By Staff Reporter
April 26, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- An armed group in northern Ethiopia and the Amhara state government have reached an agreement to end fighting in Semien Gonder zone of northern Ethiopia.
The agreement was reached in Bahir Dar City, the region’s capital in the presence of Mesafint Tesfu, leader of the armed group known as “Fano” and high-level officials of the regional government.
The two parties have been providing contradictory information as to who committed the killings and looting of properties in the zone including firearms from police stations.
"The parties agreed to stop fighting and members of the armed group will be recruited as soldiers and members of riot police or will be given loans, plots of land for investments and farming," Chief Administrator of the Semien Gondar Zone Worku Lemlemu has said.
Late last month, Fano said it will not lay arms down before the demands of the Amhara people are met. The demands include the return of Welqait, Raya, Dera, and Metekel zones from the neighboring Tigray regional state.
According to Friday’s agreement, which was brokered by religious fathers, armed forces of both parties will not enter into conflict rather jointly work for peaceful resolution of security problems in the region.
Recently, the Gonder city administration accused Fano of killing and kidnapping people, confiscating private and public properties, and freeing hundreds of prisoners and looting weapons from police stations.
Chief Administrator of the Semien Gondar Zone, however, said the government will be held accountable those Fano members who allegedly committed grave crimes including kidnapping robbery and confiscating public properties.
The new agreement was reached after the regional government had demanded the armed group to disarm and surrender to the government peacefully early this month.
“Fano’s demands are of border and identity issues. The regional government was engaged in detaining members of Fano and I used to do the same in revenge,” Mesafint told VOA Amharic service.
According to the leader, based on the new agreement the Fano along with the regional government will pursue the demands on border and identity issues with neighboring Tigray and the federal government.
The regional government claimed it arrested more than one hundred members of Fano in counter-attack mid this month.
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