Open letter to all Ethiopians who are not yet supporting the Amhara resistance - By Shimelis Amare

Open letter to all Ethiopians who are not yet supporting the Amhara resistance

By Shimelis Amare 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of  mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Martin Luther King 

Why am I writing this letter? I know that the government and its supporters are trying to paint  the current conflict as a war waged by Amhara chauvinists who want to have dominance. By  projecting these people as the enemy of the rest of Ethiopians, the government is trying to get  support from non-Amhara people. I am not supporting the Amhara resistance because I identify  myself as Amhara. I support it simply because their resistance against injustice is justified. Being  Amhara is not a prerequisite to support resistance against injustice. As King said, our destiny is  tied in a single garment and “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly”. Therefore, as  freedom loving people, I ask you to reject what the government is doing to the Amhara people and stand for freedom and justice. It is as simple as that!

I understand that some of you are disappointed and frustrated by hearing derogatory language from some individuals. I share your concern and frustration, and we must reject that kind of  attitude from anyone. At the same time, wisdom must guide us to filter out those extreme elements who are very few compared to the vast majority of the Amhara people. Together, let us stand for justices, and let us reject extreme elements from all corners. Silence is not the answer, my friends.

Even though the last thirty years were very difficult, Abiy’s regime makes life unbearable for  Ethiopians in general, and for the Amhara people in particular. Under this government’s watch,  to mention just a few, the following crimes have been committed by the Oromo extremists:

  • Five years ago, the Oromo extremists hanged a dead body in front of a cheering crowd, not in a  hidden place, but at a public square.
  • In the city of Burayu, they raped women, killed children, and old people, and the public outcry lasted about a week. Most of them who died are from the south.
  • In Shashemene they killed innocent people, burned properties, not once but a few times. . In Ataye, not once, but many times, they destroyed properties and killed innocent people.
  • In Welega, for the last few years, Ethiopians who happened to be mostly Amhara were  continuously killed and chased out of their homes periodically.
  • Many times, Amara people are blocked from entering Addis Ababa and a lot of people are  getting arrested in Addis and elsewhere simply because they are from the Amhara region.
  • For the last five years harassing and humiliating the Amhara people has continued in different  ways.

As difficult as it is to comprehend, in this country of ours, and in this century, what shouldn’t be tolerated is tolerated. Not by the government only, but also by the citizens at large; what shouldn’t be normal by any stretch of imagination, has become a normal routine. In the Twenty First Century of Ethiopia, every now and then, innocent people get executed by the Oromo extremist group and this has become a “normal” way of life with no end in sight.

Even though the pain and suffering of the Ethiopian people under this regime is obvious, the  Amhara people in particular are exposed to this injustice on continuous bases. At the beginning,  we said that these crimes were committed by the Oromo Shene, not by the government. As time  went by, it became clear that the main objective of the government led by Abiy Aimed is to  implement the Orommuma project. To make this objective a reality, their primary task is to break  the backbone of the Amhara people. The current declaration of war against the Amhara people  is part of this mission, and nothing else.

You may ask why this is different from the war with the TPLF a few years ago. Even though the Tigrayans people have greatly suffered and lost many of their young children, the war was mainly caused by TPLF to destabilize the country or to take power. The current war is not because of power struggle between contesting forces. The Amhara people are simply resisting injustice, and this is visible even for the blind who have a compassionate heart. Now, amazingly enough, TPLF and the Abiy government are working together to squeeze the Amhara people. Knowing what happened a few years back, does this make sense to you? Is this right? Is this fair?

My fellow Ethiopians, for the last five years, the Amhara people were tolerating  this injustice and humiliation, not because they developed slavish character as  some might think, but to give a chance to this government to act as a government  of the Ethiopian people. Unfortunately, as time passed, it has become obvious to  most of us that this government is the government of Oromo extremists. Let it be  clear that the Amhara resistance grew out of these injustice and humiliation. 

At this critical time in our history, the Amhara resistance has reached a point of no return. In no ambiguous terms, the people have loudly said, NO MORE! No more to this injustice and no more to this unbearable existence. I heard one Fano saying, “If this is what it takes, let one million of us die to secure freedom for our people instead of being eliminated altogether.” Well, who has  a moral ground to say to this young man, “wait for another five years or try something else?” What other choices do these people have anyway, except continue tolerating humiliation  or resist to get their dignity back by any means necessary?

My fellow Ethiopians, ask yourself this simple question: After five years of suffering and humiliation, is the Amhara people’s resistance justified? This is the basic question you have to answer and come to terms with so that you can live with your conscience. If you want to see the continuation of our country, and if you think that our destiny is tied in one garment, you should stand for unity and justice for all.

Once again, I hereby call upon all reasonable and freedom loving Ethiopians who are not supporting the resistance yet, to stand with the Amhara people and say, NO MORE to injustice! Only then, we can find common ground to build a better future for us and for generations to come. It all depends on all of us. Let us play our part to make it happen.


Shimelis Amare 

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