Tsege Cherenet Degn
Tsege Cherenet Degn served in the Fourth Kagnew Battalion beginning in 1954. The battalion was named after an Ethiopian warhorse and members were drawn from the Ethiopian emperor’s bodyguard division. Tsege Cherenet Degn traveled by ship to Korea with Greek and UK troops and was stationed in Chuncheon and Seoul. He served in a patrol unit and reported on the movements and activities of Chinese troops across the DMZ. Tsege Cherenet Degn is most proud of his work with the poor children which included an Ethiopian run orphanage. He returned to South Korea in 2013 and was amazed and proud of the progress that had been made since he left in 1954.
Impressions of Korea on Arrival
Tsege Cherenet Degn arrived in Korea in September of 1954. He comments on how empty and devoid of plants and green his post was near the DMZ. Even though the war was over, he was not sure peace would continue and was on constant alert.
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His Most Important Contribution
Tsege Cherenet Degn was most proud of his work with the poor in South Korea. He recounts his work helping with the poor children and their school. His pride also extended to an orphanage that was sponsored by the Ethiopian army.
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Korea - Then and Now
Tsege Cherenet Degn describes the conditions in Korea in 1954. He stayed in a destroyed home with no roof and used to watch movies on a destroyed wall. He returned to South Korea in 2013 and shares his thoughts and admiration for the vast improvements.
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2013 Korean Visit
Tsege Cherenet Degn describes his return to South Korean in 2013. Upon his return to Ethiopia, a Korean citizen visited his home and built 13 homes including one for Tsege for which he is grateful.
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[Beginning of Recorded Material]
Interviewer: It is November 13 2019 the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa my name is Jongwoohan am the president of Korean War legacy foundation. Korean government ministry of patriot and veterans of affairs of Republic of Korea commission my foundation to conduct this special interviews series for the 70th anniversary of the breakup of the Korean War so you are going to represent Ethiopia…
…for all world. It is my great pleasure and honor to meet you thank you for coming. Please introduce yourself your name and spell it for the audience please?
Translator: የመጣሁት ከኮርያ ነው ይህንን ልዪ የሆነ ቃለምልልስ የርሶን ቃለምልልስ እርሶ ኢትዮጵያን ወክለውለሁሉም አለም ህዝብ እንዲያየው ነው የመጣሁት. ይህ ቃለምልልስ አለም ሁሉ የሚያየው ቃለምልልስ ነው እና እርሶይህንን የመሰለ ታሪክ እንዲያስቀምጡ ነው ሀሳቤ እኔ የመጣሁት ከኮርያ ነው…
…ከኮርያ መንግስት ነው የተላኩት. አሁን ስምዎትን ሙሉ ስምዎትን ይንገሩኝ? (I come from Korea, this special interview is for you to represent Ethiopia in front of the world people. This interview will be watched by people around the world. I come from the Korean government to put together your history. Now tell me your full name?)
Tsege: እኔ የሀምሳ አለቃ ፅጌ ቸርነት እባላለሁ. (My name is Tsega Cherenet.)
Translator: My name is Tsege Cherenet T S E G E My middle name C H E R E N E T
Tsege: የአያቴ ስም ዳኜ. (My grandfather name is Dagne.)
Translator: And my grand name is Dagne.
Tsege: የአያቴ ስም ዳኜ. (My grandfather name is Dagne.)
Translator: Dagne spell like D E G N.
Interviewer: And when were you born?
Translator: መቼ ነበር የተወለዱ? (When were you born?)
Tsege: በ1926 አ.ም ተወለድኩ. (I was born in 1934.)
Translator: I was born in 1933.
Interviewer: 33 and what is the date?
Translator: ቀኑ መቼ ነበር…
…እና ወሩን ያስታውሱታል? (Do you remember the date and month?)
Tsege: ግንቦት 30. አስረኛው ወር. (June 7.)
Translator: It was July 7.
Interviewer: July 7. And where were you born?
Translator: የት ነበር የተወለዱት? (Where were you born?)
Tsege: በተጉለት እና ይፋት አካባቢ ነው. (I was born in a place around Tegulet and Yifat.)
Translator: I was born in tegulet and yefat around their.
Interviewer: So tell me about…
…when did you join the military in Ethiopia?
Translator: መቼ ነበረ ውትድርናውን እዚህ ኢትዮጵያ የተቀላቀሉት? (When did you join the Ethiopian Army?)
Tsege: በ1944 አ.ም. በ1944 አ.ም ጥር 1 ቀን ክቡር ዘበኛ ተቀጠርኩ ጃን ሜዳ. (I joined in 1952, January 9 in a place called Janmeda.)
Translator: I joined the military in Ethiopia in 1952 July 17.
Interviewer: Then when did you leave for Korea form here?
Translator: መቼ ነበረ ወደ ኮርያ ከኢትዮጵያ የሄዱት? (When did you go to Korea?)
Tsege: በ1946 አ.ም በሰኔ ወር አካባቢ ነው. (I went there I June, 1954 A.D.)
Translator: በስንተኛው አመተምህረት? (In which year?)
Tsege: በ46. (In 1954.)
Translator: በ46? (In 1954?)
Tsege: አዎ. (Yes.)
Translator: ያማለት ከሁለት አመት በኃላ ከኢትዮጵያ ከተቀላቀሉ ከሁለት አመት በኃላ ማለት ነው? (That means two years after you join the army you went to Korea?)
Tsege: አዎ በኃላ ማለት ነው. (Yes, after that.)
Translator: I joined the military of the Korea in 1954.
Interviewer: 54. So when you first land in Korea, landed in Korea for the first time, how was Korea? How was people living condition? What about Korean economy overall? How was the situation in Korea give us detail and honest opinion impression of…
…Korea that you saw?
Translator: የዛኔ ልክ ኮርያ ሲገቡ የነበረዎት እይታዎት እንዴት ነበረ? ያዪት ኮርያ እንዴት ነበረ? ምን አይነት ሀገርነበረ በዛን ጊዜ ያዪት? እስኪ ስለነበረው ነገር በደንብ ይንገሩን? (How was Korea looking when you first arrived? What was the situation there? Tell me in detail?)
Tsege: የነበረው ስንገባ ክረምት መግቢያው ነበረ ወደ መስከረም አካባቢ ነው. ቅጠሉ እረግፎ በረዶ ነበረ. ዛፉቤቱ ሁላ…
…ፈራርሶ ቤታቸው ፈራርሶ ፎቁ ሁላ ፈራርሶ ነው ያየሁት. (It was summer when we first arrived. It was in September. There was snow and the trees were shading there leafs. There were destroyed buildings and we only saw remains of the destruction.)
Translator: When we get there it was around September so there was.
Interviewer: September 1954 yes.
Translator: In1954 so there was nothing there was no leaf there was green thing nothing at all at that time so it was almost empty when we got there. It was only mountain there was only jungles when we get there.
Interviewer: So that was after the war right?
Translator: ያማለት ጦርነቱ ካበቃ በኃላ ነው አይደለ የሄዱት? (That means you went to Korea after the war is over?)
Tsege: አዎ. (Yes.)
Translator: ስንተኛው ቃኘው ነበሩ? (In which Battalion you belong?)
Tsege: አራተኛ ቃኘው. (I was in the 4th Battalion.)
Translator: Yes it was after the war.
Interviewer: And how was the situation in the VMC the battle line their? You were in Chuncheon right? And how was the situation there? Was there any dangerous moments or anything going around their?
Translator: ያኔ የሄዱበት ጊዜ ቹንቾን ነበር…
…እዛ ነበር ያረፋት የሄዱበት ጊዜ እና እንዴት ነበር ሁኔታው? ሰላም ነበረ ወይስ ጭንቀት ነበረ? (When you went to Korea, you arrived in Chuncheon, right? How was the situation there? Was it peaceful?)
Tsege: ሰላም ነበረ ያው ጥበቃ ነው. ግን አፍጥጦ በጥንቃቄ ጦርነቱም እየተባባሰ የመጣበት ዘመን ጊዜ ነበር. ጥበቃው ግን የበለጠ ጥበቃ ነበረ. ምክንያቱም እነኛም ጠንክረው ነበር ግን ደግነቱ ተኩስ አቁም ማለቱ አገደውእንጂ ጦርነቱ ከባድ ነበረ ቢሆን ኖሮ ከባድ ነበረ. (It was somehow peaceful. Since there was a no gun shoot agreement. But we were on standby and the security was tight. We were strongly guarding but we were lucky there was no war.)
Translator: Even though it was peace the security was really, really tight at that time because we was not sure that the war was stop because we have to keep our eyes open for 24 hours so the security was really, really tight at that time.
Interviewer: So ask him to describe the daily duties. What did you do? When did you wake up and what is his specialty? What was his mission and operation?
Translator: በዛን ጊዜ ሁሌ…
…በቀን በቀን ይሰሩ የነበረው ነገር ምንድን ነው? በጣም የሚያስታውሱ ከሆነ እስኪ ግልፅ አርገው በደንብያብራሩልን? (What was your daily activity? Tell me what you remember?)
Tsege: የማብራራው ጥበቃው እንዳለ ምሽግ ላይ ነው ያለነው. ምሽግ ነው ያለነው ሌሊት ፓትሮል እንወጣለንቻይና መስመር እንሄዳለን ስሙ ድንቢጥ የሚባል ኮድ አለው ከመስመር አልፈን…
…ቻይና መሀከል እንገባለን እንሰልላለን ሌሊት በስር ሽቦ የሄድነው በሽቦ ሌሊት እየሄድን እዚያች ቦታ እንደርስ እናአድረን ጥበቃ አድረን ተመልሰን ካምፓችን እንመጣለን ጠዋት. (We were inside our banker guarding the perimeter. We patrol in the night. We patrol in Chinese areas, we pass our line and went through the Chinese lines to patrol. We give the Chinese area a code name called ‘Denbit’. We spy in the night and went back before morning. )
Translator: So every day in the morning we use to go out to the Chinese battle ground and then we use to spy their and then that place called the code name of that place is to called “Denbit” at that time.
…So we use to spy every day and then we go back in the night time.
Interviewer: So your specialty was patrol and collecting information like intelligence office right?
Translator: ያማለት ስራዎት ሁሌ በጠዋት ጠዋት ፓትሮል እየወጡ መመርመር ነው ማለት ነው አይደለም ስራዎት? (So your duty was to patrol and collect information, right?)
Tsege: እሱ ብቻ እንለዋወጣለን. እንለዋወጣለን ዛሬ ሄጄ ከሆነ ሌላው ደግሞ ሻምበል ይሄዳል እንጂ አንዳችንብቻ አይደለም ተራ አለን. (Yes, but not only me. There were other groups we worked on shifts.)
Translator: Not only one group. …
…If I go to day the other one will go tomorrow. So we have to change every time.
Interviewer: Excellent, and did you were there any other solders from other country like the Korean soldiers or Turkey or French? Did you work together with any?
Translator: የዛኔ ከሌላ ሀገራት ወታደሮች ጋር ይሰሩ ነበር ወይ ከቱርኮች ጋር ወይ ከፈረንሳዮች ጋር እሚሰሩት ነበርከሌላ ሀገር ጋር ወይም ከኮርያውች ጋር ከራሳቸው ጋር ይሰሩ ነበር አንድ ላይ? (During that time have you worked with other nations like French, Turkey soldiers or Korean?)
Tsege: ስንሄድ በመርከብ አብረን ሄድን ግሪኮች ነበሩ እዛም እንግሊዞች ቅርባችን አሉ. እንግሊዞች አሉ, ግሪኮችአሉ አካባቢያችን ናቸው እና እንገናኛለን. እንገናኛለን እንጂ አንድ ላይ እንኖርም እርቀት አለው. (When we first went by ship there were Greeks with us. While we were in Korea there were England and Turkey soldiers we meet around but we lived in different camp.)
Translator: When we were going to Korea in the ship we go with the Greek and the there was also UK and also we use to go together but we did not stay together…
…because they gave so far from us.
Interviewer: So then you have experience working with other solders from Greek and UK and so on. What did you think is that difference of Ethiopia solders and military compare to others.
Translator: ያማለት ከሌሎች የኮርያ ከሌሎች ከፍራሶች ጋር ሰርተዋል ከቱርኮች ጋር ሰርተዋል እና ወይምአይተዋቸዋል በደንብ እና ኢትዮጵያ ከነዚህ ሁሉ ወታደሮች…
…እምትለይበት ምንድን ነው ብለው ያስባሉ? (If you have worked with the Korean, French and Turkey can you tell me, what is the different thing about Ethiopian soldiers?)
Tsege: ኢትዮጵያ ምትለይበት ያው በጀግንነቱ ነው. በጀግንነቱ ትለያለች እና ምርኮኛ አንድም ምርኮኛ የላትምአንድም የጠፋ ሰው የላትም. ያላትን አጠናቃ ወደ ሰፈሯ ወደ ሰፈሩ ተመልሷል በዚህ ይለያል ብዬ እገምታለው. (I think it is our heroic acts that makes us different. We were not scared of death so there was no a single Ethiopian soldier who given his hand to the enemy. There were no prisoners of war from Ethiopia.)
Translator: In my opinion Ethiopia is different from three points that I will tell now. So she was really, really hero at that time we never scared of nothing and also there was no lost in that time there is no prison of war at that time that is I think the difference.
Interviewer: What is the most important contribution that Ethiopia soldiers made for Korean people?
Translator: በዛን ጊዜ ለኮርያ ህዝብ የኢትዮጵያ ወታደሮች…
…በጣም ወሳኝ ነገር አደረጉ ሚባለው ምንድን ነው? (What was the things the Ethiopian soldiers did for the Korean people at that time?)
Tsege: አዎ ችግረኞች ለሆኑት የተማሩ መኮንኖች ስለነበሩን, መኮንኖቹ ያስተምራሉ ለችግረኞች እያዋጣንእንዳቅማችን እያዋጣን ለነሱ ለትምህርት ቤት ለልዪ ልዪ መርጃ እንሰጥ ነበር እንረዳ ነበረ በአቅማችን. (We collected what we had at that time and donate it to the poor, we supply them some educational materials and educated commanders of us used to teach them.)
Translator: In that time used to help the poor especially there was educated commander of us so we collect money and then we pay for their school, we pay for their clothes, shoes so many things we use to do.
Interviewer: So you are talking about this orphanages run by Ethiopian military right? In Korea right?
Translator: ያማለት ቤተሰብ ለሌላቸው የማሳደጊያው እሱን ያቁታል ማለት ነው ስለሱ እያወሩኝ ነው ማለት ነው? (So you are telling me about the orphanage? Do you know about that?)
Tsege: አዎ. እንደሱ ነው. (Yes, I know about it.)
Translator: Yes, I know about that.
Interviewer: Have you seen Korean children…
…or do you have any interaction with the Korean people at the time?
Translator: በዛን ጊዜ ከኮርያኖች ጋር ይገናኙ ነበር? ከኮርያ ህዝቦች ጋር እዛ የማሳደጊያ ቦታ ላይ ልጆች አጊንተው ነበርበዛን ሰአት? (Have you meet Koreans? The children? And how was your interaction with them?)
Tsege: እኔ እንኳን አላገኘሁም አብዛኛውን ሶውል ነበርኩ ጃንቡ ሚባል. ሶውል ጥበቃ ላይ ነበርኩ. (No, I was in Seoul in a place called Uijeongbu. I spent most of my time guarding in that place.)
Translator: ምን የሚባል? (Where were you?)
Tsege: ሶውል. (Seoul.)
Translator: ሶውል. (Seoul.)
Tsege: ውጃንቡ ይባላል ከሶውል ከመርከብ ወርዶ…
…እስከ ጦር መስመር የሚሄድ ነዳጅ, ነዳጅ በግራ ቤንዚን በቀኝ ናፍጣ በግራ በባቡር ዳር ዳሩን የተዘረጋ እንትን አለቧንቧ ጦር መስመር ድረስ የሚሄድ እሱን እየፈቱ ስላስቸገሩን በጥበቃ ይጠበቅ ተብሎ ሶውል ጥግ 6ኪሎ ሜትርእንደዚህ እዛ ላይ ሄጄ ጥበቃ…
…ከሰቨን ዲቪዢን ከአንድ ሻምበል ጋር አንድ መቶ ኢትዮጵያውያን ሆነን እዛ ጥበቃ ላይ አድርገናል. (The place was called Uijeongbu. There were a fuel line from Seoul to front line that passes through that place. There were a gasoline and petrol line that pass beside the left and right side of a train line. The enemy used to cut that line so the seven division used to guard that line about 6 km. we were 100 Ethiopians guarding that place.)
Translator: So I could not have the chance to see that orphanage place because I was too far from their I was in Seoul Uijeongbu so there was a pipe really long pipe that could have water so they was an enemy that destroying that thing because…
…of that we were securing that place with hundreds of soldiers.
Interviewer: So you were in Seoul and Uijeongbu. How was the situation in Seoul? How much was destroyed and tell me the detail description because young children will lesson to this interview. Please describe it, explain it.
Translator: ያኔ ሶውል በነበሩበት ጊዜ ኡጃንቡ በነበሩበት ጊዜ ማለት ነው, እስኪ ስለነበረው ሁኔታ…
…በዛ ጊዜ እንዴት እንደነበረ በደንብ አርገው ይንገሩኝ. ምክንያቱም ልጆች ይሰሙታል ይህንን ነገር የእርሶንቃለምልልስ እና ሊያውቁ ስለሚፈልጉ በደንብ አርገው ይንገሩኝ? (When you were in Uijeongbu, Seoul, how was the situation there? Because your children and grandchildren will watch this interview, since they need to know your history, tell me in details.)
Tsege: እንግዲህ ከኡጃንቡ በሳምንት እሁድ እሁድ ፈቃድ እንሄዳለን ከህዝቡ ጋር እንገናኛለን ውለን እዛ ከነሱጋር ስንጫወት ውለን ስንደሰት ውለን በመኪና ነው ምንመጣው ማታ እረፍታችንን ጨርሰን ወደ ግዳጃችን…
…እንገባለን ማታ ማታ ገብቶሀል? (Well, while we were in Uijeongbu we had a day off on Sundays only, so on our day off we went to the people and spend all the day chilling with them and return back in the evening. Do you understand?)
Translator: አዎ. (Yes.)
Tsege: ማታ ማታ እንገባለን ያው ስራችንን እንሰራለን በሳምንት ፍቃድ ይሰጠን ነበረ ከህዝቡ ጋር ለመገናኘት. እኛም ባለን አቅም ሄደን ተጫውተን እንመጣለን ከህዝቡ ጋር ተገናኝተን. (So that is it, we only get back to our camp in the night. We spent our day off with the people.)
Translator: We use to have a refresh time every Sunday in a week so they use to let us to meet the people of Korea at that time so we go out every Sunday we have…
…we use to drink we use to have fun with the Korean together interact with them and then go back our camp.
Interviewer: But what about Seoul city, how much was destroyed? Can you describe it what you saw in Seoul when you were their?
Translator: ያኔ ሶውል በነበሩበት ጊዜ ምን ይህል ነበረ የተደረማመሰችው? ሀገሯ ምን ይህል ነበር የተጎዳችው? እናእስኪ ስለነበረው ነገር በደንብ አርገው ያጫውቱን. (While you were in Seoul city, how bad was the destruction? How was the damage? Tell me in detail.)
Tsege: እኔ ልንገርክ እኛ የነበርንበት ኡጃንቡ የሚባለው ሳውል ጥግ ነው. …
…ግንቡ ፈርሷል ፊልም ምናየው የፈረሰው ግንብ ላይ ነው. የፈረሰው ግንብ ላይ ነው, ግንቡ ፈርሷል እኛ የአሜሪካንአልጋ አለ እዛ ላይ ዘርግተን ግንቡ ውስጥ የፈረሰው ግንብ ውስጥ እናርፍ ነበረ. ግንቡ ምንኑም ፈራርሷል አካባቢውምንም ጣራ ምናም የለውም መስኮት ሁሉ ተሰባብሯል. መጀመሪያ የተጎዳው እሱ ሀገር ነው ብዬ እገምታለው. (Let me tell you about Uijeongbu, which is located at one end of Seoul. All the buildings were destroyed, all the houses have no roofs. There were half destroyed houses. So we watch movie in a wall which is remain of a destroyed house. We lay down and take rest in American made beds which we put them inside the destroyed buildings. They do not have roofs, doors and windows. I guess they first destroyed Uijeongbu.)
Translator: The most destroyed one that I will say and also Uijeongbu was far from the Seoul so we use to be in the Uijeongbu and watch movie even in the destroyed house we use to sleep in the destroyed wall so we use to see movies on the destroyed wall we sleep on the destroyed there was no roof.
Interviewer: So have you been back to Korea after the war?
Translator: ወደ ኮርያ ሄደዋል ወይ ከጦርነቱ በኃላ? (Have you gone to Korea after the war?)
Tsege: ሄጃለው. (Yes, I went there.)
Translator: መቼ ነበረ ያታውሳሉ? (When was it?)
Tsege: በፈረንጆች አቆጣጠር 2013. (In 2013 G.C.)
Interviewer: So now compare please the Seoul that you saw 1954 and the Seoul that you saw in 2013, compare it detail please.
Translator: እስኪ ያወዳድሩልኝ አሁን ያኔ የነበረችው ኮርያ እና ያኔ ያዩት ሀገር እና ልክ አሁን ደሞ ከጦርነቱ አልፎያዩት ሀገር እስኪ በደንብ አርገው ያወዳድሩልኝ. (Tell me the comparison you saw in the time and your recent visit in Korea?)
Tsege: በጣም የተለወጠ ነው…
…እንቁጣጣሽ ነው ሚመስለው ከተማው በሙሉ ያጦር ሜዳ የደረስንባት, የደረስንባት ወደ ምሽግ ወደ ተራራውመውጫችን ሁሉ በሙሉ ፎቅ ነው ለም ነው ፈፅሞ ማወቅ አይቻልም ስንሄድ ይው በልምድ እንትን አልነው እንጂእያስተናገዱን የተቀበሉን ሰዎች እያስረዱን እንጂ በጣም ተለውጧል, በጣም ተለውጧል. (There are a lot of changes now. It is so beautiful the mountains and bankers that we walked through in the past are now replaced by buildings. That we even cannot differentiate the place. It was with the help of our guide that we know the places is a lot change. )
Translator: There was so many different thing that happened their even not possible to see any, any place that was empty or jungle because even the one we use to fight that place also was changed everything was changed from that time to this time.
Interviewer: So what did you think about that? What did you I mean what was your response, what was your response you just tell me the fact but what did you think about it such change …
…did you believe that Korea become like this today?
Translator: ይህንን ነገር ሲያዩ ምንድን ነበር ያሰቡት ምክንያቱም ከዛ ጊዜ ውስጥ በዚች በትንሽዬ ጊዜ ውስጥመቀየሯ ምንድን ነበር ጭንቅላቶ ውስጥ የመጣው ነገር? እንዴት ያስባሉ ስለሱ ነገር? (When you saw this whole change in short period of time, what do you think about it? What was your thought?)
Tsege: አድናቆት ያለኝ የህዝቡን ታታሪነት የሀገሩን ጠንካራነት የህዝቡን ጠንካራነት ነው የገመትኩት. (I admire the hard work of the Korean people. I see the strength and hard work of the people and government.)
Translator: I admire the people I admire the strong that they have done to the Korea specially the government specially also the people.
Interviewer: So next will be 70th anniversary of the Korea War, the war has not really been completely resolve yet. What did you think about it and what is your message to the Korean people.
Translator: አሁን የሚቀጥለው አመት ሰባኛው ክብረበአል ነው ያውቃሉ አይደለ? (You know next year is the 70thanniversary, right?)
Tsege: አዎ. (Yes.)
Translator: እና ስለሱ እስኪ ማለት የሚፈልጉት ነገር ኮርያ በዛላይ በጣም ሀብታም ሆናለች እና ለኮርያ ህዝብ ማለትየሚፈልጉት ነገር ካለ. (What is the message you want to transmit to the Korean people?)
Tsege: እኔ ለኮርያ ህዝብ ጠዋትም ማታም, ጠዋትም ማታም ሀገራቸው ሰላም ይሁንላቹ እያልኩ ከማለትበስተቀር ምንም ሌላ እንትን የለም. እግዚአብሔር ሰላም ያርግላቸው እኛንም እየረዱንነው, እየረዱንነውእግዚአብሔር የተባረኩ ህዝቦች ናቸዉ አሁንም ለዘላለም ሰላማቸው ደስታቸው እንዲሆንላቸው እመኛለው. (I wish peace be up on Korea at all times. God give you peace. You are helping us very well. You are blessed people. I wish you ever lasting peace and happiness. )
Translator: The only thing I want to say is and also day and night I pray for Korea. So I prayed God keep them well give them everything that they want.
Interviewer: Thank you for such wonderful comments but also at the same time in even Ethiopia in the school they do not talk about the Korean War so I want to ask you, do you have any message to Ethiopian young…
…children about the war then you fought for and why is important for them to learn about it what are the lesson?
Translator: እዚህ ስለ እናንተ ስላደረጋችሁት እና ስለ ኮርያ ጦርነት እዚህ ሀገር ላይ ትምህርቱ አይሰጥም. ስለ እናንተጀግንነት ትምህርት አይሰጥም እና ለኢትዮጵያ ልጆች ለኢትዮጵያ የልጅ ልጆች ምን ይላሉ መማር አለባቸው ብለውየሚያስቡት እና መንገር የሚፈልጉት ነገር ምንድን ነው ስለ ኢትዮጵያ ልጆች? (Here in Ethiopia, there is no lessons taught about your history in the education system? Do you think your heroism act in Korea should be taught to your children? What is want to say about this?)
Tsege: መቼም ቢረዱ…
…በጣም መልካም ነው ቢማሩ መልካም ነው አስተማሪ ቢገኝ መልካም ነው ቢማሩ ጥሩ ነው ታሪካቸውንየአባታቸውን የቤተሰባቸውን ታሪክ ቢማሩ ጥሩ ነው እላለሁ. አሁንም እያስተማሩ ነው ብዙውን እያስተማሩ ነውእንደውም ሊመሰገኑ የሚገባቸው ያህል እያደረጉ ነው. (It is very good if they teach the children about their grandfather history in Korea. It will be good if they got someone to teach them. Though they are still trying to teach them. )
Translator: So it is very, very good if they learn about this history because this is one of the thing that…
…all Ethiopians proud of so what I want to say for the children is if they get the teacher that will be great because they could learn about it so what I want to say is it is better to learn and then for the government if they prepare a teacher that will be really great.
Interviewer: Tell me him that, that’s why we are doing this we are going to work with the history teacher in Ethiopia so that everybody will understand what is…
…been done by you 70 years ago.
Translator: ለዛ ነው እኔም እዚህ የመጣሁት ባጋጣሚ ሆኖ እርሶም አስተማሪ ቢኖር ያሉት ነገር ስላ ነው እና እኔምእዚህ የመጣሁት ባጋጣሚ አስተማሪ የታሪክ አስተማሪ ፈልጌ ይህንን ታሪክ እናንተ የፋለማችሁትን ታሪክእንዲያስተምር እና ለወደፊቱ እንዲተላለፍ ለማረግ ነው የመጣሁት እያለ ነው. (That is why we came here, we trying to find a history teacher like you said. We are trying to teach the next generation about your history.)
Tsege: እሺ እናመሰግናለን. ወደፊትም ቀጥሉልን. (Thank you keep up the good work.)
Translator: Thank you so much continue like this.
Interviewer: Is there any other story that you want tell about your service in Korea.
Translator: መናገር የሚፈልጉት ያኔ ኮርያ ያገለግሉ በነበረ ጊዜ ማለት የሚፈልጉት ነገር አለ ስለዛ ሌላ የቀረየሚነግሩን ታሪክ አለ. (If there is anything that you want to tell me that is left about the past.)
Tsege: የምነግረው ታሪክ ምስጋና ነው, ምስጋና ነው. ይጦሩናል, ይሰጡናል, መጥተው ይጠይቁናል እኔ ቤቴ በኔአቅም…
…መጥተው አስራ ሶስት ቤት እንዲጠገን አስደርጌያለው መጥተው እንደሱ ጏደኞች መጥተው እቤቴ እየመጡእየመራው እየመራው አስራ ሶስት ቤት ተሰርቶላቸዋል. ይሄ ራሱ አደንቃቸዋለሁ. (I only need to thank you, you helping us, support us very well. They have helped us repair 13 veteran’s houses. So I thank you)
Translator: There is nothing else to say about the history.
Tsege: ሄጄ ከመጣው ነው ልንገርክ. ሄጄ ከመጣው ወዲህ ያኔ ይዞኝ የሄደ ኮርያዊ መጥቶ እኔ ቤት መጥቶ…
…ተገናኝተን የተቸገሩ እንረዳለን ቤት እንሰራላቹሀለን እንረዳለን ብሎ ቃል ስለገባልኝ እየመጣ የኮርያ ሀብታሞችንእያመጣ እያንዳንዱ ቤት እየመራው እየመራው አስራ ሶስት ቤት አሰርቻለው. እና ሰርተውልኛል የኔም ተጠግኖልኛልይህ ራሱ ለኔ ትልቅ አስተዋጾ ነው. (After I come from my recent visit from Korea, a Korean that was with me during my visit come to my house and we discussed to help veteran’s and I pointed him 13 veteran’s to repair there house. So we did that with the help of Korean donators that come visit the houses and financed the repair. One of the houses is mine. I thank them.)
Translator: The thing I want to say…
…is not about the history but I want to thank the government of Korea and the people because when I go back to visit Korea there was one Korean with me so we visit Korea and then come back, he came back to my house and then stay with me have good time with me and then even he built 13 houses that I show the veterans even including my house so I want to I am really great full for that.
Interviewer: Thank you for your gratitude but we want to thank you and Ethiopia because you gave a chance to rebuild our nation and As we talk about it we going to do our best to work with history teacher here in Ethiopia so that we can teach our young generations about the lesson of the War and our friendship and alliance between this two countries thank you.
Translator: ያው እኛ የመጣነው እናንተን ልናመሰግን ነው. ምክንያቱም በናንተ ምክንያት ነው…
…ኮርያ አሁን ላለችበት ነገር የደረሰችው እና የመጣነውም አመጣጥ የናንተ ታሪክ ሳይጠፋ አስተማሪ አስተምረንየናንተ ታሪክ ለዛላለም እያስተማሩ እንዲቀጥሉ ነው የመጣነው ለዛነው የመጣነው እያለ ነው. (We came here to thank you, for what you did for Korea. Korea reached to this level because of you what you did in the past. We want to teach the next generation about your history.)
Tsege: እናመሰግናለን አሁንም ቀጥሉልን. (Thank you much and keep doing so.)
Translator: Thank you so much.
Tsege: ታሪክ እንዳይቋረጥ አድርጉልን. (Write our history to transmit to generation.)
Translator: Thank you so much, we do not want this history to be forgotten so thank you.
Tsege: እናመሰግናለን. (Thank you.)
Interviewer: Could you show that book to the camera please, ask him.
Translator: ያንን መፅሀፍ ቀና አርገው ያሳያሉ? (Please show the book to us?)
Tsege: አሳያለው. የንጉሰ ነገስቱ ፎቶግራፍ. (I will show you, this is the king’s photograph.)
Translator: እሱን እሺ. (Ok)
Interviewer: Who is that?
Translator: ማን እንደሆነ ይንገሩን እያለ ነው. (Tell us who he is?)
Tsege: ግርማዊ ቀዳማዊ ኃይለስላሴ የኢትዮጵያ ንጉሰ ነገስት. ቀዳማዊ ኃይለስላሴ ይባላሉ. (Emperor Haile Selassie king of kings of Ethiopia.)
Translator: The Emperor.
Interviewer: And what is that book about?
Translator: መፅሐፉ ስለምንድን ነው? መፅሐፉን ደሞ ያሳዩኝ. (What is the book about?)
Tsege: መፅሐፉ. (The book.)
Translator: አዙሩት. (Turn it around.)
Tsege: መፅሐፉ ይሄው…
…ታሪክ ነው. የኢትዮጵያ ታሪክ ነው. (It is about the history of Ethiopia.)
Translator: ስለ ኢትዮጵያ ነው ስለ ኮርያ ጦርነት ታሪክ? (It is about Ethiopia or Korean War?)
Tsege: የኮርያ ጦርነት ታሪክ ነው. (It is about the Korean War.)
Translator: This is the history of Korean War.
Interviewer: In Ethiopia language?
Translator: በአማርኛ ነው አይደለ? (In Ethiopia languages, Amharic?)
Tsege: በአማርኛ ነው. (Yes, in Amharic.)
Translator: Yes, in Ethiopian language.
Tsege: እያንዳንዱ ሻምበል, እያንዳንዱ የመቶ, እያንዳንዱ ሻለቃ ይሄው አዛዥዎች. አዛዥዎች ይሄው. (Each military leaders, commanders are here.)
Translator: About all the history of
Tsege: ከአንደኛ እስከ አራተኛ ሻለቃ አዛዥዎች ናቸው እነዚህ. ሻምበል አዛዥዎች, መቶ መሪዎች, ሀምሳአለቆች እዚህ ውስጥ አለ በሙሉ. (From the first to fourth commanders are here.)
Translator: This is all the commander about the all the commander from first up to fourth battalions commander history.
Interviewer: Thank you so much for your time, thank you.
Translator: በጣም አመሰግናለሁ ለጊዜዎት. (Thank you for your time.)
Tsege: እሺ. (Ok.)
Translator: Thank you.
[End of Recorded Material]