Questioning the Tigrai identity of Raya people is a declaration of war on Tigrai state
Tigrai Online, Oct. 31, 2018
The people of Raya in the southern zone of Tigrai state are angry at the Amhara state for sending paid hooligans to their cities to disrupt their lives.
Law and order in the Ethiopian northwest regional state of Amara is going from bad to worse by the day. The state is an amalgamation of about seven ethnic groups including Amhara, Agaw, Qemant, Argoba, Shinasha, and Oromo. The population of the region is estimated around 22 million which makes it the second largest regional state by population. The second largest ethnic group in the sate, the Agaw and the Qemant have been fighting to have their own regional state for over 25 years.
The ruling party in the state the ANDM which is dominated by Amaharas has been trying to suppress the Agaw and Qemant for many years using force, arrests, intimidation, and other dubious tactics, but that didn’t stop the people of Agaw and Qemant from continuing their quest for freedom. In the past four years the Qemant took their frustration to the streets and the federal government; however the Amara state regional government responded with deadly force killing many Qemants including some of the leaders. According to our Qemant sources hundreds of Qemant leaders and activists are languishing in prisons though out the regional state. Now the rest of the ethnic groups like the Argoba don’t want to be part of the Amara administration.
The Amaras dominated the Ethiopian politics for about 80 years and that gave them an advantage to be in a better socioeconomic status in the country. They also expanded their region by annexing vast swaths of land from Tigrai state and incorporated it to their state. The Amharas settled thousands of people in every part of the country and they claimed the land by pushing out the local people. They brain washed their population by teaching them Amhara means Ethiopia and Ethiopia means Amhara. Amharic was made official language of the country and other people were forbidden from using their own native languages in an attempt to destroy the other people’s identity. The Amahara expansion to the southern part of Ethiopia was especially bloody and it was somewhat successful, but the Amharas futile endeavor to assimilate the much older, well armed, and better organized Tigrai people didn’t go as planned. In fact the daring adventure to the north expansion to the land of Tigrai was disastrous. The Tigringa speaking of Tigrai people rebelled against the central government in the 1940s. The Tigrai rebels captured the capital city of Tigrai, Mekelle from the imperial forces threatening the Haileselassie imperial government. At the end the British came to the rescue of Haileselassie and bombarded the city of Mekelle killing thousands rebels and civilians. The British help effectively eliminated the rebellion in Tigrai. That was not the end of the rebellion in the north, it was reignited in the 1960s. This time the two Tigringa speaking provinces of Eritrea and Tigrai launched a highly organized rebel groups. At the end of the bloody civil war Eritrea become a sovereign country, but the Tigraians decided to stay in Ethiopia hoping they can make it work for all people.
When the TPLF controlled the country they ended the miserable rule of the Amhara who kept Ethiopia in darkness. Ethiopia was known for hunger, backwardness, civil war and misery until the TPLF brought it out of that horrible system, but the Amhara are unhappy they lost their privilege they have been fighting to destroy the news federal system since day one. For the past 27 years Amhara state has been the epicenter of crisis and conflict aimed at discrediting the federal system and overthrowing it. The Amhara state elites are desperately trying to destabilize neighboring states like Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz. When the EPRDF elected an Oromo prime minister the Oromia state started to cool down and the Amhara elites needed to change tactic because they long term goal is to destroy the federal system return to the old imperial system.
Fast forward to 2018 the Amhara elites found a new camouflage, the disagreement between the TPLF and the new prime minister of Ethiopia. When Dr. Abiy Ahmed made an error in judgment by overlooking the TPLF and the Tigrai state it was a God send for the Amhara elites. Now they can do all the evil things they were planning to undermine the federal system and blame it on the TPLF. Initially they pledged their unwavering support for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed while sabotaging his action on the ground. Then they turned around and blamed it on the TPLF and the people of Tigrai and the prime minister and his circles bought it. It didn’t take long when they started openly opposing one of the federal systems, the flag. At the same time they were spending millions of dollars financing organized ethnic conflicts in Oromia, Gambela, Benishangul, Somali and SNNPR and they blamed it on the TPLF. When they sent hundreds of youth to slaughter innocent people in Burayu and tried to storm the office of the prime minster in Addis Ababa, it became crystal clear the Amhara elites were behind all the ethnic clashes in Ethiopia and the reason is they wanted to discredit the federal system.
Now the Amhara elites are trying to destabilize the most stable state in Ethiopia Tigrai. They have sent hundreds of Amhara youth from Gonder and Gojam to the border town of Almata which is very close to Amhara towns. The Amharas are taking a huge risk by sending their thugs to Tigrai and trying to start an identity claim in Almata. They are also intermittently closing the highway that connects Tigrai state and Addis Ababa. All this evil actions by the Amhara elites is to say the federal system doesn’t work. It is a poor scheme to deflect attention from what is happening in the regional state itself where the Agaw and Qemant people are nearing to have their own states. That means splitting the Amhara regional state in to two or three parts. As a result of the continuous provocation tension between Tigrai and Amhara states is mounting, if the federal government doesn’t take real action it will have a bloody war on its hands.
The people of Raya react angry about those who came from Gonder and Gojam to disturb their peaceful zone in Tigrai state. (Photo credit to Tsega Abadi, Mehari Yohanis and other Facebook friends)