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The former United States Assistant Secretary of State apologized to the Amhara People.

2 mins read

By Betre Y. Getahun

Herman Cohen
Ambassador Herman J. Cohen, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs

The former United States Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Herman J. Cohen, has apologized to the Amhara people for his false statements made two months ago.

Mr. Cohen’s controversial statements were made following a mysterious killing of the president of Amhara National and Regional state and other top government officials including the chief of the Army.

In a statement posted on twitter on Jun 24, 2019, the former secretary described the killings as a “Failed coup” and said it was “an attempt by ethnic nationalists to restore Amhara hegemony over all of Ethiopia that existed for several centuries prior to 1991.”

In an exclusive interview with BBC aired on the same day, Mr. Cohen reinforced his statement and made another accusation against the Amhara.

Two months after he made the statements described by many as hateful and insulting, Mr. Cohen admitted that the statements were wrong and expressed his apology to the Amhara people.

“It is inaccurate to say that the Amhara exercise its hegemony in the past.” Cohen told to Amhara Satellite Radio and Television (ASRAT) last week. He also stated that he “doesn’t believe that the Amhara people is trying to impose hegemony on the rest of Ethiopia.

Mr. Herman Cohen’s statement came following a growing criticism against his behavior and calls to apologize the people of Amhara who are targeted by his previous statement.

Mr. Herman Cohen’s decision to apologize is said to be significant because he is one of the few diplomats that reiterated Oromo and Tigray nationalists’ narrative that the Amhara exercised hegemony on Ethiopia and legitimatized this fabricated accusation.

The apology is believed by many to be a hard blow to Oromo and Tigray nationalists whose political ideology is built on this fabricated narrative.