Amhara Democratic Party leader says “no division within the party”

Chairman of Amhara Democratic Party said “attempt to restore hegemony” description attached to what government calls “coup attempt” is intended to perpetuate oppressor-oppressed narrative.

Amhara Democratic Party _ leader
Deputy Prime Minister and leader of Amhara Democratic Party, Demeke Mekonen. Photo : FBC

July 8, 2019

Ato Demeke Mekonnen, Leader of Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), dismissed rumors of division within the party following the killings of three top party officials in Bahir Dar, the seat of Amhara regional state, on June 22, 2019, according to Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) report on Monday.

The Amhara Regional State itself has issued a statement on Monday dismissing the rumor of division as the “works of long arms of enemy forces.” 

Amhara regional state and ADP party structures are carrying out their regular functions, Demeke told local journalists during a press conference on Monday.

While describing the June 22, incident in Bahir Dar, as “an effort to topple the regional government and take power through a shortcut,” he remarked that the narrative that depicts the incident as an “an attempt to restore hegemony” by individuals and some media outlets as an interest to ensure the continuity of the flawed “oppressor-oppressed” political narrative and that it needs to be corrected, according to a report by Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA).  

The narrative about restoring the so-called “Amhara hegemony” was also amplified from overseas by foreigners. Among others, Former United States’ assistant secretary of state for Africa, Mr. Herman Cohen, passionately remarked about the incident in his tweet on June 24, 2019 : “Failed coup in #Ethiopia‘s Amhara state was an attempt by ethnic nationalists to restore Amhara hegemony over all of Ethiopia that existed for several centuries prior to 1991. That dream is now permanently dead.”

Demeke claimed that people’s activities in the region are now peaceful and people should not be diverted with malicious agenda that individuals create.

ADP’s chairman and Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke, also said that suspects in connection with the June 22 incident are arrested and the task is entirely carried out by the region’s security forces. However, he did not deny that Federal authorities are involved in the investigation process based on constitutional power.

However, he denied that no individual with a dissenting political view is detained with the pretext of arrested suspects. 

His remark in that regard seems to stand in sharp contrast with the claims of some activists and opposition political forces like the National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) who claim that government (apparently the Federal one which is increasingly being linked to Oromo Democratic Party which in turn is believed to be under total influence of radical Oromo ethno-nationalists) is exploiting the incident to weaken and attack Amhara organizations and individuals.

Meanwhile, Demeke disclosed that ADP is working on the task of replacing leaders who were killed on June 22, 2019.

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