This morning, about 400, 000 Kemants marched in Gondar City. The demonstrators chanted justice for all and renewed their old quest for autonomy, Self-Rule. wlka will update the demonstration process as soon as detail information is available.
Update on Demonstration
February 17, 2014
The latest figure received by the walka from the participants of the demonstration raised the number of the participants to 500,000 through 600,000. Eritrean TV footage estimated the crowd around 800,000. Actually the demonstrators occupied the space from Mesqel Square (Stadio), Faciledas High School through Jan Tekel Worke Tree, approximately 3.5 km long. Also 600 Kemant military personnel including these currently on duties joined the crowd in the early morning to confirm their support. Mr. Abera, Kemant Steering Committee Chairperson gave a short remark to the crowd at Meqel Square. Tourists seen asking about the demonstration and taking pictures, but no one was there for translation and briefing. The slogans were written in Kemant and English; they had no ideas about the purpose of strike. The event exposed the Kemant Steering Committee’s extreme ignorance on a public relation.
According to sources, the demonstration was permitted by the government. Despite official permission, various measures were taken by the zonal officials to undermine the planned demonstration, including circulation of a message that harasses potential participants, assigning the local (kebele) chiefs to frighten, block automobile roads and stop regular bus services Gondar City-various districts.
The local chiefs/guards to stop travelers to Gondar City were posted, for example, at the following locations:
1. Sabya Geworgius, Diba Abo, Agara, Walka and Araba, extreme restriction was in place, especially at the place called Amba Geworgis, where a 10th grade student girl diverted a policeman’s gun as he target at her to shot.
2. New automobile road connecting Gondar City with Geba, Robit & Mindrabo indefinetly closed since Friday, February 14, 2014.
3. Regular buses were deliberately off from their duties and created transport scarcity on Sunday. Only one bus and two mini-buses were carrying-from Tikil Dengai to Gondar disregard to threat from the chiefs. The bus was able to take 12, two-way trips, Gondar-Tikil Dengai.
Many of farmers traveled on foot during the night time and arrived in Gondar City in the morning to take part in the demonstration. March was peaceful from the beginning to the end. The crowd seen carrying slogans: Justice for all, our natural identity is our honor, Kemant’s constitutional rights should be respected, we demand the constitution to treat Kemants equally (repeatedly vocalized by the crowd) and we denounce illegal actions of the regional government, including the treatment of Kement Steering Committee. The crowd photo will be displayed on this page, as soon as wlka has got it.