The North West Division of the Defense Forces disclosed that 19 members of the Force were killed while 18 others sustained injuries in confrontations with residents of Gondar, northern Ethiopia, in the last two weeks of revolt by the people.
At a meeting held at a military barracks in Bahir Dar, commander of the Division, Lt. Gen. Berhanu Jula slammed the soldiers for not protecting their comrades. The soldiers in turn said their role was to defend the sovereignty of the country, but not to shoot at protesters.
ESAT’s sources say members of the North West Division of the Army refused to use force against civilians in the ongoing confrontation between the people of Gondar and regime forces, which angered their commanders.
Tensions remain high in Gondar after TPLF forces from Tigray two weeks ago tried to apprehend members of the committee that leads the demand by the people of Wolkait, Tegede and Telemt for the respect of their culture and identity as Amharas. The forces opened fire at the residence of Col. Demeke Zewdu, one of the committee members, who returned fire and killed two. The Colonel is now in the hands of the regional police while three other members of the committee have been detained by the regime. The people of Gondar will hold a demonstration on Sunday demanding their release.
The TPLF regime forcefully incorporated vast fertile areas in North Gondar to the Tigray region when it assumed political power 25 years ago. The people of Gondar, who are historically Amharas have been peacefully demanding the regime to restore the land and their identity.