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 declar
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 opportuni
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 fail
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
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.