Letter to US-Department of State

April 14, 2016

US-Department of State
2201 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20520

Reference: Appeal for United States’ Voice and Humanitarian Assistance for Victims of December 2015 Kemant Genocide in North Gondar, Ethiopia

The Kemant genocide, which took place in North Gondar, Ethiopia December 10-13, 2015, slaughtered more than 81 Kemants, women, children, and elders ; wounded 39 Kemants, kept in detention unknown number of people, displaced approximately 25,000 people. The displaced victims have been deprived basic needs, they have neither food nor shelter and currently suffering from hunger and diseases. Perpetrators also demolished or burned in fire 986 residencies, emptying the enter villages in some localities; destroyed or taken away 42,284 quintals of grain, seized more than 18, 700 domestic animals. The total of property loss in the course of genocide is estimated to be US$34.4 million.

Genocide was carried out by Amhara Regional Government forces of Ethiopia, comprised of 10,000 special Force, paratroops and armed militia who used 58 to 62 heavy trucks to transport logistics and personnel. The regional government has not denied perpetration of genocide, but portrayed as if it was people to people hostility, between Amharas and Kemants.

Persecution against the Kemant population, killing and detention have been in effect, especially since 2013. Kemants through their representative, called Kemant coordinating committee and supporters appealed to the Ethiopian Federal Government more than four times. The Federal Government of Ethiopia acknowledged the problem following current genocide and set up a special committee led by Kassa Tekilebirhan, former House Speaker and currently a cabinet member to implement self-rule for Kemants in 126-128 kebels/localities, 8-counties, but the committee has achieved nothing so far. Alternatively, a creation of a regional state for Kemants, proper & Amharic speaking Agaws in general and Beta Israelis living throughout Gondar and Gojjam, currently repressed in Amhara Region is believed to be the best remedy to guarantee durable security. Otherwise, provincial, zonal arrangement may not provide needed lasting security for Kemants and other ethnic groups.

Indeed, the central government’s inadequate response to the crisis is a reason for Kemant’s present sufferings. The central government has lacked the political will and commitment to bring alleged perpetrators, suspected officials to justice. Despite systematic atrocity committed against the Kemant population with purity, no key top officials presumably responsible for genocide have been brought to before justice, with exceptions of questioning junior ones who allegedly acted on top regional officials’ directives.

Unfortunately, even after December 2015, genocide is still in effect. On January 21, a government security force opened fire on the crowd gathered to celebrate the Ethiopian traditional Epiphany in Chilga and killed five people including the chief priest, Bisret Abera carrying a replica of Ark of Covenant and wounded dozens. On March 26, 2016, the regional government’s Special Forces, paratroops numbered 400-500 entered into the town of Tikildingay, Lay Armachiho County in the midnight and terrorized population including torture.

Moreover, the regional government officials are currently retraining including retired soldiers and disseminating propaganda via a party line obviously for large scale genocide on Kemants probably comparable to Rwanda 1992, or World War-II Holocaust against the Jewish people.

I under signed hereby, an independent human rights observer and community constituent kindly appeal on behalf of the victims, the United States to voice against injustice and play a positive role working with the Ethiopian Government for the following, purposes, but not limited:
a) all perpetrators to be tried at neutral court and prevent similar atrocity in the future.
b) The displaced victims to be provided with immediate humanitarian assistance.
c) The victims’ families to be provided with adequate compensation for lost life and properties.
d) One of the key suspects of genocide Mr, Gedu Andargachew, incumbent Head of Region-3, called Amhara Regional State currently in the US to be tried.

Attached please find a copy of the report of December 2015 Kemant Genocide, includes a list of victims, the location of catastrophe and names of suspected officials involved in genocide and theory for genocide.

Sincerely,

Worku Berihu

CC to:

Prime Minister of Ethiopia, other concerned governments and international organizations

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Ethiopian Orit Community News Release on December 2015 Kemant Genocide

We, Ethiopian Orit Community call on Regional Government, Federal Government, US Government and international community to provide immediate humanitarian assistance and persecute their respective officials/citizens involved in Kemant genocide.

December 10-13, Amhara Regional Government sent huge regional militia and police forces to North Gondar, Kemant (Qemant) areas, to provide a military solution to the Kemant’s 9-years-old constitutional quest for self-rule. The security force indiscriminately engaged in massacre and property destruction, crop and house burning and robbery. Specially, children, women and elderly who cannot flee or defend themselves are primary victims. At the same time, the invading force had been reportedly sustained heavy causalities due to self-defensive response from Kemant farmers, whom reacted in an instinct manner.

Destruction Areas

We as the community members has no accurate figure on the size of the government combat force. Roughly 8,000-10,000 soldiers and more than 58 heavy military trucks were fielded in the Kemant areas including the following counties, sub-districts (kebeles) and towns:
1. In Metema Woreda (County): Shinfa Town, Kebeles (localities) of Gubay, Gigibit Kebele, Genduha Birshign Town, Mecca (Kurbsa sub-locality), Ahushira, Zebach Bahir, Mechela, Chechra and Bekokit.
2. In Chilge County: The localities (kebeles) of Serti Wagi, Amanuel Kenwote, Kober Lomio, Godo Molalit, Dandura, Addis Zemen, Kushaina, Shutara, Asenge Ketema and Negade Bahir Ketema.
3. Tach Armachiho County: Mesa Kidene Mihret Kebele (one kebele consists of about 5,000 residents).
4. In Quara County: The localities (kebeles) of Bedela, Mirt Gelagu, Dubaba, Gelegu Town and kebels in the county.
There is the reason to believe that the government’s plan was to eliminate Kemants physically from these fertile areas and settle other people loyalty to the regime’s politics.
An unconfirmed initial report indicated hundreds of Kemant massacre, million dollars of property destruction and robbery. So far, a Kemant disaster committee’s preliminary assessment has confirmed the following losses:

Life Losses:

• Massacre of 82 people including maternal mothers, infants and aging elders who cannot move (this figure does not include causalities in Quara County).
• 26 people sustained severe injury and disability as a result of beating.
• 9 people disappeared their whereabouts is not known.
• 27 more people taken to a detention center.
• Other 37 people are hunted to capture or take other measures.
• About 30,000 displaced people are without food, shelter and need immediate humanitarian assistance.

Property Losses:

• 1440 houses robbed and then burned and the following properties have been taken:
• 42, 284 quintals of grain
• 3002 cattle
• 3670 goats
• 531 donkey and mules
• 40 sheep, and
• 11,513 hens

Robbed Hotels, Stores and Other Properties:

• 29 stores
• 17 hotels
• 2 automobiles
• 106 grams of gold
• cash, 7,921,405 Ethiopian Birr
The total of taken or destroyed property by the invading force values 198, 462, 176 Ethiopian Birr.

Persecution against Kemant people is an unfolding process, especially since 2014. However, the situation escalated rapidly as more than 60 young Kemants, Agaw Democratic Party members and supporters arrested for supporting the party during the election 2015. After the election, Kemant coordinating committee members for self-rule was prime targets. At the end of the same year, the government has begun killing Kemant ethnic members indiscriminately regardless of gender, age, occupation or political affiliation. The international community is welcome to investigate and prove this reality.
Indeed, execution of innocent 24-children and women in Lay Armachiho County in November 2015 and indiscriminately massacre in December 10-13, 2015 in the localities mention above has represented boldly an international genocide definition and realistic to describe the behavior and consequence as genocide. The current genocide was expected due to the central government’s negligence to protect Kemants. Kemants reported the federal government ongoing atrocity in the region more than four times including an open letter to Prime Minister in the past three years. The two letters were published on the wlka blog. Nothing was done to provide Kemants with needed security as the citizen, Of course, if the Ethiopian Federal Government was committed to the constitution of the country and supremacy of the law, it could have brought the alleged perpetrators for justice in the previous tragedy and the current genocide has never happened.
There are also a group of people who facilitated the current genocide by providing the regional government with resources and disseminating its propaganda abroad and inland to cover up the reality. Those people are the US citizen Gondar origin immigrated to the US during the military regime and after. Their action is clearly in violation the US law and shall be accountable for the consequences.

Key Genocide Suspects at Top Regional Government Level

The regional government top leadership and its ruling party Amhara National Democratic Movement, is responsible for Kemant genocide. Its top leader, Amhara Regional Governor, Mr. Gedu Adargachew had been recorded whilst he was asking an identified federal official for additional soldiers to control the situation. The federal official rejected Andargachew’s request and told him to withdraw his force immediately from the Kemant areas. The unsecure conversation was recorded by a foreign secrete service that has embassy in Addis Ababa, wanted to remain in anonymity. The same foreign secret service in its report to its government mentioned also Dessie Asemie, Regional Security and Militia Commander, Mr. Agegnew Teshale, Regional official and Mr. Yaregal Asfaw, Governor’s Senior Adviser as key players in current genocide. Lower party officials at local level and junior commanders in the field execute orders given by these officials.

Regional Government with Its Collaborator Fails to Apologize

The regional officials of government and party functionalities have failed to apologize Kemants, Ethiopian people and international community at large for their actions. In contrary, the ruling party has been broadcasting propaganda on media to portray genocide as if people to people, between Amhara and Kemant. It has blamed the people of Gondar in general and Amhara chauvinism in particular.
The regional government’s post-genocide behavior shows not only its failure to accept responsibility for the consequences, but also its determination to use the situation as excuse to arrest or keep Kemant activists or its supporters in custody; Its behavior is also a clear indication for further preparation for genocide rather than guaranteeing Kemants self-rule in 128 Kebele, 8-counties and foster durable peace in the region.

Deprivation of Media Coverage

Despite all this tragedy is taking place in Kemant homeland North Gondar, no media coverage on the events. There are reasons for that:
• Kemants do not have media access to express their views.
• with exceptions of Tigray Online before 2012 and Oromo blogs, Ethiopian related media both governmental and non-governmental believe that Kemants are struggling to restore Judaism (Orit) in the region, to setup Orit Assembly and they should not be guaranteed self-rule. These media’s political interest is the key obstacle the Kemant issue not get coverage. Even if they cover rarely, their coverage is biased, reflects only views of the government ignoring Kemant’s position, VOA Amharic Service is among such media.
• Some Amhara party officials also ironically claim that Kemants are immigrated from Egypt and Canaan before 2,000 years BC and not eligible to establish self-rule at a zonal/provisional level except in 42-kebeles under North Gondar Zone control, otherwise, the Kemants should be deported to Egypt, like Beta Israel to Israel. All these arguments and pieces of myths affected negatively the said media to ignore the Kemant issues.

Indication of Pending Large Scale Genocide

Even after December 2015, genocide is still in effect. On January 21, a government security force opened fire on crowd gathered to celibate the Ethiopian traditional Epiphany in Chilge and killed five people including The chief priest, Bisret Abera carrying a replica of Ark of Covenant and wounded dozens. Propaganda on facebook called Bete Amhara, organized by the ruling regional party is disseminating hate on a day to day basis. On this facebook a post appeared for one month until removed on January 21, after it elicited objections from visitors, calls for eviction of Protestant Christians, Muslims and Agaws from Region 3, what is currently called Amhara Region. The regional government has also undertaken fresh military training as preparation for further genocide. Unless the international community takes measures, the largest scale genocide similar to Rawanda 1992 and World War-II Holocaust is imminent in the region.

We Extends Condolence to:

1. The Kemant children and adults whom lost their life and property.
2. Those whom sent to Kemant villages and towns ignorantly for the mission they didn’t understand cause destruction and tragedy, but has never return home.
We believes that it is possible to restore the situation to normal and secure lasting peace and stability in the region.

We calls on the Regional Government and its ruling party:


1. base their conflict resolution tactics on democratic principles and rules of law, difference between Kemants and the regional government to be resolved through popular referendum organized by the federal government.
2. Work with the people and the federal government to trail all suspects involved in genocide in different capacities including top regional government officials regardless of their role in the region.
3. Apologize the Kemant people for the consequences and facilitate genuine reconciliation.
4. Release these in detention center and stop persecution others for their self-defense role.
5. Pay full compensation for the lost life and properties related to the events November 30 (Hidar 23) in Chilge and December 10-13 2015 (Hidar 29 letefeterw huneta) throughout the Kemant province.

We Call on the Ethiopian Federal Government to:


1. Provide immediately humanitarian and rehabilitation assistance for the displaced people to return to respective village and towns.
2. Take firm actions to respect the constitution.
3. Guarantee fully the Kemants’ constitutional request self-rule in all areas without delay.
4. Take firm stand to trail those involved in genocide at neutral federal court.
5. If Amhara Region cannot accommodate in equality and democracy Kemants, Agaws/Gojjamis in general and other communities in the region, create their own region to live in good neighborhood in peace before conflict develop into an irreconcilable stage.

We Call on the Government of the United States America to:


1. Investigate those its citizens who facilitated the current genocide as stated above.
2. Take legal measures including sanctions on their close family members not to enter the US.
3. Provide immediate humanitarian assistance for the displaced people.

We Call on Neighboring Countries and the International Community:


To provide immediate humanitarian basic needs, food and shelter, for thousands of displaced Kemants.

Ethiopian Orit Community
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
January 21, 2016

Posted in Agaw Kemant | 2 Comments

Security Source States 23 People died, 89 People Taken to Detention Center and More Than 500 Kemants Are Hiding

wlka received the following information from a regional security source wants to remained in anonymity. According to this source, campaign against Kemants has been overseen by Regional Commander Dessie Aseme and his junior commander Amsalu who is responsible to directing a local security force.
The statement reads, since June 13 through 30, 2015, in District of Chilga, 23 Kemants killed most of them are killed while they were at their home. So far 89 people have been taken to unknown detention center; more than 500 people escaped just before arrest. The statement in the Amharic language does not say anything about situations in other districts.
The statement also claimed Kemants actually were unable to hold demonstration as planned. Their demonstration was planned for June 14, but a regional security force stormed house to house on the eve and the demonstration was aborted.

In related news, the Ethiopian legislative body, known as House of Federation passed a bill on June 24 clearing way for self-rule in all Kemant areas, comprise of 8-9 districts. The current House resolution obviously overrides the previous regional council decision that attempted to restrict the Kemant self-rule in two districts only, better known as 42-kebel rule.

However, some observers questioned the objectivity of the bill, because it authorizes the Regional Government for implementation. Since the regional government is not a neutral body, actually locked in warfare with Kemants for the past 6-years, how it can implement the bill without distortion is the question of many people.

Human rights violations in the Kemant areas has deteriorated, especially since the past two years. With exceptions of Oromo websites and blogs in Diaspora, Ethiopian related media governmental and non-governmental, including VOA Amharic Service and Radio German do not report human rights violations in the Kemant areas. According to some sources, these media believe that Kemants are struggling for restoration of Orit/Judaism, what is called worship of Abraham and should be punished. Also, human rights organizations failed to document on the Kemant issue. A man from Gondar City called Gadlu G in his nickname said, unfortunately, HUMAN RIHGTS WATCH AFRICA is part of the scheme probably innocently due to some of its deceptive employees. The watch has never documented a single report on the Agaw-Kemant case, and he questioned political neutrality of HRWA, well recognized the international body.

Posted in Agaw Kemant | 9 Comments

Agaw Democratic Party (AgDP) Executive Committee Holds Emergency Meeting and Makes Calls on Ethiopian Government and International Community

Ag DP Executive Committee held an emergency meeting last night to discuss on death and injuries sustained against the Kemant people, in North Gondar, June 12 to 14, 2015. The committee heard reports obtained from varies media, that has indicated the death of 7-civilians and confirmed 8-people whom sustained serious injury are in critical conditions. Others have been taken into an unknown detention center. The communiqué reads, it has not yet able to determine the total victims and urges officials to investigation.
After evaluating the whole situations, the communiqués condemned any form of violence in the North Gondar and has made call on the Government of Ethiopia as follows:
1. Independent Investigation Commission to be designated by the parliament, People’s Representatives and the commission to conduct an independent investigation.
2. These victims in the critical conditions to be provided immediate medical treatment.
3. These party, or committee members and ordinary people abducted and taken to unknown destination to be released immediately.
4. Those offenders to be tried at independent court following the investigation.
5. The international community to give due attention to North Gondar as it has become the center of human rights violations as was once against Ethiopian Jews.
6. Find durable constitutional solutions for Kemant people self-rule demand.
7. The communiqué also calls on anyone refrain from any form of violence and stick to peaceful resistance.
This communiqués was issued on June 15, 2015 from Gondar City

Posted in Agaw Kemant | 4 Comments

Breaking News: More Than Ten Kemants Shot to Death

The information forwarded to wlka states that more than 10 Kemants shot to death in Chilga District, North Gondar. Information had been sent this afternoon, it has not yet displayed the identity of individuals and other details. Some unconfirmed source claimed more than 100 people critically injured. wlka has no resource to send its informant to the scene area. It is impossible to communicate in the area. If you know details, you can send information directly to wlka including their names. Do not send your information to any person, wlka will not receive it.

Update: On Kemant People Death and Injury (June 15)

A source from Gondar City Police Department, who wants to remain in anonymity has provided the following updates:
• The death of 7 people confirmed.
• Other 8 people in critical conditions and admitted to Gondar Hospital, but not treated due to order from officials, expected to die.
There is conflicting report regard to the following individuals:
• Mr. Kassie Godo, AgDP party’s activist
• Mr. Fentahun, another AgDP activist and candidate for the past May 2015 election.
• Mr. Kassie Abera, a Kemant Committee member
• Two elders from the Aykel town
Some people claimed Mr. Kassie Godo was abducted on June 12, just before midnight, and his whereabouts is not known. Others say five of persons under police search for their attempt to organize demonstration.

Update on June 17:
In related news, Blue Party’s last month candidate, Mr. Samuel Awoke died in Debre Markos, on June 15, 2015, after attacked by unknown persons. An opposition said, murder is politically motivated, the government described private related.

The replica of this report has appeared also on American Embassy Facebook Addis Ababa, under Wlka Bt. First you can find Wlka Bt Facebook and then direct to the embassy facebook.

Posted in Agaw Kemant | 3 Comments

Two Hours Ago 17 Young People, Supporters of Agaw Democratic Party Abducted by Security Force

Just two hours ago, 17 young people, supporters of Agaw Democratic Party have been abducted by a local security forces. One of them was the party’s observer for tomorrow’s election; his name is Endashiw, an inquiry is underway to identify his last name. Abducted victims were forced to walk on bare foot to unknown destination. Abduction took place in Lay Armachiho District, the locality called Erebu Gebya, 32 km the west of Gondar City, Northwestern Ethiopia. The incursion has been reported to National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), but so far no reaction from NEBE. Another young person detained last night in the same District (Woreda) was released this afternoon after long debate among security personnel to kill or not to kill him.

Update on May 24, 2015

Report sent to wlka on May 24, indicates 2 observers, Teshale Tafere and Zemena Mazena disappeared and 5-more beaten and detained in Chilga District. The detainees were seen bleeding. At Wogera, Chuge A (ha) voting station, the voting counting was completed before 5:00 pm. The AgDP owned the vote, but the ruling party and the board observers refused to accept the result, as a result there was dispute with AgDP’s observer, Mr. Dereja. At 6:00 pm, Mr. Dereja was taken to unknown destination. His family and the party is searching his whereabouts. The ruing party acted violently after 10 voting station was early counted and AgDP won these and others in the district.

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Armed Militia Goes House to House and Gives Death Threat to AgDP Election Observers

Ethiopia supposed to conduct a democratic election on the coming May 24, 2015. But, an armed militia force comprise of five men traveled house to house today, May 19, 2015 in Lay Armachiho Woreda (County), North Gondar, Ethiopia. The militia checked the houses of Agaw Democratic Party observers for May 24 election process. The armed militia gave death threat to the party’s observers. It claimed those who observe for the Agaw Democratic Party (AgDP) would lose their live if they go out on the day of election to vote or observe for the party. Armed men also declared there would be violence all voting stations the AgDP is contesting.
Before one week, threat was targeted to potential voters and activists, since the middle of the past week; the ruling party has intensified persecution against potential observers all over election districts. In Metema District, Zebach Kebele, Mr. Meleku Tesfaye in hospital treatment after sustained injury by a separate armed militia. Most of districts declined to assign the observers in fear of the observers’ security. The districts determined to register observers regardless of death threat involves Dangla, Lay Armachiho, Gondar Zurya and Chilga. Now, most of them are submitting resignations. The report has been submitted to the National Election Board of Ethiopia and Africa Union Delegates in writing and orally, but no action has been taken to address the problem.

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Power Shutdown and Jamming on Agaw Democratic Party’s Election 2015 Transmission

Agaw Democratic Party/AgDP was not able to broadcast its election 2015 message on March 4, 2015. The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) allocated for AgDP two TV schedules, each consists of 15-minutes. The first schedule was March 4, 2015 (Yekatit 26) on Amara TV immediately after 6:00 pm news. However, before five minutes of the party’s transmission, electric power was shutdown throughout Awi Province/Zone. The same thing happened also in four Gondar Zone districts, including Chilga County.

The power was available in the cities of Bair Dar and Gondar, but was too difficult to hear due to jamming. The party’s chairperson lodged compliant with a regional parties joint forum and NEBE. The forum characterized the move as a criminal act and condemned, but the NEBE has not taken any measures. The party’s members and supporters urged the party leadership appeal to the NEBE for an alternative broadcast schedule. In related news, a person who sent message to wlka in an anonymous condition claimed the power distribution in Ankesha-Gugusa woreda, one of Awi districts has been off since one month, but he added power disruption on March 4, 2015 in the other districts an active political sabotage not a technical problem.

The lately received report from Gondar City indicates that Mr. Muluken Wagnw a party member from Layarmachiho is in detention for the last 6-days. Zonal officials claimed National Election Board of Ethiopia’s law does not work in Gondar. He has been detained while he was giving out the party’s election manifesto.

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Agaw Democratic Party Withdraws its Nominee for Parliament for 2015 Election at Constituency of Bahir Dar City

A reliable source from Regional Election Board Branch Office sent message to wlka anonymously. On the 12th of February, the party’s Chairperson, Mr. Andualem Tilahun, sent a fax message to Bahir Dar City Election Board Secretariat requesting the cancelation of its only candidate in Bahir Dar City constituency who was Mr. Wasihun Mulaw. The candidate also made the similar correspondence with the city board. The city board was reluctant to accept the request till the official memorandum was sent from the secretariat. The contender was the party’s nominee for parliament/House of Representatives for May Election 2015.
Another source stated cancelation created different reactions. Some saw it as defeat before “shot” and others considered as a tactical decision since there are other four parties registered for constituency, which makes the winning chance slim. Some people speculate the action has been taken probably to increase other parties’ winning chance for some sort of expectations in the future.

Posted in Agaw Kemant | 2 Comments

AgDP Central Committee Issues Statement on Current Situation in Kemant, Gondar

Agaw Democratic Party/AgDP’s Central Committee at its regular session (on Nov. 15) at the town of Zege, Lake Tana, discussed the current turmoil in North Gondar, Kemant Province. It received a report on more than 100 school closure throughout the province in the past two weeks. On the other hand, it learned that some of schools have been reopened since Wednesday, but other remained close. The party expressed its concerned on the deteriorating situation and asked all involved parties to refrain from any act of violence. At the end of the session it has issued the following statements:
1. The current school closure is resulted from the government’s lack of due respect for its constitution. If the government has respect for the country’s constitution, it could treat the Kemant people, or Agaws in general on an equal basis and the Kemant’s constitutional quest for self-rule could have been guaranteed under Article 39. The party called on the government to stop percussion and address the Kemant’s demand without delay.
2. The communiqué stated that Kemant people have waged peaceful resistance for the past decay and they need to pursue only peaceful struggle to achieve their goals.
3. The communiqué stressed the murder of an unarmed citizen, Mr. Tegenawu Wolelawu and others, whoever is unacceptable. The party demanded an independent investigation and due justice including adequate compensation for the family members of the victims.
Finally, the communiqué demanded for equal treatment and justice to all citizens.

Posted in Agaw Kemant | 2 Comments

Call for Support for Continuity of wlka

Peaceful political struggle without media is entirely unthinkable. For the past 3-years, the Agaw people’s struggle, specially, Kemant’s struggle for self-rule and equality that took the attentions of many people could not happen at all without wlka. Indeed, wlka has done its professional responsibility as the online press media. Now days, it is facing enormous challenges for its continuity as the forum and provision of compatible services in the dramatically changing world. There are two major parameters wlka has encountered, financial and personnel who have to provide voluntary services indefinitely. At this point, there are only two unpleasant choices, either strengthen the existing media and pursue the resistance for liberty and constitutional rights, or give up, surrender to the oppressors and live in second class citizenship. If the choice is the former, the following measures must be taken for wlka’s effective continuity:
1. It has to be updated including domain modification and hardware upgrading on its base, to uphold its security and functional capacity.
2. Be able to pay transport and allowance for an informant who travels to field to collect first hand evidence.
Certainty, financial commitment is required to execute the project:

  • $6,790 for the system upgrading and enhancement including backup capability for offline availability;
  • $3,386 for allowance and transport cost for the informants per year;
  • $510 for contingency in the case of emergency for immediate life support. If any thing, like automobile accident happens on the informant while in the field;
  • TOTAL of $US 10,686 only.
  • You are kindly requested to support financially the project as you are keen to the liberty of the oppressed people. Also, share this information with those who have no access to the website. Then, please take initiatives and setup a steering committee that can collect fund from the country you are living. Then, communicate wlka in the same way, you send your articles and comments for publication. Leave your full address including e-mail, phone number with country code and name of city. Then, wlka will contact you for a further action. Thanks!

    Posted in Agaw Kemant | 3 Comments

    Protesters in Bahir Dar City Killed and Agaws Advised for Their Safety

    Antigovernment protest took place in Bahir Dar on August 6 and 7. During the protest, 20-30 people are reportedly killed. The report is not independently confirmed. According to residents, killing started at the part of the city called Abay Mado. The protesters threw an object towards the ruling party’s Martyr Building, to express their opposition. The ruling party’s veteran guard on the entrance instantly fired on protesters automatic machine gun and killed 6 people. After that, the peaceful demonstration changed into violence.

    The former House Speaker, Kassa Teklebirhan’s residence was set on fire. He is the only official who criticized demonstrators for targeting Tigrians in Gondar City on July 15, 2016. His Agaw identity is also another cause for being the target. A source wants to remain in anonymous told a wlka informant that Kassa’s residence was burnt down by his party members who oppose him not by the crowd. In related news, the demonstrators in Gondar set fire on the ruling ANDM office.

    The Right Wing ruling party members within the ANDM called African Neo-Nazis currently dominant on the party decision used the occasion for inciting against other ethnic groups, particularly against Tigrians and their properties. After killing, several ANDM ruling party’s companies including Abay Bank also ransack. Oromia Bank located downtown was targeted by the protesters. ESAT, media in Diaspora has been disseminating inaccurate information. ESAT reported the Bahir Dar protesters were killed by the Agazi, Tigrian Special Force, without reporting the start of killings by the local veteran as mentioned above.

    ESAT also reported the broke off a demonstration at Sereka, Dasha and Shinfa and Metema. If this information is true, the move will put directly in conflict with Kemants, Amharas neighbors. Shinfa and Metema were among districts, December 2015 Kemant Genocide took place. From December 9 to December 18, the regional government fielded 10,000 paratroops and militia in intention to destroy Kemants. The government forces killed 95 Kemants mostly children and elderly. The government’s troops also wounded 86 Kemants and destroyed or taken the properties estimated to be US$34.34 million. The human causality on the government side was worse. At Shinfa alone the government lost 562 fighters. On December 9, as the government forces marched towards Metema after the invasion of Shinfa, Kemants ambushed and destroyed 5 trucks carried soldiers, killing 562. In Mura locality, 142 special forces) (the paratroops) including their Chief Commander and Deputy Commander, were killed in seven days war between villagers and the troops. Soldiers retaliated the villagers by killing 24 children and elders. An Independent Human Rights Observer, Worku Berihu in his letter dated April 14 to US Department of State and European Parliment, listed Head of Amhara Regional Government, Mr. Gedu Andargachew and other six officials as key suspects in Kemant Genocide.

    Shinfa and Metema front lines were led by Major Dejene as a chief commander and , Col. Demeke Zewde, so called Walkiet Committee Leader as Deputy Commander. For observers in the region, Col. Demeke Zewdwe is not actually a freedom fighter as western media portrayed, but the ruling party’s commander who committed a crime against humanity. The western media has never covered the government’s genocide against Kemant people in December because Kemant’s revolt is not political interests of the western media.

    Some of the Bahir Dar protesters reached by wlka informant told that they thought originally the demonstration had a national issue, but it was a primarily ethnic issue. They talked about Walkiet, which is irrelevant to the crowd, said. According to the observers, the situation seems out of control for the government forces. The survival of the regime is at stake. The Agaw people are at a critical point for their safety unless they are armed for self-defense. The opposition parties which have never condemned December 2015 Kemant Genocide cannot be trusted for the safety of Beta Israel and Agaw people, particularly for the Kemants, according to the observers.

    Previous publications:

    Letter to US Department of State

    Ethiopian Human Rights Commission Report

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    BBC Racist and Anti-Semitic Media

    By Bija Dawit

    BBC has never reported persistent atrocity and genocide in Gondar against Kemant people by the government forces in Mura, Shinfa, Metema, Quara and Lay Armachiho and Tach Armachiho in Gondar Province. Let me provide you with some facts:

      1. November 4-10, 2015, 24 children and elderly people were massacred by the government security forces at the village of Mura, Lay Armachiho County. As a result, intensive fighting took place between farmers and regional government, Special Forces for 7-days. At the end, 142 soldiers were killed, including Chief Commander and Deputy Commander of the Special Forces.
      2. In May 2015, during the national election period, dozens of Kemants were arrested and two farmers’ houses were demolished for exercising their constitutional rights, by supporting the opposition party called Agaw Democratic Party; The party’s one of the candidates at Metema constituency for parliament was poisoned .
      3. On June 13, 2015, 6-Kemants were murdered allegedly try to organize a demonstration in the Aykel town, Chilga County. Another dozen of people who sustained a severe injury on the same occasion was deprived medical treatment by government officials’ directive and eventually died or disabled. There are an unknown number of people held in detention in Chilga and other areas to date.
      4. In 2013, more than 60 Kemants held at Debat & Debark remote detention centers for three months without any charge.
      5. December 9-18, Amhara Regional Government fielded 2,000 Special Force (paratroops) and 8,000 militia recruited from the region, the total of 10,000 troops were sent to North Gondar to destroy Kemants for once and all. On December 9, 2015, afternoon the government forces started the war of genocide at the town of Shinfa, located in eastern part of Metema. On the next day, the war spread into the counties of Chilga, Quara, Tach Armachiho and the vanity of Gondar City.

      • On December genocide war, 95 Kemants massacred, 39 Kemants sustained an injury, more than 27 Kemants taken to a detention center, 26 people disappeared their whereabouts is not known. Genocide against Kemants is in progress even after December as described in the cover letter of this report.
      • The December genocide actors also took 18,756 domestic animals, confiscated or destroyed 42,284 quintals of grain, demolished or burned in fire 986 houses and caused other miscellaneous property losses. The total of lost property is estimated to be US$34 million.
      • On December genocide, the government too lost 562 soldiers in Shinfa war alone. On December 9, the Kemant farmers ambushed the government forces as they tried to March to Metema after Shinfa invasion and destroyed 5 logistic trucks and killed 562 soldiers. The government held in secret its causality in the fear of public protest and it has been telling the public soldiers are in training.

      My question is why BBC has never reported to its audience all these atrocities and genocide committed against Kemant people? Why this time it is quick to report unreliable news from the same Gondar province on a demonstration held on July 31, 2016? Is this because of the present demonstrators are Orthodox Christians? Is because some Kemants are still practiced the early Judaism/Orit, pre-Christianity faith, what they called the worship of Abraham? Is it because Kemants originated from Canaan-Egypt as Amhara elite put it? What is a grand reason, BBC to bias against Kemant people, Agaws in general? I know I cannot answer in certainty these questions, but I assume BBC’s bias is likely the Kemant’s association with Orit faith and origin. Consequently, it is appropriate to characterize BBC as the racist and anti-Semitic media.

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    Amhara Regional Government Detains two AgDP Members and Riot in Gondar Targets Tigrians (update on Gondar Demonstration)

    According to report submitted to wlka this week, the detainees are:
    Mr. Kassahun Adem, the party’s 2015 election candidate for national parliament and the party’s Representative for Gongua County. The regional government cadres claimed Kassahun was in a process of purchasing a machine gun and at the same time, facilitating others to acquire a gun. He was arrested last week. The report states if it was true, the gun purchase is legal in the region. One has to register his/her weapon with authority after acquiring it. The report adds it is a pretext to get him as the party member.
    The second detainee is Mr. Amare Yilak, the party’s 2015 candidate for regional council on Dayana County Constituency. He has been in detention since May 2016. The ANDM cadres claimed Amare lost money when he was working as a cashier, but private audit report indicates Amare’s records clear, nothing was lost.

    The worst thing in Amhara Region is it has no independent a judicial system, police, attorneys, and judges are the ruling party members and work for the ruling party, not for justice. Observers say the Agaw people are targets of injustice in the region as we learned from the Kemant’s case.

    In related news, ANDM cadre led a riot in Gondar on July 15, 2016, targets the Tigrian people. Rioters looted the Tigrian property especially, in Gondar City and Debark. Some Kemant property was also taken. Unrest erupted after the federal police arrested individuals called Walkiet Liberation Committee members. The group has been in Gondar City since last year. According to an internal intelligence report, the group has been armed and funded by the regional government and some Gondaris from Diaspora. According to observers, the Ethiopian Government claim that Eritrea and Ginbot 7 were behind is believed to be hypocritical, to back away from the reality.

    The only official criticised raid against Tigrians is Kassa Teklebirhan, the former House Speaker and Minister the current regime. Consequently, ANDM cadres and its supporters are demonizing him. They have started calling him Tigrian, the code name given to vocal Agaw individuals who assert for the Agaw people’s political and economic rights. Kassa is proud of on his Agaw identity he is from Wag. Nevertheless, the recently Kassa lost the trust of the Agaw people for his attempt to persuade Kemants to start on 42 Kebele and expand later, which is unacceptable. Some Agaws also criticized him for his clinging with the murder Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), called Africa’s Neo Nazi Party.

    ANDM cadres and supporters have been planning to hold a more demonstration in the support of Walkiet Committee on August 1. At this time, the outlawed oppositions in Diaspora are also voicing to seize the opportunity for their interests. In the meanwhile, Kemant activists have been voicing the Kemant people not take part in the demonstration. Some observers concerned about the security of Kemants and Tigrians. One observer said the federal government should arm Kemants and other Agaws to defend themselves from another genocide by the joint forces.

    Gondar Demonstration Held

    According to the latest news, Gondar City demonstration was held as scheduled on July 31, 2016. The number of participants is estimated to 25,000 to 30,000. The participants called the Walkiet and Tsegade detainees to be released immediately and restoration of a boundary. The participants demanded incorporation of Walkiet, Tsegede, Humare and Dashe into Amhara Regional State. These areas are currently the integral part of Tigray State. The crowd also chanted that Amaras and Kemants are one. More importantly, they demanded the abolishment of the ethnic based federal system. The demonstrators declared their sympathy with Oromos.

    Prime Minister Hailemaryam Desalgn reportedly said the Walkiet issue resolved on the constitutional basis as they joined Tigray.

    The demonstration was peaceful. The participant’s number is less than expected. Observers thought the size is small because people fear due to the uncertainty of the outcome. One of the reasons for the reduction of the size is Kemants boycott from the demonstration. Moreover, another factor that influenced the demonstration size is Amara farmers suspiciousness to pass Kemant territories on foot although Kemants didn’t harass anyone. Mistrust is related to December 2015 Kemant Genocide in the region. Gondar City is surrounded by Kemant population, Amara farmers coming from the west to Gondar City for demonstration had to use public transportation via highway. Since the public transportation is very limited many farmers outside of Gondar City unable to participate in the demonstration.

    Posted in Agaw Kemant | 2 Comments

    Ethiopian Human Rights Commission Reports to Ethiopian Parliament on Human Rights Violations in Gondar, Kemant and Oromia

    Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) reported to the Ethiopian Parliament its inquires on human rights violations in Gondar/ Kemant, Amhara Region and Oromia Region on June 11, 2016. The EHRC had conducted investigation in both regions following December 2015 Kemant Genocide and human rights violations in Oromia Region. The EHRC reported that death of 97 people including a Chief Commander and a Deputy Commander of the regional government special forces/paratroops and sustaining of sever and light injuries on 86. Also, the EHRC reported devastating property destruction in the Kemant area. Regard to Oromia, the EHRC disclosed the death of 173 people including 14 security personnel plus 14 administrative personnel, as well as, sever and light injuries of on 956 people. Nevertheless, Human Rights Watch reported 400 people death in Oromia. wlka will publish a separate article on Oromia when it receives detailed information. Now it has focused on the Kemant Genocide issue.

    Regard to Kemants, EHRC’S report summarized and recommended as indicated below.
    1. The report states that Kemant’s quest for self-rule and recognition was constitutional. The causes of conflict are as follows:
    • Delay in a resolution for self-rule and recognition demand.
    • The Regional Council’s unconstitutional decision on June 10, 2015, planned self-rule to be limited only in 42 kebeles while the request has been submitted for 126 kebeles.
    • The House of Federation inability to act constitutionally: Kemants rejected the Regional Council’s decision of 42 kebeles and appealed to the House of Federation, in the meantime, at the Federation hearing, the regional government promised for the House of Federation, it would address the issue shortly. Subsequently, the Federation ceased hearing and left the issue again for the regional government rather than treating the matter on a basis of constitution. The report states whilst the issue was at this stage, conflict eventually erupted and resulted in life loss and devastating property destruction.
    2. On both sides, a large number of members of Amhara National Democratic Movement(ANDM) and people in a government structure partiality to their respective ethnic has contributions to the bloodshed.
    3. The report emphasized the use of excessive force against Kemants during the crisis.
    4. The report describes the EHRC has proved involvement of ordinary soldiers and commanders of Special Forces/paratroops in illegal execution and killings at Aykel and Mawura, June 13, 2015 and October 6, 2015, respectively. The report also described killings of children and old people especially in Mawura. Neither the commanders ordered killing nor ordinary soldiers who implemented the order were held legally accountable for life loss and property destruction in both cases.
    5. The report describes the constitution prohibits carrying arms during public demonstration. The report emphasizes despite they [leadership] knew what was going on, no measure was taken to stop when 500 armed persons conducted demonstration at the Aykel town on November 23, 2015 and thousands of armed forces conducted rally at the Shinfe town on December 9, 2015, [hours before invasion]. This indicates association of leadership every level [in the region] with illegal acts.
    6. The report states Tigreans and other nationality living in North Gondar could be provided governmental protection and failure to do so exposed specially Tigraens for harm.

    EHRC’s Recommendations

    • The report recommends those involved in illegal killing, detention and destruction to be brought to justice
    • The victims to be granted compensation for property losses
    • Kemant children who lost their parents/caregivers due to this conflict to be granted permanent support.
    • EHRC reported a challenge it faced during the investigation due to tension and fear in the area following conflict. Subsequently, it has recommended further investigation by any independent party in the case.
    • Since the cause of conflict is resulted from failure to resolving Kemant’s demand constitutionally and promptly, the Regional Government shall apologize the people of the region and Kemants in particular for the consequences of the conflict.

    Finally, the parliament passed resolution in overwhelming majority in authorizing Justice Ministry to bring offenders to justice. Only 10 parliament members were abstains in voting on the issue, 8 of them were Amhara Regional ruling party, ANDM members.

    Contradictory Phrase in Report

    wlka is aware that close observers described EHRC’s current report as an objective and mirror to the reality regard to Kemant genocide. However, those observers do not agree with EHRC’s one sentence regard to the regional government. As indicated above, the EHRC has reported military and political leadership involvement in the conflict as described above, despite, it inserted a conflicting phrase in the report, which reads, the regional government “didn’t order” or took part in the said killings and destruction.

    The observers’ point of view, It is fact that actual killing and destruction is conducted by Special Forces, Regional Paratroops and militia. They argue that it is only the Regional Government which has the Special Forces/Paratroops and equipped militia called “Tateki” in the region. The Special Forces and militia are under strict command of the Head of Amhara Regional Government. Special Forces and Militias’ immediate boss is Head of Regional Security and Militia Bureau also called Security and Administrative Bureau. In Regional Government system, Special Forces/Paratroops act on an order of the Head of the Regional Government, at least under a directive of Head of Regional Security and Militia Bureau. In an urgent situation, a field commander of Special Forces contacts directly the Head of Regional Government bypassing its immediate boss, the Head of Security and Militia Bureau.
    Critics say once EHRC has proved the involvement of Special Forces and their commanders in killing, detention and property destruction, EHRC’s phrase, the Regional Government didn’t give order is pointless and contradictory to the reality for some reasons.

    The observers say that when Mr Ayalew Gobeze, the predecessor of Mr. Gedu Andargachew, (incumbent) Head of the Regional Government, was the Head of the Regional state, North Gondar Governors’ attempt to detain Kemants was without success due to disproval of Ayalew Gobeze as the Head of Regional Government. Detention and killing Kemants started following Gedu Andargachew’s assumption of the Regional Government Head post. This relationship is the indication of more or less the role of the Head of the Regional Government in the genocide.

    An independent human rights observer report in Diaspora has already listed five regional officials including incumbent Head of Regional Government, Gedu Andargachew and two North Gondar then Governors as key suspects in Kemant Genocide. Now the regional government officials are lucky. They have got relief from external intervention because of the Ethiopian Parliament’s decision to charge offenders. The UN system in the process of accepting the application on the same issue said now the Ethiopian Parliament has taken an important step. We have to see whether they will implement decision or not including setting a neutral and competent court system.

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    Sekela Does Not Anymore Hide its Agaw Identiy, Whilst Achefer Does

    By Ngatu Jembere, Geneva, 3rd World Lab Center

    Like Jewish people in one historical junction, Agaws are known looking down their fellow Agaws for linguistic or religious reasons. This started by Shewans in the year 1316/17. At the end of the 13th century, North Shewans speak Amharic fluently. They learned Amharic from their neighbors, the people of Amhara Province in South Wollo. In 1314, Amda Seyoun became of King Ethiopia. His kingdom was based in North Shewa. he and his army recruited from Shewa and Amhara Province spoke Amharic well. In 1316/17, Amda Seyoun invaded East Gojjam, which used to called Guažām. In the same period, the King also attacked North Gondar, particularly Dembya and Wogera. At that time, the people of Gondar and East Gojjam didn’t know Amharic. Their dominant language was Agawgna with diverse dialects (refer Belai, 2015, draft manuscript circulated for comment at Addis Ababa University, Muse Tegegne, 1993 and Faysa, 2011). Also (refer Carlo Conti Rossini, One of writers of Ethiopian History, ancient times to Medieval Ages).

    During invasion, East Gojjam was ruled by the King namely Zankimir. His name is also spelled as Zukamir, King Zankimir and his people had strong Orit faith. After intensive war not less than one decade, Zankimir was defeated. He was presumably died around Chaco Mountain (‰¢ }^^). Amda Seyoun was successful conquering, East Gojjam and Dembya and parts of Wogera. Following this event, Christianity was introduced in East Gojjam and Gondar, the occupied areas. Ultimately, Amharic Language was established as a legitimate language in the conquered territories. Agaw language which was associated with Orit faith was gradually weaken and disappeared. For instance, at the end of the 17th century, all East Gojjam areas the east of Chaco Mountain (‰¢ }^^) became completely Amharic speaker and the west of Chaco Mountain (‰¢ }^^) present West Gojjam, Awi and southern shore of Lake Tana still used to speak Agaw language. Overtime, the language disappeared gradually from Damot. However, the Agaw language was widely spoken in Sekela and Achefer till 1920s. Sekela was part of Ankesha administration and Bahir Dar was the integral part of Agew Midir administration until 1945. James Bruce literature also confirms this historical relation regard to Sekela and Ankesha-Gugssa.

    Amda Seyoun’s victory is concerned, King failed to penetrate into Zege, the rest of West Gojjam and present Awi. West Gojjam and Awi remained in hands of Jan Chuha and his successors for the next 300 years maintaining their Agaw language and Orit faith. This reality had changed as balance of power shifted in favor of Gondar based rulers or warlords in post Gragn political environment. Gondar based warlords who become dominant force after defeat of Gragn opened continues war against West Gojjam and Awi. Almost after one hundred years of warfare, they succeeded to introduced their style Christianity, mix of debtera and wuqabe in Damot, Awi and the southern side of Lake Tana.

    Let me returned to the story of Sekela and Achefer. As mentioned above Agaws were against other Agaws due to religouns and linguistic diversity. For instance, other Damot citizens called the people of Sekela self-denied Agaws (Finote Selam ketema, Sekelawoch Agwuntachewn yedebeku Agwoch nachew yibalal). The said statement didn’t push Sekelans towards denial direction rather help them to develop self awareness and reclaim their Agaw identity openly. Thus, in 2013 in European calendar, Sekela Woreda Council made one an unusual historical decision. That is to secede from West Gojjam and join Awi Zone to rehabilitate their Awi identity. Following the Woreda Council’s decision, Woreda Administration presented a petition to the Regional Government to restructure Sekele Woreda into Awi Zone. Regional officials who has been preoccupied with Kemant issue was panic (tdenagetu) and tried to harass petitioners.
    When they know Sekelans are not kind of people whom to be bent for harassment, the people of Damot and the regional government has began to give due respect for the Sekela people. Some regional officials believe that Sekelans do not only secede themselves and join Awi, they can also grap Bure and other areas. Due to their open reclaim their Agaw identity, like Kemants, Sekelans have gained high respect.

    The same stereotypical scenario is true for the people of Achefer in Bahir Dar City. It is not common phenomena hearing the following phrase in Bahir Dar City: Achefer has also become Amara (Acheferim Amara hone yemil ababal mesimat addis neger ayidelem). Of course, a majority of the Achefer people including me do not know their Agawness, only small percentage of people know they are Agaws. Those are educated people with second and third social science related degrees.

    The people of both woredas has passed through the same stereotype experiences. The difference is Sekela has reclaimed its Agaw identity and has gained respect. Whilst, Achefer has continued to masking itself and as a result has become the victim of persistent stereotype.

    Note: For the sake of education, the author has granted permission to anyone who wants to translate and post on faceboook.

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    Binalf Andualem Regional Official Says Kemant Property must be Returned

    In the beginning of this month, Mr. Binalf Andualem Head of Regional Education Bureau and Deputy Governor, traveled to Kemant area. He discussed with some community members who were reluctant to meet because he is one of regional government officials. Most of his rhetoric was focused on development. Rarely, he talked about also destruction in Kemant area. He made two points on the issue as follows:
    1. Restricting Kemants only in 42 kebels while their presence is visible throughout the region is wrong.
    2. Looted Kemant’s property must be returned to Kemants. Every Kebele must expose looters to be accountable for their guilt. Any kebele, which failed to do so should be responsible collectively to pay robbed property through contributions of kebele members.
    He was the first official in the regional government who publicly spoken out on the consequence of Kemant Genocide. Initially, his statement was perceived as a position of the regional government to facilitate reconciliation, but later it has become clear that statement is his renegade position against injustice in Amara Region.

    In the pre-genocide period, Mr. Binalf was known with his masked identity claiming himself “Amara” while he is actually Awi grew up in Damot. Anyone who knows well highland population of Awi, the people of Banja and Ankesha-Gugssa, identify him as Awi due to his typical Awi physical features. Of course, his younger brother claimed his identity openly and became governor of Banja.

    Some people say everybody knows Binalf likes Damot where he grew up. That is natural, but he should not hide his identity in exchange of ANDM’s political appointment.

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    Reply From European Parliament

    Dear Mr Berihu,

    We thank you for your comments, which have been read attentively and duly taken note of.

    As expressed in the above mentioned resolution, the European Parliament recalled that respect for human rights and the rule of law are crucial to the EU’s policies to promote development in Ethiopia and throughout the Horn of Africa. It called on the EU, as the single largest donor, to monitor programmes and policies effectively to ensure that EU development assistance is not contributing to human rights violations in Ethiopia.

    In order to keep up-to-date with further developments on relations with Ethiopia, please consult the EP website, as well as that of the EU delegation in Nigeria and the European External Action Service.

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