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Official says militants provided with budget, material support from gov’t

Google map of Ethiopia. Arrow shows Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Militants that are active in Benishangul-Gumuz Region have been supported with budgets and vehicles by the government, sources said. Head of Political Affairs of Boro Democratic Party and Director General of Regional Executive Leadership Institute, Yohannis Tessema told Addis Maleda that the militants “get budgetary support and vehicle provision from the government”.

Yohannis said that though the militants had made an agreement with the government to reunite with the community and lead a peaceful life, they are still widely active in Kamash and Metekel Zones.

The head also said that there are militants that were allowed to enter into camps with their arms and entertained by the government.

Yohannis told Addis Maleda that the militants get support from the government leadership of the Region. There are leadership members, from the government side, who share advice with the militants not to disarm ahead of Fano and Shene militants, according to Yohannis.

He further recounted the experience he recently had during his travel to Wenbera Woreda to hold the general assembly of his party. He thus said that the leadership of the Zone sent vehicles for the militants so that they could move and deliberately disrupt the assembly.

So long as the militants agreed to get repatriated from Sudan, return from their hideout (jungles) and lead a peaceful life, no need to unnecessarily plead with them. He urged that the government should stop pleading unnecessarily with them and rather take strong measures.

Yohannis said that if a long lasting solution is needed to prevail in the region, there should not be any active armed force except that of the government. If not, other sections of the community will be forced to arm themselves in a bid to fend off attacks.

Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement and Democratic Movement of Gumuz People are the armed bodies that are active in the Region. Currently the militants are armed with heavy machine guns and light rifles including snipers.

Due to this, it has been impossible to move freely from place to place across the Region. Earlier the attacks perpetrated repeatedly by the militants caused huge damage in human lives and properties. 

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