Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomeEthiopian NewsEthiopian gov't shuts internet in the Amhara region of Ethiopia 

Ethiopian gov’t shuts internet in the Amhara region of Ethiopia 

Ethiopian gov't _ internet _ Amhara region
Graphic source : Africa Telecom Review

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The Ethiopian government on Thursday shut down internet services in most parts of the Amhara region of Ethiopia, according to reports from local and international media outlets.  Parts of Gojjam, Gondar, Wollo, Sekota and Shoa have been without internet since Wednesday afternoon. 

Borkena has confirmed the news by contacting sources from the region. 

The region has been under extended internet restrictions following the development within the Ethiopian Church in January 2023. 

The government introduced the latest internet blackout following the clash between the Ethiopian Defense Force and the Fano, a volunteer youth organization, in the region in the past few days in many parts of the region. 

As reported, on Wednesday, there have been military clashes in Gojam, Wollo, Gondar, and Shoa as grievance-driven FANO is seemingly resisting extensive deployment of the Defense Force in the region. 

A week ago, Getachew Reda, TPLF foreign relations and Public Relations officer whom Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed as interim president of the Tigray region of Ethiopia after the Pretoria agreement,  told Tigray Diaspora members that the Federal government is demolishing structures in the areas which the TPLF part considers as part of Tigray region. 

He implicitly mentioned that the Federal government would return Wolkait and Raya – areas that TPLF incorporated to Tigray after taking power in 1991.

The incessant killing of ethnic Amharas and kidnappings in the Oromo region of Ethiopia has apparently added impetus to the growing anti-government sentiment among Fano, and the resistance is increasingly taking an armed struggle form. 

During the war between the TPLF and Abiy Ahmed-led Federal government, FANO forces were principal allies of the Ethiopian Defense Force and have helped reverse TPLF’s advance to the capital Addis Ababa. 

Although Defense Chief of Staff, Field Marshal Berhanu Jula, stated last month that there is no reason to fight against FANO, it is apparent that the Federal government has deployed the Defense Force to the Amhara region with the aim to crush FANO militarily. 

There are fears that Abiy Ahmed’s government, which seems to be building a new alliance with the TPLF,  resorting to military action against FANO could result in an outright civil war. 

Demeke Mekonen, the deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, on Wednesday himself expressed his concern about the situation in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. While admitting that there are many demands that are not addressed, he said that the beneficial approach to resolving it is dialogue and peaceful resolution. 

Apart from the internet shutdown, Ethiopian Airlines has suspended flights to tourist attractions sites in the region – namely Gondar and Lalibela.

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