Resident of Alamata in Raya and Maikadra in north Ethiopia took to the street demanding an end to imposed Tigray identity
December 6, 2020
As the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) militia and special forces learned that they are about to lose Maikadra town to the Ethiopian Defense Forces and Amhara region special forces – that rescued besieged Ethiopian Defense Forces following November 4 -, they massacred what is said to be now over 1000 unarmed civilians.
The international human rights organizations and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission have confirmed that the massacre that mostly targeted ethnic Amharas took place in Maikadra. A good number of those who perpetrated the massacre are belived to have crossed the Ethio-Sudan border and are believed to have claimed refugee status.
As residents of Maikada city still mourn the victims of the massacre, they took to the street on Sunday demanding the Federal government to end what they call imposed identity.
Maikadra region was one of the areas incorporated into the Tigray region of Ethiopia soon after Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) took over government power in 1991. Residents say they were subjected to unimaginable repression during the TPLF administration.
Wearing black T-shirts as a symbol of mourning those who were massacred in the city about three weeks ago, residents chanted “respect our Amhara identity,” and “the border is Tekezze and our identity is Amhara”
Protestors also said that those who are responsible for the Maikadra massacre are now in Sudan as refugees which they opposed. The Ethiopian government is requested to act in that regard.
There were similar protests in Raya, another area in what is now “southern Tigray” but formerly as an integral part of Wollo province. Raya too was incorporated into the Tigray region after 1991.
Residents of Alamata in Raya accused TPLF of imposing Tigray identity on them while it was known that they were part of Wollo province. They demanded the government to respect and address their identity question for which they struggled for nearly three decades.
TPLF forces lost control of Raya region after the Amhara region special forces, militia and Ethiopian Defense Forces destroyed a highly fortified trench from where TPLF launched the offensive.
Residents of Alamata vowed that the “years of slavery will never come back.”
Ruling party position on border and identity issues
The executive committee of the ruling Prosperity Party had a two-day meeting which concluded on Sunday. Based on information from state-owned media outlets, one “border and identity” issue was among the topics discussed during the meeting.
And the position of the party is that ” “Border and identity controversies should be resolved in a way that addresses [addresses]citizen’s rights,” as quoted in Amhara Mass Media Agency report on Sunday.
The regional states in Ethiopia are organized based on ethnicity. The experience in the past twenty-seven years is that citizens rights have been compromised for the sake of ethnic group rights to the point that Ethiopians from other ethnic groups were targeted and attacked as aliens especially in the Oromo, Benishangul Gumuz, and Southern Ethiopian region – among other areas.
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