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Statement on the Abiy Ahmed regime’s war on the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church


6 February 2023

The Amhara Association of America (AAA) condemns in the strongest terms the Abiy Ahmed regime’s ongoing persecution of religious leaders and attempt to divide the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC). Since his ascension to power, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and his Oromo Prosperity Party have been busy manufacturing crises as they strive to build, in the short term, an Oromo hegemony, and thereafter an Oromo republic on the ashes of Ethiopia and its people. As a result, anything they deem an obstacle to this illthought, naïve, and emotionally driven objective has been a target of persecution. The statesponsored attack against the EOTC, is a continuation of the Abiy regime’s goal of destroying institutions and symbols of the Ethiopian state. This has led to a dramatic increase in the number of victims of the decades-long Amhara Genocide in Oromia Region as well as frequent targeting of institutions that promote inter-ethnic cohesion and solidarity such as the EOTC and its followers (including Orthodox Christian Oromos).

Abiy’s latest instruction to his agents to support the excommunicated bishops to take over EOTC institutions confirms the issue at hand is political and the ongoing state-sponsored takeover of the EOTC by Oromo ultranationalists is an extension of their political project that has been in the making for decades. This unprecedented meddling in the EOTC is not only a defilement of basic secular values but a reminder that Ethiopia is descending further into full blown absolute dictatorship by the day. It is also a painful reminder that Ethiopia is facing an existential threat on a scale never before seen in its millenia of history. Thus, AAA implores all Amharas and Ethiopians to be prepared for all eventualities.

AAA is always prepared to support any movement that promotes equality and democracy in Ethiopia. We call on international actors to recognize the gravity of the situation in Ethiopia and join Ethiopians in demanding the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and Oromia Regional President Shimelis Abdisa to open much-needed space for reset in the country and genuine dialogue, reconciliation, and accountability.


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