By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – International Crisis Group (ICG) warned that a rebellion in the Amhara Region “risks plunging Ethiopia into wider conflict”. ICG said in its November 16, 2023 issue that the Federal Government of Ethiopia should seek talks with militants as part of efforts to resolve the country’s interlocking crisis.
ICG indicated that the two comrade-in-arms, the Federal Government and the armed militants in Amhara Region, broke their alliance and have gone for war following the peace deal struck between Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Federal Government.
However, ICG shunned the major cause of the conflict that erupted between the Federal Government and the Amhara combatants. People who support the armed struggle of the Amhara side say that things have gone worse starting from the forceful disarmament attempts made by the Federal Government against the armed regional force of Amhara, which has been encircled by its historical enemies. Moreover, ICG did not raise points regarding the significance of involving the Amhara Region in the peace negotiation in South Africa as the Amhara Region is one of the victims of the invasion unleashed by TPLF combatants in the 20202-2021.
Bystanders have given due attention to the argument of Amhara Combatants who claim that they allied with the central government following the direct invasion of TPLF against the innocent civilians in the region. They raised the cold-blooded massacre of innocent Amharas in Maicadra by the youth armed wing, named Samri, of TPLF. “At least we should have not been expected to sit with folded hands while women were raped, elderly people and children were slaughtered summarily, farms were destroyed, school, health and water facilities were ransacked and burned,” they argued. These were their causes that provoked them to be caught by the whirlpool of the bloody war.
However, ICG expressed its grave concern that the “tangible of the crisis is corroding inter-ethnic relations and posing threats to the country’s stability”.
Stressing the importance of ending conflicts through peaceful talk, ICG said that the Premier should reach out to Amhara’s armed dissidents to negotiate an end to the violence intensified in that region. It further called upon the African leaders, the U.S and the European Union to encourage the incumbent government to pursue the much needed dialogue.
ICG tried to remind the government and other concerned bodies that the intensified revolt in Amhara Region should not be taken as a simple commotion as the regime is thinking. “The insurgents are contesting federal control in much of the region, posing a challenge to prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and Ethiopia’s stability”.
The tendency of belittling the violence in Amhara region will have grave consequences. Therefore, ICG advises that the Premier should heed calls from Amhara allies to pursue dialogue. “He should also work to ease tensions among ethnic groups as a stepping stone toward national reconciliation”.
ICG states that TPLF had taken administrative control of the territory [Welkait Tegede and Raya] upon coming to power in the early 1990s. But many are not comfortable with the approach the contesting issue is entertained here by ICG. The document did not search through history to consider the argument of the other side (Amhara) and verify the fact that the said territories “belong to the people of Amhara and the Region has every right to repossess its own legal administrative domain, which was taken forcefully by TPLF force and annexed to Tigray Region”.
Having stated all these, ICG underscores how the current instability and poor governance system have caused the country to lose its greatness or reputation. “Ethiopia’s previous reputation as an anchor of the Horn of Africa lies in shreds”.
Though Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed seems to be confident that his government emerges victorious in the current war in Amhara, the wise way out of the problem is not a military approach, which is unlikely to work, according to ICG.
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