Featured image: Ethiopian troops in Gondar during the clashes of the month of September. Source: BBC Amharic.
In recent weeks, there has been new reports of atrocities committed by the Ethiopian State against the people of Amhara and the border areas of Oromia. After the beginning of the struggle, the Ethiopian State began a wave of repression against people linked to the Fano militias in this area, but also against numerous other activists fighting for democratic rights throughout the country. There were hundreds of arrests in several places, including in the capital, Addis Ababa. We have reported earlier on this repression. Now new atrocities committed by the Ethiopian State are revealed: the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) revealed many extrajudicial killings in several regions of the country, not only in Amhara. More arbitrary arrests were also revealed in several areas besides Amhara, such as in Oromia or Addis Abeba.
The highest point of these executions and arrests has been in Amhara, where even Fano militia fighters who have surrendered, lately have been reported being executed. The same happens for numerous murders by government troops in many districts. The State troops claimed that these civilians were “hidding weapons”. The inhabitants of the region said that this was just lies, and they show that they were just peasants outside of the conflict. Even is these allegations from the Ethiopian soldiers would be true, it would also show that their execution would be a hugely disproportionate measure.
The people of Amhara have not remained silent in front of these facts. The Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Armed Forces, Field Marshal Berhanu Jula, in the first half of the month stated that resistance in Amhara was no longer a problem. But a week later, Fano militias attacked several military targets and police stations in Gondar, Amhara, on Sunday 24th of September. Also they claimed to release a large number of prisoners. Combat is also reported in other parts of Amhara such as West Gojam or Norther Shewa. Newspapers and residents of these areas claim that communications with Addis Abeba have been paralyzed due to the combat, government offices and banks are closed, and the people’s freedom of movement has been limited. Therefore, it seems obvious that the situation is not at all under control, despite what senior military or government officials claim.
Meanwhile, the Ethiopian ruling classes are taking advantage of the declaration of emergency made by Abiy Ahmed’s regime to continue repressing opponents and defenders of the democratic rights of the people. One of the most recent cases of this repression is the arrest of an opposition leader, Dr. Chane Kebede, president of the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (Ezema) party. The arrest would have occurred as a kidnapping, by a car without license plates, with agents who did not identify themselves and who did not give reasons for the arrest.
Last week, while many of these events were occurring, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken telephoned Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The conversation shows the interest of Yankee imperialism for the situation to be solved as soon as possible and for stability to return to the Ethiopian State. Also there was talk about future agreements that could affect the security of the Horn of Africa in general. As we have already reported, Yankee imperialism supports the government of the Ethiopian State with its huge loans through financial institutions such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund. In addition, Blinken already expressed in January the concern of Yankee imperialism about the instability in the area. The European Union pledged on Tuesday 3rd of October an aid of 680 million of dollars to the Ethiopian State. This aid was blocked since the War in Tigray, and now is being unblocked even with the knowledge of the atrocities that are being committed in Amhara. The European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, stated: “Ethiopia is engaged in a peace process, transitional justice and reform. The European Union has consistently supported these tracks”.
While the Ethiopian State continues in its massacres and arrests as many activists as possible, imperialism shows its real interest, and it’s not the defense of the “so-called human rights”. The real interest is to solve this situation as soon as possible, that the Ethiopian ruling classes emerge triumphant from this problem and therefore, the imperialists can preserve their interests in the semi-colonial and semi-feudal country a little longer.