October 27, 2020
Vision Ethiopia, a non-partisan association of Ethiopian scholars and professionals, is profoundly distressed and disenchanted by the disturbing news that the peaceful demonstrations called by the National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) for Wednesday and Friday, October 28 and 30, 2020 are blatantly prohibited by the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Amhara Regional Administration.
These peaceful demonstrations are reportedly called in light of the continued genocide that has been predominantly targeted against the Amhara people and Orthodox Christians in the Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz regions and, more recently, in Guraferda.
It is well known that these genocidal killings and ethnic cleansing have been intensified in the last two years under the watch of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. As has been widely reported, members of the security forces of the regional governments of Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz have directly and actively participated in the killings of Amharas and Orthodox Christians. Regrettably, neither the Federal Government of Ethiopia nor the Administration of the Amhara Region have shown any demonstrable concern or efforts to protect these victims, let alone officially condemn the perpetrators of the crimes or even acknowledge the systematic execution of the genocidal crimes.
Vision Ethiopia believes that the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has the legal accountability and responsibility to protect the ethnically and religiously targeted social groups against the heinous crimes being committed under his leadership. It is the primary duty of his government to enforce law and order and to protect minorities in the Oromia region against the onslaught of extremist Oromo and other Islamic fanatics. Evidently, his government has failed to convincingly show the propensity to honorably perform its solemn duties without regard to ethnicity, language or religion.
As fully enshrined in all international protocols and the constitution of Ethiopia, all people have the inalienable and absolute right to peacefully demonstrate and express their plights and indignation against cruelty committed on them. Therefore, the call for peaceful demonstrations by NaMA is lawfully legitimate, and is critically essential to draw national and international attention to the predicaments of the Amhara people and Orthodox Christians. Prohibiting the planned demonstrations is not only a flagrant violation of the rights of the Amhara people and Orthodox Christians, but is also an affirmation of the complicity of the government with the perpetrators of the wanton brutal crimes committed against these social groups.
Vision Ethiopia strongly condemns the reprehensible and malevolent acts of the Federal Government and the Amhara Regional Administration, and believes that the brazen actions would further accelerate the killings of Amharas and Orthodox Christians. Therefore, Vision Ethiopia calls upon all peace loving Ethiopians, political organizations, religious institutions, and civic societies to stand on the side of the victims and avert further bloodshed and the dangers that are portentously looming over the country.