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HomeNewsEthiopia's state of emergency ends, Abiy Ahmed's gov't declines to declared it

Ethiopia’s state of emergency ends, Abiy Ahmed’s gov’t declines to declared it

State of Emergency _ Ethiopia
Image : file (from the web)

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Toronto – Ethiopia’s extended state of emergency imposed on the Amhara region came to an end on Wednesday this week. It was first declared in August 2023 for six months with a stated objective to “disarm fano forces” in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. Upon failure to achieve them, the Federal government – with approval from the parliament which many Ethiopians see as a rubber stamp – extended it by four months in February 2024. 

“There are things that the government has to finish to restore peace and security in the region” was the reason that the government claimed upon extending the state of emergency in February 2024. 

The Federal government, as of this writing, failed to declare that the state of emergency has ended. The objectives for which martial law was needed were not achieved. That is evident from reports emerging from local forces and video footage regularly released on social media from groups that support Fano and media outlets. 

Far from being disarmed, Fano forces are more armed than they were before. They are operating almost in all parts of the Amhara region of Ethiopia including in areas that are in close distance to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The number of armed Fano forces alone has shown remarkable growth. Some estimate that it could be well over 400,000. 

What is missing from Fano is a single organizational structure as four Fano forces are operating under four or more command structures in different parts of the region. However, sources like Ethio News have been reporting that mediation work has been underway for a long time now to bring all the Fano structures under a single command. 

There is unconfirmed news that some Fano forces have demonstrated interest in negotiating with the government. This came after the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ervin Massinga, blamed Fano forces, in a “policy speech” he made in March 2016, for refusing to negotiate.  There are also speculations that the U, S. government could be behind the group that has reportedly shown interest in negotiating with Abiy Ahmed’s government. The U.S. government seems to have as easy leverage over Abiy Ahmed’s administration as demonstrated in the course of the negotiation between the TPLF and Abiy Ahmed forces. The latter finally legislated a law ( and the parliament has already approved it) to accept the TPLF as a legitimate political organization. 

Abiy Ahmed’s government’s military campaign in the Amhara region of Ethiopia has brought about extensive destruction and human rights abuses. As documented by reputable human rights organizations, there have been multiple extrajudicial executions and drone attacks targeting civilians. There were also multiple instances whereby social service providing facilities and infrastructures were deliberately targeted and damaged. 

Despite all that, the Fano forces are still inflicting losses on government forces. Last week, the government reportedly deployed over 90,000 new forces to the region to finish off Fano forces by the end of May this year; it did not happen. Fano Forces enjoy popular support in the region and beyond. 

This week, the Defense force announced a change in military strategy to end the war in the region. Lt. General Berhanu Bekele, Chair of the Command Post and Commander of the North West Command said the “Extremist Force” ( a reference to Fano) should be isolated from the people in the region and be engaged in ambush attack strategy – the very strategy that proved effective for Fano Forces. 

The National Dialogue Commission has started gathering an agenda item and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made a speech during the opening ceremony in the capital Addis Ababa.  He said “there will not be a transitional government in Ethiopia.” Apparently, even the outcome of the national dialogue recommends an all inclusive transitional government. Abiy says, transitional government gives room for the enemies of Ethiopia to play a game. The national dialogue has already lost  credibility for several reasons. Lack of inclusiveness, as critics say, and the agenda setting role of the ruling party cadres in different parts of the country are among the reasons that are cited by critics. 

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1 COMMENT

  1. You can’t just make this bizzaro stuff up. It seems the so-called National Dialigue Commission is for and by and of the Abiy’s figment of imagination and his Prosperity toadies and cadres alone. Who is reconciling with whom and who is making dialogue with whom? There is big question mark on the credibility, objectives and participants. I mean, If you left out almost all stakeholders like the religous institutions, Fano , PLF, OL, etc. what is the point then? It is.just another smokescreen and futile exercise of Abiy and his Prosperity tribal cadre to mislead the public again and prolong his recidivist criminality and authoritarian grip on the power.

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