that Korea war broke out in 1950 right and if so how did you come to know about it? Was it through magazine or radio or what how?


TRANSLATOR:        ያ ማለት ኮርያ በዛ ሰአት…


…ጦርነት ላይ እንደነበረች ያውቁ ነበር ማለት ነው እርሶ ወደ ውትድርናው ሲገቡ እና እንዲት ነበር ያወቁት የሰሙት. (That means you knew that Korea was at war at that time, when you joined the military and how do you knew and heard about it?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ወሬውን የሰማሁ ገጠር ሆኜ ነው. ባላገር እያለው ሰዎች የሚፋጁበት ጦርነት አለ ሲባልወሬ ሰማው. ከዛ መጣሁኝ ቅድም እንደነገርኩክ በአባቴ አርአያ ልቀጠር ብዬ ገባው በተቀጠርኩ በአመቱ ዘመትኩወሬውን የሰማሁ ገጠር ሆኜ ነው. (When I was in country side I heard from people about the Korean War. Which a lot of people are dying. So after I came to Addis Ababa I joined the military by following my father idol and I went to Korea after a year.)




TRANSLATOR:        So how I heard about the war was I did not even come to Addis Ababa I was in my country so there was a talking about there is one country that was trying to invaded by some country that is how I just learn I did not know what country so I just came to Addis Ababa to learn and then there was something inside me that to go to war so because of my father so I joined the military….


…..and after one year I go to Korea.


INTERVIEWER:        Um so you have a very strong family tradition from you father about the military training and military spirit so please explain why the Emperor Haile Selassie decide to send Ethiopian soldiers to the country that you never know?


TRANSLATOR:        የእናንተ ቤተስብ በጣም ትልቅ እና ጠንካራ የሆነ ስሜት አላችሁ በጦርነት እና ጀግንነት ላይ እናለምን ይመስልዎታል…


…ሀይለስላሴ የኢትዮጵያን ወታደር ወደ ኮርያ የላኩት? (Your family has a very strong and big sense of war and heroism and why do you think Haile Selassie sent Ethiopian troops to Korea?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       በታሪክ እንደምናውቀው በኢትዬጵያ ከአፄ ቴዎድሮስ ጀምሮ ወደዚህ ብንመለከትበጦርነት የኖረች ሀገር ናት. አያቴ የሚኒልክ አሽከር ነበሩ አባቴም የሀይለስላሴ አሽከር ነበሩ እኔም የሀይለስላሴ አሽከርለመሆን በቅቻለው  ስለዚህ


የአርበኝነቱ ጉዳይ ሲወርድ ሲዋረድ የመጣ በጦርነት የተወለደ በጦርነት ያደገ ህይወት እስካለ ድረስ በጦርነት ውስጥያልፋል. (As we know in history the world has passed through a lot of wars and battles. Especially in Ethiopia since Emperor Tewodros there were a lot of wars. My grandfather has served king minilik the second. My father served King Haile Selassie so I also joined the military to server king Haile Selassie. So this patriot ship was our family’s tradition.)


TRANSLATOR:        So the reason why the emperor sent the reason why Ethiopians people go to the war was Ethiopia had since so many war since my great great father even my great great father was a solider my grandfather was a soldier in imperial…


…..he was imperial guard and my father was imperial guard so we all our family was in a solider life so that is the most thing and the reason one.


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       የምጨምረው, የምጨምረው ነገር ቢኖር. (I have something to add.)


TRANSLATOR:        I have something to add. (የምጨምረው ነግር አለኝ.)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ጀግንነት ዝም ብሎ የሚመጣ ነገር አይደለም በመስማት እና በማየት ነው. አፄቴዎድሮስጠላት እንግሊዝ በወረራቸው ጊዜ እጃቸውን አልሰጡም. ያንን ታሪክ በአይምሮ ይቀረፃል


ጥሩ ባይሆንም ለበቀል ደግሞ ጣልያን በመጣ ጊዜ የአድዋ ጉዳይ አለ. በየጊዜው የመጣው ጦርነት መልካምነትባይኖረውም ግዴታ ይህን ነገር አስተምሮ አልፏል. (I have something to add. Heroes are created by listening and seeing hero stores. I grew up listening Emperor Tewodros of Ethiopia did not give his hand to the British army when they came to invade and capture him. He killed himself rather than surrounding. And also there was the Adwa victory of my ancestors over the Italian invaders. Through there is no good in wars it has through us a lot.)


TRANSLATOR:        The Point that I want to I is being hero does not come from nothing. First you have to be educated you have to listen. You have to listen the advice of your father your elder so we have been learning from our king because Atse Tewodros…


….the king of Ethiopia they never surrender so they choose to die and kill them self we learned so many things from them and then that is how we.


INTERVIEWER:        But after all you did not know much about Korean history and you did not know much Korea at the time that you before left for Korea right?


TRANSLATOR:        ወደ ኮርያ ከመሄዶ በፊት ስለ ኮርያ ምንም ነገር አያውቁም ነበር አይደል? (You didn’t know anything about Korea before you went to Korea, did you?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ምንም ነገር አላውቅም ነበር. (Yes I did not know.)


TRANSLATOR:        I did not know.




TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ወታደር መሆን እንጂ ምንም አላውቅም. (I don’t know anything just being a soldier.)

TRANSLATOR:        I just wanted to be a soldier.


INTERVIEWER:        And how did you go to Korea was it through ship? And how was it in the ship?


TRANSLATOR:        እንዴት ነበር ወደ ኮርያ የሄዱት. በመርከብ ነበር የሄዱት? ሲሄዱስ እንዴት ነበር ጉዞ ? (How did you go to Korea? was it by ship?how was the trip when you go?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       አዎ. ወደ ኮርያ ለመሄድ ብዙ ፈተና መፈተን አለብን እናም ማስጠንቀቂዎችም ነበሩ. በመርከብ ነው የሄድ ነው. ከዚህ በባቡር ነው የሄድነው ከዛ በመርከብ ነው የተሳፈር ነው.


ከመሳፈራችን በፊት የመርከብ ትእዛዝ ይሰጠን ነበር በመኮንናችን. ድንገት ሰው ከመርከብ ላይ የወደቀ እንደሆነ Man over board Man over board በሉ ይባል ነበር ያንን በመሀይም አይምሮ ይዤ አውጠነጥን ነበር. መርከቡን ያገኘነውጅቡቲ ላይ ነው. የመርከቡ ስም General blachfoard ይባላልየሄድንበት መርከብ…..


……General blachfoard. ጅቡቲ ላይ ስንሳፈር ግሪኮችን አገኝናቸው. ግሪኮች እስቀድመው ተሳፍረው ስለነበረ አብረን21 ቀን በውሃ ላይ ሄድን መሬት ያየነው ኢንዶኔዥያ ስንደርስ ነው. ሰማይ እና ባህርን ብቻ እናይ ነበር. ሌት እና ቀንይሄዳል በጉዞው ላይ ከግሪኮች ጋር ተጣላን


Cinema እናይ ነበር የ Cinema አስተናባሪ እነሱ ነበሩ ትንሽ ሰልጠን ያሉ ስለሆኑ በመግባት በመውጣት ምክንያትተጋጨን እና በቡጢመቱን እኛ ደግሞ በመጥረጊ እያሳደድን ደበደብ ናቸው በዚህ የተነሳ አላርም ተነፋ የመርከቡአዛዥ ማስጠንቀቂያ ሰጡ ግሪኮችም proseki proseki ampala አሉአቸው እኛ ደግሞ ወደ ክፍላቹ ተባልን


ወደ ክፍላችን ሄድን ከዛ መጨረሻ ላይ በ21 ቀን የኮርያ መሬት እረገጥን. (It was so hard to reach to Korea. There were a lot of instructions to follow. First we go to by train from Ethiopia to Djibouti and then by ship. We took the ship from Djibouti. The ship name was general blach ford. One of the instructions on the ship was to alert the crew if any one falls from the ship by shouting ‘man over board, man over board’. I did not forget that word though I did not speak English. There were Greeks on board the ship and we went together for 21 days over sea. We see the land when we reach Indonesia. It was only the sky and the oceans until that. We fought with the Greeks while watching cinema. They first hit us and we also fight back using a sweeping handle. After that the ship alarm sound and we were given warning and instructed to go to our rooms. But after 21 days we reach Korea.)


TRANSLATOR:        So there is so much history that I did not remember at that time. As you see so we go to the Djibouti first so that we go to the ship in that time there was so many test we had to go to Korea because when we ship is new for all of Ethiopia


so we meet Greek first there so there was a training called if somebody failed from the ship we have to learn we have to say man over board man over board so many times so we did not know about anything to say so this was the only thing we know at that first time we was in the ship so we meet Greek in that place because they was the first one who in the  ship so we use to watch movie together…


…..in the ship and then we used to sleep we used to be the same place so we had a fight with them in the door because they used push us and we had a fight they first kick us and kick back there was really really high fight in there.

INTERVIEWER:        So you told me that you did not know much about Korea before you gone Korea and so let me ask this question. When did you arrived in


Korea and how was Korea to you? How was Korean economy, how was Korean people, how was living condition there when you first saw the Korea for the first time and be honest please give me the detail description.


TRANSLATOR:        ምንም ሳይደብቁ በግልጽ ይንገሩኝ. ያኔ ኮርያ ሲደርሱ ሀገሪቷ ምን ትመስል ነበር ህዝቦቿ ምንይመስሉ ነበር በምን ሁኔታ ውስጥ ነበሩ? (Tell me honestly without hiding anything. When you arrived in Korea, what was the country look like, what was its people look like, and what was their situation?)



TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ኮርያ ወደብ ላይ እንደደረስን ህፃናት ከበቡን አአአአ ይሉ ነበር እኛ ቋንቋውን ባናውቅምእኛ ደግሞ ዳቦ ስንወርውር እነሱ ይቀልቡ ነበር ምን አልባት አሁን ላይ ያሉት ባለስልጣናት ሊሆኑ ይችላሉ እናአቀባበላቸው በጣም የሚያስደንቅ ነበር. ከመርከብ ከወረድን በኃላ በመኪና ወደ የቦታው…


…ስንሄድ እርሻ, ከብቶች አናይም ነበር. ያየነው ከብት ቢኖር 2 በሬዎች ብቻ ነው. የተወሰኑ ዛፎችን አይተናል ተራራ እናሸለቆ ግን አለ እና ያው…



…38ተኛው መስመር ገብተን ተቀመጥን. (When we first reached Korea a lot of children gathered around us and greeted us though we did not know the language. We give them bread. May be those children’s are the now officials. And they welcomed as well. When we travel by car after that there were no farm lands there also there were not much live stocks. I only so two oxen, when we take rest on our travel. There were trees, mountains, and valleys. We boarded to the 38th line after travelling long.)


F          So when we arrive in Korea there was so many children’s come to us when we take off from the ship and then we used to through bread to them and there were really happy to see us at that time and then we could not see any farm at that time I don’t remember seeing any farm there was 2 ox only that I see at that time and the farmer have only….



……have 1 ox at that time and also it was really really empty at that time when we get there.


INTERVIEWER:        So that was the situation in Korea so when did you arrive in Korea and where and what was your unit and rank?


TRANSLATOR:        በዛ ሰአት መቼ ነበር ኮርያ የደረሱት እና የት ነበረ ያረፉት ምደብዎት ምን ይባል ነበር ስንተኛውቃኘው ነበሩ? (When did you arrive in Korea and where did you land? what was your unit and rank?)



TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ያረፍንበት ቦታው ይህ ነው ባልልም አንድ ቦታ ሄደን አረፍ.  አራተኛ ቃኘው ሁለተኛሻምበል ነበርኩ. የተሰጠን ቦታ 38ተኛ parallel ምሽግ ነው. ምሽጉ ውስጥ ነው የገባነው እንደሄድን ከምሽጉ ቁጭብለን  ስንቅ እየተቀበልን




ምሽጉ ጋር አንድ 3 ወር ቆይተናል እንደገባን  ምሽግ ላይ 3 ወር ቆይተናል. (I could not remember the place but I was on the 4th battalion and 2nd unit. The place given to us was the 38th parallel line. We settled in there for 3 months.)


TRANSLATOR:        I do not remember exactly where it was at that time but I am 4th battalion and then 2nd shamble unit and then it was 38 parallel when we go there and then the first thing we did was going to banker at that time and went there 3 months almost.

INTERVIEWER:        When what year did he arrive?



TRANSLATOR:        መቼ ነበር እዛ የደረሱት በስንተኛው አመተ ምህረት? (When did you get there? What year?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       በ46 ሰኔ ወር መጨረሻ ነው ከዚህ የተነሳነው እዛ የገባነው መቼ እንደሆነ አላስታውስምግን የደረስነው ከወር በኃላ ነው ምን አልባት በነሀሴ ሊሆን ይችላል. የተነሳነው በ 46 በሰኔ ወር መጨረሻ ነው. ከዚህከአዲስ አበባ የተነሳነው. እዛ ስንገባ….


….. አንድ ወር ይሆነናል. ከዚህ ወደ ጅቡቲ ስንሄድ ግን 3 ቀን ነው የፈጀብን በባቡር. (We begin the trip in June 1953, and we reached there after a month so we arrived there may be on July.)


TRANSLATOR:        ስለዚህ በ47 ነው እዛ የሄዱት ማለት ነው? መጨረሻው ላይ ነው የሄዱት? (So you went there at 47? Did you go at the end?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       47 እዛ ነኝ. (I am there in 47.)


TRANSLATOR:        47 ኮርያ ደርሰዋል? (You arrived in Korea in 47?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       አዎ ኮርያ መሬት ላይ. (Yes, on Korea ground.)


TRANSLATOR:        we arrive there in 1954.


INTERVIEWER:        54 that means after the war, so what was his specialty?


TRANSLATOR:        የዛኔ ምንድን ነበር ችሎታዎት. ተኳሽ


ነበሩ ወይስ ራዲዮ ማን ነበሩ? ምንድንነበሩ? (What was your ability? Were you a shooter or a radioman?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ተራ ወታደር ነበርኩ ባር የሚባል መሳሪያ እረዳት ነበርኩ. (I was a solider but I was assistant shooter of artery called BAR.)


TRANSLATOR:         I was infantry at that time so there was a shooting gun B4 gun so I was helping that shooter man.


INTERVIEWER:        So when you were in the front line, how the situation there was, were there any Skirmish meaning…..



……small battle shooting or how dangerous that was or how was it?  What are the new activities or please explain it.


TRANSLATOR:        ያኔ ተራ ወታደር በነበሩበት ጊዜ ጦርነቱ ምን ይመስል ነበር? በደንብ ግልፅ አርገው  አብራርተውይንገሩኝ. (What was the war looks like when you were an ordinary soldier?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       እኛ እንደደረስን ተኩስ ቆሞ ነበር. ምሽግ ላይ እንውላለን እናድራለን እንጠብቃለን ማዶለማዶ …



. …እንደ ምገምተው 25 ኪሎሜትር ይህል ክፍት ቦታ አለ በእኛ እና በማዶ አቅጣጫ ያንን አሻግረን እንመለከታለንአንዳንዴ ደግሞ ማታ በመብራት እንመለከታለን ያንን ሪፖርት እናደርጋለን አልፎ አልፎ ፓትሮል እንገባ ነበር ወደውስጥም በጨለማ ሁለት ሶስት እየሆንን መስመሩን አልፈን ከዛ ሊነጋጋ ሲል


ተመልሰን እንመጣለን. እኛ ጦርነት አላደረግንም. (When we arrive there was a no shooting agreement. So we just guard the line on standby there were an open space of 25 km between us and the enemy line. We saw over that space and we patrol in the night in two and three groups. We even pass through the danger mesh line to watch over the enemy activity but there was no active war.)


TRANSLATOR:        So when we arrive there was no war at that time the war was already finished so the thing we used to do in that time was we just sit and keep our eyes open 24 hours every day so in the night when we see light from far away from us it almost 5



to 6 kilometers so if we see a light even a fire if we see we report to our commander so we used to be like this we had not have any war at that time.


INTERVIEWER:        What was the most difficult thing during your stay in Korea?


TRANSLATOR:        ኮርያ በነበሩበት ጊዜ በጣም ያስቸገረዎት ነገር ምን ነበር? አየሩ ነበር? ምንድን ነበር? (What was the most difficult thing for you when you were in Korea? Was it the air? What was it?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ኮርያ አየሩም ሆነ መሬቱ በጣም ይመቸኝ ነበር.


00:19:00 የሚያስቸግረኝ ነገር ቢኖር አቀበት ስንወጣ መሬቱ በጣም ገር ነው ስንረግጠው ወደታች

ይሸሻል መሳሪያ ይዤ ስወጣ ይደክመኝ ነበር ግን ቦታው ላይ ስንደር ስድካሙ ይጠፋ ነበር. ቁልቁለት ስንወርድምመሬቱ ስለሚናድ እግሬን ወለም ይለኝ ነበር.




ከዚህ ውጭ ኮርያ አየሩ በጣም ይስማማኝ ነበር መሬቱ ደግሞ በጣም ገር ነው ስትረግጠው ቢያንስ 50 ሴንቲ ሜትርይሸሻል. አየሩ ጥይት የተተኮሰበት አይመስልም ነበር. (The weather was good but the land was difficult to walk over. It was a soft soil so it took a lot of energy to walk carrying arms. But when we took rest all the tiredness will disappear because the weather was fresh. It does not even look a war zone the air was so fresh.)


TRANSLATOR:        So the most difficult thing was…


…not a weather because personally I love the weather of Korea at that time it really good because does not even looks like there is a war in that time the air was really really good so but the most difficult thing for me was when we go to the mountain when we climb the mountain the ground was not strong when we try to climb the broke was destroyed in that time so that was really really…



…. the most difficult thing even when we go back to the mountain it was really I had an accident also in that time but still when we finish the mountain still my leg will be ok.


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ጥይት የተተኮሰበት አይመስልም አየሩ. (The air does not seem to have been the war.)

TRANSLATOR:        The air does not look like there was any shooting in that time it was clean.


INTERVIEWER:        You are lucky that you were there when the war ended so it was good.


TRANSLATOR:        ጦርነቱ አልቆ በመሄድዎት እድለኛ ነዎት. (You are lucky that you gone there when the war over.)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       አመሰግናለው. (Thank you.)


TRANSLATOR:        Thanks to GOD.



INTERVIEWER:        So let me ask this question the soft side of your service, where did you sleep, what was the living condition, what did you eat and how much will you pay? Do you remember?


TRANSLATOR:        በጦርነቱ ወቅት ሰላማዊ ስለሆነው ጊዜ ይህን ጥያቄ ልጠይቅዎት.የት ነበር የሚተኙት, ምን ድንነበር የሚበሉት እና ስንት ነበር የሚከፈልዎት ካስታወሱት. (Let me ask you this question about the peaceful time during the war.If you remember where you slept, what did you eat and how much you paid?)




TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       እዛ ሀገር ሆኜ ነው? (Am I in that country?)


TRANSLATOR:        እዛው ሀገር. (In that country.)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ክፍያ የኢትዮጵያ 10 ብር ነው የአሜሪካ 4 ዶላር ነበር እዛማገኘው. ጠቅላላ የኢትዮጵያመንግሥት 40 ብር ነውየሚሰጠን.10 ብሩን ነው ይዤ የሄድኩት ሌላ የምንተኛው የተገኘው ቦታ ላይ ነው መሬቱ ችግርየለውም ምሽግም ውስጥ እንተኛ ነበር ምንም የሚያስቸግረን የለም ምንጣፍ የለንም ዝም ብለን


መተኛት ነው የምንችለው ምንም የሚያስቸግረን ነገር የለም. ወደ ኃላ ለእረፍት ስንመለስ ግን አልጋ ነበረን. (The payment was 4$. I only took 10 birr from here. The Ethiopian government gives us a total of 40 birr. We sleep where ever we found in the front lines on just the land. But during brakes we go back and sleep on bed.)


TRANSLATOR:        የሚበሉትስ ምን ነበር?


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       የኮርያ ዘማቾች የሚያቀርበው አዝማቹ የሚያቀርበውን ነው የምንበላው. እርግጥ ነውስጋ ነገር አልበላም ነበር አይበላልኝም ነበር.


ዳቦ እና እንቁላል የሆነ ወተት በወረቀት ካርቶን የሚመጣ ነበር. ወረቀት ነው ቀደክ ነው የምትጠጣው ውስጡፕላስቲክ ይመስለኛል. እና ከዚህ የበለጠ ስጋ ነገር አልበላም ነበር አይበላልኝም ነበር. (We eat what the Korean warriors offer. I do not like eating meat products but I eat bread an eggs, milk. There was also a paper packed milk.)


TRANSLATOR:        So in that time the thing we do was there was no bed in that time so we sleep everywhere in the ground because even the ground was ok for us because in


our banker we sleep everywhere and also the payment we used to paid was in Korea it was 10 birr that means 10$ in that time and the Ethiopia government.


INTERVIEWER:        10 birr which is how much in Dollar?

TRANSLATOR:        4$.

INTERVIEWER:        4$?

TRANSLATOR:        Yes 4$. And then the Ethiopian government we used to paid us but only the 10 birr comes to Korea so we sleep everywhere as I said before and then we came back


when we came back to recreation we have bed to sleep on so also the food we use to it was specially me I did not eat meat because I could not eat meat in that time the only thing I use to eat was bread and eggs and also there was one milk they bring it with paper it looks like paper but

INTERVIEWER:        yes it is a powder.


TRANSLATOR:        it is a powder so that was the good one.



INTERVIEWER:        Ok so let me ask the question this with one birr at the time in 1954 in Ethiopia what could you buy with the one birr give me some example? You know why because I want to talk about I want to know about the value of one birr at the time.


TRANSLATOR:        በዛ ሰአት በ1 ብር ምን ማረግ ይችሉ ነበር? ምክንያቱም 1 ብር




በዛን ጊዜ ምን ማድረግ እንደሚችል ማወቅ ስለፈለኩ ነው. (What could you do with 1 Birr at that time? Because I want to know what 1 Birr could do then?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       1ብር በዛን ጊዜ አንድ ዶሮ ይገዛ ነበር. (One birr could buy us 1 good sized chicken or two middle sized chickens. Or it could by us a lunch at the moment.)


TRANSLATOR:        በቃ አንድ ብቻ ነው የሚገዛው. (Is only buys one.)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       አንዳንዴም ሁለት ዶሮም ይገዛል. (Sometimes it buys two chickens.)


TRANSLATOR:        In that time in 1 birr we could buy one good chicken and also may be 2 middle size chickens.


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       አንድ ምሳም ይበላበታል. (We eat one lunch)


TRANSLATOR:        we could also eat one lunch in good hotel.




INTERVIEWER:        So see with the one birr now what can you buy nothing right? So when you came back from Korea how the Ethiopian government did treat you and how about Ethiopian people received you?


TRANSLATOR:        ከኮርያ ሲመለሱ የኢትዮጵይ ህዝብ እና መንግስት እንዴት ነበር የተቀበሏችሁ? (How did the Ethiopian people and government received you upon your return from Korea?)




TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ምንም እኛጋ ግርግር አልነበረም ዝም ብለን ነው የገባነው. ንጉሠነገሥቱ ቤተመንግስትውስጥ እራት ጋብዘውናል ልደት አዳራሽ ውስጥ. ስንሄድም እዛው ነው የተሸኘነው ሌላ ግር ግር የለም ሰልፍ ምናምንየሚባል የለም. (There was no people crowed when we come back. The king welcomed us in the LIDET hall which is now inside Addis Ababa University which was a place at the moment. It was not known welcomed people in crowds.)


TRANSLATOR:        የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ሊቀበልዎት አልመጣም? (Didn’t the Ethiopian people come to welcome you?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       አልመጣም, እንደዚህ አይነት የለም እንደዚህ የተጀመረው ከአበበ ቢቂላ በኃላ ነው



ከዛ በፊት ማንም ተቀባይ እንግዳ መጣ አይባልም ሹልክ ብለን ሄድን ሹልክ ብለን መጣን. ንጉሰነገስቱ ግንአስተናግደውናል. (No, there is no such thing. It started after Abebe Bikila

Before that, no one was welcome, and we just go out came back again. But the emperor welcomed us)


TRANSLATOR:        There was no Ethiopian people that came to us when we go there because there is nothing and nobody listen or heard about that we was coming but the majesty invite us for dinner and we had good dinner in that time even when we go to Korea first…


…we had also dinner at that time


INTERVIEWER:        So have you been back to Korea after you coming back?


TRANSLATOR:        ጦርነቱን ጨርሰው ከመጡ በኃላ ኮርያ ለጉብኝት ሄደዋል? (Have you been go to visit Korea after the war?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       አልሄድኩም. (No, I did not go back after I come back.)

TRANSLATOR:        I have never go to Korea.


INTERVIEWER:        Do you want to go to Korea?


TRANSLATOR:        ኮርያ ሄደው ማይት ይፈልጋሉ? (Do you want to see Korea?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ከዚህ በፊት ለጠየቁኝ መልሻለሁ ሄጄ ባይ ደስ ይለኛል ግን አሁን ክረምት ገባእንደማውቀው. (I have been asked on previous and I replayed I want to go back and visit Korea. But I think it is winter now.)


TRANSLATOR:        I have been asked the last time so…..


….I will be happy to see Korea but I think now is winter in your country so.

INTERVIEWER:        Next year.

TRANSLATOR:        ምናልባት የሚቀጥለው አመት. (May be next year.)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       እድሜ ይስጠን. (If GOD give life.)

TRANSLATOR:        If GOD will I will go.


INTERVIEWER:        So do you know the current Korean economy how Koreans are doing now?


TRANSLATOR:        በአሁን ሰአት ኮርያ በሀብት ምን ያህል እንደደረሰች ሰምተው ያውቃሉ? (Do you know the current Korean economy how Koreans are doing now?)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       አዎ ሰምቻለሁ. (Yes, I heard.)

TRANSLATOR:        Yes I heard about it.

TRANSLATOR:        እስኪ….



…ይንገሩኝ ምን ምን እንደሰሙ ይንገሩኝ. በደንብ ያብራሩልኝ. (Tell me what you heard. Explain it to me well.)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       እንግዲህ አንደኛ ብልፅግና እናዳልው ጋደኞቼ ነግረውኛል አንዳንዶቹ ያዮት ሌላው እዚህሀገር የሚመጡት እቃዎች አሉ ለምሳሌ እነ ሳምሰንግ የመሳሰሉት እና ሌላም እቃዎች አሉ አቅሜ ስለማይፈቅድበዝርዝር እንዲህ ማለት አልችልም.


እናንተ እንኳን ለኛ የምታደርጉት እንቅስቃሴ ከብልፅግና የተነሣ እና ያንን ታሪክ እንድታነሱ ስለወደዳቹ ከብልፅግናቹልታካፍሉን እንደወደዳቹ ሳይ እንደበለፅጋችሁይገባኛል. (Yes I have heard about it. I know that Korea is a prosperous country now. Some of my friends who visited recently have told me about it. The other thing I know some items which are produced in Korea that are imported here like Samsung and others. Though I do not know much about technology and list you move. But tells me that you are sharing us because now Korea is prosperous.)


TRANSLATOR:         So I heard about that Korea become rich our friends talk about it mostly our Veterans friend and also I know…


that Samsung the model Samsung is really really huge thing in Ethiopia also in the world I heard about that too and also I can see from what you are doing that became to really rich because we did not forget you are rich in your thinking not only the wealth you know economy the educated you have been so I know that.


INTERVIEWER:        Thank you for your wonderful comments…


….and next year will be 70th Anniversary of the Korean War break up we are still at technically war, do you have anything you want to say to the Korean People?


TRANSLATOR:        አሁንም ላይ ሰሜን እና ደቡብ ኮርያ ግጭት ላይ ናቸው ያቃሉ አይደለ? እና የሚቀጥለው አመትደግሞ 70ኛው ክብረ በአል ይከበራል እና ለኮርያ ህዝብ ማለት የሚፍልጉት ነገር ካለ ማስተላለፍ የሚፈልጉት መልእክትካለ ያስተላልፉ. (You know North and South Korea are still in conflict, don’t you? And next year the 70th anniversary will be celebrated and if there is anything you want to say to the Korean people, send a message if you want to.)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       በአሁኑ ጊዜ እንደገና ያለፈውን ታሪክ


እስከ ዛሬ እስከ ዛሬ የተደረጉትን ጦርነትቶች እንኳን የኮርያ አይደለም የአለምን ጦርነቶች የሚያበቃበት እና ሰሜን እናደቡብ ኮርያ እኛ መስመር ላይ ሆነን ጠብመንጃ ይዘን እንደተሰለፍን አበባ ይዘው የሚሰለፉበትን ጊዜ እጠብቃለሁ. ጀርመን ግንቡ እንደተናደ እናውቃለን አሁን ደግሞ ሰሜን እና ደቡብ ኮርያ የህሊናቸው ግንብ ተንዶ


ወንድማማቾቹ ተገናኝተው የእኛም ደም እዛ ስለፈሰሰ የሰላም ምህረት ፈጣሪ እንዲያሳየን እለምናለሁ. (Now a days I wish the end of war all over the world. So I wish the Korea to grab flowers and make peace like we grabbed guns during the war. We know that the Berlin wall separating Germans is destroyed now so I also wish the mental walls separating the two Korean brothers destroyed and make peace. Our blood have also flowed on the land so I wish to stand there and we all make peace. I pray for that.)


TRANSLATOR:        The thing I want to say for the Korea is I wanted to see that brother and sister the north brother and south brother come together and have the same flower together and then make peace and I always….


…..pray for that to be happen that is the only thing that you have to do keep your brother hood come back again because I have listen the German wall has been destroyed so I want that to happen to Korean Peoples.


INTERVIEWER:        Wonderful comments that is the task that Koreans really need to deal we need to really get together and form reunification but I want to thank you for your wonderful service and thank you for coming…..


…. it was great to talk to you sir.


TRANSLATOR:        ስለመጡ በጣም አመሰግናለሁ. እውነትዎትን ነው ማረግ የሚገባን ነገር እርስዎ ያሉትን ነገርነው ያንን ነገር በስርአት አስተካክለን እንዳሉት እኛ እንደ ወንድማማችነታችን መመለስ አለብን.ስለረጉትቃለምልልስበጣምእጅግአርጌአመሰግናለሁ. (Thank you so much for coming. What we have to do is what you say. We need to return to our brotherhood, as you have said. Thank you so much for the interview.)

TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       መጨመር የምፈልገው ነገር አለ። (I want to add something.)


TRANSLATOR:        I want to say more something.

TRANSLATOR:        ይችላሉ። (Ok you can.)



TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       በተባበሩት መንግሥታት በር ላይ እንደሰማሁት ነው አይኔ አላየም



መዶሻ ይዞ ጦርን እና ሰይፍን የሚቀጠቅጥ ሀውልት አለ ይባላል. ተባበሩት መንግሥታት በር ላይ መዶሻ ይዞ ጦርን እናሰይፍን የሚቀጠቅጥ ሀውልት አለ ይባላል ይሄ እውነት ነው ወይ? እውነት ከሆነ ይሄ ደግሞ በእግዚአብሔር ቃልየተፃፈ ስላለ አለም ይህንን ጦርነት አብቅታ ጦርነት


ሰሜን እና ደቡብ ኮርያ ብቻ አይደለም ብቻቸውን ነፃ ሊሆኑ አይችሉም እኛም ብቻችንን ነፃ ልንሆን እንችልም. የተባበሩት መንግሥታት ደጃፍ የቆመው ሀውልት መሳሪያን የሚቀጠቅጥ ሰይፉን ማረሻ ጦሩን ማጭድ የማረግጥቅስ አለው ሰይፉን ማረሻ ጦሩን ማጭድ ከስሩ ላይ ይህ ደግሞ መፅሐፍ ቅዱስ ውስጥ የተፃፈ ነው.


ይህ ነገር ተፈፅሞ ዛሬ ሰሜን እና ደቡብ ኮርያ እዛ መስመር ላይ ተቃቅፈው ሲላቀሱ ሲሳሳሙ አይኔ ማየት ይፈልጋልእስከ ሚመጣው አመት ድረስ ተስፋ የተሰጠኝ ከሆነ እንድጎበኝ እነሱ ሲሳሳሙ ማየት እመኛለሁ. የአለም ታሪክ ታሪክሆኖ ወደኃላ እንዲቀር እና እውነትም መሳሪይዎች ተቀጥቅጠው ማረሻ እና ማጭድ ሆነው ማየት እፈልጋለሁ.


ኮርያ ብቻዋን ነፃ ልትሆን አትችልም. ዛሬ አለም ያለበትን ሁኔታ እንሰማለን. አለምን እያጠኑ ያሉ ሰዎች እንኳን አየሩ, ውሀው ተበክሏል መሬት ቆሽሻለች ይህን ሁሉ ማንነው የሚያፅዳው? መሬት የተሰጠችው ለሰው ነው ተብሏል ሰውእራሱን እያበላሸ ከሆነ ማይችል ከሆነ ባለቤቱ የሚረከብበት ጊዜ ሊኖር እንደሚችል ያንን ወደ ሰማይ ልንፅልይ ይገባል


ያንን ሊያከናውልን የሚችለው ደግሞ የሰማይ እና የምድር ጌታ ነው. (There is something I want to add. On the UN Head Quarter wall there is a showing a hammer destroying a spear and swords. I heard about it. If it is true the statue which stand in the UN also have a writing under it which describes the change of the war swords and tools to change to farming and development tools. This is also written on the bible. So I wish such things to happen between the two Koreans. I want to see them hugging and breaking inters out of happiness and making peace. I want to witness that when I visit Korea. And I also wish to the world the ends of war. And I also wish to the world the ends of war. And the change of arteries to development tools. I hear news around the world that the change in the weather the water and the land are being pointed humans are destroying it. I pray to the end of this destruction.)


TRANSLATOR:        let me tell him




TRANSLATOR:        So there is one question I have to ask if you know so in the UN united nation in Addis Ababa I heard I did not see but there is one status that they put they use guns..


…..they use knifes to farm so that is really good thing I mean they

INTERVIEWER:        foot day


TRANSLATOR:        That means the UN try to to teach the world by destroying the guns so that could be used for farming for being good things so I wanted to see and I want the south Korea to know and to change something like UN


if you know about this please tell about the south Korea and north Korea to change all their weapons to build and to make change for their life I want to see south Korea and north Korea to kiss and hug that is I want.


INTERVIEWER:        Yes very good points and as you mention if you go to the united nation building in New York City you see that the guns are tied up so that they do not want to see


more conflicts and Wars coming out of different countries and but that is to I deal and we are so far from it yet because we are conflicting each other now and I absolutely agree with you that we need to peace together and that’s what we want to do.


TRANSLATOR:        እውነትዎትን ነው ይህ ነገር አሜሪካም ላይ አለ እርሶ ያሉት የተባበሩት መንግስታት


አለ ያሉት እውነትዎትን ነው መሳሪያውን ጠቅለው ለሌላ ነገር እንጠቀም የሚባል ነገር አለ እኛም እሱ ቀን እንዲመጣእንፈልጋለን. (As you mention if you go to the united nation building in New York City you see that and I absolutely agree with you that we need to peace together and that’s what we want to do.)


TESFAYE ASMAMAU:       ስለዚህ እስከዛው ድረስ የኮርያ እና የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ያገዛዝ ጊዜያቸውን ሰላምእንዲያደርግላቸው ምኞቴ ነው. (In the meantime, I wish the Korean and Ethiopian government’s peace during their rule.)


TRANSLATOR:        Until then I wish all the very happy them Korea


INTERVIEWER:        Thank you so much for your time and wonderful comments…..



……really you made a difference so I want to thank you sir.

TRANSLATOR:        በጣም አመሰግናለሁ ያነሱት ሀሳብ በጣም ቆንጆ ሀሳብ ነው እግዚአብሔር ይስጥልኝአመሰግናለሁ. (Thank you so much for your time and wonderful comments)


INTERVIEWER:        Thank you.


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