Ethiopia Deputy PM reacts to retired U.S. diplomat’s comment on coup

Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen reacted to the controversial tweet of a retired senior diplomat of the United States Herman Cohen on the recent coup attempt in Ethiopia.

In his tweet Herman Cohen described the coup attempt as an attempt to bring back Amhara ethnic hegemony in Ethiopia. “Failed coup in Ethiopia’s Amhara state was an attempt by ethnic nationalists to restore Amhara hegemony over all of Ethiopia that existed for several centuries prior to 1991. That dream is now permanently dead,” twitted the former Ambassador and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State.

“His comment doesn’t represent the people of Amhara,” Deputy Prime Minister Demeke said on Monday mentioning Herman Cohen by name at a press conference. The comment is based on the rhetoric which hates the Amhara and labeled them as oppressor in Ethiopia, according to Deputy Prime Minister Demeke, who is also leader of the Amhara Democratic Party – ADP, one of the four members of the ruling coalition.

He indicated that his party will not allow such hate rhetoric on the people of Amhara. In his twitter Herman Cohen twitted indicating that the coup was an attempt to bring back Amhara’s hegemony in Ethiopia.

In 1991 at a meeting held in London Herman Cohen as senior U.S. official dealing with African affairs representing the United States was actively involved in mediation between the former Derge regime of Ethiopia and the former rebel groups who since May 1991 have been on power in Ethiopia.

For the last half a century, many rebel fighters in Ethiopia including the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), have been implicating the Amhara ethnic group as the dominant and oppressor of other ethnic groups in Ethiopia.

Meanwhile other historians show that Ethiopia has been under the leadership of non-Amhara ethnic groups including Emperor Yohannes IV from Tigray ethnic group. The fact that there were also Oromo kings like Jimma Abajifar and Tonna of Wolaita ethnic group, among others.