(March 7,2017 -Toronto ) – If recurring grenade attack in North Western Ethiopia are to be taken as a measure of magnitude of resistance, or at least as an omen of it, government repression in the region is not bringing about desired change; fear and total surrender to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front government which is basically fighting, under the guise of federal government, for belligerent Tigray regional state government.
The region has been militarized since August of 2016 with “prime ministerial order” of Hailemariam Desalegne. Military campaign combined with aggressively implemented state of emergency wreak havoc in Gonder region for many months now. The victims of it were mainly children, women and the elderly but it was under reported, if at all.
In the first week of January, a bomb exploded in hotel in Gonder city claimed lives. In a little over a month, the city witnessed another grenade attack this past weekend. This time the target was, clearly, mayor of the city, Tekeba Tebabel, whom leaders of the resistance movement accuse of collaborating with Tigray People’s Liberation Front government in their crackdown campaign in the region which caused the death of what people in the region call freedom fighters. For the government, the resistance fighters are terrorists.
The grenade exploded in the residence of the mayor on the night of this past Saturday. Report by Gonder Hebert indicates no causality but the house is reportedly damaged.
No entity claimed responsibility for the attack but government kneejerk reaction to it was to mount crackdown in the entire neighbourhood where the explosion happened. Hundreds are reportedly arrested.
There is, however, speculation that the grenade attack itself could be a plot by the government as a strategy intensify crackdown in the city and crash the spirit of resistance.
During the height of anti-government protest, the regime in power pledged that it would address political and other demands that caused the unprecedented protests. And one of the demands was return of Wolkaite region to Gonder.
As months go by, and after six months of state of emergency rule, the regime in power seem to be conveying a message of “forget it; Wolqaite will continue to be part of Tigray” – which was not the case for many hundred years before the coming to power of Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
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