November 30, 2022

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Amhara Fano Unity organization

Amhara Fano Unity (AFU) founded

Amhara Fano Unity (AFU) organization has been founded in Gondar city of the Amhara region. According to a statement issued today by the newly founded AFU, the new organization consists of Fano factions from all zones of the Amhara region.

Amhara Fano, based in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, is an armed militia consisting of separate factions without a central body. Fano has been fighting to protect the interests of Amhara people for years. Since the start of armed conflict in Northern Ethiopia in November 2020, Fano factions from Gojjam, Gondar, Wollo and Shewa have been fighting alongside Ethiopian federal and regional forces. Tigray authorities have been accusing Fano fighters of human rights violations.

Temesgen Tiruneh, Ethiopian Intelligence Agency Chief

Earlier this year after Ethiopian federal government announced humanitarian ceasefire in northern Ethiopia, it launched an operation to disarm and dismantle Fano factions. Temesgen Tiruneh, Ethiopian intelligence agency chief, was heard saying that armed informal groups were a threat to national security. Since April this year, thousands of Fano fighters in Gondar, Gojjam, Wollo and Shewa have been put it prisons. Read more..

In the statement today, Amhara Fano Unity announced that it was central, representative body of all factions operating in the Amhara region. The organization has issued a 10-point statement.

One of the main points mentioned in the statement is Fano’s strong position about Raya and Wolkait that the two zones are part of the Amhara region. Any attempt to change their status will be resisted, said AFU. The two zones are disputed between the Amhara and Tigray regions. Amhara forces and Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) are in control of the two zones.

The organization backed a four member committee of Amhara notables including Desalegn Chane, MP from Gojjam Amhara, Brigadier General Tefera Mamu, former chief of Amhara Special Forces, Tewodros Tirfe and Wondesen Assefa. The committee was formed around a month ago by some Amhara diaspora and local groups to represent Amhara people in Ethiopia-TPLF peace talks held in South Africa earlier this month. But the committee was not included in the talks held in Pretoria and Kenya recently.

AFU called for the release of Zemene Kassie, Fano commander from Gojjam, who was arrested by security forces around two months ago.

It seems that Fano factions are trying to organize themselves under a central body in the Amhara region. The future of the newly formed organization is uncertain as Fano factions, not aligned with federal and regional forces, are not being allowed to operate freely.