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HomeNewsFano forces respond to Ethiopian government allegations 

Fano forces respond to Ethiopian government allegations 

Fano _ Amhara _ Ethiopian News
Fano Forces (Photo : screenshot from Anchor media)

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The Ethiopian government has recently been pointing fingers at Fano in connection with civilian harm in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Media Service on Monday spoke to Fano Spokesperson in Gojam, Marshet Tsehayu. He rejected the government’s allegation as baseless. 

Rather he accused the government of carrying out retaliatory killings against civilians whenever government troops suffered military losses. He demonstrated that with examples. On Sunday, he said, government forces burned six residential homes in Adet. They faced the tragic end on the alleged grounds that they supported Fano forces. He said government forces sprayed houses with fuel and burned them when the families were having coffee. The residents were public servants and they did not have children who joined the Fano movement.  

In Sekela, alleged fanos, government forces robbed money from Dashen Bank, Commercial Bank, and Buna Bank.  EMS said that it reached out to authorities in the bank but there was no answer. 

The Ethiopian Defense Force has been linked to widespread rights abuse in the Amhara region.  Human rights organizations in the country and abroad have been releasing statements accusing government forces of committing extrajudicial killings in the Amhara region. 

In a long interview with the state-owned television last week, Defense Chief of Staff Berhanu Jula denied that his forces did not kill a single civilian in the Amhara region.  An ethnic Amhara advocacy group based in  North America last month released a statement saying at least 1600 civilians were killed and thousands more were injured in connection with the military campaign that the government is undertaking in the region. 

State actors like the United States, have been calling for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the region. However, the government has not demonstrated an active move towards that end as far as the conflict in the region is concerned. It did have two rounds of negotiation with “Oromo Liberation Army” (OLA) – a group that is linked to the massacre of tens of thousands of ethnic Amharas in the Oromia region – in Tanzania but no agreement was reached. The government did not disclose the reason other than saying the group “wanted to come to power on the back of the ruling party.”  Merara Gudina, opposition political figure, in ethnic Oromo politics, revealed that the government offered the group amnesty for all the crimes committed so far and guaranteed for wealth acquired in the course of guerrilla activity in the Oromia region since Abiy Ahmed came to power. Apparently, the offer was not appealing enough for  OLA.  If the group was to agree to it, it means that the ruling party whitewashed all the crimes the group committed over the past five years. 

In a related development, continued fighting between fano and government forces reported in the Gojjam, Wollo and Shewa – among other areas of Amhara region. Fano’s claim that they have stood their ground with significant military gains white the Defense Forces is claiming that it has achieved victory in Gojam- which is not verified by independent sources. 

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