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HomeOpinionPart II – Resisting  Narrow Ethnic Nationalism- Why Fano Took Up Arms...

Part II – Resisting  Narrow Ethnic Nationalism- Why Fano Took Up Arms In Ethiopia?

Narrow ethnic nationalism _ Abiy Ahmed
Abiy Ahmed has been accused of taking radical ethnic Oromo nationalism political orientation a few years after in office as Prime Minister (Photo : Social Media)

Tule Baye 

The Amhara militants have a notable history as a unifying force in Ethiopia, engaging in conflicts against colonial powers, dissenting factions, and those who aimed to disrupt national unity. Despite their efforts to promote unity, they have often been labeled as unitarists due to their opposition to the ethnic federalism model propagated by the narrow nationalist TPLF.

In contrast, the TPLF and OLF, portraying themselves as trailblazing ethnic liberation movements, have faced criticism for promoting narrow ethnic nationalism instead of embracing genuine multiculturalism. On the other hand, the Amhara community has a longstanding commitment to multicultural values, exemplified by their practice of interfaith/interethnic marriages and religious tolerance. The prevalent use of the Amharic language has historically served as a cohesive force uniting Ethiopia’s diverse ethnic groups.

Multiculturalism supports a diverse society, unlike ethnic federalism that revolves solely around ethnic identity as the governing principle in Ethiopia. There has been a trend over the past three decades where meritocracy has been overshadowed by a quota system, exemplified by instances like a prime minister boasting about a farmer becoming a minister for education simply by adhering to ethnic affiliations. Furthermore, the current leadership openly encourages their ethnic group to act without restraint towards those who do not align with them.

Nevertheless, influential figures from the Oromo and Tigray regions have actively worked to undermine the Amharic language and Orthodox religion, both considered crucial symbols of national unity. Over the course of five decades, these elites have launched campaigns to vilify the Amhara community, attacking their language, religious beliefs, and cultural traditions, sometimes leading to violent episodes of genocide.

In response to these ongoing challenges, Fano has emerged as a symbol of Ethiopian resistance and patriotism, serving as a protector of the Amhara community and its cherished values against the divisive agendas of narrow nationalists. Drawing a parallel with Rwanda’s journey, where ethnic divisions initially plunged the nation into chaos before strong leadership guided it towards stability and prosperity, the narrative underscores the urgent need for decisive leadership in Ethiopia to confront similar societal divisions and steer the nation towards a more promising future.

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


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