Ethiopia : VOA Amharic discussion with Abraha Desta and Befekadu Hailu

October 31,2016

Abraha Desta and Befkadu Hailu
Abraha Desta and Befkadu Hailu


In VOA Amharic discussion program, Tizta Belachew led discussion with Abraha Desta and Befekadu Hailu. Discussion question were mainly sent by VOA Amharic audience.

Abraha Desta is a instructor at Mekelle University and an executive member of Arena Tigray party (ethnic Tigre opposition party based in Tigray region). He was in prison for nearly two years.

Befkadu Hailu is a member of Zone 9 bloggers group. He too was in jail for mare than a year.

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One of the key questions submitted for discussion relates to the question of Wolqaite ; a district formerly under the Gondar province which is incorporated to Tigray regional state after TPLF took power.

Abraha drifted to rhetorical reasoning and asserted that the question of woulqaite need to be weighed on the basis of “principle.” Apparently, he wanted to analyze it with the conception of TPLF Ethiopia in mind. He is of the view that the assertion that Amhara land is incorporated to Tigay is fundamentally wrong. Under new regional arrangement five districts from Tigray are incorporated to Afar region, says Abraha, pointing to language as a basis of the new arrangement.

The question relating to Wolqaite, however, is not about land per se. It is an identity question that involves culture as well, so to speak. Even if it is analyzed within the frame work of language, as Abraha wanted it to, what Wolqaite is demanding is that their linguistic identity is Amhara, not Tigray.

Befkadu seem to think that the question need to be addressed on the basis of people’s interest and tend to think that individual right approach, rather than group right, could solve challenges like Wolqaite.

Audio Credit : VOA Amharic

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