Ethiopia declares 'state of emergency' over Amhara violence

Ethiopia declares ‘state of emergency’ over Amhara violence

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Amhara’s regional armies and local militia supported the national army in a two-year war against rebels from the neighboring region of Tigray.

That conflict was resolved with a peace deal in November 2022, but Amhara “special forces” and fighters from the Fano militia group continue to control western Tigray, a fiefdom claimed by both Tigray and Amhara. Fertile expansion.

The peace deal angered nationalist elements in Amhara and tensions escalated in April when Abiy announced the disbandment of the regional forces.

The prime minister said that integrating these fighters into the national army or regional police would promote “unity” in multi-ethnic Ethiopia, but the move triggered protests in Amhara.

Ethiopian army spokesman Getnet Adane told a news conference this week that fighters claiming to be related to Fano were responsible for the violence.

The UK Foreign Office has warned its citizens against traveling to parts of Amhara, citing “an increase in violence in these areas due to Fano taking control of these areas”.

“Lalibela airport has recently been taken over by Fano militia,” it said, referring to the tourist town famous for its UNESCO-listed 12th- and 13th-century rock-cut churches.

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