(RepublicanJournal.org) – Tensions in Ethiopia have come to a head once again as rebel forces fight to take out the local government in the African nation’s Amhara region. The conflict comes in the wake of violent demonstrations over land disputes, which officials attempted to end with a truce in April. The resurgence of a militia group has led to new waves of violence and demonstrations. Angry residents recently gathered in a town called Finote Selam in response to federal occupation plans designed to counter to the rebels’ presence. Details are still slim, but a drone strike reportedly decimated the crowd, killing at least 26 of the protestors.
The Ethiopian government has allegedly been striking back against a militia group called the Fano, which believes leaders wrongfully relinquished parts of the Tigray region during the country’s civil war truce in November. The cease-fire only lasted for nine months. The area has remained relatively peaceful, but Amhara residents who are unhappy with the outcome have attempted to take over portions of the region. The two ethnic groups each believe they hold claim to the bordering land mass.
Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister, once won a Nobel Prize for his peacemaking efforts in his country. Nowadays, some citizens are accusing him of damaging the region’s security and betraying the Amhara people. The ethnic group is reportedly being targeted all across Ethiopia, and some residents allege the government is conducting a genocide. The New Humanitarian recently reported that these people view the Fano not as militiamen, but instead as “liberators” taking on a murderous dictator.
The most recent conflict reportedly began over Ahmed’s decision to dissolve regional security groups into the country’s police and federal military forces in April. Members of the Fano saw the move as damaging and began their violent protests, reportedly blocking roads and looting weapons and ammunition rounds from prisons and police stations.
The Ethiopian government denies all allegations the Fano has made against it and insists it is merely working to consolidate power and stabilize the country.
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