Addis Abeba – The Command Post established to oversee the six-months state of emergency in Amhara region said “innocent lives” have been lost, properties destroyed and looted in the ongoing conflict in the region, adding that the damage will be investigated and made public.
The Command Post said in a statement on Friday that it has successfully finalized the first phase of its operation which was “to liberate” the cities and towns that were held by the Fano armed group and restore peace and order in the region. “The bandits have now fled the cities to fortify heritage sites and religious institutions to cause damage to these places,” the statement added.
Furthermore, the statement conveyed that 23 individuals, including MP Christian Tadele and journalist Bekalu Alamirew were arrested, suspected of “carrying out various illegal activities” in cities and “providing logistical and financial support by taking a duty from the armed group”. The suspects will be brought to justice after the necessary evidence is collected, it stated, adding that no other suspect has been arrested apart from these individuals.
The statement reiterated that the demands of the Amhara people will be answered in a legal and peaceful way through the National Dialogue Commission and following the constitutional system, not by force through illegal means.
A relative calm has returned to several cities and towns in the Amhara region after days of intense fighting between the non-state local armed group Fano and government forces that has led to the imposition of curfews in major cities and towns. However, reports show that there are significant civilian casualties especially in the two major cities Bahir Dar and Gonder.
On Friday, the governments of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, as well as EU’s mission to Ethiopia and embassies of 19 EU member states in the country expressed concerns about the violence in the Amhara region, and called for peaceful resolution of the problem. AS