Soon after the Mengistu Hailemariam’s administration had over in Ethiopia, Tepy, the small town stayed stateless for a while with full of some war-returned Mengistu H.Mariam’s Soldiers, who still had weapons in their hands.
Soon after the expelled of the the EWP members, some group of Islamic militants controlled The Ethiopian Workers Party office and changed Ethiopian flag into unknown flag. However the Tepi town residents didn’t welcome them as there was a rumor, they militants were soldiers from Libya.
Hence, the residents made a big demonstration and went to the EWP where the militants controlled and camped. This time, the militants tried to explain who really they were. They said, “We are not Libyan solders, we are Ethiopians”. Then, the residents asked, “If you are Ethiopians, why you need to change the real Ethiopians flag with the one we have never seen before?”
A big disagreement had occurred and gradually everybody, including the demonstrators went to war. I remember many people died from both sides. The returned Mengistu’s solders were the main actors who played well in the conflict. They killed a lot of militants with big knife and Kalashnikov.
I remember that day, I and my elder brother were coming from the nearby market buying some fruits. As many people were marching to the place where the fight had taken, we also run to see what was going on there. I was only 11, and 13 my brother. The EPRDF solders, who rebelled and expelled the Mengistu’s administration for once and last were not yet to control the town.
As soon as we reached, everything we saw was so horror and difficult to explain. Many dead bodies, especially from the militants side were laid here and there. I remember A huge militant was laying on the ground groaning; his face was covered with blood.
Then, one of the demonstrators and a returned dergue soldier holding a huge stone, came to the groaning militant and he released the stone on the militant face; this time, the militant , no more groaned. He breathed his last and died. Everybody was killing each other with stones, big knifes, spears, and Kalashnikovs. However, nobody could dare to harm us as we were just innocent kids.
I wasn’t terrible by the incidents as it was not my first time. It was usual to see in that rural-liked town every Saturday. Some drunken ethnic groups used to killing each other by their spears when they come back from market. A place called Kes sefer was a village, next to the camp we lived, and the ethnic groups used to pass through kes sefer to their village. So, we could hear their shout when they stab each other by their knife and spears. I saw many times stabbed Peoples and their intestine out of their body.