As universities in the Amhara region receive government instructions to summon students back to their respective campuses for class resumption, Fano forces have issued a stern advisory, citing the precarious security situation in the region.
Engineer Manchilot, described as the Commander of Fano Forces in the Bahir Dar area by Anchor Media, alleges that the government’s call is a political maneuver to portray Fano forces as an impediment, intending to exploit it for propaganda purposes. He deems the directive for students to return to universities as “very irresponsible.”
Fano is also appealing to parents, urging them to assess the security situation and not to send their children back to school.
In an interview with Anchor Media, Engineer Manchilot – Bahir Dar area Fano Commander – points out that elementary and secondary schools, particularly in the Gojjam areas, remain closed due to the ongoing conflict between Fano and Ethiopian government forces. This insinuates that universities in the region may face a similar security predicament. Fano said the government and students who do not comply with the advisory will be responsible for anything that will happen.
Debre Markos University and Bahir Dar University have reportedly announced that Students are supposed to report to the university as part of the preparation to resume class.
No Peace in the Region
Continued hostilities persist in various parts of the region. On Wednesday, heavy fighting was reported in the Mersa area(North Wollo), with local sources indicating that Fano forces gained control over parts of the town. Within a week, Fano forces penetrated major towns such as Debre Berhan (only 120 kilometers north of the capital Addis Ababa) and Gondar. These developments came after weeks of government claims that peace had been restored in the region.
The ongoing challenges in the Amhara region suggest that the regional state struggles to independently maintain peace and security, relying on the Defense Force for “law and order.” Even with the Defense Force deployed across the region, senior government officials continue to face ambushes by Fano Forces. In August 2023, Abiy Ahmed’s government declared a state of emergency in the Amhara region, citing an invitation from the regional government to restore “law and order” amid a deteriorating security situation. This state of emergency remains in effect. Human Rights Organizations confirm extensive human rights abuses in the region, including rape and extrajudicial executions committed by Ethiopian government forces.
Fano forces assert that they are making military preparations to extend the conflict beyond the Amhara region of Ethiopia.
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