By Engidu Woldie
ESAT News (August 31, 2016)
Reports reaching ESAT from Ethiopia say the TPLF regime is deploying thousands of its troops and Agazi Special Forces to the Amhara region where uprising against the regime is gaining momentum as more towns and localities removed local administrations and the security, and replaced them with interim administrations elected by the people.
Thousands of troops in a dozens of convoys and heavy machinery were seen heading towards northern Gondar via Wuchale, Wollo as the alternative and direct routes were closed by protesters, according to a sources who spoke to ESAT.
ESAT is yet to verify the information but high ranking TPLF military and civilian officials led by chief of staff Samora Yenus have arrived in Gondar. Close observers of the new developments say the regime was heading towards forming military posts and putting in place a military administration as seen in the Oromo region of the country where a nine month protest has relatively quieted this month.
Deadly protests have however continued on Tuesday in Gondar and Gojam where seven protesters – three in Adet and four in Simada – were shot and killed by TPLF forces. Three people were also killed in Merawi.
In Bahir Dar, angry protesters went to the Sebatamit prison and freed 700 prisoners who were detained in the recent protests. Several people were injured in the shoot out to free the prisoners, according to hospital sources. Gun fire could be heard on Tuesday in the city of Bahir Dar which saw deadly protests on Monday as four people were killed and protesters attacked businesses belonging to the regime.
In Amba Giorgis, regime forces attacked residents who on Monday targeted businesses and set on fire houses belonging regime officials.
Tensions remained high in Fnote Selam that has seen deadly protests in recent days. Offices and businesses remained closed on Tuesday in Finote Selam.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn blamed the unrest on what he called “foreign forces” bent on distracting the country from its development and fomenting ethnic conflicts. He declined to name the “foreign forces” but went on to accuse them of providing financial support to Ethiopian opposition forces in the diaspora. The Premier’s accusations did not come as a surprise to political observers who said that it has been customary for the regime to blame external forces for all its internal crises.
Meanwhile, human rights groups called for an independent investigations into the killings and incarceration of civilians by security forces in Ethiopia. Defend Defenders, Amnesty International, Ethiopian Human Rights Project, Frontline Defenders and FIDH called in a joint statement for the immediate cessation of the killings and detention of peaceful citizens and members of the civic society.