by Amish Tefera
The world is witnessing a political turmoil unfolding in Ethiopia. Recently alone its leadership were murdered as the official in the capital coined the incident as an attempted coup.
Ethiopia as a state existed from the time immemorial as any part of the world. This implies we had kings and queens that claim divine right of leading the people at its disposal.This is very true if we honestly examine the histories of far east Asian countries and the Arabs who not only had emperors but at times those figures were given the status of god and goddesses.The Ethiopian kings, mostly Amharas have erected a vast territory in the horn of Africa which enabled to resist the colonial powers and help the people to retain it s history and cultural identity.
After the 1960s the political narratives that portrays the Amhara as colonial power within Ethiopia took foothold. This partly incorporated from colonial italian power legacy who tried to divide the nation based on ethnic lines.This discourse paints Amhara as invader and demonizes its people among other identities.Following the downfall of the last emperor Haileselasie in 1974,as many as 60 officials most of whom are ethnic Amharas were executed devoid of standardized trial by the military junta who claimed power after the revolution.However the Derg regime itself was depicted as Amhara hegemony by the separatist groups such as TPLF,EPLF,OLF , their western and Arab sympathizers.
The 1991 revolution, which was a result of 17 years of continuous civil war, saw the Tigray gorilla fighters into power and subsequently Eritreans claim independent state.Ethiopia led by the minority Tigray group promulgated and then ratified ethnic federalism in 1995. The Amhara as an entity neither represented nor contributed in the inculcation of the new constitution. The ramification of this administration borne out of this system are paramount significant. The Amhara as people were left small portion of territory and lost much of its people to be incorporated into the present day Tigray, oromia and Benshangul gumuz regions.
When this done on day light the western world especially American former assistant secretary of state Herman Cohen was in full support.This man was voiceless when hundreds of thousands of Ethnic Amharas were exterminated in the hands of both OLF and TPLF. This is really farce at its best from the man who considers himself as champion of democracy and human right and on top of that most call him “a well versed man in African politics having wrote some books”.
Herman Cohen might have retired from his office work, but his contempt towards 50+ million Amharas is still alive and is in full force. His recent tweet which was hastily circulated across the public media exposed his hatred. His remarks explains his lack of understanding or denial towards this people and their quest for survival.Amhara in the present day Ethiopia is stateless similar to Kurds.They are hunted down and humulated by the government led by TPLF in the past and OLF today.
If Herman Cohen was a man of integrity and ingenuity, he would have taken much time before he repeats like a parrot one and single information emanating from the officials in Addis Ababa about the “coup” that took place in the Amhara regional state of Ethiopia.On top of that he aligned himself with age old narrative that Amhara nationalism is meant a return of kings and queens of the past.Does he know the politics and the day-to-day lives of miserable Amharas in Ethiopia?
“Failed coup in #Ethiopia’s Amhara state was an attempt by ethnic nationalists to restore Amhara hegemony over all of Ethiopia that existed for several centuries prior to 1991. That dream is now permanently dead.” Herman Cohen