A Statement from the APF Global Support Task Force.

The Amhara Popular Front Global Support Task Force appeals to the international community with deep concern about the fast-deteriorating crisis in Ethiopia. The recent wave of attacks on Amharas in the Amhara region is on the verge of becoming a full-blown genocide. The regime has recently declared a state of emergency in the Amhara region, and imposed restrictions throughout the region obstructing the efforts of independent investigators, journalists, and humanitarian workers, making it difficult to verify accounts of atrocities from the region.

Security forces in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, have been targeting Amharas including women, children and the elderly with arbitrary arrests and mass detentions as part of an escalating crackdown. Most detainees are held without charges or access to a lawyer. These mass arrests have instilled such a climate of fear that Amhara residents of Addis Ababa are scared and expect to be rounded up any time. The arrests have intensified since the regime declared a state of emergency about three weeks ago as Fano and Amhara militias who are defending the Amhara people from attacks by the regime’s armed forces took control of strategic towns in the Amhara region.

Arrests are conducted through house-to-house searches by security forces with support from ethnic based vigilante groups who check the IDs of people on the streets of the capital. Detainees, including civil servants, Orthodox priests, lawyers, journalists, and political analysts are being held in schools, youth centers and other informal detention centers across Addis Ababa and other places in the country because police stations are overflowing. We are asking the international community to apply pressure on the regime’s authorities to ensure that families are informed of the whereabouts and status of their loved ones and that anyone deprived of their liberty has access to lawyers and family members without delay.

The state of emergency declared by the government was adopted by the rubber stamp parliament on August 14, 2023. The state of emergency allows the authorities to arrest and detain anyone without a warrant, and to detain them without judicial review for as long as the proclamation is in place, currently for six months. All the measures violate international human rights law which prohibits arbitrary detention and discrimination in all circumstances. The Amhara detainees are kept in tens of various locations under harsh conditions, some very remote and inhospitable. While it is currently impossible to establish the exact number of detainees, they number around one hundred thousand. Those currently locked up have not been charged or brought before a court of law, and almost all have been targeted purely based on their ethnicity.

The fundamental demands of the Amhara people remain unaddressed. Discrimination is rife. Economic disempowerment, political marginalization, and total loss of voice is patent. The Amhara people are disproportionately represented in the statistics about the Ethiopian prison population.

As we write this letter drone strikes are killing several hundreds of civilians in many towns in the Amhara region. There have been tens of drone strikes in the region in the last three weeks. The targets have been densely populated urban areas resulting in civilian casualties and destruction of properties. This continuous brutal actions of the ruling party against the civilians must stop. The regime’s forces are also attacking “…religious institutions, and historical sites. A case in point is the recent aggression that included the deployment of drones and air attacks on the cities of Debre Birhan and Gondar. Among the horrific casualties is the Fasiledes Castle — an iconic symbol of the nation’s history and a UNESCO World Heritage Site” .

The Abiy Ahmed regime not only has failed to fulfil its duty to protect the peace of the people, but it has also used drones and warplanes on several occasions together with its mighty military forces [infantry] to commit genocide against the Amhara people. In contravention to international aviation regulations, the regime is currently using the Ethiopian Airlines to transport military personnel and weapons. The regime and its allies are the ones responsible for all the chaos that has gripped the country. We therefore urge the international community to break its silence in a meaningful way on atrocities in the Amhara region and elsewhere in the country and take appropriate actions to save the lives of innocent civilians.

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), an Oromo extremist armed group with tacit support from the regime has gone so far as to issue an open manifesto declaring war against the Amhara people on all fronts. To this end, they encourage and undertake the desecration of places of worship, murder priests, destroy monasteries, and reprimand those who use their language - Amharic. In short, the OLF and the governing Oromo People Democratic Organisation (OPDO)/Oromo Prosperity Party (OPP) are hell-bent on dismantling Ethiopia through warmongering and exterminating the Amhara people - the very people who have played a significant role in the survival and independence of this ancient country in East Africa.

The international community should know that continuous mass protests have been underway in most places in the Amhara region from time to time in one form or another.

Abiy’s regime is unlikely to survive a sustained mass uprising in the Amhara region, especially given the mounting political and economic crises around the country. This interim could be the harbinger of a dangerous convulsion. As Ethiopia fails so does the Greater Horn/North-East Africa. The contagion will spread all over, eventually affecting maritime trade across the Red Sea Lane and the Bab El-Mandab spilling over and deepening conflict among Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt over the waters of the Nile, not to speak of the instability, the flow of refugees, and displaced persons across borders. Such deterioration coupled with unpredictable developments in the Middle East and the gathering storm of conflict between the US/West and China/Russia might turn the region into one of two or three hottest theatres where the most intense geo-political conflicts of the 21st century will play out.

We are aware that successive conflicts in Africa, not least of all in Ethiopia, have led to a certain media saturation that often affects international human rights organizations. We, therefore, wish to bring to your attention the warning that the crisis currently unfolding in Ethiopia can potentially become a devastating conflict with serious repercussions on the ground, a conflict where a full-blown genocide is being actively cultivated by politicians and media broadcasters. This, in turn, raises the issue of mass displacement of population with profound consequences for the international community.

We call upon the international community to take immediate action to help stop the genocide from fully materializing. The implications of not taking action against these reprehensible criminal acts are severe. It was 1944 at Auschwitz death camp, and Jewish prisoner Murray was about to witness an act of such extreme cruelty it would haunt him forever. As the baby flew upwards, the Nazi sneered, “If you can’t walk, you will fly”. He then aimed his gun, pulled the trigger, and shot the flailing infant dead. When the mother immediately fainted, she too was shot in the head. The above example is to show you that even worse and more barbaric atrocity crimes are being committed against the Amhara people in both the Amhara and Oromia regions. Recently, well placed informants have uncovered that Abiy Ahmed has acquired cluster bombs and internationally banned chemical agents from an Arab country that he is planning to use against the Amhara people. This is very unsettling and should be a cause for concern to the global community.

The statement issued by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on 08/29/2023 expressing his concern on the situation in the Amhara region is too little too late. However, we believe it is going in the right direction and should not be limited to lip service. The international community should understand the seriousness of the situation for its worth. The Amhara people are victims of widespread state-sponsored genocide. Downplaying it as a conflict between the Abiy Ahmed regime and Fano will not bring a solution unless the international community is trying to abdicate its responsibility. War crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide are in the domains of the international community. It is the responsibility of the international community, the UN, AU, and other stakeholders included to stop the genocide in Ethiopia and bring those responsible to justice before the appropriate international courts. We, as concerned Amharas, are making this last call for you to wake up to this fast-changing phase of the Amhara tragedy that will eventually consume the whole Horne of Africa if left ignored.


(To Read in PDF Format)


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