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Mesfin Tasew, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines (EAL)

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Ethiopian Airlines suspended domestic flight to the tourist destination, Lalibela Town, amidst a fighting held between the government security forces and Fano in North Wollo Zone of Amhara Region, employees of Lalibela Airport told Addis Maleda.

In a similar development, Addis Maleda has confirmed that there would be no flights to Gondar Town today as there has been a  fight between the government security forces and Fano militants since yesterday. It was also confirmed that there was an exchange of fire today near Gondar AirPort.

Workers at Lalibela Airport said that the first of the two daily flights to Lalibela was made on the morning of Tuesday, 01 July 2023. The Fano militants who heard the rumour about the arrival of more forces of the federal army at the Airport, moved to the area and exchanged fire with members of the Federal Police who were on guard in the area.

Following this, the second flight, which was supposed to touch down at Lalibela Airport at 12:50 a.m., flew back without landing due to security concerns, according to sources of Addis Maleda.

The airport employees also said that in view of the security threat hovering in the area, the airport has moved various facilities to safer places.

The attempt made by Addis Maleda to get further pieces of information on the issue from the Ethiopian Airlines was not successful as the call made to the communications section of the company was not answered.

Head of Cultural and Tourism Office of Lalibela Town administration, Mandefro Tadesse said that the flight to Lalibela has been suspended. Although the tourism activity was improving after the recent bloody war in the north and the corona-19 epidemic, it has now gone out of service due to the war that erupted between government security forces and “Fano” militants, Mandefro told Addis Makeda.

The official said that it would take a long time to restore the tourism movement. “The current security problem has created a difficult situation for the people who have long been leading life on income generated from the tourism sector,” he said.

The fighting being undertaken between government security forces and Fano militants in different areas of the region has consumed people’s lives from the two rival sides including the innocent ones, Addis Maleda said.

The Defence Force announced in a statement it made on Tuesday 01 August 2023 that  the action being taken against the anti-peace elements operating under the name of Fano in the Amhara Region would continue.

Chief Administrator of Amhara Region, Yilikal Kefale (PhD), also said in a statement he made yesterday that, “everybody with different views should put aside guns and return to peaceful dialogue through discussions in a civilised manner, with religious fathers, public representatives, youths and other section of the community at every level to solve the problem”.


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