The Multipronged-War against the Amhara People:  Repression in the Time of Corona

8 mins read

By Dawit W. Giorgis


While the war against Covid-19 is an existential threat to the people of the world, in general, and the Ethiopian people, in particular, who are in dire need for everything that the rest of the world takes for granted, another war has simultaneously been declared by the government of Abiy Ahmed on the Amhara people. Even to those who have been closely following the human rights situation in that part of the country, this ruthless and callous aggression has come as a total surprise and bewilderment.

As is widely recognized, ethnic hostility has spread across Ethiopia and the crumbling unity of these once glorious people has threatened the very survival of the country. Any leader of a country with the kind of challenges that Ethiopia now faces, would have taken this opportunity to unite the people and build national reconciliation and trust among the people.

Regrettably, the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has once again missed  golden opportunity to rally the people around a common cause and fight the scourge, extricating themselves from the bondage of inter-ethnic hatred and animosity. If the Prime Minister  regrets past opportunities, this would have been a unique opportunity for him to redeem his statesmanship.

Covid-19 respects no regional boundaries or ethnic lines. It travels across transnational and regional boundaries and different time zones, leaving death and destruction of biblical proportions on its path. Sadly, even the rampaging troops, which are deployed to kill Amharas, will not be immune from the corona virus  attack. For political expediency, they are in harm’s way, showing the extent of recklessness of the government. A uniform and a gun will not be a protection. Like any war,it can only be defeated with unity.

Like its predecessor,  the EPRDF, the  ethno  centric  government of Abiy Ahmed looks at the Covid-19 calamity from a different perspective. The urgent political objective seems to be to take advantage of the unfolding human catastrophe to strengthen and consolidate power by crushing any perceived or real opposition from the Amhara people.  A weakened and incapacitated Amhara region, with subservient lackeys in leadership positions, would no longer become an obstacle to the attempt to establish alliances with TPLF and Oromo opposition groups.

The sacrificial lambs to consolidate power, of course, are the Amhara people, who have lost territories to the TPLF and are considered political threats to the Oromos. Using as a pretext for attack the sporadically illegal activities of certain armed groups in the Amhara region, the occasion has presented Abiy’s government a tantalizing opportunity to forge a deal with the TPLF, assuring them that they will continue to hold on to the territories they have illegally snatched from the Amharas (Raya and Welkait in particular), and with the Oromos, promising them a weak and disorganized Amhara regional power that will no longer be a threat.

Abiy’s government has hopelessly failed to control the renegade TPLF, which has virtually separated itself from the center. It has failed to bring to justice those who have looted the country and are currently comfortably living in the province of Tigray under the protection of the TPLF forces.  The prime minister has also failed to unite the various Oromo factions that he was supposed to represent, under the central government. They are currently fighting amongst themselves and with the federal government.

The perceived threat of the resurgence of the Amharashas united both the TPLF and the Oromos. As was evident in the June 2019 fabricated “coup d’etat,” Abiy’s government would miss no opportunity to annihilate the special forces of the Amhara region, who are legally armed and organized like the forces of other regions to protect the interests and security of the Amharas. Abiy has never had the will or the courage to utter a word of disapproval against the ever-growing regional forces of Oromia and Tigrai; however, he has repeatedly demonstrated a propensity to hit hard the Amharas using the Amhara Democratic Party  ( ADP), which has proved to be his stealth weapon.

The current campaign against the Amharas also reveals Prime Minister Abiy’s trait as a single-minded leader. The Cambridege dictionary defines “single-mindedness” as  “the quality of being very determined and thinking only about achieving a particular thing.” In Abiy’s case, the “particular thing” appears to be the annihilation of any perceived resistance by the Amhara people.

Directing attention toward where it needs to go is a primary task of leadership. If his single mindedness of the prime minister were the ability to shift attention to the right place at the right time,  he  would have been hailed as a great leader. At this junction in time, the people of Ethiopia believe that the single most important challenge to the country is  the need for unity to defeat the coronavirus war and use this unity for ethnic reconciliation;  not declaring war against a segment of the population.

Ethiopia’s realties require somber assessment and well considered, debated decisions that would be in the best interest of the nation. Complex realities

like the one of Ethiopia, require deeper understanding and measured responses, rather than impulsive self-centered decisions. The government is blinded by ethnocentric ideology and mindset that invariably refuses to see the big picture and the danger that lies ahead in future. Rather than rolling out a broad roadmap in this most testing of times, the government has made one more fatal mistake by puttinga poisonous ethnic agenda that would sow resentment and division for years to come.

Abiy’s government may cause enormous casualties on the Amhara people but it will never be able to break its resilience, its dignity, it’s patriotism and its resolve to continue fighting for the rights of the Amhara people and for the establishment of a United Ethiopia under a democratic political system founded on unity, diversity and equal rights for all.

The times for dictatorship by any individual or ethnic group is over.  Any attempt  will be short lived.  Politicizing the corona pandemics is a criminal act. Deliberately exposing people to the pandemics is also a criminal act. Intentionally putting people in a situation where they cannot protect themselves from the pandemics is a criminal act. Waging war on Amharas without proper cause and during these stressful times is tantamount to genocide.




  1. I wonder why a statesman of Major’s Dawit W. Giorgis kind continue falling from grace every time he open his mouth. I do not know how low he will descend before he wakes up to see his self-inflicted damage. Major you are Ethiopian soldier; and have served Ethiopia in different capacity. After serving the country in that capacity, you can not go down and talk about a single ethnic group alone. What about what is happening on Wollega? What about the extent of marginalization applied by Ethiopian in Tigray? You are expected to bear even-head and speak about all Ethiopians if you have to.

  2. To Major Dawit & alike:

    It is your duty to start a petition campaign on behalf of the attacked ASAP .

    As for the rest of Ethiopians, the current religious prayer campaigns should not deter us from standing up for our rights. No religion ordered us to get slaughtered while we remain quiet about it. In a country where rule of law has not been respected , with many courts closing due to the Covid-19 virus , it is highly unlikely the Courts will serve unbiased justice . Amara’s need to break free from the religious traps and take the noble task of defending their own as always in unity and accord.

    Currently many Ethiopians residents of Tigray , Harrari , Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa among many other areas are currently being systemically victimized getting treated unjustly by those who are using this pandemic emergency as a means to get away with systemic crimes. It is a decisive time now , we should not quiet down now so their crimes go on unreported , their injustice and crimes against humanities are deadly to us same as Covid-19 is potentially.

  3. Dawit W. Giorgis

    By the way, I was the one who have hated you. It is only because of the misleading propaganda towards your deeper intellectual critics on Ethiopian politics. But now, I understand that you are the only survived engine and true intellect of your generation. Look, your articulated article is very true and exceptionally futuristic. Your idea and analysis is the only eye opening to see the current and future catastrophe. Please give us more focus on the solution.In my opinion you are the only man who understand the #Amhara’s centuries old extreme marginalization in #Ethiopian politics.

    Please write more to give us light on the #Amhara’s systematic government sponsored attack. I Thank you Sir!

  4. The Derg persecuted Amharas only. TPLF ditto. And now Abiy is repeating what his predecessors did to Amharas.
    The injustices are perpetrated on Amharas because several reasons, namely
    1)They are law-abiding,
    2)They are not ethnocentric and hence do not rise up to defend one of their own,
    3)They didn’t organize themselves during the Derg regime, unlike the other ethnic groups, because they didn’t anticipate their fellow citizens would descend to ethnic politics,
    4)They do not have a standing militia force because of TPLF and OPDO, making them easy targets for their own ends, etc.

  5. One thing all the bandits got to live for is hearing the cries of Amharas that is the highlight of their sorry existence, that’s their common long-standing source of self worth .

    They hold the economic power , the political power , the military power it all doesn’t mean a thing to them unless they spill Amara occasionally to reaffirm their long standing hate towards Amharas for the young generations.

    Amaras knows it all too well, it is just currently Amaras are busy protecting their cultural religion so Amatas got caught with their pants down while trying to put on the church outfits.

  6. Our Orthodox religion has made us so pacifist to the extent of believing God will protect us from our enemies instead of relying on ourselves for our existence.
    We seem to have forgotten that might is right. Yet, we have lived it for decades. Since the downfall of the monarchy we have been mass-slaughtered and treated inhumanely, etc.

  7. Dawit W. Giorgis,

    When someone with blood on his hands writes something like this, it doesn’t shock me, because in your mind you still believe there is no justice without killing. We still remember the fearful days of Derg. While you would laugh, our mothers and fathers would cry; While your children were being sheltered, ours were being killed. You remember those days, don’t you Dawit? The hands that murdered many innocent people are now pulling the ethnic card, causing Amaharas to victimize themselves. You are now in you’re in your seventies. You’re better off using your hands to pray for forgiveness rather than starting another bloodbath.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.