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Before The Next Massacre Buried The Nation Itself 

Ethiopia _ Oromia massacre
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ( Photo : Eduardo Soteras/AFP )

By: Shimelis Amare 
Updated on January 1, 2023 4:09 P.M. Toronto Time

At the darkest time of Hitler’s Germany, a prominent German Pastor who found himself in a  situation where he didn’t expect, wrote the following: 

First, they came for the socialist, and I did not speak out 
because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade  
unionists, and I did not speak out- because I was not a trade  
unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak  
out- because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me- and  
there was no one left to speak for me. 

Martin Niemoller 

About four years ago, the Oromo extremists hanged a dead body in front of a cheering crowd, not  in a hidden place, but at a public square. Shocked by an expected event, the public outcry lasted  about a week. At that time, the citizens not only expected, but also were confident that the  government will enforce law and order and things will get normal soon. Since then, in the city of  Burayu, they raped women, killed children, and old people, and the public outcry lasted about a  week. In Shashemene they killed innocent people, burned properties, and the public outcry lasted  about a week; in Ataye, they destroyed properties and killed innocent people, and the public outcry  lasted about a week; in Welega, for the last few years, Ethiopians who happened to be mostly  Amhara were continuously killed and chased out of their homes periodically, and the public outcry  lasted about a week, every time it happened. During this sad and depressing time, the government  sometimes gives lip service or tries to divert attention to something else, and opposition parties  call press conferences and release statements, and they go back to their normal routine till it  happens again. As difficult as it is to comprehend, in this country of ours, and in this century, what  shouldn’t be tolerated is tolerated, not by the government only, but also by the citizens at large;  what shouldn’t be normal by any stretch of imagination, becomes a normal routine. In the Twenty  First Century of Ethiopia, every now and then, innocent people get executed by the Oromo  extremist group and this has become a “normal” way of life, with no end in sight.  

Why did this become normal? Some people say the government is incapable and others say the  government is not willing to enforce law and order in the Oromia region. The fact that the  government arrested the president in the Somali region at the early stage and suppressed the  resistance, and recently arrested more than twelve thousand people in Amhara region to suppress  the Fano movement, it is hard to say that the government is not capable of acting the same way in  Oromia region. Maybe, the right question is that, does the will exist with the government to do it?  If not, why not? Regardless, if the government failed to enforce law and order for whatever reason,  and life remains “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” as Thomas Hobbes once said, then we  should ask ourselves a simple question: what is the state for? What makes it a legitimate  government for the citizens to recognize it as such? When and under what circumstances is an  uprising or a resistance against the government justified, if not to demand for the right to  live? Under this dire condition, it is imperative for Ethiopians at home and abroad regardless of  our ethnic background to stand together and demand this government to enforce law and order.  

I understand that some of us, including myself, are constrained from speaking up, worried that we  may add gasoline to the fire if we do so. Unfortunately, our collective numbness or silence played  a negative role in making what is not “normal” a normal way of life in our country. If we don’t  stand together and demand the government to enforce law and order, sooner or later, what Martin  Niemoller said will come to hunt us. My fellow Ethiopians, the issue is not between the Oromo  extremists and the Amhara people. It is not even between the Oromo extremist groups and the  Amhara extremist groups as some people are trying to paint it as such. Let us be honest and  recognize the fact that the Oromo extremist groups supported by the Oromo prosperity party  members are carrying out this atrocity. Mind you! The Prime Minister is the leader of this party  and it is under his watch all this is happening. It does not matter whether he is part of it or not. One  thing is clear: he failed those people who supported him when he came to power. At this critical  time in our history, this issue requires our collective attention and participation to avoid a  widespread atrocity. Especially, the non-Amhara Ethiopians must be at the front line demanding  the government to protect the safety of citizens so that bloodshed can be avoided between these  two ethnicity groups. Before our country experiences something similar to what happened in  Rwanda, we all should ask ourselves, what can the citizens do collectively to prevent it? How do  they transform individual outcry to a meaningful citizens voice in order to force the government  to act? 

In my opinion, the citizens of this nation should give the last warning to this government to protect  innocent citizens regardless of their ethnic background. No government will survive for a long  time without the support of its citizens. How many innocent citizens should perish before the  citizens of this nation collectively say, enough is enough? Before it is too late, collective action is  urgently needed and here is my concrete proposal to be considered by political organizations and  activities at home and abroad: 

1. Political activists, civic organizations, and political parties at home  and abroad need to create a committee to take a coordinated action.  

2. Political activists, civic organizations, and political parties at home  and abroad should coordinate to call a three-days strike throughout the  nation and demand the government to take decisive action against the  Oromo extremists. 

3. Send a joint letter to leaders of other countries and organizations  asking for their support. 

4. Make it clear that the objective is not to overthrow the government per  se, but to force it to correct its mistake, and protect the people as expected  or resign. 

5. The first strike should last three days and see how the government  reacts and prepare for a longer strike if necessary.

6. Don’t sacrifice some individuals and go home. Instead keep the fire burning  till the government feels it and act or resign. 

My fellow Ethiopians, I know it is not easy and I understand the possible danger this bold action  comes with. However, without this collective voice and action, THE NEXT MASSACRE OR THE  ONE AFTER THAT WILL BURY THE NATION ITSELF. This situation is not sustainable in  any society and we cannot afford to continue ignoring it. It is my hope that non-Amhara individuals  and organizations will join this effort so that ethnic cleansing can be stopped and widespread  atrocity can be avoided. Let it be clear that without this collective action to avoid it, it will expand  and no one will be immune. If we want to avoid what happened in Rwanda, this is time to act  decisively and collectively. 

I can be reached at: shimelisamare@gmail.com

Editor’s note : The article was first shared on P2P forum on December 20, 2022

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Great points! It is my prayer that we all could come together as a community to denounce and demand the PM and his party to immediately STOP the heinous crime perpetuated by fanatic Oromo tribalists in his party.

  2. Right on the dot. Very timely and voice for the voiceless Amharas!! Abiy Ahmed has shown and proved to be the repetition of another Hitlers in Ethiopia in 2022.

    If Amharas were white the whole Europe and West would have gone crazy and Abiy would have already been locked up for life in ICC jail.

    The cold bloodedness, cold as ice personality, cruel speeches, appearing calm, collected and undisturbed as if he is hearing good news when he talks about the thousands of innocent Amhara massacred in one day sums up Abiy Ahemd’s brutality and cruelty personality that people have never seen before.

  3. Over 15 million Amaras live in ‘Oromia’! Most are Gojjamés/Gonderés. No Oromo lives in Gojjam/Gonder. Why do Gojjamés/Gonderés fuel Amara-Oromo animosity the most?

    How will those who live hand-to-mouth on general work survive during the strike you called? Your relatives back home will survive on money you send them from abroad!

    ‘Amara Activists’ abroad repeatedly called for demonstrations and embargo/sanctions. They got it. AGOA cancelled! Industrial parks closed! Many poor Amaras lost their jobs.

    Abiy wasn’t affected – Nobel Prize millionaire! The relatives of the ‘Amara Activists’ were not affected – they receive money from abroad. The cannon fodders paid the price!

    PS: Why did the Amaras who fled ኦነግ ሸኔ and sought refuge in Amara Zone say: “ወለጋ መልሱን”? Doesn’t that speak volumes about the Amara Hospitality most brag about?

  4. You missed my point, and you are talking about bread. These people should have the right to live in the first place. If the citizens of this nation don’t goout to strike demanding for their right to live, I don’t know when it is justified.

  5. Shimelis Amare, thank you for your timely article. Please keep it going and expose the suffering and Genocide of Amharas by repeated of violent aggression and expansion of the Orommuma encroaching on Amhara land. 700 years ago there was no Oromo in Ethiopia. It was all Amharas, Gurages, and other Ethiopian ethnic groups. The violent and forceful kidnapping (Guddi fechaa) of Amhara children and converting them to Oromo culture and believes is one of the way to add the number of Oromo population.

    Those Amharas living in Wellga did not go there 4 years ago. They were living for decades and centuries just like the Oromos living in Addis Ababa where Amharas are the main inhabitants and founders of Addis Ababa. But Amharas never resorted into denying Oromos the right to live in Addis Ababa and other parts of Ethiopia.

    Today Abiy the Terrible and PP religieous belief is Prospering by looting and massacring Amharas while the rest of Ethiopians go into misery and death by PP. Since this is a dangerous religious belief Ethiopians should start to act now and kill this danger that will keep to come to every Orthodox, Catholic, Muslim and every non-Oromo Ethiopian.

  6. Yes, you hit the nail. It has to be movement of the people and support from diaspora that can stop this. Under the banner ” Ethiopia”, this government snoozed the majority of Ethiopia while feeding, arming ripening Olf, allowing Shabian Dawud Ibsa back to Wellega to start the civil war. They have 5 years now to install themselves and threaten Ethiopia and Amara. For me, l say it is too late. Unless the mass rise up as they did against Tplf. It is not just rise up, the people has to be armed against the Liberation Fronts lead by Shabia. Tigray is already gone to Eritrea. Foreigners are controlling Tigray, will continue with Afar and Amara to destroy Ethiopia further. My thinking is that, those in leadership may not even be Oromos in true sense but Ironized Tigrinya speakers from Tplf and Eritrea like Tesfaye Gebreab, Werkneh Gebeyehu, even Aby who is Tigrinya speaker may not be who he says he is after all. They all answer to Shabia, Egypt and colonists.

  7. Abiy must step down. Four years of his stay at the helm has brought Ethiopia nothing but misery, chaos, displacement and murders. Abiy’s Ethiopia is home to the highest number of IDPs (internally displaced people) in the entire world. Fifty years ago, Addis Ababa’s Mayor was Dr Haile Giorgio’s Workeneh, a Canrnegie Mellon graduate with a real PhD and a Civil engineer registered as a professional engineer in the US. Today, AA is run by the incompetent, barely educated nincompoop Adanech Abebe, masquerading as a mayor.

    Who chose this individual to be mayor of Addis Ababa? It is Abiy and his corrupt PP. Abiy is not a credible individual. He is neither transformative nor ethical. His moral compass is flawed, bent and always points to the wrong direction. Abiy is embarrassingly petty, vindictive and power hungry beyond description. He and his corrupt buddies in PP together with their TPLF masters are responsible for the blood of all Ethiopians spilt in their watch.

    Abiy is not a just individual. He is not ethical and has been compromised in all aspects to bring any tangible change or benefit to Ethiopia. His fat thumb has been on the scale of justice since his sudden ascension to power. A byproduct of the TPLF ethno fascistic and apartheid oppressive system, Abiy does not understand even the abc s of modern, responsive and responsible government.

    Ethiopians are en masse sick and tired of Abiy the Terrible. Maybe , it is high time for the arrogant, self patting and self congratulating buffoon to step down.

  8. What Abiye or prosperty party doing in welega and other parts of Ethiopia is unacceptable. It looks like prosperty party is worst than tplf. You can live in Welega only if you are oromo. And I don’t think they even use Ethiopian flag. Thank you for this article. It’s scary where is Abiye leading Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

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