Thousands of Ethnic Amharas Flee from Tigray Region over Identity Matters

By Staff Reporter

wolkiteAugust 28, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Thousands of ethnic Amhara people have fled their homes in Wolkait-Tegede area from Tigray region to Amhara region due to clashes with security forces over matters of identity.

Identity and Geographic Restoration of Wolkait-Tegede committee said the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) has detained at least 300 ethnic Amhara people who refused to register for a controversial regional election.

Speaking to local media, chairperson of the committee Colonel Demeke Zewedu accused Addis Ababa and Amhara region of failing to intervene and stop the human rights violations against the people.

He said TPLF has forced the Amhara people in Wolkait-Tegede to alter their identity as Tigryans or leave the area. “The TPLF is also recruiting the young people of Amhara as soldiers by force,” Demeke added.

The committee claims that Wolkait-Tegede area was transferred from Amhara to Tigray region by force 29 years ago after TPLF led government took power. “In the process of annexation, the identity, history and cultural makeup of Wolkait-Tegede has been taken away, re-written and utterly decimated by TPLF and its state machine.” the committee claimed.

TPLF on its part said Wolkait-Tegede was annexed from the Tigray region in the political conspiracy during the regime of Emperor Haileselassie.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) annexed the Wolkait-Tegede area into the historical Tigray region in 1991, according to many in the Amhara community. It was in 1979 when TPLF entered Wolkait-Tegede and declared the land as part of its newly coming “Greater Republic of Tigray,” Amhara critics argue.

In its recent letter, the Identity and Geographic Restoration of Wolkait-Tegede committee asked the federal government to deploy national defense forces and stop human rights violations in the area until the quest for identity gets an appropriate response based on the constitution.

“The people will take measures by themselves if the federal government remains to be passive to safeguard the rights of the Amhara people in the area, he said

The human rights violations by TPLF security forces against the people include killings and beatings,” Demeke added.

The committee also dispatched the same letter to the PM office, House of Federation, Ministry of Peace, Ministry of Defense, and Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to resolve the problem.

The Amhara regional government said at least 100 combatants crossed into the Amhara region from Wolkait-Tegede, Telemt Humera, Dansha, Adiremets areas fleeing the TPLF administration over the past two weeks.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the federal government will not conduct military interventions to stop the planned elections in the region.

So far more than 2 million voters are registered in the controversial Tigray election which will take place early next month.

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