Ethiopia Recognizes Kemants, but Declines to Guarantee Self-Rule

The regional government representatives, including Mr. Ayalew Gobeze and from federal government Mr. Bereket Simon, Communication Minister met yesterday with Kemant delegates at Bahir Dar. The meeting was organized by the regional government to disclose the study results made by the Kemant educators and discuss on recognition and self-rule quest. Delegates of Kemant reportedly about 27 to 29, which includes prominent personalities, like Professor Yigzaw Kebede and Ambassador Zemene Kasagn. At one day meeting the Kemants’ quest for recognition was accepted, but declined to guaranty the quest for self-rule. Identity recognition was delivered in the speech by Mr. Ayalew Gobeze of the regional governor at the session. The delegates were told by Mr. Bereket ineligibility for self-rule. The reason associated with denial was because Kemants speak Amharic. Mr. Bereket also spoke about possible arrangement of preservation cage, kebeles for those Kemants that can speak language. The officials whom preoccupied with Muslim unrest in Dessie/surrounding, Amhara Region on the same day seemingly had a little interest to address the Kemant issue seriously.

Professor Yigzaw was quoted as said, “one of the question has been answered and further work has to be done” referring to the future efforts to gain self-rule. At the end of session there was banquet sponsored by the regional government. Five of delegate members who reportedly dismayed on denial of self-rule refused to take party at the banquet. The other delegate members appeared to be calm, but reached on consensus to continue peaceful struggle for due justice.

Denial of self-rule was expected. To assess political mood in the region and Mr. Bereket’s position in particular, wlka’s informant contacted Mr. Ayalew Gobez’s senior adviser on phone from his residency on the eve of the meeting. The adviser whom wanted remain in anonymous due to sensitivity of the matter told informant the key player in the case is Mr. Bereket who believed that identity recognition is adequate enough for Kemants. Mr. Berket felt that the issue of self-rule is not initiated by Kemants. The Agaw issue including Kemants was launched by some TPLF individuals in Diaspora and later supported by Oromo politicians. The Kemant issue is like liberation of Gojjam by Dr. [Professor] Muse Tegegne in the early 1990s, but he couldn’t make it because the people rejected him. Further Mr. Bereket thought Agaws are in favor of Amharaization, they are advocating for Geez and culture of an Amhara system. Kemants are not different from others in the region. According to the adviser, Mr. Bereket thought as far as Amhara identity is concerned Kemants are not Amharas, like the people of Gojjam, Lasta and Damot. It is not the question of blood based identity, but political process in the new Ethiopia. Now, Amhara Region has full power to take any measures if any body tries to stand in our development process, which is the regional priority.
In related news, Amhara and Tigraian educators reportedly declared their support for the Kemants’ self-rule. Support was made at four day university teacher conference at Gondar University in the first week of this month. The instructors’ spoke in support of Kemants following speech by Professor Yigzaw Kebede. This part of report will be updated as soon as the detail is available.

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18 Responses to Ethiopia Recognizes Kemants, but Declines to Guarantee Self-Rule

  1. belay123 says:

    Bad news! Kemants are not Amhara,but the the Amharic language like to other nations,nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia,they are under the nagative influence of Amharic

  2. alagha says:

    It becomes very hard to me to grasp the thought that phrases that is Agaws are in favor of Amharaization, they are advocating for Geez and culture of an Amhara system.The primary objective of the Agaws is to maintain their dignity and gravity in the history of building the Ethiopian state and contribution made to the Ethiopian civilization.They are proud of being Ethiopians with other nations of Ethiopia.They are conscious of their identity. Of course, they contributed a language to be lingua franca to the Ethiopian state.They are not anti-Amhara and anti-Tigrean nation; they believed they are one of the active players in new Ethiopianism on equal basis not for Amharazition. As a matter of availablity they used the Ethiopic )Geez) alphabet by modifying some characters. In orthography, Agaws can use Arab,Hebrew,Greek,Cyriilec,Latin or other Orthographies if the use of Geez initiates insult on the Agaw people. What is wrong with this? It should be noted that Agaws are not nationalities but nation. The Agaw nation will be united in federal system on equal basis with other neighboring nations.The struggle for self-determination for Kemants and others should continue.

  3. reza says:

    recognition without self_rule is meat without knife,and Mr.Bereket seems to influence AGAWS to advocate amharization .

  4. Mizigena says:

    He who Speaks Amharic is Amhara_ Bereket Semon
    Without legal procedure, Ato Bereket Semon bluntly violated the Federal Ethiopia Constitution by concluding that “those Qemant who speak Amahric are no more Qemant- they are Amharas”
    To support his theory Ato Berekt raised the case of people living Lasta, Lalibela and around Wag Administration. He said that people living Lalibela & surroundigs are originally Agaw but for they are speaking Amharic did not become part of Wag Administration. So Mr. Bereket’s theory is groundless and only tries to confuse truth. He was only talking around the jungle. We Qemant request our self rule only areas and people who still call them Qemant living in the land of Qemant. If we try to ask all Agaw origin people to come back to their true identity , Bereket himself won’t escape from being affected. But we do not want him to come to his true identity. He can remain wherever he chose. For Bereket language matters most than identity. It is because of his Amharic that he sat on the top of Amhara. Otherwise, he belongs to Eritrea by blood and identity.
    Ato Berket was only bargaining the constitutional rights of the people with ordinary and cheap political support from Gondare Amharas. On the Saturday’s meeting Bereket openly torn out the constitution and bartered it for political benefit. Systematically he calculated and reached at an answer that denying the constitutional rights of Qemant will bring him temporary support from those Amhara who do not respect Qemants and want to put under them until the kingdom comes. Even for Bereket himself, the Amhara Cadre are only waiting favarable time to through him in no where.

    You Qemant people why you cheat yourself saying that the region recognize Qemant. Do you expect they declare this officially? No, they won’t. If the region recognize this, it brings automatic rights for self rule. For how long you remain ridicule by the feeble ANDM Cadres. Ato Bereket in a very plain language told Qemant “Gondar won’t divided into two for the sake of Qemant self rule”.

    The action now should be how we continue our struggle in the future?
    I have clearly put it in my previous issue that ANDM never will recognize Qemant.
    The right time is coming to take the right decision for your independence from ANDM domination. From now on we should not blame ANDM for the denial of our rights, rather it is our choice to remain slave of ANDM or free from these hippocratic self inflated ANDM Cadre.

  5. Kamazana says:

    There is no need to rush to judgement and involve our people in a situation where they will lose everything. Refer my published letter, entitled Dear Kemants, Friends of Kemants/Agaws and All Freedom Loving Persons.

    • Zeleke says:

      Dear Kamazana

      I didn’t understand “.. will lose everything”? What did Kemant people do have which they will going to loose?

    • Mizigena says:

      What to lose other than your Identity?
      Dear Keamazana, do you love freedom? Freedom is not free! Freedom does not come by begging but through sacrifice. Only ready for that!

  6. Beshaw says:

    Mr. Mizigena,
    Well-done, you are right. Sunday’s meeting was crucial in that the government, be it regional or federal, literally declared Kemant will no more recognized since it denies self-rule. I think Mr Bereket does not know what the Federal Constitution says or does not want to know what it says[article 39]. Mr Bereket is right in stressing language only as a requirement for ‘nation, nationality or people’. This is because he is Amhara for the mere fact he speaks Amharic irrespective of what the constitution says. For Mr Bereket recognizing Kemant and granting self-rule in accordance with the constitution brings him in conflict with ANDM cadres, particularly who are Gonderines. In this respect, Mr. Bereket appeases ANDM cadres by violating Kemant’s Constitutional rights. He gives priority to Gondar territorial integrity rather than rights of the people.
    I think in this respect, the Kemant has lost one opportunity-the death of PM Meles Zenawi. He would not have waived his firm stand to protect the constitutional rights of the people for the sake of political gain from ANDM cadres.To conclude, as I heard from attendants of the meeting, Kemant is denied of recognition. Mind you, recognition of nation, nationality or people is inseparable with self-rule. Even Mr Bereket’s analogy of the Kemant with Gypsies or Romans in Europe is shameful. Gypsies do not have territories, let alone contiguous territories. So, it is high time Kemants should take appropriate measures to enforce their constitutional rights.

  7. bitew says:

    I agree with Beshaw on the lost of opportunity. I believe God of Abraham will help Kemants.

  8. Debebe G. says:

    Mr. Bereket’s notion that Kemants cannot qualify for self-rule because they speak Amharic is sort of declaration of war on the Ethiopian nations and nationalities. For me as a southern national who speak fluently Amharic is serious provocation. Is this mean we should stop speaking Amharic? Is that mean if you speak Amharic you should lose your identity? Even colonialists didn’t commit this type of social disorder. I can tell you in Hosane and surroundings everybody speaks Amharic better than any language. Where is this nation going? What we expect next?

  9. Mizigena says:

    Ethiopia never deny the nationality of Qemant. It is ANDM and only ANDM. please correct the title.

  10. Zionism for Israelis and Ze-Agewism for Agaw peoples (from Mizigena) says:

    Zionism for Israelis and Ze-Agewism for Agaw peoples

    After almost two millennium of existence of the Jewish diaspora without a national state, the Zionist movement was founded in the late 19th century as a response to rising antisemitism in Europe. Zionism is a form of nationalism of Jews and Jewish culture that supports a Jewish nation state in territory defined as the Land of Israel. Zionism supports Jews upholding their Jewish identity and opposes the assimilation of Jews into other societies and has advocated the return of Jews to Israel as a means for Jews to be liberated from anti-Semitic discrimination, exclusion, and persecution that has occurred in other societies.

    The movement was eventually successful in establishing Israel on May 14, 1948 as the homeland for the Jewish people. Though I totally disagree the way Israelis evacuated the Palestine from their homeland and discriminative action against them, but I appreciate that their ability to regain their identity and establish Israel as a nation.
    We Agaw people though we were/are not diaspora like the Israelis, we have been pushed to the corner and denied a lot in our own country. We have been split into smaller and scattered over Ethiopia. we suffered a lot from the tyrannies, historically, culturally, traditionally. We lost our common language. We have exposed ourselves for the attacks of the chauvinistic actions. Sooner or later we will not continue as a pocket of Agaws here and their like we are in now.
    The right remedy for this is founding Ze-agawism movement to maintain our identity and regain our lost culture and common language. Our separate struggle leads us to a systematic eradication of assimilation. We can see what is done to Qemant. You Awi, Himira, Konfel, Blen, and others have no any guaranty from any tactical assimilation.
    Start to day to struggle under the movement of Ze-Agwawism.

    • anteneh says:

      Mizigena “an Ethiopian Theodor Herzl ”
      Emotion and politics cannot go together.The Israel people has suffered a lot at different stage of history. i don’t want to go through each. if we consider the worst , 6 million Jewish has been killed in the era of anti-semitism.

      Theodor Herzl and other prominent Jewish elites was hurry to stop this catastrophe and to protect Jewish people. this nationalism was not to secure self rule and democratic rights. but it was a matter of existence as human , as a nation ,as an individual. how this existences can be achieved? by forming a Jewish state. period. Genocide against agaws in Ethiopia is not registered in history. agaws have a country , Ethiopia, agaws are oppressed by the ruling classes as other Ethiopian to struggle for democratic and human rights is acceptable, under this circumstance. Mizigena, how can you say this? “Zionism for Israelis and Ze-Agewism for Agaw peoples in my eyes, it is your emotion.
      if political ambitions are lead by emotions and self interest , they request us a lot. by the way Jewish state is not in peace. if we see ourselves in the place of Palestine the fleeing will be worst. Hence Mizigena your question must not be like the Theodor Herzl ‘s question, because you have a country, Ethiopia.
      kimants/agaws are living as other Ethiopian oppressed citizens. they never ask state hood or Independence. above all when you run as Israelis don’t expect that the rest will sleep, your “holy kingdom ” will not…. Mizigena, don’t erode our oneness, to secure a small issue we should not loose the biggest one.

      • Mizigena says:

        Do you know Why we need Ze-Agewism for Agaw people?
        To be free from you Tyranny. We have a country of course, Ethiopia. But still Agaw people leave in different part being segregated. We need these people to come together through the movement of Agawism. It is only when we become together that we resist your domination. Can you see the different enclaves, Blen, Himra, Qemant, Awi, Damot, lasta wolkaytit and so on. What makes you afraid the unity of Agaw if you have no any sin. please try to talk about you. Leave the issue of Agaw for Agaw!

  11. Zeleke says:

    I really appreciate the concept of Ze-Agwawism. Agaw factions couldn’t get blessing from ANDM as free lunch and we must be organized and struggle under one umbrella. Additionally we need support from other Ethiopian nationalities particularly Cushitic family which is majority of the country. Agaw as pillar of the Ethiopia, should enjoy all rights not only self governance. Lets bring our hands for self rule of Qement as short term and uniting Agaw factions in long term.

  12. obsaa says:

    I appreciate the nationalism feeling of the Agaws. Keep it up. Your struggle is part of the struggle of the Cushtic people as a whole. Fight for renaissance of Agaws.

  13. I think this is a powerfull blog with much interesting posts about this stuff. And i just wanna say thanks for this. I’ll subscribe to your blog to see if you post more stuff like these!

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