Counter-reform struggle in Ethiopia is manifesting itself in form of proxy violence instigation to bring about conflict between different community groups in different parts of the country, among other forms.
This past week violence erupted in Northwestern Ethiopia affecting communities. Chilga district of central Gonder region was in security crisis following a manufactured conflict which is intended to be depicted as “Amhara-Kimant” conflict.
The damage is a serious one. Dozens of civilians were killed, hundreds of houses burned, children kidnapped, and property damaged, among other things, based on reports from Amhara Mass Media Agency this week which cited local communites.
Ethnic Amhara opposition party operating in the region, and beyond too, National Amhara Movement (NaMA), and Amhara Democratic Party, which is governing Amhara Region of Ethiopia, are on the same page in that groups operating in the name of “kimant identity committee” are instigating proxy conflict between ethnic Amhara and Kimant, people that have lived together for ages.
However, NaMa is explicit in its statement issued after the killings in Chilga and Dembia areas of the region. It squarely located the problem as TPLF and called the recent killings in the region “terrorist act.” As well, NaMA went on to demand the federal government to scrap Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) from the list of legally registered political parties on grounds that it is inciting violence in different parts of the country.
The regional government did not explicitly link the problem to TPLF but connoted it, rather. Brigadier General Asamenew Tsige, Amhara Regional State Security Head, is of the view that the security challenges experienced in central Gondar region this past week is similar too one that was experienced in western Oromo region of Ethiopia a few weeks ago. In fact many Ethiopians seem to believe that in the case of the violence in Oromo region of Ethiopia, the Oromo radical ethno-nationalist group, OLF was used.
But General Asamnew is explicit that those who are operating in the name of Kimant (also written as Kemant) do not have representation of the aforementioned group and that it is backed by groups outside of the region with a motive to make the region a conflict zone.
Based on reports from Amhara Mass Media Agency, and it spoke to local people affected by the violence this week, the groups that launched the attack are well armed, including group weaponry.
Today, relative peace is restored in the region although there are still pocket areas living tension in Chilga, Dembia and Kola Deba areas.
Central Gonder police department head, Enyew Zewude, told AMMA that 53 suspects are arrested in connection with the violence and more than 29 weapons are seized.
Local communities affected by the attack are calling on the government to maintain rule of law and take decisive action against those who are manufacturing the conflict and those who are executing it.
Yet, the regional government on its part says that it needs the support of the community so as to take measures by exposing those elements working on a project of making the region a war zone. It also wants to create capacity for local farming communities and youth in the area to defend themselves in the event of similar attacks in the future.
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