ESAT Latest News December 19,2016 coverage reported about latest attempt by “Federal Security Forces” to transfer colonel Demeke Zewdu from Angerebe prison in Gonder to a different location, probably the notorious Maekelawi torture chamber in Addis Ababa.
Situation was tense for three days following the arrival of federal security forces. Federal security forces wanted to isolate colonel Demeke Zewdu from the rest of the inmates and keep him alone in a different cell until they transfer him. The result was expected confrontation.
It involved not only inmates, who were reportedly opposing the move fiercely, but also members of special forces who were assigned to guard colonel Demeke Zewdu. ESAT reported that one inmate is killed and at least three soldiers are killed during a shootout between members of special forces and “Federal security forces.”
Calm is not restored yet and roads leading to Angerebe prison in Gonder are reportedly closed.
It is to be recalled that the uprising in Gonder was sparked by government attempt to arrest colonel Demeke Zewdu simply because he was elected leader of Wolqaite identity question committee. When government security forces came to capture, if possible, or kill him, Colonel Demeke fought back against security forces and killed at least three of them. Ever since, Gonder resisted Tigray People Liberation Front’s loyal forces who turned all the stones to snatch colonel Demeke. The regime deployed defense force in the region since August of this year and there has been reported ethnic cleansing in the region. Children,elders and women are victimized by the move.
Wolqaite question got national prominence. Hundreds of youth in Amhara region were killed while clamoring for the restoration of Wolqaite as part of Gonder. Currently, it is under Tigray regional government, which incorporated it following the fall of Derg.
At the height of the popular protest, regime in power seem to have agreed that it will not attempt to transfer colonel Demeke to other prison location. After alleged restoration of calm in the country two months after state of emergency, regime seem to be thinking in terms of retaliatory measure, and also to trivialize the symbol of resistance in Gonder, against colonel Demeke Zewdu. That, could perhaps backfire in a way that the regime never imagined.