By Simon Marks, and Fasika Tadesse
(Bloomberg) — Ethiopian Airlines canceled flights between Addis Ababa, the nation’s capital, and the northern Amhara region amid reports of fighting between government forces and a rebel group.
Tensions between the Fano militia army — a group that recently allied with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in his two-year war against rebels from the Tigray region — have escalated since the government decided in April to integrate all regional special forces either into the national army or the police force. Fano refused to surrender its weapons, sparking clashes with federal troops.
No flights to Amhara have been available since Aug. 1. Gizachew Muluneh, a spokesman for the region, and an Ethiopian Airlines spokesperson didn’t respond to requests for comment.
“Due to the instability in the Amhara region, we recommend that Spanish citizens avoid traveling in the area,” the Spanish Embassy in Ethiopia said in a travel advisory on Wednesday. It advised Spanish nationals in the historic Amhara city of Lalibela not to leave their hotels or homes.
On Aug. 1, army spokesman Getnet Adane said the military would take action against Fano for disturbing the peace, and on Wednesday the state-owned Ethiopian Broadcast Corp. cited Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen as saying the security problems in Amhara region are of increasing concern.
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