At least 40 civilians are killed in the Amhara regional state of Ethiopia after prime minister Hailemariam Desalegne, theoretically member of Southern People’s Democratic Organization but widely seen as a puppet of the ruling TPLF party, ordered the defense force to take “appropriate measures” against widespread popular revolt.
Yesterday, more than 26 civilians were killed in Amba Giorgies in Gonder,according to social media reports, after TPLF loyal force – Agazi – opened fire using snipers on peaceful protesters. Ethiopian Satellite Television confirmed it when it reported about it in its news coverage yesterday. Many more are reportedly wounded and taken to hospital in the city of Gondar. Children,women and seniors are among the victims.
Information emerged along with the killings in Amba Giorgies indicate that the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front government used what locals described as alien forces in addition to Agazi. They are believed to be Sudanese forces and used sniper guns against Ethiopians in the Ethiopian soil in support of TPLF, but technically in pursuit of Sudanese interest as well, it appears. Joint border military force agreement was signed between Sudan’s Al-Bashir government and TPLF leaders two or so years ago after Ethiopians in Gonder protested illegal land give away to Sudan.
Metema, another town in North western Gonder of Amhara region, experienced similar killings on Wednesday. At least 10 civilians are killed and many others wounded in Metema. Video widely shared in facebook shows horrifying images of victims. Road leading to the town was blocked by people to reduce mobility of regime forces to minimize causality. This strategy has been used in many other towns in Amhara region. From South Gonder Gaynt region, a major bridge linking Tigray to Gonder via Woldia was attacked to halt troop mobility. The way from Addis Ababa to Amhara region via Gojam is blocked as well.
Road blockade negatively impacted mobility of troops in the region so much so that the regime had to use Ethiopian Airlines to transport troops. Rounds of flights were made between Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar. An estimated two thousand additional troops are deployed.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne called the parliament, in recess, after he ordered deployment of defense force in Amhara region to stifle popular riot. It is not clear why he called the parliament at this point. Speculations among activists relate his call to TPLF’s concerted effort to appease Oromos, possibly with the Addis Ababa master plan demand, in order to continue with what many describe is genocide against Amhara. The demands of Oromo is no longer about Addis Ababa master plan. They are demanding an end to TPLF regime. Close to 1000 Oromos were killed by TPLF agazi forces in the past nine months.
Written by Dimetros Birku. Can be reached on twitter : @dimetros