News: Amhara region pledges to press on with ongoing “law enforcement operation”, soothe relations with neighboring states

Addis Abeba – The president of Amhara regional state, Yilekal Kefale (PhD) said efforts to restore relations with neighboring states which were severed as a result of the two years war in Northern Ethiopia will be further strengthened on the basis of common interests. To that end, he noted that initiatives to foster relations between the leadership of regional governments would continue.

He made the remarks while presenting his government’s performance report for the 2015 Ethiopian fiscal year to the regional council where he emphasized on development and security issues. He said significant activities have been carried out during the reporting period both in areas of security and development, and commended the people of the region on their resolve to stand with the government and the security forces to maintain peace and security in the region.

The president said following the peace agreement that ended the war in the north, the regional government has fully shifted its focus to poverty reduction, while also dealing with security situations that have transpired in the region. “Despite being in difficult [security] situations, we have achieved better development and economic growth,” he said.

He added that the regional government has achieved collecting 35.7 billion birr in revenue notwithstanding the hurdles that the region is facing. The collected amount exceeds last year’s performance by 40 percent even though it falls short of the planned 42 billion birr.

Meanwhile, Fantu Tesfaye, speaker of the regional council said, the government will press on with the ongoing “law enforcement operation” in the region to meet the people’s primary demands which according to her are “development and rule of law”. She however, admitted that the ongoing operation “is not sufficient and did not resolve the problem”. As a result she called on the members of the council to support the operation adding that, doing so “is not just a matter of will, but an obligation of citizenship”.

Four months have passed since the Ethiopian Joint Security and Intelligence Task Force said it has started “taking decisive measures” against “extremist forces” that it accused of “trying to take control of regional state power by destroying the constitutional order in the Amhara regional state”. Sporadic military engagements between armed groups and government forces as well as popular protests have plagued  the Amhara region since then, resulting in the killing of civilians and most notably government officials and police officers. AS

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