Monday, April 15, 2024
HomeNewsEthiopia's security crisis shifting to north central parts of the country

Ethiopia’s security crisis shifting to north central parts of the country

Militant wing of the radical Oromo ethno-nationalists are taking their wars to northern Ethiopia now. Several towns along the Addis Ababa- Dessie road are now experiencing security crisis

Ethiopia _ Ataye _ Security
Google Satellite Map of the region

April 8,2019

Ethiopia’s north central part along the Addis Ababa-Dessie road is reduced to a conflict zone after a group of armed groups opened war on residents in several towns.

The conflict has caused road closure to and from Dessie, Kombolcha, Debresina and Debre Berhane towns, among others, according to an army officer in the office of Deputy Chief of Staff, as reported by Fana Broadcasting Corporate.

The officer, he is identified as Colonel Tesfaye Ayalew, told the news sources that the defense force is now working on opening the road closures and restoring calm to the towns affected by the armed groups whose political identity is not disclosed by the Federal or regional government.

Sources in social media with links to the region affected by the security crisis claim that the armed groups are militant wings of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) who claimed to have separated from the political leadership of the radical Oromo ethno-nationalist group.

Ibsa Dawud led Oromo Liberation Fron (OLF) has issued a statement distancing itself from involvement in the security crisis while the armed group that launched the attacks, including in a church, has also stated that it will no longer accept order for the political leaders of the organization.

Deputy Head of Amhara Region Communications Affairs, Melaku Alamerew, who spoke to Amhara Mass Media Agency on Sunday, said that the cause of the conflict has a lot to do with groups who are working on old agenda and the objective is to broaden difference between ethnic Amhara and other communities in the region.

According to Melaku, the armed groups, who are waging wars in the regions between Ataye (also known as Sebete) to Kemissie which is within Amhara regional state but with special zone status on grounds of language rights, also intend to make the conflict appear like religious one. However, Melaku did not name of the armed groups.

A video footage widely shared on social media shows the armed groups ransacking and plundering Ethiopian church in the region.

Members of Ethiopian Defense force were in the region shortly after security problem broke out in the region on Saturday around 3 p.m. local time.

But residents said, according to Amhara regional state authorities, that the defense force were not protecting them while the armed groups wage their wars and pillage communities. The reason? “They were not given order to take action.”

Solomon Altaye, administrator of Efrata district in the region, told AMMA that heavy gunfire was heard until 9:00 p.m. The armed groups are highly organized and have employed group weaponry and explosives apart from individual assault rifles like AK 47.

Karakore, Kore Meda, Kara Legoma, Lala and Ataye are affected by the security crisis.

Dozens of people are believed to be killed and dozens reportedly taken captives by the armed groups. Exact number seem to be unknown currently. Getachew Bekele, Mayor of Ataye town, said the conflict was between “residents and armed groups” and 9 people have been killed since Saturday, and three people taken hostage, as reported by Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC).

There is also a report that a branch of Ethiopia’s bank in the town is looted.

On Sunday, residents of Debre Berhane, about 120 kilometers north of Addis Ababa, took to the street to demanding government to protect residents in the region.

Ethiopian National Security Council has issued a statement today, days after war by organized groups caused much damage, regarding the security crisis in Amhara regional state along the Addis Ababa-Dessie road and other parts of the country.

“Loss of life in Kemise and the region is not acceptable …citizen’s safety and enforcing the rule of law is the prime function of government that will not be up for negotiation. Relevant Federal and regional security authorities are given order to take necessary legal measures,” said the statement.

It also said that those involved in the orchestration of the conflict and the responsible for loss of lives and destruction of properties will be held responsible.

Although some politicized Ethiopians tend to see hands of foreign powers in the destabilization of Ethiopia, radical ethnic politics brought about enormous political and security problems to the country as radical ethnic groups are contesting for ethnic land and power.

On Friday, Ethiopian government admitted that ethnic politics constitute the greatest national security concern, rightly and in many ways.

Join the conversation. Like borkena on Facebook and get Ethiopian News updates regularly. As well, you may get Ethiopia News by following us on twitter @zborkena



  1. We were outraged when Takele Uma handed out Addis Ababa ID cards to new transient ODP supporter Oromos.

    As if that was not enough currently we are starting to hear about the Somali region President giving ID cards to foreigners that speak Somali language that wish to join his political party. According to this new accusation the Somali regional president is handing ID cards to foreigners from Somalia to cover the fact the displaced Oromos are placed around Addis Ababa given Addis Ababa ID cards . Basically the Somali regional President is trying to cheat the census and let people think that the displaced Oromos are back in Somali region while the fact is they are around Addis Ababa. The new addition of the Somalia foreigners number is hoped to offset the number of Oromos that were displaced from the Somali region currently placed in Addis Ababa area by team Lemma. The team Lemma is giving blind eye to this accusation as the Federal Census Bureau is too.

    • You would like the government to fail and the country to fall apart, wouldn’t you? You must be one of those whose interest is affected by the positive change in the country. Perhaps you can’t ask for a bribe anymore. Try all you want. You won’t succeed in spreading falsehood.

  2. This media is a racist media. This media’s sole goal is to tarnish the name of oromo activists and political organizations. How did you prove that OLF is operating in this area?

  3. Like usual, you blame everything on OLF, biased racist media. Brainless stupid journalist, the Amhara regional special forces were being brought to the Oromo zone one week before this conflict and it clearly in the social media that this newely trained groups were instigating conflict with ANM, they foolishly tried to attack the oromo zone people amd when they were bitten, they blamed on OLF. Last time when they tried to kill Kimant and bitten again, they blamed on TPLF. What now? and moron media like you are also twisting the truth and.blaming OLF. How is it possible armed forces of OLF go to Kamise without being noticed when there is no border between the oromia and the zone.

    You can tell this lie and fake twisted news to baby brain like you and brain wash them.

    Why you did not dare to criticise the ANM memebers who openly instigating the conflict on social media and after people are killed they claim that the kiilings will benefit the Amhara. You did not even mention this in your reporting when it is clearly and directly related with this conflict but you travel hundreds of miles, digging ditches and try to relate OLF civilian leaders and armed leaders separation to this. How on earth does OLF can come to Kamise passing this lasrge land if Amhara region without beimg noticed.

    You have little brain and you think that our brain is also as little as yours.

  4. Ya, ethnic politics (racism) in action. Wise people were warning now and then that ethnic politics (racism) is tearing apart this country, but most of our elites do not care as they are safe in foreign nations, Europe, the US, and Australia. It is the poor, the jobless, ill-informed who dies. Unless a hero comes out and declares a state of emergency and bans ethnic politics (racism) and dismantle ethnic federalism, this ancient country will disappear into the thin air (God forbid). Every Ethiopian who has some sense should fight this Satan (ethnic politics)! May the Creator help this country!!

  5. We can not deny crystal truth that the massacre on innocent civilians at Ataye and the surrounding is part of OLF long time hatred for Amhara and Ethiopia in general.The respected Abbaa Gadaa leaders informed ahead of time and gave the news about the presence of heavily armed OLF military forces at Ataye and Kamisse during the reconciliation process.Dr Abiy himself knows that OLF militants were plotting to assassinate him and he avoided trips to West Wolega for his own safety reason not to be assassinated by OLF fighters that he got intelligent evidences. It is high time that the Amhara regional state and the federal government protect those citizens at those places mentioned by Abbaa Gaada that OLF fighters are strongly l organized and camped.There is no more drama as the so called North Army chief lied about the presence of outside forces in Ataye and surrounding unless he want to defend those native Oromos enrolled by OLF to massacre re the native Amharas as they began at Ataye the precious week.

  6. “Ataye (also known as Sebete)” – the author even doesn’t know the regional’s he is writing about! Atay and Sendete are TWO DIFFERENT towns.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here