by Birtu W
As you know very well Qemant people never had raised the quest of self-administration for the last 15 years immediately as EPRDF came to power. Qemant people believe in unity and understand its benefit more than anyone else. Immediately as EPRDF took the power, Kemant (Qemant) people was asked to request their self-administration but by then wider Qemant and the elite in particular rejected this idea and chose to live together with others in Gondar, and was a grand mistake.
However, in those years economic, political and administration discrimination were consciously made upon Qemant. The partial treatment of Qemant was deep rooted similar to that of the Solomonide period. Gradually Qemant were pushed to the margin and remained passive in all political decision making roles. Rather they were made to take the lowest position in which they are unable to take part equally with their Amhara counter parts. Though finger counted individuals were seem to participate in the political circle, their position to play their own part were insignificant and almost none. This is systemic rules of the Amhara rulers designed to belittle Qemant and other non-Amhara members of ANDM/EPRDF.
From the economic and social service perspective, Qemant people were marginalized due to accidental on purpose. For the last almost 20 years, no school, health center and road were constructed and accessed to the Qemant areas. Even the few existing social service institutions such as schools and health center constructed during Durg now gets demolished and become out of use as timely maintenance is not done to them. Currently, on average Qemant people travel about 20 km to get those meager services (health and education). Qemant lives in a mountains and undulated topography. This was done consciously by the past Amhara regime. As the result, Qemant farmers were requesting resettlement to relatively less dense and more fertile areas like Metema, Tach and Mirab Armachiho ten years back. However, the respond given to the people was that “your land is fertile and no need of resettlement for you.” To your wonder, people from Gaynit, Ebinat, Farta, Simada, Qorite, Wollo were transferred and resettled in those fertile lands. And yet Qemant youths were forced to work on those settler land as daily laborers. The worst of all these injustice, the Amhara Regional officials in general and Gondar Administrative head Ato Gizat Abiyu passed a killing rule to Qemant farmer not to move and practice farming be as share cropper, land renter, or laborer by going beyond their locality. And they named those farmer who farm out of their locality “mofer Zemet”. The pretext they put for this was to save the deforestation and unwise utilization of the land in those areas. However, the officials themselves were engaged in land looting and distributed the land to their relatives insatiately. The objectives of this act were to make Qemant poor and migrate to Sudan and beyond.
The most worst thing that made to Qemant in those years was annexing Qemant identity and totally avoided from the list of Ethiopian nationality. As you might know (of course, you know it very well though it does not make any difference to you), during 2007 Housing and Population Census, Qemant were erased totally from the list and were made to be counted as part of Amhara. This time, the people have said “No.” For Qemant, this act was the last and worst temptation and blowing on the head. Of course, this action was really a “blessing in disguise for Qemant.” Qemant people were obliged to reverse this ethnocide act and started requesting its constitutional rights unanimously.
As you (Diaspora Qemant and your masters) often said this was instigated by the hidden motive of Woyane (TPLF) in achieving its objective of invading the fertile land of Gondar by divide Gondar unity. But all this is your false assumption. It is ANDM that rule the Amhara region and made all regional decisions. All these were done by chauvinist Amhara officials.
I won’t go to the details what were done to Qemant for the simple reason that they quest their identity. This time, you served as tool for the chauvinists and even went to the extent of contributing dollar to purchase riffle and bullet to be fired upon the innocent Qemant. Some very extremist and racist Amhara committee and Gondar Hibret members went to the extent that Qemant is an exotic people that came from Egypt and has no right to claim Gondar. They further said if Qemant want to live in Ethiopia, they told Qemant to keep silent and live annexed to Amhara. But if they persisting in saying that they are different from Amhara, we (Amhara) are forced to evacuate them to where they came (Egypt). I sent the full audio (CD) to Beyene what this extremists were saying in a meeting led by ANDM officials to Qemant.
According to the plan you designed (Gondar Hibret), Qemant were grossly killed, evacuated and displaced from their land around Quara, Metema, Lay Armachiho (around Work midr, Mahin, Musebab) last year. Their property were looted, their house were burnt down, their children were kidnapped for a ransom. During last year alone ten Qemant people were kidnapped and being released by paying about 50 thousand birr as ransom per head on average. Rather than condemning this savage act you (Gondar Hibret) boldly said the worst would come yet unless Qemant abandon its constitutional claims. In contrary Gondar Hibret sue Qemant people for serving the “divide and rule” of woyane. The pseudo writers of Gondar Hibret like Andualem Tefera, , Amare Afele and those who serve as spoken mouth like Beyene Asmare and Abebe Nigatu accused Qemant for serving woyane as Banda. But in practice there is no banda like people who betray themselves.
Almost two weeks back, November 24, 2015, innocent Qemant people, women and children were murdered by the Amhara officials order and by the gun you bought to them. Qemant people know very well the decision you passed during your teleconference in America the previous month. You decided to contribute any amount of dollar to be distributed to Amhara officials like Agegnehu Teshager, Gizat Abiyu to encourage them and work strong to reject Qemants quest. With the dollar you sent AgeGnehu Teshager and Gizat Abiyu bought 95 clash cove (and other hand machine) with its similar bullets and distributed to Gondar Hibret member at Aykel (Chilga Woreda) and used to kill innocent people at Chonchok, 20 km north of Aykel Town.
Why you people often put Qemant against Gondar unity while some extreme Amhara (of course member of Gondar Hibret) boldly said in public that Qemant is not Gondarae and even Ethiopian? Didn’t you hear that people motivated by Gondar Hibre came fully armed to Aykele on November 23rd 2015 and made demonstration saying that “Aykel is not belonged to Qemant! They came from Egypt! Did you forget member of Gondar Hibret came to Tikle Dingay (lay Armachiho town) fully armed but for vain? Who were leading this operation? It was Amare Sete vice head of North Gondar Administration.
If you are really unity lover, why you kept silent not condemning this war monger acts? Is it act, too, indicators of unity by your definition? Do you think unity will come in all these savage, chauvinistic attitude? Do you preach a kind of unity that aim perishing others (Qemant) and put one people everywhere? Why you so called Gondar Hibret people noise a cry of crocodile? Why you often accuse Qemant and Woyane behind this while Amhara officials declared war on innocent Qemant? Why don’t you heard saying Amhra government declare war on Qemant? Why Woyane? You know why you often accuse TPLF for the wrong doing of ANDM officials? You are one and same in aiming to committing genocide upon the Qemant people!
Specially, you Qemant individuals (Beyene Asemare Abebe Nigatu and those I didn’t mention your names here), I beg you in the name of Qemant people not to be a tool for the hidden motive of some chauvinists who work day and night tirelessly to make Qemant their slaves by snatching their small lands. Rather please help your people to access education, health and other services like others.