August 27, 2019
The use of Amharic language in governance and provision of social services like education, among other things, is generating an impulsive reaction, to say the least, from radical ethnic-nationalists quarter – especially among radical Oromo nationalists both within government structure and outside of it.
The issue has stirred conversation on social media and outside of it. Ethiopians from outside of ethnic Amharic background are offering their views on the matter.
Mustafa Mohammed Omar, the acting president Somali regional state, expressed, as reported on social media, that there is nothing wrong if Ethiopian students take Amharic lesson in schools. He drew from his own experience that he has benefited from speaking fluent Amharic in that he could communicate with many Ethiopians. He thought that those who politicize the use of Amharic language in school are in just using it for political purpose.
There are also others who are speaking out against radical ethnic nationalists’ campaign to demonize Africa’s ancient language with its own script – Amharic.
Emerging news on social media says radical Oromo Nationalists, backed by government structure, are closing down even private schools that offer Amharic class in Oromo regional state.
In an interview with Andafta Media Dr. Arsido Lendebo, whose ethnic background is Wolaita, says “Amharic is not Amhara.” He seems to be responding to those who tend to see the Amharic language within the context of raging ethnic politics and in connection to ethnic-Amhara – an ethnic group that has been painted as “oppressor” in the hundred years before Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) came to power in 1991 leading a coalition of ethnic-based political organizations.
Watch the interview with Dr. Arsido Lendebo below.
Video: embedded from Andafta media
Cover photo: screenshot from the video
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