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HomeEthiopian NewsTigray Apartheid in Wolkaite explained by people from the region

Tigray Apartheid in Wolkaite explained by people from the region

Ethiopian News Video
November 14,2017

The question as to whether the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front elites have an expansionist idea or not is no longer a matter to argue about as it is not disputable.

The project of greater Tigray, a project that was conceived during the guerrilla times of TPLF, and Tigray chauvinism has caused economic misery and egregious human rights violations in the areas that are incorporated to Tigray region after TPLF took power.

Wolkait is one of the regions in North Gonder (Northwestern Ethiopia) that is forcefully incorporated into Tigray region.

The political move by TPLF always met with resistance from the locals and the resistance met with brutal repression from Tigray regions for more than twenty-six years; dozens and dozens of activists have been killed and/or disappeared for a long time.

The agenda for Wolkait activists has been a matter of existence and identity. They have been advocating, as demanded by the locals, that Wolkait has always been Amhara and never been part of Tigray.

“The idea to destroy the identity of Wolkait [Amhara] and entrench the identity and culture of Tigray in Wolkait is expansionists’ and invaders agenda,” said Colonel Demeke Zewdu, who was elected as representative by the locals for the identity question of Wolkait. TPLF agents sent assassins to kill Colonel Demeke and he had to act in self-defense. Now he is thrown to prison and languishing.

Economic repression is no less brutal. Colonel Demeke pointed out that local people in Wolkait are dispossessed of their land holdings and Tigreans now settled as landowners in the regions. Locals are reduced to paupers, moaned Colonel Demeke.

He added that People in Wolkait are living second class citizens status in their very own land just like what apartheid did in South Africa.

Tigray government and TPLF elites dominating the federal government wanted to give people in Wolkait an “autonomy” status – for the region to be neither Amhara or Tigray – something the residents opposed vehemently.

All that people in Wolkait asked for was to be asked to decide as to what their identity is – which never happened to date.

In 2016, hundreds of people were killed in the region due to Wolkait question. The government declared a state of emergency which lasted nearly for a year.

After all that sacrifice, Wolkait issue is not resolved. But the Tigray government says it is resolved in the interests of the people which is farces.

Tigray also incorporated Raya from Wollo – and people in the region are not too happy that a Tigray identity is imposed on them.

Why is the government acting as if these identity questions are solved? Will they benefit out of it at the end of the day?

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