News: Armed group ‘Agew Shengo’ rejects peace efforts by Amhara regional gov’t, demands formal political negotiation

Baye Bare, Agew Democratic Movement, foreign relations head (Picture: VOA)

Addis Abeba – Armed group operating in the Waghemra Zone of the Amhara Region, Agew Democratic Movement (ADM) commonly referred to as ‘Agew Shengo’ has rejected the regional government’s efforts to resolve ongoing hostilities through peaceful means.

The group said the problems that led its members to pick up arms can only be resolved by serious political negotiation, not informal mediation efforts by elders and religious leaders.

On 03 April, Desaleng Tasew, head of the Amhara region peace and security bureau told VOA that the regional gov’t has made attempts by sending elders and senior leaders to resolve hostilities with the group in a peaceful manner.

Baye Bare, foreign relations head of the group told Addis Standard that leaders of the group had “met with gov’t security forces, regional and zonal leaders but their interest seems mediation by local elders not negotiation, and we need to negotiate”.

“It is crucial for us and our people to have formal political negotiation that ends with documents and signatures, which will bring lasting peace that  helps  us achieve our goals,” he added.

Alamirew Yerdaw, president of opposition party Agew National Council, also noted that the call by the Amhara regional government to resolve hostilities with Agew armed group doesn’t seem to be genuine attempt to bring peace.

He said the regional gov’t made similar calls for another armed group operating in the region Kemant Democratic Party (KDP) and the Kemant Committee, and later arrested over one thousand members of the movements, adding that the regional gov’t must come up with a reliable approach for formal political negotiation.

On 16 March the UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that despite peace talks that were held between the Amhara regional government and the ‘Agew Shengo‘ militant group, parts of Waghemra zone have remained outside government control and as a result, the zone has remained one of the most inaccessible areas for humanitarian access. AS

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