By Ewnetu Sime
We are witnessing unprecedented hatred to Amhara ethnic group under Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)/ Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Party (EPRDF) ethno-centric dictatorial rule. As soon as TPLF/EPRDF came to power in 1992, the regime and supporters began to brutalize the Amhara ethnic group in particular. A well-coordinated support with extremist loyalist to the TPLF/EPRDF regime incited conflict in Arba Gugu, Hararghe area against the Amhara ethnic group. The houses of Amhara were burned with people inside, people were killed thrown over the cliff, people of hacked to death in broad day light, robbed, bodies mutilated by regime supporters., Some of the lucky ones fled to Addis Ababa, other took shelters in nearby towns. Ethnic cleansing was conducted in unprecedented scale.
In 2012, poor farmers of Amhara ethnic group from the southern part of Ethiopia were expelled. People were made homeless; similarly, in 2013 Amhara ethnic group from Benishangul-Gumuz area forceful evicted. TPLF/EPRDF’s ethnic dictatorship anti-Amhara policy claimed many lives in many parts of Ethiopia. Sadly, the TPLF/EPRDF’s leaders and associated tugs are getting away with ethnic cleansing crimes. To-date no one is charged for it.
It is evident that as Derg came to power in 1974, they ruled the whole country in terror and brutality. Derg’s regime was faced with resistance and gravely weakened and finally defeated by TPLF/EPRDF and Eritrea Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF) guerrilla warfare. TPLF/EPRDF guerrilla movement transformed to large scale by recruiting fighters partly by intimidation of the Tigeran peasants, and finally able to mobilized thousands of fighters. They disseminated in their fighters propaganda of hatred to other ethnic and continuing to exhibit parochialism even after they assumption of power. Before TPLF enter Addis Ababa they quickly formed EPRDF to get a cover as an Ethiopian force. The TPLF claims in its propaganda that they fought Derg dictatorship for the pursuit of liberty or ideals of democracy has been revealed as carefully crafted deceptions. It is not too surprising that it is done to stay in power by coercion enforced by viscous Agaiz private armies that are recruited from one minority ethnic and secret police organization to continue their tyrannical rule.
As we briefly look back why the Weyane’s/TPLF revolt started we found that primarily reason was a conflict with the local authority to protect economic interest within Ethiopia. However, in mid-1970’s the Weyane intelligesta has shifted from the regional problem to call secession from the centralized Ethiopia state. For this reason, since the guerrilla years the Tigrian identity and historical heritage to Ethiopia has been deliberately and systematically reinvented by their leaders to mislead others. The rich and long Ethiopians history and nationalism has been distorted.
Their leaders have no love for Ethiopia or compassion for people except for their interest that is driven in creating non-viable ethnic states and provoking ethnic conflicts.
It is well to remind ourselves, their supreme leader Meles Zenawi made statements in public that Ethiopia flag is a piece of rug, proud to be pure gold ethnic, has done treachery acts about Assab, the Algerian agreement etc. all these originated from dogmatic ethnic political beliefs.
Furthermore, as TPLF/EPRDF’s seized the power, they implemented the divide and rule strategy under disguise of ethnic rights ideology. It quickly adopted a new constitution “the right of ethnic/nationalities Rights” under Article 39, 46 and 47. Of course, these articles objective are to divide and rule at same time to erode the eighty nationalities unity and diversity that coexisted side by side for generations. Even though active social interaction and intermarriage among nationalities is always a given fact.
The recent forceful eviction of members of the Amhara people from Benishangul-Gumuz area is indeed a direct implementation of the TPLF/EPRDF’s ethnic policy. They have a wrong belief that creating ethnic conflict is the foundation of their strength to stay in power. As demonstrated with above few facts, they are deliberately creating ethnic conflict as one of the tactics to stay in power.
We cannot afford to remain as onlookers where ethnic cleansing encouraged by regime. As stated by many scholars the international laws is applicable for this type of crime, and TPLF/EPRDF leaders can be charge by ethnic cleansing. This cannot be seen as a long shot. The role of Ethiopians, at least in USA, has to demand through available avenues such email/letters/on line petition, etc. to our senators, congressmen/women to expose the ongoing ethnic cleansing act. We should always keep in mind that the Opposition political groups, independents journalist, other concerned citizens risked all they had, their families, friends, homes, etc. all these sacrifice is for glimmering hope of a better life for all Ethiopians.
We should support them by intensifying campaign in exposing their ethnic cleansing that blow our minds, and put in its own coffin as seen in past world history. Ethnic cleansing is barbarous and heartless. As it said in the past, if you care about Ethiopia do not remain idle, get involved and make your voice be heard. It will take a massive effort, discourse, dialogue, and to get Ethiopia back on its feet and to make it home again for all Ethiopians.
By Ewnetu Sime