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HomeOpinionConflict in Amhara: As Tigray's Shadows Linger, What Lies Ahead for Ethiopia?

Conflict in Amhara: As Tigray’s Shadows Linger, What Lies Ahead for Ethiopia?

Ethiopian News _ conflict _ Amhara region
Abiy Ahmed gets briefed by one of his general during his visit to a military training camp (Photo : public domain /file)

Essayias Lesanu

The Amhara region, a historically significant and culturally rich expanse, is now embroiled in conflict with Prime Minister Abiy’s administration. The haunting echoes of the Tigray conflict, where a devastating loss of a million lives scarred the nation, still resonate. With tensions now rising in Amhara, one cannot help but question: what comes next for Ethiopia?

Ethiopia’s chronicle is an intricate tapestry of highs and lows, yet the nation has often been celebrated as a cradle of unity and resilience in Africa. However, the burgeoning conflicts and clashes across various regions paint a contrasting narrative, revealing deep-rooted challenges demanding urgent attention.

The age-old unity, harmoniously blending diverse cultures, traditions, and ethnicities, seems to be fraying at the edges. The ongoing unrest in the Amhara region serves as a somber testament to the deep-seated historical grievances coming to the fore. But, as history has often shown, these tensions didn’t emerge in a vacuum. It represents the climax of festering tensions—gut-wrenching tales of death, displacement, and injury, intermingled with impassioned appeals for justice that are frequently met with indifference. The relentless suppression of citizen voices stirs the cauldron of national unrest, a pattern further aggravated by elements of the prevailing leadership.

Behind the current discord are haunting memories of Tigray—tales of death, displacement, and profound grief, coupled with fervent pleas for justice that, too often, were left unheard. The nation, still nursing its wounds from Tigray, now stares at the face of another potential calamity.

Prominent figures, like Daniel Kibret, within Prime Minister Abiy’s administration, have often wielded their influence, sidelining opposition or concerned citizens, adding fuel to the growing fire of resentment. This tactic of suppressing and delegitimizing dissent is not novel but has taken on a worrisome recurrence. A nation can ill afford to ignore the voices of its people, especially in times of strife. Throughout history, certain figures have gravitated towards potent regimes, leveraging their proximity for undue influence. Their strategy—dismiss and stigmatize the opposition, often through incendiary labeling—serves not to address grievances, but to undermine them. Adopting pejorative terms like “bandit” or “Jawsa” doesn’t diminish the validity of concerns but seeks to overshadow them.

Furthermore, the proclivity of some individuals to align themselves seamlessly with the shifting sands of power politics is lamentable. Rather than utilizing their positions to advocate open discussion, these individuals appear to have morphed into regime mouthpieces, echoing sanctioned narratives.

Drawing parallels globally, leaders frequently use their allies to shield themselves, only to later abandon them for political expedience. But history remains a patient teacher, consistently reminding us that power rooted in oppression is fleeting. Past and present leaders must internalize this if they hope to avoid repeating the tragedies of yesteryears.

The unfortunate aspect is that the oppressive systems of yesterday are often replaced by newer forces, who, while claiming a fresh perspective, only replicate the old patterns of power and injustice. When the questions of the people are repeatedly ignored or silenced, the government becomes a cauldron of discontent.

It is alarming to witness the treatment of people’s demands as threats, often leading to declarations of wars or skirmishes. The task of managing and peacefully resolving the conflicts in the Amhara region is a responsibility that rests heavily on the government’s shoulders. However, handling these issues with suppression, violence, or neglect will only exacerbate the situation.

History has proven time and again that power attained through oppression is transient. Today’s powerful can easily be tomorrow’s vanquished. Governments, past and present, would do well to heed this lesson. Repeated failure to learn from past mistakes leads to an inevitable repetition of tragedies.

Prime Minister Abiy’s government’s approach to addressing challenges has often been reactive rather than proactive. There is a discernible trend to act at the last minute, often resorting to nationalistic sentiments, rather than addressing root causes. While invoking nationalism can rally the masses, using it as a tool for divisive politics is a dangerous game.

Ethiopia’s ethno-cultural diversity, both its formidable strength and potential vulnerability, needs judicious handling. Elevating one ethnic narrative while neglecting others, especially in the delicate ecosystem of governance, is fraught with risks. As Ethiopia stands at this precipice, embracing unity, understanding, and dialogue is more crucial than ever.

The Ethiopian diaspora plays a crucial role in this unfolding narrative. While they bring valuable perspectives from abroad, there exists a risk of inadvertently escalating tensions. Advocating for conflict, especially from a distant perspective, can do more harm than good. The diaspora’s voice should thus pivot toward solution-oriented discourse, fostering peace through strategic goals and unity.

In a nutshell, Ethiopia’s current juncture, with the Amhara region’s tensions rising against the backdrop of Tigray’s haunting past, is a stark reminder of its challenges. Addressing these intricacies necessitates visionary leadership, open dialogue, and an unwavering commitment to national unity. The path ahead may be tumultuous, but with collective resolve and learning from past lessons, Ethiopia can chart a hopeful course toward a brighter, more unified future.

(The author of this article can be contacted via email at Essulesanu@gmail.com)

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of borkena.com  

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2 COMMENTS

  1. modern politics is mixed up with 400 years ago saga between the encroaching oromo from the south and the christian monarchy fro the north – only some have changed places, especially the traitorous tigrayans. history and politics are mixed up here – unique solutions are in need of this new chapter of human government

  2. Great article as always. I hope the addressees open their mind and learn from the past to chart the future. Ethiopia as a great nation is beneficial for all communities as long as Equality and Fraternity is advocated.

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