Group of Security Militiamen in North Gondar, Ethiopia Kills Indigenous Tribes, Kemants

Human rights violation in Ethiopia, Amhara Region, North Gondar, in Kemant minority area has been noticed. According to visitors in Metema (wanted to remain anonymous), the armed militia group has been persecuting the Kemant tribesmen particularly since July. The alleged perpetrators reportedly have involved in killing and cattle confiscation. According to the same source, the militiamen have been recruited among the state sponsored settlers by the Amhara National Regional Government. The militia is said to be targeting the Kemant minorities. For instance, a young man namely, Mr. Addis Awlachew from North Gondar, Metema Woreda, Kokit Kebele, was shot and killed in August. His killers reportedly numbered 7-10 armed government militiamen. He was shot and died on cattle watch at his outdoor cattle pen, in the night time. Besides, the perpetrators took away the family’s undisclosed number of cattle.

Another man, Mr. Ayitolign Tesera, also from Kokit, Metema, was shot to death on September 23, 2011, during the daytime, while he was looking after his cattle. Tesera’s killers reportedly group of four armed militias. The two of alleged perpetrators reportedly arrested due to mounting pressure from the community members, however, the Chief Woreda Administrator in Metema reportedly pledged to release the suspects without due justice.

According unconfirmed information, the suspects under custody reportedly confessed they killed the victims because they were presumably under order “to kill the Kemants.” The residents in the area complain that death toll reached five in the past six months more or less in similar manners. The community members have resentment toward the regional government due to allegedly favoritism to the settlers, including disarming the Kemants, arming the settler militias and depriving due justice when the issue is reported to the concerned government agencies. The residents claim that they reported the situations on a number of occasions to the administration, but they turned a deaf ear to the case. Even those victims who go to the authority for help discouraged, threatened and jailed. The group of victim family who talked to Amhara National Regional Militia Chief Commander, Dessie Aseme, reportedly expressed similar dissatisfaction. Commander Dessie allegedly told the victim families, by saying that, “We order them to kill those involved in black market.” When the families told him the victims were not involved in the black market, he kept quiet, he had no interest to investigate the issue. The victims felt that the black market is just scapegoat to uproot the Kemants, and reportedly passed a resolution not report to the government in the case of similar perpetrations since it is sided to the settlers. Observers see mounting tension in the region, which is potential to unrest.




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One Response to Group of Security Militiamen in North Gondar, Ethiopia Kills Indigenous Tribes, Kemants

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