Massive crackdown underway on opposition stronghold of South Wollo, Ethiopia
It was a pre-dawn assault by hundreds of heavily armed federal police members backed by pro-TPLF local militia on the opposition UDJP strong hold of South Wollo province.Massive crackdown underway on opposition in Ethiopia.
According to Finotenetsanet newspaper reporters, yesterday’s dawn- to- dusk raid targeted the twin towns of Haiq and Worebabu; and more heavy handed attacks are set to continue in other nearby towns and villages of the historic province.
Worebabu area UDJP leader Ato Edris Saed told Finotenetsanet that the police tried to disguise their act by telling people that they are looking for weapons.
Arage Hussein, UDJP’s financial officer in the town of Haiq said the police and the feared local militia searched the homes of all 16 members of UDJP leadership, each search lasting for up to two hours and more.
“I pleaded with the five police men and the militias who came to my home at dawn that I am a man of peace and never owned a firearm but they proceeded with the search and left empty-handed.” Ato Arage Added.
Moreover, according to South Wollo zone UDJP chairman Ato Bisrat Abi, the ruling party is on a campaign trail in the area, on a burgeoning run to discredit the UDJP leadership and its members. TPLF cadres have already organized anti UDJP meetings and demonstrations as part of the well planned crack down on dissenting voices in the region.
“Since the recent mass anti TPLF rallies organized in Dessie and Gonder cities, UDJP has been on the rise. The ruling junta’s cadres now have an implacable enemy right under their noses with the potential of bringing down the conjugal dictatorship. Therefore, I see it as normal for the authoritarian and corruption-ridden regime to wage an all-out war on the UDJP.” A respected political analyst who requested anonymity told the Horn Times from Addis Ababa.
Asked if UDJP has any chance of surviving the onslaught with no international support, with western powers still generously endowing the ruling minority junta; turning a blind eye on its undemocratic practices, the elderly analyst said it is up to the people of Ethiopia to rally around the party and its young and energetic leadership.
“Look, we all thought UDJP was hanging on life support system after the loss of its patriotic leaders in Andualem Arage and Natinael Mekonnen. Am astonished by how the current young leaders filled the leadership vacuum and make the party grow from strength to strength. I hope they will keep the momentum, keep the pressure on the junta and get serious violations and abuses such as this one in south Wollo quickly to the media. We are in better times today than yesterday.”