Ethiopia declares state of emergency in Amhara region to contain violence

Ethiopia declares state of emergency in Amhara region to contain violence

Decision by government follows days of clashes in Horn of Africa nation's 2nd-largest region

By Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – Ethiopia declared a state of emergency to contain escalating violence in the Amhara region, the nation's second-largest administrative area.

The announcement by the Council of Ministers in Ethiopia came on Friday following days of intense clashes that have caused concern and instability in the region.

The Amhara region, known for its cultural richness and historical significance, has been grappling with unrest and clashes.

The recent violent clashes have caused significant disruptions to the region's peace and stability, leading to growing fears about the safety and well-being of the local population.

Ethiopia's Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, expressed deep concern over the increasing level of violence in the northern region.

Ethiopia Airlines confirmed to Anadolu the cancellation of flights to the Amhara region, as the situation remains precarious.

Clashes in the region started in April, triggered by the federal government's decision on April 11 to issue an integration order. The order aimed to merge security forces from Ethiopia's 11 regions into the federal forces, but it resulted in violent protests in Amhara.

Local communities resisted the move, expressing fears of losing autonomy and voicing distrust towards outsiders handling security matters in their region. This resistance led to heightened tensions and clashes in the area.

The fighting in the Amhara region involves the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and the Fano Militia. The conflict intensified as the ENDF troops engaged in confrontations with the Fano fighters, an unofficial militia known for its support to federal soldiers during the previous two-year civil war in the neighboring Tigray area.

The situation has caused internet outages in the region, hindering communication and access to vital information for residents. The clashes have resulted in injuries on both sides, and the escalating violence has deeply affected the community, leading to calls for an end to the hostilities and the restoration of internet services.

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