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Why Does Mr. Blinken Keep Disrespecting Ethiopia?  

Mesfin Arega
July 8, 2021
It has now become a given that if Mr. Blinken has a consultation with Abiy Ahmed on any given day, he will release his usual anti-Amhara press statement (in particular, his demand for the “immediate withdrawal” of Amhara regional forces from “Tigray”) on that very day or the next.  More importantly, Mr. Blinken seems to choose to have a consultation with Abiy Ahmed whenever Amhara region leaders show the faintest sign of standing for Amhara interests.  And curiously, Mr. Blinken has no known consultation with his Ethiopian counterpart, the Amhara region kingpin Mr. Demeke Mekonnen.  Contrary to diplomatic norm, the American foreign minister’s press statements issued after long discussions with the Ethiopian prime minister always seem to take the Ethiopian foreign minister by surprise.  All of these can only mean that Mr. Blinken’s disrespectful interference in the internal affairs of sovereign Ethiopia has the full blessings of the very person whose prime duty is to protect the sovereignty of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed.  One wonders why?  Why would Abiy Ahmed continue to consult with Mr. Blinken who continues to disrespect Ethiopia?

  • “The United States is gravely concerned by reports of atrocities in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.” (@SecBlinken, Feb 27, 2021)
  • “There are many credible reports of armed forces in Tigray committing acts of violence against civilians … The conduct of the Eritrean Defense Forces and Amhara regional forces have been particularly egregious …We equally urge the Government of Ethiopia to withdraw Amhara regional forces from the Tigray region and ensure that effective control of western Tigray is returned to the Transitional Government of Tigray. ” (Press Statement, Anthony J. Blinken, May 15, 2021)
  • “Today, I am announcing a visa restriction …. for any current or former Ethiopian or Eritrean government officials, members of the security forces, or other individuals—to include Amhara regional and irregular forces and members of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)—responsible for, or complicit in, undermining resolution of the crisis in Tigray” (Press Statement, Anthony J. Blinken,  May 23, 2021)
  • “Secretary Blinken urged Prime Minister Abiy to commit to the complete withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces from Tigray.” (Secretary Blinken’s call with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy, Office of the Spokesperson, July 6, 2021)

Mr. Blinken seems to be selective in his “grave concern” for atrocities in Ethiopia.  Yes, there are many reports of atrocities in Tigray.  However, most of these reports are unsubstantiated reports based on hearsay, using dubious testimonials (some by “actors” residing in Boston).  And most of the reporters (especially those of CNN, AP) are well known to be TPLF leaning biased reporters.  Moreover, there are those who partly blame the war-like situation in Tigray for the humanitarian crisis in Tigray.  After all, was it not the United States which familiarized the term “collateral damage” to the rest of the world?

On the other hand, since Abiy Ahmed came to power, the Amhara of Ethiopia have been subjected to well-documented, video-supported horrifying ethnic cleansing crimes in Oromia, and Benshangul-Gumuz regions of Ethiopia.  However, Mr. Blinken has kept mum about these documented atrocities on Amharas, and his visa restriction applies only to those “responsible for, or complicit in, undermining resolution of the crisis in Tigray.”   Though he was “gravely concerned by reports of atrocities in Ethiopia’s Tigray region”, he didn’t bother to express his concern about the proven massacres in Oromia, and Benshangul-Gumuz regions where throats were slashed, breasts were cut, wombs were torn open, skulls were shattered, limbs were hacked, children were burned alive, elderly were buried alive, and corpses were left for hyenas.  Though “ the conduct of the Eritrean Defense Forces and Amhara regional forces have been particularly egregious” for him, he was not even bothered by the barbaric conduct of  OLF forces (aka Oneg Shene) who completely wiped out two big towns in Amhara region.  Though he included Amhara “irregular forces” (aka fanos) in his visa restriction without providing his reasons, he purposely left out Tigray “irregular forces” (known as samri) who are accused of slaughtering thousands in Maikadra  ( “Western Tigray”).

Mr. Blinken surely knows that what Tigrayan tribalists call “Western Tigray” was part of the Amhara province of Gonder annexed by TPLF in 1991, effectively doubling the size of what used to be called Tigray province.  He should also know about the TPLF engineered demographic change in this “Western Tigray” where the Amharas were by far the largest majority before annexation.  If so,

  • Why does Mr. Blinken demand the “immediate withdrawal” of Amhara regional forces from the so called “Western Tigray”?
  • Why only from “Western Tigray”? Why not from “Southern Tigray”, since this region was also recently reincorporated into its rightful Amhara region by the enormous sacrifice of the Amhara regional force?
  • Why are Oromo tribalists demanding “effective control” of “Southern Tigray”, using the crisis they themselves created in this part of Amhara region as a pretext?
  • Need Mr. Blinken be told that the major obstacles to Ethiopia’s “ethnic and political divisions” are none other than TPLF and OLF whose extremists have started clearly, boldly, and loudly saying “there is no ethnicity called Amhara”, paving the way for cleansing Amhara altogether?
  • Doesn’t Mr. Blinken know that the silent genocide of millions of Amharas by TPLF over a period of nearly three decades (1991 – 2018) was possible only because it had overt and covert support of western governments who poured billions after billions into TPLF’s bottomless coffers in the name of “development assistance”? Should Mr. Blinken be reminded that TPLF itself has openly admitted that it could not account for the loss of 2.5 million Amharas in its 2007 census?
  • Doesn’t Mr. Blinken realize that his visa restriction on “members of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)” for “undermining resolution of the crisis in Tigray” is at best contradictory, since he blamed the crisis only on the “ the conduct of the Eritrean Defense Forces and Amhara regional forces” On exactly what ground did Mr. Blinken impose visa restrictions on TPLF members?  Did he include TPLF in the visa restriction only to appear fair and balanced?
  • If the “reported atrocities” in “Tigray region” are independently confirmed to be true, shouldn’t the first and foremost suspect be TPLF itself, and not the Amhara regional force which has never forayed into Tigray proper. After all, TPLF is well known for orchestrating the mass murder of Tigrayans and then blaming it on Amharas, a case in point being the Hawzen massacre of June 22, 1988.
  • Would it not be in the interest of TPLF to murder the relatives of Dr. Tedros Adhanom (the current director general of the World Health Organization) to make him cry in public so as to garner worldwide sympathy and support for TPLF? Couldn’t Dr. Adhanom, being a high ranking TPLF member, be lying when he said he does not know the whereabouts of his relatives in Tigray?
  • Of all Ethiopian forces (regional as well as federal) involved in the Tigray conflict, why is the Amhara regional force singled out for accusation of atrocities? Since the operation in Tigray is led by the federal defense force, and since the Amhara regional force is only one of the many junior partners in the operation (including Somali and Afar regional forces), why is the US state department laser focused only on the Amhara regional force?
  • Why do both TPLF and Mr. Blinken take utmost care not to blame the Oromo-dominated federal defense force even for a single one of the alleged crimes on Tigrayans? Why is the Oromia regional force (by far the largest regional force in the country) never mentioned in connection with the Tigray conflict?
  • Why do both Mr. Blinken and Abiy Ahmed implicitly support Sudan’s effective annexation of Amhara land by keeping silent about it?
  • Why does Mr. Blinken need affirmation that the internal borders of Ethiopia not be changed “in contravention of the constitution” when he knows full well that this constitution was written by anti-Amhara tribalists from TPLF and OLF without Amhara participation?
  • Are Mr. Blinken’s frequent press statements ploys to frighten the Amhara region officials into submission by implicating them of genocide?


The questions are endless, and their answers lead to one and only one conclusion.  TPLF, Abiy Ahmed, and Mr. Blinken are acting in concert to dissolve Ethiopia by dissipating Amhara.  Their end goal is becoming clearer by the day: “Western Tigray” for the soon to be created Tigray Republic of TPLF, and “Southern Tigray” for the soon to be born Oromo Empire of Abiy Ahmed so that, together with Sudan, these three anti-Amhara countries will completely encircle the severely weakened Amhara region, making it the Armenia of East Africa.


Mesfin Arega

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