Kemant Leadership and Regional Government Meeting Ended in Agreement to Set up Joint Committee

One day meeting held on the Kemant issue in Bahir Dar, Regional Government Council building on January 4, 2012. The first official meeting involved three parties: Kemant leadership, Regional Government officials and invited speakers. On Kemant side, the delegate was led by Ambassador Zemene Kasaygn includes influential figures: Prof Yigzaw Kebede, Prof. Malede Marew, Executive Committee members and the Speaker of the Council. The leadership members presented in the delegate are: Kassie Mengistu (Chairperson), Melkamu Sisay (Vice Chairperson), Misganaw Fenkilaw Council’s Speaker and Executive Committee members, Endashew Bogela, Nega Getie and Tesfahun Mulat, Gondar City Representative. The regional government was represented by Ayalew Gobeze, Amhara Regional Governor, Legese Tulu, Head of Sector Bureau, Mulugeta Said, Head of Sector Bureau, North Gondar Deputy Governor and other senior the regional government advisors.

The meeting began after Mr. Merhatsadk senior advisor and the focal person introduced rules of proceedings. Most of the session was led by a senior advisor Ato Asfaw. One of speakers was Dr. Alemarehu G. Hiwot, who tried to explain Kemant language relationships with other Agaw language and Geez. Ato Yaregal the head of the committee called the Kemant Study Committee spoke also regard to his “assessment”. Yaregal stated the language of Kemant was “extinct” and the people he observed were hundred percent Amharic speakers, territorial “adjacency was somewhat mixed.” He said little about psychological make up, but admitted 88% of people declared their identity as Kemants.
The committee members of were somewhat in hot temper on Yaregal’s statemnt. By saying implicitly, he tried to deny the legitimacy of demand. One of audience interpreted Yaregal’s position as if they speak the language of another group’s, they have no right to claim self-rule, in other words, Highland Eritreans who speak Tigrigna, they could not claim neither statehood nor even autonomy because they speak the language of their fellow neighbors; the speakers of French and English of Africans have no right to claim independence or self-determination since they speak the language their colonizers.

The Yaregal’s position was contradicted and dismissed by speakers and Kemant listeners. One listener stated that “how do you said hundred percent of the people speak Amharic, even there are delegate members at this meeting who can speak the Kemant language fluently.” Subsequently, Mr. Ayalew Gobeze was quick to say he wanted to hear it let one of the delegates to speak in the Kemant. Then, one participant spoke three to five minutes on the same issue. Another participant asked Yaregal, you were communicating in some area with a translator, why you didn’t include in your presentation that experiences? He answered, that was informal interaction not part of the package. Despite his denial the existence of the language speakers, Yaregal and his colleagues on December 7, 2010 were challenged by the religious leaders and residents in Chiliga Woreda who spoke in Kemant language on the self-rule issue (the record is found on youtub.com). On the video, a man sitting on right with blue suite and blue cap holding his cheek in surprise is Ato Yaregal. Details of Yaregal led study’s haziness was discussed in the previous report, entitle to … Kemants on Critical Path …On the other hand, his colleague appeared in the middle, on video with white-blue suite, blue cap & sun glass is Mr. Simachew N., who made closing remark in appreciation of the Kemant people’s legitimate struggle for self-determination. Mr. Simachew then Chief of Staff for the regional government, believed to be Gffat nationalist of South Gondar/Motta was not the committee member, but he visited the areas as the government official.

Other participants’ positions were in contrast to Yaregal’s views. They described, Kemants possess strong psychological make up, enjoy adjacent settlement, cultural distinction and still have the language that can be rehabilitated in spite of endangerment. The Kemant leadership members equivocally rejected Ato Yaregal’s views. Finally, both sides agreed to set up the joint committee comprise of Kemant leadership and Regional Government to discuss with the people.

Closing remark was made by Mr. Ayalew. He realized anger and frustration manifested by the Kemant leadership on the presentation called study. The Governor said, “we were careful not make decision on the basis of the study” (meaning Yaregal’s claim). That is why this meeting is arranged to discuss with all stakeholders and then with public to reach a proper decision. He apologized for extra delay incurred for several reasons. Some observers see the Governor wants to find genuine lasting solution to the issue to keep the region united but he is under pressure by chauvinist hardliners within the ANDM.

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16 Responses to Kemant Leadership and Regional Government Meeting Ended in Agreement to Set up Joint Committee

  1. Melese Worku says:

    The Qimant language can not be said extinct because there are speakers of this language at present in a place where the Qimant PEOPLE LIVE.So, what is said by Ato Yaregal in his presentation is without empirical evidence and should be disrupted.The Qimant People deserves self-rule as they are discriminated against their identity for many years.You all the Leaders and Executive Committee of the Qimant Identity & Self-determination deserve gratitude as all of you are striving to complete our claim of identity & self determination.Continue release of such and every other information concerning the Qimant People.congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. TIBEBU Ferede says:

    First I want thank,all of our representative. you are always ambassador of kimant people.But this is not the end of our struggle.Therefor we must struggle until we will get what we want.
    “we can live equally as other Ethiopians!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  3. ADDISU says:

    SINCE WE ARE CREATED EQUALY,WE BENEFITED EQUALY.

  4. Chilot Melese says:

    Actually, we are wake up too late however still we have substantial hope ahead if we are going to unite with patriot’s slogan through knowledge & finance. Our identity shouldn’t be postponed for tomorrow, the time is right now!!!

  5. Mizigena says:

    we still have the language. The Ethiopian constitution says all languages have equal recognition. What matters is not the number of speakers but the very existence of a language that could be grown. Enough is Enough!
    Mizigena

  6. Mizigena says:

    Ato Yaregal and Merhatsidk, are only confusing language with identity. Identity is a matter of blood and bone. The black Americans who speak english by identity are black but english speaker. There are many African who speak their colonizer’s language. Do we call them Enlish or French people? They are still African. By the way almost 2/3 of th Amharic lanugage belongs to the cushitic language. Anyway, sooner or later Qemantey will declare its freedom!

    • Misigena says:

      the Blind can see the deaf can hear
      still now this two people are struggling against the constitutional rights of Qemant. They see and hear that qemant language exists and yet they need to have another study to check out wether qemant has its own lanuage. To your surprise ato Merhatsidques grand parent were perfectly speaking qementeny. Why now he is against his own people?

  7. Tibebu Ferede says:

    First, I want to say how do you?for all our representatives.
    we, university students are actually go along with you to perform necessary tasks (b/c after a few days we have rest).There for, we will go in our parents.so this is a good situation so as to address accurate information for our community.

  8. Agaw Kemant says:

    Please watch a great documentary on Kushite Agaw-Kemant nation, unity is needed for self-determination.

    http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/Ijh-YmpwyP8?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0

  9. Admi says:

    Thank you for your comment. WLKA has already received the report on the events. It will be available for our readers. Also, WLKA extends its respect to the ETV journalists, for their professional work. Agaw unity and strength is strength of Ethiopia, we are not against anybody just we want to restore our natural identity God has given. Even we try to hide ourselves, others know exactly who we are. Probably, you read the story in the case of Bahir Dar University, our Gojjam brothers (the university officials) were told by the others about their Agaw identity although they were not aware of their being.

  10. Committee says:

    The joint committee has been formed. It supposed to start tour this week. I believe the WLKA is aware of this. It may want to report outcome not the process.

    Your, Tagu

  11. Misigena says:

    why again?
    Ato Yaregal can prove that qementeny is still thre. What is the pupropse of the joint committee assessment. Why they are joking.

  12. Misigena says:

    Trueths and facts chase away the liers
    A so called calculated qemant language assessment team was organized and led by Ato Yaregal to deny facts on the ground like the previous time. What makes this study different that study is member from the qemant joined time around. As a result, Yaregales missioners could not collect, fabricated data as usual. This truth vexed Ato Yaregal and his side team members chased away and quit up the assessment after going only to three kebelses which is only 25% of the agreed kebeles that the assessment was planned to be conducted.
    Tegadalay Yaregal, you canm’t change the colour of tiger even if you keep it in the cage of hyna for a century. like wise qemant cannot become Amhara what so ever you deny facts. Qemant remains qemant forever unlike your ancestors who denied their actual race. Worry no sooner or late you be penalized by your sin.

    Misigena f

  13. Alamirew G/H says:

    Mr.Misgena the primary request of the Kemant people might not be stressed too much to the linguistic matters.It should be much more of that of psychological, sociological, historical,constitutional and self awareness as Kemant.I cannot understand the position of the the regional chieftaines.Well,was the question of Israel initially linguistic one? I mean at that time, they were dispersed around the world.Their language Hebrew was supposedly forgotten. After liberation their scholars undertook thorough research and reconstruct their proto-language and made it official language.The same experience could be applicable to the Kemant people numbering about a million whom psychologically consider themselves as Kemants regardless of language-wise.So, the Kemant activists’ struggle for the guarantee of self-administration, provision and discussion on historical,sociological ,constitutional and development aspect can be in the forefront inquiry.

  14. tiru says:

    አማራዎች የሚሰሩት ሥራ በጣም ይገርመኛል!!!
    “ ‘ወላጆቻችን ሰዎች ነን’ ቢሉ አማራዎች ‘ቅማንቶች ናችሁ’ አሉ አኛ ልጆቻቸው ደግሞ ‘ቅማንቶች ነን’ ስንል ልጆቻቸው ‘አማራ ናችሁ’ ለምን ይሉናል?”
    ከጎንደር ዩኒቨርሲቲ መምህር አንዱ
    …“ከግንድ እያዛመዱን፤ ጀሮ ቀጥለው፤ ጅራት አብቅለው እንዴት አማራ ናችሁ ይሉናል” …ይህ በዘመን መቀለድ ነው፡፡”
    ከጎንደር ዩኒቨርሲቲ መምህር ሌላው
    በ21ኛው ክፍለ ዘመን ቃቃ ጨዋታ ይደብራል፡፡ የሚገርመው ተማርን የሚሉት አለመቀየራቸው ነው፡፡ይህንም በሙስናቸው በግልፅ አሳይተውናል፡፡ እናውቀዋለንም፡፡
    ለማንኛውም ማየት እና መስማት ከተሳናቸው ግለሰቦች ንቀት እግዚአብሄር ይሰውረን፡፡
    አሜን…..

    • john dav says:

      sewoch atsasatu abruachuh yenorew gondere yishalachual, amhara maletko maninawm amarinia minager sew new yezer gind mekuter ayasfelgim , esti enante amhara bitbalu min ti godalacuh. yihe ye woyane ena ye galla sera new selazi arfachu amhara bethonu yishan nebere . tigtay kilil erob(saho) , kunama , beja mibalu bihareseboch allu gen andum sellf administration yelachewm gen amharan andnet lemadakem midereg ye woyane ena ye galla sera new

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