Some thoughts about Amhara struggle for existential struggle agains two tribal Monsters - Girma Berhanu (professor)

Thoughts on the Amhara Existential Struggle Against TPLF and OLF/PP Tribal Extremists: Can Ethiopia Survive the Scourge of the two Extreme Centrifugals?

In honour of the teachers and journalists Meskerem Abera and Tadios Tantu, who are now being held in state custody for speaking up for the voiceless.

Girma Berhanu (professor)


TPLF was founded on the basis of the Amhara as its primary enemy. Since it came to power in 1991, it ruled by institutionalizing ethnic-apartheid system—underpinned by anti-Amhara ideology. However, the continuous and relentless displacement and gruesome wanton massacre of this specific group has intensified under PM Abiy Ahmed’s leadership, many folds over. The PM actively avoids mentioning the massacres and ethnic cleansing, and instead he engages in all sorts of language contortions and false bothsidesism: when hundreds of innocent civilians are stabbed and clubbed to death because of their ‘Neftegna’ label (a pejorative term used to denigrate Amhara citizens), these are referred only in passing as merely inter-communal conflicts. Thousands of so-Amhara women, children and others in between have been slaughtered with impunity in Oromia Regional State. Abiy Ahmed’s government made it open season to massacre Amharas in his ethnic apartheid home region. 

In an illuminating article, Dr. Tesfaye Demmellash (March 14 2022) raised a vital question, Should the Amhara people resist in all ways necessary the tyrannical rule of the party of “Oromia” led by the shifty, Janus-faced Abiy regime? Should Amharas protect themselves today from predatory, often genocidal, attacks by TPLF and OLF entities within, outside, or on the margins of Abiy’s ethnic regime? And, beyond fending off savage tribal aggression, in what way could the Amhara community mount a robust, transformative national resistance against the entire system of state ethnicism propped up in Ethiopia with the help of hostile foreign powers?

The Amhara as a distinct ethnic group was not solidified in the past and they are still not unified by the rather “shaky” politics of identity. The persecution and constant atrocity crimes committed against the Amharas have recently made them aware of the need for organizing to protect themselves. As Moges (2020) aptly captured:

Amhara identity, in its current form, is a recent introduction and forced self-appropriation, caused by an existential threat and alienation. The younger generation has adopted its ‘Amharaness’; but most ordinary people are yet to fully embrace it, not least because of the lack of any effectively articulated ideological foundation or priorities and the absence of any ‘tailor-made’ solutions to the challenges facing them”

Generally, Amharas are deeply intertwined with other ethnic groups and geographically dispersed though out Ethiopia—which made them easy targets. The animosity that we see against Amharas is orchestrated by organized groups, in particular Tigrean and Oromo

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some thoughts about Amhara struggle for existential struggle agains two tribal Monsters

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