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Abbay Woldu and Gedu Andargachew to “resolve problems between Amara and Tigay peoples”

Administrations admit problems between Amara and Tigray but identity question seem to be either overlooked or ignored entirely.

Tigray and Amhara region - Abay Woldu - Gedu Andargachew - Ethiopia News
Peace Conference between Tigray and Amara region. Photo credit : ENA

borkena, Ethiopian News
July 22,2017

Abay Woldu and Gedu Andargachew, presidents of Tigray regions and Amara region respectively, vowed to resolve what government media called `problems` between Amara and Tigray peoples.

The two presidents are to resolutely work to resolve“border and other problems“ between Tigay and Amara as quickly as possible, according to report by Ethiopian News Agency (ENA).

More than four hundred “elders“ from Amara were gathered in Mekelle for a two days conference. They are cited as saying that failure on the part of government to address demands by people in the region were exploited by “anti-peace forces“ – apparently to cause problems between Tigray and Amara.

ENA also quoted Gedu Andargachew as saying “we have a historical responsibility to address appropriately the demands raised by the people.“ He added that there is no way out or solution other than responding demands by people.

Abay Woldu on his part is reported as saying that he, as president of the Tigray region, and TPLF are ready to resolve border issue.
However, Abay sounded equivocal when he said, which may mean the position of TPLF as well, that the origin of the problem is related to difference between rent-seeking and “Developmental Democratic thoughts.“

What seem to be admitted indirectly is that there exists “problem between Amara and Tigray peoples“ – and this is something that government never openly talked about.

However, description of the problem is muddied as `border` problem. The issue has rather a lot to do with identity question. Tigray region incorporated Wolqaite, which has been part of Gonder all its life, as part of Tigray when TPLF took power in 1991. Hundreds of people in Wolqaite who opposed the forced inclusion of it as part of Tigray were either killed or disappeared with no trace.

When popular protest broke out last year in Amara region, one of the key demands was that Wolqaite Gonder proper and should be returned to Gonder.

Government response to popular demand was brutal and hundreds of civilians were killed by government deployed sniper killers. A year after the incident, government seem to be manipulating the issue though the agency of “elders.”

Gonder region of Ethiopia is still militarized and egregious human rights violations including outright extra-judicial killing has reportedly become part of life for some in the region.
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