Ethiopian Airlines on Tuesday made five flights in a single day transporting over 1,000 heavily armed soldiers to Bahr Dar city, the capital of Amhara region which also in the forefront of an anti government uprising that has engulfed the entire Gonder-Gojjam mainstream Amhara region.
Chief of Staff Samora Yunus has arrived in Gonder, signifying that the army is going to be deployed to crush the public uprising against 25 years of brutal ethnic minority rule in the country.
Thousands of soldiers are also being rushed to the area along land routes. In many towns and villages, government administrations have been dismantled and people’s committees installed.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on his part has given orders to the country’s security forces to secure law and order in the protest-hit areas. During a press briefing, Hailemariam blamed what he called the traditional enemies of the country as well as the ‘extremist diaspora’ for fomenting unrest.
Many activists have interpreted Hailemariam’s order as a “declaration of war” on the Amhara people. Others have expressed fear that the army may commit genocide to violently put down the uprising.
Given the determination of the people, still other Ethiopians fear the country may slide into a civil war that may make Syria a child’s play. Ethiopia, they say, is home to nearly 100 million people, five times Syria’s, whose population was 22 million in 2015, and any civil war in Ethiopia means an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe in Africa.