Ethiopia : The People who are being slaughtered for no reason

A view from concerned Ethiopian who live in the UK

Ethiopia _ blog
Zelalem Meseret

By Zelalem Meseret
August 11, 2020

When you read this article, please consider that the intended audience of this article was the international community who have no or less knowledge about Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is the cradle of mankind and ancient civilization with more than 80 ethnic groups living in nine regional states and two federal city administrations. Nearly two-thirds of these 105 million people are from the Amhara and Oromo ethnic groups.

Armed groups fighting for power at various times in Ethiopia since the 1960s have been grounded on the narrative of the Amhara people as oppressors and enemies. In fact, Ethiopia was a monarchy until the late 1960s and it is clear that the monarchical system was mostly oppressive in nature. But the oppressors are the ruling class of all ethnic groups, and the victims of oppression are the subject classes of all ethnic groups. So the oppression in Ethiopia was class oppression, not ethnic oppression.

However, these groups, which are struggling for power, have widely used the motto “We are oppressed by the Amhara people” to make followers and provoke ethnic resentment. Even if we look at the 1976 manifesto prepared by Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF), which has controlled and ruled the Ethiopian federal government for the last 27 years, labelled as the Amhara people number one foe of the people of Tigray and decided that the Amhara must be contained and eradicated. Therefore, after taking power in 1991, TPLF has been doing all evil things against the Amhara people by employing various techniques. The Amhara people have been nicknamed the Neftegna by various ethnic based groups for their long-running conspiracy to defame the Amhara people. NEFTEGNA means rifle bearer.

The Oromo youth is known as Qeerroo. He and other Ethiopians played a significant role in the struggle to overthrow the authoritarian regime led by TPLF. The current Prime Minister, Abiy, is an Oromo. Abiy came to power two years ago by collaborating with other Oromo nationalists to form a group called Qeerroo and form a chain of command to overthrow the government in a popular uprising. Most of these groups, Qeerroo, have returned to peaceful activities following the regime change two years ago. Still, a significant number of Qeerroo members, under the auspices of extremist activists and government officials, have inflicted unspeakable atrocities on Amhara and other non-Oromo ethnic groups including vulnerable children, mothers and the elders.

Abiy’s rise to power as prime minister has left the Ethiopian people hopeful of building a democratic system, but has handed over control of the country’s key areas of defence, justice, security and financial institutions to the people from the Oromo people ethnic group. Although the people of Amhara have been isolated from central power for half a century and have sacrificed their lives in the struggle to bring the Abiy to power, Amhara is still envisioned as an enemy and its institutional structure remains. Shimels Abdisa, a former advisor to the prime minister and current president of the Oromia region, in his Irrecha 2019 speech  said “we have broken the Neftegna /Amhara in the same place where they broke us.”  In a country where such a death sentence is being transmitted out by the country’s top officials, as I noted in an article I wrote in the 61th edition, the concern of Ethiopians was not protection of democratic rights but the guarantee of life.

This group, the Qeerroo, has repeatedly carried out racially motivated killings of non-Oromo people in the Oromia region. The most notable of these genocides were attacked in September 2018 , October 2019 , and July 2020. It is recalled that Ethiopians have set up a committee to stop these genocides orchestrated by government officials and put forward to the European Union (EU). The government of Abiy Ahmed has imprisoned the chairman of the committee, Eskinder Nega, known to many Ethiopians as iron man, in a dark prison on charges of ‘insulting Qeerroo’. 

On June 30, following the assassination of Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa by unknown individuals, a propaganda campaign was launched claiming that the killer was from the Amhara ethnic group. The Qeerroos, who were preparing machetes to kill ethnic Amhara, an informal Oromo youth group behind most of the atrocious killings in Oromia in the past 2 years – responded with their machete against those whom they perceive as Amharas. 

Post-event reports indicate that,prior to the incident, local officials disarmed the victims, a well-prepared list of victims was prepared, and the attack took place just minutes after the artist’s death. Despite adequate security forces in the vicinity of the attack, they did not do anything to save the innocent, saying, ‘we have not been instructed by the authorities’. It is not necessary to be educated to assume that the attack was orchestrated by/with government officials.

These planned and racially motivated attacks took place in about 40 districts of Oromia and lasted for three consecutive days. In this attack more than 239 non Oromo most of them Amhara ethnic group have been killed. In some places the attack is said to have focused not only on ethnicity, but also on religion. In addition, moderate Oromo ethnic groups supporting these targeted minority ethnic groups were also harmed. This is very similar to what Interahamwe did during the Rwandan genocide.Many describe the incident as similar to the Rwandan genocide. 

The Washington Post quoting local sources reported that, in what appeared to be a tactic drawn from the playbook of the Rwandan genocide, “in Shashamane town some people were going home to home checking identity cards and targeting Amhara residents . Recent violences in Ethiopia’s Oromia region show hallmark signs of ethnic cleansing, according to minority group rights . The organisation described the tactics used in the attack as “federal and local government security forces turned a blind eye” and “regional forces were attacking the victims when they tried to defend themselves”. It is believed by some senior government officials that government security forces provided the weapons to the attackers.

In this attack the 80 year old man was beaten to death in front of his wife,a boy who asked the mob to stop beating his father was brutally killed in front of his father. Survivors of the attack told us in a spirit of despair that they had been subjected to unspeakable atrocities. Eyewitness accounts and victim family testimonies are too gruesome to hear. I found the most devastating  story of a woman who lost her 22-year-old son In one of  the reports about the massacre

This poor woman, who says that my eyesight, tells her story “My son was out and about with his friends. He usually comes home at midnight but on Tuesday night, he failed to show up after midnight. I thought he was safe with friends, but deep in my heart I knew I wasn’t going to see my son again,” said his devastated 46 year old mother. Mid morning on Tuesday, her son’s body was found badly disfigured and dumped in a ditch on the other side of the city from their residence. “My son had never had any argument with anyone” his mother said, “He was a joyful, kind soul.” She moved to the city with her son in 1998 from north Shewa, in Amhara regional state, after her husband died of illness and she lost her belongings in a family tussle that followed. “All I wanted to do was take my son and leave everything behind and that was what I did 22 years ago. I raised my son alone; he was my eyesight.” She asked both her name and her son’s name not to be mentioned for fear that she will be retaliated for speaking about his death. A double agony. 

”…… But deep in my heart, I knew I wasn’t going to see my son again”. Some kind of special attachment between parent and child whispered that she had lost her child. The inability to do anything for the dying people, the mother who lost her child, by the Political gambling of dictators and power-hungry people hurts and bled most Ethiopians heart. This woman is a symbol of Ethiopian mother. In this woman’s tears, we saw our country, Ethiopia, weeping bitterly. How to estimate the depth of this woman’s soul fracture? How can the wound be healed? What kind of compensation and support would allow her to live as a human being again? And the killer group sentenced her to hold all this grief without telling anyone. They told her that if she did, they would attack her again. The government led by Nobel winning prime minister, neither save her son from death, nor help her to mourn and talk about her son’s death. The Abiy government has once again killed those innocent people by portraying the innocent victims of the genocide as “victims of the conflict.”

Genocide is defined as the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, religious, political, or ethnic group. In our country, many people have been murdered because of their ethnicity, religion or both identity. This is the truth! Hiding and concealing this is inhumane; it is, after all, a crime. Instead of prosecuting the perpetrators, financial and logistical support, and irresponsible government officials, Abiy Ahmed’s government arrested prominent human right activist and opposition figures, such as Eskinder Nega and engineer Yilkal who had told the international community that the genocide was imminent. 

To conclude, let me mention some of the reasons why I blame the Abiy’s government for this genocide.his inablity to protect the safety of citizens which is elementary duty of the government.He did not neutralize this informal group called Qeerror from the beginning, especially after taking control of the government.Abiy’s government has ignored calls made by various human rights institutions  to investigate the genocide committed over the past two years. Because he ignore senior officials who were directly involved in the genocide, from incitement to cover-up, and used this incident to arrest the oppositions and the victims who had nothing to do with the case. And because he denied the actually happened genocide and called the incident a “conflict”. 

Don’t be surprised because of Abiy’s Nobel Prize winning. Adolf Hitler, the genocidal mastermind, was also once nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1939.

This article is published in monthly Doncaster conversation club newsletter on august 2020.



4 Responses to "Ethiopia : The People who are being slaughtered for no reason"

  1. Hamdi Ali   August 11, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    You guys are not journalists. Nothing but a propaganda Amhara or NAFTANYA who is trying to play the victims of ethiopia do you ever about what is happening in oromia and wolayta.

    Reply
  2. Million Bati   August 11, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Please don’t compare Abiy with Adolf Hitler, one of the most reviled figures in history. As the leader of Nazi Germany, Hitler, orchestrated both World War II and the Holocaust, events that led to the deaths of at least 40,000,000 (40 million) people.

    This the kind of unconscious hate that makes the oromos angry and keep the Qeerroo relevant. Let’s be reasonable people.

    Abiy is the a nobel peace prize winner and deservingly so. Some of us are proud of him, but you don’t have to bend history to attack him. This says more about you than the popular Ethiopian leader.

    Reply
  3. Biniam   August 13, 2020 at 2:48 am

    Well explained. It is better to point out the problem and do ehat is best for our country. Denying the contribution of the government is another round killing of civilians. We have to admit that Amhara is targeted. Crystal clear!

    Reply
  4. Nathan   October 23, 2020 at 1:43 am

    STOP AMHARA GENOCIDE IN ETHIOPIA

    MESSAGE TO ALL HUMAN RACE
    BY: NATHAN BELAY ABTEW (ANTHROPOLOGIST AND FREELANCE RESEARCHER)

    OCTOBER 2020

    Detailed Statement

    The Amhara society is one of the largest ethnic groups in Ethiopia. According to the Encyclopedia of Ethiopia, the term Amhara signifies someone who is pleasing, agreeable and gracious. An Anthropologist, Donald Levine in his prominent book entitled: “Wax and Gold” published in 1972, argued that the Amhara people are the proud Abyssinians who have cultural blending with ancient Semitic and Cushitic communities of Africa.

    Amharic language is one of the remarkable references for Amhara society in Africa. This Semitic language family (Amharic) has its own alphabet named “fidel” which is related to ancient Sabaean alphabet. Spoken by millions of other Ethiopians as a second language, Amharic helped the country to preserve one interwoven national unity and Ethiopian identity for thousands of years.
    The Amhara people by large are Orthodox Tewahido Christian followers. Next to Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Catholicism and different protestant religions are also exercised.
    In the political history of Ethiopia, the Amhara society has remarkable place. From antiquity up to Emperor Haile Selassie, different kings emerged from Amhara race. These rulers led the country without interference of the western world. They gave us our own unmixed and unique Ethiopian identity. Among the many respected emperors and kings of Ethiopia, Emperor Menelik II is the symbol of liberty for all black people in the world. This fire man massacred the Italian colonial military power at the Battle of Adowa in 1896, and history recorded that event as the first crushing defeat of a European power by black forces during the colonial era.
    In the history of building modern Ethiopia, the Amhara people contributed their significant part. Thanks to the Ethiopian Orthodox church, different scholars and thinkers were emerged in Ethiopia. When Ethiopian scholars were writing their history using their own writing tools and alphabet, most of the today’s developed world had no idea about writing.
    Judicial procedures, different policies and programs including diplomatic charters were designed by the antic Ethiopian Orthodox church. Teaching books, schools and different levels of education were predesigned by the church before modern Education came in Ethiopia.
    However, the year 1991 was a turning point for Ethiopian history. In 1991, extremely racist and anti-Amhara military group came from the northern part of the country (today’s Tigray region). The name of this military mafia group is Tigriean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). At the beginning, this mafia group had no plan to rule the country, rather their objective was to divide Tigray region from Ethiopia and to form an independent Tekeze republic. When they arrived in central Ethiopia, TPLF has changed its idea and they preferred to rule the country because they were attracted by the natural resources of central Ethiopia. For more than 27 years, TPLF lead the country, and they have collected almost all resources of the country.
    While staying in power, TPLF formed their political puppets in all parts of the country. They have designed national hatred policy against Amhara society, and they have preached all over the country. For the past thirty years, this policy was included in the academics, and all the new generation grew up with Amhara phobia.
    As a result, since 1991 up to now, thousands of innocent Amhara lives are getting massacred. Especially, in Oromia, Somali and Benishangul Gumuz regions, very organized ethnic cleansings were done against orthodox Christian Amhara society. Thousands of innocent men and women were slaughtered; some were raped or castrated.

    The 2018 Political reform and Clear Declaration of Amhara genocide

    After twenty-seven years xenophobic leadership system, TPLF’s cadres lost their seat in the federal government and they fled to Tigray region. Since then, the so-called reformist leader, Abiye Ahmad Ali came to power. Abiye Ahmed is from Oromo society in which TPLF has worked much on this society regarding Amhara hatred.
    When the Oromo centred politics started in 2018, clear genocide movements have been declared against Christian Amhara communities in the country. The first genocide after the 2018 political reform took place in Somali region where hundreds were killed; priests and monks were burned in the church and thousands were displaced. The second genocide was done in Oromia region by the virtual call of an Oromo Muslim extremist and activist named Jawar Mohammed. During this ethnic cleansing, more than hundred innocent Amhara souls were massacred. The third genocide was done in Shashemene, Zeway, Bale Robe and Arsi Negele areas of Oromia region. This genocide was planned, financed and executed by different stakeholders among whom Oromo extremists, Tigrayan People Liberation Front (TPLF), Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the government itself were active participants. The fourth Amhara genocide is the one which is in progress at Benishangul Gumuz region. This genocide is typically planned by Oromia regional state in collaboration with TPLF and Oromo Liberation Front.

    Why the Genocide Against Amhara is Needed?

    The clear objective of the current Oromo-centered federal government is to build greater Oromia which is free from Amhara society. The Novel prise winner prime minister, Abiye Ahmed Ali is playing symbolic role by pretending as if he is working for national unity. For the international society, it is told that the prime minister is working hard for human rights and deepening of democracy in the country. This strategy of Abiye Ahmed not only convinced the international society but also it created non-responsive dormant Amhara leaders in the country. Knowing that thousands are dying inhumanly, many Amhara leaders, activists and human right specialists are keeping quiet.
    However, the long-term objective of Abiye Ahemed’s government is disclosed by Mr. Shimeles Abdissa (Oromia region president) in his clearly stated public speeches. Shimeles Abdissa is implementing all what he said in public. Here, it would be useful to refer his speeches and compare them with what is going on currently against the Amhara society. In 2019, when the Oromo society was celebrating Erecha (the Oromo traditional religious practice) in Addis Ababa, Shimeles Abdissa addressed the following speech: “we [the current Oromo politicians], broke the backbone of Naftagna”. The term Nafitagna refers the Amhara society in which currently, it is highly manipulated by politicians and activists who are working against the Amhara. The same year, during regional political meeting, the same president of Oromia region said: “we are working to eradicate the Amharic language and the Amhara”. He added: “in Benishangul and Addis Ababa, we are working to bring demographic change which means to replace the Amhara society by the Oromos”.
    Therefore, the following reasons could be summarized for the reasons why the current Amhara genocide is needed:
    • To build Amhara free greater Oromia and to dismantle Ethiopia
    • To realise the already preached Amhara hatred by TPLF
    • To avenge the false history perpetrated against the Amahra society
    • To eradicate the Amhara race from the country and to build Amhara free independent states
    Why the Amhara lost their courage and get Vulnerable?
    For the last three decades, much has been done to break the unity and bold Amhara identity. Once, the former prime minister, Meles Zenawi said: “we broke the Amhara backbone and its courage. Now, we let its shoulder only for dance”. This political conspiracy has been done in order that the Amhara could be shameful, suppressed and non-resistant society in the country.
    The ethnic based federalism made the Amhara people to be alienated from all forms of participation. in order to achieve the TPLF’s policies and programs, corrupted and mindless Amhara leaders were recruited as puppet leaders of the Amhara people. Among these, Addisu Leggesse, the former Amhara regional state president could be mentioned. This mindless leader made ethnic cleansing in Wolkaite and Raya areas of Amhara people in which these areas are taken from Amhara region and they are incorporated under Tigray.
    In order to bring demographic change, very dangerous sterility medications were given for Amhara female students starting from their teenage. As a result, millions of Amhara women became childless. Much has been done to eradicate the Amhara race from Ethiopia.
    All these suppressions and psychological destabilisation broke the Amhara unity and its courage. This made the people to be vulnerable for any form of group attacks. For instance, currently, there are mass killings against Amhara people almost everywhere in the country. However, the Amhara are not responding because they are not organized at all, and this will cost million Amhara lives in the near future.
    The other hindering factor is the current Amhara leaders have no courage to build strong regional government. The Amhara regional government has failed under irresponsible and mindless puppets who only want to advocate Oromo centered politics of Abiye Ahmed. For them, building strong and organized Amhara society will make them lose their political position. Most of the Amhara leaders are uneducated, and they are out of cardinal virtues of the human race. For them, leadership is power. Staying in power concerns them much more than working for their people. As a result, many Amhara activists believe that the Amhara leaders should take the lions share of accountability for the crime commuted against Amhara people for the last thirty years.

    Strategies of Amhara Genocide

    1. Public Denial
    Denial of recognition the Amhara genocide is one technique of the Ethiopian government using as a policy. In all conflicts and public strikes, the Amhara are the only ethnic groups who are targeted for ethnic cleansing. However, in order to cover this genocide, the government is giving different names. For instance, the genocide committed in Oromia region for more than two times in these two years, the government always say it is just simple conflict as if it didn’t target against the Amhara people.
    The genocide still continued in Benishabgul Gumuz region and many Amhara are dying inhumanly. Pregnant mothers are chopped, their stomachs are opened, and their infants left on the ground; children and mothers got slaughtered. This is done by identifying specific society, having lists of names and even by designing how and when they should kill them. The government officials are assisting the assassinators by giving detail information and road map for the ethnic cleansing. The military are watching the event as a spectator.

    2. Taking Advantage of the Amhara’s interest on National Unity

    It is known that most of the Amhara people have Ethiopian mentality and national unity. Following the coming of Abiye Ahmed Ali to power, the Amhara people were very happy since he used to address public speeches about national unity and strong feeling for Ethiopia. These speeches of the Prime minister make the Amhara people dormant and non-responsive for the current genocide hoping that tomorrow, better day will come. The Amhara are very wise people that they prefer national unity even at the cost of their lives.
    However, it is very important to analyse in which school of thought the prime minister grew up. On the one hand, Abiye Ahmed Ali grew up by studying and practicing the political philosophy of “patriotic democracy” under the supervision of TPLF cadres. He was successful in his political appointments during the TPLF regime by accomplishing the policies and programs of anti-Amhara forces for the last twenty years. On the other hand, he used to work as a double agent for Oromo Liberation Front when EPRDF was getting divided. He came to power through the help of team Lemma, former Oromia region president in which these two shared the same ideology: Oromo first. This is to mean that even if the prime minister is advocating national unity, his clear objective is to build grater Oromia. This plan is clearly mentioned by the public speeches of Mr. Shimelis Abdissa, the current president of Oromia regional state. By performing horrific ethnic cleansing, the Oromo leaders want to build greater Oromia which overtakes Benishangul Gumuz, Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.

    Why the Ongoing mass killing against the Amhara is Genocide?

    1. The attacks are premeditated, planned. Trainings were/are given to accomplish the mission. Besides, killers have lists of victims by taking their full address and identity cards from kebele officials.
    2. Many government officials are ignoring their roles as if it is not their duty to safeguard people’s lives, and some others are helping the attackers by financing and providing transportation service
    3. Hate speech and incitements of violence against the Amhara has been propagated by media outlets and activists. On the contrary, those who are fighting for human rights like the famous journalist and politician Iskindir Nega are imprisoned. Dimtse Woyane and Oromia Media Network are the prominent medias who are propagating hate speech against Amhara
    4. Blasphemy and horrific ways killings are circulated through social media in order to build fear and strong feeling of insecurity among the Amhara society. For instance, killers open the stomach of pregnant mother. Decapitating children, chopping different organs, burning the dead body, crucifying upside down, giving the body for hyaena, playing games on the human body by piercing and throwing arrows; raping small kids in front of their mothers, slaughtering fathers in front of their wives and children, etc. are some of the horrific killing styles which are happening against the Amhara.

    Alert for readers of this Article

    Dear readers of this article, I would like to ask your kind excuse for adding the following heart-breaking photographs which show how the Amhara are getting massacred in Ethiopia. The pictures are so horrific that it will be hard to see them. If you don’t have courage to see them, please do not proceed to the next pages. Thank you.

    Dear international communities, all human race, please join us to advocate our voice to stop this genocide against the Amhara people in Ethiopia.
    Thank you

    By: Nathan Belay Abtew (Anthropologist and international freelance researcher)
    Email: nathanabtew@gmail.com
    Paper type: Report
    October 16, 2020

    Annex

    Few representative Pictures of Amhara Genocide in Ethiopia (2020)

    @Metekel Zone, Slaughtered Amhara men thrown in the garbage (2020)

    @Metekel Zone, Slaughtered Amhara baby (2020)

    @ Metekel Zone in Ethiopia, Slaughtered Young Amhara man (2020)

    @ Metekel Zone in Ethiopia, Slaughtered and chopped Amhara Man (2020)

    @ Metekel Zone in Ethiopia, Slaughtered Amhara Woman(2020)

    @ Metekel Zone in Ethiopia, Pierced Amhara Man by arrows and Bows (2020)

    @ Metekel Zone in Ethiopia, beheaded Amhara Man (2020)

    @ Metekel Zone in Ethiopia, massacred family (2020)

    @ Metekel Zone in Ethiopia, Slaughtered, chopped and pierced young Amhara Man (2020)

    Arrows which are in use to kill Amhara in Benishangul Region (2020)

    @ Metekel Zone in Ethiopia, pierced young Amhara boy (2020)

    @ Metekel Zone in Ethiopia, massacred Amhara family (2020)

    @ Metekel, Ethiopia, Amhara genocide (2020)

    @ Metekel, Ethiopia (Dehumanized Amhara Genocide) (2020)

    @ Metekel, Ethiopia (Diverse forms of Ethnic cleansing Aganinest Amhara) (2020)

    @ Metekel, Ethiopia (Beheaded Amhara man, 2020)

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