Arega Kebede, the new president of the Amhara region, on Thursday addressed political and security officials in the region.
He said that the security challenges that the region experienced over the past three weeks caused human and material losses – especially in East and West Gojjam.
Describing Fano combatants – who are enjoying a popular support in Amhara region and beyond – as “radical forces”, the way Abiy Ahmed’s administration describes it, Arega claimed that it is no longer in a position to pose danger to “the security of the region.”
Furthermore, he said that many of the towns and cities are now free from the “radical forces” and that work is underway to ensure reliable peace in all parts of the Amhara region.
However, he also said something that indicates that Fano is not entirely contained. “The radical forces are now operating as a guerrilla in some pocket areas,” and that the Defense force is coordinating with “our people” to restore peace in those areas. He did not specify the “pocket areas.”
“We predict that peace will be restored in all parts of our region.”
While reports from local sources seem to confirm that Fano Forces have withdrawn from many major cities in the region, it is clear that there are still fighting in many areas in Shoa, Wollo, Gojjam and parts of Gondar.
Video circulating on social networks purportedly shows captured soldiers in many parts of the Amhara region.
Fano military operations seem to be mostly taking a guerrilla form but it is prevalent in the region which means that region could likely be ungovernable to the ruling Prosperity Party.
Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Defense Force is accused of widespread and horrifying human rights abuse in the Amhara region. It has reportedly committed house to house and street executions of civilians whom it suspects of supporting Fano combatants. There is speculation that the massacre that the Ethiopian Defense Force committed in the rural areas could be much higher. The Internet is shut in the region and it is still under a state of emergency.
Human rights organizations in the country have not yet released a detailed report about the situation. In late August, the UN Human rights body said at least 183 people had been killed in the Amhara region since July of this year.
Video : embedded from ABC youtube channel
Cover photo : screenshot from the video
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