As background to my interview (shown below) below is a summary of key points you ought to know about the latest war initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that has sent shockwaves across the globe. When does this regime stop wars as a means of staying in power to push its own agenda? When do Ethiopians wake up? When does the international community speak up?
While I welcome US Sec. of State Blinken’s expression of concern on July 5, 20323,
I am disappointed that it does not have teeth. In his phone conversation with Abiy Ahmed, Blinken “expressed grave concern over renewed fighting in the Amhara region, which has escalated to a state of emergency.” He could have, for instance, asked Abiy to de-escalate tensions and consider a peaceful way out. He did not.
Since then, things have gotten worse.
The ancient city of Godar and Amhara regional capital Bahir Dar are under assault by Oromo led ENDF forces. The Internet is closed. Hundreds of Amhara civilians have been arrested and scores of civilians killed.
From all the indicators I have observed, every single Amhara has become Fano. The Amhara and Fano cause is synonymous. So, attacking Fano as a separate entity does no longer work. The social and political foundation of the Fano rebellion are tens of millions of regular people.
The Ethiopian state deepens conflict
The six-month emergency—a tool to which Abiy reverts frequently–makes matters far worse. You cannot restore “order and human security” by chasing, killing and arresting millions of Amhara civilians. The lives of fifty to sixty (no one really knows the exact count of Amhara in Ethiopia) million Amhara matter. They are no longer sitting ducks. Fano represents Amhara and each conscious Amhara is Fano.
I say this because, Fano are local civilians, most of them youth who are creating physical barriers in Bahir Dar, Gondar, Debre Tabor, Gondar and other cities. Civilians are telling the entire world that Fano represents their cause and that there is no going back to the status quo. It is a popular resistance rather.
In one latest video clip (below) captured Oromo soldiers inform the world in their own language that “fano is not their enemy.” They were forced to fight under false premises.
The government of Ethiopia uses its air force to attack civilians?
The use of airpower in the Amhara region will cause incalculable collateral damage in the region. It will deepen widespread hatred and resentment against the governing party. I will harden positions and cause an all out civil war in which no one is likely to win.This is hardly the panacea for the multiplicity of problems Ethiopia faces.
I repeat my earlier recommendation. Ethiopian National Defense Forces must pull out of the Amhara region and avert a catastrophe. Negotiations must begin.
You should know that the regime
has now declared a 6 month state of emergency.
I want to highlight that both Sudan and South Sudan and the entire Horn of Africa are chaotic and in a state of flux with foreign powers deeply involved.
1. Ethiopia is entering another war after 2 years of war that caused mayhem.
2. Just look at the 90 day plus war in Sudan that leaves the country in tatters. Two Sudanese friends from Darfur told me that the city of Khartoum is burning to ashes. Hundreds of thousands including Sudanese professors and experts I know have fled. Half of the Sudanese population, about 25 million people, 9 million of them Darfurians are in need of emergency assistance.
3. In Niger, hundreds of thousands of civilians demonstrate, charging and attacking politicians of mismanagement , corruption and incompetence. Their cause is the same as those in Ethiopia who protest for justice but are gunned down by their rulers. In Ethiopia a member of the country’s parliament was just arrested by federal police, beaten and taken to a dungeon.
The Ethiopian regime had declared that it will disarm Amhara Special Forces and Fanno in 90 days plus ten. When this failed, it declared an all out war using drones and , tanks and airpower . Mind you,
4. Fano consists of farmers, teachers, and other professionals. It is community based and thus popular.. Its demand is justice, the rule of law, fair and equal treatment, cessation of atrocities against Amhara wherever Amhara live.
5. The arrest, beating and torture of Parliamentarian Chrsiian Tadele, an Amhara and a firce cticic of the Abiy regime demonstrates the fact that no indepednment Amhara leader or voice has a chance of fightng for justice peacefully and in acccordace with the the constitution. criticism is criminalized under Abiy in the same way as done by the TPLF.
The bullet points under 4 above are legitimate demands of the entire Amhara population, the second largest in Ethiopia and some say the largest.
In the below interview with my good friend Habtamu Assefa of Hiber Radio and tv, I raise the following key points:
a) Amhara resentment of the Abiy regime is at an all time high and spreading.
b) Amhra has effectively said “No More brutality! No More ethnc cleansing and genocide!! No More massive displacement! No More State sponsored terror!
Ethiopia federal government weaponization of improved seeds and fertilizers to Amhaa farmers strengthens the argument that the regime is determined to starve Amhara to death.
I concluded my interview with a recommendation that ENDF pulls out from the Amhara region without preconditions.
Finally, I take note the AP, the Washington Post and the government of the United States recognize the gravity of the crisis. I urge Western media, all governments who care about durable peace and stability in Sudan, the entire Horn to speak up before Ethiopia enters my worst fear—an all out civil war.
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