Ethiopian PM Minister Abiy Ahmed is not stranger to making unmeasured remarks that tastes bitter to most Ethiopians.
However, the remark he made this week on the occasion of the inaugural ceremony of a bakery plant in Wolaita Sodo does seem to have a political intention intended to frame political resistance in the Amhara region for attack.
He framed his remark in comparative terms. An opportunity for breathing an air of peace is being created in northern Ethiopia where we saw tragic war between brothers. Everyone should work hard to ensure that it is a success, he said.
And then he went on to say “Today we see two extremist thoughts and smaller groups…they could change Ethiopian map and shape…groups that can not ensure the continuity of Ethiopia, groups that believe in repelling each other. These two groups are Oromo Shane and Amahra Shane.”
They may differ in their spatial position but they both think in terms of an Ethiopia they can rule single handedly the way they like and they do not seek peace, he added.
PM Abiy Ahmed has clearly coined a new name “Amhara Shane” to describe political groups with Amhara ethnic background.
Oromo Shane is a militant ethnic Oromo nationalist group that is believed to be the military wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) although the latter has disowned the group for two years now. The group calls itself as “Oromo Liberation Army” and is after creating an independent ethnic Oromo state out of Ethiopia. It has massacred tens of thousands of ethnic Amhara based in the Oromo region of Ethiopia after PM Abiy Ahmed facilitated the entry of group from Eritrea some time in 2018.
Nothing is known so far about “Amhara Shane.” Activists and rights groups are saying that PM Abiy deliberately used the term to frame emerging ethnic Amhara politicians with critical views about his administration. He has been criticized, rightly, for utter failure to protect the lives of ethnic Amhara civilians in the Oromo region of Ethiopia. Some activists based in the diaspora are claiming that the massacre of ethnic Amhara in the region has recognition from Abiy Ahmed.
What is your take about his “Amhara Shane” remark? share it in the comment section.
Video : embedded from EBC YouTube channel
Cover photo : screenshot from FANA TV video
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