Amhara Regional StateEthiopiaLaw & JusticeNews Alert

News Alert: Motta City in Amhara state issues two days ultimatum of surrender, revises earlier curfew

Photo: Alemnew Mekonnen/ DW Amharic

Addis Abeba – The Motta City Administration of Peace and Security Command Post has revised its earlier statement to include strict measures including a two day ultimatum for “suspects to surrender,” changed curfew hours and renewed its ban on group mobility by “any part of the community,” in the city.

The Command post issued the first curfew on Saturday 21 May, imposing a curfew and restricting movements between 6:00 PM and 6:30 AM local time, among others. The curfew has now been revised between 7:30 PM and 6:30 AM local time. “Security forces will be forced to take action,” unless the curfew is not observed, the Command Post said.

The Command Post said the security were working to ensure peace in the area, where earlier clashes between federal and regional security forces on the one hand and armed members of the Fano, a group of non-state armed militia in Amhara state, resulted in the death of civilians. Hailu Ayele, a resident of Motta town, told Addis Standard this week that “the conflict began when government security forces attempted to arrest a Fano member [and} the residents came out to the streets in protest. The security forces then started shooting against the crowd.” He added, “a lot of people were taken to the hospital. There were people who were killed too.”

The new statement from the Command post warns individuals who are wanted by law enforcement to surrender at the local police station and said that the security “will not assume any responsibility for any action” to be taken against those who fail to respond to the call as of today. Furthermore, the Command Post warned that any activity or social media campaign that may interfere with the law enforcement operation will be held to account and has renewed ban against carrying weapons and said it’s “strictly forbidden to carry a weapon” unless it is issued by security forces.

The Command Post also warned that those who knowingly provide hiding places for suspected perpetrators will be held accountable and called on “religious leaders and elders to advise those who are working to aggravate the problem and call on the youth of our city to stand by the security structure,” the statement said.

In March this year, clashes left unknown numbers of people dead and injured after an attempt by government security forces to arrest the leader of the local Fano. Back then, Motta City Administration released a statement saying four security forces were killed by “unidentified armed forces.” It also alleged that the armed groups were operating in the guise of Fano and mobilized from other woredas to launch the attacks on the town. AS

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