Colonel Getnet Adane, Director of ENDF Public Relations Directorate. Photo: ENDF
Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) issued warning this afternoon to take “actions” against forces that it said were “disturbing the country’s peace in the name of Fano”, the non-state armed group currently engaged in militarized conflict with the army and regional forces in the Amhara regional state.
Colonel Getnet Adane, Director of ENDF Public Relations Directorate, who issued the statement to state media this afternoon, also admitted recent reports that senior members of the army were ambushed in the West Denbiya Woreda in Central Gonder Zone of the Amhara regional state. Without mentions causality figures and the specif location, the local council reported the confrontations on 26 July between the army and local armed group during a trip of senior members of the North West Command of the ENDF who were on their way to Gorgora project, one of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s resorts that is being constructed under his signature “Dine for Generation” (Gebeta LeTewuld) project.
In his statement today, Colonel Getnet mentioned that the ambush took place around two km from a local place called Chuhit where an attack was “opened on the army.” Another ambush was also staged in Koladiba local area on the members of the army who “were returning.”
He further said today’s statement was meant to counter “various entities” that are spreading “unfounded allegations” against the army. He insisted that the army has maintained discipline despite attempts over the years to “tarnish its reputation.” He added that that the army has maintained discipline despite attempts over the years to “tarnish its reputation,” and today’s statement was needed to “free the public from unnecessary confusion and to provide clear information.”
The army has “refrained from commenting until now” on such information “because the activities of our army are self-explanatory and because there are guardians of the truth who will challenge the defamation campaign by supporting the good work of the people’s army on social media.”
Several local media reports indicate a widespread ongoing military engagement between the army and the different sections of the non-state local armed group “Fano” in the Amhara region.
The immediate causes of the current instability in the regional state followed mass protests in several major cities against the federal government’s decision to reorganize regional special forces into regular police and the national army have quickly led to widespread instability and the subsequent assassination on 27 April of the Head of the ruling Prosperity Party in the region, Girma Yeshitila.
On 28 April, the Ethiopian Joint Security and Intelligence Task Force announced that it 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.”
But Colonel Getnet said today that the army was taking actions against the armed groups operating both in the Amhara and Oromia regions; he added that the works of “eradicating Shene [term the government uses to refer to the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA)] in the Oromia region has been intensified.”
Col. Getnet further said that the public should be “reassured” that the national defense force is now “stronger than it has been in the past years”, and emphasized its “commitment to maintaining peace”. He referenced on a “constructive dialogue held with local communities, youths, and elders,” following the 26 July ambushes, which he said “concluded with a unanimous agreement to seek peace.” AS