“Expulsion is the method which, so far as we have been able to see, will be the most satisfactory and lasting.There will be no mixture of populations to cause endless trouble. . . . A clean sweep will be made. I am not alarmed at the prospect of the
disentanglement of population, nor am I alarmed by these large transferences.”
ምንጭ “Ancient Cities and Temples: Ethiopia”, by Jean Doresse (Archaeologist and Historian, Authority on Ethiopian Studies) “The Royal Chronicle of Abyssinia: 1769-1840”, (translated from Classical Ge’ez by Weld-Blundel) “King of Kings: Tewodros of Ethiopia”, Sven Rubenson, p. 75. “A History of Africa: Vol. I: African Societies and the Establishment of Colonial Rule 1800-1915”, p. 279.
The Ethiopian Student Movement ignited in the 1960s hijacked by the extremist ethno nationalists who were inspired by the aborted Fascist Italy colonial policy and strategy of alienating the Amhara from other nationalities to conquer and rule Ethiopia, brought ‘the Question of Nationalities’ that argued Ethiopia was not yet a nation but Amhara – dominated and ruled collection of dozens of nationalities with their own languages, ways of dressing, history, social organization and territorial entity. They claimed the Amhara denied the recognition and dignity of these nationalities, subjugating and suppressing them. The Eritrean and Oromo nationalists took further the narration to the extreme, made their intention clear of liberating their people from ’Abyssinian colonial rule.’ The Tigrian elites followed suit.
The Dergue, devoid of an ideology of its own, run by and dominated by ethno nationalist elites mainly the Oromo, was also essentially anti Amhara. Under the guise of socialism, it liquidated the Amhara elite, confiscated hard earned properties of our people. The Dergue regime assisted by the Oromo dominated All Ethiopia Socialist Movement (Ma’ison), the Ethiopian Oppressed Peoples’ Revolutionary Struggle( Ich’at) was the first that posed existential threat of the Amhara by annihilating the economic and elite base of the Amhara people and paved the way for subsequent persecutions conducted on our people.
The systemic assault carried out on our elites left the people of Amhara defenseless and following the fall of the Dergue regime, the trident Eritrean Peoples’ Liberation Forces (EPLF), Tigray Peoles’ Liberation Front (TPLF) and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) got the opportunity to deconstruct the country without a single hindrance. EPLF ‘liberated’ Eritrea from Ethiopia and established an independent state. TPLF with its surrogates under the name of Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and OLF established an ethnic based federal system which severely dismembered the integrity, unity and safety of the Amhara people. The very fertile, historical and strategically important territories of the Amhara people were incorporated to Tigray (Wolqayt,Tsegede, Tselemet and Raya), Oromiya (Shewa), and Beni Shangul(Metekel), as well effectively gerrymandering the people to suppress their votes and forcing them to abandon their identity in an unprecedented manner. TPLF and its surrogates drafted and enacted the current so called ‘Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (EFDRE) constitution’. Genuine representatives of the Amhara people such as Amhara People Organization (AAPO) and its leader Professor Asrat Woldeyes were deliberately persecuted and excluded from the process. The interests, aspirations, voices and consent of the Amhara people were willfully excluded and ignored. The federal government also introduced different policies and laws in the name of reform and proportionality that undermined and hurt the Amhara people in every aspect of life.
Empowered by the direction set by the federal constitution, regional states wrote their own constitutions excluding and denying even the very existence of millions of Amhara people living within their new ‘constituency.’ This gave states and their officials wide and undeterred power to do whatever they wanted to do on the Amhara people, which resulted in gross and widespread human rights violations such as mass killings, mass displacement, property damage, institutional discrimination and insecurity to name a few. This absolute lawlessness has caused so much horror and ethnic cleansing on the Amhara people in a large scale unheard in the recent history of Ethiopia. The regime in power implemented different racist policies against the Amhara people such as population control, forced mass sterilization and numerical genocide to make it insignificant minority and downsize its political representation and power. The Amhara people who lived outside the ‘Amhara Region’ become literally stateless and even the people who lived in ‘The Region’ have been deliberately neglected, impoverished and underdeveloped denying all development programs and basic infrastructures.
Adding insult to injury, the very hateful and demonizing propaganda being propagated relentlessly against the Amhara people by TPLF and its surrogates has exacerbated the misery. Hating, demonizing, degrading and labeling the Amhara people (as Nefetegnas and chauvinists) who subjugated ‘’ the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’’ of the country was and is the order of the day. The ruling elites reward political cadres who belittle and degrade the Amhara and accorded them the name ‘progressive.’ The hateful propaganda has worsened the Amhara misery by feeding a continued anger and false reason to attack them. The Amhara were and are the scapegoats whatever goes wrong in our country and hence bear the costs.
The threats were/are; policy oriented, very systematic and highly institutionalized, critically compromising our very survival. All the anti Amhara constitution, the system built upon it and the institutions installed are still intact bleeding us day and night.
The Amhara Question: What is in its Name?
The cumulative effects of the above atrocities and threats are: political under/unrepresentation; economic, social and cultural marginalization; property dispossession, abject poverty, and mass displacement; and loss of life with the level of genocide and ethnic cleansing. What is worrying is that they are deepening and increasing at an alarming rate and they are expected to stay same in the near future. AND all these have caused the very survival of the Amhara as a nation at stake and they failed us miserably as a nation. The fact that the great nation of Amhara has faced a multifaceted existential threat is what I call the Amhara Question. The Amhara Question is not all about democracy and development. Of course the Amhara badly needed democracy and development probably more than any group in this country. BUT it seems luxury right now to fight for democracy and development only. The Amhara first must ensure their very survival as a nation. It has to reverse the survival threat before it is too late. Unless the true sons and daughters of the Amhara take fast, coordinated and swift response to the threat, it may unfold great human tragedy in the horn of Africa. The great nation of Amhara may fall miserably and its great civilization may be forgotten. It is understandable that the threat is posed against the Amhara as a group; hence it is to be neutralized by disciplined and organized Amhara.
Amhara Nationalism: A panacea to the Amhara Question?
Amhara nationalism is nothing but a national political movement which is initiated and got momentum by Amharas annihilation and marginalization in every walk of life of the country and above all by the survival threat the nation of Amhara has faced under the TPLF/ODP/OLF led regime. It is an awakening movement which critically observes and acts every course of action and intention in a way that can protect the rights, vital interests and dignity of the Amhara people. It is very much clear that the Amhara have faced survival threat as a nation. And it is imperative to awake and defend it as an Amhara nation. The fact that the existential threat of Amhara people was/is/will not be a political agenda for the so called ‘Pan Ethiopianists’ tells us loudly, it is to be owned and answered only by Amhara nationalists. Time and again these false unionists overlooked the Amhara plight and some even embrace Amhara’s sworn enemies intentions and actions, putting stumbling blocks on the ways of Amhara Resistance. Hence, Amhara nationalism is the only panacea to the Amhara Question. Amhara Nationalism emanates from the real threats of our people, it is based on BOLD FACTS, it does not have any intention of domination, and does not label any people as enemy like those ethno nationalists who did it on the Amhara. Above all, it believes and struggles to a negotiated new constitution and constitutional order in which all Ethiopians will participate and most Ethiopians will approve it; A federal system that respects the indivisibility of our people’s unity and our historical territorial integrity.
National Movement of Amhara (NaMA): Built on Amhara Nationalism and fighting to answer the Amhara Question.
Against all adversities, the Amhara people have not got a genuine political party which is a product of Amhara nationalism and which in turn help blossom Amhara nationalism except the AAAPO which was vibrant for a couple of years before it was curtailed by the ruling regime in the 1990s. The Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) has proved itself in its establishment, composition, narration and action anti Amhara in leaps and bounds. It has failed the Amhara people miserably. Saving its change of name to Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) last year, it has not changed its trend and failed to deliver on the legitimate expectations of our people.
For the last three years, Amhara nationalism is becoming the guiding political thought of the Amhara youth and has showed great leap forward after 2008 E.C following the Amhara Resistance which broke out in the historic city of Gondar where Colonel Demeke Zewedu (Wolqayt Amhara Identity Committee Chairman) defended himself and the CAUSE from death squad officers sent mid night to kidnap and kill him. After that spectacular, historic, and an act of heroic event, everything turned upside down and as they said the rest is history.
Nevertheless, the growing Amhara nationalism was not organized and formalized especially with in Ethiopia. That has to come to an end. The true sons and daughters of the Great Nation of Amhara have joined hands together and gave birth to the National Movement of Amhara (NaMA). Within a short span of time NaMA has garnered huge support and is venerated by the Amharas everywhere. It is cruising responsibly and is articulating the Amhara Question clearly and cleverly. It is also spreading and deepening Amhara nationalism as a viable and lone alternative for the Amhara CAUSE for millions and is embraced by many every day. The very fact that NaMA has made its political movement on the foundations of equality and justice has created hope in other ’minority nationalities’ that have real threat to be swallowed by supremacist groups that want to dominate and assimilate them. NaMA is defending the interests of the Amhara people, balancing political power in Ethiopia by challenging and checking those who are trying to monopolize everything and anything. This will help Ethiopia and its people to democratize by bringing the real political actors to the negotiation table.
The fact that NaMA is welcomed and accepted by many is an assurance that it is the right party to advance Amhara nationalism, pursue the real interests of our people and answer the Amhara Question. We can say that NaMA will be the vanguard of the Amhara, that it will bring the people of Amhara together and organize our people. Under NaMA’s leadership, we will neutralize the existential threats of our people, ensure our survival, and defend the rights, interests, aspirations and dignity of the Amhara people, and secure a federal system that respects the indivisibility of our people’s unity and our historical territorial integrity.
NaMA will struggle relentlessly to bring equality and justice as the very foundations of our Ethiopia, and it will stand for a constitutional order built by the participation of all Ethiopians and accepted by the majority of Ethiopians.
“With the peoples of Central and South America, Spain has a past in common, common language, common race; and yet it does not form with them one nation. Why not? There is one thing lacking which, we know, is the essential: a common future.” The Revolt of the Masses, Ch. XIV: Who Rules the World?, Page 105.
“If any quality typifies Italian colonial efforts it would not be jingoism but apathy. The Italian statesman Marquis d’Azeglio, after Italian unification, commented that “We have made Italy. Now we must make Italians.” Italy was divided along religious, political, and regional lines. It was hoped by some, such as Prime Minister Crispi, that imperialism would improve the standing of the Italian government within the nation and across Europe.” When Ethiopia Stunned the World: Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press, 2011
“These are the motives which led Menelik to aggressive acts; and we Russians cannot help sympathizing with his intentions, not only because of political considerations, but also for purely human reasons. It is well known to what consequences conquests of wild tribes by Europeans lead. Too great a difference in the degree of culture between the conquered people and their conquerors has always led to the enslavement, corruption, and degeneration of the weaker race. The natives of America degenerated and have almost ceased to exist. The natives of India were corrupted and deprived of individuality. The black tribes of Africa became the slaves of the whites.” With the Armies of Menelik II, trans. Richard Seltzer, Journal of an expedition from Ethiopia to Lake Rudolf, an eye-witness account of the end of an era.
“If the nation consisted only in past and present, no one would be concerned with defending it against an attack. Those who maintain the contrary are either hypocrites or lunatics. But what happens is that the national past projects its attractions- real or imaginary into the future. A future in which our nation continues to exist seems desirable. That is why we mobilise in its defence, not on account of blood or language or common past. In defending the nation we are defending our to-morrows, not our yesterdays.” The Revolt of the Masses, Ch. XIV: Who Rules the World?, Page 103.