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Subjugating Tigray: A Shewa Amhara View of the War on Tigray



For Shewa, the war on Tigray is about subjugating Tigray for Shewan rule. There have been a Tigray-Shewa rivalry Since the end of the 19th century when king Menelik of Shewa conrpired with colonial Italy to divide and weaken Tigray.

Mekelle/Tigray was the center of power in Ethiopia before colonialism and internal power struggle divided and weakened Tigray by creating two new political projects based in Asmara and Addis Abeba, Shewa. These two political projects define themselves against Tigray. The Eritrean project strives to severe any historical and identity ties with Tigray/Aksum and create a new identity. The one based in Addis Abbaba, Shewa strives to appropriate the Tigrayan/Aksum history and heritage as an Amhara’s and impose an Amharized culture on all others. For this it strives to weaken, subjugate, eliminate or assimilate the Tigrayan people. One might think this thought is of the past, but that is not true. The following posts from two prominent Shewa Amharas show how they view the ongoing war on Tigray. For them, it is about subjugating Tigrayans and making Tigray a Shewa vassal.

In a Facebook post (screenshot below) Tamrat Negera says “just submit to Shewa”.

Similarly, Abel Wabela speaking about the war on Tigray says in a Facebook post (screenshot below) “If you submit yourself to Shewa, you can bring Adigrat to Addis Abeba, but you refuse to submit, you can not even be allowed to hide youeself in Adigrat. Submit to Shewa”

The war on Tigray has different meanings for the different actors. For Shewa, it is about subjugating Tigray and making it a vassal of Shewa.

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