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The heartlessness that stuttered, ‘We will plant a tree on their grave’ in remembrance of the Tole Massacre

heartlessness _ tole massacre
Photo : from the web (file)

By Habtamu
X : @habtamutm 

In the heart of Ethiopia, among the picturesque highlands and diverse cultures, a distressing narrative unfolds, disregarded mainly by the worldwide community. The ongoing Amhara Genocide, a horrifying account of organized ethnic cleansing and violence against the Amhara people, continues to be ignored by the global community. 

The Amhara Genocide refers to the systematic persecution and violence against the Amhara people throughout  Ethiopia, with the intent of exterminating Amharas by using unproven historical grievances as pretext. Mass killings, targeted assassinations of influential personalities, mass displacements, forced disappearances, denial of life-saving essential services like medical services, denial of access to employment and investment opportunities,  and widespread violations of human rights characterize this deliberate extermination. The parties responsible for these heinous acts are all armed and unarmed Oromo political and military officials, as their political doctrine defines the Amhara people as a strategic enemy that must be weakened and crushed at every opportune. 

The Tole Massacre of Amharas that occurred in the Oromia region of Ethiopia two years ago stands as a dark stain on the country’s history and the consciousness of the silent international community. Over 1900 innocent lives were lost in a meticulously planned operation that involved not only the Federal security apparatus but also local government officials and the Oromo Liberation Army. The brutality of the massacre was further deepened by the involvement of the local population, who not only participated in the killings but also ransacked properties and looted the houses of the victims, some of whom were still alive.

What is most disturbing about the Tole Massacre is not just the act itself but the subsequent denial and silence that followed. The Oromo government in Ethiopia refused to acknowledge the killings. At the same time, Ethiopian parliament speaker Tagesse Chaffo blocked any discussion of the issue in the house. Even more shockingly, Abiy Ahmed callously mocked the victims by suggesting that planting trees on their graves was a fitting memorial.

The lack of accountability for the Tole Massacre has emboldened the Oromo government to continue its campaign of terror against the Amhara people. The ongoing state terror and ethnic cleansing in the Amhara region have resulted in countless more deaths, displacements, and human rights violations. The international community’s silence on these atrocities is deafening, allowing the Oromo government to act with impunity and further destabilize the region.

Recent reports from the UN Human Rights Commission have implicated government forces in war crimes against the Amhara people. Yet, little to no action is taken to hold those responsible accountable. This lack of accountability only serves to perpetuate a cycle of violence and injustice in Ethiopia, where ethnic tensions continue to threaten the country’s unity and stability and may lead to its disintegration.

Since the Tole Massacre, numerous other massacres against the Amhara people have taken place, with little attention or condemnation from the international community. From the killings in Jiga and Merawi to the mass murders in Mehal Meda, Molale, Mekane Selam, and Gondar, the Amhara people have been targeted for extermination by the regime forces. Civil servants have been fired, children forced to abandon their native language, and patients denied essential services, all to reduce the perceived influence of the Amhara people in Ethiopia.

It is disheartening to see the silence of the global community and the international media on the continued suffering of the Amhara people at the hands of their government, with no end in sight. The lack of international intervention and condemnation only serves to embolden the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and perpetuate a culture of impunity in the country.

As the world watches in silence, the Amhara people continue to suffer, and the fabric of Ethiopian society continues to unravel. It is time for the international community to take a stand against the crimes being committed in Ethiopia and demand justice for the victims of the Amhara Genocide, which the Tole Massacre exemplifies, and all those who have lost their lives in the ongoing violence. Only through accountability and justice can Ethiopia hope to heal and move forward toward a more peaceful and inclusive future.

In conclusion, the writer would like to humbly remind the international community that saving the Amhara people is not just a humanitarian gesture. However, it is an essential step the international community must take to preserve the stability of the Horn of Africa. As the War on Amhara intensifies and the regime’s cruelty increases, the resolve from the Amhara people has increased multiple folds, which may lead to an uncontrollable communal war that will have a far-reaching effect on world peace. It is wise to remember how Somalia’s disintegration has given the world an unhealing sickness for the past 30 years.

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

Related reading : Hundreds massacred in Fresh attack in Qelem Wollega 


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