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  • Writer's pictureNicoletta Fagiolo

Demonstration to halt Amhara persecution in Ethiopia, Rome, Italy, June 2022

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

Good afternoon to everyone,

As you well know, it has been more than 4 years since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took over the leadership of the country. The Ethiopian people welcomed him with great enthusiasm and hope for a new democratic path contrary to the ethnocentric politics of the previous 27 years, which had caused great suffering to the Ethiopian people.

Unfortunately, Abyi Ahmed's government and his Prosperity Party have failed miserably. Ethiopia continues to be a country where impunity reigns, where war continues to devastate the northern part of the country and where ethnic problems have become acute, endangering the stability and unity of the country. In this very complicated situation in which the country finds itself in, the Amhara people continue to be the most affected by ethnic based targeting. That Amhara are the population labeled at an ideological level as the enemy to be targeted by various ethnocentric and separatist groups such as the Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

In fact, since the ethno-federal system was implemented in the early 1990s, the Amhara have been killed in various regions of the country, and particularly in Oromia. Some incidents of the killings of the Amhara people are the city of Ataye in north Shewa, which was completely destroyed, more than 200 people killed and 250,000 people were displaced; Metekel in the Benishangul region were hundreds of people were shot dead and buried in mass graves; the killings in Shashemene (Oromia) and in Guraferda and Amaro in southern Ethiopia.

During the conflict against the TPLF, more than a thousand people were massacred in Maikadra by the TPLF youth group known as Samri.

Recently, one of the most gruesome massacres happened on 18 June 2022. In Oromia in the town of Tole, Gimbi, the Oromo Liberation Front army launched an attack which lasted nine hours against ethnic Amhara residents, mercilessly killing men, women, children and the elderly. The number of people killed so far is estimated to be more than 1,500. A survivor who lost 12 of his family members cried aloud "Why did Allah spare me?" A 6-year-old girl who was later killed begged her executioners saying "I swear I will no longer be Amhara." The objective of this and the various massacres is a political project of ethnic cleansing with the aim of creating territories free from the presence of the Amhara community.

For all those who are interested in investigating the genocide of the Amhara people, we recommend reading the documents published online by the Amhara Associations of America.

In addition, the government is conducting a so-called legal and security operation campaign in the Amhara region. The operation, according to the government, serves to arrest people who have committed crimes or are a threat to peace. In reality, the result of this operation, which has so far seen thousands of arrets, is the persecution of the Fano (Amhara volunteers who organized themselves and responded to the government's call to fight alongside the army against the advance of the TPLF during the 2020-2021 conflict), of opposition politicians, journalists and Amhara youth. Using the pretext of a threat to security the government arrested 20 journalists, including Temesgen Desalegne, chief editor of Feteh (Justice) magazine, distinguished journalist, historian and political critic Tadius Tantu, an 84-year-old senior, journalist Solomon Shiumye, the teacher and political critic Meskerem Abera, among many others. Furthermore 62 members of opposition political parties, military officers - including General Tefera Mamo- and people suspected of being Fano have also been arrested. Some people have been released but the operation to hunt down well-known Fano leaders continues to this day.

The Amhara people have been forced recently to organize themselves as an act of survival and self-defense in the face of a system that has never protected them or defended them against continuing killings and injustices.

In the four years of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government none of the armed groups that have committed atrocities and ethnic cleansing have been arrested and brought before the court of justice.

The struggle of the Amhara is an inclusive struggle that appeals to all Ethiopian people against the apartheid system which has divided the country into regions based on ethnicity. The Amhara people are fighting for a constitutional reform, whose ethnic divisiveness is the root cause of instability and conflict. The Amhara are fighting for an inclusive country where every person has the individual right to move anywhere in the country, to work and invest in any part of the country and to live and form a family of their choice without any restrictions nor ethnic distinctions. It is a struggle for the survival of a people.

Thank you,

Let's defend the right to life of the Amhara people !!!

For a free and democratic Ethiopia !!!

Aster Carpanelli, Political scientist

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