Crackdown on Amhara Fano militia is meeting with protests, clashes and roadblocks in the Amhara region.
Amhara Fano is an armed militia which is operating across the Amhara region. The militia came under the spotlight after Tigray forces launched military offensive on the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions last year. Tigray Defence Force retreated from the Amhara region late last year. But Amhara Fano militia has been continuing its training and recruitment saying that Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was making preparations for another war.
Amhara regional government never officially announced a crackdown on the Fano militia. Yesterday in a statement, the regional government said that the operation was against those groups which were working in the name of Fano. It added that Fano will not be disarmed.
Despite government’s assurance, regional and federal security forces have started a crackdown on main Fano commanders. Their houses are being raided and they are being detained.
But all is not going well as Fano and locals are not only resisting but in some cases exchange of gunfire between security forces and pro-Fano elements is being reported. This week several Fano members were arrested.
In East Gojam Zone Amanuel city, the coordinator of Amhara people’s force (Fano) Asmamaw was arrested.
In Awi zone Dangla city 11 youth, accused of being from Zemene Kassie’s Fano, were arrested by government security forces.
In South Wollo, Fano member Amare Worke, the finance manager of local Fano was arrested in Dessie city. Amare Worke is a teacher at Wollo University. Another Fano fighter Zelalem Chane and 3 other members were also arrested.
In Woldia, people resisted an attempt by Amhara Special Force to arrest former deputy head of Amhara Special Force Biset Getahun. Biset Getahun was removed from Amhara Special Force in February this year.
In central Gondar, Alefa Taqusa Delgi city, there was exchange of gunfire between security forces and Fano members. Two person were shot and one was injured in the shooting.
In Motta town of Gojjam, today people took to the streets against an attempt by the government forces to detain some Fano members. Main road in the town is still blocked. There was exchange of gunfire between Fano and security forces. At least 1 security official was injured. In March this year, Mezgebu, a local Fano coordinator, and several officials of Amhara security forces were injured in the shootout in Motta town. Mezgebu was shifted to a hospital in Bahirdar where he succumbed to injuries. Read more..
In Mekane Selam three days ago, people protested after government forces arrested several Fano fighters and trainers. The arrested persons were released after the protest.
Regional and Federal Forces are arresting those influential ethnic Amhara persons who are pro-Fano and anti government. Brigadier General Tefera Mamo, former head of Amahra Special Force, remained missing for two days. After public outcry, he was shown last night detained at a police station in Bahir Dar Amhara region.
A prominent Amhara historian, Tadeos Tanto went missing a few hours ago. He is known for having strong views against neighbouring Oromia region based groups. He remained in prison for a month last year too.
It seems Amahra regional government and Ethiopian federal government have launched a coordinated operation against Fano militia commanders and supporters.