Ethiopian Defense Force Commanders have recently made politically charged remarks concerning the ongoing war in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. To date, three high-profile military generals—Berhanu Bekele, Mohammed Tessema, and Berhanu Jula—have openly commented on the situation.
Their remarks typically reflect the core political values of Ethiopia’s ruling party which is ethnic politics, often presented as constitutional. Political dissent is frequently depicted as terrorism, and this trend seems to be taking root within the defense force.
During an interview with Fano Broadcasting Corporate (FBC), a state media outlet, Ethiopian Defense Chief of Staff Field Marshal Berhanu Jula, speaking in his capacity as Defense Chief, stated, “There is no cause for Amhara Struggle in the Amhara region.” He further indicated that even if there were a political issue, the forces in the Amhara region made a mistake by resorting to armed conflict to address political demands, suggesting that a political struggle could have achieved their goals. Simultaneously, he, in line with the government’s position, characterized the planned anti-peaceful demonstration in Addis Ababa that was meant to take place last Sunday as having other intentions, not peace.
More alarmingly, he stated, “Amhara kill first and they cry when they are killed..in order not to be killed, do not kill first.” (This content is found in the video shared below, specifically after 35 minutes of footage).
It is public knowledge that tens of thousands of ethnic Amhara forces have been victims of massacres by the radical ethnic Oromo Nationalist group—the ‘Oromo Liberation Army’ in the Oromo regions of Ethiopia. And there were similar massacres in Benishangul Gumuz regions, among other places. Many of these incidents appear to have been carried out with covert support from elements within the government structure.
Among other accusations, Berhanu Jula compared the reason for Defense Force deployment in the Amhara region to the triggering event of the two-year devastating war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia—the attack on the Northern Command Post. He suggested that what occurred in the Amhara region is similar to the situation that happened in Tigray, where the Defense Force faced an attack.
He claimed that the Fano forces had weakened due to the attack and expressed the intention of his forces to continue utilizing drone strikes.
On a different note, he acknowledged the significant devastation suffered by the Amhara region due to the ongoing conflict.
View his interview below (in Amharic):
Video : embedded from FBC YouTube channel
Cover photo : screenshot from the video
Ethiopian News Video
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