Ethiopia- Breaking news: Tension erupts in Amhara following Disarmament Efforts
Photo- Special forces of the State of Amhara
The African Time Monitoring
The National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) said in a statement that tension is growing between the National Defence Forces (NDF) and Special Forces of the State of Amhara.
The NAMA statement is a confirmation of the rumours that began in the morning of April 6, 2023.
In the morning of April 6, 2023, local and international media reported fire exchanges in Northern Wollo of the State of Amhara and the closure of the main road between Bahir Dar and Gondar of the same state.
The tension began following an attempt by the federal forces to disarm the state’s special forces. Reports have been indicating in the last couple of days that there have been a series of consultations between a group of authorities from the federal and regional governments on the issue of disarmament.
The Government of Ethiopia (GoE) declared an intention to dismantle the state’s security structures in a letter to security chiefs of other countries on March 20.
This new strategy calls for the demobilisation of almost 250, 000 armed individuals and their integration into different other security systems.
A portion of those forces would join the National Defence Forces, and a different portion would join the police departments of the country’s many towns and cities.
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLA), a group that the Ethiopian parliament has classified as a terrorist organization, has been disarmed as part of the demobilisation operation, for which the government has allotted more than 29 billion birr.
According to the declaration, each person who chooses to decline the position and lead a private life would also get between 30,000 and 600,000 birr.
The issue of the disarmament of special forces has been controversial, particularly in the State of Amhara, even though politicians agree in principle on the dismantling of these structures in all the states.
Activists and politicians both at home and in the diaspora have been speaking against the decision; noting that the state faces a direct security threat from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA).
“We request the executive to reverse the decision and defuse the growing tension between the two security forces,” an excerpt of the statement from NAMA stated.