Ethiopia: Amhara Prosperity Party Cautions Opposition Nama As Protest Rallies Spread Region-Wide

Addis Abeba — Amhara Prosperity Party (APP), the Amhara regional state chapter of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's Prosperity Party (PP), has issued a scathing criticism against the opposition, National Movement of Amhara (NaMA), accusing it of being "anti-prosperity" enemy and vowed to "confront" it "face-to-face."

Meanwhile, protest rallies in the region spread to many parts of the region for the fourth straight day with banners and chants criticizing the ruling party for the killings and displacement of Amharas in various parts of the country. Today, the protests spread to places including the historic Gonder city as well as Debre Birahan (for the 2nd day), Debre Tabor, Kobo, Kombolacha and Adet, among others. The protests however have increasingly turned into venues where thousands are seizing the opportunity to express their displeasure with the ruling Prosperity Party, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other senior federal and regional officials of the Amhara and Oromia regional states.

In a statement APP issued last night in connection with the rallies, it recognized the purpose of the protests and pledged to work toward ensuring the safety and security of the Amhara people not only in the region but also in various parts of the country. It also acknowledged "weakness" within the Prosperity Party structure and vowed to work toward fixing them.

However, the party said the protest rallies were "hijacked" by ill-intended forces bent on destabilizing the country which include the TPLF, OLF/Shene, and Gumuz rebels.

The statement then turned its criticism toward NaMA accusing it of being behind the anti-prosperity party and its president [PM Abiy Ahmed] chants, banners and actions taken by protesters to tear down pictures of the Prime Minister and and large party banners hanging in cities where the protests took place. "This kinds of accusations were coordinated by enemies who pretend to be fighting for the Amhara people but who do not represent the values of the Amhara people," the statement said. APP further accused NaMA saying "other than its own banners and election posters, all others representing competing parties were taken down and burned."

APP also criticized the "disparaging, condemnations and character-assassinations" of federal and regional officials and said such acts were "outside the purpose of the protest rallies." This is an apparent reference to messages written on banners and carried by rally goers accusing the ruling party officials including PM Abiy of being, among others, responsible for "ethnic cleansing" of the Amhara. "The Oromo know how to dismantle a country, not how to build one," one banner reads, and calls out senior officials of the Oromo Prosperity Party (OPP) including Shimelis Abdissa, president of the Oromia regional state, and Taye Dendea, a senior official within the OPP, for failing to protect the killings of Amhara in the regional state. In a Facebook post, Taye on his part, openly called NaMA as "the main political cancer."

In today's protest in Gonder city rally goers carrying a banner condemning OPDO, the former name of the current OPP, of betraying the Amhara. "We are betrayed by the OPDO and not by brother people of the Oromo," the banner reads. AS

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