On Tuesday, August 30th, Ethiopian Airlines made five flights to the City of Bahr Dar and transported over 1,000 heavily armed soldiers. Bahr Dar, the capital of Amhara region, is at the forefront of an anti-government uprising which has engulfed the entire region (which has a population of approximately 11.5 million people out of an estimated 30 million Amhara population).
Chief of Staff Samora Yunis has reportedly arrived in Gonder. He has indicated that the Army will try to crush the current massive citizens’ protest.
Thousands of soldiers are also being rushed to the area along land routes. In many towns and villages, the government has been dismantled, and community organizers installed. These transitional administrators are doing an excellent job, under most trying circumstances.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has ordered the Army to kill protestors. During a press briefing on Tuesday, Hailemariam blamed foreigners and Ethiopians (living abroad) for the current unrest.
Many Ethiopians consider Hailemariam’s order as a “declaration of war” on the people of Amhara and Oromo. These two regions constitute two-thirds of Ethiopia’s total population. Other citizens are concerned that the Army (which is well equipped but poorly trained) may commit genocide to put down the unrest. What makes the present situation even more volatile is the fact that most Ethiopian citizens are trained to use weapons.
A large number of Ethiopians are also worried a civil war may break out. This will be far more serious than the present war in Syria. Ethiopia has a population of over 102 million people, as compared to Syria’s population of 18 million. A civil war in Ethiopia will lead to a chaotic situation in the entire East African region, as well as a massive number of citizens fleeing to Europe.