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The Ongoing Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia: A Closer Look at ethnic Amhara’s and the  Amhara Region 

Amhara _ human rights
Image source : Crisis Group

Melaku Fikremariam 

In recent years, Ethiopia has faced significant political and social turmoil, with one of the most  pressing issues being the human rights crisis affecting the Amhara region and the ethnic Amhara  people. Despite the official end of the state of emergency, the region continues to suffer from  various forms of abuse and discrimination, including harassment, hate speech, arbitrary  detentions, killings, territorial disputes, and systemic exclusion. The plight of the Amhara people  underscores the broader ethnic tensions and conflicts that threaten the stability and unity of  Ethiopia. 

The end of the state of emergency in the Amhara region was widely anticipated to bring some  relief from the oppressive tactics employed by security forces and the Ethiopian Defense Forces.  However, rather than improving, the situation has reportedly deteriorated. Numerous incidents  of harassment and violence against the Amhara people have been documented. Civilian  casualties are climbing, with many reports of arbitrary detentions, mass killings, and executions  of innocent individuals. The very forces tasked with protecting citizens are instead accused of  perpetrating these atrocities, drawing significant international condemnation and calls for urgent  investigations and accountability. 

Physical violence is not the only form of harassment the Amhara community faces. Recent  inflammatory rhetoric from influential figures and government officials has exacerbated the  already tense situation. This hate speech further fuels animosity and legitimizes violence against  the Amhara. It is crucial for public figures and officials to be held accountable for their words,  which contribute significantly to the ongoing violence and human rights violations. 

Another critical issue is the exclusion of Amhara concerns from significant agreements, such as  the Pretoria agreement aimed at ending the Tigray conflict. Critics argue that this agreement  neglects the rights and concerns of the Amhara people, thereby increasing their vulnerability to  violence and discrimination. For a sustainable peace in Ethiopia, it is vital for the international  community to acknowledge and address the exclusion of the Amhara people from these critical  discussions. 

Territorial disputes are another major challenge in Ethiopia, particularly involving the Amhara  region. Conflicts between Tigray and Amhara, Oromia and Amhara, and Benishangul and Amhara  are ongoing. These disputes lead to displacement, loss of livelihoods, and cycles of violence and  retribution. The Tigray-Amhara territorial dispute is especially contentious, with both sides  claiming certain areas. Without resolving these disputes, the Amhara people remain trapped in a  precarious and volatile situation. 

The reinstatement of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), previously ousted from power  and labeled as a terrorist group, adds another layer of complexity to Ethiopia’s political landscape.  While some view the TPLF’s return as a step towards inclusive governance, many in the Amhara  community see it as a threat. The TPLF has a history of conflict with the Amhara people, and its  return raises concerns about Ethiopia’s political stability and inclusivity, especially for  marginalized groups like the Amhara. 

Ethiopia’s future hinges on its ability to navigate these deep-seated issues with sensitivity and  resolve. The Amhara people, despite the official end of the state of emergency, continue to face  severe challenges, including harassment, violence, and systemic exclusion. The rhetoric of  political leaders has exacerbated ethnic tensions, and unresolved territorial disputes further  entrench instability. It is crucial for international human rights organizations and the global  community to advocate for the protection of the Amhara people, ensuring accountability for  human rights abuses. Continued pressure on the Ethiopian government is essential to foster an  inclusive political environment that respects and addresses the rights and concerns of all ethnic  groups, paving the way for a peaceful and unified Ethiopia.

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


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