Ethiopia’s Amhara protests disbanding regional force with gunfire.


Residents in at least two towns in Ethiopia’s Amhara region reported hearing gunshots from hundreds of protestors. They are protesting against the dissolution of regional special forces and their integration into the police or national army.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a statement that the plan was “in the interest of Ethiopia’s national unity,” but members of Amhara’s special forces and affiliated militias vowed to defy the order on Thursday, setting up a clash.

The edict applies to all eleven regions of Ethiopia, each of which has its own regional army. They also have the right to speak their own language. Nonetheless, it has been received with special animosity in Amhara, the country’s second-biggest region and the one that has recently fallen out with Abiy.

According to a resident in Gondar, where the protest was the strongest. Amhara special forces personnel disregarded the order by firing their guns into the sky all night.

Two Kobo residents said they heard artillery fire in the vicinity. It wasn’t evident at first who had done it. Locals stated that at least six additional cities had protested, but many spoke anonymously for fear of punishment.

According to a locally controlled media outlet, Amhara President Yilkal Kefale said that the federal government’s directive was misinterpreted as requiring the disarmament of special forces. He was quoted as saying that they were just coordinating separate regional units under the supervision of federal security agencies.

During the federal army’s two-year struggle in neighboring Tigray. Amhara special forces and militias fighting in its support. Thousands of people were killed during the war, but a truce was proclaimed in November of last year.

Amhara politicians and activists have accused Abiy’s government of attempting to reclaim property taken from the Tigray military during the war and of turning a blind eye to atrocities committed against ethnic Amharas in the adjoining Oromiya region.

They are concerned that if their region’s special forces are abolished, the Tigray and Oromiya would attack.

The government spokesperson did not respond promptly to a request for comment on these accusations.


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