Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy (left) and TPLF President Debretsion (right) speaking to journalists shortly before the start of the war in November 2020 (Photo: file /ENA)

PRESS RELEASE
Ethiopian organizations

JHE PPOLICY VSCONTEXT

The regressive and polarizing ethnocentric political system under which Ethiopia lived for three decades has come to its logical and tragic conclusion. Quasi-constitutionally sovereign regional states have now raised ethnic armies in the tens of thousands to assume state power, push for more territory and even secede from Ethiopia. The most dramatic cases that challenge federal authority are the so-called Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) and Oromia Special Forces/OLF. Going beyond ethnic cleansing and district-specific crimes against humanity, the TDF engaged in mechanized warfare and mass killing, looting and destruction targeting the Amhara and Afar for genocidal annihilation.

Following the collapse of Dergue’s military rule, the Amhara people were explicitly excluded from negotiations to establish a transitional government in 1991, which paved the way for the current ethnocentric order. Currently, the administration of Abiy Ahmed, representing interests that promote Oromo supremacy and with a record of betraying Amhara communities, is once again excluding Amharas from peace talks and power-sharing negotiations.

SERIOUS VSCONCERNS AND youUNDERSTANDINGS

Abiy’s administration has yet to clarify its negotiating stance, especially given the TPLF’s longstanding anti-Amhara stance and designation as a terrorist group engaged in horrific war crimes and destabilization. network in the country. At the same time, the Amhara are once again called to the war front using mostly their own devices as they are pushed into an existential crisis by relentless supremacist forces, such as the OLF and TPLF.

We believe it is grossly unfair to exclude the main targets of the northern civil war from the negotiations. More importantly, such an exclusive settlement cannot bring lasting peace to the country. Our anxiety is based on a number of considerations:

∙ Ending perpetual civic conflict requires a three-step peacemaking and peacebuilding process: peace and stability, national dialogue, national reconciliation, and democratic constitutional order; ∙ When it comes to peace and stability, it is entirely possible that a new social contract and civil order will emerge that blatantly excludes all stakeholders except the heavily armed groups representing the Federal State and Regional State of Tigray; and

∙ Even in the limited ceasefire talks, it is not clear that impartial, law-enforcement third-party negotiators are selected and representative observers are included. The widest possible representation is essential to facilitate negotiations on even more substantial issues in the next stage in order to prevent a return to civil conflict and to intensify an all-out effort to cleanse the country of foreign political ethnicity at its culture of inclusion.

ACALLS AND A VSEVERYTHING ATION

It is high time to end the abuse of Amhara by insurgents and government forces, and for Amhara to proclaim their agency as Amhara and for Amhara. With a sense of urgency, we issue our collective appeal to all parties concerned (the combatants, the valiant people of the Amhara and Afar regional states, the rest of the Ethiopian people and the international community) to heed this follows to ensure lasting peace and stability and the establishment of a democratic system of government in Ethiopia. Specifically, the process and substance of the negotiations that would be extended to craft a just political settlement must be designed:

1. To ensure the full representation of Amhara and Afar by their legitimate leaders as victims and key stakeholders, Amhara and Afar societies have suffered enormous economic, social, cultural, ecological, political and military or defense distress .

2. Insist that the TPLF, as a relentlessly traitorous cabal with an unbroken record of militarism and government committing atrocities, be forced to fully disarm and demobilize and prohibited from participating in electoral politics. The same goes for OLF in its many forms.

3. Ensure that the business empires of the TPLF and the Prosperity Party, built on grand thefts, are nationalized and compensation is paid to aggrieved residents of the Amhara and Afar Regional States; 4. Demand the immediate and unconditional release of all Amhara and other prisoners of conscience, journalists and the Fano citizen militia;

5. Ensure that any post-conflict reconstruction effort targets all war-affected areas with a population of 20 million, with an equitable distribution of available resources; and

6. Pave the way, through an independent and well-designed national dialogue and reconciliation process, for the development of a citizenship-based constitution as a springboard for a strong democratic order.

Our dream is a just and lasting peace for the beleaguered Amhara and all Ethiopians!!

SIGNATORIES:

1. Association Adwa Great African Victory (AGAVA)

2. All Shewa Ethiopian People’s Multipurpose International Association

3. The Amhara Association in Queensland, Australia

4. Amhara Dimtse Serechit

5. Amhara Association for Welfare and Development

6. Communities of Ethiopians in Finland

7. Worried Diaspora Amharas

8. Ethio-Canadian Human Rights Association

9. The Ethiopian Broadcast Group

10. Ethiopian Civic Development Council (ECDC)

11. Freedom and justice for Telemt Amhara

12. Global Alliance for Justice – The Ethiopian Cause

13. Amhara Global Coalition

14. Gonder Hibret for Ethiopian Unity

15. Major Lemma Woldetsadik Memorial Foundation

16. Ethiopian Academics Network (NES)

17. Radio Yenesew Ethiopia

18. Selassie Stand Up, Inc.

19. Vision Ethiopia

20. World Network of Ethiopian Civic Associations (WE-CAN)

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