Ethiopia: Tension mounts as Amhara force leader arrested

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Tension has mounted in different towns of Ethiopia’s Amhara region after public force leader Zemene Kassie was arrested for alleged multiple offences including for organizing an informal armed group.

Deputy Head of Tactical Investigation Department of the Amhara Region Police Commission Commander Kindu Wonde said Zemene is currently being investigated by the law enforcement agencies.

Kassie has led the Amhara Fano, an armed militia, helped the federal force defend the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation front (TPLF) which is retreated to the Tigray region.

The Fano group came under the spotlight after the Tigray forces launched an offensive on the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions of the country.

Zemene is known to have been in hiding over the past several months following a major crackdown by regional and federal security forces against members of the Fano, an informal armed group operating in Amhara region.

 Even though they retreated, Amhara Fano Militia has been continuing its training and recreuitment saying the TPLF was making preparations for another war.Defence

 The commander said that Zemene is “a suspect who has been wanted by law” and his “arrest shows that no one can escape from the law.”

 In July this year, the Ethiopian joint security and intelligence task force, which is comprised of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), the Federal Police Commission, and Information Network Security Administration (INSA) said that some 5, 804 “extremist Fano” members were detained and were being investigated accused of attempts “to spread violence.”

The joint task force praised those “Fano members” that it said have “fought against” Tigrayan forces “during the law enforcement campaign in the northern part of our country” and said they were “helping the security forces” including “the national defense and other security forces, [and] have contributed to the peace and security in the region.



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