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As protest rallies hit the region, state admits pseudohistory narratives nurtured hate and attack towards Amhara

The politically motivated historical narrative that radical Oromo ethnic-nationalists have been advancing for decades has shaped extreme hate and prejudice towards ethnic-Amhara. And many ethnic-Amhara have become targets of hate attacks in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, among others. The abduction of Dembi Dollo University students is seen not only as a manifestation of lack of the rule of law in Ethiopia but also as a manifestation of hate ideology towards Amhara. The demonstrations across several towns in Amara regional state primarily reflected that very sentiment. The regional state has issued a statement explicitly admitting that negative narratives nurtured hate towards Amhara. 

Bahir Dar Protest _ Ethiopia _ Oromo region
The protest in Bahir Dar. Photo credit : AMMA

January 28, 2020

It has been nearly two months since Ethiopians knew about the abduction of 21 Dembi Dollo University students, most of whom are girls who happened to be from the Amhara region. The Federal government’s silence on the issue has angered many Ethiopians. 

Massive demonstrations took place in several cities of Amhara regional state on Tuesday, demanding the government to secure the release of abducted students. 

Bahir Dar, Debre Markos, Debre Birhan, Woldia, Shewarobit, Kobo, Durbete, Dangla, and Finote Selam are some of the towns where protestors were condemning government’s inaction against those who abducted the students.   

They also commended the federal government for not coming clean on the abduction and for conflicting information. Parents have not heard from their children two weeks after the government claimed that it had rescued 21 students. 

The protests were peaceful and ended with no security incident, based on confirmation from Amhara regional state security authorities. 

Demonstration _ Ethiopia _ Dembi Dollo University students abduction

Amhara regional state statement 

Meanwhile, the regional state has issued a statement on Tuesday, hailing protestors for demonstrating discipline while expressing anger over what they think is government failure to act to maintain the rule of law in the country. 

Citing the contribution of Amhara people in the making of the Ethiopian state in history, the statement said Amhara people live in different parts of the country just like the rest of Ethiopians and are obedient to the rule of law and industrious. However, said the statement, Amhara has become a target of ethnic-based hate attacks from different organized groups due to a narrative based on Pseudohistory. 

“Attacks against Amhara students due to their ethnic identity in the institutions of higher learning [in the Oromo region of Ethiopia] have been tolerated for the sake of the unity of Ethiopia. However, the problem is still going on,” said the statement.

The statement also amplified messages from protestors in several cities in the region in connection with abducted Amhara students and attack on Amharas as well. It identified the attackers as “unidentified anti-Amhara forces.” 

“The attack is not just on Amhara students. It is against humanity and Ethiopian citizens. Therefore, all Ethiopians, especially people Oromo region where the attack took place, should stand with us and condemn the attack against our children and demand for their release.”  

Meanwhile, Muferiat Kamil, Minister for Peace, discussed with Dembi Dollo University. Authorities said that only 12 of the abducted are students in the university. It is unclear if the rest of the abducted are students from other universities. The Federal Police Commission Commissioner, Endashaw Tassew, and Head of Press Secretary in the office of the prime minister, Nigussu Tilahun, attended the meeting, according to government media sources.  

The Federal Police claims that an investigative team is formed to determine the “identities of abductors,” how and why they kidnapped them. However, no timeline is indicated as when the investigation is expected to be completed.

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  1. Most of the abducted students are in a witness protection program living with a different identity at undisclosed locations , just for the sake of their safety . Since all the abducted students were single not married with no children of their own it was deemed that none of their loved ones should join them in the witness protection program .
    Few of them agreed to join the Ethiopian military training using their new identities .

  2. As a father of a wonderful daughter and now a grandfather of an angelic granddaughter my heart has been aching and bleeding since the news of abduction of these innocent daughters of all of us!!! Once again I feel utter helpless am holding everyone including the officials of the central government and Oromia Region. I call upon every patriotic countryman/woman of law expertise to take PM Abiy and his entire cabinet, Al-Toweel Shimelis Abdisa and every official under him to court and sue the living daylight out of them. These legal experts should call for assistance by every global humanitarian organization, The EU, The Hague, USA and the UN. Tell them Shimelis and his entourages are the kidnappers. Tell them PM Abiy and entire members of his cabinet are laughing at the agonized parents of the victims. Tell’em!!! These officials seem to be so disconnected from the society they are ruling that they have gone totally tone-deaf!!!! It seems that they don’t or will never understand what kidnapping of a daughter means or how it feels just because they are not like those parents who don’t have other choices except to send their daughters to a school tucked somewhere in a wilderness hundreds miles away. If these officials have to send their daughters to a far away place for schooling it will be here in the USA or Europe where they will be attended by full time personal butlers and cooks. They will never understand what kidnapping of a daughter means!!! They’re making me sick!!! Sue their ever ballooning behind in a court of law. Embarrass the living daylight out of these tone-deaf truants of governance!!! I am holding every one of them responsible. Pretty soon I am gonna graduate them to be pedophiles!!! Every one of them!!!! And that will be their career highlight forever!!!! How about that!!!!

  3. “PM Abiy and entire members of his cabinet are pedophiles!!! Every one of them!!!! And that will be their career highlight forever!!!!

    this fits most to Abiy , colonel .

    I like your expressions MR Farda, patriotic.

    our slogan: Free these young brillinat citizens!

  4. The Ethiopian refugees who stayed more than forty years in Kenya’s Tika refugee camp are getting voluntarily deported back to Ethiopia.

    • Dear Wamaze ,

      what is thier motivation ? did they think ethiopia is better pleace to live than kenya right now ?
      Did Colonel Abiy, the corona virus in palace, call them to build his reputation
      Thank you


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