Saturday, December 3, 2022
HomeOpinionThe Amhara Struggle at a Crossroad

The Amhara Struggle at a Crossroad

by Alex Bekele

Narrow minded nationalists have targeted ethnic Amharas as their enemies for over a half century. Their central mission had been the abuse and misuse of history to demonize all Amharas. Prominent in this protracted campaign of spreading hatred on the basis of fabrications and reductionist history have been the TPLF and the OLF.  Their task was made a lot easier by the coming to power of the TPLF. They carried out systemic ethnic cleansing in the Oromo Kilil, Southern regions, Benshangul, and Wolqaeit Tegede.  Mass graves of over a hundred thousand bodies have been discovered in Wolqaeit by Gondar University.  Mass graves in the South are waiting to be revealed to the rest of the world. By the admission of the late PM Meles Zenawi, over three million Amharas disappeared without a trace. A decade after such admission, with the raging state-sponsored Amhara genocide in the last four years, one does not need a PHD in Statistics to figure out how many more Amharas have been exterminated.

Besides, these groups have purged as many Amharas as possible from the bureaucracy on the lame excuse of retirement before their official age of retirement.  They also took Amhara lands and homes on the pretext of development for the private use of the chosen people. Even more threatening to the existence of ethnic Amharas is the marginalization of Amhara students from Higher education by assigning them to colleges and universities outside of their kilil where, either they refuse to go to for fear of persecution, or they go and become victims of ethnic cleansing, or a permanent fear of one.  Parents still don’t know the fate of the seventeen Dembidolo University students who were kidnapped on their way home. In fact, that should have been good enough a cause to change the policy of assigning students outside of their Kilil. The latest theft of school entrance exam is only a part of the more serious marginalization of Amhara students from higher education.

All this and more happened because Amharas were not represented in the drafting of the constitution, and later in the government.  For over five decades since the narrow minded nationalists opened their offensive on the people of Amhara, we tried to defend ourselves as Ethiopians with little success.  So the fact that Amharas should organize as Amhara in defense of our people and to protect our interests is long overdue. The question is what kind of organization does the objective reality demand, and how far away are we from it? To answer this question a synopsis of the objective reality of Ethiopia is necessary.

Agricultural production that suffered from a massive locust invasion and widespread drought was further ruined by the civil war.  Farmers on both sides were in combat for two farming seasons, exposing northern Ethiopia to famine.  Farmers in the south were unable to farm because of state-sponsored ethnic cleansing, and were robbed of whatever harvest they have and displaced in millions.  Unless you fall for Shimeles Abdissa’s pie-in-the-sky lush wheat harvest, Ethiopia is starving and will continue to.

Manufacturing is also in trouble.  By the government’s own admission, more than 300 factories are not functioning due to lack of inputs.  Factories in the Dessie and Kombolcha area are working much below capacity due to war destruction.  Those that produce are facing market problems due to the country losing its AGOA status in the US.  Investment capital has dried up because of the chaos the Ethiopian government failed to control.  Transportation is coming to a screeching halt due to shortage of petrol.

With countries after countries frequently issuing travel advisory not to go to Ethiopia, there is no income from tourism.  In fact, the barbarity of the civil war in the north, and the savage nature of the state-sponsored genocide in the south will continue to be tourist repellents for decades to come. 

Remittance that has significantly increased in 2021 and 2022 is about to take a nose dive due to the continued unresponsiveness of the government to basic questions of fairness, equality, human rights, and the rule of law.  The Diasporas’ stopping sending money to the country through proper channels and boycotting Ethiopian services such as the Ethiopian Airline are no longer far-fetched.

Add to this the rampant corruptions; misuse of precious funds for luxury projects, and lack of serious austerity planning, the economy is in a freefall.  Consequently, basic necessities are terribly scarce and outlandishly too expensive. Many in the capital struggle to have a meal a day.  Inflation is skyrocketing, making the Birr worthless by the day.  Subsequently, the national treasury is in an insurmountable hard currency crunch due to an out of sync current account balance.  Import far, far exceeds export, and war time expenditure outstrips revenue hundreds of times.

The politics of the country is not in better shape either.  Abiy Ahmed’s seductive rhetorical flourishes are no more.  The dissonance between his words and deeds has been exposed.  People are now judging him by his actions and omissions, not by his swearing by Ethiopia.  He is unmasked.  Surprisingly, as he is unmasked, he is throwing off all his remaining covers, and, alas! He is naked now.  He no more pretends to be a statesman and a lawful leader of a great country.  He has shredded even that shoddy constitution he swore to defend and shoved it into the toilet.  Now, he is a terrorist who uses his position to kidnap his enemies and torment and torture them in undisclosed dungeons.  He is too desperate to tolerate even the sage critics of Ato Tadeos Tantu.  He no longer pretends to take his alleged enemies even to the Kangaroo Courts of his poodle, Ms Maaza Ahenafi.  He really thinks he is the state, expecting his subjects to praise Le Roi Soleil.

Our social conditions have been made toxic by government designs.  Spreading hatred among ethnic groups is a state strategy supported by the constitution.  Fomenting religious conflicts for political profits is coming from the highest office.  State led defamation and degradation of religious leaders, particularly those of the Islamic and Orthodox Christian faith, are watering down all the benefits of their teachings and their examples for our people.  Those desperados have forgotten that society survives more on its morality than on laws or the threat of violence. Hooligans in state power are spreading hooliganism in our society.  Add to this all the hedonistic vices financed by the out of control corruption, we have lost all our social moorings.  The great majority of people who are struggling to survive on a meal a day are all angrily gazing at those who are obscenely indulging in hedonistic vices and gastronomic excesses. To borrow Charles Dickens’ words, Ethiopia is “A Tale of Two Cities.”  What does all this mean politically?

It means an unmitigated State failure—a breach of the contract between the people and their rulers.  As civil war has been raging for almost two years, as over ten million people are internally displaced, as a state sponsored ethnic cleansing is raging in the bigger portion of the country, no one can talk of a functioning state.  When the ruling party jettisons all its pretension to be lawful and makes extrajudicial measures such as kidnapping rules, not the exceptions, it has admitted it can’t rule the old, relatively civilized way anymore.  The corollary of this is that, people who have given up on the protection of the state of their lives, limbs, and properties are taking the responsibility of protecting themselves into their own hands.  They are refusing to starve peacefully.  They are saying no to the unbridled power of the state.  They are demanding at least a modicum of peace and security, and an opportunity to make the bare minimum required for survival. For all these deprivations, they are ready to fight. This condition—a condition in which the rulers are not able to rule the old way, and the people are refusing to be ruled the way they used to—is the eve of a popular change. It is an objective condition pregnant with change.

The midwives are strong organizations.  Supposedly multiethnic parties who work for the liberation of the Ethiopian people: Your time is now.  You are about to be tested.  You can’t sit idle watching a government that is operating above and against the law to abuse its people.  Your direct action is urgently needed. The mass of the unemployed and those employed with starvation wages and salaries, the displaced, and the persecuted multitudes are clamoring for your leadership ready to explode with a volcanic rage.  Are you going to lead or buckle down?  Act, or disband, and get off the way!

Professional organizations such as workers’ unions, teachers associations, bar associations, and other mass organizations should rise up too.  Your members, the pillars of our society, are working the hardest and paid the least.  Besides, they suffer daily abuses and humiliations by government agencies unworthy of the positions, privileges, and authorities they have.  Freedom comes at a price. Your rank and file members are a lot more ready today to pay this price than ever before. Stand up for your rights.

As a target of state-sponsored genocide the brunt of all the evils of this government and that of the invasion of terrorist TPLF fall on the people of Amhara.  Yet our organizational preparedness is less than satisfactory.  We have to catch up.  The progress we saw in our Fanos, Amhara Militias, and Amhara Special Forces had been spectacular.  These forces successfully defended their people from TPLF invasion, armed themselves from the enemy, and strengthened their structures.  Yet, the federal government is on a campaign of disarming and disbanding them. We should do all we could to scuttle this campaign. This, however, does not mean all our hopes are pinned to them, for two reasons.

First, there is a chance the state machinery may succeed in disarming and disbanding our forces, by cutting funds for the Special Forces, by bribing and intimidating some of the Fanos, by concocting terrorist attacks on public structures and blaming it on them, and declaring war on them.  Their resilience and commitment has a limit.  After all, they have lives of their own, wives, husbands, children, fathers, mothers, livelihoods, etc.  They meant to extinguish the fire, stop the flood.  They are neither a professional army, nor a political party.

Second, as I stated already, all our problems emanate from lack of political representation. And we don’t have political representation, for we don’t have—yes—a strong political party.  Whether we have our military forces or we lost them, we still need to form an Amhara Party with a spine.  With the resourcefulness of the Amhara people and culture I would like to believe it is already in the process of formation, if not already formed.  In the meantime, we have to keep this terrorist administration busy with different kinds of civil disobedience.  That way, we limit the damage it can do to us, and raise and train leaders in the struggle. 

Forming such a party is difficult and easy at the same time.  The difficult part is getting professional organizers.  It cannot be done on a part-time basis, especially with the urgency the objective reality demands now.  We need a handful of bright pioneers with youthful energy and a stable mind willing to organize around the clock.  This is difficult to come up with.  The easy part is the readiness of the people to join the struggle and pay sacrifices.  It is like the whole Amhara is ready for change, if not the whole country.  Once started, I have no doubt, this party will grow by leaps and bounds within a short period of time despite severe political persecutions.   That party will give the necessary leadership to the remaining Amhara forces and recruit most of those willing into a permanent army of its own.  This way Amhara will defend itself and protect its rights, and defend Ethiopia when called upon.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Whatever the tone and hidden intent of the article and it’s author, one thing is certainly clear. The dream of an Ethiopia where the rights of each and every Ethiopian INDIVIDUAL, regardless of ethnicity, place of birth, gender,religious affiliation, age and political allegiance , are respected and protected as a citizen of Ethiopia in all parts of Ethiopia will not be realized on the watch of the duplicitous, mendacious, and perfunctory egomaniac, Oromumma zealot and fake wanna be head of state impostor, aka as colonel, pm, pastor, orator, palace decorator, project manager, peace mediator, wannabe emperor and alas also liar par excellence, Abiy Ahmed.

    There are fundamental flaws in the nature, psyche and mind of this individual. He lacks empathy, does not have a moral compass, is deficient in ethical standards and boundaries and does not have the capacity to self diagnose. There are elements of grandeur of illusions, a simultaneous superiority-inferiority complex schizoid tendencies as illustrated from the loquacious and never ending talks coming out of the mouth of this person. By now, the Oromumma obsession of his PP sycophants with him at the helm has been exposed and shown to the majority of Ethiopians. They know him quite well and he does as well. The confuse and convince silly games of the Oromo militants have also been stripped bare of their pseudo Ethiopian cover. The people know and the Abiy entourage also know.

  2. All Amharas need to unite!! All diaspora Amhara need to organize and condemn Abiy’s regime!!
    Attack on national heroes like Tefera Mamo, on our Fano heroes is an attack against us all!!

    Abiy Ahmed Ali’s dirty regime was part of the criminal EPRDF regime, millions of Amharas dissapeared from the world. All Amhara diaspora need to continuesly, tirelessly raise awareness of Amhara’s plight.

    Abiy the dirty snake and his regime need to be a global pariah ripe for the ICC, they will regret targeting our people!!

    —- Steps to take (please join)

    1 — All Amhara (and allies) please contact (call, email, letter, whatever) Amhara organizations/groups you know (or the nearest near you). Express your concerns. Get organized. Participate. Don’t be passive, do it right now!!

    2 — Raise awareness by sharing this message to get organized across all social media.

    Reach out to news outlets and (foreign) journalists so much that they can’t ignore this topic. It doesn’t even have to be an international news outlet. You can start by contacting your local news outlet wherever you are in the world. We need to break through this filter of censorship.

    Inform others non-Ethiopians, make allies.

    3 — Do not forget step 1
    4 — Do not forget step 2
    5 — Take care of yourself brothers and sisters!

    Remember we are stronger together!!

  3. A rambling piece intended to portray Amharas as victims, when the historical reality is entirely the opposite.
    Abyssinian Empire added nothing of value to the Peoples of Ethiopia.
    All it has done, for over a century, was to perpetrate a massacre after massacre against peripheral communities.
    Amhara expansionism, heralded by a belief that they’re entitled to rule Ethiopia is the root cause of all problems in Ethiopia.
    I and others aren’t falling for these crocodile tears.

  4. Standing together and protecting each other no matter what is not only necessary but a must and the path to Freedom from the Tyrannical Oromo Abiy Ahmed state sponsored Genocide. Unity is strength that no one can take away from Amhara. Those standing idle, detractors and who sold their self for selfish and immediate monetary gain must be identified and removed.
    Of course following the above comment is also additional benefit for Amharas that must be done!

    Keep exposing and protesting in front of every world stage every day with the real and shocking images of Amharas who are suffering under the current State Sponsored Amhara Genocide in Ethiopia by Mass Murderer, PM Abiy Ahmed.

  5. “Amhara expansionism, heralded by a belief that they’re entitled to rule Ethiopia is the root cause of all problems in Ethiopia. I and others aren’t falling for these crocodile tears.”

    Nah, wake up and smell the coffe Zaye Uma, it has been nearly half a century since Mengistu Hailemariam, aka the butcher, who came from an Oromo mother and a father from Southern Ethiopia and the cursed Meles followed by Haile Mariam Desalegne and now butcher 2 Abiy from Bashsha have been bathing Ethiopia and Ethiopians in blood bath.

    This is your story, your platform. This is your circus and your monkeys. Leave the Amhara people out of this clown show. Nobody is listening to your drivel and finger pointing which comes out of despair and inferiority complex at not being to accomplish what those who came before your clown show did.

  6. Amhara struggle is at the crossroad. Oromo struggle is at the crossroad. Tigre struggle is at the crossroad. Afar struggle is at the crossroad. Somali struggle is at the crossroad. Gambela struggle is at the crossroad. Sidama struggle is at the crossroad. Beni Shangul struggle is at the crossroad. Konso struggle is at the crossroad. 80 ethnic groups in total their struggle is at the crossroad. The Black Mane struggle is at the crossroad. The long nosed shrew struggle is at the crossroad. Winnie the Pooh struggle is at the crossroad. Wait a minute! I just got an ugly look from Miss Piggy! Miss Piggy struggle is at the crossroad. All groups of the Colobus monkeys and the red chested baboons struggle is at the crossroad. Even that endemic butterfly struggle is at the crossroad. All these struggles are being led by the pompous red chested baboon!!! Did I miss anyone here!

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