January 30, 2018
Ten days after a tragic massacre on a day that was rather meant to be cherished in view of the strong sense of Timkat culture in the city, Woldia city in northern Ethiopia is still tense. Residents of the city and church fathers tend to think that both the massacre and the tense situation in the city ever since is the creation of the regime in power.
A candlelight vigil was planned for yesterday to remember those who were massacred; residents were already in the streets for the ceremony but federal government forces opened fire in the middle of the ceremony, according to residents who spoke to VOA Amharic on the phone. But no reports of casualty so far.
Too many youths are detained after government killed dozens but elders in the city are lobbying to secure their release.
Businesses and schools are closed and three days of stay at home protest is called in the city. Mobility in the region through road transport is essentially jeopardized.
Similarly, tension is reported in Kobo and Mersa towns, where there was another killing of protestors who took to the street to oppose the Woldia massacre.
The regional government has expressed sorrow over the death of civilians and thinks that delay on the part of the regional government to address demands of the people has contributed to the instability which unfolded in the region.
However, a look at an incident in Woldia in early December seems to suggest that the demands of the youth in the city is much more than economic. There is a political dimension to it as well. A fan of Mekele city was killed in Woldia when he allegedly insulted youth from the town, who have their own home team to cheer, as “donkeys” and many considered the insult as an ideological outcome of Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The party is criticized for creating a sentiment of ethnic supremacy in Tigray.
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