Abiy Ahmed’s Vilification of Amhara & Amhara Regional Force

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Mesfin Arega
March 26, 2021

“Amhara nationalism is dangerous for Ethiopia” (Abiy Ahmed)

”Failed coup in #Ethiopia’s Amhara state was an attempt by ethnic nationalists to restore Amhara hegemony over all of Ethiopia that existed for several centuries prior to 1991.  That dream is now permanently dead.” (Herman Cohen)

“The numerous tribes who inhabit the Ethiopian state are being forcibly kept from European colonialism by Abyssinian rulers whose aim is to act as champions of all black people so as to attack and destroy Western culture“ (Roman Prochaska, Abyssinia: The Powder Barrel, Vienna, 1935)

Ever since he became prime minister of Ethiopia with decisive support from Amhara politicians, the double-tongued Abiy Ahmed has been waging a constant vilification campaign against the Amhara regional force and, by extension, against the Amhara people in general, while at the same time professing to fully support Amhara’s just cause for redress of their persecution under the ethno-centric regime of Meles Zenawi.

First, in a secretly recorded video, he bafflingly said Amhara nationalism is a threat to Ethiopia.  However, this is the very nationalism which insured the very survival of Ethiopia by marshalling all of the country around it, enabling the country to crushingly defeat European colonialists at Adwa, paving the way for decolonization of the entire continent of Africa, in addition to being the very foundation of black pride and black nationalism for blacks all over the world.  Therefore, what Abiy Ahmed calls “Amhara nationalism” is, in fact, Ethiopian nationalism which unifies all Ethiopians.  The threat to Ethiopia is not the inclusive Amhara nationalism, but the tribalist Oromo and Tigre nationalisms. 

Then, he brazenly claimed that Amhara region’s infrastructure is the worst in Ethiopia not because of TPLF’s deliberate anti-Amhara policy, but because the region spends its funds on its regional force, though this regional force is only a few thousand strong (commissioned in only one batch), whereas his own regional state of Oromia has already spent hundreds of millions (if not billions) in US dollars to graduate more than thirty batches and build a regional force which is at least ten times bigger than the Amhara regional force.

Barely a week after this brazen claim on Amhara region and its regional force, the entire top political and military leadership of the Amhara region was wiped out in what appeared to be a controlled chaos, which lasted a mere couple of hours and which is suspected to be controlled by none other than Abiy Ahmed himself.  Immediately following this horrendous massacre, the Amhara-hater Herman Cohen (the former United States assistant secretary of state for African affairs who is widely believed be a proponent of Roman Prochaska’s anti-Amhara agenda) rushed to his twitter page to proudly declare “Amhara hegemony … is now permanently dead”.

Then, on March 22 (2021), the Oromo wing of the Prosperity Party which is led by Abiy Ahmed himself, raised the vilification of Amhara to the highest level by issuing a communique accusing the Amhara regional force and, by extension, the entire Amhara population of ethnic cleansing inside, of all places, the Amhara region itself.  The next day, that accusation was repeated verbatim inside Abiy Ahmed’s rubber-stamp parliament and broadcast live for the entire country.

The Amhara are the most integrated of all Ethiopian people, and the Amhara regional force is the most diverse of all forces in the country, as diverse as Ethiopia itself, more so than the Oromo dominated National Defense Force of Ethiopia, whose commander in chief (Abiy Ahmed), chief of staff (Berhanu Jula), defense minister (Kena Yadeta), and Airforce commander (Yilma Merdasa) are all Oromo.  Of all people of Ethiopia, the Amhara are the last to be accused of tribalism, and of all regional forces of Ethiopia, the Amhara regional force is the last to be suspected of ethnic cleansing.

Tribalism is foreign to Amhara psyche.  On the contrary, Amhara’s major weakness is not being tribalist enough, which made them vulnerable in a sea of tribalist monsters.  Even a minimally organized Amhara cannot be threatened, let alone attacked, by TPLF, OLF or any other tribalist “liberation” front.  There is no more proof of this than the recent rout of the heavily armed TPLF by the lightly armed Amhara militia.

Before Abiy Ahmed came to power, the Amhara people have been subjected to a well-documented three decades of systematic and brutal ethnic cleansing (including rape and forced sterilization) by the tribalist government of Meles Zenawi, whose TPLF manifesto openly declares the Amhara people as its one and only mortal enemy.  There is no better proof for the full extent of Amhara’s persecution under TPLF than Wolkait and Raya.  The Amhara’s in these fertile regions were ethnically cleansed to settle TPLF fighters so much so that (even after TPLF which forcibly incorporated these Amhara regions into Tigray is gone for good) Tigray nationalists continue to claim them to be parts of “western and southern Tigray” basing their claim on TPLF engineered demography.

The advent of Abiy Ahmed not only continued the grave persecution and displacement of the Amhara by the tribalist liberation fronts of Oromo and Tigre, but also made it much worse.  In the last three years alone, thousands (if not tens of thousands) of Amharas were viciously slaughtered, and hundreds of thousands (if not millions) were chased out of Oromia, Abiy Ahmed’s own regional state.  And the perpetrator of these crimes was none other than OLF (aka ONEG SHENE) which feeds on Oromia regional force, Abiy Ahmed’s own regional force.

Hence, the question is why would Abiy Ahmed who (as the prime minister of Ethiopia) is directly and indirectly responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Amharas in the last three years of his reign, turn around and accuse Amharas of ethnically cleansing the Oromo, his own tribe.  Why does he want to play victim?

Since Abiy Ahmed sat at the helm of power in Ethiopia, all the measures he took (his policies, appointments, priorities etc.) decidedly prove that he is the undeclared chief (the LUBA) of Oromuma, the stated goal of OLF to establish an Oromo empire covering most, if not all, of present-day Ethiopia as well as parts of neighboring Kenya, Somalia, and Sudan.   However, Abiy Ahmed can realize his dream of laying the foundation of his Oromo empire on the grave of present-day Ethiopia, only if he can crush TPLF on one hand, and the Amhara regional force on the other hand.

The anti-Ethiopia TPLF has been, and will no doubt continue to be Abiy Ahmed’s ally in dismantling Ethiopia, but it will sure be an arche foe when the time comes to share the spoils.  Therefore, as per Abiy Ahmed’s plan, TPLF will be kept as an allay till Ethiopia is brought to the very edge of the precipice of disintegration, and then will immediately be crushed when Ethiopia is just about to tumble down to its demise.

On the other hand, Abi Ahmed knows full well that, so long as the Amhara regional force is commanded by a well-respected and highly capable commander like the martyred General Asaminew Tsige, Abiy Ahmed’s Oromuma force (which includes Oromia regional force, OLF force, and most of the so called Ethiopian defense force) stands no chance of winning a skirmish let alone a battle or war against the Amhara regional force.  This will be more so if Welkait and Raya are reincorporated to their rightful Amhara region, making the Amhara region the most powerful of all regions of Ethiopia in virtually all aspects, be it population or natural resources.  Thus, if Abiy Ahmed’s dream is to be realized, Wolkait and Raya should never be allowed to rejoin the Amhara region, and the Amhara regional force should be utterly demolished in due time and in the most convenient way.

However, the Amhara regional force can be crushed only after it is used to crush TPLF.  This is solely because no matter how strong Abiy Ahmed’s Oromuma force is, it has zero chance against a TPLF force a fraction of its size.  Ato Seye Abraha (a senior TPLF military commander who had an insider knowledge of OLF) once famously said OLF is “not worth a dime”.  This was not meant to be derogatory but to emphasize that, apart from viciously slaughtering unarmed, defenseless civilians (in particular, children, women and the elderly), the OLF force is an inherently dysfunctional force which has no combat capability or bravery worthy of mention.    In its entire history which spans more than half a century, except for surprise attacks on defenseless small towns and rural areas, the OLF has never ever won a single engagement even with a lightly armed adversary.  Abiy Ahmed can’t expect it to fare any better, just because it is now armed to the teeth.

In a span of just three years, the devious Abiy Ahmed brought Ethiopia on the verge of total disintegration, making anything and everything in Ethiopia of Oromo, by Oromo, for Oromo, a spectacle popularly known as KEGNA politics.  This, in turn, means it is about time to get rid of TPLF, which has been an indispensable ally of Abiy Ahmed’s KEGNA politics up to this point.

Naturally, TPLF would like to reconquer the whole Ethiopia again and seemed to have a concrete plan to do so, using (just like it did when it first controlled Ethiopia) the Amhara region as a springboard.  Then, on November 04 (2020), the TPLF (most probably goaded by the deceitful Abiy Ahmed himself) jumped straight into Abiy Ahmed’s trap by attacking the northern command and by selecting and viciously murdering its Amhara officers, stirring Amhara rage.  Thereafter (as Abiy Ahmed correctly guessed) the Amhara regional force (through enormous sacrifice) basically buried the TPLF near its birthplace (the infamous DEDEBIT where the anti-Amhara TPLF manifesto was concocted), thereby saving Abiy Ahmed’s regime from total collapse.

Nevertheless, Abiy Ahmed saw the victorious Amhara regional force which saved his government from collapse, not as a force to be grateful for, but as the most dangerous threat to his government, more so than TPLF.  For Abi Ahmed, now that the Amhara regional force has been used to crush TPLF, its mission is accomplished and, therefore, it itself should be crushed so as to clear the path for Oromuma.

However, the Amhara regional force, though poorly armed, is a formidable force that can easily handle any Oromuma force Abiy Ahmed can muster, however strong that Oromuma force may be.  The only way Abiy Ahmed can defeat this regional force is by colluding with western powers under the pretext of genocide.

Abiy Ahmed knows full well that there are many people of power in the west who share Roman Prochaska’s deep hatred for Amharas, and who would be more than happy to use hearsay to bomb the Amharas out of existence, just because, as Prochaska correctly stated, Amharas happen to be proud “champions of all black people” who “forcibly kept” European colonialism at bay, and for whom an European is just another human being, no more no less.  This, and only this, is the overriding reason why Abiy Ahmed would use his rubber-stamp parliament to falsely accuse the Amhara regional force of ethnic cleansing.  The venue for the accusation was deliberately chosen to give it semblance of legality and, more importantly, to make sure that it is clearly and loudly heard by the self-appointed western hunters of war criminals in non-western countries (especially the Americans, the British, and the French).

 

Mesfin Arega
mesfin.arega@gmail.com

5 Comments

  1. Dear Mesfin Arega,
    You sound quite upset and as a result you lost track of reason and worsened an already worsening situation. You should have left Abiy’s remarks in its context. There are Amhara extremists, fyi. Sure, Abiy’s inexperience is a great worry to us all but his castigating “extreme Amhara elements” should not have come as a surprise. What do you make of Eskinder Nega, Major Dawit Wolde Giorgis, Prof. Getachew Haile, etc turning in a document to the U.N. in 2019 accusing our country of committing “ethnic cleansing.” Such ‘high-minded’ accusation was never levelled against Tplf! The sad thing is that The New York Times recently picked up on the document to support Tplf’s grandiose lies. Just unfortunate that Prof. Getachew and his group of activists ended up stabbing the Motherland the same way the Eprp stabbed it in the mid-1970s!

    You say “Tribalism is foreign to Amhara psyche.”! That is a strange remark (not having been a trained analyst) and a laughable generalization considering the futility of putting the great and independent Amhara in one basket. You are in denial that every statement you made in your write-up also applied to every group in our country. In other words, you are out hate-mongering. Calm down. Let us talk about extreme Amhara, Oromo, Tigre, etc, elements and find ways to mobilize the majority who do get along without your help.

  2. Ok. Eritrea will withdraw its forces from Ethiopian territories. End of story. There is no reason to make a stink out of it. These two countries had a history of suddenly turning mortal foes. There is also a report that tells officials in Asmara have promised to look into allegations of gross human rights violation by members of their defense forces in Tigray and will hold those perpetrators accountable. The UN and Ethiopia have agreed to form a joint body of experts who will carry out a thorough investigation. Ethiopia’s own human rights council has already released a preliminary report in which it stated a possibility of crimes against humanity in Tigray. It will come up with its final report hopefully soon. So a lot of investigation is going on over there now. Let’s wait until these two bodies come up with their final and conclusive reports. For now the news of foreign troops withdrawal is a sigh of relief for me. That gem of the colored is being besieged on all sides. Bigots are on a rampage killing innocent civilians and pillaging in many parts of the country. Sesame-in-Chief Abdul Fattah is on mission from his slave driver boss in Al-Qahirah stealing oil seeds and cereals. The goons of TPLF are mortally down but not completely out yet. So the old country DOES NOT NEED another front of deadly conflict. I take this news as a reprieve and diplomatic success. The Republic of Axum will remain just a pie in the sky, I mean way above the earth’s atmosphere! Republics of Amhara, Oromia and whatever fiefdom mongering bigots are dreaming about have been torn to shreds. Mark my words and Allah is my witness! Bigots will never get their wishes! You hear that? Never!!!!!

  3. In other words, an Amhara nationalism supercars other nationalisms and it’ equates with Ethiopian pan- nationalism. Also Amhara nationalism ” forcibly protected'” other tribes who were only happy to be dictated and protected by amharas with so many abuses and justice. Sound familiar? Goodv lack with that.

  4. What is exactly that the Amhara people have gained from the handover of power from TPLF to OPDO?
    These last three years they have been chased out of Oromia, Beni shangul. They have been harassed murdered, their property vandalized destroyed. The status of the capital Addis which was firmly in the hands of Amhara elites is now under threat. The question of the working language, future demographic composition and ownership of the thriving economy of the city is entirely in the hands of Amhara hating Oromo cadres. Compared to this, what are the purported offences that the Amhara as a people were subjected to under TPLF? Perhaps their leaders were not calling the shot at the uppermost echelon but were they facing the kind existential danger they are facing now?
    It’s sheer madness if not stupidity to think, that they will fare better under the yoke of forty million strong Oromo people led by individuals who harbor nothing but deep visceral hatred towards anything Amhara, than they would have been if they had strived to coexist with their Tigrian co-religious compatriots who at least share and cherish most of their common cultural heritages.
    It is a peculiar world where poor forcefully displaced Amharas are advised to overlook their present misfortune and instead derive a sadistic pleasure from the suffering the Tigrean people – who in no way are responsible for Amhara’s people now existing predicaments- are currently subjected to. If the whole thing was not so tragic it would have been a stuff for the theatre of the absurd

  5. Mesfin points well made. All one has to see is Abiy’s deeds not words. Forget his words most of what he says is nothing but utter lies anyways. To remind us what he has not done as a leader or even as a human being when these events happen1)Burayo ethnic cleansing of the Gamo 2) Gedeo ethnic cleansing 3) Jawar’s Quero butchers rampaging and mutilating Orthodox and Amharas when he cried out that he was surrounded 4) burning of churches and murders of 100’s of Orthodox believers and in Sidamo 5) The ethnic cleansing of Shashemene 6) Welega the blood runs thick with Amharas and non-Oromos 7) Metekel 8) Axum 9)Mekele. Finally I am concluding that these Oromo political leaders are an extension of the 16th century uncivilized rampaging Lubas Aba Dulas… they kill for the sake of killing they burn to spite others who are not Oromo. After reading Aba Bahrey’s Zenahu LaGala the parallels are quite eerie very very eerie. Blind nomadic pillaging devoid of civility. These 21st century descendants are incapable and incompetent. Other world leaders have seen this and are shocked. Why do you think the US is dealing more with Kenya than Ethiopia, Why do you think one of the first things Biden did in Africa is send Sen Chris Coons they are extremely worried that Abiy’s blunders and instability he has created inside the country will flow out into the Horn. of course they are worried about their national interest first and foremost. I am not sure they will allow him to continue, they will bear all kind of pressure on him from economic to PR/media and if all else fails they will send in the jackals. That would be quite horrible. His current path is going to lead to the disintegration of the country and massive instability. All the babbling of the Uncle Al types are meaningless.. Susan Rice this and that blablabla the smart thing to do is understand world diplomacy which Abiy does not. You do not want to anger the Empire lest the empire comes down hard on you. Ethiopia is not Russia or China. Nor are we even Venezuela who has a very strong and disciplined military which is why Maduro has lasted this long. Our freaking military is led by the likes of Sergeant Berhanu Jula, who cannot even protect our borders. May God have mercy on us cut short Abiy’s reign of terror and cause a true Ethiopian leader to rise from amongst the many.

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