The regional government representatives, including Mr. Ayalew Gobeze and from federal government Mr. Bereket Simon, Communication Minister met yesterday with Kemant delegates at Bahir Dar. The meeting was organized by the regional government to disclose the study results made by the Kemant educators and discuss on recognition and self-rule quest. Delegates of Kemant reportedly about 27 to 29, which includes prominent personalities, like Professor Yigzaw Kebede and Ambassador Zemene Kasagn. At one day meeting the Kemants’ quest for recognition was accepted, but declined to guaranty the quest for self-rule. Identity recognition was delivered in the speech by Mr. Ayalew Gobeze of the regional governor at the session. The delegates were told by Mr. Bereket ineligibility for self-rule. The reason associated with denial was because Kemants speak Amharic. Mr. Bereket also spoke about possible arrangement of preservation cage, kebeles for those Kemants that can speak language. The officials whom preoccupied with Muslim unrest in Dessie/surrounding, Amhara Region on the same day seemingly had a little interest to address the Kemant issue seriously.
Professor Yigzaw was quoted as said, “one of the question has been answered and further work has to be done” referring to the future efforts to gain self-rule. At the end of session there was banquet sponsored by the regional government. Five of delegate members who reportedly dismayed on denial of self-rule refused to take party at the banquet. The other delegate members appeared to be calm, but reached on consensus to continue peaceful struggle for due justice.
Denial of self-rule was expected. To assess political mood in the region and Mr. Bereket’s position in particular, wlka’s informant contacted Mr. Ayalew Gobez’s senior adviser on phone from his residency on the eve of the meeting. The adviser whom wanted remain in anonymous due to sensitivity of the matter told informant the key player in the case is Mr. Bereket who believed that identity recognition is adequate enough for Kemants. Mr. Berket felt that the issue of self-rule is not initiated by Kemants. The Agaw issue including Kemants was launched by some TPLF individuals in Diaspora and later supported by Oromo politicians. The Kemant issue is like liberation of Gojjam by Dr. [Professor] Muse Tegegne in the early 1990s, but he couldn’t make it because the people rejected him. Further Mr. Bereket thought Agaws are in favor of Amharaization, they are advocating for Geez and culture of an Amhara system. Kemants are not different from others in the region. According to the adviser, Mr. Bereket thought as far as Amhara identity is concerned Kemants are not Amharas, like the people of Gojjam, Lasta and Damot. It is not the question of blood based identity, but political process in the new Ethiopia. Now, Amhara Region has full power to take any measures if any body tries to stand in our development process, which is the regional priority.
In related news, Amhara and Tigraian educators reportedly declared their support for the Kemants’ self-rule. Support was made at four day university teacher conference at Gondar University in the first week of this month. The instructors’ spoke in support of Kemants following speech by Professor Yigzaw Kebede. This part of report will be updated as soon as the detail is available.