Monday, April 22, 2024
HomeEthiopian NewsEthiopian gov't closed Northbound road transport amid escalating battle with Fano forces

Ethiopian gov’t closed Northbound road transport amid escalating battle with Fano forces

Ethiopian gov't _ road transport
Debre Berhan Town (Photo : file /PD)


Toronto – The Ethiopian government announced that it is temporarily closing the Debre Berhan – Dessie Road for public transport starting Saturday. It is a northbound road heading all the way to the Tigray region of Ethiopia. The closure will affect other non-public road transport too. 

BBC Amharic on Saturday cited a social media update from Amhara Region Communication office to report that “any road transport service between Dessie-Shewa Robit – Debre Berhan is indefinitely suspended. It is not the Amhara regional state’s decision. 

According to the source,  it is “Central Shoa Command Post” – part of a body formed to implement the state of emergency measure in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. 

The closure will affect towns and cities north of Dessie – including towns and areas in the Tigray region. 

Part of the Road Transport to North Ethiopia between Addis Ababa and Dessie (Photo : SM)

The source cited the Command Post as saying the measure intended to avoid harm “to peaceful citizens” as it is “taking measure” against what it called “extremist forces” – a reference to Fano forces who have been battling government forces for more than seven months now although government planned to squash them within two weeks time.  Throughout the course of the state of emergency, no tangible effort was observed on the part of the government to avoid civilian casualties in the battle against Fano. Reports from reputable human rights organizations in the country and abroad rather suggest that Ethiopian government deliberately targeted civilians in many areas of Amhara region and hundreds of civilians have been killed. In the latest string of attacks targeting civilians, at least 45 civilians were killed in extrajudicial killings in Merawi and at least 30 civilians were killed in drone strikes in north shoa region area of Amhara region. 

The Command Post has not specified as to when the road closure will come to an end except saying that it will be for a short time.  

There have been reports from local sources that government forces have suffered renewed infantry battles in many parts of the Amhara region. Drone strikes usually hint that the government is losing ground war.  

Also, local reports have been reporting that Fano forces battling governments in different parts of the region will soon be coming under a single command structure once the preparation for a conventional war against gov’t is finalized. So far, they were mostly fighting guerrilla war capitalizing on surprise attacks. 

The road closure will impact residents who need to travel to and from the capital Addis Ababa for social or economic activities. They will have to resort to air transport – which appears to be unaffordable to many millions given the economic hardship in the country. It means that those who can not afford to use air transport will have to avoid travel as alternative road  transport is risky due to the security situation. 

There had been recurring incidents of road closures and restrictions of travelers from the Amhara region of Ethiopia to the capital Addis Ababa due to government policies and armed group activities. 


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  1. It has been the same routine of accusations by one side and denial by the other sides. This is the area where we have been told that it has been frequented by various violent armed groups. The blaming game also goes between the armed groups where one could be heard saying ‘I did not do it. They did it.’ But the repulsive reality remains the same. In this case, 30 innocent civilians were dragged out the vehicle they were traveling in and were butchered. If they were employees of the government including the armed forces, they were still civilians even if they were captured during a battle. The sad outcome about this savage act is newspapers whose main task is supposed to be independently investigating such tragedies and report their findings, they themselves have joined the blame game leaving the loved ones of the victims with no conclusions.

    You can see it yourself where one media outlet blaming the Fanos and the other one accusing the Shane gangs. There are one or two of them telling us the government had a hand in this so it can rest the blame on the armed gangs operating nearby. Folks, it is a dizzying routine out there but there was no dizzying for the victims. They were savagely mowed down. It leaves me with no other option but to blame all three sides who have had a history of presence in the area. There is an old Itu adage that tells why a thief steals from others. He thinks he won’t be committing a sin worse than the victims because they will become suspicious of everyone in their village. I am holding all three sides responsible until the EHRC comes out with its investigated report.


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