Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians (GARE)
State Terrorism and Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia Must Stop Immediately Press Release- For Immediate Release
The Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians, a non-partisan, not-for-profit, and independent human rights advocacy organization, has been at the forefront of defending the human and civil rights of all Ethiopians for a decade. GARE is shocked by the deliberate, planned, coordinated, systematic, and Ethiopian government- and non-government-led, ethnically motivated killings, incarcerations, and displacement of millions of Amhara throughout Ethiopia and the Amhara region.
GARE condemns these Nazi-like genocidal acts by Abiy Ahmed’s regime. GARE demands an immediate stoppage of the onslaught on Amara as well as the deployment and use by Abiy’s army of tanks, military aircraft, drones, and other heavy weapons in the most populated Amhara cities like Bahir Dar, Bure, Debre Berhan, Debre Tabor, Finote Salam, Gondar, Shoa Robit, and other localities. This week, the Boston Globe acknowledged that Ethiopian airstrikes killed 26 innocent civilians in Finote Salam alone. Local sources tell us that the number of people killed exceeds 70.
It is with utter disbelief that GARE points out to the international community that tanks continue to roam menacingly in the cities of Godar and Bahir Dar, shooting randomly at innocent civilians, monasteries, churches, castles, and other edifices. No one really knows the number of civilians wounded or killed. The regime cut off the internet, denying ordinary citizens access to the internet, and barred independent foreign investigative reporters from visiting affected towns and cities.
GARE urges the international community to express outrage, demand Ethiopian government accountability, an instant cessation of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Amhara by the Abiy Ahmed regime, and the immediate withdrawal of government military forces from the Amhara region without preconditions.
GARE urges the international community to urge the Abiy Ahmed regime to address the root causes of Amhara defiance and resistance that have reached a point of no return and, convene a conference under the auspices of the African Union or IGAD. GARE believes that for the conference to succeed, it must involve critical stakeholders in the Amhara community, most notably Fano. GARE genuinely believes that Ethiopia’s survival will depend entirely on Abiy Ahmed’s willingness and readiness to solve the problem through political and peaceful means rather than using military aggression and occupation.
GARE wishes to point out that Amhara is the second-most populated region of Ethiopia, home to an estimated forty million people. Over the past five years, Amhara representatives have supported
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government in playing a decisive role in the war with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) from late 2020 through 2022. During this critical period, Fano, Amhara Special Forces, and Amhara militia fought and died side by side with the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF). It is these forces that saved the Abiy regime from total collapse and Ethiopia from disintegration. GARE recognizes the fact that tensions between Amhara and federal forces started to brew following the end of the war between the TPLF on the one hand and the Abiy regime on the other. The Abiy regime signed a peace agreement with the TPLF without representation of the directly affected regions, namely Afar and Amhara. The TPLF did not disarm, leaving the Amhara region exposed and vulnerable.
The impasse concerning the future of Wolkait, Tsegede, Tselemt, and Raya remained in suspense. It has become an Amhara-wide human rights matter. Indigenous Amhara in these localities who claimed Amhara identity remained in a permanent state of suspense and insecurity. A political decision by the federal government acknowledging the indigenous Amhara population’s demand for recognition of their legitimate human and civil rights would have gone a long way in settling the matter.
Tragically, the TPLF has announced publicly that it has amassed more than 200, 000 battle-ready troops to reclaim Wolkait, Tegede, Tselemt, and Raya, the so-called “Western Tigray.” This alarming announcement to wage another war is a threat to the entire Amhara population. GARE has been deeply concerned about human and civil rights violations of the Amhara populations in Wellega, Oromia, Beni-Shangul Gumuz, Addis Ababa, and the new Sheger city of Amhara. Things have gotten much worse under the watch of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and others have provided documentary evidence that thousands of Amhara have been slaughtered like chickens and that an estimated one million Amhara have been displaced. An estimated 800,000 Amhara have been made homeless and poverty-stricken owing to the massive displacement of Amhara residents in Addis Ababa and Sheger City. GARE is expressing its disappointment that perpetrators of ethnic cleansing, genocide or displacement have not been held accountable.
Finally, in its capacity as a human rights advocacy organization, GARE firmly believes that the state of emergency that the Ethiopian parliament approved exacerbates and deepens the crisis. It sanctions large-scale punitive measures by Abiy’s military without any accountability or independent oversight. The proclamation fails to address the root causes of the resistance and defiance of the Amhara population.
GARE GARE concludes this release by commending the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, his Excellency H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, who issued a statement on August 16, 2023, on the situation in Ethiopia, expressing “grave. concern” regarding “the military confrontation in the Amhara region” and calling in the “strongest” terms for “the parties to immediately cease the fighting and ensure the protection of civilians.” GARE shares Commissioner Faki Mahamat’s urgent plea that “the parties engage in dialogue to reach a peaceful solution.”
GARE calls on all Ethiopians to support a peaceful way out of this crisis without preconditions.
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