August 19, 2019
The new Amhara regional state president, Temesgen Tiruneh, led a delegation, to use the wording of the ruling coalition political elites and government media, to Benishangul Gumuz regional state.
He arrived in Assosa, which is about 316 miles west of Bahir Dar, on Friday, August 16, 2019.
Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA) cited Benishangul Gumuz regional state communication affairs office to report that Temesgen Tiruneh and Ashadli Hassan, president of BG regional state, would discuss peace and development issues.
Talking about the purpose of talks with Benishangul authorities, Temesgen reportedly said: “No single person should die, be displaced or live with a security concern.”
Benishangul Gumuz region has been one of the regions that faced a security crisis as some members of the local communities targeted Ethiopians outside of the region, mostly against ethnic Amhara.
Hundreds of lives have been lost and thousands were compelled to experience internal displacement.
Among the issues raised during the talk on security matters between heads of the two regional states was “addressing rumors in a timely manner by way of sharing accurate information,” apparently to community members, as reported by AMMA.
They have also discussed ways of returning internally displaced people to their places but reports did not mention if there is timeframe set to finalize the process which seems to be underway but latently.
Circulation of illegal firearms, illegal firearms and enforcing the rule of law has also been part of the discussion, and a direction is identified to deal with problems in those areas.
The consultation between Ashadli and Temesgen has been underway for two days, and they have finally signed what AMMA reported as “peace and development agreement.”
According to the agreement, the two regional states will work together on peace and development.
There were similar administrative level consultations between authorities from the two regions. However, security problem remained a persistent challenge for ethnic Amhara in the region that a considerable number of them had to opt for leaving behind the place they lived for generations.
Temesgen Tiruneh seized the opportunity to discuss with ethnic Amharas living in Benishangul Gumuz region after administrative level of consultation was completed.
Ethnic Amhara constitute a big proportion of the Benishangul Gumuz region. Before the introduction of ethnic-based Federal administration, much of what is now Benishangul Gumuz region was within what was back then Gojam province.
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