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Protest in North Ethiopian Region Signals Rising Discontent

Gonder2William Davison
Bloomberg

Gondar demonstration comes in wake of July violence in city
Months of protests continue in African nation’s Oromia region

Thousands of Ethiopians demonstrated Sunday in a major city in the northern Amhara region, a sign of mounting discontent in Africa’s second-most populous nation and one of its fastest growing economies.
Demands by the protesters in Gondar city included for Wolkait district of Tigray state to become part of Amhara and for an end to alleged Tigrayan domination of the government, Teshager Woldemichael, who campaigns on the Wolkait issue, said Monday by phone. He estimated there were 30,000 participants.
Nigussu Tilahun, a spokesman for the Amhara government, said as many as 8,000 people attended a demonstration that was peaceful, although didn’t have permission from the authorities. Raising questions about ethnic identity is legitimate, yet a flag waved by some protesters disrespected minorities protected by the federal constitution, he said by phone from Bahir Dar city.

Ethiopia is a federal state of around 100 million people that’s organized into ethnic-based administrative units. The Gondar protest came in the wake of violence by security forces and activists during unrest in the city in July spurred by the attempted arrest of Wolkait committee members. It also follows more than eight months of anti-government protests by the Oromo people, who allege political and economic marginalization, in which Human Rights Watch said more than 400 demonstrators were killed.
The Oromo comprise 34 percent of Ethiopia’s population, the Amhara 27 percent and the Tigray 6 percent, according to the CIA World Factbook. Political power is formally equally shared between the four ethnic-based member parties of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, which, along with allied groups, won all 547 parliamentary seats in elections last year.
The Tigrayan party, which formed the coalition, is dominant, said Teshager. “The government should be under the Amhara and the Oromo people,” he said. “Because Tigrayans are the minority they should never govern Ethiopia.”

2 Comments

  1. The TPLFite thugs should start selling their real-estate empire they hold around the world bought with the money stolen from poor Ethiopians and give back the money to the poor Ethiopians that are dieing for lack of food and water in high numbers daily. Cholera is a result of lack of water which is killing hundreds daily. Hailemariam’s solution for cholera Closing down thousands of restaurants is not going to save Ethiopians returning all the money looted will give people a chance to afford safe drinking water and clean food .Currently only Tigrayans got enough clean drinking water at all households the rest of the country water is scarce. To boil water it takes to have energy . energy is expensive. . . All the diamonds TPLF stored in their safe deposit boxes allover the world need to be emptied at once to save the needy in Ethiopia . Diaspora Ethiopians need to press all TPLFites to do the right thing. Talk is cheap. Action speaks louder than words. Diaspora churches , mosques , community artists and so on need to speak against these conspiracy of killing people with cholera and starvation while the country just borrowed 40 billion dollars and gets so much aid which is all spent to develop Tigray only while the rest is dieing. All of Tigray even those that leave in remote areas within Tigray got non stop clean drinking water plumbing to all households with the money gootten in the name of all Ethiopians while the non-Tigrayan is left to drink cholera water and eat maybe once every other day .

  2. Bloomberg’s William Davison alleges that the protesters demand in Gondar city included for Wolkait district of Tigray state to become part of Amhara and for an end to alleged Tigrayan domination of the government.

    What the people in Gondar are demanding is the return of Wolqait which has been annexed by Tigraans 25 years ago to its rightful region of Gondar.

    If the Bloomberg journalist had an acute sense of knowing the truth behind the rebellion, he should have inquired what the status of Wolqait was prior to TPLF annexation of the region. The people of Wolqait have been seeking justice for as long as the Tigrean occupation was put in place- a long 25 years.

    Wolqait has always been Amhara through and through until these treacherous traitors militarily occupied it.
    We shall never rest until these Fascists breathe their last!!

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