Addis Abeba – The Amhara Regional State Peace and Security Bureau said its security forces intercepted multiple “illegal arms trafficking,” aimed at aimed at “destabilizing the region” and turning it to become “a center of chaos and violence.”
In a statement released last night, the Bureau said that there has been “organized work of smuggling of illegal weapons to the region to make it a center of chaos and violence” but fails short of mentioning names of the culprits.
However, the Bureau announced the seizure of a significant bulk of “illegal arms” being transported in “a truck, which originated from Mekelle under the guise of transporting cement,” and said that the weapons were “apprehended by the Filakit Geregera town police. The vehicle was found to be carrying an arsenal of firearms, including 10,385 Kalashnikov and Bren guns.”
The bureau has also said that another truck originating from “the Gayint district” in south Gonder Zone of the region, was intercepted upon arrival in Debre Tabor town. The truck was “found to be transporting seven Kalashnikov rifles and over 2,000 other firearms”. The suspect in custody is quoted to have said disclosed the existence of an additional cache of 15,000 bullets, which had not been discovered during the initial search.
In a separate event, the Bureau further said “a Sino truck carrying products from the Mesebo cement factory, traveling from Kobo to Debre Tabor”, was detained after authorities found it with a “concealed 8,143 rounds of ammunition.” Furthermore, the statement highlighted an incident involving another truck en route from Kobo to Gayint, which it said was seized while “illegally transporting sniper rifles among a shipment of sand.”
In light of these incidents, the Peace and Security Bureau has issued a call to action for the community to remain vigilant and to participate actively in safeguarding the region.
The region has been put under a state of emergency in August following escalation of militarized hostilities between the non-state Fano militia and government forces. Despite the government’s repeated claim of ascertaining control and to have peace and order restored in most parts of the region, the region continue to face significant security crisis. AS