In a brief statement issued on its website on July 18,2016, Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa recommended to its citizens who are either travelling to Gonder and those who are residing in Gonder to consider their safety while in the region, and to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings.
The advisory is issued in light of the security situation in Gonder region of Ethiopia.
It stated that there has been reported “violent demonstration” not only in Gonader city but also in other areas in the region, and that the situation remains tense.
The statement further advised travelers to contact their travel organization to get updates about the situation in Gondar before travelling.
Seemingly, there is Dutch trade mission to Ethiopia this week.
What is the demonstration about in Gondar?
The recent incident in Gondar came to the surface after twenty plus years of peaceful struggle to get freedom from the repression of the regional government of Tigray region and involves identity question and land issue.
Wolqaite,currently under the administration of Tigray regional state in Northern Ethiopia, was part of Gondar region of Ethiopia. When the ruling party took over power twenty five years ago, ethnic based federalism was introduced to Ethiopian. Gondar happened to be part of region three (Amhara region) according to the ethnic based federalism.
Wolqaite with its predominantly Amharic speakers who identify themselves as Amhara and Gondere was incorporated to Tigray region which is entirely Tigray speakers. It was contested since then but it seems the case that ruling party was either unable or unwilling to deal with it in a peaceful manner.
The movement took its course to manifest the way it did this past week after committee members who were elected by people in wolqaite were labelled as “terrorists” and government forces proceeded to make arrests.