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News: Towns in West Gojjam zone, Amhara region return to normalcy after deadly civil unrest

Transport and business activities resumed in Finote Selam and Dembecha towns (Pictures: Finote Selam and Dembecha communication offices/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – Three fatalities and multiple injuries have been reported in the West Gojjam Zone, following civil unrest since Sunday in the towns of Denbecha, Jiga and Finote Selam,  Zemenu Tadele, the Head of the Zone’s Communication Office, confirmed to Addis Standard.

According to Zemenu, the unrest instigated conflicts between unidentified armed groups and government security forces, leading to the regrettable loss of three lives and injuries to over 20 individuals, while the escalated tension also precipitated a temporary closure of the crucial arterial road connecting Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar. 

Hospital administrators from Denbecha and Fenote Selam corroborated these reports, as they confirmed to Voice of America (VoA) the admission and treatment of patients suffering from injuries related to these confrontations.

A local resident in Finote Selam, wishing to remain anonymous for security reasons, told Addis Standard that the unrest began on Sunday when protests demanding governmental action against alleged attacks on religious institutions escalated after an incident involving a police officer allegedly assaulting a protestor. 

This escalation resulted in substantial property damage, including the destruction of a hotel thought to be sheltering a police officer, according to the resident. Addis standard couldn’t corroborate the information independently. 

As of Tuesday, the Department of Government Communication Affairs of the West Gojjam Zone has announced that calm has been restored in Denbecha,  Jiga and Fenote Selam. Communications offices of Finote Selam and Dembecha have also shared pictures on Facebook on claiming that the towns have returned to normal operations.

The protests happened amidst calls most notably from members of the National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) of deployment of the national defense forces out of the Amhara region.

Earlier this month, the federal government’s intelligence and security joint task force announced a significant blow to a new armed insurgency in the region, following a decisive military operation in the Debre Elias district of East Gojjam zone. 

The taskforce said in a statement that the operation resulted in the death of approximately 200 militants of the insurgent group led by Eskindir Nega and the dislodging of a stronghold protected by the group around a local monastery. AS

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