By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The Ruling Prosperity Party (PP) and National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) are at loggerheads over the current tension in Amhara Regional State, sources said. The Weekly Amharic Reporter said that following the decision to restructure the Regional Special Forces into Federal Defense or Police Forces, protests broke out in the Amhara Region. This has made PP and NaMA to confront each other in a war of words.
It was reiterated by politicians that amidst the protests that have continued for six days, the people are expressing concern that the decision is untimely. It did not consider the peace and security of the region and the fact that the moves started to disintegrate the Special Force in their region sparked outrage.
NaMA announced in its statement it issued on 04 April 2023 that the decision passed by the executive body of the ruling PP, regarding the issue of regional special forces, would not be applicable at equal level in all regions and its focus was disarmament of the Amhara Special Force.
The party expressed its belief that the decision to restructure Regional Special Forces should be considered after a sufficient transition period. However, taking into consideration the country’s existing situations and from a legal perspective, the decision passed by the ruling party is untimely, according to NaMA.
NaMA thus criticized in the statement it disseminated in its social media platform the way in which the government is acting irresponsibly to implement its decision to dismantle the Special Force spontaneously in a situation in which TPLF was not disarmed as per the Pretoria peace agreement, without sufficient preparation, discussion, common agreement and trust.
Similarly, rather than correcting the problem and finding solutions, the ruling party is complicating them and pushing the region to instability, peace disruption by worsening the blunders.
In a statement given under the theme, “no lasting benefit from a short-term solution”, what the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said stating that the disarmament decision on the Amhara Special Force would be implemented at any required cost, has caused instability, peace disruption in the Amhara Region, NaMA noted.
Following statements issued by NaMA, the Ruling Party has come up with its own statement on 10 April 2023 warning, “the local political actors should restrain from their illegal and unprincipled activities”.
PP said in its statement that some contending political parties and their leaders, those who call themselves activists, try to gain cheap political profit and mislead the public so as to get momentary acceptance by using terms and expressions like, “dissolving, demolishing, folding, dispersing…”
Therefore, PP urged the political parties to refrain from their illegal and unprincipled moves. In its statement, PP wanted to announce that the information being disseminated by “the attackers and spear shakers… as if the decision was made only in the Amhara Region is absolutely false”. PP said in its statement that the decision was made after discussions with all regions and town administrations and this would be implemented in similar time duration in all regions and town administrations.
“The parties and leaders were the ones who raised ideas and insisted that the regional Special Forces should be integrated in the constitutional-based state security structures. However, the fact that their ‘I am fasting on the flesh, but ladle me out from the broth,’ type of statement deeply saddened our party,” PP said in its statement.
The ruling party urged strictly certain contending parties and their leaders who are “longing darkness to sell candles”. They should refrain from their acts of worsening things, the party said.
The other day, in its statement released on 11 April 2023, NaMA said that the executive body of the ruling party has been a cause for the big instability, disruption of regular activities and breach of peace in Amhara Region through the measure it has been taking to implement the decision to disintegrate the special force.
On 10 April 2023, NaMA came up with another statement saying “…the ruling party claimed the decision was implemented not only in Amhara Region but also in all regions and town administrations in similar time duration. This is denying the truth [and] it indicates that the ruling party is still not ready for the solution… Activities of disarmament of members of regional special forces or as the ruling party says ‘restructuring’ has not been done in any other regions but Amhara,” NaMA said.
The statement released by NaMA indicates that though the ruling party claimed the disarmament decision was based on the agreement of regions and town administrations including Amhara Regional State, no such discussions were held and no decisions were made by any of the regional councils regarding the issue.
Five representatives of NaMA who won seats of the House of Peoples Representatives during the sixth round election said in a statement they issued on 11 April 2023 that “the PP executive committee should stop the fascistic measures it has been taking in a bid to implement its decision of disintegrating Regional Special Forces on behalf of the Federal Government”.
MPs represented by NaMA said in their statement that following the decision passed by the executive committee of PP in March 2023 regarding the restructuring of Special Forces, the country, which was in relative stability, peace and hope, has now entered into chaos and risk of disintegration.
The MPs of NaMA said that the unitary decision of the PP executive committee is not accepted from the perspective of law and morality. Moreover, the representatives requested that as the PP violated the Proclamation No. 1162/201, which stipulates that legally registered political parties cannot mobilize armed forces, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia should look into the matter and take due legal measures against the executive body of PP.
In connection with the protest that broke out in the region, social and transport services have been interrupted. Fire exchanges occurred between the Defense Force and armed militias claimed the lives of an unidentified number of people, and many others were wounded.
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