He was Mesfin’s childhood friend. The pair collected mountain firewood in sacks – to help their mothers. One day, it poured, so they abandoned their loads. Halfway down Yeka Mikael Mountain, they nearly tripped over a groaning elder, who’d slipped in the mud. Kebede insisted on carrying him home.
Kebede was a slim tower topped with a benign face; he became a civil lawyer. When I met him in 2016, TPLF had just released him from prison. When he refused to say in court what they’d ordered him to declare, he got 5 years.
Around January 05, 2023, just before Genna or Ethiopian Christmas, Kebede caught a regional bus to Gojjam. Along with 67 others, he was visiting relatives. If he’d been wealthy, he would have flown the 650 kilometres. The bus reached 200 kilometres north of Addis Ababa, Shewa – where the Maji River flows into the Blue Nile.
Oromo Liberation Front-Shene insurgents stopped them at Goa Tsion Bridge and demanded ID. Thugs then butchered and shot every passenger, also the driver. Why? They had Amhara names. Victims phoned local police, who refused to attend, saying, ‘We’re not Federal Police.’
Only half of Kebede’s body was found. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed refused 1 minute’s silence in parliament – for all 69.
Insurgents had been apprehending travellers prior to this. South of Addis Ababa, Shene stopped a minibus and beheaded 5 passengers that had Amhara names. Some Oromo people have Amhara or Jewish names! Now, Shene stops all regional buses. It separates Oromo- and Amhara-language speakers, killing the latter.
Official Travel Bans
Later in January 2023, the government banned Amhara from entering Addis Ababa. One member of parliament resigned. Another said that because of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, people from Konso, Tigray and Amhara could not move between districts. He fails in his constitutional duty to protect all citizens.
OLF-Shene has complete freedom of movement. Confronted with footage of brutes running through town streets after they’d massacred more than 219 Amhara, the prime minister made a feeble gesture: he covered his eyes and made no comment.
Each of us can digitally sign this petition. It will reach the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Evictions of Amhara
Evictions of Amhara have long been widespread. The TPLF evicted farmers in Amhara regions from 27 years ago. It targeted homeless youth in the city .
This year, the mayor evicted Amhara around the city. She started at Silulta, 18 kilometres north of Addis Ababa CBD. The mayor had 10,000 houses demolished in the middle of the night. A mother fled with her 2 sons. Leaving them under a tree, she returned to her home of 18 years to retrieve important belongings. Guards barred her from entering. Back at the tree, 1 son had been badly mauled by hyenas; the other was missing.
Amhara burned the mayor’s office; in revenge, Oromo locals destroyed the roof of a home for elderly Amhara.
A wave of anti-Orthodox sentiment came with the March rains. Last week, the mayor of Addis Ababa ordered the eviction of 147,000 from historic Piazza. Great grandparents, who had witnessed Graziani’s thuggery there during Mussolini’s occupation 80 years ago, were turned out. For 2 nights, excavators lifted roofs. 11 heads of household have since suicided.
One mother shared a wall with a Piazza jewellery shop – how to not love Ethiopia? Historic businesses might not survive.
From November 2020, TPLF marked the doors of Amhara. Then they returned to murder them. Why do TPLF and allies from Egypt and Republic of Sudan want to burn alive Amhara farmers in their own homes? What infuriates them – their productivity?
Persecution of Ethiopian Intellectuals
Recently, Oromo leaders imprisoned 157 teachers for writing in Amharic and not flying the Oromo flag. A 9-year-old was locked up for 3 days for holding up the Amhara flag as police bore down upon him.
The 2023 top secondary-school student faced discrimination because he was Orthodox, from Agewmeder near Blue Nile. He gained a university entrance score of 660 for Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Politicians called him, ‘Buda,’ which means something like ‘evil eye’.
Historian, Author and Teacher Taye Bogale
56 years old and 36 years a teacher, Taye asks, ‘What is my mistake?’
This month, government affiliated terrorists detained Taye as he collected his daughter from school. The men drove a Landcruiser with covered licence plates. They held a gun to his head and then beat him for 4 hours, breaking his arm, ribs and teeth; and kept him for 3 more days during which they made him sit in a burning hot chair . The station that interviewed Taye after his release was broken into and vandalised, with half a million ETB worth of equipment destroyed. What had he done?
Taye raised 7.8 million ETB for drought stricken Borena, Ethiopia’s southern pastoralists. He also donated food and blankets. The Oromo government then stopped donations to the 3 million starving people with their 4 million dead cattle. Meanwhile, the prime minister sold 131,000 metric tons of wheat through World Food Bank – for foreign currency.
He downplayed the losses, saying, ‘300–400 people die every day in the US.’ Each Borena bull was worth 55,000 ETB; if exported to Japan, it would sell for 12,000 USD; 1 kilogram of beef cost 100 USD. The drought endangered the whole breed. Ethiopia’s leader planted flowers in the city, while humble Taye cared for all kinds of people.
Tribute to Taye
Here’s a tribute to Taye by Almariam. It predates the Senie 21, 2020 riots. I saw the rioters, goaded by social media or having accepted foreign bribes. They obeyed Europeans in thought and deed. However, like singer Hachalu Hundessa—murdered on June 29, 2020—Taye would never blindly hate Emperor Menelik II. Taye inspired Ethiopians to learn from history [3,4].
Quality higher education had been compromised by corruption. It began under the TPLF that imprisoned and tortured the education minister. In January 2023, 985,000 Ethiopians took their university entrance exams. 29,000 passed and only 1% passed Geography and History. For decades, wealthy students had bought exam papers, but it stopped this year.
His Amharic-language book Bitter Truth sold 173,000 copies with 21 print runs. Now, Ethiopian leaders have banned its sale and publication. It also shut his Facebook page.
Ethiopians are disturbed by the fact that the criminals that beat Taye did so in front of his child. By contrast, 40 years ago under the communist Derg, there was a bank robbery, during which robbers hid their guns from view of children inside the bank.
Tadios is the author of 6 history books; his series on patriots is known as The Avenger. He is a survivor of imprisonment under the TPLF. In a new book, Tadios criticises the prime minister for going soft on TPLF rebels. He cites excessive losses that began early in the 2020 war: 200,000 Amhara killed, 3 million displaced and 200,000 disappeared. Tadios is now locked up because, in his books, he condemns Amhara genocide and unconstitutional government action .
He wrote his 6 books over a period of 42 years. Amazingly, Abiy Ahmed produces 6 books every 4 or so years.
Although the prime minister refuses to free this 82-year-old grandfather, he released TPLF founders in January 2022. 1 million defence force casualties still lay unburied. At Ethiopian Christmas 2023, he spoke of releasing more war criminals.
Last year, he freed Aboy Sebhat, mastermind of the burial alive of at least 70,000 Amhara in mass graves in Tigray. His reasoning? ‘He’s elderly.’ Aboy also ordered the torture of Welo university students in 2021, most of whom did not survive. Last week, the US welcomed the brute in Washington.
In prison, gentle Tadios Tantu is denied his Ethiopian herbal medicine. I’d favour that over Western medicine, which is all that they offer him.
Journalists suffer similarly. One named Mulugeta has been in prison 11 times for his human-interest articles. The current leadership defied human rights recommendations to release him.
A member of the Ethiopian diaspora started a journal that he named Negert, which is Ge’ez for monastery drum. Its evocative title promised more than Political Marketplace that the prime minister promotes. However, bureaucrats harried him, so he returned to the US.
Recently, more book trade professionals have been imprisoned, including the owner of a bookshop in Addis Ababa. These are completely peaceful people, unlike the TPLF monster now welcomed to a rich life in America. They are also free of the corruption that is embedded in some institutions. This week, a Prosperity Party member has been accused of stealing half a million ETB from the university of which he was formerly an administrator .
The Factory Owner, the General and the Prime Minister
In under 1 year, a new factory flourished. It employed 8,000 workers and 5,000 temporary ones. The owner was forced to buy 3 million ETB worth of the prime minister’s books. When he refused, henchmen told him, ‘We will close your factory.’ What would 13,000 families do? The owner paid the money, saying, ‘I don’t want the book; give it to those that like it.’ The officials then threatened to take him to court over the unfavourable comment.
Abiy Ahmed is so sensitive to constructive criticism that it cost a general his job. In November 2021, he had saved Addis Ababa, stopping TPLF rebels that advanced to Ankober in Shewa – within 75 kilometres of the capital. Later, he asked the prime minister, ‘Why did you send ammunition when we asked for food; and vice versa? Handguns when we ordered missiles?’
The prime minister sacked him. This meant that he could not get treatment for 3 bullets lodged in his body from the war. Then officials denied him an exit visa to receive medical help in Israel. The general returned from the airport in his wheelchair. He has nerve damage from the bullets.
Persecution of Orthodox
The prime minister is behind the removal of Amhara names from established places. The city of Debre Zeit became Bishiftu, and Nazaret changed to Adama.
Orthodox people are also expendable. On the other hand, he visits their monasteries. He sends conflicting messages. Is he a snake-tongue?
Last week, Ethiopian television news reported that a high-level Orthodox priest was murdered on the streets of Addis Ababa with stones . The kahan had just given the Sabbath service in Mariyam church. He was among the world’s most peaceful quiet achievers.
Ethiopia’s Federal Police confiscated witnesses’ mobile phones. Video evidence of the murder has, according to them, not been found. They are not prosecuting.
The following night, vandals attempted to demolish the famous Giyorgis and Medhane Alem monasteries in Shashamane and Burayu, near Addis Ababa. Ordinary folk surrounded them, obstructing machinery. This post about Adwa Victory Day describes last month’s tear gassing and shooting at Giyorgis Monastery in Addis Ababa. The secretary to the Federal Police Commissioner learned that the prime minister had ordered this; 19 police were then shot for disclosing it.
At the same time, Oromo militia and foreigners attacked another monastery 45 kilometres south of the city. They burned and razed it, also demolishing its underground school for traditional physicians. Ineligible for pensions, they do lifelong work that is invaluable. In 2020, these physicians cured a 105-year-old monk of coronavirus without lingering malaise. Here is Hakim Abebech, a similar healer.
Prime Minister’s Island Monastery Visit
Last week, the prime minister visited Amhara districts. At Emperor Fasil’s castle in Gondar, he said, ‘We need to do more great building.’ Why not prevent further destruction? Deep in Lake Tana in Gojjam, he attended Stephanos Monastery (Gorgora). It is a premier scientific research site.
In a video that is now private, Abiy Ahmed viewed a 15,000-page goatskin book, like those looted by TPLF and Shene at the behest of foreign collectors. When he said that the culture needs protecting, a monk told him, ‘We’re onto it… been here 7,000 years.’ He then commented that the US did not have such cultural richness. Another holy one said, ‘We want the world to have this, if they like.’
He arrested popes earlier in 2023. Abun Ermias of Dessie, Welo was one. He’d begged for handfuls of food for displaced people. Abun Ermias fed the forgotten. Today, 22 million Ethiopians are still on food handouts; 3 million not at all. By contrast, the prime minister dined with TPLF to whom he was willing to hand over Welqait, Humera and Mai Kadra. Amhara would never want to farm those areas of Tigray because they were massacre sites. Our late friend Alemayehu would have called the soon forgotten victims world’s last people. Foreigners coveted the fertile land.
The prime minister imprisoned the pope of Jimma, who had founded a university; also, the Bahir Dar pope, who’d called for his resignation. Abun Ermias defended them: ‘You cannot arrest all of us,’ but the government is going after everybody. In January, it announced that members of Gojjam’s patriotic Belay Zeleq Society were to be kidnapped.
Why visit Gorgora, yet arrest Orthodox popes?
Why not observe 1-minute’s silence in parliament for murdered Amhara?
This English-news report from 2022 covers a single day’s killings of Amhara by the Ethiopian splinter group Shene . Attacks upon isolated Amhara farming communities have increased since 2020. The violence is recurring.
European-language news reports explain away the murders as “ethnic violence”. Daily Ethiopian broadcasts show orderly crowds chanting, ‘Down with Abiy.’ They demonstrate against persecution and slaughter of Amhara and can be from anywhere.
Benishangul-Gumuz and Welega Amhara
Most days in the Benishangul-Gumuz and Welega areas of western Ethiopia, Shene murders 200–400 civilians. Greed is the true motivator. Massacres began after the prime minister allowed gold mining there when he came to power in 2018. It was also stolen for a blackmarket . Some massacres targeted Muslim Amhara, where they’d settled in certain areas blending in harmoniously. Most victims were Christian and Amhara.
Perpetrators have included TPLF junta and mercenaries from Egypt, Republic of Sudan and South Sudan. The UK and US unofficially supported them. In Addis Ababa, in October 2020, 38 Egyptians stayed in my area. They were mercenaries waiting to fight and should never have entered Ethiopia.
One area, Metekel, was close to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam; rugged and difficult to defend. On December 23, 2020, Shene murdered 1,500 Amhara there—burning them in their homes—and displaced 86,000. One foreign news report stated that ‘over 100’ were killed . However, not all bodies could be found, so local estimates were more accurate. Losses in neighbouring Agewmeder were also high. Those people had the same bloodline as Jesus Christ. The West refused to cover the massacre so as not to spoil Christmas.
In January 2021, a man put his 4 children on a school bus. Shene murdered all. After Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited Sudan, it sent an army across the northwest border to help murder Amhara. To the east, the TPLF war continued. By now, there was a 2-pronged attack upon Amhara.
Help Never Came
Ethiopian broadcasters recorded Amhara as they fled to the bush: ‘Shene is coming for us. HELP.’ Local Oromo government officials ensured that none arrived, and 100 or more died daily. They also collected mobile phones from Amhara homes prior to massacres. Security forces may even have participated in killings.
Victims’ cultural groups were not represented in local administration, and the Ethiopian government has not protected those peaceful civilian farmers. They were forced to abandon their healthy food sources. Any available foreign food aid is an insult to those geniuses of cultivation.
Across the nation, 5 million of 8 million displaced people are unaided. These are refugees from abroad and internally displaced Ethiopians. All NGOs including WFP ignore them. With no NGO or authority involvement, it is impossible to say how many of the 5 million are from Welega. However, each day, 1,000 find themselves hiding in the bush. Women and children are attacked by wild animals. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ignores the luckiest that make it to the city, sheltering under plastic not 1 kilometre from his palace. However, he was the first to send condolences when a 4-year-old Moroccan fell into a drain.
Foreign Support of Attackers
Don’t officially publicise the burials.
In June and July 2022, more Sudanese and Egyptian mercenaries invaded Welega and neighbouring Gojjam. They attacked with insurgent Shene and possibly the rebel TPLF. They had posed as refugees in the Republic of Sudan, using it as a war base – healing wounds and getting fresh supplies. Funnelling of money and arms to insurgents and rebels by foreigners was unreported outside Ethiopia.
Somalis attacked after training at a US base in Uganda. NGOs had rescued them from torture in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia also supported the genocide. I heard none of this reported in Australia’s news media.
On June 20, 2022 in Welega, OLF-Shene killed approximately 1,500 Amhara. They struck when men were in the fields, busy after the first rains. A 5-month-old survivor lay beside his dead mother; cowards slaughtered pregnant women and babies .
‘Don’t officially publicise the burials,’ said European NGOs. Iran, Israel and South Africa condemned the massacre.
On July 07, 2022, combined attackers struck at 3 am with heavy artillery. They killed 1,000. In Australia, I did not hear about either attack nor that Egypt had declared war, although her people were without food.
Photojournalist Jemaldiscussed 1-sided reporting that whitewashed atrocities. He said it was due to bigotry toward Amhara. OLF-Shene attacks were especially brutal. In Benishangul-Gumuz, it targeted women and children monstrously; and husbands could not be buried. Europeans were ignorant of Amhara and their beliefs, even though Ethiopia could have provided translators .
US Aid’s Samantha Powell said it had been calm under the TPLF. However, she ignored repression of the people: mass sterilisations of Amhara girls; mass graves, before Mai Kadra 2020; and corpses from police disappearances. The US gave the TPLF government more than 20 SUVs to encourage this. What has changed since 2018?
The Secretary-General of the European parliament said, ‘For peace in Ethiopia, it’s best to split her into 3.’ Consequently, other isolated and border areas of Ethiopia suffered intermittent attack. In 2022, Sudanese jets bombed Gambella in the west, killing 3 people. Rather than complain, foreigners disparaged Ethiopia for telling Sudan not to attack if it wanted to buy electricity produced by the 72-kilometre Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
While I was in Addis Ababa in April 2021, locals hid news of the flattening of the 3,000-year-old city Ankober, birthplace of Emperor Menelik II. Shene displaced residents, murdering some, and attacked the monastery of Debre Birhan. English-language articles on this are difficult to find.
In November 2022, Shene murdered 7 deacons in northern Shewa. In January 2023, French and German ministers visited, after which attacks worsened.
During February 2023, Shene attacked the southern district of Sheshamane, murdering 200 people. Rioters had already devastated the productive agricultural and industrial area during the Senie 21 riots. 700 Amhara hid in the bush, phoning police that would not respond.
The Sheshamane government had plans for Medhane Alem Monastery. It had arrested the monastery pope and sent away security and workers. European-backed Protestants were then supposed to overrun the monastery and steal to order. They succeeded in burning the library with its goatskin books.
Insurgents murdered the monastery traditional healer, the meregeta. He died in hospital. Fugitive Amhara lay down on the ground surrounding the monastery: ‘Kill us to gain access.’ Snipers shot 42 of them. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed banned mourners from wearing black and met with the French president.
The Ethiopian and international governments have cooperated with TPLF rebels and Shene insurgents. Europeans favour TPLF, some calling the junta ‘democrats’. Ethiopia’s peaceful majority is bullied by brutal minorities. This is ongoing. 1 minute’s silence in parliament for Amhara is warranted.