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News: Ruling party members speak of need to repeat Tigray military operation in Benishangul Gumuz as Amhara region gov’t, NaMA ramp-up calls for actions

The administration of Ashadli Hassan, President of the Benishangul Gumuz regional state, is coming under increasing pressure to tackle the security crisis in Meteke zone of the region. Picture: ENA

By Siyanne Mekonnen @Siyaanne

Addis Abeba, December 15/2020 – Members of the Benishangul Gumuz Regional State Prosperity Party (PP) Women’s League have demanded  the federal government to repeat in Benishangul Gumuz regional state, Metekel Zone the ongoing “law enforcement operations in Tigray.”

The call was made during a discussion the Women’s League of the ruling PP had today on current national issues in Assosa, the capital of Benishangul Gumuz regional state. Participants expressed their support for a similar operation in Metekel zone where frequent violence the participants blamed on TPLF has claimed the lives of dozens of civilians in recent weeks alone. Etsegenet Tesfaye, member of the Women’s League said TPLF “has been creating division among people of the region for the past 27 years, caused
the loss of innocent lives and property damages.” She also said the TPLF had tried to “dismantle the administrative structures of Metekel Zone” and replace it with it’s own group. She adds that the measures taken by the ENDF to eliminate the TPLF has brought a “sigh of relief.”

The deputy speaker of the Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State Council, Alemnesh Yibas, on her part said that there wasn’t any leadership in the region who is not worried by the security crisis in the Metekel Zone. She admitted that the crisis was not fully averted despite coordinated efforts of security forces and promised that the “elimination of the criminal group would continue and that the group would soon be destroyed once and for all”.

The Women’s League call came two days after, Gizachew Muluneh, head of the Amhara regional state communication affairs office, issued a blistering statement regarding the security crisis in Benishangul Gumuz regional state in which he declared “the second chapter of the struggle” against armed groups operating in the region.

“We no longer foolishly believe that the problem will be solved through old ways.” Gizachew said, explaining that the region was now forced to hunt down the “blood suckers’’ out of wherever they are and bring them to justice in order to compensate “the suffering of the Amhara people.”

The statement states that the sufferings of the people of Amhara, Agew, Shinasha and the “honest and innocent Mao, Berta and Gumuz people” were crimes attributable to “little junta”, who are “TPLF’s agents hiding in Benishangul embroiled in TPLF’s false narrative and hope.”

Gizachew went on blaming the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), some members of the leadership of the Benishangul Gumuz regional government and members of the opposition Gumuz People Democratic Movement (GPDM) for the atrocities against the people of Amhara and Agew by naming to them as “light skinned”.

“The community  who have fed them, shared its harvest with and modernized them by changing their poor work culture and civilization is subject to displacement and killing in its own homeland.” said Gizachew, adding “these cannibalistic groups have killed from two up to 12 people from a single family alone. The mothers and fathers of Amhara have suffered loss from a fetus inside a womb to the elderly. The entire nation of Amhara has cried and mourned,” the statement said.

According to Gizachew, the Benishangul Gumuz regional state leadership have used their security apparatus to engage in an extermination and displacement campaign against the Amharas, and have also collaborated with OLF/shanee, members of the GPDM, remnants of TPLF and have engaged in the “extermination and displacement campaign.” “The time we the oppressed people issue statements and plead with the Benishangul Gumuz regional state is over.”

Similarly, a statement issued today by the National Movement of Amhara (NAMA), has called for  an immediate end to the ongoing “genocide” against the Amhara people in Benishangul Gumuz regional State.

The party highlighted the “systemic and structural abuses” the Amhara people have suffered in the last three decades. “The people of Amhara have fought hard to thwart  TPLF’s attempt to disintegrate the country by committing treason and atrocities” the statement reads, “but the Amhara people continue to be subjected to systemic ethnic cleansing and genocide when it has not yet recovered from recent widespread attacks in Oromia and Benishangul regional states.”

The statement by NaMA accused a coalition of unnamed forces of trying to rescue TPLF or perpetuate its hateful and destructive agenda in Benishangul Gumuz by making the region a center of humanitarian crisis. The party attributed the root causes of the “ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing against the people of Amhara to TPLF” and accused of directly and indirectly assisting some groups in terms of information, policy, structure, logistics and finance.

Despite the fundamental differences between these extremist and hostile forces involved in the attack, NaMA said they “were united in their politics of hatred and destruction against the people of Amhara”.

“It needs to be acknowledged that there are still forces perpetuate hostage politics by classifying the people of Amhara as the enemy.”

The party also accused TPLF of forcibly annexing territories the Amhara people including Wolkait, Tegede, Telemt and Raya to Tigray region and “unlawfully” annexing other parts of the Amhara region to other regional states. NaMA further went on accusing leaders “at all levels of the government” in aiding in the attacks by “directly involving or protecting extremist forces.”

“We expected the conditions in Benishangul Gumuz region to improve after the establishment of the command post,” the party said, “but ethnically targeted attacks continue to happen regardless.”

NaMA has called up on the Amhara regional State and all Amhara political parties to take an unwavering common stance against the continued targeted attacks on the Amhara people and engage in effective and implementable political and security activities. AS


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