Ethiopia: News - Benishangul Gumuz Region, Unnamed Armed Group Sign MOU to Share Leadership, Wealth & Solve Security Crisis Sustainably

Addis Abeba — Metekel Zone Communication Bureau said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Benishangul Gumuz regional state and an unnamed "armed group" which would see members of the later take up leadership positions in the region, acquire urban and rural land, as well as receive credit facilities including for women with a stated goal of solving the security crisis in the region sustainably.

According to the Bureau, the agreement was signed between the regional government and members of "the armed group" who are taking part in rehabilitation training.

Among the points included in the MoU are for members of the armed group, based on their education levels, to be assigned in place of leadership in regional, zonal and Wereda levels. Accordingly, two regional, three zonal and four Wereda level positions will be made available to the members of the unnamed armed group. In addition, urban plot for housing and rural land for farming will be made available to the members of the armed group; cooperative schemes which will include women as well as career opportunities based on prior experiences including job opportunities in the region's security sector and loan facilities will also be made available.

The MoU was signed by Ashadli Hassan, Benishangul Gumuz regional state president, Jegnamaw Mawang, a representative of the armed group. Speaking at the ceremony, Ashadli said that the regional state would implement of the MoU without delays. In order to facilitate the implementation, an interim office is established in Gilgel Beles city, the capital of Metekel zone in the region with three members of the armed group.

Ashaldi further said that the implementation of the MoU will be facilitated as much as the regional government rule of law allows it and that those members of the unnamed armed group who are taking rehabilitation training should serve as peace ambassadors in order to bring the remaining members of the armed group to the path of peace.

The MoU ceremony was attended by Brigadier General Alemayehu Weldie, Deputy Commander of the Western Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and Metekel Zone Command Post deputy chief as well as other senior members of the regional state and members of the armed group, the Bureau said.

On April 21, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said that armed men are in control of almost all parts of Sedal Wereda, in Kamashi zone of Benishangul Gumuz regional state, where around 25, 000 people are estimated to reside. AS

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