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  1. Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn claims he quit khat right after college but his deteriorating mouth health and his dedication to evict staple food farmers from their land to replace them with khat farmers shows khat addicts ,exporters and traders had been deciding the future of Ethiopia since Khat addicts Meles Zenawi & Co. overthrown the alcohol fanatics the derg government .

    Even though Khat dependence is associated with high morbidity and societal and economical costs within Ethiopia the need for improved research on khat use and its possible association with psychiatric disorders is not being addressed due to the continuous clinging of power by the khat trader’s sponsored khat addicted political clique group of Ethiopia.

    Even Amaras are trying to maybe create Amara Republic.

    Some Amhara friends have started a movement to walk away from the Ethiopian Union and to start an independent Amhara Republic. They cited the suffering Amhara people faced since the coming in to power of TPLF as the main reason behind their secessionist movement. The movement believes, as I understood it, secession is the only way for Amhara people to survive. They claim that secession is not an issue of choice of what is best for Amhara rather it is the very means of survival. As expected, they have received opposition from many people and as well some acceptance mainly from Amhara people. Some have labeled it as a racist movement. Despite all the noise, I want to show what is on the ground, what options Amhara as a people have and ways for creating economically benefited Amhara people.

    Regarding the union/secession saga, Amhara has three options, in my opinion.

    1. Continuing the status-quo: Amhara will continue to be one of the regions of Ethiopia and TPLF through its Amhara Nationalist Democratic Movement (ANDM) wing will continue to administer Amhara. This is what we were being experimented on. The problem with this option is Amhara has been losing in every economic indicator you can possibly imagine. Here are some of the statistics I recall: Amhara is the region of the highest level of poverty in the country, the highest HIV rate in the country, the highest in infant mortality rate, the highest death in relation to child delivery etc. Everyone who loves Amhara/Ethiopia should give it a second thought as to what other options Amhara should experiment on so that it will improve the above mentioned horrifying economic statistics. My personal assessment is the status quo should change.
    2. Replace ANDM with Real Amhara Party and Focus on Regional Growth and Development: the advantage with this one is Amhara stays in the Union and might achieve economic growth. This might give the answer to the very question some Amhara friends are raising. But it is not without challenges, the main ones being the difficulty of replacing corrupted ANDM and then the impossibility to work with the national government. Against all the odds, if this can be made happen – it might help many disadvantaged Amhara people reclaim economic advantages that might level them with the rest of the country.
    3. Secession: if option number 2 cannot hold – may be – secession is the best we have got. In my understanding – nothing can get worse than the status-quo. However, this is close to an impossible thing. In a country of no independent electoral board – referendum is unthinkable. Or I am not aware of what kind of plan the movement has if referendum is impossible. At the same time – what economic plan the coming secessionist group has; how to deal with border issues (recall Eritrea) and the like should be addressed. Their plan must be appealing too.
    What I like about the Movement

    In my life time – Amhara people have been acting as the keepers of Ethiopia. Some, even, went too far to claim that there is no a nationality called Amhara – they cite the dictionary meaning of nationality/Ethnic group to convince others that a nationality called Amhara does not exist. Some claim their nationality is Ethiopian not Amhara. This is not a bad thing by itself. A part of me feel proud to be a part of the society that feels union is superior over secession and as well prefer inclusiveness to loneliness. The consequence of such thinking, however, was devastating. No word can tell you about the consequences better than the relative economic statistic (I mentioned above) of Amhara region. While every other region was trying to help develop their respective region – Amhara were running here and there to tell others that we shouldn’t be ethnically divided. This created a void in the region – Amhara become what we call in Amharic ወልዶ መካን!!! In the past twenty something years – no Amhara elite showed interest to work for Amhara people – because they thought self-love is RACISM. I will talk about the misperceptions related to racism below. In my opinion – the void created by Amhara Unionist thinking (by ignoring ቆሎ ቆርጥሞ ያስተማራቸወን ህዝብ) coupled with the anti-Amhara TPLF agenda – help create Amhara as the poorest region in the world (as reported by Aljazeera).

    What I like about Bete-Amhara movement is it fills the void created by Amhara Unionist thinking. It focuses on the economic lives of the poor Amhara and try to come up with what they believe is the best solution. For Bete-Amhara to be a legitimate movement – it shouldn’t have the right solutions to the problems Amhara are suffering. In my opinion – they idea of walking away from a thinking that says – Ethiopia even at the expense of Amhara (the traditional Amhara thinking) – to – who cares for Ethiopia if it doesn’t provide equal opportunity and label playing ground for Amhara – is a great step forward. It might change the game TPLF was playing for quarter a century.

    Another Big Misconception: Racism is a Hate not a self-love

    Some have labeled Bete-Amhara movement as a racist movement – even if the movement made is clear that their purpose is survival. Any person would tell you that racism is hate towards other groups. It is belief which boasts my group is superior over other races/groups. In my understanding so far – this is not what is happening in Bete-Amhara movement. Coming up with a new idea to empower Amhara people economically should not be criticized for racism. Anyone who do not agree with the idea should come up with a better idea – but know that the status quo is the worst that can happen to Amhara people.

    Finally – it is time for a change – especially to Amhara people

    For those of us who were born and raised in the region – the pain and the suffering is more than clear. For those of you who live in other regions facing a threat everyday – the pain is even worse. For those who were born and raised in Addis Ababa – I respectfully say – learn what is going on in these areas, then speak it. But – without a doubt – it is time for a change. It shouldn’t necessarily be secession, but any change that walks Amhara a single step to freedom and equality. More than anything – it is time to discuss the different scenarios in which a positive change can happen to the disadvantaged ምስኪን ወገኔ.

    መልካም ነገር ይግጠመን!!!

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