In the following article, the writer gives an analysis on the rise of the Gondarian Amhara ethnonationalist federalists and the decline of the Shewa-Amharanized unitarists. The latter group grew into prominence during the late 19th-century when the Ankober-based Shewa-Amhara rulers expanded beyond their Menz-Tegulet borders to forcefully include the independent territories to the south and west of Menz-Tegulet, and to institute the forced assimilation of the occupied peoples into the Shewa-Amhara national orders, especially in urban centers (‘ketema’) founded by their armed settlers (‘Neftegna’) in the occupied territories. The Gondarian Amhara ethnonationalist federalists seem to have their historic resemblance to the 86-years of the Gondarian period under the Amhara-Oromo alliance, the period from 1769 to 1855 – which is customarily referred to as the “Zemene Mesafint” – a term popularized by Shewa-Amhara palace historians in an attempt to ridicule the Gondarian multinational and devolved power structure. The Gondarian period is remembered for its Amhara-Oromo alliance (at some point, the palace’s language had even become Afan Oromo); on the other hand, the Shewan imperialist period is known for instituting Oromo-phobia as the major aspect of its ideology, an extremist state-sponsored genocidal agenda which bases its origin on the thoughts of Abba-Bahrey, a 16th-century Shewan Amhara monk with a hateful outlook for the Oromo.
Ethiopia: Ethnic nationalism and the Gondar protests
by Kalkidan Yibeltal | via Al Jazeera
An analysis on what the rising ethnic nationalism among the historically powerful Amhara means for the country’s future.
Amba Giorgis, Ethiopia – Etenesh* sits alone on a worn cow skin in her mud-walled home in Amba Giorgis, a small Ethiopian market town in the northerly Amhara region. Her husband, a merchant, was arrested early in November, due to his alleged participation in anti-government protests over the last few months.
“He was taken to a military camp,” says Etenesh, a mother of two who sells coffee to farmers from her shack. “I know that because he called me twice.”
She does not know when, or if, he will come back, but she does know that life without the family’s primary breadwinner is tough. “It’s just me now, trying to provide for my kids.”
Talk of arrests is prevalent in Amba Giorgis, which is part of the North Gondar district experiencing clashes between armed farmers and the military.