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News: Amhara Prosperity Party hits back at internal disputes, threatens armed groups as ruling party wraps up executive meeting

The ruling Prosperity Party is led by PM Abiy Ahmed as president, Adem Farah, right, as vice president, and Demeke Mekonnen, left as second vice president. Photo: PP

Addis Abeba – The Amhara Prosperity Party (APP) has issued a stern warning today, pushing back at what it said was the threats on growing internal disputes within the party and the rise of armed groups within the Amhara region.

The party has warned to take decisive actions to maintain the peace, security, and economic stability of the region, where reports of militarized conflicts between armed groups and the federal and regional forces are taking place in the backdrop of credible information blackout.

After days of hard to verify information that was spreading about ongoing military engagements inside a local Monastery, DW Amhraic today cited local residents and medical professional as saying that several people were killed and many others were injured in a conflict that occurred inside the Melake Andnet Monastery located in the East Gojam Zone of Amhara Region, in Debre Elias Woreda. The report said that several worshipers who were in the premises of a Monastery were injured; more than 200 government security personnel were also reported to have been injured.

A commenter who spoke to the news portal said that more than 600 people lived in the monastery of whom “more than 95 percent were injured, killed or dispersed” in the last few days alone. A medical professional also said around 200 security forces were injured and arrived at the hospital over the court the last five days.

What prompted the statement from APP is not clear, but it came amidst the Prosperity Party’s ongoing executive committee regular session which was convened to “conduct in-depth discussions on wide ranges of national and party related issues and pass decisions,” according to the party.

At the conclusion of the regular session late this afternoon, the ruling party said that a decision was reached at the executive level to “uphold the rule of law, properly manage the use of freedom, to uphold the government’s monopoly over violence, to fight against those who try to enforce their individual group needs by force” among others. The party also vowed “to strengthen the work of building national unity through solid multi-nationalism, and to further develop the capacity of the justice and security institutions.”

It the statement it issued separately earlier today, APP has called for an immediate halt to any activity in the region that it said was destabilizing the region, and emphasized that peace is a fundamental value that should not be overridden.

Similarly, the party vowed to mitigate internal political disputes and conflicts within the region and warned those who promote strife and violence to refrain. It added that the party “unanimously condemn traitors” who are “deviating from among us and are an obstacle to our unity.”

“We need to show that we can solve our internal problems in a peaceful and productive manner,” APP said, and blamed “some people” who are looking for reasons, and are determined to create another massacre by saying that they will answer our questions through the barrel of guns” while the region is struggling to recover properly from recent the war.

While admitting unresolved issues within the region, APP further said that all matters should be tackled within the framework of the law and declared its commitment to quell any activities that could destabilize the region, seeing such actions as a “disregard for the fundamental value of peace.” The party expressed confidence in the region’s ability to address its internal issues in a peaceful and lawful manner. It emphasized that those shifting from peaceful advocacy to violent means are considered adversaries and will face necessary actions to preserve regional unity.

“There is nothing that can degrade or belittle the Amhara people,” it said and vowed to protecting all residents of the region from harm and uphold the “dignity of the Amhara people.”

APP has recently lost its office head, Girma Yeshitla, who was shot and killed on 27 April by what PM Abiy Ahmed said at the time was “violent extremists who believe that he [Girma] shouldn’t have a different idea from ours.”

Girma was at the center of the government’s controversial decision to abolish the regional special forces and “reorganize” them into national army, federal and regular police. While justifying the government’s move, Girma said that the mass protests seen in the Amhara region in opposition to the decision were the result of poor leadership on the part of the task force commissioned with reorganizing the special forces in the region. AS

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