ESAT News (March 23, 2016)
Ethiopian regime forces on Wednesday arrested over three hundred people in north Gondar who have been demanding the government to respect their identity as Amhara and reinstate their state of affairs and administration to the Amahara region. The Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) that took power in 1991 annexed the northern part of Gondar to Tigray to bring a vast fertile region under its control.
Chalachew Abay, representing Wolkait, told ESAT that regime forces on Wednesday went door to door in Dansha, Maykadra, Humera, Adiremet and other areas in Wolkait and arrested people who were alleged to have taken part in the protests. He said over 300 people were arrested on Wednesday on top of the 160 that were arrested over the weekend.
He said the people agreed to open the roads after mediations by a patriarch and did so but the regime’s forces went straight to retaliations, let alone releasing the detainees as was agreed with mediators. No sooner did the people opened the roads that they blocked for two days than the forces started arresting people, Chalachew said.
Several hundreds have left their villages to avoid arrest and torture by the TPLF forces, Chalachew said. Another witness said a large convoy of the army has been passing through his village and he feared the situation could get worse.
The recent protest in north Gondar was sparked when regime’s forces on Sunday abducted one of the leaders of the Wolkait people, Leley Berhane, who has been spearheading the demands of the people. The people of Dansha and Soroka in response blocked major highways passing through the towns.