Gondar City in Ethiopia Returned to Normal after High Tension

Gondar City was tensed for weeks related to national census sampling procedure. Eight of Kemant counties (woredas) refused to cooperate with the census workers. The residents insisted Kemants should be sampled as the distinct community accordingly in their national census Code-35 not in mixed form. The Kemant Committee notified the same position to Ethiopian National Census Statistics Agency, Federation and Regional Government. In spite of the notice, in the end of May, the census workers were fielded into counties to sample 30 householders from each kebele (neighborhood) without resolving the dispute. One kebele consists of an average of 900-1000 householders. The census workers comprised of 1-counter (student among high school dropout) for each kebele, 2-teacher supervisors per kebele, and 1-Coordinator from National Central Statistical Agency per woerda (county). According to an anonymous source, the eight woreda residents refused to allow the census workers to visit their respective residency. The field workers were expelled from respective villages upon their arrival. In one area, an ANDM cadre tried to intervene on the issue, but he was asked to define the Amharic ANDM acronym, when he did, the villagers said, “sorry, we are not Amharas, we are Kemants, please leave”. The workers left respective villages without visiting houses and collecting necessary data, but what they did was they sat near villages and filled data by guess. Because the list of householders was in their hand from the previous census records, it was easy for the field workers to fill the form in presumption without visiting residency. For instance, the age column was completed adding 5 on the previous records. A serious error was committed in guessing like birth and death rates, as well as, income status, they tried to enquire information from respective a village chief in this regard, but full of errors, and then the group returned to their destinations claiming completion of the study.

The situation created high tension throughout the counties plus in Gondar City. North Gondar Administrative leadership asked Kemant Committee for help to resolve the crisis, but the committee turned down the request twice. At the end, North Gondar, leadership sought arbitration from Professor Yigzaw Kebede, one of influential figures in the Kemant Community. As the per request, on June 2, 2012, an emergency meeting held in Gondar City, which consists of North Gondar zonal government leadership, woreda leadership, Kemmant Committees, including woreda representatives. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Yigzaw Kebede; the anonymous source said that both parties agreed to resolve the crisis and the city returned to normal. It was not clear whether any action was taken regard to invalidity of the collected data.

The Agaw Kemants have been in struggle for the last eight years for liberty and self-government in North Gondar; geographically their area covers more than 60 percent of North Gondar. An informal opinion in Gondar City indicated a shift to a positive direction. A large number of the city residents privately believed only way out from the crisis is granting self-government for the Kemants.

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3 Responses to Gondar City in Ethiopia Returned to Normal after High Tension

  1. Kenaw T. says:

    When we are talking about issues, we should stick only with the issue and try to solve for the root causes. Instead, I have noticed people such as Mr. Addisu circle around the points and leave us without clear solution. The major problem, which the Kemant society are asking is that they want to count as Kemant not included into the ‘Amhara’ pool but neglected when benefits are allocated. Therefore they continuously refused giving the correct information or not giving any answers for census workers at all. This is the major problem. It brings a fundamental issue to get resolved. One of the solutions is to working with Kemant society leaders first and solves the issue before conducting any census work. Again, the real issue here is not having problems understanding the population percentage of north Gender, but it’s because for not answering the Kemant society questions which continuously denied for benefits. Instead ‘Amhara’ benefited from Kemant population for many generations and we think that game should come to an end.

    All of the data we have from Mr. Addisu’s article is wrong and the article, “Gondar City in Ethiopia Returned to Normal after High Tension”, posted on June 5, 2012 is proved that the data is simply a guss and have a high percentage of errors.

  2. tedi quaraw says:

    If your problem is soft drinks, don’t rob merchants(you did at chilga) come to moha drinks factory and we will give u dosens of pepsi per person.

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