Interview with Mr Andargachew about woldia
“At least five people were kiled” yesterday and several others wounded when security forces opened fire at festival goers in Weldiya, some 510 km north of the capital Addis Ababa, in Amhara regional state, according to Alemayehu Yemiru, a resident of the town; but Alemayehu said he believes the number of causalities could be “much higher.” “It is hard to know the exact figure at this point before this chaos has subsided.” And according to a nurse in Weldia General Hospital, at least 18 people were also admitted to the hospital after sustaining “wounds from gun shots”; seven of them have sustained “serious injuries.”
The kiling occurred in the second day of the annual celebrations of Timket, (Epiphany), an outdoor festival involving several activities by followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Twahido church throughout the country. “After sending off the St. Michael Tabot (The replica of Tablet of the Law) to its Church in early afternoon, the youth have continued singing and dancing while marching through the town; at some point the songs have changed into anti-government protest songs,” said Alemayehu in a phone interview with Addis Standard.
According to another source who wants to remain anonymous, there were “heavy security presence, including members of the federal army and the region’s police forces” throughout the festival since last Friday. “The only ones that were not armed were the city police forces,” said our interviewee, adding “I don’t understand why the security forces needed to open fire at the young people who were doing nothing but singing protest songs and marching through the city.”
Nigussu Tilahun, head of the communication bureau of the Amhara regional state, confirmed the news on his Facebook post written in Amharic. He said that “people’s lives were lost” in a “conflict” between security forces and the youth in Weldiya town. He didn’t mention the number causalities but he said that after thorough investigations, the government would bring those responsible for “instigating the violence” and causing the death of “innocent civilians.”