News Analysis: Amhara Regional Gov’t cautions community against ‘infiltrators’; Woldia city residents call on fed gov’t for immediate action

Gizatchew Muluneh, Amhara Regional Communication Bureau Head. Photo: Amhara Communication Bureau

By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12

Addis Abeba, August 09/ 2021 – Despite Amhara’s regional government’s recent calls for a “Survival Campaign” and a corresponding responses by other regional states, residents of Woldia complained about fresh attacks by forces allied to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and called on the government for immediate action. This comes as the Amhara regional state warned of what it described as ‘Infiltrators’. 

In a statement issued by Woldia city communication bureau, residents in addition to urging the government to take immediate action, the residents expressed their suspicions after the TPLF allegedly shot several fires of heavy artillery into the city on the nights of August 08 and 09, 2021.

Residents said the government had failed to take immediate action against the TPLF, and that they had started launching heavy weapons irresponsibly to destroy the city.

The residents stated that they trust that the government could have handled the matter before it escalated to its current level. The residents expressed their concern saying, “It’s not too late yet to handle the attempts to destroy the people who pay the price for peace with heavy weapons.”

The statement on behalf of city residents urged the regional government saying, “It is not expected from the government to expose the people, who paid sacrifice for peace, for retaliatory actions. Woldia city is a major route for construction material used for the Renaissance Dam coming from the port and is the home to several major factories and the first class Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amudi stadium.” The residents also recommended that the government should move to the offensive to which they vowed to be on the forefront.  

On his part Gizatchew Muluneh, Head of the Amhara regional communication bureau in a press briefing that discussed several issues including current affairs in Amhara regional state, suggested that TPLF is deploying “infiltrators” into urban and rural areas of the city in an attempt to spread false information and confuse the community. 

The communication bureau head also explained that those agents are dispersed in crowded places of business and recreation places, public transportation and churches and are engaged in advancing the ‘enemy’s’ propaganda. 

The comments by the communication bureau head came amid reports of the capture of Lalibela by forces loyal to the TPLF and are aimed at raising alarm among residents of the region. The top regional official argued that “The infiltrators’ actions aim at making people look at each other with suspicion and weaken their campaign against the TPLF and it aimed to persuade the community to not accept the implementation of government’s directions to protect the country and its people.”

“We all have a role to play in preventing and reversing the existential threat posed by TPLF. As long as we remain united, we have more than enough power to reverse the threat posed by the terrorist group.”

Amhara Regional Communication Bureau Head

Gizachew warned against what he said is ‘the misuse’ of social media saying, “On the other hand, some people have been seen attacking each other on social media and spreading inappropriate information on Facebook without understanding the full picture of the war.”

He reiterated his statement saying, “We all have a role to play in preventing and reversing the existential threat posed by TPLF. As long as we remain united, we have more than enough power to reverse the threat posed by the terrorist group.”

He concluded by urging residents to identify the intruders and take appropriate measures, he said,  “It is the duty of all of us to identify the intruders that surround us as much as we do on the battle front lines to sustain our lives.” Likewise, the Amhara region’s capital Bahir Dar city administration urged the residents to organize and guard their surroundings by “taking the necessary action” on ‘infiltrators’ in addition to supporting security forces.   

It is important to remember that the federal government announced a unilateral ceasefire declaration on June 28, for which Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed addressed the House of People’s Representative (HoPR) on the 4th special meeting stating the decision of withdrawing the military from Tigray was pre planned and properly arranged. But not long after the announcement inflammatory statements by both the Amhara regional government and TPLF led to mobilization by both sides on the border between Amhara and Tigray regions. 

Recent developments comes days after a visit by USAID chief, Samantha Power where she called for an end to hostilities, complete withdrawal of Amhara forces from Western Tigray, complete withdrawal of Tigrayan forces from Amhara and Afar regions as well as initiation of talks to reach about a negotiated ceasefire to allow humanitarian access and pave the way for an inclusive national dialogue. AS

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