Chaos finds everyone eventually
BY KIBOUR SELAM
It has been more than five years since my piece of writing came out on this platform. It is when I feel guilty of remaining mute at times that I should do the minimum to expose the prevailing injustice over justice.
Last year, we heard about a story of a young woman whom the TPLF (Woyane) invading force raped and mutilated near her genital organ. The young lady escaped near death in Wollega and had traveled all the way to Woldia (around 579 kms per Google results) in rescue of her life.
Wollega is one of the places that the Derg relocated people from areas visited by recurring drought. Many of the people are Amhara, particularly those who were brought from Wollo, of course Tigrayans also were relocated at the place. Some even claim as members of the Shene group that it is claimed to hail from the latter. Entities who operate in the name of liberating Oromo have long taken these people hostage. When they want to assert their existence, they resort to slay hundreds of Amhara to make headlines. It seems that it was when the lady sniffed the bad odor of a looming massacre that she had fled to her family’s old neighborhood in Woldia, a region in Wollo.
Unfortunately, despite the short-lived sigh of relief avoiding rape and killing in the hands of the brute “Oromo” Liberation Front’s Army (OLA) in the Southwest of Ethiopia, the TPLF waged war and had controlled Woldiya from the north. Fighters of the TPLF, as international rights organizations have also proved it, killed civilians, raped kids, women and men and looted property.
The young lady becomes one of the victims of gang rape. To add insult to injury, the rapists mutilated the lady around her genital organ.
The fate of the people of Amhara is conspicuously evident in the young lady’s fate. The people are denied the right to live and thrive in other states in Ethiopia. Nor Amharas existence in its own state is guaranteed. Visible forces such as TPLF and OLF(OLA) from within as well as invisible forces from outside seem to join hands to vanish us from the face of the earth.
For instance, in 2021 in the months spanning from August to September, the TPLF invading forces massacred innocent Amharas in Kobbo, Nefas Mewcha, Desse, Kombolcha and in North Showa. Millions of people are still made IDPs. Looting and rape were rampant, even a 90-year nun was raped in an act that looked like to terrorize the people. Most rights groups were mute on the matter and the international community was watching indifferently.
The Trojan horses that perpetrate despicable crimes against the Amhara people come in various shapes. If we can see into our modern history, the Italian invading forces who occupied some parts of Ethiopia targeted the Amhara people. Baharu Zewde, a professor emeritus at Addis Ababa University in his book ‘Modern History of Ethiopia’ puts it that the Italian during the occupation had targeted the intelligentsia class of the time. It is clear that most of them who got the opportunity to learn abroad were the Amharas. The Italians who learned ‘divide and rule’ from their senior partners, the British, also worked to ethnically divide the people.
What the Derg did to the people of Amhara was also almost the same. Despite the Derg’s chanting of a ‘one Ethiopia’ motto. It exterminated educated Amharas. Most of the Haileselassie’s officials who were massacred were Amharas. Despite the ‘land to the tiller’ a craft of BerhaneMeskel Reda (as his wife in a book she authored ‘Dagnaw Mannew’ claimed), and later adopted by the Derg, benefitted the rural poor. But it also snatched wealth that most Amhara people created through their sweat too.
Under the proclamation 47/1975, the Derg took urban lands and what it called extra houses. Many who toiled to own private houses and lands were made poorer and among these, the majority was Amharas. I have no intention to argue that the landlord-tenant relations must have continued. It was the Amhara scholars themselves who struggled to change the system, our brothers and sisters paid in their lives for equality in Ethiopia. The Neway brothers in 1973 and most prominent figures in the students’ movement of the late 1960s were the Amharas. The changes fundamentally were made real through the sacrifices of Amharas more than other ethnic groups, I believe.
The TPLF regime has been clear on its stance towards Amhara. In its manifesto in 1975, the group had expressed hatred towards Amhara. It said the Amhara people are the ‘moral enemy’ of the Tigrayan people. I read one article on Borkena that had a parallel in Hitler’s declaration that reads as ‘the Jews are the moral enemies of the German people’. Recently, the Eritrean Press publicly posted on its social media account that they opened a propaganda war against Amhara during the struggle. They also asked for apologies for doing so. The reason for tarnishing the people of Amhara was that the people have high regard for the unity and dignity of Ethiopia. For Amharas, Ethiopia is a blessed ancestral land worth keeping it at any cost. For most Amharas Christians and Muslims, betraying Ethiopia is quarreling with their creator. Either to control Ethiopia or break it into pieces, the bedrock of Ethiopian nationalism must weather, that is why the internal and external forces collaborate to exterminate the Amharas.
In my view the concerted campaign to defame the people of Amhara was launched following the defeat of the invading European forces in 1896 at the Battle of Adwa. The Italians and other Europeans seemed to have nursed a grudge over the people. They have understood that the people would do any sacrifice to its freedom and to defend its land and faith—be it Orthodox Christianity or Islam. As the colonial project had faced an imaginable collapse only in less than a decade since the 1984/85 Berlin conference on partitioning of Africa, a certain supremacists are still perceiving the Amhara people as a barricade to what they called a new world order; I stand to be corrected but this is the origin of the hatred towards the people.
The internal elements be them TPLF, OLF or other forces subscribed to the external elements’ doctrine of perceiving Amhara as an oppressor who did crimes on other ethnic people. This narrative is a western craft. Otherwise, the people of Ethiopia took turns in shaping Ethiopia. The Oromos for instance expanded in large swaths of the central and northern Ethiopia in the 16th C. and 17th C. through war, pushing Ahmaras to the highlands, killing and assimilating minorities (Former Pres. Negasso Gidada, himself an Oromo, already wrote this). The Adals as well put their imprints in one way or another. What the Amhara rulers did was no surprise. The rulers of Amhara along with the Shewa Oromos reintegrated the people. The Shewa Oromos were central in reintegrating the people (The Tulema, Mecha and Limmu Oromoa). Aba Jafar II of Jima had his roles in shaping current Ethiopia. Kings of Nekemet (Moti) had also their own roles. [See Prof. Fekadu Lemessa’s History 101: Fuctuib and Facts ib Irinis if Ethiopia].
A deliberate attack was launched vividly on Amhara people when Baron Roman Prochazka published a book in 1935. The Austrian Nzai, Prochazka briefly worked in Ethiopia as an Austrian counsel. In February 1934, he was expelled due to acts which were ‘incompatible’ with his diplomatic office’. It was then he published his book ‘Abessinien: Die Schwarz Gefhar’ that has been translated to Italian ‘Abyssinia Pericolo Nero’ and English ‘Abyssinia: The Power Barrel.
In his book, he presented Amhara people in particular as hostile to the whites and one that could destroy the “white civilization” if not checked quickly. He also called on immediate collaboration to destroy the Amhara. Among strategies he suggested to do this were making the different nations to rebel against the Amharas. Any reader can understand that he argued that the people of Amhara would make it hard for the project to colonize Ethiopia and the entire world. Ethiopia’s Prochaska Walelign Mekonnen also fully subscribed to the project and even reproduced it [Some claim Walelign’s piece of work published in the Struggle was the craft of CIA].
Hundreds of Amhara people were massacred recently in West Wollega Zone Ghimbi woreda of Tole Kebele. Another horrific massacre followed in Kelem Welega. Unlike the other days where we learn the bad news from activists on social media, we heard the latter directly from the Prime Minister’s twitter account.
No guarantee to stop another incident
On July 7,2022 addressing a parliamentary session, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expressed his sorrow over the incident. He; however, did not assure us of any grand plan to prevent another round of massacre. He explained terrorism is a dynamic phenomenon ravaging even countries which have sophisticated security systems. This means that there might be similar incidents and the government’s capacity is limited.
We garnered little sympathy
Separatist political groups operating both inside and outside Ethiopia did not condemn the tragic incident. The diaspora Oromos as well seems to have believed the Shene’s denial of committing the atrocity. It seems also they regard the group as freedom fighters despite its lineage from non-Oromo groups as some claimed. They must have at least condemned the targeting of civilians whosoever did it.
Despite the brute killing of innocent civilians, most groups take it as nothing has happened. Most of us were taken by surprise when Iran expressed sorrow over the death of Amharas in the West Wollega incident. The US, UN and other global bodies did not react swiftly; it took them long to twist and tweet the matter to their advantage. They did not as well call the incident by its name. The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights on 23 June 2022 “urged” prompt investigation. The Tole Amhara Massacre happened on 18 June 2022. The UN also did not expressively call it by its name. And it did not directly condemn it. Similarly, the State Department on June 21, 2022 released a statement but it called for stopping “violence”. For me its proper name is Massacre on innocent Amharas by Armed Terrorists. The terrorists must be condemned and the government should be urged to allow independent investigations. We have not seen any report on the Kelem Welega Amhara Massacre perpetrated by Shene . Let alone these bodies, Ethiopia’s leaders including Abiy never dare to say massacre on Amhara. All try to tell us that some Oromo wereda officials and even Oromo people were also victims. And they call it killing on “civilians” … Why?
This shows that the people of Amhara is a political hostage to all players. All seem to conclude that denouncing the act calling it by its name is standing by the people of Amhara—people who must rather deserve the worst. When any of the elements want to defend Ethiopia, they stir the emotion of Amhara to die for their cause. When they want to assert that they are still active like Shene, they brutally kill Amhara. Even Jawar, when he thought that the government had been targeting him, tweeted that he was in danger. And his guys killed Amharas living in Oromia. Following the death of Oromo singer and activist Hachalu Hundessa, genocide was waged against Amhara’s who lived in Oromia, they even burn a city to ashes. The TPLF publicly said they want to settle the score on Amhara. And they did it in broad daylight. The TPLF also works to divide Amhara along ethnic and religious lines; they support people who are living in harmony in what the TPLF delineated “Amhara State” as Agew, Kimant… deliberately to attack the Amhara nation’s unity.
These tell us that the people’s survival is under question mark. There is a visible craft of some entities to finish the people and make us stateless. They wish to get confused when they give us one day an asylum in their countries. They may want to make us stateless, and call us “people of unknown identity”. The acts are getting vivid diplomatic coverage, financial and logistical support among others. It is high time for us Amharas all over the world to understand this grave danger. We must stand in unity; we must clearly reach consensus as to who our enemies are; their potential….Then we must fight them back as our fathers did so. Clearly, ‘Oromos and Ahmara’ fought shoulder to shoulder to defeat colonialists. They also protected their peoples from colonialists. The shewa neftegas, comprising majority of Oromos and Amhara, involved in reintegrating Ethiopian parts. Maybe the Oromos cannot be identified in those places reintegrated for they have similar culture with the residents, but the Amhara’s who are culturally different can be identifiable and that is why they are being targeted. In the case of Welega, the story is different, the relocation was a result of government policy. Sober voices of Oromo’s like the professor mentioned above must be loud in telling the truth. Amhara people have no problems with his brothers and sisters in Ethiopia. The thing is, it is a deliberate craft of some supremacists in the west.
Politicians in the west should also let the truth be known. Their old politicians hate speech and ethnic slur against the Amharas are causing thousands of lives to be lost. It is high time to do this.
There is a silver lining indeed. It is a matter of putting the redlines as to who wants us to perish and who wants us to live in peace and harmony with other people and country. The multi-polar world is full of advantages. The unipolar imperialistic world has come to its collapse. We must not , knowingly or unknowingly, allow this imperialistic and sadistic world to prevail any longer. At this juncture, it is high time to adjust and readjust our alliances as people.
We live & thrive; the enemy is any force against this!
Editor’s note : views in the article reflect the views of the writer, not the views of borkena.com
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