By Henok Abebe
Human Rights Advocate
In his book entitled “War and Conflict in Africa”, Paul Williams points out that African leaders tend to instrumentalize disorder and use violence to assert authority as a survival strategy whenever they feel their legitimacy is challenged. Abiy Ahmed’s leadership in Ethiopia is no different from the well-worn path of African despots who govern impoverished societies from the comfort of opulent palaces bulwarked by merciless soldiers from their own citizens. When he felt that Tigray Peopel’s Liberation Front(TPLF) has challenged his authority and questioned his legitimacy and even ability to lead Ethiopia, he completely forgot the fact that he said he is “his brothers’ keeper and his sisters’ protector” on the international stage in Norway when he received the undeserved Nobel Peace Prize, and he did not seem to worry to think twice before plunging the nation into a devastating civil war. After the country paid the cost of the war dearly, and after he ensures that TPLF will no more stand against his legitimacy and way to lead the nation, he flipped like a coin and started singing Selam le Alem, Lesew lij bemulu (May peace be upon the world and all human beings).
Bite the Hand that Feeds Abiy
There is no other group or entity that embraced Abiy Ahmed as the new leader of the nation than the Amhara people. As a civilized society, Amhara has given priority to dreams and ambitions to lead the nation based on overarching principles like equality, freedom, justice, the rule of law, and democracy. Though they become hallow promises, Abiy Ahmed, as a means to deceive the Amhara and Ethiopianist socio-political camp, has repeatedly said that the nation should divorce itself from the archaic form of political mobilization, state terrorism, and corruption. Both the Amhara people and the Ethiopianist socio-political camp, have taken the decisive role to boost the legitimacy and consolidate the power of Abiy Ahmed.
Neither did Amhara fail Abiy Ahmed when TPLF threaten his power. Of course, TPLF’s war against Abiy Ahmed had put the Amhara people in a precarious situation. If Amhara did not fight, it would have not been spared from the bullets of TPLF, for TPLF considers Amhara its sworn enemy since the beginning of their guerrilla fighting in the early 1970s. And they have accomplished a lot in attacking and vilifying the Amhara people when they were in power for nearly three decades. Amhara knows that the comeback will no more be different. Moreover, TPLF has resentment towards Amhara since it is one of the prominent forces that pushed them away from the central power. In fact, their initial offensive targeted occupying Bahir Dar and Gonder cities of Amhara and even launched rocket strikes. There are no people in the country that have fought TPLF with the same level of resources and intensity as Amhara. The Amhara people have paid the price dearly and paid to protect their dignity, freedom, and resources.
The war came after the Amhara people realized that Abiy Ahmed is not the kind of leader they expected to be at the helm of power. Between Abiy’s ascension into power and TPLF’s war, Amhara has suffered unimaginable misery under the watch of the leader they expected to transit Ethiopia into the Canaan of democracy and stability. If TPLF were another entity that has no enmity with the Amhaara people or if they came with a benign motive to only target Abiy’s power, some people (though difficult to say what proportion) from the Amhara society would have joined hands against the common enemy: Abiy Ahmed.
When the war began Abiy Ahmed seemed to be the lesser evil of two evils compared to the TPLF. Moreover, a significant number of the Amhara elites and those in the Etthiopianist camp were yet hoping Abiy Ahmed to show them the heavenly Ethiopia that he always carries in his words, but not deeds. Hence, Amhara acted as the bulwark for Abiy Ahmed’s power. No single Amhara and no single Amhara resource left from defending and defeating TPLF. The farmers, the militia, the city dwellers, the intellectuals, the special and regular police forces, the bureaucracy and the government officials, the diaspora, the media, and even the retired military personnel like General Tefera Mamo and General Abebaw Taddesse have sacrificed their blood and sweat for the dignity and freedom of Amhara on the one hand, and for the throne of Abiy Ahmed on the other hand.
However, after securing his win and within the blink of an eye, Abiy Ahmed turned into his treacherous self. To everyone’s dismay and surprise, he turned his back on the Amhara people. He kicked those people who played a significant role in the training and mobilization of fighters and resources like Gedu Andargachew, Yohannis Buayalew, Lake Ayalew, Colenel Biset, General Tefera Mamo, etc. He did not show any remorse or shame to implicate the Amhara fighters (Fanos) in multiple crimes. He kicked out Amhara leaders from power, he arrested the military leaders.
The recent crackdown Abiy took against the Amhara intellectuals, media personnel, humanitarian workers, and ex-military and para-military individuals is the epitome of him biting the hand that feeds him. All these people who are arrested recently have accepted and acclaimed him as a true visionary leader when he came to power and defended his throne when TPLF acted to dethrone him. The Amhara Special Force is a prominent entity that will never be forgotten by anyone in Ethiopia or those who have been following the conflict. Their bravery and sacrifice played a crucial role in defending Abiy’s power. However, that does not bring them a reward but disarmament, dismantlement, and heinous execution under the guise of regrouping and reorganizing them into regular police and the military.
The perfidious Abiy Ahmed has unleashed his poison against individuals, groups, and entities that he thinks help the Amhara people to stand for their rights. Currently, the only groups left to defend the Amhara people are the farmers and some conspicuous Fanos who have so far been spared from previous attacks. Unfortunately, the Chief of Staff of the military, Birhanu Jula, has recently incriminated these groups by accusing them of various crimes without evidence, which
may signal an impending attack against them. One may wonder why Abiy Ahmed Ali is so ungrateful to those who helped him consolidate and defend his power. He is Revenging Amhara!
Like his comrades, Abiy Ahmed has grown up hearing that the Amhara people are his enemy and that the Amhara kings, especially Emperor Menelik II, have historically defeated and subjugated, and colonized the Oromo People. He has a past history of working as an intelligence officer with the TPLF, the same party that initiated a guerrilla war by targeting the Amhara people and making them restless and unwelcome in their own ancestral land. Abiy himself admitted that he had worked as a double agent for both the TPLF and the Oromo Liberation Army(OLA); the latter labeled the Amhara people as colonizers and aim to cleanse them from any place they claim as their land and has the ultimate goal of dismantling the nation of Ethiopia and render Amhara people stateless.
Abiy worked in various capacities for both entities that have declared war against the Amhara people. When he gained power, he had the resource and authority to unleash his revenge against the Amhara people, who he has been trying to attack in every way possible. He not only created an enabling environment for groups like the TPLF, OLF, and others to systematically attack and commit genocide against the Amhra people, but he also orchestrated ethnic cleansing campaigns. He conspired and gave orders for the execution of Amhara leaders like General Asaminew Tsige and Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen, and others, and worked tirelessly to leave the Amhara region and its people without strong and confident leaders.
He allowed vigilante groups to attack the Amahra people with impunity, financed and armed groups that turned their weapons against the Amahra and deliberately neglected his constitutional mandate to protect the Amhara people from attacks by the TPLF, OLA, Benshangul Gumuz militia, and even the Sudanese army. He also used government machinery, from the Oromia Special Force to Addis Ababa City Administration, from the courts and prosecution offices to the military, to attack the Amhara people that he once from childhood inscribed in his mind as an enemy. During his reign, prisons have been filled with Amahra dissidents, mass graves have been filled with Amhara corpses, and the streets, shelters, and tents have been filled with millions of internally displaced persons.
Why the Amhra people do not defend themselves?
One day, a young person in his twenties texted me, asking why the Amhara people are continuously suffering so much and why they seem unable to stop the plights they are facing. What I told him is what I have been saying for years: it is because of the groups that control the government machinery and the intellectual elites.
The people who control power, government structure, resources, and authority under the name of the Amhara people lack the courage and willingness to stand up for the Amhara causes. They fear that shaking the status quo would deprive them of the undeserved
benefits they are accruing. They are so ensconced in positions of power and privilege that they are unable to feel the pain of the wider society.
The other group who neglected the plight of the Amhara is the intellectual elites. Those who are in Ethiopia and abroad have too selfish to think of the well-being of the community they come from. Amhara intellectuals are selfish, cowardly, and opportunist and do not have any regard for the well-being of the nation and their own community and are not embarrassed to align themselves with the enemy of the people to get their share of the pie. The cowards are cuddling under the arms of their spouses, the opportunists are cuddling under the enemies of Amahra lurking for power, resource, and privilege.
The Amhara political movement, to be formidable and successful, needs the contribution of intellectuals and the structure/institutions, resources, and authority available in the regional and federal governments.
When the Amhara people fight for their rights and interests, instead of receiving support and political protection, they are met with crackdowns from their own leaders. These leaders betray their own people and expose them to attacks from their enemies. This was recently evident in the case of the fight to maintain the status of the Amahra Special Police Force. Those who hold power, government structure/institutions, resources, and authority align themselves with the enemies, rather than supporting the popular movement. The Amhara political movement, both implicitly and explicitly, should be permitted to use government institutions, resources, and information to advance their cause. The government machinery must provide political protection against crackdowns and criticisms from other regional states and the federal government. Authorities should be utilized to facilitate the Amahra struggle and safeguard the movement from external attacks.
To secure the right and interests of the Amhara people, the political movement requires the insights and guidance of intellectuals. These intellectuals must play a crucial role in shaping public opinion, influencing the government’s actions and decisions, building diplomatic relationships, soliciting aid from the international community and other countries, fostering trust with other people both within and outside of Ethiopia, and advocating for Amhara causes through the publication of research and opinion pieces and by appearing on international media outlets for debates and discussions.
Instead of visiting millions of internally displaced Amahra people scattered from Addis Ababa to Debre Birhan and from Wollo WagHemera to Gojjam, rather than expressing his condolences for those who have lost beloved ones due to the war he mismanaged, due to the groups he sponsored, Abiy Ahmed unconstitutionally sent his military and federal police to kill more innocent people and to displace even more civilians.
Abiy Ahmed’s deep-seated hatred towards Amhara dates back to his childhood, and his recent efforts to appease, deceive, and divide the Amhara people-such as the Gorgora project, installing the statues of Menelik II in the palace museum, renewing the Castle of Fasiledes, and he will also make a speech in the inauguration of Bahirdar Bridge- do not absolve him of his vengeful tendencies. If there is anything that General Birhanu Jula’s recent unprofessional speeches can tell us is that the plight of Amharas, the revenge they unleashed will not come to an end easily and shortly. The journey toward freedom is long and arduous, and everyone should understand and embrace that. It is especially important that those who have been conspicuously absent from the Amahra struggle – the intellectual elites and those who hold the power, resources, government structures, and authority – should join their people. It is only by coming together that the rights and interests of the Amhara people can be secured. Finally, it should be pointed out that the Amhara people seek nothing more than to live in equality within a democratic, free, and stable Ethiopia alongside their fellow Ethiopians.
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Great job Henok. Please keep it up.
One minor comment: there are too many typos and grammar errors it’s distracting.
From the time I heard about the creation of all these regional forces I have been worried about it all along. They never proved me wrong. To the contrary as more and more they were being infiltrated by bigots the more they were becoming more heavily armed. In fact in many cases the distinction between how they were armed and operate was hard to tell. It was a matter of time before that country ended up having its own janjaweeds. Just look at what has been going on in Oromia. These regional forces were created so they can protect all civilians. But that did not happen. They have become a lump of fat that deserves to be trimmed. They must be disbanded and that’s all to it. Thank Almighty that is being a reality now. Good riddance.
Thank you for your detailed assessment of the endless injustices targeting Amhara people in Ethiopia that is systematically designed and executed by the PM Abiy himself , his Government, his tribal-elite-groups lead by Oromo President Shemeles Abdissa, the none-native Addis Abeba Mayer Adanech Abebe, and their foot-solders Oromo-Shene, and to top it of by the bigoted Federal force head Birhanu Jula.
As you clearly stated these injustices and mass sufferings inflicted on Amhara first by TPLF since 1991 and since 2010 much more severely by Oromo “elites” & TPLF-war has been orchestrated by the “Elites” Oromo, not by the brotherly people of the Oromo & Tigre, the people of Amhara have lived together with intermarried with all tribes of Ethiopia for millennia, therefore it has family ties everywhere in Ethiopia but these dimwits try to disturb the family so that the climb the ladder of power using one tribe over the other, it is unfortunate .
Unfortunately the “absent” Amhara “leaderships” (if we can call them so) have been “hand-picked” by these Bigoted- ruling -juntas since 1991, first by TPLF and since 2010 by Abiy himself (with the support from the Amhara-group within the TPLF+).
History shows, Bigots and bigotry have short shelf-life, and those that have been blood shading in Ethiopia (at the request of their foreign handlers) will also see their clock run out soon enough.
I slightly disagree with your assessment of Abiy growing up with bigoted-idea towards Amhara, for one his beloved mother is Amhara, which means he is half-Amhara, and his beloved wife is also 100% Amhara, obviously his 3 daughters like himself are half-Amhara; which makes his house hold about 75% Amhara.
However, his involvement in TPLF government structure may have been the-trigger-point of his “hate” views towards Amhara to please-his TPLF-handlers, as you stated during his clandestine-work as a “bauble spy for TPLF & OLF” earlier, and later to convince the Oromo-crowd and grab the PM position the fastest.
He is been exposed heavily for “plagiarism” from his PhD. to all the various “quotation” he uttered without giving “credit” to their origins. So, there seems to be a “trend” in his character of “shape shifting” as needed to build his persona.
The first time I heard the fraise ” I am my brother keeper… ” is from a junior Senator from Chicago by the name Barack Obama during John Kerry’s Dem Presidential Nomination convention in 2004.
“My Brother keeper….”
Source = youtube.com/watch?v=OFPwDe22CoY
Source = youtube.com/watch?v=jAzWQrk4NKY
Well as Abiy himself admitted to an American journalist that came to Ethiopia as Abiy’s guest to “interview Abiy” some time in 2022 he stated that Abiy told him that ” he known by NSA” ( I assume during his “spy” days, or even as we speak) which makes him a “triple spy agent” (“spy-net” the title of my possible future movie… staring “AAA”.).
He might still be an NSA-feed, by examining his recent actions in Amhara region this last week right after his meting-with-Blinken in Addis over a week ago or so.
Blinken himself has been very busy in the Horn-of-Africa lately, after his phone call to Sudan 2 days a go war started.. a coincident?
The Sudan conflict does look like to have US hand, due to the Russian-Naval-Base deal with Sudan on Red-sea, just signed in the last few weeks.
Expect more conflict in the Horn-of-Africa as a Chinese & Russian “investment” expansion continues to grow in the Global-South, the US will stir-the-pot even more.
For the US having Abiy (who wants to stay in power at all cost ) “under their thumb” (NSA) is “wag the tail”… more and more chaos, as he trades his “country” to escape “regime-change”. Unfortunate but a possibility… I heard a few mentioning “Patrice Lumumba”, in 2010…
Source = youtube.com/watch?v=tQOdT367UTU
I strongly believe that, all the “Killil” leads other than Oromo need to come together and form a “coalition” within PP to create a bond among themselves to prevent further conflicts being initiated by Abiy and his Oromo PP tribal-elites on other smaller Tribes, such as the Gurage peoples are experiencing for some time now. If you fail to come together and stop this madness Abiy is determined to stay in power at all cost and can be blackmailed to do all kinds of blood-shade.
In fact if anyone reads Abiys 2022 interview with American reporter he had booked at Sheraton Hotel to stay. He tells the reporter that his administration is ready and willing to assist the US in its “regime-change” operation in the area…(possibly maybe Africa), So, this guy is very dangerous. Killil leaders need to come together.
Amhara & Eretria & Afar people to people ties must be strengthened at all cost.
Every time I read your rather lengthy comments I always wonder if you can share with us what you´re smoking…. so that we, too, can be hipper.
Agree: “Unfortunately the “absent” Amhara “leaderships….”” To make it even more glaring, the Amhara PP sits with the Oromo PP in an executive meetings while the poor Amharas get ploughed in near and far sectors of Oromo-Landia. Not even a pip comes out of them.
Disagree: “The Sudan conflict does look like to have US hand, due to the Russian-Naval-Base deal with Sudan on Red-sea, just signed in the last few weeks….” Like I said, no country is immune from taking advantage of two bigoted fools fighting over a patch of cloth. Here, the two fools are Burhan and Hamdan. The cloth being Afrika and the patch being Sudan.
Disagree: I keep repeating my call to warn you that “do not get involved with Eritrea!” If you don´t believe me then ask TPLF. Heck, you guys don´t even know Tigray that well much less than Eritrea. The 30 years carnage that went on there should be suffice enough as a warning. Ethiopia is full of problems, herself.
As for your inquiry :
“Every time I read your rather lengthy comments I always wonder if you can share with us what you´re smoking…”
I read “select” publications, listen to “distinguished statesmen” presentations, books, podcasts… and reports from a variety of sources: Rand, NED, IFTSW, and all the other west-funded “Think thanks”, CJIP, Asia Society Policy Institute, Asia Society… and many more Independent News Cannels, and various publications… (…. the good, the bad, and the ugly 🙂 ) and Borkena and some Ethiopian Local News outlets…, Ethiopian Parliament Q&A with the PM.
“Sudan Conflict…” DYOR. and the sequence of events since the new military rule began and the US involvement (Sudan off US unfriendly-states list, Sudan’s Paris-Debt reductions conference …) and resent events since the Russians inked Red Sea Naval-Base deal recently lead you to the truth… (simply connect the …s) Not hard.
–> And finally, Blinken made a phone call to one or both of the Generals in Sudan just hours before the first shot was fired… and boom, its has not stopped.
–> And another old phone call Blinken made the earned him his current position as his boss became President as a result, has been exposed in the last week… IT IS A TWISTED WORLD!!! (NOT FOR LONG )!
As for your allergic reaction to the name “Eretria”:
#1) the permanent-squeeze & containment of TPLF’s aggression towards Eretria, Amhara, & Afar can only be successful if and only these three form an breakable-strategic-partnership.
#2) only this will bring lasting peace in the area. Amhara with its size is the best deterrent-partner for Eretria with half the population of Tigre south of it looking (dreaming of) to one day to invade it as US proxy. That is also why the US is not “denouncing” the Human-right abuses of Amhara since 1991; in addition to the pay-back for ADWA.
But all these intrigues and and destabilization efforts by the Us will be in the dust bin of history along with it…
Hope you find that helpful!
(I do not usually reedit my responses, for grammar, typo, not finished train of thoughts… etc. I apologize.)
Would the ongoing IMF “Loan” discussion going on at the moment endangering the GERD which is already a Private property of the Ethiopian People be forced to get foreign ownership?
IMF & WB are created as a wealth-transfer-mechanism therefore if Governments come begging for $$$ they have to hand over what these predatory-agencies ask for.
I wonder if Abiys New-Palace is one of the primary unneeded-& ill-planed- expenditure that emptied the treasury therefore possibly GERD has to be sacrificed to satisfy the PM’s unmatched & uncontrollable ego-trip?
European Central Bank, Christine Laggard, and EU Foreign Minister Joseph Boreal describing how the developing world was their source of wealth-explosion which is about to change and how they need to strategize to tighten the rope to keep squeezing the global-south…
Source = youtube.com/watch?v=0cQak6RWT6o
Unfortunately our so called “leaders” who are big-ego personalities with empty-ball above their neck, they bite more than they chew and run to the West to get the Nations-resources taken-taken over while our people struggle in never ending poverty; building a PALACE is the propriety.
Perhaps there might be one built in Bechcha once the loan $$ gets to the bank.
This website should be call borkena , Amhara news and informed opinion… Because Ethiopia is not only Amhara… There is Promo, Somali, Afar and even Tigray, among others… There is no article or opinion outside Amharas point of view… This is a reflection of a deep divide in Ethiopia politics… This website spouses that it stand for Ethiopia and is against ethnic altitude. But it doing worse by just seeing the problem of Ethiopia in Amhara point of view only. The so called educated elites that contribute article in this website are to much inside. And you don’t think other are not seeing what you are doing….
I like online the comment by Ittu Aba Farda…
It is a shame…
Nothing gives happiness to Abiy Ahmed Ali other than creating plots, murders, assassinations and human misery especially to those who helped him. Abiy is impregnated with snake eggs who only hatches a new snake.
It took too long and too many sufferings for Amharas to realize and find out that Abiy Ahmed Ali is a walking and talking devil (aganent). Everyone he touched is assassinated and imprisoned. Everyday he comes out with evil plans. There is nothing for Non-Oromos to wait and see except to organize and defend themselves from the ruthless Oromo Aparthied savagery regime.
The Oromo Apartheid savagery regime victims time is now to come together and define their destiny rather than waiting to be wiped out by the savage evil Abiy Ahmed.
Abiy is a power mongered and savage criminal that is pleased every time Amhara, Gurage, Sidama, Somali, Afar, Wolayita, Gambella, Tigre etc people suffer and die.
His callous plan is to stay in power for as long as he is let or live. The creation of half a million homeless families by demolishing their houses and throwing them on the street is to build himself a Palace , hoping he will crown himself the first Oromo King. He will lick any foreign power feet and sell any thing to help him glued to power.