Deadly Amhara Attack on Wallo Oromos Sparks Criticism, Oromo Clergy Split from Ethiopian Orthodox Synod

Published Jan. 31, 2023, 1:04 a.m. by FNN



Beginning from January 15, 2023 , the Amhara regional government's special forces attacked Wallo Oromos using heavy machine guns and rockets for about a week. Over 100 Oromo civilians were killed, with reports of homes being burned and women being mutilated. Among the victims was a lactating woman who was only one month postpartum, and her child was also killed.

Amid the violence, the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) released a manifesto  detailing the aims of its struggle and highlighting the Ethiopian government's violations of human rights. The manifesto calls for an end to the extrajudicial killing of Oromos, respect for their human rights, a stop to military operations in Oromia, an end to the illegal rule of Command Posts, and a cessation of horizontal conflicts among the Oromo and between the Oromo and other groups like the Amhara.

Meanwhile, few days after coming back from Sudan,  Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was seen at a military show in Awash Arba in the Afar region, boasting of the military strength of his army and claiming that his government has built a force that can prevent war from breaking out. Despite these statements, there are rumors that Sudanese forces have entered about 60 km into Ethiopia. Abiy Ahmed has been frequently criticized for not caring enough about Ethiopia's borders as long as it does not threaten his power.

In a recent development, the Oromo Orthodox clergies have parted ways with the Ethiopian Orthodox Synod, stating that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is dominated by the Amhara ethnic group and that the patriarchs and Popes are more concerned with enriching themselves and their ethnic lines rather than shepherding the believers. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has been blamed for exacerbating the war in Tigray and Oromia instead of promoting peace. Amhara bishops were seen at military training camps, blessing the Ethiopian army as they were deployed to attack the Tigray people. In Oromia and the capital, Finfinne, churches were used to store weaponry and arm Fano Amhara terrorists. It has become a custom for the Ethiopian Orthodox leadership to frequently fabricate raining of Arks in Oromia to claim lands. The Oromo Orthodox clergies criticized the Ethiopian Orthodox Synod for not allowing the nations in Ethiopia to worship and serve in their own languages. The fracture between the two groups seems to be at a point of no return, with the Oromo clergies being warmly welcomed by the Oromo and southern nations.

In another news, the Ethiopian Education Minister, Birhanu Nega, announced the alarming  results of the Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Examination, in which only 3.3% of all grade 12 students passed with a score of 50% or higher. The corresponding figure from the neighboring country Kenya stands at 21%.  It is unclear whether the poor performance is due to Nega's leadership or a continuation of previous trends. 

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