Ethiopia: Anti Amhara crime perpetrators should face justice

By IndepthAfrica
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Apr 18th, 2013
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One may ask why rulers commit genocide, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing on the very people they rule. Although nothing would justify, heinous rulers always provide bizarre and incomprehensible justifications. The tyrants in Ethiopia, for example, say Amharas were evicted because they cut trees. For them cutting trees is enough reason to commit ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.  As the world knows, these kinds of despicable crimes have been committed in Rwanda, Liberia, Sudan, Ethiopia and other countries. The star actors of genocide and crimes against humanity in Rwanda, Liberia and Sudan are already facing justice. The tribal and racist-primitive rulers who have been committing ethnic cleansing and crimes against Amharic speaking people (the Amharas) for the last 22 years in Ethiopia are still leaving lavish lives at the expense of the resources of their victims-the Amharas.

“My country, Ethiopia
You are fool, deceivable
You feed your murderers
While you starve your martyrs!”

No single spot exists in the mountains, plains, low lands, deserts, jungles, rivers and lakes, where Amharas did not spill their blood to protect the national integrity and sovereignty of Ethiopia. A lot has been said about the battle of Maqdala, Adwa, Mychew, and The Five-Year War with Facist where Amharas gave their chest for bullets and their whole body for mustard gas in order to transfer a proud and free country to us.  Let’s just gaze at the very near past. It was the Amhara peasants who broke the back bone of invader Siad Barre. It was the Amhara militia who protected our natural sea ports until mama Ethiopia’s neck and breasts were butchered by her traitor children. What is the gladiator Amhara getting in return now? Systematic discrimination, frequent eviction, endless displacement, repeated ethnic cleansing, chronic crime against humanity, and genocide?

One of the leading Ethiopian online news papers on Ethiopian affairs, Ethiomedia, covered on its March 17, 2013 front page, that 59 uprooted Amharas were killed by car accident in Benishngul Gumuz, western Ethiopia while they were forcefully evicted after their property was confiscated. [1]  Similarly the Ethiopian Satellite Television, an independent news outlet, reported that more than 3, 000 people were evicted from Benishangul area. [2]   These crimes were also discussed in the Voice of America Amharic program.[3]  The evicted people and the deaths include children and pregnant women. Mind you, the victims only crime was being born Amhara.  Dr. Yakob Hailemariam, one of the Lawyers who investigated the Rwandan Genocide, call this act of the TPLF lead government ethnic cleansing. [4]

In this 21st century human traits such as age, gender, and ethnicity are protected human characters. In civilized societies (at least in theories), discriminating based on these protected traits is illegal and immoral. However, concepts such as legality and morality are not found in the dictionaries of the barbaric tribal rulers of Ethiopia. Unfortunately, the ruling party’s fundamental policy in Ethiopia dictates cadres to organize people based on ethnicity and the language they speak. Furthermore, this backward policy (The Wild-animals’  law as the distinguished scholar professor Mesfin woldemariam calls it)promotes the different ethnic groups to discriminate each other based on human nature such as race, language, religion and so on. The Amharas, who are mainly against this uncivilized jungle law,  have been the prime victims of this brutal and retarded policy since the racist Tigrai People Libration Front (TPLF) took power through a Trojan horse- the Ethiopian Democratic Libration Front (EPRDF).

The Amharas are the second largest ethnic group in the country. Some, in fact, argue that Amhara could be the largest group in the nation if counted in unbiased manner. Ancient and modern history teaches that this population group existed with other ethnic groups in Ethiopia and the surrounding East African countries since humans started to live as society on this earth. However, the Amharas have never claimed certain regions of Ethiopia as their own sole state. Unfortunately, TPLF created a segregated area called Amhara killil (Killil -a local term for segregation) for these grroups of people.

Many including former members of TPLF have stated  that TPLF leaders have been labeling the  Amharic speaking people as their  enemies since they organized themselves as communist Guerilla fighters in the early 70’s.[5] The crimes committed against Amharic speaking people since this rebel group (formerly labeled as terrorist group by USA) took power are the practical applications of this former communist Guerilla fighters’ racist-jungle manifesto.

 As mentioned above, systematic discrimination of Amhara has been on the making for more than two decades. As soon as the TPLF took power in 1991, it cleansed more than 42 intellectuals (almost all of them Amharas) from the teaching positions at Addis Ababa University.[6]  It established a unique and effective contraception programs in the Amhara communities to reduce the number of births. No sane Amharic Speaking individual with viable conscience is allowed to take key positions in the government. Those individuals who claim to represent the Amharas in the government are either non-Amharas or Amharas who sell out their soul and conscience to money and other ephemeral advantages. 

About two years after the TPLF took power, thousands of Amharic speaking people including women and children were massacred in the eastern part of the country called Bedeno.[7]   It needs an outstanding historical film maker to document how these unfortunate people were thrown away from the top of the cliff as high as 100 meters. It takes Schindler’s List film director to document the suffering of the children of these victims.  It takes the skill of a horror film maker to produce how women were repeatedly raped in front of their husbands during this crime against humanity. Similar crimes have been committed against Amharic speaking people in Central, Southern, Western and Northern Ethiopia.   Such kinds of atrocities were relatively abated by the formation of the All Amhara People Organization. Unfortunately, this organization’s leader, Professor Asrat (the first surgeon in the country), was incarcerated and died because he was denied access to medical care by TPLF lead government.

As a continuation of “cleanse the Amharas motto”, thousands of Amharic speaking people were forced to leave from Gura Ferda (southern Ethiopia) in 2012.[8]    These unfortunate people were forced to leave their houses and other property behind and no one really knows who exactly has robbed their possessions.  Many have suffered and died during this disgraceful ethnic cleansing.  Only God and the victims know about what happen to the cleansed victims who are not dead at this point. The officials who systematically conducted theses dreadful crimes still hold higher positions in the States and Federal Government. Such is the case in the current Ethiopia-you commit wicked crime, you get promotion.

Besides being forcefully evicted from their homes at the different regions of the country, Amharas also roam to different parts of the world even to the failed state Somalia to escape the systematic discrimination and ethnic cleansing. During this mass migration, Amharas die every day in hundreds from various causes such as flood, wild animals, hunger, diseases, etc. Still among those who are able to escape and live in the foreign land, many die of slavery and suicide.

In summary, Amharas were not born Amharas by choice. Their ethnicity or language is their protected identity. Above all, the evicted Amharas fathers’ and forefathers’ have spilled their blood in every corner of Ethiopia to defend the sovereignty and pride of our nation. The land currently cultivated by Indian, Chines and Arab traders is enriched with Amhara’s blood and flesh.  Despite this glorious history of their ancestors, Amharas have been discriminated and cleansed by TPLF lead government which is composed of disloyal and treacherous individuals who sold out our sea access and fertile land. This act of the narrow-minded TPLF government is not just totally immoral but absolute crime that should not happen in 6000 BC let alone in 21st century.  If the TPLF lead rulers continue the ethnic cleansing of Amharic speaking people with this rate, Amharas will be endangered species in the near future. Therefore, those people who have direct or indirect participation in systematic discrimination, evicting, and ethnic cleansing of the Amharas or any other ethnic group should face justice as soon as possible. Lawyers and Judges (especially of Ethiopian origin) have professional, moral, ethical, historical and national responsibility to force these horrendous criminals face justice.

End Notes

 Ethiomedia : http://www.ethiomedia.com/addis/5775.html

Ethiopian Satellite Television  http://ethsat.com/2013/03/30/government-officials-are-intimidating-us-evictees-from-benishangul/

Eneman Neberu,   http://www.ethiomedia.com/abc_text/tplf_eneman_neberu.pdf

Scholar accuses Ethiopian authorities of “ethnic cleansing, Ethiomedia, http://www.ethiomedia.com/addis/5775.html

Ethiopian Review:http://www.ethiopianreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=46935&p=269039

Ethiopia; Status of Amharas: http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/ins/ethiopia_amharas_93.html

The Bedeno - EthioLion; www.ethiolion.com/Pdf/021309_Tamirat_Layne.pdf

Ethiopian Review: www.ethiopianreview.net/index/?p=67503


The writer can be reached at zelalem.abate1@gmail.com

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