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Ethiopian gov’t claims Ataye security crisis resolved, calls for return of displaced people

Many seem to have security concerns still. Ataye is said to be entirely destroyed – something that could make the return complicated from humanitarian point of view

Col. Getnet Adane, Public Relation Directorate of the Ethiopian Defense Force (Photo : ENA)

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The Ethiopian Defense Force on Friday said called upon residents of Ataye who were displaced following a security crisis in the city earlier this month. 

“The security problem in Ataye is resolved and peace is restored. Compatriots displaced from their homes could now return,” public relation directorate of the Ethiopian Defense Force, Col. Getnet Adane, is cited as saying. 

He added “Enemy forces have interest in creating instability and security problems, but they will not succeed.” 

A federal defense force was deployed to the region after what are said to be, as the government describes them, Oromo Liberation Front  – Shane wing ravaged several cities in the region, including Ataye, killing hundreds of civilians and displaced more than 250,000 people. 

Hundreds more are believed to have been wounded. 

The region has been under state of emergency like situation with a Command Post, a military and civilian body, replacing the regular law enforcement activities in the region. 

It was in charge of five towns and nine districts North Shoa and South Wollo including in what is known as Oromo nationals zone within the Amhara regional state.

Individuals were not allowed to carry firearms within 20 kilometers radius of east and west of the main roads that passed through these towns. 

Local authorities have confirmed that the attack was well organized with forces that are trained and well-armed including  with heavy group weaponry.  

The Ethiopian government has not yet provided information regarding the extent of the damage in terms of human lives and property damages as well. 

Colonel Getnet Adane said, as reported by the state media Ethiopian News Agency, it will be announced to the public after the investigation. 

Earlier this week, the Amhara region Attorney general announced that the security crisis that brought about so much destruction, apart from the death of hundreds of people and displacement, will be investigated jointly with the Federal level of government. Investigators have been dispatched to Ataye and other towns, according to the report.  

The massacre in those towns targeting Amhara triggered a week-long powerful demonstrations across  Amhara regions of Ethiopia . They demanded an end to Amhara genocide in different parts of Ethiopia. However, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed rather saw the demonstrations as a movement to usurp power. 

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