Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeOpinionA Few Prerequisites for Unity - The Damage is Done, and Now There's...

A Few Prerequisites for Unity – The Damage is Done, and Now There’s a Call for Unity: What Do We Do? 

Ethiopia
Ethiopians protest from Oakland (Photo : file/SM)

By Taddese aka Dogo Aba Bora, New York City

Sunday, December 17, 2023, was billed as a world wide protest to “Stop Amhara Genocide In Ethiopia”. I participated in the protest march that was held on Broadway from 59th street to 47th street bordering Times Square in New York City. There was another protest rally at this location by Ukrainian partisans, and other people who held Palestinian and Israeli flags were also visible and a multitude of activities with various messages. Since it was on Broadway, in New York City, we’ll call it an off-Broadway performance. 

It was a gloomy Sunday afternoon threatened by a Nor’easter walloping the entire East coast. The anticipated inclement weather didn’t materialize in New York City due to heavenly intervention which allowed us to shed light on the massacre of innocent women and children during the past four years by the brutal regime in Ethiopia. Sunday afternoons are never quiet in this area. The protest placards, banners and slogans were viewed by hundreds of passersby. The organizers came prepared with bull horns, the Ethiopian tri-color flags, placards and slogans depicting massacred children and women, and depictions of gallant Fano fighters. 

The many posters and photos showing displaced Amharas, dead decapitated children, and of victims being pushed by excavators into newly dug mass graves were vivid proof of the genocide committed by Prime Minister Abiye Ahmed and his regime. Witnessing a graphic act of decapitating children, women and mass graves purposely circulated by the perpetrators on social media is a daily occurrence in the past four years and the frequency of this horrific act has increased substantially in recent months. 

The majority of the participants in this Times Square rally were ethnic Amharas protesting against Amhara Genocide. As a New York City resident for many years, I know many Ethiopians from various ethnic groups who call New York City their home. Yet on Sunday, I did not see any Tigreans, or Oromos. It is the unfortunate reality of present day Ethiopia to be callous about your neighbors suffering. 

During the civil war of Northern Ethiopia, which resulted in incalculable civilian death and widespread destruction in Tigray, Afar and Amhara at the hands of Abiye Ahmed and his mercenaries, many chose to remain silent. For example, during the daily protest rallies held in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, there was no support or solidarity for our Tigrean brothers and sisters. Two years ago our Tigrean folks established their own separate church in the city, in response to a growing sense of alienation from the Ethiopian community. Furthermore, at the Sunday rally, the prevailing theme of ethnocentrism within the community persisted, with no mention of the atrocities in the Oromia region committed by the Oromo Prosperity Party, led by Abiye Ahmed.

Only a few participating in this rally sympathized with Eskender Nega and his associates when they were brutally attacked and harassed by the regime for exposing the ongoing Amhara Genocide to the world. Eskender Nega personally reported the atrocities to United Nations Genocide Prevention Office in New York City in 2019 and 2022. 

In his first reporting few others and I accompanied him and witnessed as he detailed the ongoing and imminent genocide against Amharas to UN representatives. Eskender also presented a testimonial from a surviving witness via telephone call from a temporary shelter in Ethiopia to the UN representatives. Relentlessly, Eskinder continued to sound the alarm about the impending danger to Amharas in Ethiopia to international organizations, the EU Genocide Network and to authorities at the State Department in the United States. 

The turnout for the protest rally exceeded that of previous rallies at the same location. A big thank you is in order for our gallant Fanos, as many have now jumped on the Fano bandwagon, significantly impacting the rally. The good turnout at the rally has encouraged a loud call for unity. 

Unity is commendable, but it should be accompanied by a prerequisite: facing the truth. Unity without acknowledging the truth is fleeting. Some of those in the rally advocating for unity are active supporters of the barbaric regime. These individuals, quick to jump on the Fano bandwagon are regulars on Youtube channels that support Abiye and deny Amhara genocide. These people are frequent visitors to the Ethiopian consulate and embassy, framing their support as a defense of Ethiopian territorial integrity, the national army, and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), all while diplomatically and financially supporting the regime. Despite their support for the national army, it failed to deter the Sudanese army from displacing thousands of Ethiopian farmers and occupying Ethiopian territory for the past three years. 

This same group recently denied the Amhara Genocide vilifying and name calling those who tried to bring the matter to the attention of international community as “wacko”. They also denied the abduction of seventeen Amhara female students from Dembidolo University by OLA as fake news. The regime’s apologists accused the abducted students of being willing tools used by Amhara nationalists to smear the name of their prime minister. The merciless accusations against the university students by hired Youtubers, their regular commentators, and Youtube junkies are beyond the pale. 

In their social media campaign to deny the truth about abducted Amhara female university students, they accused the victims of indecency and even accused the students of going someplace else to start a new life. These false accusations, done to defend the regime, were cruel and despicable acts by any measure. As these accusations against the victims gained traction,

both at home, and abroad, the hired guns doubled down on their vicious campaign to show their loyalty to the regime. 

Presently, it is more critical than ever to engage in these conversations due to the current call for unity, which is essential for Amharas and Ethiopians, as Ethiopia’s future hangs in the balance. Recent calls from some corners on social media, including at the rally, are misguided and dishonest. While I appreciate the deep care that motivates these calls, I am concerned and skeptical that these calls might lead to regrettable outcomes.There can be no unity with those who vacillate and have declared total war on Amhara heroes like Shaleqa Mesafinet, Zemene Kase, Eskender Nega, and their supporters. 

There must be certain prerequisites for our shared future in the country and we need trusted and honest leaders that manifest courage, integrity, and respect for all. The call for unity will not garner broad support unless a sincere apology is extended to the more than five million displaced Amharas and the thousands massacred under the watch of Abiye Ahmed. 

For starters, a sincere apology is in order to the families, relatives, classmates of the seventeen female Amhara students, to Eskender Nega, his family and associates, and to the relatives and neighbors of the thousands of Amharas gruesomely massacred. It is time for groups who hide 

behind Ethiopian unity and the national army, to discard their camouflage and come clean. Only then can we talk about genuine unity. 

Soon, we will celebrate the victory of our Fanos at the Canyon of Heroes on Broadway in Lower Manhattan. 

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

__

To Publish an Article On borkena , please send submission to info@borkena.com for consideration.

Join our Telegram Channel : t.me/borkena

Like borkena on
Facebook

Add your Business to Ethiopian Business Listing /Ethiopian Business Directory  

Join the conversation. Follow us on twitter @zborkena to get the latest Ethiopian news updates regularly. To share information or send a submission 

advertisment

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you for this honest reflection. At a time in which truth sadly appears to be one of the most expensive commodities of our time, you’ve offered us so much. Perhaps one of our saddest realities after the loss of scores of innocent lives is our inability to see others’ pain as our own. Truth will always be a necessary and important component of any type of change. There is no shame in humbling oneself to admit one’s faults for we are all inherently fallible (we forget this many times). However, to let our pride get in the way of truth and justice is incontestably wrong.

    I hope we can all begin to confront the messy and ugly truths of these past few years, beginning with ourselves of course, and humbly, relentlessly – together – march towards lasting peace and justice for everyone as you stated, in our beloved Ethiopia.

    God Bless.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here