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 search his whereabouts. The ruing party acted violently after 10 voting station was early counted and AgDP won these and others in the district.
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.
This afternoon, police in Ethiopia, Gondar City took into custody 10-candidates for the May 2015 election. The police blamed the candidates for conducting an election campaign around a market place, but the victims denied they were around the market. They said, their campaign was away more than 500 meters from the market areas. National election directive forbids political campaign within the range 500 meters of from a market place. Even if, the police has hard evidence for its claim, the major taken is not proportional, it is violation of National Election Board of Ethiopia law, which forbids arresting election candidate(s) without executing serious crime. All of candidates are contesting on behalf of Agaw Democratic Party/AgDP, which makes up federated groups including Kemants and Beta Israel/Ethiopian Jews who is still in Gondar and Gojjam.
In related news, in Banja District, Awi Zone, a team consisted of ruling cadres has toured countryside. The team warned farmers not waste time with AgDP. The team made the mark in the town of Dinkara and other areas in the past week. The team emphasized it impossible AgDP to win the election. The ruling party EPRDF/ANDM will not let that to happen. Do not waste your time, stop reading their manifesto and advise AgDP candidates to refrain from any political activities. This warning came after disrupting all of the AgDP’s TV campaign, by switching off a zonal electric power transmission.
Updated on May 5, 2015
The ten May 2015 election candidates detained on April 2015 in Gondar City released on the next day. Crackdown is intensified in Awi Zone, particularly Banja and Fagita-Lakoma counties. Since April last month, a team of ruling party has been in tour these and other counties. The team has been traveling village to village and issuing further warnings to farmers. It openly and serious warned their life would be in danger if they vote for AgDP. Some of the parties’ activists are staying overnight away from their houses in fear of abduction at night. Consequently, the party candidates from Banja and Fagita counties had notified to the party leader they would not assign any observers on voting day because of threat from the ruling party. They were even arguing that party to withdraw from the contest entirely.
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.
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.
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.
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:
$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.
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:
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!
Mr. Birhanu Kasa is Agaw Democratic Party Central Committee from Banja District. He is an influential figure in the party. He was highly expected to win in his constituency against the ruling party. In the beginning of April he issued detail report on the ruling party’s persecution against May 2015 election candidates in his district. Mr. Birhanu concluded that it is impossible to conduct fair and democratic election in Awi Zone and proposed two alternative options:
1. The party submit urgent request to House of Federation on self-determination the Agaw people.
2. Otherwise election boycott.
According a reliable source, in this brain storming session, a majority of the committee members agree objectivity of the report, disagree with proposals. These who declined to accept Birhanu’s ideas believe:
1. The issue of self-determination has no legal ground in the middle of the election.
2. The party will benefit by staying in the election; it will gain important lessons for the future.
However, Mr. Birhanu is still sticking with his view and busy to sell his ideas for other candidates. His latest object is the party to withdraw from the election process because of continuous repression in the zone and the situation seems critical for the party.
Click the following link:
Ethiopian Government declared war against Kemant people in the past week and seized by an arm force, in Metema District, Shinfa River Basin, sub-districts of:
1. Lenche Kebele
2. Jejebit Kebele
3. Gubay Kebele
About 15,000 Kemants live in the declared area. On the 25th of March 2015, two weeks of ultimatum was given by the government official namely, Amare Setie; the Kemants to evacuate the area or face massacre by the arm force. Mr. Setie declared Kemants are Egyptian origins and they should leave the land. He added the government needs the land for development, but not Kemants.
The residents contacted by a wlka informant in the area refused to leave their land rather preferred to die at their habitation. A foreign NGO agent in the area who sent note to wlka wanted to remain in anonymity expressed his grave concern in the situation. The agent fears Rawanda style genocide in the region and suggests the Kemants to notify to the international community, like UN Security Council immediately. A person who named himself Adal noticed that government wants to remove these people from their land for their quest for self-rule in accordance with the Ethiopian Constitution in effect.