Demeke Zewdu, Gondar Uprising Leader Charged with Terrorism
The leader of the the movement in the Amhara region that is campaigning to restore areas forcefully annexed to Tigray by the Tigrian-led regime has been charged with terrorism.
Colonel Demeke Zewdu, seen by many Ethiopians as the leader of the ongoing uprising against a minority regime in Amhara region, was charged Wednesday after several court adjournments.
The colonel was taken to the custody of the Amhara police in July after he shot dead three operatives of the regime who went all the way to his house from Tigray to arrest him without a court warrant.
At the time of his arrest, the colonel was spearheading a committee that was demanding the regime that the areas of Wolkait, Tegede and Telemt in North Gondar to be returned to the Amhara region and for the people residing in those areas recognized as Amharas.
The regime, upon its ascension to power 25 years ago, had annexed the regions in North Gondar to Tigray and declared the residents Tigrians despite widespread resistance.
Residents of Gondar, who flocked to the court for Wednesday’s hearing, denounced the charges as bogus. They say the regime, instead of attending to the demands of the people, have brought trumped-up charges against the Colonel. They vowed to fight against the injustice to the end. The court was adjourned again till October 13, 2016.
The campaign by the people of North Gondar to restore their land and identity reached its peak when people in the Amhara and other regions of Ethiopia joined the movement and staged protest rallies demanding the removal of the tyrannical regime in Ethiopia.
protests in Ethiopia's Gondar city
Security forces killed at least 200 people this summer in the Amhara region alone. Protests are still continuing in the Oromo and other regions of Ethiopia, despite a military administration put in place by the regime to silence opposition. Over a thousand people were killed in the Oromo region this year, while tens thousands remained in detention.
Meanwhile , security forces have continued arresting people in the Amhara region. There are also reports of deaths at concentration camps in Bir Sheloko and Benishangul, where detainees have reportedly been going through unimaginable torture.
Colonel Demeke fought alongside the TPLF against the former military government. But he fell out of favor when he began challenging the regime on the issue of the regions in North Gondar that were forcefully incorporated into the Tigray region.