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Question of identity in Wolkayit? NO, question of security

Ethiopian News, Tigrai Online, March 26, 2016

There is no question of identity in Wolkayit only question of security


Egypt and Eritrea launched their most ambitious plan against Ethiopia in the past few months. Their plan was to create a feeling of encirclement by creating and encouraging public unrest in some parts of the country. For example the demonstrations by Oromo students in southern Ethiopia is purely based on a story fabricated by Eritrean spin doctors. It is a fact there are some governance and corruption problems in Ethiopia, but the demonstrations have nothing to do with that.

They also tried to start public unrest in the Qimant region of western Ethiopia which the people quickly became aware of their case have been hijacked by mercenaries working for Ethiopian enemies. The legitimate request by the Qimant people to self govern is peaceful and the federal government is addressing it.

Recently Shabiya sleeper cells embedded as refugees in Ethiopia have organized a handful of bandits and Derg riffraff in western Tigrai State Wolkayit region.

The idea is to start trouble in the heart of the TPLF base in Tigrai. These Shabiya agents and their foot soldiers disguised their evil agenda as a question of identity of the local people. The Eritrean Satellite Television, some VOA Amharic program journalists, and Ginbot-7 terror groups tried to bring non-existence issue of identity to the region.

The identity of the people of Wolkayit has never been questioned by the people themselves throughout history. In the 1930s the Tigrai people revolted against Amhara domination and successfully controlled the capital city of Tigrai, Mekelle.  Emperor Hailesilassie’s imperial army was defeated and humiliated in battles with the Tigrai rebels and nothing could stop the powerful Tigrai rebels. The rebels pushed on with their request for greater autonomy and they were clearing the imperial army out of Tigrai. The Emperor asked outside help and the British came to his aid. With the help of the British Royal Air Force stationed in Aden, Yemen, jet fighters were used to bomb the revolting army of the first Woyane. The Ethiopian monarch was saved, but his hate against the people of Tigrai was deepening by his defeat.

As a punishment for their revolt Hailesilassie took extreme punitive measures against the people of Tigrai. Those punitive measures included huge tax hike, repeated military campaigns with devastating pillaging of villages and towns in Tigrai, and annexing of huge chunks of land from Tigrai. Raya Qobbo from south Tigrai was given to Wollo and Wolkayit Tsegede from western Tigrai was added to BegieMidir now Gonder.

The people of both regions even main land Tigrai were forced not to use Tigringa in public settings, but despite the pressure the people never stopped using their language, traditions, and cultural norms. For example in Tsegede which is the furthest region of Tigrai the five zones are named after weredas in Tigrai like Zana, Edaga Selus, Adyet, and Endamariam. In Wolkayit the naming of villages, towns, mountains, rivers, and other places is in Tigringa too. The following names are a few examples,  Adi-Remitse, Adi-Arkay, Mai-Geba, Mai-Tsebri, and so on. Now consider this; if the original inhabitants of this area were Amhara people, why on earth would they name their villages and other places in Tigringa? The reason is they are not Amhara they are Tigraians who speak Tigringa. We don’t see people in Gonder, Gojam, Shewa and other Amhara regions naming their villages and towns starting with the distinctive Tigringa word Adi which in Tigringa means the place of or land of.

As any border region there are a few people who speak Amharic that live in wolkayit, but that does not mean they are the owners of the land.

King Ezana of Axum inscription stone in Axum, Tigrai
This stone inscription was found in 1981 by a farmer in Axum. It records how Emperor Ezana defeated his enemies and his military succsses.

About 1660 years ago the Axumite king, Emperor Ezana led a successful military campaign against his rival kingdom populated by the Beja people, the kingdom of Meroe now located north of the Sudanese capital Khartoum. After conquering Meroe the Axumite king brought thousands of Beja prisoners of war and settled them in the highlands of north western Ethiopia. Later on the area was named after the people Beja-Midir. Over time Beja-Midir became Begie Midir but during Derg time the name Begie Midir was quietly dropped and the province of Begie Midir was named after the region’s capital Gonder.

King Ezana of Axum inscription stone found in Axum, Tigrai
This is a detail of the above Ezana inscription.

Since ancient time kings of Tigrai controlled the land. In the 1700 hundreds Emperor Eyasu tried to incorporate the lands of Angereb for his hunting expeditions but, the King of Tigrai at that time Raesi Suhulmichael Hisqiyas opposed the move. The disagreement developed into a full blown military confrontation. The two sides met in the town of Inticho and the battle raged for five days however, the conflict was settled by mediation. Emperor Eyasu accepted the ancient border of Tigrai which was the Angerib River and he appointed the most powerful man in Ethiopia in that era, Ras Suhulmichael as his Enderasye. For your information and more detail consult Tekletsadik Mekuria’s book from “Emeror Menlik to Emperor Yohannes fourth” or James Bruce’s book “travels to discover the source of the Nile”. In these two books you will find great reference to who the original inhabitants of Wolkayit and the other lands.

We find it very annoying while the country is fighting poverty changing its image in the world, some Ethiopians are working with our enemies to divide the Ethiopian people and halt the transformation taking place in Ethiopia.  Tingrai Online tried to ignore the issue of identity question in Wolkayit because we know the people didn’t raise such question but, the enemies of Ethiopia are pouring more gasoline to any social problem in the country whether it is real or fake.

King of kings Ezana of Axum was born in Tigrai state from his fater Ella Amida and his mother Sofia
Emperor Ezana King of Kings Ze-Axum. Did you know there is not a single Axumite artifact found outside the borders of Tigrai in the rest of Ethiopia? There are a few places in current southern Eritrea like Adulis, Metera, Senafe, and Qoahaito that are directly related to Axum.

The sad truth is there is active perjury of history going on in Ethiopia and it has been going on for over hundred years. People are free to create their own fictitious fairy tales to attach themselves to this history or to that history if it makes them feel better. What is not ok is when banditry and robbery of history is used to justify false identity and to claim other people’s ancestral land in the case of Wolkayit, Tsegede, and Tselemti.

We really don’t care about the false claim of our history by others because our heritage, language, physical geological sites, way of life, and our cultural wealth are a living testament to who we are and which is our real history as people, but we can’t allow bandits of history to snatch our land based on fabricated history.

As we mentioned it earlier there is no identity question in Wolkayit, Tsegede, and Tselemti. The people of these regions have spoken clearly and loudly stating they know who they are and no one can change their identity as Tigraians.


Ethiopia’s enemies are trying to create fake issues to derail the miraculous development and transformation taking place in Ethiopia.

The timing is meticulously planned to coonside with the drought in Ethiopia and the complition of the Ethiopian Renaissance dam.

The anti peace elements who are trying to ignite conflict between brotherly people should be dealt with immediately. There is no question of identity in Wolkayit but, there is a serious question of security. The Ethiopian federal police, intelligence services, and the local people should work together to weed out the agents of Shabiya and bring them to justice before the problem gets out of control.

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