In Quara, Kemant Farmers Boycott Referendum Voting and Illegal Voters Cast their Vote

(wlka informantt from Mtema): According to the latest report,  the regional government and security officials registered 1500 illegal voters in Quar alone. The illegal voters by definition are not residing a particular election kebele and not qualified to vote on the basis of the Ethiopian election law. Those illegal voters came to a respective voting station on Sunday morning to vote. The Kemants told them not to take part in the election illegally. But the illegal voters ignored the Kemants warnings and continued voting. Then, the Kemants boycott the process and return their home without casting the vote.

the similar dispute was broke in Shinfe due to the presence of illegal voters. But some of the illegal voters return their home without voting and the process continued. The problem is the regional security forces snatched voting cards from the Kemants and many of them couldn’t vote in Shinfe. Since the Kemants were walking to voting stations without arms, there was nothing they could do when police snatched and tore their cards.

According to the informant, all those illegal activities and fraud was reported to National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), but it failed to discharge its constitutional responsibilities by preventing the process from fraud.

Some observers believe that outcome of the result is predetermined to the regional government and one should not expect anything different. The board is just there to legitimize the fraudulent referendum.

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ብአዴን / Officials and Regional Security Forces Register 1500 Illegible Voters Illegally at Quara Election constituency

A wlka informant from Metema reported that the ብአዴን / Officials and the regional security force officials Register 800 Non-Residents Illegally at Quara Election constituency. These 800 people whom registered are not eligible for voting on the coming referendum in Quara Kebeke because of they are not the residents of the Kebele. They themselves admitted that they are not the residents of the Kebele. They said they were called by the ብአዴን Woreda officials and issued new identification cards to register and vote. The secuirty force also relocated a polling station without the consent of the NEBE.

The informant added the Kemants reported all these illegal activities to the board and refrained from retaliation. Also, the delegates of the board in the region also reported to the board on the illegal activities taking place on the Amara side, They underlined that the problem is not the Amara people, but the regional security force and groups called bandits associated with the security force and the ruling party. The regional security force and ruling party acted partially against the Kemant voters, it added.

In related news, the Gumuz people, the residents of Metema, boycott form registration after complaining threat on their life. The Gumuz eligible voters in Metema are approximately 1000. In Chilga Woreda one Kemant was severely wounded by the government security forces.

Despite all illegal activities reported, the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) failed to act and discharge its constitutional responsibility. The public pressure is mounting on the Kemant Committee to withdraw from the unfair process unless the following two conditions are met by September 13 (tomorrow):

  1. All illegal registrations are scrapped officially and fresh registration is resumed.
  2. A nuetral federal security force is in place to secure all election constituencies.

Updated September 23, 2017

 

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Kemants Banned From Registration for Upcoming Referendum at Negade Bair

According to the wlka’s informant from Metema, the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has scheduled the Kemant Referendum for September 17, 2017. The referendum is planned for 12 kebeles (sub-districts), where Kemants, Amharas and others are co-existed. The purpose of the referendum is to identify kebeles that want to join either incoming Kemant Self-Rule or non-Kemant administrative areas. In a principle, the referendum supposedly could resolve outstanding conflicts between the regional government led by Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) and the Agaw-Kemants who have been struggling for the last 8-years to secure Self-Rule.

According to the informant who has been observing the process for the last 5-days there, the process of the referendum is in violation of the Ethiopian election law. For instance, the Kemants at Negade Bahir are banned from registration for voting on the referendum. The local officials who claim themselves as the representatives of Amara declined to register Kemants. There is also an armed group terrorizing the Kemants (house to house) not seek registration for the upcoming referendum. Thus, Kemant voters were unable to register for voting. on the other hand, the officials have registered non-Kemant groups who claim themselves Amaras including under age children, below 18-old persons and non-residents of respective referendum constituencies by issuing false IDs in violation of the current election law of Ethiopia.

The informant says the Kemant Coordinating Committee reported to the NEBE delegates all these violations and inconsistencies, but the NEBE so far has failed to take concrete measures to reverse the problem.

According to the informant, Shinfe in Metema Woreda has been facing almost similar problems. The Agaw-Wags and Lastans were strictly warned that they would be expelled from Shinfer if they vote for the Kemants. The Tigrian returnees whom were displaced during the 2015 & 2016 conflict are rejected for registration in various pretexts. The ANDM cadres have been also bribing Gumuz community leaders with white meshila, to bias their votes. Despite, the NEBE passed a fair resolution the displaced Kemants to qualify for voting at Shinfe and other areas, in reality, there is no conducive environment to exercise their rights. Niether the regional government nor the federal government has made financial arrangements the Kemants return to their villages, register and vote. Given the shortage referendum date, the displaced Kemants will not able to vote on the upcoming referendum. According to the informant, unless the NEBE considers these major problems and takes corrective measures including the extension of the referendum date, the process of the referendum is not free and fair. Consequently, the outcome is expected to be fraudulent and the referendum is failing to meet its objectives, says the informant.

In related news, the informant added, the status of Metema Yohannes is the disputed city. The Kemant representatives have insisted referendum on Metema Yohannes, but the regional government representatives declined to agree on the referendum,but want to keep out of Kemant Self-Rule. The NEBE that has received the report on Metema Yohannes said that it was beyond its duty and would report to the House of Federation, which has a legal mandate to resolve such disputes.

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Owner of Dip Anbessa Hotel and Five others Detained in Bahir Dar

According to an anonymous source, the owner of Dip Anbessa Hotel, Mr. Shibabaw Yeneabet and five other business men have been held in detention since last week. They have been held at Kebele 04, Police station, the center of the city of Bahir Dar. The same source claimed the victims detained due to their opposition to a new tax that does not take into consideration their business revenues. The government has been facing resistance from a business community since it has imposed the new tax.

Despite this, the ANDM/ ብአዴን officials have given another reason for their detention. The party and regional officials claimed that they have been detained for their attempt to remember the last year’s anti-government violent protests, which took place in the region.

Observers thought that the ብአዴን officials used for the pretext to silence the tax resistance. The officials are using this issue to win the federal governments support on their crack down. Others even see as the part of an anti-Agaw strategy intended to eliminate the Agaw business, like Mr. Shibabaw from the region.

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አማራና ቅማነት ስለተጣላ እናስታርቃቸው ይላል ብአዴን

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Perpetrators of 2015 and 2016, Dessie Asseme and Others

The following article is originally posted on facebook by Balambaras Negash on May 10, 2017. The individuals indicated with their photos and names are among key figures who committed genocide on the Kemant and Tigrian people in 2015 and 2016, respectively. They are Dessie Asseme, Deputy Commander Wagnew Abebaw and Agegnew Teshager. Especially, Dessie Asseme is well known with his anti-Agaw instance since 2012.

The lack of accountability for their crime against humanity is clear indication juridical failure and absence the supremacy of the law in Ethiopia.

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