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DW Amharic - Current Situation in Raya Areas Disputed Between Amhara and Tigray

Disclaimer: This is an English translation of an Amharic article taken from DW Amharic and is intended solely for information purposes.


DW Amharic - Current Situation in Raya Areas Disputed Between Amhara and Tigray


June 10, 2024


In areas of Raya Alamata disputed between Amhara and Tigray Regions, residents have said “Tigray forces have carried out killings and imposed suffering on us”, as last Saturday a young town resident was killed by the militants which was followed by peaceful demonstrations in Alamata town condemning the killing and calling for implementation of the Pretoria deal.


Current situation in Raya areas disputed between Amhara and Tigray

In areas of Raya Alamata disputed between Amhara and Tigray Regions, residents have said “Tigray forces have carried out killings and imposed suffering on us”, as last Saturday a young town resident was killed by the militants which was followed by peaceful demonstrations in Alamata town condemning the killing and calling for implementation of the Pretoria deal. Efforts to receive a confirmation or response from Tigray Region officials were unsuccessful.


Over the last two months the Raya Alamata area which is disputed between the Amhara and Tigray Regions has once again faced unrest, The Wollo Amhara Border and Identity Restoration Committee members said militants “crossed over from Tigray” and entered Raya Alamata and surrounding areas by force, took control of the area, and are carrying out atrocities and abuses which they have said on numerous occasions, and Tigray Region Communications Affairs Bureau Head Ato Redaye Halefom previously provided a statement to DW arguing that since the areas belong to Tigray Region, Tigray forces could not have entered Amhara Region, however local residents in Raya Alamata, Raya Bala and Ofla Woredas say Tigray forces are carrying out abuses, such as in Alamata city where one resident explained that peaceful protests took place yesterday after a young civilian was killed in town last Saturday.


“...recently a mother was attacked and she was sent to an intensive medical care center, and yesterday a young electrician was brutally beaten with a weapon before they shot and killed him when he went to work on maintenance. Yesterday a peaceful protest was held in Alamata city denouncing the killing, calling for the armed forces to be removed, calling for implementation of the Pretoria deal, and messages calling for recognition of the identity of the people.” Another resident of Alamata city on their end said as efforts were underway to administer 8th grade examinations tomorrow, efforts to undermine these examinations and forcefully close offices were carried out and this morning the militants clashed with youth after which they opened fire and injured one person, however federal security forces intervened to calm the situation.


“It has been announced that 6th and 8th graders are to begin their regional examinations tomorrow, the militants used that as a pretext to supplement their forces and they took control of the schools over night and through the day, and this morning when the youth tried to enter school in kebele 3 they were told they were not allowed to enter and the ensuing disagreement led to one youth being shot and injured, federal police and national defense force members intervened to deescalate the situation, but they still have not left the schools.”


When asked about the matter Raya Alamata administrator Ato Mulugetta Asmamaw said Tigray forces have taken full control of 6 woredas and begun looting. “They have taken control of three woredas in Korem, seven woredas in Raya, they have looted even the desert crops, they have abducted people and taken them away, they are carrying out physical beatings and arrests, the matter is being raised with the Amhara region government and federal government, we too have raised the issue with federal and regional officials, but we have simply been told to be patient.” Ofla Woreda administrator Ato Fisseha Molla said over a phone call that over the last two months the collapse of peace has resulted in displacement of a large number of people, individuals who have raised the identity issue including scholars have been arrested and taken to unknown locations.


He said, “a significant number of people have been displaced, half escaped to Sekota and the other half to Kobo, Korem town is currently under control of federal security forces though their numbers are small, however they have penetrated into rural kebeles, when anyone opposes them they are abducted or arrested and detained all the way in Maychew. When we say there are abducted people we can list them by name.”


Efforts were made to contact Tigray Region Communications Affairs Head Ato Redaye Halefom and South Tigray Zone administrator Ato Haftu Kiros to obtain comments in regards to grievances raised by residents of Raya Alamata, however neither answered their phones.


Alemnew Mekonnen

Azeb Tadesse

Hirut Melese

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