By Staff Reporter
March 28, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- An armed group in Amhara state of northern Ethiopia known as "Fano" has accused the regional and federal governments of joining hands to get rid of its structure by force.
The Chairman of Fano Solomon Atanaw said the “Fano” will not lay arms down before the demands of the Amhara people are met.
In an interview with local media, Solomon said the demands include the return of Welqait, Raya, Dera, and Metekel zones to be part of the Amhara region.
The Chairperson also said members of the national defense forces and security forces of regional government have launched attacks against the Fano group and killed its members.
“The latest attack was committed at a locality 18 in Gonder City around Gazebo Hotel where the national defense force had used heavy artillery,” he said.
“Government officials in phone calls are threatening those of us who escaped the attacks to kill if we don’t lay down arms and accept to their proposal,” he said
In the latest statement, the Gonder city administration accused the rebel forces of killing and kidnapping people, confiscating private and public properties and freeing hundreds of prisoners and looting weapons from police stations.
In the same statement, the regional government demanded the group to disarm and surrender to the government peacefully by next Monday, April 1, 2020.
The regional government also 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.
According to the constitution of Ethiopia, the regional government is entitled to raise boundary issues but no questions of this nature were raised by Amhara officials of the region.
“Fano will disarm if the demands of the people are met. We do not have any intention to be included in the government’s security structure. We want to lead our lives as farmers, traders or public servants,” Solomon added.
The chairperson claimed Fano has made a vital contribution to maintain peace, It foiled the attack by the Qimant extremist group against the regional government.
"The government is engaged in blemishing Fano as robbers. If Fano had intentions in robbery, it could have robbed 18 banks as other armed groups did," Solomon said.
“The government also is engaged in the killing of leaders and members of Fano as well as their families,” he said
Other than Fano, the rebel Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) in western Ethiopia is also believed to be posing a serious challenge to the federal government at this time.
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