The Ethiopian government’s announcement on Sunday that it has successfully disarmed regional militias as part of its efforts to restore stability in the country has been met with controversy and protests in Amhara state, where civilian lives were lost last week.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been working to eliminate regional militias in Ethiopia as part of a wider effort to combat ethnic violence and restore order in the country.
However, Amhara, Ethiopia’s second-largest state, has been resistant to the government’s disarmament efforts, particularly the abolishment of special forces across the country.
The region’s proximity to the Tigray region, where the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) waged a two-year war against the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, has heightened tensions.
The government’s push to disarm regional militias in Amhara has resulted in protests that turned violent, with reports of civilian casualties, property damage, and looting. Some critics have accused the government of heavy-handed tactics in response to the protests.
Critics of the government’s disarmament efforts also argue that it has led to a power vacuum, allowing other armed groups to fill the void, and could potentially result in further violence and instability.
Despite the challenges, the government remains committed to its efforts to disarm regional militias and restore order in the country.
Prime Minister Abiy has reiterated the government’s commitment to peace and stability, stating that the disarmament process is a crucial step towards achieving lasting peace and security in Ethiopia.