By Dansa Absinic
Ethiopia is a melting pot of humanity. It has many ethnic groups along with language classifications. In fact, primordial (bloodline) ethnicity is less visible in Ethiopia. A plurality of languages and identities is present and reality. Variety is beauty in Ethiopia and is even a national power. Identities are also interwoven by millennia of intermarriage and the movement of people. As such, identities are layered and fluid in Ethiopia. The facial similarity and stature of the body are testimonials of Ethiopian features. However, multicultural Ethiopia is abused, attacked, and failing.
However, since the 1960s, youth-led communism, especially communists organized along village connections has brought wrath in Ethiopia. They divided Ethiopia into primordial fashion using language groups. They have crafted constitutional rules for that matter. They used the time-tested effective divisive rule of the Britons i.e. divide and concur. Ethiopia is a divided community now for the last 50 years. Yet again, the divide could not destroy the fabric of the society forged by the Amharic language, EOTC, and Islam. Indeed, the attack is also ever stronger on these connectors.
As ethnic elites are taking center stage in politics, and public life and profiting from the divide, they started attacking any factor that connects Ethiopia. Whether the connector is along language, religion, culture, livelihood, or more, it really does not matter. What matters for them is that they operate in a fashion of ‘we vs them’. Political causes are communicated to the community along fabricated or extremely exaggerated historical grudges. The grudges always relate to the Amharic language as the language of the ‘dominant’ class and thereby the speaker is the enemy. In fact, historical exploiters were from every background.
For the last three decades, all the land in Ethiopia has been demarcated along ethnic lines. Hence, all that does not belong to the ethnic group in question is labeled as settlers and newcomers and by extension deserves nothing of political and economic rights. If they hold land, they will be evicted. If they have houses, it is being demolished, if they do resist they are killed like rats. Amharic language speakers are not hired to any government offices in regional governments, except one.
Ethiopia has been bleeding from ethnic politics for the last half a century. The architect of this political machination is TPLF. Unfortunately for the Tigray people in general, it has been made a victim of its own making. They are made to test their own medicine. TPLF was born and died of ethnic hatred and its resultant war. At the end of its life, it waged a two years civil war along ethnic causes. It was effectively obliterated by the collision of ‘ethnic Amhara and Oromo’, the unholy marriage served for the cause of the war only. An enemy of my enemy is a friend is the logic. Now the Oromo hardliners are working hard for ‘Amharfrei’ (a term recently coined after the Judenfrei policy of Hitler) in Ethiopia
Again, the Oromo hardliner-dominated government of Ethiopia is waging a genocidal war against ethnic ‘Amhara’, city dwellers of anywhere and orthodox Christianity (EOTC). All these groups are labeled as the ultimate safeguards of the nation standing between the project of forming their own republic over the demise of Ethiopia. The hardliners, although they have taken the state, they do not seem to stop there. Ethiopia must vanish.
Why is this so? What can be done? Why is ethnocracy at war with Ethiopia and its sprite manifested in Adwa’s victory? This year, the Adwa celebration was aborted because of the government hardliners at war with the sprite of Ethiopia and its manifestations e.g. flag, religion, culture, and brotherhood. They attacked folks coming out for the celebration wearing traditional costumes and decorations for the festival. They were teargassed, and some were brutally attacked. Even fatalities were reported. This happens in the capital city and the seat of headquarters of the African Union.
The first thing ethnic warlords are afraid of is Ethiopia and its spirit. They wanted to fragment, destroy and reign over their village. They aspire to form their own little republics. A weak nation is good for ethnic conquerors. But, a country of 120 million people is suffering from conflict, poverty, and hopelessness. A failed Ethiopia is a threat to neighboring countries, Europe, and the world. Migration is already at a crisis level. Ethiopia should be saved for global political health as well. A failed Ethiopia will overrun Kenya and other neighbors in a matter of months. This will cause the neighboring nations to quickly collapse.
What should be done? How can we get out of the destructive ethnic politics and go to politics of idea and purpose? The answer comes from the political organization that must form among the speakers of the lingua franca (Amharic language). Language is culture and all the national history is written and taught in this language. Those who speak this language are closer to the spirit of Ethiopia. Ethiopia speaks the Amharic language which is a very developed language. It is good for education, unity, trade, national growth, justice, etc. Most of all, it is formed out of many languages of Ethiopian origin. It connects everyone. It is beneficial for the nation to consolidate the heritage from this language and benefit from it rather than fight it.
Second, EOTC must organize itself and defend national unity as unity is its goal in its spiritual endeavor too. As humanity is united, heaven is close to humanity. EOTC has made history in protecting the territorial integrity of the nation and creating Ethiopia as a public psychic power. The religion is good for public health via its strict fasting rules and is pro-environmental.
The Amhara regions and as a moderate group in love with Ethiopia and its territorial integrity must unite efforts with city dwellers of Ethiopia in general and the power of EOTC. Again, Ethiopian Muslims are also para-race and akin to unity rather than division. They must also consolidate efforts in protecting their nation from ethnicity.
Southern Ethiopia in particular, although hugely affected by protestant corrupt groups must calculate to either protect Ethiopia and preserve its natural resource and its future or face extermination in the face of the insatiable hardliners expanding to its doorsteps. In fact, SNNPR was a strong political force united by the Amharic language, it was destroyed for this reason. The South must wake up! The Afar and the rest, although they have a clear liking for their culture and religion, are not at war with Ethiopia as well. It is essential to exploit these groups for Ethiopia’s cause as well.
Finally, and most importantly, Tigray must wake up, repent, and undo the evil planted by TPLF in Ethiopia. A united Tigray aligned with the Amhara and forming a northern alliance can easily save Ethiopia. Tigray will be the favorite kid of Ethiopia for this. Again, Tigray via EOTC must make peace with Amhara and unite for a common cause. It is essential for Tigrayan to live in greater Ethiopia than fight over a piece of land that is nothing compared to the wider world. Indeed, the great multitude of moderate Oromos must wake up as well before it is too late.
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