New Rebel Movement Emerges in Northern Ethiopia

By Staff Reporter

Rebel-GondarMarch 24, 2020 ( -- A new rebel movement has emerged in Gonder city of the Amhara region in northern Ethiopia with members made of ethnic Amhara people who seek to overthrow the regional and by extension central government.

The Gondar city administration on Tuesday accused the rebel forces of killing and kidnapping people, confiscating private and public properties including buildings, collecting money from investors by force as well as breaking checkpoints and grabbing state-owned lands.

The administration in a statement said the armed group has also released hundreds of legal prisoners and looted weapons from police stations.

The regional government has demanded the force to disarm and surrender to the government peacefully until next Monday, April 1, 2020.

Residents of the city told that gunshots were heard across the city last week as fighting was going on between government security forces and the rebels called “Fano.”

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on different occasions credited the role played by “Fano” and “Qeerroo”-ethnic Oromo youth for ending the dominance of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) over the country’s politics.

The administration's statement went on to say that the armed group killed and wounded members of government security forces in a gunfire last week.

According to the statement, the armed group does not have links with “Fano” but residents of the city told otherwise.

The administration further noted that members of the rebel group toured the city carrying a dead body and vowed revenge accompanied by gunshots.

“The armed group is also threatening government officials, prominent individuals, and political party members, the statement added.

The administration has urged the rebel group to refrain from its illegal activities and called on its members to return to normal life.

The regional government proposed to members of the rebel force to end the fighting and submit to the regional administration in exchange for offers, including jobs as members in the national defense forces on condition of meeting requirements, plots of land for small scale investments and farming as well as loans.

The government would be forced to maintain the rule of law and bring members of the armed group before justice if they do not agree to the proposals, the government has said.

Three years ago, the government released 10 billion birr as a “revolving fund” across all regions to create jobs for the youth who at that time were believed prone to violence in the country. The majority of the funds are believed to have been disbursed as a credit to Oromia region where the violence was worse. However, reports reveal that little of the fund has been reimbursed nor helped to create jobs.

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