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The Third Woyane: The Third Time's The Charm

The Third Woyane: The Third Time's The Charm

Aynalem Sebhatu  11-28-20


As conflicts spike in every corner of the country, the war against Tigray ravages the northern part of Ethiopia, the urgent call for ceasefire and the urgent need to find a political solution is revibrating in the international corridors of power.  From the UN Security Council to the African Union, every effort of negotiated settlement has been rebuffed by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed. The 44 years old Prime Minister is a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. 


More than three weeks has passed since the devastating war against Tigray reared its ugly head like mushrooms that sprang up after rain. The Tigrayans are surrounded and invaded by joint forces of Abiy Ahmed’s army, Eritrea’s President Issayas Afewerki’s army, the Amhara militia, and drones of the UAE. Even innocent Tigrayans who are living outside Tigray could not escape Abiy’s reign of terror. This war spares no Tigrayan including the highest profiled Tigrayan at the world stage, Dr. Teddy Adhanom, who is leading the World Health Organization. Though Abiy’s method of dealing with Tigrayans is not new, the scope and widespread profiling, harassment and imprisonment of Tigrayans in every corner of the country is breathtaking and dangerously leading to ethnic cleansing.


Inside Tigray, the trickling pieces of information we have is horrendous and outrageous to describe.  However, Abiy Ahmed tightens the flow of information out of Tigray by darkening the skies of Tigray, there will be sunshine tomorrow. Come tomorrow it will, the majestic mountains of Tigray will roar back with its third Woyane. As they say the third time it is a charm. For the Tigrayans, Abiy’s war is a futile war against their freedom. It is a futile war against their God given land to till peacefully. A meaningless war against their hard-won rights to self-elect their own government.

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The call for ceasefire by well-meaning citizens of the world is commendable. But all these efforts are frustrated by Abiy Ahamed. For most of us it is not surprising. Because we do not believe that the keys for opening the main doors for peace and negotiated settlements are in the hands of Abiy Ahmed.  These keys are in the hands of the President of Eritrea, Issayas Afeweki. It is Issayas’s entire army that is marching towards Mekelle from the north and Issayas is firmly controlling the ins and outs of this devastating war.


Since the packages of Abiy Ahmed, posted and stamped with the Nobel Peace Prize, arrived in the highest office of the country, Ethiopians and Eritreans equally are puzzled by the relationship of the two leaders. I think it is now clear that the coming together of these odd fellows has nothing to do with peace. It is about making war and it is about exacting revenge at the Tigrayans.  The alleged invasion of the northern command by TPLF as a cause for this war is simply a pretax to start it.


The third willing partners joining the sword of revenge are the Amhara chauvinists.  After almost a century of commanding political power in the country, the Amhara elites were jolted by the coming of a coalition political group called EPRDF in 1991. This sudden political power vulnerability became a source of resentment, anger and categorical hatred against Tigrayans. For the last three decades of the EPRDF’s rule, the general failure of expanding the political space to ensure democratic practices in the country has been entirely explained as a failure of the TPLF. The TPLF, as a core group of the coalition of the EPRDF, was willing to take its share of blame and publicly took its share of blame. Instead the Amhara elites effectively used the politics of demonization against Tigrayans for the last 30 years and roundly condemned everything as failure of TPLF and by extension Tigrayans. Because it provided the Amhara political elites a political cover for failing to serve the Amhara people and it also provided a convenient proof of what many Amhara chauvinists have always believed. That is, Ethiopia means Amhara and Amhara means Ethiopia. Much as they dislike to admit it, they believe that the assimilation and the Amaharaization of nations and nationalities of Ethiopia is a destiny for the country.


At the top of Amhara chauvinists maundering is the unfortunate fact that nations and nationalities of Ethiopia simply cannot reconcile themselves to the reality that not all Ethiopians wish to admire and imitate the curtsying superstitions and myths of Amhara dominations. Nor do they believe the Amhara myth that a century of Amhara domination did humanity a service by violently acting out imperial delusions in several regions of Ethiopia. The prime exhibit of such a delusion is what is displaying in front of our eyes in west Tigray. As if it is the wild west, the looting and the land grab of west Tigray is a signal of the emergence of a well-organized modern Neftegna.


Amhara extremists and chauvinists have been far more influential, with Abiy Ahmed and with the current political atmosphere, than their numbers would justify in Ethiopia today. Nevertheless, even though our distaste for chauvinism and Neftegna attitudes is justifiable as a defense of federalism and democracy, the use of that distaste to attack and push away the Amhara people from exercising their rights is not.



Let keep our eyes on the prize: our unity


Glory to our martyrs!


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