Today: July 23, 2024

Amhara Massacre: A Grim Reminder of Ethiopia’s Fragile Peace

Mariam Senbet

Beneath the rich history of Ethiopia lies a disturbing trend of violence that has disrupted the tranquility of its ancient monasteries and the well-being of its inhabitants. On February 22, 2024, a brutal assault resulted in the deaths of four monks within the sacred confines of a monastery that has stood for more than a thousand years.

This tragic incident was not an isolated event; it followed a massacre on January 29th where over 100 civilians in Amhara were publicly executed by the regime’s forces, reminiscent of the darkest days of the communist red terror. Furthermore, six months prior, the historic Debre-Elias monastery in the Amhara region, a symbol of faith and heritage, was destroyed by the regime’s bombings, leading to the loss of nearly 600 lives.

These events are not insignificant moments in history; they serve as urgent calls for attention in a country where the echoes of the past intersect with the brutality of the present. The need to address and rectify these atrocities is paramount to ensure the preservation of Ethiopia’s cultural heritage and the protection of its people.

The effort to eliminate Orthodox Christians and Amharas from the nation involves decapitations carried out by Islamist factions and executions by the government. This initiative gained traction following the rise of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), an extreme-Marxist separatist organization, and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), an Islam-leaning separatist group, assuming power in Ethiopia with backing from Western nations. The TPLF has stoked discord and violence in the pursuit of Tigray supremacy through its Marxist principles, while the OLF advocates for terrorism and highlights Oromo victimization through radical Islamism. These factions have cooperated to fragment Ethiopia’s diverse populace along ethnic lines, setting the stage for the potential disintegration of the country.

Mengistu Haile Mariam’s communist rule experienced a decrease in backing as the Soviet Union neared its downfall, leading to the unexpected rise of the TPLF from 1974 to 1991. Despite pledging a shift towards democracy initially, both the TPLF, supported by the United States, and the Islamist OLF resorted to manipulative tactics akin to Mengistu’s regime, fueling internal divisions and exploiting anti-feudal sentiments in a post-feudal Ethiopia. Consequently, Ethiopia once again found itself influenced by Marxism.

Alongside their political strategies, the TPLF created the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT) as a front for their personal business ventures, using reparations. TPLF-run detention centers subjected individuals to brutal treatment, such as being detained with wild animals and experiencing violence, including sexual assault, particularly targeting Christian figures like nuns and priests. Moreover, the TPLF misled global donors, including prominent U.S. musicians, by weaponizing aid meant for famine relief, as exposed in a 1985 BBC report.

The separatist factions such as the TPLF promoted an extreme form of Marxism that directly opposed the aspiration for unity among the majority of Ethiopians, which accounts for approximately 95% of the population. This yearning for unity is deeply rooted in the longstanding Abrahamic principles of Orthodox Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. In stark contrast to these cherished traditions, the TPLF actively propagated division. They went as far as labeling Orthodox Christianity, the national language of Ethiopia, and the country’s rich history as the sole property of the ‘Amhara oppressors,’ thereby undermining the entire essence of Ethiopia’s identity.

The radicals insisted that their ethnic groups sever ties with the Amharic tongue, branding it a ‘language of the oppressor.’ This stoked further division, considering the reality that various ethnic groups speak various regional languages, just as many non-Tigray ethnic people in the north, bordering Tigray, speak the Tigray language. Moreover, it was not the ‘Amhara oppressors’ but the 19th century Tigray Emperor Yohannes who had made Amharic a national language.

The ultra-Marxism advocated by separatist groups like the TPLF contradicted the desire for Ethiopian unity embraced by about 95% of the country’s population. This desire follows from the ancient Abrahamic values of Orthodox Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Against these traditions, TPLF advanced division. Orthodox Christianity, Ethiopia’s national language, and Ethiopia’s history—the entire identity of Ethiopia, in fact—were presented as belonging to the ‘Amhara oppressors.’

The radicals insisted that their ethnic groups sever ties with the Amharic tongue, branding it a ‘language of the oppressor.’ This stoked further division, considering the reality that various ethnic groups speak various regional languages, just as many non-Tigray ethnic people in the north, bordering Tigray, speak the Tigray language. Moreover, it was not the ‘Amhara oppressors’ but the 19th century Tigray Emperor Yohannes who had made Amharic a national language.

The Democracy-Terrorism Paradox

Under the guise of ‘ethnic-federalism democracy,’ the TPLF implemented their manifesto by introducing a new constitution that created ethnic borders in line with the initial OLF/TPLF separationist mapping. They implemented ethnic ID cardsidentity police, and divisive curricula, aiming to segregate Ethiopia’s unified multi-ethnic Habesha society into divided single-tribe blocs.

The TPLF forged alliances with like-minded Marxist radicals from the Amhara and Oromo communities, corrupting radicals and the unemployed by offering them the power to form Amhara and Oromo ethnic parties (ADP and ODP). Thus they formed a TPLF-controlled coalition: the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The EPRDF created ethnic-based armed police and courts, imposed ethnic languages to replace the national language of the people, and used constitutional threats to jeopardize the majority’s citizenship rights.

To separate the Tigray region, the TPLF strategically gave the land that connects Tigray to international borders to a “Tigray ethnic bloc.” They also apportioned one-third of Ethiopia’s land to the ‘Oromo ethnic bloc’ in a move designed to appease OLF separatists. To support their claim that the land belonged to their ethnic group, they murdered and displaced hundreds of thousands. Their school curriculum also fueled extreme hatred towards the rest of society. Despite the newly issued ethnic ID cards that replaced citizenship with tribal identity, the fact remains that over 90% of Ethiopians are ethnically unidentifiable, having lived and mixed in diverse groups for centuries. Yet the TPLF and the ODP portrayed the Tigray and Oromo tribes as ‘oppressed’ in order to justify the atrocities they committed, instead blaming the Amhara and Orthodox Christian victims.

This sparked a cycle of violence and misinformation, with the TPLF using the ‘ethnic-federalism constitution’ to legitimize their actions as ‘liberation.’ While Western backers viewed radicalized Islam and Marxist extremism as threats to democracy elsewhere, they saw them, paradoxically, as potential agents of democracy within Ethiopia.

The U.S. played a significant role in the situation in Ethiopia. Not only has it provided funding to the TPLF, but it has also helped to fuel the conflict by openly supporting the TPLF terrorist manifesto as a “constitution,” while the U.S. liberal media continues to spread misinformation. This has contributed to the suffering of the Ethiopian people and raises questions about the true intentions behind the U.S.’s involvement in the region.

Although the TPLF and OLF continue to force Ethiopians into tribal blocs by making them to take on only their father’s identity. Around 75% of Ethiopians are of mixed ethnic background, with intermarriage being extremely common for centuries (including the families of the TPLF and ODP leaders like Meles Zenawi and Abiy Ahmed who radicalize their ethnic groups).

There are new ‘regional constitutions’ like Oromia’s, which claim the land for one ethnic group, but the reality is different. For, despite enforcement of the Oromo language by radicals, about 90% of the population in most areas—including Oromia—is multi-ethnic, and the land and properties belong to Ethiopians of all backgrounds.

The Rise of Oromo Terrorism

The U.S. continues to play a key role in Ethiopia’s government, including the appointment of Oromo Abiy Ahmed, who was recruited by the TPLF at the age of 14, eventually becoming Oromia deputy administrator and spy chief of the EPRDF. Abiy was credited with the creation of a surveillance network called ‘1 to 5’ that uses corrupt priests and citizens to spy on each other, Soviet style—with the help of the NSA.

Abiy’s ‘Oromia’ ethnic bloc implemented a criminal manifesto that it calls a “constitution.” In essence, it allows the government to confiscate the property of some 90% of the population—non-Oromo ethnic Ethiopians who have lived in that part of Ethiopia for generations—declaring all property in the state of Oromia to be the property of the Oromo-ethnic people. Abiy’s Oromo ideologues also infiltrated schools in Oromia, imposing a school anthem that depicts an imaginary history in which Oromo elites spilled blood for a century to liberate the Oromo tribe from slavery in Ethiopia. This new anthem must be sung by the 90% non-Oromo children in the region who are required to speak the Oromo language to survive.

Soon after Abiy became Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy’s regime removed Orthodox Christians from key positions in the government, assassinated Amhara generals he feared as critics, displaced over three million citizens, and demolished Amhara homes. Then he denied Amharas entry to the capital city, after arbitrarily declaring that Addis Ababa—the most developed city in Ethiopia—is an Oromo property, even though under 5% of its population is ethnically Oromo. The government’s police prohibited Ethiopians and the Orthodox Church from displaying the country’s centuries-old flag, even on their clothing, and corrupt cadres became a mafia who forcefully seized the private properties of citizens.

One of the first shocking events was the hanging of a non-Oromo boy at a welcoming event for an Ivy League-educated radical Islamist, Jawar Mohammed, who preaches about the need for Ethiopian Muslims to convert to political Islamism or Wahhabism to survive. After Jawar’s call on Facebook to his Oromo followers, some 84 civilians—mostly Amharas and Orthodox Christians—were beheaded and stoned to death.

Among those murdered was a popular Oromo Orthodox singer, Hachalu Hundessa. Abiy and his Oromo radicals are believed to have arranged the killing, after which they blamed Amhara critics and instigated their radicalized Oromo youth to retaliate against Amhara. This resulted in the slaughter of over 160 civilians, mostly Orthodox Christians in Shashemene.

Since Abiy took power, two to six million Ethiopians have been displaced each year due to Islamist terrorism, war, and forceful eviction, breaking records established during some of the most devastating wars, such as those in Syria. If this regime is allowed to continue, the world will see unprecedented displacements as it tries to revoke the Ethiopian citizenship of 120 million people, a catastrophe funded by American taxpayers in the name of aid and liberation.

U.S. Interests and Corruption

In response to enduring injustices, the Amhara people found their voice in armed resistance. The Fano is comprised of faithful farmers and youths who gather for mutual protection. Initially a protest movement, the Fano has become a national self-defense and patriotic force rooted in Ethiopia’s history and the defense of its people, particularly those in the Amhara region. Despite this, U.S. liberal media and radical Marxists misrepresent the Fano as an Amhara ethno-nationalist militia.

The Amhara region, like all of the regions in Ethiopia, is a diverse region of multi-ethnic people and has been so for centuries. Likewise, as noted, some 90% of the people living in the Oromia region are ethnically non-Oromo, despite the new ethnic names and military imposed on them by the TPLF/OLF.

In the six months since the regime launched its war on the Amhara region, the Fano has grown into a formidable force that now controls most of the Amhara region. Their grassroots efforts are increasingly centralized, aiming to reclaim Ethiopia for all Ethiopians and transcending the divisions sown by the TPLF and OLF. Consequently, the political and security structures of Abiy’s regional government have collapsed, forcing Abiy’s Amhara Prosperity Party to go into exile in Addis Ababa.

The Fano movement is comprised of patriotic Ethiopians of all ethnicities. However, TPLF/OLF’s divisive tactics challenge national identity, to which the Amhara and most Ethiopians (including Tigray and Oromo) remain attached. The Fano, with their substantial political and military presence, urge all Ethiopians to reclaim their country and aim to restore the national balance of power and citizens’ rights. As Ethiopians of all stripes in Addis Ababa have told the regime, Fano is coming to Addis Ababa, because Ethiopians everywhere are waking up to their responsibilities as citizens.

American diplomat Mike Hammer has been accused of undermining the collective aspirations for unity and peace among Ethiopians, which are the motivations behind the Fano movement. In a recent private meeting with the Ethiopian American diaspora, dominated by TPLF and OLF representatives, an OLF member demanded the expulsion of all Amhara Ethiopians from Oromia state (where, again, some 90% of the population is non-Oromo). Hammer’s indifferent response revealed his careless attitude toward (if not outright support of) terrorism in Ethiopia. Americans must hold their government accountable, especially Democrats and members of the Biden administration.

U.S. complicity in this reign of terror is a stain on its commitment to human rights and justice. Furthermore, American citizens—especially African Americans and African immigrants—should ask questions about why the U.S. funded the TPLF with $40 billion in aid (much of which has been laundered back to fund the lavish lifestyle both of TPLF members and to fund various politicians). All of this is taking place while the U.S. is promoting a terrorist constitution in Ethiopia that is laying the ground for the murder and displacement of millions. Why is a high-ranking TPLF officer—Tedros Adhanom, accused of sterilizing Amhara women—leading the World Health Organization, despite outcry from Ethiopians? How did five million Ethiopian children receive digital IDs to feed AI, as revealed in the Epstein papers? When and why did the U.S. become a safe haven for terrorists and radical Islamists, like the TPLF and OLF agents who loot their own country, launder their criminally-obtained money, and murder their own people?

Ethiopia’s Resolve: Rejecting Terrorism

The solution to Ethiopia’s turmoil does not rest in perpetuating the failed experiment of terrorists and their divisive ‘ethnic federalism.’ Ethiopians must recognize their own citizenship rights and agency in uniting their people and safeguarding their lives. Thanks to the efforts of groups like the Fano, progress towards this goal is already underway.

The Fanos have already ignited a revival of Ethiopia’s national spirit, signaling a new era of defiance and possibility for all Ethiopians, an opportunity no Ethiopian anywhere can afford to miss. The question looms large: how quickly will the terrorist government crumble under the weight of popular resistance?

The United States’ aim of ensuring negotiations as a means to continue this terrorist system—to appease extremists who use violence to clamor for more power—is destined to destroy Ethiopia itself. This is a fate that must be averted. Ethiopian citizens must unite to fight the evils of the TPLF and OLF extremists and remove all their infrastructure: ethnic ID cards, ethnic police, ethnic regions, and harmful curricula.

The immense opportunity before Ethiopia today lies in removing constitutionally-sanctioned state terrorism and establishing law and order, which would also facilitate citizens’ potential to create jobs and improve their country. The fate of Ethiopia hangs in the balance, but so too does the fate of the world, as this ideology spreads.

As Ethiopia stands at the crossroads of its destiny, the consequences of its struggle resonate far beyond its borders. The ideologies that have fueled its chaos are not limited to geography; they have an impact on global discourse and policy, especially today. The world watches, perhaps unaware that the seeds sown in Ethiopian soil may one day take root in their own backyards. It is a poignant reminder that the fates of nations are intertwined, and the lessons of history must not be ignored.

The Power of Citizenship

In the face of such adversity, the power of citizenship emerges as the beacon of hope. The citizens of Ethiopia, who have long been subjected to the tyranny of divisive ideologies, are now reclaiming their power.

The spirit of citizenship transcends ethnic and religious boundaries. It fosters unity, promotes mutual respect, and upholds the values of justice and reason. It is this human spirit that is igniting Ethiopians against the reign of terror and encouraging them to rise above the ashes of their tormented past and strive for a better future. Ethiopian citizens from all backgrounds and walks of life must unite as citizens to survive and fight the evil facing their homeland. They must know that they have not just a right to be governed with law and order, but also the responsibility to govern themselves as citizens. No citizen should give this right away.

The Fano movement of Ethiopia sends a powerful message to the world: that the power of the people is stronger than the people in power. It is a call to action for all citizens to engage in their country’s affairs, and a reminder that citizens must exercise their power for the good of all.

writes from Ethiopia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

The Amhara Elites! Please Stop Bickering and Writing on Untimely Topics! Extinguish the Fire Ingulfing Amhara First!

Meskerem Abera: Excuse and Clarity On My Previous Commentary
Next Story

Meskerem Abera: Excuse and Clarity On My Previous Commentary

Latest from Blog

A New Approach for Lasting Peace in Sudan – OpEd

By Arlene Schar and Dr. David Leffler Despite ongoing efforts to resolve tensions and stabilize Sudan, longstanding divisive issues remain largely unresolved, and civil war persists. Achieving a sustainable and lasting peace remains
Go toTop