Home Ethiopian News Raya, Northern Ethiopia: Massive Protest Against TPLF and Federal Government

Raya, Northern Ethiopia: Massive Protest Against TPLF and Federal Government

Raya protest _ Ethiopian news
Protestors in Raya Waja, June 13, 2024 (photo : screenshot from EMS video)


Toronto – “Raya People’s Identity Question will not be reversed by forces who want to disintegrate the country,” on Thursday protests in Waja town of Raya chanted when they took to the streets to protest TPLF force’s presence and human rights abuse.

Ethiopian Media Service report said protests in all parts of Raya – Raya Bala, Raya Alamata, Korem, Waja and Zata have been deepening in the past few days. 

Some of the slogans chanted during the protest highlighted that people in all parts of Raya area were betrayed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Federal government. 

Residents have been pursuing identity questions reasserting that their identity is Wollo, Amhara. The area had been annexed, just like Wolkait,  by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) following its takeover of power in Addis Ababa in 1991, Since then there has been a clandestine movement to reject what residents in all parts of Raya consider to be an imposed ethnic Tigray Identity. 

The residents considered themselves to be free after the TPLF was defeated in its bloody two-year war against the Federal government. After the TPLF lost the war, residents in Raya installed their administration under the Amhara region. But their freedom did not last long. 

The TPLF forces invaded the area again starting November 2023 in a way that violated the Cessation Of Hostility Agreement signed with the Federal government in Pretoria, South Africa, in November 2022. 

Well over 50,000 residents from all parts of Raya were displaced ( and this was confirmed by OCHA) after the TPLF forces took control of the area by military forces. Residents, as reported in the past by Borkena, say they have been warning the Federal government that the TPLF was preparing for military invasion. 

Even after the latest invasion happened, the Federal government was lenient rather than stern about TPLF’s military move. The Deputy Tigary region interim president and commander of the TPLF forces, Tadesse Worede, has been making claims that there had been arrangements with the Federal government to take over the area. 

And people in Raya have been vehemently resisting the arrangement. The recent deepening protests were precipitated after the TPLF forces brought more forces and camped them in school grounds. 

Protestors believe “Government silence [Federal government] shows its hatred to Raya people,” according to a resident from the area who spoke to EMS on condition of anonymity.  And they are vowing to defend themselves if the Federal government is unable to do so, according to sources. 

Six people were reportedly killed and nine others disappeared – after being kidnapped by the TPLF forces, residents say. Extensive robbery and rape is also reaported. 

Overall the situation in Raya is tense. Wolkait and Telemt in North Gondar are in similar situations. 

The TPLF has not yet responded to the allegations at this writing. 


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  1. The Amhara settlers in western and southern Tigray must accept the sovereignty of Tigray over these regions. Tigray has given negotiations and diplomacy a chance but the Amharas backed by Eritrea refuse to withdraw and end their illegal occupations. In the end the regional power Tigray will use force to dislodge them. On the other hand the Amhara forces threaten Oromia which is the gift f Tigray to the Oromo people. The Amhara-Oromo front is also a front that can trigger Tigray military intervention to stop the Amhara takeover.

  2. “Protestors believe “Government silence [Federal government] shows its hatred to Raya people,” according to a resident from the area who spoke to EMS on condition of anonymity,The TPLF forces invaded the area again ……..””, lamented Borkena editors .

    However, who exactly are these people of Raya mentioned in the above sombre statement of Borkena? It is common knowledge that Raya is a part of Tigray and has never been a part of Amhara, just like any other town or village in Western Tigray. It is not an invasion; Tigrayan forces are just heading back home. Please give up your complaining!

  3. This is one of the many thorny issues that country has been facing since 1991. It is an example of a which way is up conundrum. TPLF has to show something that its massive followers in its region can chew on. The regime has to show those involved in the Pretoria Agreement that it is abiding by the document it had put its John Hancock on. There were tens of thousands of Tigrayan ethnicity who used to live in this area and driven out during the 2020-2022 war. They demand their homes back. Now they are back displacing tens of thousands of other citizens. It is a nightmare. Those returning don’t just show up with sticks in their hands but they come back with fully loaded AK-47’s on their shoulders. Those awaiting them are not there bare-handed either. They are armed also but easily outnumbered.

    One of my relatives once told me that the northern half of the country is the most armed part of the nation. AK-47’s are everywhere like toothpicks along with military grade machine guns in many hands. It is also the most densely populated. The competition for livable/arable land is fierce. The population like all other areas of the country is disgustingly multiplying like worms. You think citizens are being displaced in Raya area now? But wait and see how that will be dwarfed when things start going in the other volatile area of Wolkait. That will involve millions. The only way out of this destructive conundrum is, if level heads prevail. Otherwise the boat will start sinking taking everyone of them down with it. Let’s hope and pray the will never happen. Insha’Allah!!!

  4. Digital Tigraway

    Still entertaining to play hide card and keep stoking violence between various groups? It has handsomely benefited and worked for you over 32 long years but no more. It don’t think such scheme would work ever again for any particular ethnic group no matter what, because such divide and exploit policy stance already exasperated people’s precious trust long ago. Good luck for that! I don’t think people have such short memory nor stupid enough to believe such notion again, much less to act upon.


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