Ethiopian Government should cease continued Aggression against Amhara Students

Filed under: News |

For Immediate Release: January 11, 2020

In early December 2019, 17 Amhara university students, 13 young girls and 4 young men were abducted by a faction of Oromo Liberation Front/Army (OLF/A) from Dambi Dollo University in Oromia Region. Sadly, there was;

  • Muted Response from the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration.
  • Muted Response from Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) and Amhara Regional Government.
  • Muted Response from Oromo Regional Government.
  • Muted Response from the university administrators where these students attended.

Unfortunately, this is emblematic of the lack of empathy to the plight of Amhara students by the Ethiopian Government at all levels.

Amhara Association of America (AAA) is concerned for the safety and lives of these young bright students who have been kidnapped by a violent militia group that is actively fighting Ethiopian security forces.

Amhara Association of America (AAA) is devastated by the continued violence at Ethiopian universities. The targeted attacks against Amhara students in universities in Dire Dawa and Oromia region has killed 24 Amhara students and severely injured additional 52 Amhara students. We are heartbroken at the loss of so many young lives and mourn with the families who lost their children. No Ethiopian parent should expect to lose a child at an academic institution.

Tens of thousands of Amhara students have been displaced from several universities in Oromia Region due to targeted attacks. We also recognize the emotional and physical torture of thousands of Amhara students who have witnessed horrendous atrocities committed against their peers. While we are relieved these students managed to save their lives without the assistance of the Federal or Regional governments, we understand that the impact of dealing with the traumatic experience will be devastating and last a life time.

Amhara Association of America is infuriated by the failure of the federal government to ensure the security of the brightest of the country. We understand that campus conflicts are often triggered by tensions outside campus related to ethnic divisions and often exacerbated by lack of willingness among authorities to listen to legitimate concerns of students. The attacks against innocent human beings in Oromia region is widespread and the students were forced to leave campuses because of the attacks from local extremists who are not students. In light of the upcoming election and the risk of escalation at the university campuses, we share the Amhara students concern that it is very risky for them to return to campus.

Amhara Association of America (AAA) disagrees with the Ethiopian authorities’ argument that increasing security forces in campuses will create a safe environment. On the contrary, AAA recognizes that forcing students to go back to campuses where they have witnessed torture, killing, and harrasment is an impediment to their wellbeing and academic performance. Thus,

  • is supportive of students’ reasonable requests to be reassigned to other campuses where they will be safe and can focus on their studies.

Furthermore, Amhara Association of America (AAA) strongly condemns the administrative actions by University of Gondar, Bahir Dar University, and Wollo University against students, staff, and faculty for showing solidarity and providing support to the disparate situation of Amhara students kidnapped, killed, and displaced from universities in Oromia region. Leaders, members, and supporters of Amhara Student Association (ASA) have been the primary targets of the university administrators. The university administrators and government officials should partner with ASA to ensure the grievances of the students are addressed and a safe environment is provided at all university campuses.

In addition to the staggering number of students expelled, the process followed to make the decision in the above-mentioned universities appears to lack due process of law. The standard practice when students and faculty are accused of violating policies and rules is a disciplinary committee hearing would be conducted at the department, college, and university levels before the administration makes a final determination. Instead, a security and political team collected cases and transferred them to university administrators to take action without giving the students an opportunity to respond to the accusations. As a result the university disciplinary process is no longer independent but instead heavily influenced by external political pressures. The administrative actions have become politically motivated attacks against students with a clear goal of silencing their legitimate demands.

Thus, Amhara Association of America demands:

  1. The Federal Government take action to release the 17 hostage students and return them safely to their parents and hold OLF/A, the militant group accountable for this egregious action.
  2. All involved to commit to peaceful dialogue and refrain from violence.
  3. The Ministry of Science and Higher (SHE) education compensate parents and students for their emotional, psychological, and material loss.
  4. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education (SHE) to reassign Amhara students to campuses in Amhara region and Addis Ababa where their safety will be assured.
  5. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education (SHE) work with the universities to ensure students receive psychological support to recover from this traumatic experience.
  6. The Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) and the federal government to stop scapegoating Amhara Student Associations (ASA) for problems that are structural and nationwide and instead work to foster a positive working environment with student leaders and other stakeholders.
  7. All universities to readmit Amhara students unduly expelled from their programs for supporting Amhara students demand to be reassigned to safe campuses. And, university administrators to refrain from taking further administrative action against students for voicing legitimate concerns.
  8. All civil society groups to document and report gross human right violations occurring at higher education institutions in Ethiopia.
  9. The international community to pressure the Ethiopian government to stop forcing students to go back to deadly campuses and to respect students’ right to education in a peaceful environment.

Names of Students Abducted by Oromo Liberation Fron/Army (OLF/A):

  1. Belaynesh Mekonen Demlew
  2. Sergut Gete Tibebu
  3. Tenalem Mulatie Kebede
  4. Atalelegn Getnet Derse
  5. Samerawit Kere Asrese
  6. Tigist Mesay Mezgebu
  7. Eskalehu Chekol Tegegn
  8. Kindeye Molla Gebeyehu
  9. Zewdie Girmaw Fetene
  10. Meseret Kefyalew Molla
  11. Asabie Ayele Alem
  12. Mulu Zewdie Adane
  13. Zemed Birhan Desie
  14. Bitewelegn Atinafu Alemu
  15. Girmachew Yineneh Adugna
  16. Monamen Belay Abebe

Girmaw Habite Emeg

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6 Responses to Ethiopian Government should cease continued Aggression against Amhara Students

  1. The parents of these students should get organized and demand action against this horrendous act. Monitery support can be made available by concerned Amharas if an organized body takes this issue seriously. Otherwise it will just be a ballone jepordising the credibility of the whole situation (fake news?!!). Also, the group that abducted these children should be contacted and its demands heard.

    Admite Chekol
    January 11, 2020 at 4:21 am
    Reply

  2. Here we are again, under the leadership of the Oromo elite the Amharas are under siege as it was with under the sadistic TPLF. What boils me inside is the so called leadership of the Amhara people and its silence to such open attack against its people. Where are the parents of these Students? Where are civic and humanitarian organizations in the country? Instead of carrying on with meaningless meetings and gibberish talk, it is time to act and let the whole world know how the Ethiopian people especially the “Amharas” are isolated, harassed, killed and pushed out of their land by the cruel minded TPLF and Oromo politicians.
    It is time to organize self and fight this morons in a systematic way without ceasing. When will the tears of our people stop? When will we stop thinking like wild animals based on our territories, language and other irrelevant points attacking each other with fabricated understanding of the past and the present. A book by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson titled “Why Nations Fail?”. They state The Kingdom of Aksum was equal to the great Roman empire at that time. How did we fail? Why are we so fragmented? Why do we not learn from the past and live in harmony and forget and forgive whatever grudge people have against one another? The killing and detention and abduction of any Ethiopians no matter which ethnic group they belong should shame us all. However, the plight of the Amhara people is sky high? When will that stop? Who will be able to stop the tears of these people for once and for all?
    The President of the US stating he deserves the Noble Peace prize or he assisted helping the Ethiopian PM to receive it similar to him calling every News network calling them “Fake News” because they are not fanning his agenda. America never had such a bombastic self infatuated President in its history. Almost all of his talks, news briefings are full of expletives uncorroborated figures. “A Warning” written by Anonymous clearly shows how unstable the President is. Therefore, I will not take any of his words to heart. Remember, the Mexicans are paying for the border wall to be built. That is how trashy American politics is. In the end, whether it is a Republican or a Democrat their style of governance is the same. They will listen to lobbyist and big corporations forgoing the interest of the middle class and the poor. Every Four or Eight years another one comes and works earnestly to undo the policies of the previous government. That is basically what they call democracy. There is no democracy! There is “pseudo democracy”. The Noble Peace Prize is a mute story. It is received by the PM of Ethiopia and history will remember only that!

    Tesfa
    January 11, 2020 at 5:57 am
    Reply

    • Tesfa donot go wild, calm down sir.

      There will be more to be exposed soon . Amhara and its leader, Abiy will be exposed to the leader and the world will remember him as an upper crust banda, holding the top office as PM, that ethioipia has seen in its entire history since its existence.
      We really like Mr Trump for telling us the amhara man , misto Abiy has been assisted to win mobile prize , goes to every stooge who executed its mandate as a stooge .

      What an outspoken leader we have !! Viva

      Tesfa medhanithin watew
      January 12, 2020 at 2:49 am
      Reply

  3. I feel like this horrible crime of kidnapping is done to my daughter. It bleeds my heart. That punk wreaking havoc in the western part of the country is betting on one thing and one thing alone. He is itching to start an ethnic open war between the historically fraternal people of Oromia and Amhara. He tried that with the noble people of Benishangul Gumuz people but he failed and failed miserably. I am hearing that elders in that area are trying to secure the freedom of these angelic young ladies. They are not the daughters of their parents only but now they are daughters of all of us. Lets hope for the best.

    Ittu Aba Farda
    January 11, 2020 at 6:57 am
    Reply

  4. The Amhara students were kidnapped or taken somewhere by Abiy in agreement with the state of Amhara and then blame it on the Oromo. They claimed to have secured the release 21 of them today while the truth is just bringing the students from where they hid them. It is all a politically calculated drama of Idi Aminian proportion. The students themselves were willing partners of the drama. So is Ethsat.

    Ketema
    January 11, 2020 at 3:12 pm
    Reply

  5. There is something to be wonderful news. The government official has told the local media that 21 kidnapped students have been freed.

    These angelic young ladies are innocent citizens victimized by savage hoodlums. As a proud father of two children and grandchildren myself I am thankfully relieved now. The question now is whether such savage act will not be repeated. From what I see now is an environment ripe for the spread of it. Crimes of all sorts have been committed that were not dealt with in deterring manner. Bigots and vicious thugs have been getting away with murder and pillaging without comparable retribution from the law enforcement. It seems to me or I am led to suspect that in many of blatant crimes committed might have had insiders’ hands in them. In such environment very capable leaders would be rendered as if they are inept. It will be overwhelming to control or avoid them altogether. Otherwise the alternative would be a bloody dictatorship and that would even be deadlier also much more destructive than it is now. The current officials should prove themselves that they are capable of meeting the expectations by the citizens who have entrusted them with the mantle of governing the country. Million of citizens from Dewele to Asosa, from Moyale to the northern tip of the country have been seeking a day in court for gross injustices done to them by bigoted thugs roaming in their hoods since 2018. The crimes committed against them have been decried by humanitarian organization from inside and outside the country and there should not be any statute of limitation for such shameful and destructive crimes. It is time for that punk who is wreaking havoc in the west of the country, his entire entourage and others like him be reported to and charged by the International Criminal Court at The Hague. He and his mob should be charged with rape even though these angelic daughters of all of us might not have been physically violated. Who knows what those savages might end up doing to these young ladies if the situation kept dragging on. We should all remember the post trauma that these students will bear the rest of their lives. It will be an emotional scar that will never heal.

    Ittu Aba Farda
    January 13, 2020 at 2:48 pm
    Reply

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