Toronto – No signs indicate an end to the fighting between Fano forces and government troops in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. Local news providers report that all areas of the region are still experiencing the conflict.
In Gojjam, fighting is reported in the Debre Markos area, but the casualties from it are unspecified. In the Jawi area, Fano forces claim victory. Government forces reportedly lost BM-21 multiple rocket launchers; however, this information has not been verified by multiple sources.
In Gondar, Fano forces operating from Azezo to Deresgie Kola Deba areas of the Gondar zone launched an ambush attack in Kola Deba. A senior military commander (major), whose name is unspecified, and four other soldiers were killed. The regional administration is allegedly involved in organizing a criminal gang in the area under the name of “Fano,” but Fano forces are reportedly engaging it militarily.
In Wollo, Fano brigades under Major Mere Wodajo engaged government forces in several locations in the area. Particularly, there has been engagement in the Tekulesh area of North Wollo. Fano forces are claiming major victories – as reported by local sources. However, there are also reports of continued rights abuse in the area. Four Ethiopian government soldiers have allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl.
In Shewa, government forces have reportedly coordinated an attack with the Oromo Liberation Front, and ethnic Amhara civilian massacre is reported in the Minjar area.
The Ethiopian government has not remarked on recent military engagements in the region.
In a related development, there are reports of efforts that are underway to bring fano military commands in four areas ( Gondar, Gojam, Shewa, and Wollo ) under a single command. In a video released this week, Zemene Kassie, leader of Fano forces in Gojjam, is seen confirming the development.
Meanwhile, there are reports about possible mediation between Fano and Abiy Ahmed’s government. From reports, it seems the U.S. government, via its special envoy to the region – Mike Hammer – is working on it. However, there is no official confirmation from Fano forces. Activists based in the diaspora are expressing the strong view that negotiation at this point is not in the interest of the Fano/ Amhara cause. Ethnic Amhara people have been subjected to targeted attacks – especially in the past five years. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in the Oromia and Benishangul regions – among other areas. Fano defines its armed struggle as a struggle to end existential threats to Amhara and aspires to take power to bring about change in Ethiopia. Fano forces have not confirmed if they were approached by a mediator.
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