At least six people are reportedly killed today when Tigray region security forces opened fire on protesters in Alamata town, northern Ethiopia, according to social media reports with sources from the area. Several others are wounded and in a hospital.
Children are among the victims. One of the victims is identified as Zenabu, who was apparently an active advocate of Raya Identity Question, the fundamental cause for the confrontation between Raya region residents and Tigray regional state.
US based Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) reported earlier today that the region’s special forces killed four protesters and wounded fifteen. A video shared by ESAT shows people crying as Tigray special forces are seemingly firing at protesters.
Government media agencies, except Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA), did not report about it at this writing.
AMMA has reported today that there has been tension in Alamata since yesterday citing eye witness accounts from the town. AMMA added that it spoke to residents from Alamata, Raya, who said that their demand is identity question.
“Our Amhara identity need to be respected,” AMMA cited the residents as saying. Residents assert that Tigray identity is imposed on them.
They took to the street this morning to demand Tigray regional state respect their Amhara identity. However, the regional authorities deny that demands of people in Raya is not an identity one and sees it as a “plot by anti-peace forces.”
Historically, Raya region used to be part of Wollo province which is ethnic Amhara. It was after Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) took power in 1991 that Raya was made to be included within Tigray region.
Tigray region is also facing another identity question in the western party from residents of Wolkait in North Western Gonder. This region too was not part of Tigray until TPLF took power in 1991.