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It is Time for the United States to Abandon Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia – Part 3

Aklog Birara (Dr)

Part 3 of 3

Let me strengthen my point of view. American policy and decision-makers know well that the Amhara population is targeted for multipronged attacks. The existential threat faced by Amhara is real. This is the reason why millions of Amhara youth are ready to die fighting. This is also the reason why thousands of Abiy’s soldiers surrender and join Fano with their weapons. This is the reason why Sahlework Zewdie and Taye Dendea critiqued the system and leadership in Ethiopia.

Fano does not have foreign weapons suppliers. Abiy Ahmed does. Fano does not command budget from the public purse. Abiy Ahmed does. Fano does not receive foreign assistance, including American aid. Abiy Ahmed does. Fano relies solely on the Amhara population and on its ingenuity and creativity. Had Fano been given coverage by Western corporate press—as is the case with the Hamas and Israeli tragedy— that Fano is fighting against human cruelty and barbarism, Americans, I am convinced, will admire Fano’s courage and self-reliant model. U.S. policy would have changed by now.

As shown in the video at the end of this commentary, the only Western historian, thought leader and influencer who is in the forefront depicting Fano’s authentic vision, mission, determination and goal is Jeff Pearce. His presentation is consistently credible and truthful.

The point is this. It is in America’s strategic interest to defend the Amhara cause.

Why defending Amhara survival is in U.S. interest.

I suggest there is a lingering misperception from the colonial and imperial European past concerning Amhara. The West in general and American policy and decision-makers in particular need to appreciate and understand the symmetry of values and world outlooks. Amhara are peace and freedom loving, hardworking, self-reliant, patriotic, inclusive and tolerant, fair minded and democratic. Simply put, similarities between America’s soft values and Amhara norms, values and traditions are striking.

These values bode well for the future of a diverse, inclusive and rule of law-based Ethiopia. In other words, these well-established Amhara values are compatible with democratic societies. So, defending the Amhara cause is in America’s long term strategic and geopolitical interest.

American decision-makers also know that Ethiopia will not exist without Amhara. Ethiopian government planned, led and executed terrorist attacked and onslaught against Amhara have far reaching consequences for the entire Horn of Africa. It undermines U.S. standing and policy throughout Black Africa.

The hearing was timely. I was especially heartened by Congressman James’s superb assessment of the dire human rights situation in Ethiopia, including violence against innocent civilians in the Amhara and Tigray regions.

It was clear during the hearing that the government of the United States and Congress are deeply concerned about Ethiopia’s peace, stability and durability as a country. Rhetorically, American decision makers do not want another war. Ethiopia is at war with itself. Abiy Ahmed and his generals conducted more than 100 drone attacks, killing, wounding civilians and destroying social, economic and spiritual infrastructure. This is the ugly face of war Sahlework Zewdie echoed.

This time the federal government of Ethiopia led by Abiy Ahmed is waging an all-out war against the Amhara population, the very people, citizens he supposed to protect from harm. Shimelis Abdissa, president of Oromia and one of the most avid advocates of Oromo hegemony informed an audience that the Oromo dominated Prosperity party and OLF led state and government will do everything in its power to diminish Amhara. Reducing the number of Amhara, he believes, will allow Oromo to hegemonize Ethiopia.

The insightful Congressman James pinpointed the fact that the Abiy regime is singularly interested in receiving funds and “debt relief” from the West than the pursuit of durable peace or democratizing Ethiopia. “The American people are tired of being used by the Ethiopian government,” he remarked.

This suggests to me that U.S. policy and decision-makers know fully that Abiy Ahmed is untrustworthy.

While the Honorable Mike Hammer expressed “deep concern” among American decision makers, acknowledging gross “human rights violations in the Amhara and Oromia regions,” he refrained from acknowledging Ethiopian state and government sponsored and implemented atrocities against the Amhara population. He made no specific reference to atrocities against Amhara let alone the Amhara genocide. Is this omission deliberate?

Unequal or uneven treatment of HR violations in U.S. Policy.

If, as Mike Hammer noted in his remarks, defense of human rights is a “core priority of the U.S,” I fail to understand why atrocities against Amhara do not feature prominent?

Why does the U.S. argue, legitimately, in favor of accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of rape and genocide regarding the Tigrean population; but is dead silent about Amhara who are being slaughtered each day by Abiy Ahmed’s drones and other heavy weapons? Why is there silence concerning the rape of hundreds of Amhara girls and women over the past seven months? Is this silence not the same as acquiescence and or tacit approval of the Abiy regime? Is the U.S. government protecting Abiy Ahmed by not challenging him for engendering ethnic animosity, for creating and sustaining war in Ethiopia? How does the government of the U.S. reconcile its commitment to peace and stability with that of state and government sponsored terrorism in Ethiopia?

The U.S. Department of State has an obligation to answer theses questions.

Congressman Brad Sherman, Democrat, from California (not a member of the Committee) said rightly that “500,000 innocent people” perished during the two-year war. This is a partial testimony at best. He failed to include non-Tigreans killed, raped and displaced. He did not mention Mai-Kadra where more than 1,500 innocent Amhara civilians were slaughtered like sheep by TPLF Samri, youth wing.

Brad Sherman did not comment on killings of Amhara civilians by Abiy’s forces during the past few months.  He is right that the number of innocent civilians killed during the two-year war is “40 times the number of deaths in Gaza since October 7.” It would have been appropriate, and statesman like for Congressman Brad Sherman to include the scores and scores of innocent Amhara civilians killed since Abiy Ahmed declared a state of emergency last August 2023. It would have also been helpful had he and other members of the committee challenged weapons suppliers like the United Arab Emirates and Turkey that are enabling Abiy Ahmed to commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide and crimes of rape.

Mike Hammer is back in the Horn of Africa, reportedly to consult on the implementation of the Pretoria Agreement. At the hearing, Mike Hammer expressed both satisfaction and concern about the Agreement between the TPLF and the Abiy government. It was Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (D-Ca.), the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, who remarked rightly that one year after the Agreement, “We have continued to see ongoing human rights violations in Tigray and across the country, as well as spreading conflict in Amhara, Afar, and Oromia.” Her inclusion of atrocities in the Afar, Amhara and Oromia regions makes Representative Jacob’s remarks much more credible. She could have added the flawed nature of the Agreement in that it did not include key stakeholders, namely, Afar, Amhara and Eritrea.

Accountability and the role of the international community.

I commend Representative Jacobs for raising the fundamental issue of accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of rape and crimes of genocide.

Left unclarified is who holds criminals to account? It is clear from the hearing that members do not have confidence that the Abiy regime will allow an independent Ethiopian commission of experts to investigate his own set of actors including Abiy.

What are my probable solutions?

  1. Ethiopians across the board and the international community must acknowledge the fact that, by all accounts, Abiy Ahmed operates as a tribal leader. He is incompetent to lead a country with a diverse population of 126 million people. He has literally failed to lead. He has lost the confidence and the trust of most of the Ethiopian people. The economy is collapsing and is in shambles. It is reported that Ethiopia is on the verge of default. This is in part the ugly face and cost of war,

 

  1. It is therefore prudent and in America’s long-term strategic interest for the government of the United States to recalibrate and reassess its relationship with and support of Abiy Ahmed and his cohort. Evidence shows that the Prosperity Party and OLF invented and engineered the Oromuma agenda of ethnic hegemony. This invention of ethnic hegemony is anti-democratic. It is corrosive, conflict-prone, corruption-ridden, destabilizing and dangerous for the entire region.

 

  1. The values, vision, program and goal of Amhara Fano inform U.S. and other government policy and decision-makers that Fano represents the future. It is committed to the inclusion of all Ethiopians in all sectors of the society. It is committed to the rule of law, justice, democracy, sustainable and equitable development, resolution of domestic conflicts through dialogue, negotiation and political settlement, cooperation and mutually beneficial relations with all countries,

Amhara Fano cannot pursue and implement the above goals and objectives and or defend Ethiopia as long the Abiy regime refrains from its goal of wiping out the Amhara population by any means necessary.

It is wise and prudent for the government of the United States to acknowledge Fano’s legitimate role. Implementation by the Abiy regime of core Fano demands— cessation of state and government led atrocities of Amhara, immediate pull out from the Amhara region of Abiy’s army and release of political prisoners are legitimate. I urge the government of the United States to recognize them.

  1. The Ethiopian people deserve a transitional government of national unity involving and representing all segments and stakeholders of the country’s diverse population. In this connection, I commend Ethiopian professional, civil society, youth, women and faith organizations for preparing compelling proposals and operational modalities.

It is prudent that the government of the United States, the African Union, IGAD and others concerned about Ethiopia appreciate and entertain the notion of a transitional government of national unity. The critical stakeholders of a transitional government of national unity are the Ethiopian people. They must be consulted and represented.

  1. Ethiopia went through a catastrophic war in the north. As far as I know, no person or group has been held accountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of rape and genocide.

It is time for the Congress of the United States in consultation with the government of the United States to consider sanctions against culprits. The alternative of an independent Ethiopian group of experts of adjudicating and holding criminals accountable does not exist.

  1. Finally, Fano has demonstrated the capacity to cooperate and work together on the ground under difficult conditions. However, the level of support to Fano from those of us in the Diaspora does not meet the needs faced by Fano. More distressing, Fano support groups are accusing one another rather than working together. The primary role of support groups is to provide material, intellectual, logistics, Public Relations and Public Diplomacy support. It is not to dictate policy or to pick and choose or take sides.

Amhara is fighting for survival. Unity among Amhara Diaspora groups is therefore an urgent and imperative call and plea.

Atrocities against Amhara do not differentiate whether Amhara lived and worked in Addis Ababa, Gondar, Gojjam, Shoa, Wollo, Beni-Shangul Gumuz or Oromia. Ethnic cleansing and genocide of Amhara is a blanket plot and set of actions that leave no Amhara unaffected.

My plea to Amhara Fano supporters and groups is to meet urgently and fill the above gap. Unity of purpose and action are imperative.

If the daily slaughter of Amhara by Abiy’s cruel and crude army does not move us; I do not know what occurrence will motivate and move us to act. If we do not set aside minor differences, manage our own egos for the sake of the cause as a priority now, history will judge us harshly.

December 12, 2023

 

As noted earlier:

I urge you to listen to the following insightful commentary by Jeff Pearce, the only Western thought leaders who speaks the truth about Ethiopia and the glorious contributions of the Amhara and the promising emergence of Fano and the motivating factors that govern its popular resistance against new fascism. His portal of Abiy Ahmed’s pathology is also accurate.

Thank you, Jeff Pearce, for your incredible contributions.

(Ethiopia: Rulers, Reputations, Reality… and the Promise of Fano)

 

 

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