Amhara militias set 15 soldiers free as show of clemency but TPLF asks for return of all weapons taken from captured soldiers
November 12, 2016
The armed farmers in Wegera of Gonder region had captured about 50 soldiers during a battle with TPLF forces on November 9, 2016. Fighters admitted a greater number of soldiers were killed than those captured during the long battle.
The local militias were surprised when TPLF asked through mediators for the return of all the weapons they had seized from the soldiers. From bad to worse, they were startled that government forces were digging trenches for further military operations in the remote and rugged mountainous region.
The local militias have vowed to fight TPLF forces to the end.
Read previous story Amhara fighters in Gonder destroy TPLF forces sent to disarm community
GONDER (Nov 10) - Over 50 government soldiers were captured and a greater number killed in Wegera district of northern Gonder during a pitched battle that began in the afternoon of November 9 and went on throughout the night, a reporter said.
According to journalist Muluken Tesfaw, the army that was sent to the area to disarm the farmers was routed after the farmers engaged the soldiers.
"The 50 soldiers were captured with all their weapons," the reporter said. "Two heavy machine guns, a sniper and a few military radios were also seized."
One of the combatants said at least 20 soldiers were killed before dusk set in, and he believed a greater number were killed during the night battle.
The farmers didn't say how many were killed from their side but identified by name one of their fighters who was killed in a heroic feat that enabled him to kill some of the government forces.
For months, the Amhara region has been at war with the TPLF regime, which last month declared a state of emergency to crush public uprisings. Thousands are believed to have been killed in the restive Oromia region as well in Amhara, where in the case of the latter armed peasants have proven to be a bone in the throat of the TPLF government.
Cases of armed conflicts between the Amhara combatants and TPLF forces usually remain unreported due to the news blackout that the regime has enforced via the State of Emergency and other factors like inaccessibility of the remote areas.
Fund-raising events have been reported in the Ethiopian Diaspora, particularly in North America, to help fund peasant families who have vowed to engage the regime until its downfall and bear the brunt of an armed conflict.
Fiercely proud of their Ethiopian heritage, the Amhara have long been the target of TPLF, whose ethnic federalism is deliberately in place to make sure either it rules the country indefinitely or, in the event of its downfall, it abandons Ethiopia to ethnic fragmentation.
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