UNHCR personnel, who were believed to have come from Ethiopia’s Tigray region, faced strong opposition from residents in Setit Humera district in northern Ethiopia, Mereja.com sources have disclosed.
The outrage, largely from youngsters, came after the zonal administration had found out that the arrival of UNHCR personnel had to do with the return of ethnic Tigrayans to the area in line with the peace deal reached between Addis Ababa and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.(TPLF).
First, the UNHCR personeel told the residents that they had come to the area to undertake humanitarian works, one of the residents told Mereja.com on condition of anonymity.
The opposition came, however, after the UNHCR personnel confirmed to the zonal administration that they were to gather first hand information to repatriate Tigrayan residents, who left the area right after the beginning of the two-year conflict between the two sides back in November 2020.
The UNHCR personnel displayed a permission letter which they had been given from the Amhara Food Security Bureau to start the repatriation work though they were denied to do so by the zone administration and angry residents.
Information reaching Mereja.com revealed the TPLF set to send as many Tigrayans as possible to the disputed Wolkait, Telemet, Sitit Humera districts which it annexed from the people of Amhara right after it came to power in 1991.
TPLF is blamed to have registered hundreds of thousands of people who were not residents of the districts. TPLF had also been axccused of snaching lands from original Amhara settlers and giving them to Tigrayans in the districts.
TPLF aims at winning a planned referendum that the government is set to organize for the areas by sending as many people as possible to Wolkait, Telemt, Setitit Humera and other areas.
Original settlers of the areas strongly oppose the idea of solving the dispute through a referendum.
The districts are now being administered by the original settlers who claim to be ethnic Amhara.TPLF had been accused of making ethnic cleansing against the original settlers of Amhara people in the districts especially while it had been in control of the central power between 1991 to 2018.