The Rulers of Ethiopia Should Face Justice for Crimes They Committed Against Amharas in Ethiopia

April 16, 2013

by Zelalem Abate
E-mail: zelalem.abate1@gmail.com

One may ask why rulers commit genocide, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing on the very people they rule. Although nothing would justify, heinous rulers always provide bizarre and incomprehensible justifications. The tyrants in Ethiopia, for example, say Amharas were evicted because they cut trees. For them cutting trees is enough reason to commit ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.  As the world knows, these kinds of despicable crimes have been committed in Rwanda, Liberia, Sudan, Ethiopia and other countries. The star actors of genocide and crimes against humanity in Rwanda, Liberia and Sudan are already facing justice. The tribal and racist-primitive rulers who have been committing ethnic cleansing and crimes against Amharic speaking people (the Amharas) for the last 22 years in Ethiopia are still leaving lavish lives at the expense of the resources of their victims-the Amharas.

Would you please listen to these verses, Emama Ethiopia?

My country, Ethiopia

  You are fool, deceivable

You feed your murders

While you starve your martyrs!”

No single spot exists in the mountains, plains, low lands, deserts, jungles, rivers and lakes, where Amharas did not spill their blood to protect the national integrity and sovereignty of Ethiopia. A lot has been said about the battle of Maqdala, Adwa, Mychew, and The Five-Year War with Facist where Amharas gave their chest for bullets and their whole body for mustard gas in order to transfer a proud and free country to us.  Let’s just gaze at the very near past. It was the Amhara peasants who broke the back bone of invader Siad Barre. It was the Amhara militia who protected our natural sea ports until mama Ethiopia’s neck and breasts were butchered by her traitor children. What is the gladiator Amhara getting in return now? Systematic discrimination, frequent eviction, endless displacement, repeated ethnic cleansing, chronic crime against humanity, and genocide?

One of the leading Ethiopian online news papers on Ethiopian affairs, Ethiomedia, covered on its March 17, 2013 front page, that 59 uprooted Amharas were killed by car accident in Benishngul Gumuz, western Ethiopia while they were forcefully evicted after their property was confiscated. [1]  Similarly the Ethiopian Satellite Television, an independent news outlet, reported that more than 3, 000 people were evicted from Benishangul area. [2]   These crimes were also discussed in the Voice of America Amharic program.[3]  The evicted people and the deaths include children and pregnant women. Mind you, the victims only crime was being born Amhara.  Dr. Yakob Hailemariam, one of the Lawyers who investigated the Rwandan Genocide, call this act of the TPLF lead government ethnic cleansing. [4]

In this 21st century human traits such as age, gender, and ethnicity are protected human characters. In civilized societies (at least in theories), discriminating based on these protected traits is illegal and immoral. However, concepts such as legality and morality are not found in the dictionaries of the barbaric tribal rulers of Ethiopia. Unfortunately, the ruling party’s fundamental policy in Ethiopia dictates cadres to organize people based on ethnicity and the language they speak. Furthermore, this backward policy (The Wild-animals’  law as the distinguished scholar professor Mesfin woldemariam calls it)promotes the different ethnic groups to discriminate each other based on human nature such as race, language, religion and so on. The Amharas, who are mainly against this uncivilized jungle law,  have been the prime victims of this brutal and retarded policy since the racist Tigrai People Libration Front (TPLF) took power through a Trojan horse- the Ethiopian Democratic Libration Front (EPRDF).

The Amharas are the second largest ethnic group in the country. Some, in fact, argue that Amhara could be the largest group in the nation if counted in unbiased manner. Ancient and modern history teaches that this population group existed with other ethnic groups in Ethiopia and the surrounding East African countries since humans started to live as society on this earth. However, the Amharas have never claimed certain regions of Ethiopia as their own sole state. Unfortunately, TPLF created a segregated area called Amhara killil (Killil -a local term for segregation) for these groups of people.

Many including former members of TPLF have stated  that TPLF leaders have been labeling the  Amharic speaking people as their  enemies since they organized themselves as communist Guerilla fighters in the early 70’s.[5]  The crimes committed against Amharic speaking people since this rebel group (formerly labeled as terrorist group by USA) took power are the practical applications of this former communist Guerilla fighters’ racist-jungle manifesto.

As mentioned above, systematic discrimination of Amhara has been on the making for more than two decades. As soon as the TPLF took power in 1991, it cleansed more than 42 intellectuals (almost all of them Amharas) from the teaching positions at Addis Ababa University.[6]  It established a unique and effective contraception programs in the Amhara communities to reduce the number of births. No sane Amharic Speaking individual with viable conscience is allowed to take key positions in the government. Those individuals who claim to represent the Amharas in the government are either non-Amharas or Amharas who sell out their soul and conscience to money and other ephemeral advantages.

About two years after the TPLF took power, thousands of Amharic speaking people including women and children were massacred in the eastern part of the country called Bedeno.[7]   It needs an outstanding historical film maker to document how these unfortunate people were thrown away from the top of the cliff as high as 100 meters. It takes Schindler’s List film director to document the suffering of the children of these victims.  It takes the skill of a horror film maker to produce how women were repeatedly raped in front of their husbands during this crime against humanity. Similar crimes have been committed against Amharic speaking people in Central, Southern, Western and Northern Ethiopia.   Such kinds of atrocities were relatively abated by the formation of the All Amhara People Organization. Unfortunately, this organization’s leader, Professor Asrat (the first surgeon in the country), was incarcerated and died because he was denied access to medical care by TPLF lead government.

As a continuation of “cleanse the Amharas motto”, thousands of Amharic speaking people were forced to leave from Gura Ferda (southern Ethiopia) in 2012.[8]    These unfortunate people were forced to leave their houses and other property behind and no one really knows who exactly has robbed their possessions.  Many have suffered and died during this disgraceful ethnic cleansing.  Only God and the victims know about what happen to the cleansed victims who are not dead at this point. The officials who systematically conducted theses dreadful crimes still hold higher positions in the States and Federal Government. Such is the case in the current Ethiopia-you commit wicked crime, you get promotion.

Besides being forcefully evicted from their homes at the different regions of the country, Amharas also roam to different parts of the world even to the failed state Somalia to escape the systematic discrimination and ethnic cleansing. During this mass migration, Amharas die every day in hundreds from various causes such as flood, wild animals, hunger, diseases, etc. Still among those who are able to escape and live in the foreign land, many die of slavery and suicide.

In summary, Amharas were not born Amharas by choice. Their ethnicity or language is their protected identity. Above all, the evicted Amharas fathers’ and forefathers’ have spilled their blood in every corner of Ethiopia to defend the sovereignty and pride of our nation. The land currently cultivated by Indian, Chines and Arab traders is enriched with Amhara’s blood and flesh.  Despite this glorious history of their ancestors, Amharas have been discriminated and cleansed by TPLF lead government which is composed of disloyal and treacherous individuals who sold out our sea access and fertile land. This act of the narrow-minded TPLF government is not just totally immoral but absolute crime that should not happen in 6000 BC let alone in 21st century.  If the TPLF lead rulers continue the ethnic cleansing of Amharic speaking people with this rate, Amharas will be endangered species in the near future. Therefore, those people who have direct or indirect participation in systematic discrimination, evicting, and ethnic cleansing of the Amharas or any other ethnic group should face justice as soon as possible. Lawyers and Judges (especially of Ethiopian origin) have professional, moral, ethical, historical and national responsibility to force these horrendous criminals face justice.

End Notes

  1.  Ethiomedia : http://www.ethiomedia.com/addis/5775.html
  2. Ethiopian Satellite Television  http://ethsat.com/2013/03/30/government-officials-are-intimidating-us-evictees-from-benishangul/
  3. Eneman Neberu,   http://www.ethiomedia.com/abc_text/tplf_eneman_neberu.pdf
  4. Scholar accuses Ethiopian authorities of “ethnic cleansing, Ethiomedia, http://www.ethiomedia.com/addis/5775.html
  5. Ethiopian Review:http://www.ethiopianreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=46935&p=269039
  6. Ethiopia; Status of Amharas: http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/ins/ethiopia_amharas_93.html
  7. 7.       The Bedeno – EthioLion; www.ethiolion.com/Pdf/021309_Tamirat_Layne.pdf
  8. 8.       Ethiopian Review: www.ethiopianreview.net/index/?p=67503

7 Responses to The Rulers of Ethiopia Should Face Justice for Crimes They Committed Against Amharas in Ethiopia

  1. Sam

    April 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I really do not buy this new cry I read about whenever I visited Ethiopian web sites recently– the Amharas were evicted without their consent. That is true, but what is new about their being booted out? The very theory of EPDRF’s ethnic politics subscribes people born and die in a specific place is a given. If an Amhara was living in Gambela, EPDRF’s policy implies, he was trespassing. A few years ago an opposition party was organizing a meeting in “Nazret,” the town politicians warned “the Amhara organization” they claimed it to be this is Oromia the Amharas are not welcome to have a meeting here. Am I exaggerating? No, this is a fact. You could check it out. I have never heard a lot of noise being made about an organization being denied to hold a meeting 100 kilometer out of the capital. If I remeber correctly, an Amhara businessman cannot open a business in Oromia and an Oromo in Amhara region. This was going on for the last twenty-one years, and all of a sudden now the Amharas’ eviction became a rallying cry as if to say EPDRF started preaching the theory where you were born is where the government expected you to die just now. Perhaps some in the diaspora now believe rallying under the “ethnic cleansing” slogan might get the attention of the West. Do not count on it because we just believed, as Zelalem seemed to have believed, ethnic eviction and ethnic cleansing is one and the same. They are not. I am not saying ethnic eviction shoud be tolerated. What I am saying is when one coins a rallying slogan he must be sure the slogan describes the situation unambigiously.

  2. Inetebaber

    April 23, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Just like what happened to Milosevic, Hitler, Mussolini and recently the genocide perpetrators in Rwanda, Sudan and Liberia we should take /tplf ethnic cleanising and genocide perpetrators of Amharas to face same justice.

    We should all participate, help financially and by gathering information and start the process now. Every minute is too long for those who are living under TPLF and EPRDF repressive genocidal rule.

    Every day and every minute Amharas are faced with house demolishing, forceful eviction, arbitrarily beating, imprisonment, torture and inhumane treatment. EPRDF has given the green light to anyone who is not an Amhara to abuse and demonize Amharas.

    Thanks to ESAT we were able to witness this horrific human tragedy live but think how much of the same tragedies are going unnoticed somewhere else.

    while utilizing the best evidence of Benishangul we should focus on starting the legal action a against TPLF ethnic cleansing and genocide perpetrators now

  3. Meseret Dubale

    April 23, 2013 at 5:52 am

    It is so sad to see when it is fashionable to be anti Amharas in today’s Ethiopian politics. Woyanes invited Indians and Chineses to grab lands in Ethiopia while forcing the Amharas chased out of their country. It may take years, but some thing got to be done. We All should intensfy our struggle in all area.Call upon every Ethiopian to Smash this backward divisive ethnic based politics.

  4. Mutasim billah

    April 18, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    There no doubt the regime must face the justice. The crime of the regime are long list than ethnicity alone, treason of the nations, demographic crisis, ecological disaster, distractions of the country, deny of human right, using excessive power against oppositions. So what kind of question is that? The regime hand full of crime against human must brought for justice and that is all Ethiopian demand.

  5. Saba Solomon

    April 17, 2013 at 7:27 am

    I will never stand as this or that Ethnic Group As TPLFites wants us to do ,To divide by Ethnic lines to divide and Weaken us -Instead We All Ethiopians of every ethnics must unite and stand together against the Ethno-facisit barbarian TPLF Ethnic-War lords who become multi millioniars in the last 22 yrs at the Cost of all Ethiopians Resources by declaring many Ethnic Enclaves in the Country by placing few loyalists to protect their Smooth Looting Spree-they Go to each and every Ethnic Enclaves and preach To speak and practice NOT AS ETHIOPIANS but As that Ethnic representatives Only -but The Resource is owned by” Federal Government” that is for TPLF Ethnic War Lords To Sale Loot and Lease the Wealth of the nation to Enrich them and Their Looting Inc. EFFORT (Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigrai…by the way Which Never Enrich The Tigrai as the name Suggested it only Enriches its Few Ethnic War lords and their immediate families and Supporters and their hand picked Cadres ..SO THE SOLUTION IS TO STAND AS ETHIOPIANS FOR JUSTICE EQUALITY AND THE RULE OF LAW TO PREVAIL IN ETHIOPIA THAT WILL ELIMINATE THE ETHNO-FACISIT ETHNIC WAR LORDS OF TPLF

  6. titann

    April 17, 2013 at 7:24 am

    A COMMITTEE should be set up to prepare the necessary documents and to begin legal proceedings against the gangsters of Tigre people liberation front who are the main perpetrators of genocide and ethnic cleansing on the amhara population.

    We can not go on this to continue OR ELSE IT WILL BE TOO LATE TO SAVE THE POPULATION AFFECTED. THERE is no use feeling sorry, for the victims. Practical steps have to be taken to stop the genocide, eviction and dispossession of poor farmers.

    Women are dying on the streets in labour, mothers with suckling children , the elderly , young boys and girls are thrown out in the streets, in the bush ; leads do something together.
    There are enough lawyers, educators, experts,journalists etc to start the process. LETS DO IT .

  7. gola tegene

    April 17, 2013 at 6:28 am

    This article is the best that I have read so far on the horrendous and tragic story of the Amhara today in Ethiopia. The author gave a an excellent overview of what has happened to the Amhara since TPLF’s takeover of Ethiopia as an invading force and establishing what appears to be “internal colonialism.” If I have any suggestion to the writer or to all who write on the Amhara, it is that the use of “Amharic Speakers” as a concept in lieu of “Amharas” unknowingly delegitimizes this ethnic group as if it does not exist. Besides, the fomer concept is confusing because many non-Amharas and people of mixed parentage speak Amharic, the language itself, and thus are included in the “Amharic Speakers” group, thus creating a fallacy in usage. Why use “Amharic Speakers” when “Amharas” is the right way to identify them as an ethnic group. Do we ever say “Oromo Speakers” or “Tigrena Speakers” or “Guragena Speakers” ? Not at all.

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