Tekesteberhan T Dinberu
To understand what Fano stands for, one must know the history of Ethiopia, a history of wars that protected the nation from continuous foreign aggressors – Ottomans, Egyptians, Italians, and other European colonizers, as well as internal sects that created factions for power struggle. In all struggles against the foreign aggressors, Fano is the forefront fighter in defense of Ethiopian territorial integrity and sovereignty. Fano is not ethnically bounded; it encompassed all Ethiopian patriots that struggled for the defense of the nation from external expansionists and internal renegades.
Currently there are two main renegade groups in Ethiopia. (1) The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has been fighting to disintegrate the nation and carve out a new “Greater Tigray” on the tomb of a disintegrated Ethiopia since its formation in 1975. The objective of TPLF as declared in its manifesto at the time of its formation on February 18, 1975, is to disintegrate Ethiopia and create a “Greater Tigray ”. In that manifesto, it unequivocally stated Amhara as an arch enemy that should be eradicated. As a replica of the manifesto, TPLF also promulgated an apartheid form of constitution that divided Ethiopia into ethnic groups without any people’s participation and referendum. (2) Another renegade sectarian group, Oromo Peoples Democratic Front (OPDO), was formed by TPLF as its surrogate organization in 1990 after TPLF did not find an old renegade called Oromo Liberation Front with which it had sat at London to assumedly negotiate with the military communist regime in May 1991 by mediators led by Herman Cohen, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs at the time. Disregarding the mediation process, TPLF entered invasively entered Addis Ababa and pushed Eritrea to secede unconditionally and seizing power for the next 27 years by dividing the country into ethnic regions with a right to secede whenever they wanted to. It promulgated a so- called constitution without the voice of the people to suit this. TPLF sold many hundreds of industrial organizations that the former communist military rule had nationalized and usurped the wealth of the nation during its tenure. The Oromo Liberation Army was the armed wing of Oromo Liberation Front since its inception in 1974 that was formally denounced and disarmed by TPLF but went into hiding and since then kept on killing innocent Amhara civilians in the countryside: it is still active in its subversive activities.
The above renegade groups are against the Amhara people. They associate Amhara with a past oppression or cultural domination. However, there was no promulgated cultural domination but evolutionary historical development from feudal system to pre-capitalism and pseudo democracy. Since the end of the classical period of history and beginning of the Middle Ages, an Ethiopian Semitic language within the Afroasiatic language family, a Proto Amharic and Argobba (PAA) language was used by Ethiopians side by side with Ge’ez language. From the PAA ancestral language Amharic and Argobba languages diverged in the 9th century AD. Since then, integration of Ethiopians grew making Amharic their lingua franca. This lingua franca of Ethiopians became the official national language of the country in the 10th century AD. State and religious service as well as business interactions advanced integration of the people that brought about a common medium of communication. As Ethiopia got its shape, the people associated with the coming nation were identified as Amharas. So, the origin of Amhara was not based on a single tribe, but a national identity associated with people that used this medium of communication in Ethiopia; Amharas are a large group of Ethiopian people that have neither been identified as an ethnic group nor associated with any tribal lineage; but, it is a social group that has elevated itself to a society of typical Ethiopians that now dwell in different parts of the country, primarily in Gojjam, Gondar, Wollo, and Shewa. So, the Amhara people are also unwaveringly associated with Ethiopian sovereignty. That is why foreign invaders targeted Amhara whenever they tried to invade the country. Secessionists or renegade elements also fear Amhara since these people have never compromised on the unity of the nation and are historically known among arch defenders of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation.
The renegade groups, illusioned by their thirst for egoistic power and greed want to dismantle the Ethiopia fabric woven by Amharas and other 80 social groups. They target Amharas to destroy Ethiopia. That being history, Amhara elites or politicians had not only been driven away from state power, but the large Amhara social group has been turned into the most poverty-stricken part of the people. Hence, Amhara are presently struggling to resist extermination and for the survival of the nation from destruction.
The Ethiopian people that resisted the objectives of TPLF during its reign of 27 years (1991-2018) was able to remove it from the supreme power it enjoyed through election. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a member of OPDO, was selected by the parliament when TPLF was last leading the state government. PM Abiy Ahmed was popular with his leadership since he concluded a peace deal with Eritrea that had borderland claims with Ethiopia. He was also popular among many Ethiopians for letting the exiled patriarch of Ethiopian Orthodox Church come home and resume his position and for saying much about peaceful coexistence and unity of Ethiopia. He was awarded the Nobel prize before his real performance was revealed. However, after two years of his reign, his promises remained flowery words in the air; his stance for equality, justice, unity of Ethiopians, and his respect for the tricolor flag of the nation waned and faded away as he systematically kept on working to disintegrate Ethiopia from the top. But the centuries-old fabric of the nation could not easily be torn apart since Ethiopians have very many things in common other than differences. No Ethiopians support secession but equal democratic rights, justice, fair administration, peace, and tranquility. However, politicians especially narrow ethnic politicians who robbed public property and went to the bushes fan divisive schemes and were able to recruit bandits and paupers to massacre Amhara women, old men, children and even infants mercilessly.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who comes from OPDO did not take any serious actions since OLA robbed over 22 banks and kept on committing genocide on Amhara citizens in many Wellega zones of Oromo region and Shewa zones Amhara region. Gumuz militia was also organized and armed by TPLF as a proxy fighter to cleanse Amhara citizens from Gumuz lands. Gumuz militia conducted consecutive massacres in the present Gumuz part of Benishangul-Gumuz region where thousands of Amhara citizens dwell. OLA has been conducting consecutive massacres in Wellega, north Shewa, and West Shewa zones to cleanse Amharas from the areas. OPDO that was created by TPLF in its image has also a dream of creating “Greater Oromia” in the scheme of disintegrating Ethiopia. So, TPLF and OPDO have collaborated with the armed faction of OLF, OLA, in killing innocent Amara civilians in all parts of Oromia region and neighboring Amara region to annex Amhara lands to the intended “Greater Oromia”. During the reign of TPLF, at least 2.5 million Amharas were exterminated by different means: by direct killing, starvation, and sterilization. This figure was reported on the floor of the parliament during the reign of the TPLF led EPRDF regime twelve years ago. Presently over 100,000 Amharas have been massacred in genocide style. 1.5 million Amharas have been evicted from Wollega alone adding to more million displaced Amharas. What is saddening is the state deliberately evicted Amharas from refugee shelters to disguise the figure. The state also has created a symbolical reconciliation commission which works to sabotage the genuine cause of Fano and create diversion of its oppressive nature and hide the genocide scheme that it has been conducting.
TPLF and OPDO/OLA are fighting innocent Amhara civilians in several zones of Amhara region in a form of genocide since this social group has never been affiliated with any of the sectarian groups but steadfast with the unity of the nation. So, the Amara people struggle to survive, and this struggle of survival is supported by Fano since it is a typical Fano struggle to defend the nation from disintegration.
Power struggle happened between the Prosperity Bloc regime that PM Abiy formed in place of the former EPRDF regime that TPLF led for 27 years. Relating to Prosperity Bloc Gospel that he and his close sycophants preach, PM Abiy has an illusive vision that he will be an enlightening king in the future and is building a palace which cost is estimated to be US$15 billion. The struggle between Prosperity and EPRDF escalated into war when TPLF declared that Ethiopia does not exist on the map of Africa starting on November 4, 2020, and attacked the Ethiopian national army by killing all walks of life except Tigray ethnic groups in Mi Kadra, a village in Walkait of Amhara region that TPLF declared its territory. Fano collaborated with the national army and fought TPLF when it declared the disintegration of Ethiopia and saved the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation. By this, it also helped the PM Abiy led Bilsigina (Prosperity Bloc) regime to survive. The two-year war formally ended on November 2, 2022 through a mediation that was made in Pretoria under the chairmanship of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and other mediators: former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta,[C] United States Horn of Africa envoy Mike Hammer, and former Deputy-President of South Africa Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. The mediation did not include Amhara and Afar people where major battles took place. According to the peace agreement, TPLF was supposed to demobilize arms and hand over military weapons to the federal state. However, TPLF and the OPDO led by PM Abiy made another agreement in Kenya, an agreement that turned down the Pretoria deal. The agreement that was made in Kenya enabled TPLF to keep heavy military weapons that it used to undermine the sovereignty of Ethiopia in the two-year war that it waged against the nation.
In the absence of political parties, Ethiopians have been enjoying unity in diversity. However, like its creator, OPDO is incompatible with coherent relationships among Ethiopians but projects divisive schemes. PM Abiy leads the Prosperity Bloc regime that is superseded by OPDO. So, after the Pretoria deal, PM Abiy, who held the OPDO and Prosperity Bloc regime under his toe, changed his stance; he collaborated with TPLF and stood against Fano militants. Fano was attacked by OPDO and OLA; that has been happening since November 2022 under the leadership of PM.
PM Abiy used different structures of the notorious insurgencies, OPDO/OLA that systematically targeted Amhara people through clandestinely state-sponsored wars. Abiy Ahmed, like the leadership of the Serbian Slobodan Milosevic of former Yugoslavia is systematically collaborating with the moribund TPLF and OPDO/OLA to eradicate the Amhara people and Fano that is trying to prevent the disintegration of Ethiopia. The PM is now using his power to directly attack Fano with all modern weapons including helicopters, fighter jets and drones. He has openly collaborated with his former enemy, TPLF, to fight Fano and eradicate Amharas. Most of these are citizens who identify themselves as Ethiopians or Amharas. The OPDO/OLA clique is officially waving the Nazi flag while it is being prohibited to carry the national Ethiopian flag in many parts of the country including Addis Ababa. The clique redeclared its objective of targeting the Amhara people on Irreecha Oromo mass gathering on October 7, 2023. Amhara citizens caught in carrying the Ethiopian flag have been easy targets for death. Women’s dresses woven with the flag were forcefully burnt in several places. The PM gave up the border dispute between Ethiopia and the recently ceded Eritrea without even making any deal on the sea route. He recklessly ignored the violation of Ethiopian territory by Sudanese forces into more than 20 kilometers of Ethiopian borderland.
The PM paid very little heed for the sovereignty of Ethiopia but kept on working to destroy the fabrics that made Ethiopia. Amhara massacres escalated especially after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018. After negotiating with TPLF contenders in November 2022, PM Abiy, through different pretexts, has declared war on Fano and directly killed the Amhara civilian people by using modern weapons including drones and other weapons. All industries in the Amhara region are presently closed leaving many to be unemployed. Right now, that federal state declared command posts and curfew in the Amhara region. Many youths specially Amhara youths are being hunted from house to house and detained en masse in school compounds in crowded conditions where they do not have space to sleep; Anyone of them can be called and shot any time. So, Amhara youths have either to die in such situations or join Fano.
In the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, the OPDO led present Ethiopian regime has displaced Amara, Guragie, Wollayita and Gamo ethnic groups and replaced them with Oromo ethnic groups. Thousands of houses belonging to non-Oromo residents were demolished without any compensation because of which many residents were turned into refugees some of which were ambushed and killed through the process. Families lost their children to hyenas who got them without any shelters. The federal government under Prosperity Bloc has ethnically segregated the capital city into two: “Shagar” for Oromo occupants, and “Finfinie” to other less regarded citizens, literally practicing apartheid rule. Thousands of Amhara citizens were evicted from Oromia, Benishangul-Gumuz and Addis Ababa. In addition to the war declared on them, Amhara farmers have been denied buying fertilizers so that they do not produce crops and become exposed to famine. By September 2023, about a million Amharas have been directly massacred in different parts of the country and over five million of these people have been displaced by TPLF, OPDO/OLA, and Gumuz militia. These figures are growing. Prosperity Bloc headed by PM Abiy is behaving not like a state organ but like a bandit that savagely robs and kills Amhara civilians. The nature of the genocide targets any Amhara, born or unborn.
Hence, TPLF, OPDO/OLA, and Gumuz militia with whom PM Abiy is systematically collaborating have been committing genocide on Amhara citizens for the following reasons:
1. Amhara unwaveringly stood on the forefront along other ardent Ethiopians for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation. This was manifested during the Adwa in 1896 and Maichew wars against Italian colonialist invasion in 1936-41, Somalian aggression in 1977, and Eritrean 30-years secessionist war and the border dispute war with Eritrea in 1998/2000, and to stop the declared disintegration of Ethiopia in November 2020 by TPLF and its assassin groups.
2. They want to cleanse Amharas both from Walkait, Tsegede, Tselemt, Raya, north Shewa like Athaye, Majete, Awra Godana, Robit, and from the whole Oromo region. The purpose of TPLF is territorial extension and outlet for the intended secession of “Greater Tigray ”. The other Oromo extremists also like to either create an Ethiopia in their image by eradicating Amhara from the land, or to secede Oromia as an independent state by occupying more territory as much as possible. TPLF and Oromo extremists never shared power and led the nation together. However, they collaborate on the extermination of Amhara as the latter social group is generally attuned to a unified Ethiopia.
3. They want to eradicate Amhara people to tear down the fabric of Ethiopia woven in Christianity and Muslim religions in which Amharas are not only great components but also great unifying parts in the religions, both of which are not favorable for dissectors among which is the PM who has played filthy roles in trying to also divide the religions by masterminding ethnic divide in the country.
The hitherto trend of regime changes in Ethiopia manifested removal of state leaders through violence that is devoid of democratic thoughts. However, it is the large common people that are most affected by the attrition of wars as the history of wars continues. It seems that the Fano resistance may advance to a centrifugal force that consolidates Ethiopians on the offensive side of the renegade elements. It is the consolidation and unity of the people that reduces bloodshed. Ethiopia can survive if all Ethiopians stand with Fano against the renegade and extremist groups.
In addition to that, the international public is not expected to be indifferent to this circumstance that can devastate peace in regions of the world around the Horn of Africa. The Herman Cohen child is regrouping for a more devastative war this time supported by a former enemy, the Prosperity Bloc. Ethiopia is on the verge of escalating civil war. If a leading nation like the USA takes heed to a collapse of a nation of over 120 million people, the suffering of humankind, it is time to prevent it. It does not have to go to war to do that. It can stop supporting PM Abiy to stop his declaration of war against the people whom he was entrusted to lead in justice.
God Bless Ethiopia and the World
Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of borkena.com
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