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Carrying fire arms banned in parts of Gondar, Western Ethiopia

Restrictions on carrying fire arms in Gonder region is expected to stay in effect at least for weeks

Fire arms _ AMMA _ Ethiopia
Photo credit : AMMA

February 17,2019

As Ethiopian government deployed 33rd division of the defense force to central Gondar region following security crisis that displaced over 46,000 people, Amhara regional police commission and 33rd defense force division introduced new regulation that restricts people from carrying fire arms.

As per the new regulation, it is not allowed to carry fire arm, individually or in group, within 5 kilometers radius of the road between Gondar city and Metema, a border town along the Ethio-Sudanese boarder, reported the regional state media – AMMA.

The same regulation will also be applied along the Humera border, which is adjacent to Ethio-Eritrean border in the North West direction from the Ethiopian side and South Western on the Eritrean side.

In Gonder town, a popular tourist destination in the region, no individual is allowed to carry arm in the name of maintaining security except authorized security personnel.

The regulation is intended to ease tension in the region following a skirmish that left many two entire kebeles (local administrative units) destroyed, among other things, and restore security for citizen’s lives have been endangered since the conflict, according to authorities of the regional state.

Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige, Amhara Regional State Peace Building and Security Affairs Head, told DW Amharic service that the regulation that is announced on Sunday could stay in effect for weeks or even a month, and if the security situation is not improving the regional state leadership could pass a decision on it – possibly extending it.

The regulation was announced in joint press statement of Amhara region police commissioner, Zelalem Lijalem, and Commander of the 33rd division of the defense force, Brigadier General Alemnew Ayene, in Gonder town. The statement called up on political parties in the region, activists and Gondar youth to work with security forces to restore peace in the region.

Brigadier General Alemnew Ayene’s force was deployed to the region following a request by Amhara Regional State, according to a report by AMMA, as the task of providing security to people in the region become beyond the capacity of the regional government.

On February 14, authorities disclosed 138 people were arrested over alleged crimes of homicide, theft and looting property following security problem in central Gondar region. As well, it was disclosed that weapons meant to be used during conventional warfare were seized during search operations residences of individuals in the area where there has been a security problem.

Peace and Security head of the regional government, Brigadier General Asamenew Tsige, said recently that forces destabilizing the region in the name of Qimant committee are armed and financed by TPLF forces, and they are known to be counter-reform forces – according to many politicians both in the government and the opposition.

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