The Welkait Tegede Amhara Identity Committee on Friday rejected the withdrawal of the Amhara special force from the disputed Welkait Tegede, Humera and other areas in northern Ethiopia.
The rebuff came on Friday during an extraordinary meeting, in Bahir Dar, capital of the Amhara regional state after the state’s authorities proposed the withdrawal of Amhara special forces from the stated areas.
The event came after the government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed a “permanent cessation of hostilities” to end the conflict that is estimated to have killed hundreds of thousands of people.
The agreement calls for the disarmament of Tigray forces within weeks, but there is a big concern among the people in Welkait Tegede, Humera and other areas about the government’s plan to deal with their identity questions.
The authorities also proposed that Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) will take over the areas until a permanent solution is given over the ownership rights of the stated areas.
Colonel Demeke Zewdu, Head of Security for Welkait-Tegede, Humera and other officials boycotted the meeting, refuting the government’s proposal.
With ongoing peace talks between the government and TPLF, the ownership rights of these areas continue to be a central point of contention.
Welkait-Tegede and Humera areas are parts of Gondar in Amhara regional state but TPLF incorporated as part of Tigray after taking central government power in May 1991.
There had been identity questions for well over three decades in the region which the TPLF brutalised. Wolkait regained its identity as Amhara after the TPLF started the war in November 2020 when it attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defence Forces.