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Ethiopia : The other side of Gonder Story

December 15,2016

Gonder’s resistance to the regime in Ethiopia is well known even beyond the borders of Ethiopia. Despite government imposed communication blackout, some relentless Ethiopians,residing thousands of miles away from Ethiopia, seem to have a way to touch base to grassroots in North Gonder where armed resistance against the regime in power has been waging for months now.

Apart from individuals, media outlets like Ethiopian Satellite Television,based in the United States and Europe, manage to get information from the region on a regular basis which they sometimes even use for breaking news coverage. It’s worth nothing that it is one of the media outlets Ethiopians are not allowed to watch under state of emergency legislation.

Dominant in the news from Gonder,however, is valor and invincibility of young people who dared to give an end to repression and, without exaggeration, servitude like existence – not just for themselves but for entire Ethiopia as well. Volunteer armed groups call themselves, Kefagne. The word is heteronym. Represents feelings of popular discontent wrought by repression from the regime. It also connotes the process of tending dead body. And that tells a story of the level of determination on the part of volunteer patriots to do away with the regime.Stories of government forces losing battle in their fight against Kefagne forces itself is telling in itself.

However, as in elsewhere there are vulnerable group of people whose stories of vulnerability and atrocities committed against them is missing from the narrative. Children, elders and women have been targeted by Tigray People’s Liberation Front loyal forces.

Hunegnawu (his name is changed for his safety) told the writer that relatives and parents of Kefagne fighters are are targeted by the regime and inhumanly abused.

Last week, ESAT reported that loyal soldiers of the regime burned harvests of subsistence farmers in what seem to be a retaliatory measure for presumed,not proven even, support for Kefagne fighters.

Abune Elsa'ae
Abune Elsa’ae
Yesterday, folks with close links in the region reported on social media that the archbishop of the region,Abune Elsa’ae was detained for hours. Militarized check points are started to and from towns like Metema,Armachiho and Quara in the region. Mobility has become an ordeal.

Further more, the regime is trying to bring about political based schism in various communities in the region by Cajoling with some residents with sordid gains and largess.

While the the atrocity is mounting, it is under-reported for two reasons. For one thing, there is huge information black out to uncover atrocities in all parts of the region as the state of emergency is executed in its worst form in the region. Even members of “command post” were arrested, according to ESAT report. For the other, talking about pains that people go through is considered to be defeatist and undesirable as some analysts seem to think that it would thwart the spirit of invincible resistance. True, the regime will all the time employ psychological games to crash the spirit of Ethiopians so as to make them insensitive to servitude.

Yet, the task of exposing the atrocities against vulnerable group of people in region could be done in a way that it will not have undesirable consequence as it helps make the international community and Ethiopians as well aware as to what is happening to vulnerable groups. The region has become a war zone and that will inevitably impact on these groups negatively.

The writer can be reached on twitter : @dimetros

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