The security situation in Shewa Robit of Amhara region, which is about 220 kilometers North of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, does not seem to be improving.
On Friday, the Voice of America Amharic Service, reported that gunshots have been heard since Wednesday in the area and six people are killed. Residents from Shewa Robit were cited as a source. However, the number of deaths was not verified from other sources.
The identities of the people who are killed and who was behind the killing is unspecified too.
FANO, organized youth volunteers who were instrumental in reversing TPLF advance to the capital Addis Ababa during the two years war between the TPLF and the Federal government, clashed with the defense forces deployed to the area – according to residents.
Local news sources have been reporting clashes between FANO and Members of the defense force. At one point, the government structure in Shewa Robit was not functioning due to the security crisis. In early July, head of security in the town, Abdu Hussien, was assassinated by “unidentified gunmen.” Similar assassinations targeting government officials have happened in different parts of the region over the past several weeks.
Driven by grievance of endless massacre and displacement of ethnic Amhara not only in Oromia and Benishangul Gumuz region but also in the Amhara region itself, and alarmed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government inaction for over six years to end it, FANO group has taken up arms against the federal government. Shewa Robit itself experienced recurring attacks from radical ethnic Oromo nationalists who are believed to have support from within the Federal and Oromia regional government structure.
In fact there seems to be a widely held public opinion ,as expressed on social media platforms, that Abiy Ahmed is actually in the business of building ethnic Oromo hegemony including by taking lands from the Amhara region.
Statements from the Amhara regional state over the past few weeks have been calling for peace and resorting to dialogue. The challenge is that the authorities in the Amhara region are increasingly seen as henchmen of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administrations. The regional authorities see the armed resistance to the Federal government as undesirable.
The apparent post-war alliance between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration and the rumor that Abiy Ahmed is determined to give away Wolkait and Raya to TPLF seem to be aggravating the tension. Getachew Reda, TPLF spokesperson whom Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed as interim president of Tigray after the Pretoria agreement, was in the United States this week. He told his supporters that the Federal government is working to demolish structures in accordance with the “Pretoria agreement.”
The United States has been putting pressure on Abiy Ahmed’s government to change policy towards the TPLF and there seems to be an understanding that the new alliance between the two is partly the work of the United States government. The United States government has been calling for “the withdrawal of Amhara forces from Western Tigray” – a reference to Wolkait and Humera
Reports from local sources indicate that FANO resistance to the Ethiopian Defense Force has become prevalent in the Amhara region.
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