Bruke Lemma, PhD
“Neither the chains of dictatorship nor the fetters of oppression can keep down the forces of freedom for long.” — Angela Merkel
It is long overdue for the international community to unreservedly condemn the actions of Abiy Ahmed, who has plunged into the depths of extreme violence, perpetrating mass atrocities by callously targeting defenceless civilians and deploying formidable heavy weaponries. The gravity of Abiy Ahmed’s actions is exacerbated by his reprehensible use of rockets and drones to mercilessly target unarmed civilians and systematically devastate cities and vital infrastructure in the Amhara region.
Abiy Ahmed rules over a nation besieged by profound food shortages thanks largely to his profound incompetence and unyielding narcissism, wherein he positions himself as an expert in every domain, even agriculture, while sidelining genuine experts within his administration, or tokenizing their presence, when he is not replacing these experts outright with completely untrained and unqualified yes men and women from his own ethnic group.
Within this grim landscape, an astonishing 20 million people grapple with acute food insecurity, haunted by the relentless and ominous spectre of hunger. Regrettably, this dire figure is on the brink of further escalation now due to Abiy Ahmed’s ongoing campaign of violence underscoring the heartless paradox of favouring weaponry over the well-being of his own populace.
Still, such behaviour is all too natural for Abiy Ahmed, as he lacks any empathy whatsoever for the people he governs, especially the Amhara people. He remains unmoved by their plight and is notably nonchalant in the face of widespread death and destruction—though, this is partly understandable, as he is often responsible for causing these very calamities himself.
There is absolutely nothing within Abiy Ahmed’s character that is decent, humane, or even remotely considerate, that would serve as a restraint to prevent him from committing any number or type of crimes, egregious crimes. As long as he believes he can evade consequences, he remains capable of perpetrating the most heinous acts with no qualms whatsoever.
This dire reality underscores the urgent need for the international community to step in and firmly say no to the genocidal campaign that Abiy Ahmed is carrying out on the Amhara people right now. It is absolutely unforgivable for the international community to remain as bystanders while innocent lives are ruthlessly extinguished by a deranged leader and his cohorts.
There must be an immediate imposition of wide-ranging sanctions on Abiy Ahmed and his criminal associates, primarily those in the military and civil administration who are responsible for orchestrating the egregious crimes against humanity, including the abhorrent perpetration of genocide against the Amhara people. The gravity of these atrocities calls for swift action and a forceful demand for accountability.
Additionally, the global community must fervently advocate for the indictment of Abiy Ahmed and his cohorts in the international criminal court. This call for justice must extend to all those complicit in carrying out the heinous acts of targeting civilians through the deployment of heavy weapons and drones, resulting in an alarming and unconscionable loss of innocent lives.
In the midst of the relentless onslaught that is being perpetrated on them by Abiy Ahmed and his criminal cohorts, the Amhara people tenaciously persevere in their unyielding pursuit of justice, equality, and a brighter future. They stand resolute, unwavering in their determination to assert their inherent rights, embodying the spirit of any deserving population across the world.
The Amhara people have endured unfathomable persecution over the span of decades, first under the oppressive rule of the TPLF regime, and then continuing under the subsequent regime led by Abiy Ahmed. These regimes share deeply rooted ideologies and are guided by corrupt, profoundly ignorant, and narrow-minded leaders, differentiated only by their respective ethnicities – although, it has become evident that the new regime exhibits even greater levels of stupidity, incompetence, and ignorance compared to its predecessor.
When Abiy Ahmed’s regime emerged on the scene after the extremely abhorrent reign of the previous TPLF regime, a glimmer of hope dawned upon the Ethiopian people. They yearned to believe that positive changes were on the horizon, with only a scant few considering the possibility of things taking an even darker turn, if anyone of us entertained such notions at all.
We all have been anxiously and alarmingly observing a regime that has been relentlessly intensifying its oppression, cruelty, and persecution of the Amhara people, a pattern that has persisted for almost for five years now and has also cast a shadow of suffering over the entire nation. Helplessly witnessing the escalating agony inflicted upon the Amhara people and the country spiralling into chaos and anarchy has been an agonizing experience.
This moment calls upon us all Ethiopians to unite and take decisive action to rid ourselves of the utterly embarrassing and senseless rule of Abiy Ahmed. By rallying behind and standing in solidarity with the Amhara people, we can collectively work towards a brighter future for both their sake and the well-being of the entire nation.
Abiy Ahmed has unequivocally charted a course of continued bloodshed, death, and destruction, sealing his fate with an inevitable outcome – a downfall mirroring the likes of Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Mobutu Sese Seko, and other reviled and inhumane dictators who met their ends in manners emblematic of the horrors they wrought during their merciless reigns of terror.
His actions stand in stark contrast to the approach of any rational leader who would have diligently pursued paths of resolution. Yet, Abiy Ahmed has brazenly opted to intensify the situation, embracing extreme measures that defy all semblance of reason.
With audacious recklessness, Abiy Ahmed has escalated his merciless persecution of the Amhara people, now casting a malevolent shadow over the entire Amhara population, comprising more than a third of the nation’s total populace. This harrowing trajectory reflects a level of madness that even surpasses his previously evident penchant for such behaviour.
Despite the glaring reality that his reign cannot withstand the focused and united opposition against him – an opposition he continues to furnish with even stronger reasons to remain resolute – he remains steadfast in his delusion that he can crush this opposition. Failing that, he seems hell-bent on leaving a trail of destruction before his inevitable demise, a grim finale that awaits him. The script is already written; his days are numbered. The united front of the Amhara people, backed by widespread support from the rest of the nation, has sealed his fate.
Emerging reports today have unveiled a nightmarish reality unfolding near the capital in a place known as Gelan. A covert faction, directly linked to Abiy Ahmed’s administration, is orchestrating a chilling campaign of brutal torture against Amhara prisoners, journalists, opinion leaders, and other detainees. This reprehensible operation has targeted victims who were previously held in disparate locations across the capital, as well as newly apprehended individuals, all of whom are now being systematically transported to the site in Gelan.
Within this ominous setting, the clandestine group of specialists, well-versed in inflicting indescribable suffering, is subjecting these captives to unimaginable torments. Shockingly, some of the prisoners have already succumbed to the brutality, while others have been left physically broken and near death, their pleas for medical care callously ignored.
These emerging revelations of Abiy Ahmed’s actions must be met with strong condemnation from the international community. Such lawlessness and inhumanity serve no purpose but to further degrade the regime’s already tainted reputation. For the Amhara people, these horrifying revelations will only serve to fuel their determination to resist the regime even more fervently. It is evident that Abiy Ahmed’s regime offers them nothing but death and destruction, leaving them with no choice but to continue their fight against inhuman treatment and persecution.
While inhuman treatments and persecutions are sadly not new for the Amhara people, who have endured these atrocities under successive governments, Abiy Ahmed’s current regime has taken these heinous acts to unimaginable and shocking extremes. During my extensive travels to various localities within the Amhara region under the rule of the previous regime, TPLF, I was profoundly shaken and heartbroken by the scenes I encountered.
The pervasive lack of development in the Amhara region, shockingly inadequate healthcare, abysmal nutritional standards leading to widespread malnutrition and stunted growth, rampant youth unemployment, a prevailing climate of economic stagnation, and numerous other deplorable conditions that these people endured were all beyond comprehension.
The systematic degradation of a once-strong and proud community was a deeply distressing sight that left me in tears. With the so-called changes that followed, after the removal of the criminal TPLF regime, I held hope that better days were on the horizon for these long-suffering yet highly resilient people. I believed that their nightmare would finally be over, and that the era of Abiy Ahmed would usher in positive transformation, bringing an end to the systematic mistreatments and persecutions that they had endured for far too long.
Unfortunately, I was wrong, we were all wrong! Instead of the dawn of better days for the Amhara people, as we had hoped, it marked the beginning of a new wave of terror, merciless persecutions, humiliations, and pervasive mistreatments and more targeting them. There were also hardly any attempts by Abiy Ahmed to address the numerous pressing issues that the previous regime had accumulated and ignored, such as massive youth unemployment, pervasive malnutrition, underdevelopment, extreme inequality, rampant corruption, and more that were plaguing the entire country.
Instead of providing solutions, Abiy Ahmed emerged as an extremist, a mass murderer, an ethno-nationalist, a corrupt and criminal psychopath devoid of empathy for the people. His rule not only exacerbated the existing problems but also introduced new, even more intractable problems of his own making.
Abiy Ahmed deceived his way into power, telling the people what they wanted to hear, only to unleash chaos, death, and destructions across the country, particularly in the Amhara region, once he firmly grasped the reins of power. The truth about Abiy Ahmed’s real nature gradually unravelled over time.
One consistent aspect we noticed, even from the early days and which continues to persist, is the stark contrast between his rhetoric and his actions. While some may have discerned the deceptive and dishonest nature of Abiy Ahmed earlier, I was among those who recognized his true character much sooner than most.
Still, I clung to hope, holding onto the possibility that Abiy Ahmed might alter his course and make the right choices. As time elapsed, however, those hopes gradually crumbled. While in middle of these contemplations, I wrote a series of articles meticulously dissecting the disconcerting facets of Abiy Ahmed’s leadership. However, I hesitated when it came to publishing these articles, because of uncertainty regarding the accuracy of my analysis and interpretation of the situation.
It was only when I was squarely confronted by the unrelenting reality of Abiy Ahmed’s unwaveringly psychopathic nature, his inherent proclivity for chaos and distraction, that I ultimately made the determination to write and publish a series of articles. Among these articles, many of which were written and published prior to his formal election, several delved into diverse facets of Abiy Ahmed’s leadership, encompassing an exploration of his personality traits, the ominous dark triad, and a range of other pertinent subjects.
While the assessments and analyses articulated in those articles have unfortunately been vindicated, I find myself revaluating a specific stance I took in a couple of pieces—a plea for the Amhara people and other Ethiopians to align with Abiy Ahmed during the regime’s conflict with TPLF, at a time when TPLF forces were ominously close to the capital.
I’ve contemplated since then whether it might have been wiser for the Amhara forces to step aside initially and allow the two ethno-extremist groups to engage in their own battle, potentially diminishing each other’s power. Subsequently, the Amhara forces, including the Amhara Special Forces and the FANOs, could have confronted whichever group remained still standing.
Of course, this is purely a counterfactual hypothesis, and my contemplation is not meant to imply that my appeals would have been heeded or realized in any way. Instead, it’s a thought experiment, a reflective exercise prompted by the current state of affairs in the country.
Particularly unsettling is the fact that Abiy Ahmed and the TPLF, following their devastating two years’ war that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Tigray youth and countless young lives from other regions, in addition to incurring enormous and nearly irreplaceable material losses for a poor and struggling nation, among other horrors, have now shockingly joined forces to target the Amhara people and once again subject them to death and destruction.
Here, a parallel arises with the earlier conflict between Abiy Ahmed and TPLF, that prompted my contemplation on whether the Amhara people’s support for Abiy Ahmed’s regime was wise. In the present, Abiy Ahmed has been alluding to the possibility of engaging in a conflict with a neighbouring nation, potentially to divert attention from his administration’s escalating problems, and perhaps influenced by motives such as appeasing external powers. He appears to expect cooperation from the Amhara people for some inexplicable reason of his own.
While the talk of war might be mere rhetoric, if Abiy Ahmed were to proceed along this path, it would be exceedingly prudent for the Amhara people to exercise caution and abstain from involvement, guided by the lessons of their past experiences. As the saying goes, ‘fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.’ Why would Amhara people sacrifice themselves for their murderer and cruel persecutor?
The mere contemplation of cold-bloodedly initiating a conflict with another nation highlights the extent to which Abiy Ahmed’s descent has been steep and disturbing, showcasing his alarming detachment from rationality. Once held in high esteem and universally regarded with goodwill, not only by Ethiopian people but also internationally, he has now plummeted to a state where he is perceived as little more than a disgrace.
The transformation in his international status, a change that has been evident for a while, became especially prominent when he faced stark disregard from fellow leaders at a recent Peace Forum in France—a public humiliation likely to have severely wounded his ego. Reacting to this embarrassment, he hastily returned home and attempted to unilaterally overhaul the nation’s alliance policy, completely bypassing consultation, guidance, or any hint of consensus.
Of course, he has long ago turned the country’s parliament into a mere rubber stamp, and those who dared to voice opposition have now been carted off to prison, courtesy of the state of emergency he enacted to give him cover for the crimes against humanity he has been committing in the Amhara region. Anyway, his narcissism was such that he needed something big to assuage it, the biggest thing he could get was that, and did it, those around him simply clapped, clapped until their hands ached, or the dictator gave them signal to stop.
Interestingly, when this clown, Abiy Ahmed, assumed power following the downfall of the odious TPLF, Ethiopian intellectuals both within and outside the country, along with a diverse array of experts and analysts, generated a plethora of articles. These works were replete with advice, suggestions, and opinions, all intended to grapple with the intricate challenges facing the nation, with the hope that Abiy Ahmed might find them useful and implement their painstakingly produced insights in addressing the problems facing the country at the time.
However, they were labouring in vain, under a false illusion. It took them a great deal of time—far longer for most of them than it took for me—to come to terms with Abiy Ahmed’s true nature and to realize that they had been wasting their time. Abiy Ahmed was not then, and never has been a leader driven by the pursuit of problem-solving, but rather by a need to create them. He has extreme penchant for sowing chaos, death, and distractions, and for the propagation of lies, deceit, and dishonesty – as we all know very well now.
Yet, they all remained steadfast in churning out articles after articles. While I won’t name names, I did actively engage in debates with a handful of them, asserting that they had misconceived Abiy Ahmed’s true intentions, though my endeavours often fell on deaf ears. Some among them seemed so captivated by him that they appeared to be totally immune to reason, obstinately resistant to factual evidence, consistently finding ways to rationalize his actions and extending unwarranted benefit of the doubt to him.
Curiously, these individuals are highly intelligent otherwise, which makes the task of enlightening them about Abiy Ahmed’s perilous and destructive nature, characterized by a dark triad personality, all the more perplexing, as many of these traits were patently evident. In any case, I implored them to shift their focus away from the construction of fruitless problem-solving proposals that were unlikely to be implemented. Instead, I urged them to channel their energies towards coming up with ideas on how to free the nation from Abiy Ahmed’s grip, as he continued to chart a relentless course of devastation.
However, I cannot definitively claim that my counsel found many takers. Certainly, none among them could have foreseen a future where Abiy Ahmed would unleash heavy weaponry upon innocent, unarmed civilians, subjecting them to the horrors of bombs raining down from drones and rockets fired mercilessly from the ground, as he is tragically perpetrating at present.
Yet, this is the grim reality the Amhara people finds themselves in, and now we are all compelled to unite in efforts to aid the victims ensnared in an unimaginable nightmare, all thanks to the cruelty of this man, Abiy Ahmed along with his gang of ethnic extremists and opportunists.
I’ve long come to the realization that Abiy Ahmed is akin to a malignant cancer, requiring surgical excision before its further spread. He was no heaven-sent saint, destined to resolve the nation’s issues or rescue the people of Ethiopia, despite the beliefs some held back then. Quite the opposite, if Abiy Ahmed was sent from anywhere, it surely must have been the deepest, darkest corner of hell. In any case, while it may have taken some a considerable amount of time, most have now come to that realization – those who have not still are either intellectually extremely challenged or perhaps not fully alive.
One of the things that caused me great pain initially and started me thinking, “This doesn’t make sense,” was how Abiy Ahmed continually surrounded himself with extremists. It was highly illogical and contradictory that there seemed to be no room for moderates or those who spoke in conciliatory terms in his circle. Instead, the people he appointed to positions of power or gave great influence to were out and out extremists, flame-throwers, who always contradicted what Abiy Ahmed was saying to the people.
At the time, it was perplexing, but I realized earlier than most that these extremists were actually speaking his true language. The moderate, inclusive, and conciliatory language he was using were all lies, designed to lull people into complacency and blind them to the danger that he represented. These were the things I laboured to communicate to others, but they were difficult truths to convey. People tend to believe what they want to believe, regardless of the facts, sometimes until it is too late.
One of the reasons it was difficult to wake up people was because he was an extremely skilled liar. I have to give him credit for his exceptional ability to deceive. He could easily be awarded a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for his remarkable talent in deception. However, the problem for him now is that everyone knows he is a liar, and his true intentions are exposed for all to see.
Only those who benefit materially from Abiy Ahmed’s regime through corruption, hired guns protecting the regime, internet trolls who are paid for their work, or are afflicted by ethno-narcissism, like some of those he collects around him, are the ones who still believe whatever Abiy Ahmed says.
Speaking of narcissism, which also brings us to the current state of affairs, Abiy Ahmed’s narcissism is so extreme that faced with the real chance of losing power, he would unleash hell on the people. Mass slaughter, ordering the army to fire on civilians, bombing cities, and all kinds of ruthless actions as he has already done and is well set to continue to do.
While removing Abiy Ahmed from power by whatever means necessary is the only course of action left now, it must still be approached with utmost caution and meticulous planning. There is absolutely no possibility that he would mend his ways, allow people to live in peace, or address the myriad problems the country is facing, including extreme food insecurity and hunger affecting millions of Ethiopian people almost in every part of the country.
Under Abiy Ahmed’s rule, these and other problems have escalated to an urgent and almost intractable level. In general, Abiy Ahmed is not a leader committed to building a better nation or solving these issues; instead, he is a man who has ignited and will continue to ignite countless fires, causing the death and destruction of thousands, even millions.
These are not exaggerations; they are the stark reality we have all already witnessed—the tragic consequences of the irresponsible and unhinged acts of this man, Abiy Ahmed. The threats Abiy Ahmed poses to the Amhara people and the country at large are indeed very real and must not be taken lightly. It is of utmost importance to prevent him from causing further harm and destruction, using every means available to him, as he surely would if he is not stopped.
As I have stated before and reiterate now, Abiy Ahmed is undoubtedly mentally unstable and poses a significant threat to those under his power. His actions have already demonstrated this danger, and it is imperative to take action before more lives are lost and the country descends further into chaos and despair. We must recognize that Abiy Ahmed represents a grave danger not only to the Amhara people and the country overall but also to the still larger and critically important region surrounding the Ethiopia.
Those power players in the international arena, foolishly engaging with this unpredictable and mentally unbalanced man to further their own geopolitical interests, are not only acting recklessly but also displaying a profound moral disregard for the lives and safety of countless innocent people. It is truly bewildering to imagine what sort of deals they could be making with a madman and how they could expect to benefit from such dangerous schemes.
It is inconceivable for any country that upholds the values of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights to engage in any kind of deal with a man like Abiy Ahmed. He has shamelessly incarcerated almost every journalist in the country, including some women with young children, individuals with medical conditions, and even an elderly individual like the 80-year-old Journalist, Tadios Tantu, who has been imprisoned several times. These imprisoned journalists endure a continuous cycle of humiliation within a legal system that has become a grotesque travesty, manipulated by Abiy Ahmed’s mercenaries and puppets. The entire process is a shameful display of injustice.
Despite their declarations of innocence, some of those imprisoned bravely choose not to partake in this grotesque charade. Yet, they remain incarcerated, subject to the whims of a tyrannical regime. As if this weren’t enough, following the declaration of the recent state of emergency, some members of parliament were brutally beaten in front of their families and forcibly taken to undisclosed locations. We also have now multiple reports of a specialist torture group directly linked to Abiy Ahmed himself who are engaged in conducting extreme tortures of prisoners in a place called Gelan, in the outskirts of the capital, Addis Ababa.
These things are inexcusable and warrant strong condemnation from all countries that uphold democratic values and human rights. Engaging with Abiy Ahmed or his regime in any way that condones or supports these atrocities goes against the very principles that a global community must hold dear.
The lack of focus and moral responsibility exhibited by both the power players in the international arena and the traditional media in the western countries is deeply concerning. While they indulge in reporting on trivial and insignificant matters with excessive details and a grave tone, they have turned a blind eye to the suffering of millions living under the continuous terror of Abiy Ahmed’s regime. It is disheartening to witness their neglect of the ongoing war and destruction inflicted upon the Amhara people by Abiy Ahmed.
The situation is dire, with lives being lost daily, Abiy Ahmed’s forces ruthlessly firing on civilians, hundreds of thousands of people forcibly displaced, and millions suffering from extreme food insecurity and stalked by hunger. Adding to this appalling situation, Abiy Ahmed has heartlessly demolished the homes of two hundred thousand impoverished people, mostly of Amhara ethnic background, to construct his lavish palace, to be funded through questionable loans from the World Bank and others. Despite all these atrocities, the voice of condemnation remains very subdued, and the internet is filled with misinformation and propaganda.
It is crucial for the international community and responsible media in the west to shift their focus and give attention to the grave situation faced by the Amhara people under Abiy Ahmed’s regime. The extreme suffering of the Amhara people must not be overshadowed or neglected in pursuit of ill-conceived geopolitical interests. Prioritizing such interests at the expense of human rights and justice is deeply unjust and immoral.
The lives and well-being of the Amhara people should be at the forefront of global concern, and the world must come together to condemn the actions of Abiy Ahmed’s regime and demand an end to his reign of terror. Ignoring or downplaying these crucial matters that directly impact the lives of millions is disheartening and unacceptable.
The international community and responsible media in the west and elsewhere have a vital role to play in shedding light on the atrocities being committed against the Amhara people and in advocating for their rights and dignity. It is time for these entities to take a stand against tyranny and oppression and work towards a just and peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis. The Amhara people deserve solidarity and support from the international community to ensure their safety and well-being.
The situation is crystal clear: the Amhara people demanded their fundamental rights, an end to being treated as a second or third citizen in their own country, and Abiy Ahmed’s response has been ruthless violence. The Amhara people have the right to defend themselves, nothing gives Abiy Ahmed the right to fire on unarmed civilians and bomb cities – these are crimes against humanity. The international community and media must stand against these atrocities and demand justice for the Amhara people of Ethiopia. Urgent action is needed to stop Abiy Ahmed’s reign of terror and prevent further suffering.
The media and governments must firmly condemn these atrocities, or their credibility and moral standing will suffer. We call on them to stand for justice and humanity and support the Amhara people’s fight for their human rights, freedom, justice, and equality. Solidarity and collective action can end the suffering of the Amhara people.
The continued suffering and persecution of the Amhara people is also, in part, connected to the disputed areas of Wolqayt, Humera, Raya and other regions, which were forcefully taken from them by the previous ethnic-based regime, TPLF. The regime resettled these areas with people from its own ethnic group, driving out most of the Amhara people forcefully, and committing heinous crimes along the way, including killing, torture, and imprisonment of the thousands upon thousands of those who resisted. Recently, international groups have unearthed several mass graves, providing evidence of the atrocities committed by the previous TPLF regime.
After the TPLF regime was deposed a few years back, following a war in the area started by that regime, which it subsequently lost, the Amhara people returned and reclaimed their ancestral land. However, Abiy Ahmed’s new regime, which is essentially an offshoot of the old regime, has made a secret deal with the old TPLF regime and conspiring now to take the land away from the Amhara people and give it back to them. The Amhara people are resisting this effort, leading to a continued civil war over these areas. Despite the facts supporting the Amhara people’s claims, widespread misinformation portrays them as aggressors, neglecting the fact that they are the ones who have suffered immense losses and decades of injustice.
One significant reason for the wild success of the misinformation is the old regime’s ill-gotten wealth amassed through corruption and theft while in power. They used this wealth to spread false stories in the international media after being deposed, reversing true positions and painting the victims as oppressors and the oppressors as victims. These fabricated narratives have been readily accepted by various entities, perpetuating the distortion of truth and adding to the suffering of the Amhara people.
It is disconcerting when international entities support claims that deny the rightful ownership of the land to the Amhara people, despite being aware of the truth. It is morally unacceptable for any international organization to back a move that disregards the historical presence and forceful displacement of the Amhara people and seeks to deny them ownership of their rightful ancestral land.
Moreover, these areas in question hold a grim history of mass graves, verified by reputable international agencies, serving as a haunting reminder of the atrocities against the Amhara people committed by the TPLF regime. Considering this historical context is crucial while addressing the land dispute. Forcing the Amhara people to give away their land and handing it over to another party will perpetuate endless bloodshed and worsen the situation. We must prioritize a fair and just resolution that upholds the rights and dignity of the Amhara people. Acknowledging the truth and standing against injustice is imperative for all in order to play a constructive role in preventing further conflict and promoting stability in the region.
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