This article is written in response to a status update on facebook by anonymous name Save Adna
No genuine individual would write this kind of article by denying history about the land annexed by TPLF from Gonder. Let us see how TPLF has gone ahead in realizing one of the goals i.e. economic security of Tigreans which Aregawi has clearly put in his book. Once in power, the first thing TPLF has been engaged in was the physical elimination of the elders of Welkayit, Tsegede, Humera, etc so as to erase or destroy the history of these original inhabitants of this region and render the annexation of the region to Tigrai a smooth process.
“Once in power, EPRPDF/EPLF launched a concerted military campaign against the people of these fertile districts to the extent of involving Sudanese war planes which bombarded the towns of Kabtiya and Dansha in Wokayit district. The devastation of property was immense. Innocent children, women and the elderly were killed indiscriminately. Those that managed to survive the wrath of these aggressors by taking shelter into the hinterland were rounded up and cruelly executed. Even the relatives of those executed who happened to live in the provincial capital Gonder, were hunted and brought back to Wolkayit and executed publicly. Several hundreds of elders and public figures were executed”.
Before one group destroys the identity of a particular people, it has to physically eliminate the traditional leaders of such a community of people who embody the culture and history of such a community. In this case, the killing of hundreds of elders from the annexed parts of Gondar by TPLF right on the heels of TPLF’s seizure of power, preceded the annexation of the Gondar region to Tigrai in a manner that duplicates the horrors of destroying the history, culture and identity of one ethnic community, i.e. the Amaras.
The uprooting of Amaras in Welkayit, Tsegede, Humera, Dansha, Tselemet and the resettlement of the area by no less than 500000 armed Tigreans in an act that amounts to ethnic cleansing following the annexation of the fertile lands of Gondar to Tigrai, is something which has been muted and has not got any national or international media coverage. The same holds true for the annexation of northern Wello.
Today TPLF has changed the demographic profile of these regions . As any one sensible person can understand, the outcome of a referendum is readily known as the region has been ethnically cleansed of Amaras and resettled and supplanted by more than half a million armed Tigreans. These armed Tigreans have unscrupulously taken over the land that used to belong to Amaras. In these regions of Gondar that have been annexed to Tigrai and settled by Tigreans, the original inhabitants, especially the male population has been subjected to massive imprisonment, disappearances and killings. So far no independent reporter has ventured into the region during the past 21 years.
To illustrate the degree of ethnic cleansing in the areas that have been annexed to Tigrai, the following figure is in order. According to the 1994 census of the Ethiopian Central Statistical Office, 2.63% of the population of the Tigrai region comprised of Amaras. By 2007, this figure has dropped to 1.6%. And the question is what happened to the 1.03% of Amaras who used to inhabit this region? Those Amaric speakers, who have been allowed to remain in what has been annexed to Tigrai, have been prevented from using Amaric as a medium of communication. They have been forced to speak in Tigrigna and their children are being forcibly made to identify with a Tigrean identity by renouncing their own identity as Amaric speakers. To give you an idea of the richness and economic potential of one of the regions of Gonder which has been annexed to Tigrai, the following pertinent information is in order:
“The Humera, Abdarafi and Metema areas produced over 1,2 million quintals of sesame, 2,5 million quintals of sorghum and half a million quintals of corn annually. It was also, next to the Awash valley area, the second largest producer of cotton in Ethiopia. The area employed over 190,000 people both in agricultural and service sectors and another 300000 in the form of seasonal labour. In the early 1970s the area attracted a large number of workers to meet the shortage of labour during the harvest season. At one time more than 2500 tractors were believed to have been farming in the area and the total capital in the region was put at around 500 million Birr (an equivalent of 250 million US dollars then)”.
The writer can be reached on facebook : Hailu Bitanya