AMBO By Imru Zelleke
I am deeply saddened by the tragedy that happened in Ambo and the loss of precious lives, and the senseless destruction of properties belonging to people who have toiled a life time to obtain them.
If it is to be believed, video interviews made later with the President of Ambo U and students it appears that no student was killed or maimed, in fact the students had protected students from Amhara other ethnic groups that were hiding in local Churches in fear of being slaughtered by the rioters. It seems that the riots had been carried by other elements, although the students had started the demonstration. The regime admitted that eleven people were killed during the riot, which number is likely to be more. Who made the riots and destroyed buildings and pillaged properties is still a mute question.
It has also been reported that the students demand was not only against the expansion of the City of Addis Ababa but also the eviction of all Amhara from what they call the Oromo area, allocated to them by the TPLF regime; tantamount to an ethnic cleansing of Amharas, and the establishment of a racially pure Oromo territory.
I believe that the vast majority of Oromos know well their history, and have not been deceived by these false historical tales, neither by the nefarious scheme of the TPLF to divide the people by ethnic politics. Actually all these problems have been created by a minority of self appointed Oromo elite sustained by foreign interests. Unfortunately, the victims of all these plots are the very young generation of Oromos who have been confined from knowing the truth by ethnic seclusion and fabricated versions of Ethiopian history. It would be helpful if the Oromo students ask by name about who was Emperor Minilk’s mother, Emperor Haile-Sellassie’s grandfather, who were Minilik’s great commanders, who were the Generals, the commanders, the Ministers, the Ambassadors, the Governors, the professors, bankers etc. during the Monarchy? From which ethnic group were the head of state, the prime minister, the high officials and commissars during the Derg? It might enlighten them about the part of Oromos in Ethiopian history and their background in the age long trail of Ethiopia’s chronicles.
Like all Ethiopians citizens, whatever their ethnic roots, we Amahra believe that Ethiopia is our country and the land is ours, and it is our inherent right to live, move, work, own property anywhere in the territory of Ethiopia. We don’t believe in segregating anyone by gender, culture, language or faith. We are one Ethiopian family that has lived and survived together since ancient times, we are not itinerants in the land but perpetual inhabitants. The unfortunate conditions prevailing in the country at the present is merely short-term; together we have overcome many tragic events and crisis in our long standing history, and we shall do so now and in the future.
My advice to the TPLF leaders is to stop their despotic rule, they have been in power for over two decades, they must have learned something about governance. Have they not seen the fate of the Gadafi, Mubarak, Assad, Mengistu and other tugs? Governing by the point of a gun, killing, imprisoning, terrorizing and looting a nation are a dead end road. Do you think that the Americans, Chinese, British, Europeans and other entities that have made heavy political and financial investments in Ethiopia, do not know of the crimes, utter corruption and misdemeanor of your regime? Where do you think the money that is siphoned out of Ethiopia ends up? They have a long experience of your kind of regimes, they know that it is a matter of time before they collapse in their own rot. Momentarily you are convenient instruments at their bid, although you are also becoming an embarrassment with their own public opinion. Ultimately they know that they have to deal with the Ethiopian people.
Persecution against the Amhara population was initiated during the Derg with the formation of a special anti Amara armed units (Yethiopia Chiqnoch Abyotawi Party) with the full support of the Marxist parties of that time. This ensued with the killing, raping, chasing and enslaving Amharas around the country especially in the South and South-West. This could not be news to the former revolutionary cadre that live amongst us. After the fall of the Dreg it has also been an overt policy of the regime and its allies. Evictions, killings, ethnic cleansing in the guise of population control, depravation and derogatory actions against the Amhara has been carried on indiscriminately. Sebhat Nega a leading TPLF cadre was boasting recently saying “we have broken the back of the Amharas and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church”.
To the Amhara my advice is to stop being weak-kneed victims of daily abuse and humiliation, it is a betrayal of our values and traditions. This must stop, we count as the second largest population of the country, we must stand-up and fight together with our fellow citizens for freedom, justice and democratic governance for ALL the people of Ethiopia. We have the spiritual and material means to achieve this goal; neither we lack friends and support, if our struggle is genuine and free of political manipulations. The past maybe forgiven but not forgotten, the new Ethiopia must be built on clean and new foundations.
Nobody, No One can divide us and destroy a nation that we have kept free and secure for generations through unrelenting struggle and limitless sacrifice. We are nation builders not destroyers, history is our testimonial.