ESAT (November 3, 2015)
Leaders of the Gondar Union Association said they believe the recent murder committed against the people of Qimant in Gondar was perpetrated by operatives of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) to incite violence between the Amharas and the Qimants in the region.
Gruesome video circulating in the Ethiopian social media showed several blood-soaked bodies tied with rope on wooden logs, a sign they were held captive before they were murdered. Freshly-buried bodies were also exhumed to identify the victims.
Gondar Union leaders, Ato Beyene Asmare and Ato Abebe Nigatu, believe that the mass murder was committed by Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) Special Forces whom they said were working relentlessly to secede the Qimants from Gondar and make them part of Tigray.
Observers believe the Ethiopians government at the federal level fueled the conflict by urging the Qimants to demand for a separate zonal administration in the Amhara region. But Gondar Union (Yegonder Hibret) leaders warn Qimants would finally fall pray for TPLF if they pursue the question of independence.
Asked who could be perpetrating such a carnage and why, Ato Beyene and Ato Abebe said they believe the mass murder was deliberately committed by TPLF cadres, who then blamed it on the Amhara people to incite violence among the two groups. Ato Beyene and Ato Abebe further said that the objective of the TPLF regime is to cede land from the Amhara region to Tigray and Sudan. Sources from Tigray told ESAT that TPLF has already opened an office in Mekele on behalf of Qimants.
Initially, the Amhara regional state allowed the Qimant ethnic groups to form a zonal administration of 42 Kebeles. Yet, the Ethiopian government has encouraged Qimants to demand more territory from Gondar, reports disclosed, which fueled more protest and more bloodshed.
Recently, Hailemariam Dessalegn and Bereket Simon who visited Bahirdar and Gondar said the Qimant zone would be comprised of 126 kebeles, instead of the 42 kebeles initially approved by the Amhara regional state. If the formation of the zonal administration is implemented, Gondar and its vicinity, Chilga Wereda, part of Quara, Dembia, Armachiho and other areas would be under the new administration.
Ato Beyene Asmare, and Ato Abebe Nigatu say the Ethiopian government is trying to distract people’s attention away from the issue of land demarcation with the Sudan, which Ethiopians oppose vehemently. Many Ethiopians fear the Ethiopian government is ready to give away a huge tracts of fertile land to Sudan next month. Moreover, the government wants to weaken a strong pan-Ethiopianism sentiment prevalent among the people of Gondar. Besides, TPLF regime wanted to include the Grand Rainenance Dam (GRD) into the territory of Tigray by making Qimant part of the Benishangul Gumuz regional state, Ato Beyene Asmare and Ato Abebe Nigatu told ESAT.
According to Ato Beyene and Ato Abebe, who are Qimants themselves, the people of Qimant were used by TPLF as an instrument in its wicked policy of divide and rule. They said that Qimants and Gonderes co-existed peacefully from time immemorial and there is no room for TPLF to meddle in the affairs of the two groups.
Ato Abebe and Ato Beyene said they would do their best not become pray of TPLF divisive policy. “Creating ethnic conflict between the two groups would not bring any good to Ethiopians,” Ato Abebe said.
“Qimants do not want to be divided along ethnic lines; they want to live with their brothers and sisters in harmony within the territory of Gondar,” Ato Beyene told ESAT on the phone.
The Gondar Union leaders said the Amhara National Democratic movement (ANDM) is an extended arm of TPLF that’s used to create conflict between Qimant and Amhara and that the ANDM would do anything to please its master-TPLF.
Ato Beyene and Ato Abebe said they also strongly believe the ultimate goal of building Grand Renaissance Dam (GRD) in Benishangul Gumuz is to generate electricity to Tigray regional state.
In Gambella and Benishangul Gumuz, extensive farmlands are controlled by TPLF leaders and benefactors of the regime. According to Gonder Hibret, the long term plan of TPLF is to cede Benishangul Gumuz to Tigray in order to gain economic and political supremacy in the region.
Ato Abebe said federal police killed both Qimants and Amharas to deliberately incite violence between the two groups.