By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Amid heightened anti-government protest across the Amhara region of Ethiopia, the Prime Minister has come out with a stern warning that the decision to integrate Regional Special forces would be implemented by any means.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said last Sunday, in a statement he released in his social media page, that the decision to integrate Regional Special Forces into other security structures would be implemented at any required cost. “We will make efforts to make things clear, and convince those who resist without understanding,” the premier said.
Abiy further said that the appropriate law enforcement steps would be taken against those who are playing destructive roles deliberately so that the decision won’t be practical.
Deputy Chief of Staff, General Abebaw Tadesse said in an interview he had with state media that the measure to be taken against the Amhara Special Forces is not to disarm but rather to integrate them into the structures of either the Federal Defence or Police Forces. He also said that the measure “is implemented in all regional states”. However, he has not mentioned a place other than Amhara Region where the disarmament process has been launched.
However, the Amhara people are expressing concern that the measure to disintegrate the Special Force is untimely. They say that the Special Force stands vigilant to protect the people from anticipated aggression by historical enemies that have been armed to the nose. The people are crying that the decision is very dangerous and can have the possibility of expanding and causing civil war in the country.
Meanwhile, areas in Amhara State are trembling with protest. People of Gondar Town held a big protest denouncing the decision of dissolving the Amhara Special Force. Members of the Special Force said on the occasion that they would not lay down their rifles at this time when the people are exposed to invasions in all directions.
According to sources, Special Force members in various areas are evacuating their camps and flowing into towns. People are reportedly providing members of the Special Force with food and water.
People in various towns are closing roads with boulders and logs to prevent the Defence Force from crossing over.
In the same development, sources said that the main road from Addis to Bahirdar has been closed at a spot in Dejen Town of East Gojjam Zone, sources said. Ashara Media said here that the usual movement in the area has been banned as of last Friday.
Only pedestrians are seen moving around. Triple-legged taxis (bajajs) have stopped giving service. Daily trade activities have been restricted. The big open market, which stands every Saturday in the town, was also out of the usual service. The highway that connects Addis and Bahirdar was blocked in the town by boulders and logs. Some say that there are army trucks that were seen ablaze by the road sides. In general, life has stood still in Dejen Town, according to Ashara Media.
Ashara said that the outrage that has started last Friday has also been intensified in all towns of Amhara Regional State. Markos Town has also been hit by the uproar of the dismayed peoples who have come out into the street in protest.
Sources say that a strike would be held as of today in the capital Amhara, Bahirdar.
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