The Ethiopian Defense Force on Tuesday said what it calls character assassination on the nation’s defender must stop. Apparently, the defense force was responding to the allegations in connection with its operation in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.
Colonel Getenet Adane, Director of the Public Relations Directorate in the Defense Force, said the Defense Force is accomplishing the mission it is given by the Ethiopian People and the government.
While stating that the Defense Force honors the call for armed groups in the Amhara and Oromia regions of Ethiopia, it is taking action on the terrorist Shane group (in the Oromo region) and on the armed group that is operating as Fano in the Amhara region.
He pointed out that the defense force takes orders from the government which he painted as constitutional practice.
Regarding the situation in the Amhara region, he said that there are situations “where we observe that the talk in the air is made more huge than what is really happening on the ground.”
“Although it has been repeatedly stated about FANO by leaders of our institution [the Defense Force), we have observed that the meaning given to it in the media is inaccurate,” he added.
He hailed FANO as a resource to the nation and one that has a history about which much is said. He highlighted its contribution during the Ethiopian Revolution in 1966, “during the war with Eritrea” and during the recent war with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
What makes FANO similar to the Defense Force is not just its deeds but also its situation that there are entities profiting in its name, he said. “Just like there are those who use Defense Force uniforms for robbery and to engage in criminal activity, there are those who are using the dignified FANO name, without fighting a single battle, to brag about it on social media,” Colonel Getenet added.
“It has to be clear that we will not tolerate anyone who is profiteering in the name of anyone,” he warned.
About FANO, he said it has been stated, he is recalling the words of the Defense Chief of Staff, that there is no reason to go to war against FANO.
One the condition armed status of FANO, he said it was not said that FANO, who was armed and fought in the battlefront during the war (with TPLF) should go home bare band if not interested in joining legal and regular structure. But those who are acting in FANO’s name and poisoning themselves as a Heron on social media, let alone fire against the defense force, are not allowed to obstruct the development efforts of a single Kebele. “We will take a measure,” he said, “That is what is happening.”
The statement Colonel Getnet read out also warned unspecified media groups whom the defense force saw as engaging in hostile activity against the Defense Force. It is a matter of time for him. They will face the Defense Force’s resolve.
There were recent reports of clashes between FANO and the Defense Force including in Raya, Shewa Robit and Delanta but Colonel Gentnet did not remark on it.
From citizen reports on social media, the FANO forces are getting popular support in the Amhara region, and there are areas where the defense force mistreated people on alleged grounds of supporting the FANO force.
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