The Dangers of Amhara Chauvinism in Today’s Ethiopia; The End of the Abyssinian Empire
Nareeg.com-The Amhara people of Ethiopia built the Abyssinian Empire with
firearms from Italy in the late 19th century, and in doing so adopted
a uniquely African brand of ethnic chauvinism. Anyone familiar with
the myth of Haile Sellasie the supposed “anti-colonialist” of modern
African legend can find Amhara chauvinism front and center.
The major feat of the Amhara was conquering their traditional enemies
the Oromo, whose legendary cavalry routed all Abyssinian invasions
until the last one, which saw the brutal subjugation of Africa’s
largest nationality and the sort of ethnic hatred towards the
vanquished rarely seen so virulent.
Amhara’s call the Oromo “galla”, or slave, and viewed them as little
more than subhuman. So today for Ethiopia to have an Oromo P.M. and
leading Ethiopia’s largest political party and seemingly inevitable
electoral sweep in the next election in 2020 the Amhara chauvinists
have started to strike back.
When the Oromo’s celebrating the return of their heroes from the Oromo
Liberation Front from exile in Eritrea were attacked following the
concert/rally it didn’t take long before two senior Amhara Ginbot
movement “Welcoming Committee” for Amhara leaders returning from exile
where arrested for this crime. This atrocity, amongst others, has led
to a split in the Amhara based Ginbot resistance to the TPLF regime
and hopefully is seeing the development of an anti chauvinism movement
amongst the Amhara people.
Oromos and Eritrea, both symptomatic of the collapse of the Amhara
Abyssinian Empire, are the main targets of this ethnic chauvinism, for
to see Eritrea rebels successfully defeat the best Ethiopia could send
at them and win independence and now to have an Oromo P.M. telling
Amhara’s what to do, the rage has been bubbling and inevitably it
broke out in a splurge of looting and killings that shocked
To see just how pervasive this ethnic superiority complex is check out
the Amhara based internet for anything positive about Eritrea playing
a critical role in “Ethiopia’s Peaceful Revolution”, or any mention of
how the Oromo’s recognize what a hero Eritrean President Issias
Aferwerki has been in their return to leading one of Africa’s oldest
Try and find anywhere in the Amhara media P.M. Abiy’s speech on July 8
welcoming Eritrean President Issias Aferwerki to Addis Ababa where he
said “Issias is leading us”. How could every single one of thousands
of Amhara journalist fail to watch this speech to the point where this
statement was made? Smells of chauvinism to me, what of any
consequence could an Oromo leader be saying after half an hour of
addressing the nation?
To see their two worst enemies united is to much to publicly
recognize, for what ethnically proud Amhara can feel comfortable with
this? Amhara’s created the modern African empire of Ethiopia and are
the rightful rulers of the country, or so the chauvinists believe. So
no mention of the essential role played by Eritrea in regime change in
Ethiopia is acceptable. Don’t believe me, go see for yourself what is
being said and written in Addis Ababa by the Amhara pundits there.
The remainents of the TPLF regime in Ethiopia’s Tigray province, or
“Weyane” as they are known, remain a problem but not a major threat.
All Ethiopians hate Weyane and the large, well armed Tigrayan rebel
army on the Eritrean border (they have now moved into more critical
areas of Tigray) known as Demhit is easily able to wipe out any
attempt by the Weyane to engage in insurgency.
The Amhara chauvinists on the other hand, remain, deep in their
hearts, opposed to both Eritrean Independence and the second coming of
the Oromo nation. Until this ethnic chauvinism is vanquished from the
hearts and minds of the Amhara people and Abyssinian Imperialism is
buried once and for all the rest of Ethiopia will have to beware of
this cancer suppurating in the body politic of the country.
Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist in Eritrea living and
reporting from here since 2006. See thomascmountain on Facebook,
thomascmountain on Twitter or best reach him at thomascmountain at g
mail dot com