United Nations Secretary General & the OHCHR: End Genocide against Kemants Now

The present petition is supported by the Agaw Diaspora human rights forum. On a premise of every human being has the inherent right to life, free of physical and emotional pain and torture, please join a campaign against Genocide and give the Kemant victims your support by signing this petition. Also, communicate other people regardless of ethnic, race, gender or religion to sign the same. Please follow the following link:

https://www.change.org/p/petition-to-the-office-of-the-united-nations-high-commissioner-for-human-rights-and-un-secretary-gen-end-genocide-against-kemants-now?recruiter=914664366&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

 

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Open Letter to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia

June 2, 2018

Your Excellency Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

Subject: Seeking Justice and Release of the Agaw-Kemant Prisoners of Ethiopia

Dear Prime Minister,

This is a second letter to the Ethiopian Government in request for the release of Agaw-Kemant prisoners, like other Ethiopian detainees. On March 11, 2018, we sent the letter to his Excellency FDRE Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, but no action. A copy of the letter had been published in Tigrai Online, Voice of Justice and Agew Discussion Forum social media.  Your Excellency’s latest efforts to secure the release of the Ethiopian detainees even from the neighboring countries sparkled our hope to write you this letter.

The enclosed 1-page document is a list of prisoners of the Agaw-Kemants in North Gondar, Ethiopia. They have been in a detention since 2015 because of their demand for self-rule inline with the Ethiopian Constitution, Article 39, Subarticle-3. It can be recalled that about 10,000 government forces conducted an excessive military operation in the Kemant area in late 2015, which caused destruction on human life and property. The operation was intended to force the Agaw-Kemants to drop their constitutional demand or to annex lowland Kemant areas, Metema and Quara, the west of Lake Tana.

The impact of the military campaign was investigated by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and reported to the Ethiopian Parliament in June 2016. The parliament passed a resolution by authorizing appropriate compensation for the Kemant victims and due justice on the perpetrators. Unfortunately, the Ethiopian Government declined to implement the parliament’s resolution, neither the victims received the compensation nor the offenders brought to justice. Above all, the cause of destruction, demand for self-rule has not yet guaranteed. The government’s repeated unconstitutional efforts to split the Kemant community into two has been rejected. The Kemant people have insisted on their constitutional rights regardless of hardship they have been experiencing. The region is currently under tension, imminent for a third round conflict, perhaps similar to the 1992 Rawanda  genocide.  Provocative actions have been taken by the regional government, including fresh arrest of innocent farmers such as Mr. Andergachew Molla, who traveled to Gondar City for shopping and deployment of  paratroops known as Special forces to initiate violence in the region. Approximately, 1000 troops have been deployed in Chilga Woreda alone in the localities of Chonchock and Negade Bhir. The army also sent to localities of Robit, Maura and other two kebeles in Lay Armachiho. The government side has a ridiculous excuse to field soldiers, falsely blaming our fellow Tigrians and even Egyptians for the Agaws’ assertiveness to their rights.  The deployment is in violation of the 2015 agreement that prohibits the deployment of the paratroops in the Kemant areas.

The Ethiopian Government freed thousands of political prisoners February through May 2018. We are aware that currently Your Excellency is coordinating extraordinary diplomatic efforts to ensure the discharge of the Ethiopian detainees in neighboring countries. But, unfortunately, the release did not include the Agaw political prisoners at home, except three military personnel from Lasta. Here in a Diaspora, why the Agaws  have been discriminated is becoming a point of discussion. We believe that they have been deprived the opportunity because of their Agaw ethnic identity.

We are kindly seeking equal justice, including the immediate release of the Agaw-Kemant prisoners listed in the attached document, like other Ethiopians at least under the current amnesty. We are thoughtfully asking withdrawal of the paratroops whom have been refueling violence in the region.

Indeed, we would like to express our thanks in advance to Your Excellency for taking your precious time to look into the case for fair justice.  It is truly an honor to present for Your Excellency’s attention to this appeal on behalf of 10-million Agaw people.

With regards,

Workuw Berihu, Agaw Human Rights Observer, Associated with Agaw Community in Diaspora, Dallas, TX

 

The identities of Agaw-Kemant political prisoners under detention since 2015 at Gondar City and Aykel, Chilga Prisons:

No Name Address of Prison
1 Setegn Alemu Gondar City
2 Bayuh Meles Gondar City
3 Dessie Bihonegni Gondar City
4 Kefale Sisay Gondar City
5 Birili Bicha Aykel, Chilga
 

6

 

Banchi Tamru

 

Aykel, Chilga

Ms Banchi and her husband have been prisoned since 2016 leaving their six children without a caregiver.
7 Dinku Zegeye Aykel, Chilga
8 Asmaraw Ayelgni Gondar City
9 Mihiretie Bazezew Gondar City
10 Melkamu Getahun Aykel, Chilga
11 Amdework Addisu Aykel, Chilga
12 Asmaraw Mesno Aykel, Chilga
13 Enyew Goshu Aykel, Chilga
14 Muluken Tesema Aykel, Chilga
15 Chalachew Alemu Aykel, Chilga
16 Misganaw Eyeyu Gondar City
17 Asrie Meles Gondar City
18 Samuel Gashaw Gondar City
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Ras Prince Mengesha Siyoum and New Book on Agaw People

The new book, Identity and History: Who Is Not Agaw in Gojjam and Gondar, Ethiopia, the Constitution of 1995 and Unequal Treatment of Agaw People – Beta Israel

is not just limited to Gojjam and Gondar. It touches briefly Tigray to Eritrea in relevant contexts. For instance, one of the longest footnoted covers Ras Mengesha Siyoum’s Agaw Midir private visit in the 1960s. Mengesha was the Prince of Ethiopia and Ras of Tigray (governor of Tigray) until the 1974 revolution. According to the author, Ras Prince Mengesha came to Agaw Midir in respect of his root with the Agaw people. As well, the author lists the Mengesha’s two sons, Yohannes and Estifanos who accompanied him during his visit.  The author characterizes Ras Prince Mengesha as confident and esteemed, but a humble and sociable figure who interacts intensively with ordinary people. Follow the link below to find the book.

ሰላም ለሁሉም

ቁምላቸው ደስታ ነኝ

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Identity+and+History%3A+Who+is+Not+Agaw

Ras Prince Mengesha Siyoum and the book

Both images obtained from Balambaras Negash Facebook, the author of the article, ቁምላቸው ደስታ didn’t have them initially.

Follow the link also to find article entitled Who is Prince Mengesha Siyoum in Amharic, by Balambaras Negash.

https://wlka.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/who-is-prince-mengesha-siyoum/

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In Quara, Kemant Farmers Boycott Referendum Voting and Illegal Voters Cast their Vote

(wlka informantt from Mtema): According to the latest report,  the regional government and security officials registered 1500 illegal voters in Quar alone. The illegal voters by definition are not residing a particular election kebele and not qualified to vote on the basis of the Ethiopian election law. Those illegal voters came to a respective voting station on Sunday morning to vote. The Kemants told them not to take part in the election illegally. But the illegal voters ignored the Kemants warnings and continued voting. Then, the Kemants boycott the process and return their home without casting the vote.

the similar dispute was broke in Shinfe due to the presence of illegal voters. But some of the illegal voters return their home without voting and the process continued. The problem is the regional security forces snatched voting cards from the Kemants and many of them couldn’t vote in Shinfe. Since the Kemants were walking to voting stations without arms, there was nothing they could do when police snatched and tore their cards.

According to the informant, all those illegal activities and fraud was reported to National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), but it failed to discharge its constitutional responsibilities by preventing the process from fraud.

Some observers believe that outcome of the result is predetermined to the regional government and one should not expect anything different. The board is just there to legitimize the fraudulent referendum.

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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 9-18, 2015, slaughtered more than 95 Kemants, women, children, and elders ; wounded 86 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 Forces, 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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Gumuz Children Genocide in Ethiopia

The following “Open Letter to the Ethiopian People and International Community” had been posted on the East Africa Human Rights Educators  Movement (EAHREM) page, on June 15, 2019. The author has sent the link to wlka for republication and respecting the request on a humanitarian basis.

Open Letter to Ethiopian People and International Community

My name is Ale Keya, members of Gumuz community and a human rights observer.

Humbly, I like to brief and seek your support to bring perpetrators of 93 Gumuz children, before justice.

As was covered national and international media, like Aljazeera, 93-Gumuz children were massacred on April 30, 2019 by Amhara Militia forces (called Fano) in Jawe Administrative District in Amhara Regional State, Awi Administrative Zone. As has been confirmed by eye witness in the area and Gumuz independent investigators, about 400 Amhara militia forces were transported from Bahir Dar district, Quarit and Secela of Amhara Region to commit genocide against the Gumuz innocent children.

Allegedly, the genocide order was issued by Commander Mesresha Sete, Fano’s Chief, in consultation with General Asminaw Tsge, Head of Amhara Regional State Security and Mr. Zemene Kashegn, the former Ginbot 7 guerrilla Commander and others. Five decades ago, their fathers sold our children for slavery inhuman way and today they are killing our children in mass and refusing to take accountability for their acts, because of they are Gumuz (‘Bare’).

On the basis of best international practices and guides of various conventions, two warring parties or parties involved in a dispute are investigated and judged by a neutral body, to deliver fair justice for both sides.

Initially, an inquiry of this case was handled by neutral federal investigators, but Prime Minister Abiy’s government intervened in the investigation process and handed over the responsibility to Amhara Regional Government, where its chief security head was presumably involved in ordering the genocide as mentioned above. This is an extremely disturbing part of drama by Prime Minister Abiy’s government. How Amara Regional Government directly implicated in genocide can be an investigator, witness and judge? At any rate, this is a violation of fundamental justice.

In the first week of June 2019, there was an unconfirmed report about arrest warrant against Colonel Mesresha Sete and Mr. Zemene Kashegn, who supposedly directed genocide on the children. But, in the practical reality, nothing happened both men are talking about their military strength and further military actions if Prime Minister Abiy’s government attempts to arrest them.

Close observers in Addis Ababa say Abiy’s government has no military capacity to arrest and put on the trail the alleged chief perpetrators. This theory seems accurate; Prime Minister Abiy’s government has detained 40-people in Jawe who has no significant role in genocide other than providing information and food for perpetrators who sent for the criminal mission. There is no single person in detention among actual alleged perpetrators. The same dram is taking place in Kamant area North Gondar and Kanise Oromo administrative area South Wollo.

The Ethiopian state is collapsing drastically and rolling back to the 18th-century politics in the terms of lawlessness, where strong men, warlords, are not held accountable for their consequences, but unorganized and unarmed powerless people pay a price for the crime committed by strong men, like Mesresha Sete. Thus, the federal government might not have military capacity to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice. However, if it had commitment to human rights and supremacy of the law, it could issue the arrest warrant publicly and seek the Ethiopian public and international community support to try the suspected criminals.

Our Gumuz government in Metekel courageously took measures against those members of Gumuz community implicated in deaths of persons regardless of ethnic backgrounds. Unfortunately, Amhara Government has been acting on the contrary. It is busy detaining its political opponents, for public consumption to cover up the real criminals who massacred the innocent children in purity. Justice cannot be served in such way rather it will lead the whole country into the state of anarchy.

What makes the situation worse is the federal government’s irresponsible act that reinforces the strong men, such as listed above to continue their atrocity. Apparently, Abiy’s government has been accepting the stereotypical notion that killing Gumuz is not a crime, to compromise for failed political support. Therefore, I call on:

  1. The Ethiopian people and the international community to condemn the perpetrators and Abiy’s government is inhuman role.
  2. Gumuz Community members in Diaspora to take the genocide issue to the UN Human Rights Commission.
  3. Prime Minister Abiy’s government to stop arming Amhara Regional Government, which has been in turn supplying arms to Fano.

If you have questions, or comments, please contact at the email address indicated below.

With Regards,

Ale Keya

June 14, 2019

 

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Agaw Human Rights Activist, Ms. Fasica Arega, known as ቤተ አገው አዋኾ (Bete Agew Awaho) on Facebook, Replies to Her Critics

Fasica Arega (2018)

The youngest lady Human Rights activist, Ms. Fasica replied to her critics on various issues on April 1, 2019. Her critics consistently say that:

  1. While she is a Christian who carries the cross on her neck, she preaches “racial” differences.
  2. Despite Agaw is Amhara, she campaigns widen the gap and separate the Agaw from Amhara.
  3. Furthermore, her critics blindly claim that she is not Agaw, but a Tigrian missionary for the TPLF and OLF.
  4. Further, these critics argue that she should cease nationalism for the sake of the unity of the country.

After hearing or receiving the above comments, she provided the responses indicated below on April 1 on Facebook video live. She said, ‘I’m here to today to reply for my blind critics’.

She emphasized that she wants to see equality, freedom and respect one another among all Ethiopian ethnics. I’m sick of these fake and idiot politicians who claim their ethnic group is superior over others. She said that is totally nonsense and unacceptable in the 21st century. I’m proud Agaw, but I don’t want to see my ethnic group oppress others and claim its superiority over other ethnic groups. My resistance is for respect of human rights, equality, and freedom, not for domination of others. That is something these tyrant elites have failed to understand. She replied point by point on some of the frequently raised issues as follows:

  1. On the notion of Agaw is Amahra: she said Agaw is Agaw, it has no another identity, it is just Agaw; Agaw is not Amhara, but the reverse true, about 75% Amhara is Agaw. I didn’t make up the story, it is a historical fact documented by international and national scholars. The Agaw cannot be Amhara at any rate.  The notion that Agaw is Amhara is the pretext to dominate and melt Agaw’s existence. Of course, Agaw is not Tigraian or Agaw is not Oromo either.
  2. On the notion of she is Christian and preaching nationalism: She said I’m Christian and my faith is above everything. Having said this, she argued that my faith empowers me to stand up for the truth, for human dignity, equality and freedom against prejudice and atrocity. She emphasized the Agaws oppression in so-called Amhara Region is not a fabrication, but factual truth. It is principal Christian value and my faith to stand with oppressed people regardless of who they are, my opponents are accusing of nothing just in vain.
  3. On the notion, she is not Agaw, but Tigrian whom affiliated with the TPLF and OLF. Her reply to this accusation is sharp. She said as I said, again and again, I’m proud Agaw Ethiopian. You tagged me repeatedly with Tigrian identity. Of course, I’m not ashamed of even if I were Tigrian. The Tigrian people are proud Ethiopians and valuable heritages of Ethiopia. I have great high regard, love and respect for the Tigrian people. The same is true for Oromo brothers and sisters. I’m not ashamed of if I were Oromo. She stated she was not a member of OLF nor TPLF, but if she were, she would not feel shame since it is the organization for liberation. Amara elites are nervous on our relations with the Oromo. The truth is they are our Cushetic brothers, except we passed the span of time without knowing each other.
  4. On the notion of Ethiopian unity: She said, in a principle, I have no problem with those who preach the unity of Ethiopia. What I don’t like is one ethnic domination in the name Ethiopian unity. I do not want to see united Ethiopian on a melting pat of the Agaw people; I do not want to see Ethiopia at the cost of the Agaw people; I don’t want to see Ethiopia that has no respect for the Agaw people and other 80 nationalities.

Regarding most oppressed communities in Ethiopia per-revolution, like Hummar, Gumuz and Anuar people, she stated that “my common sense tells me they are original Ethiopians and I have great respect and passion to them”. She also addressed miscellaneous diverse issues, however, more sympathy was given on the above points. Find her speech video link indicated below for additional information.

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Addis Ababa University Students Demonstrated in Opposition to Amhara Government’s Atrocity on the Agaw-Kemants

According to information available on social media, Addis Ababa University students called the Amhara Government to stop atrocity against the Agaw people, particularly Kemants. The demonstrators with diverse nationals include Oromo, Tigrian, Somalia, Afar, Sidama, Kemants and other Agaw students. According to the source, the demonstration took place on a university campus. The following image with text is obtained from the social media.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people sitting and crowd

This image is obtained from also the social media, Kaleb Abrha’s post in different events.

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Members of Amhara Democratic (ADP) Party and National Movement of Amhara (NMA) Declare War on Agaw People

According to news from Finote Selam, the members of ADP and NMA who assembled in Finote Selam town declared war on the Agaw people on March 25, 2019. They declared that they would take by force the Awi territory including town of Dangla, the former Agew Midir capital.  They said the Agaw is aligning with our enemies yesterday with the Tigrian and today with Oromos and want to revenge them. In order to implement this war plan, they set up an organization called Amhara Youth Association. The ADP cadres pledged to supply arms to this group.

Some observers advise the Agaw people re-root their Finfine/Addis Ababa line via Wolega and strength trade with neighboring Woelega and Sudan, eventually, these ADP and NMA organized groups may loot transport vehicles at Finot Selam as we see other areas in north.

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Chagni Agaw Muslims to Discuss on Current Issue

According to information on Facebook, Chagni Agaw Muslims to discuss on the current issue. They want to know facts on the ground and support the Agaw case in diverse ways. They said that they had been expelled from their Mosques by an unidentified oppressive group. The text indicated below is obtained from Facebook. Follow the link for related publications:  https://wlka.wordpress.com/2017/03/22/contributions-of-agaw-muslims/

ቻግኒ ከተማ ውስጥ የምንገኝ የአገዉ ሙስሊሞች በመገናኘት እየሆነ ስላለዉ ነገር ተጨባጭ እዉነታዎች ማወቅ ግድ ይለናል፡፡ እንዴት እኛ የአገዉ ሙስሊሞች በ ቀያችን እኩል ተጠቃሚ አንሆንም? እናም ተገናኝተን ልንወያይ ግዱ ይለናል፡፡ ከ መስጊድ እንኳ ተባረናል እናም የተለያየ ዘዴ በመጠቀም መታገል እንዳለብን መግለፅ አለብን፡፡
ከአገዉ ሙስሊሞች የተሰጠ መግለጫ::

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Respect for Voice of Kemant People by Oromo Youths (Qerros)

The Oromo youths have declared their solidarity with Agaws people (Kemants). They voiced the rights of the Kemant people to be respected. They chatted respect for the voice of Gondar Kemant, respect for the voice of Oromo people and respect for the voice of the Ethiopian nationalities.

As indicated in the article by Eshatu published on wlka, the Gadaa Voice appeared on Facebook yesterday on behalf of youths. Find the link for the video.

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Gadaa Voice, Oromo Youth’s Opposition to Atrocity against Agaw People

By Eshatu Demlew

This is the first voice against the atrocity Agaw population in Region-3 by the Oromo youth (Qirro). A young man who said speaking on behalf of 60 million Oromos, declared his support for the Agaw people in the liberation struggle.  He appeared in a video on Facebook on March 22. In 3-hours, 147 people shared his video. He made it clear his disappointment with the fake media, such as ESAT that exaggerate small issues in others, while hiding atrocity in the Agaw areas, specially atrocity against Kemants.  Also, he was angered by three hiking attempts to stop his appearance on Facebook.

He emphasized Agaw-Oromo natural blood relations and declared his commitment to support the Agaw’s aspiration for rehabilitation, equality, democracy and freedom that guarantees the establishment of Regional Agaw State.  He passionately declared that he would sacrifice his life for the sake of Agaw freedom. He added since there is no called Amhara Nation physically, Amara Region should be renamed to Agaw Region.

Agaw Nationalism is inching to rehabilitate itself and eventually to achieve freedom and democracy, but couldn’t move in high speed because of resource limitations. The whole population of Gojjam and Gondar are Agaws, but repressed by politicians to live in a fake identity. Political elites themselves are masked by fake identity called Amara. For example, Dr. Ambachew Mokonnen is ethnically Gafat but believes he is Amhara and acts on behalf of Amhara against those stick with their natural identity. Follow the link: https://wlka.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/ambachew-mokonnen-new-amhara-region-president-from-gafat-tribe-is-equivalent-to-adler-hitler/ Future seems very dark in Region 3, these politicians fearful to their natural identity eventually will declare another genocide in the region, currently, they have been training thousands of militia every woreda, which is the proof of preparation for further bloodshed in the region.

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