“The radical force has reached to a point where it can no longer be a threat,” is what Berhanu Jula, Defense Chief of staff, said in a statement aired by state media, EBC.
He said only 10 percent of his forces were deployed in the Amhara region and the mission was successful.
He also claimed “support from the public.”
In a recent statement to the Amhara regional council last week, speaker Fantu Tesfaye, said “we subjected the region to a crisis because of unanswered identity and boundary questions. “
Ethiopia’s Defense Chief of Staff, just like Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his Prosperity Party officials, is painting FANO rather banditry and a representation of radicalism. His view does not seem to reflect reality on the ground as Fano forces are enjoying broad based support in the region and beyond.
At the same time, he is calling on Fano forces to “surrender peacefully,” and that “assistance” will be provided.
On the other hand, new reports of robbery and lootings are emerging. From what many people say, it seems to be a political intrigue intended to tarnish the image of FANO by making it appear as if it does not have a legitimate cause.
Robberies are reported in areas where government forces are said to have full control.
Fano forces, from an interview with Anchor Media, say that they will not call off armed struggle until the government addresses demands of the Amhara people.
The Ethiopian Defense Force is accused of targeting civilians, including with artillery shelling, in urban centers in Amhara region. In Debre Markos City alone more than 100 civilians are reportedly killed. The UN Human Rights body this week said at least 183 people have been killed since July of this year in the Amhara region and called for peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Ethiopian news sources report a much higher number of casualties. The Internet is shut down and the Amhara region has been under a state of emergency since early this month. Thousands of ethnic Amhara youth are arrested in Addis Ababa and other towns on alleged grounds of being Fano supporters.
The Ethiopian government has not yet disclosed the number of casualties from the attack.
Watch what the defense chief had to say from the video below (Amharic)
Video : embedded from EBC youtube channel
Cover photo : screenshot from the video.
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