Ethiopia's Amhara Region Sees Renewed Fighting Between Government Forces, Fano

(file photo).

Addis Abeba — In recent days, heavy fighting has resumed between government security forces and the non-state militia, Fano, across multiple urban locales within Ethiopia's Amhara region.

According to residents who spoke with the BBC, clashes have been reported in West and North Gojjam, North Shewa, and North Wollo zones, with roads being blocked off. Intense battles have also occurred around areas such as Gondar, Merawi, Dega Damot, Shewa Robit, Antsokiyana Gemza, and Lalibela since late last week, residents said.

In Merawi town, Saturday saw hours of heavy gunfire exchanges near government offices between security personnel and Fano militants. After the militants gained brief control of the town on Saturday evening, skirmishes continued for several days, leaving some civilians dead and the main roads closed.

Merawi town witnessed one of the most severe atrocities recently, with reports indicating that at least 50 individuals were purportedly killed by government forces in what residents have described as acts of "execution."

Reports indicate that a parallel intense conflict resulted in the incineration of residences and agricultural fields in the Mehal Genet locality of the South Mecha district within the West Gojjam Zone, commencing early on Saturday morning.

The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) stated on its social media page, "The army quickly reached the houses where the extremists started burning, put out the fire, and saved people and property."

Today, the defense force additionally announced that the division operating under the Gojam command post "killed 47 extremists" during its recent campaign. As per the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), "in the conflict that transpired within the Agut kebele of the Sekela district in the western Gojjam zone, a total of 47 individuals, comprising eight extremist leaders, were eliminated."

Parts of North Shewa and the area surrounding the historic town of Lalibela also experienced clashes over the weekend, with gunshots and other violent activity leading to restricted mobility for locals.

On Friday, the command post overseeing the state of emergency in the Amhara region imposed an indefinite ban on all kinds of movement on the main asphalt between Debre Berhan and Dessie cities after militiamen brutally killed eight civilians in Shewa Robit.

Contrary to these reports, the Amhara regional government's communication bureau issued a statement today asserting that "relative peace has prevailed in most areas of our region" due to strengthened community support for security efforts.

The communication bureau further stated that "the law enforcement work started in the region aims at long-term peace and security, so it will be strengthened moving forward."

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