Ethiopian troops push back Amhara fighters – residents

According to residents in two cities, Ethiopian troops seemed to be successfully countering the advance of militia fighters in the conflict-affected Amhara region on Wednesday.

Local authorities had earlier stated that a sense of “relative peace” was gradually returning to the area.

Starting from Thursday, Ethiopian Airlines revealed its plans to recommence flights to Bahir Dar, the capital of the northern region, and the city of Gondar.

Following intense clashes between local fighters and federal troops, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government announced a six-month state of emergency in Amhara region last week.

The recent turmoil in the second most populous country in Africa arises merely nine months after the conclusion of a destructive two-year conflict in the neighboring Tigray region. This earlier conflict had also involved fighters from the Amhara region.

Tensions in Amhara have been escalating since April, when the central government declared its intention to disband regional forces throughout Ethiopia.

However, the Amhara regional administration released a statement on Tuesday night indicating that a sense of tranquility was being reinstated.

“The violence that happened recently in some areas of our region, which was aided by extremist and predatory power-hungry groups, is returning to relative peace and stability in all areas of the region,” it said.

Residents interviewed by media on Wednesday reported that federal troops seemed to be countering the advance of militia fighters in Gondar and Lalibela. Lalibela is renowned for its historic rock-hewn churches and holds UNESCO World Heritage status.

“Things seem to be changing today,” said Simachew, a rickshaw driver in Gondar.

After intense clashes over the past few days, the Ethiopian army is reportedly gaining control over the majority of the city. The operation was reinforced by tanks and armored vehicles, which remain present in the city.

He mentioned that Fano militants are currently confined to a specific zone within the city, and active combat is ongoing in that particular area.

An individual residing in Lalibela, identified only as Ayalew, stated that the Ethiopian army has established its presence along the airport road within the city.

“Fano has left the city and are in the forest,” he said, adding that there was no movement in the city.

“We only hear heavy artillery sounds being fired.”

Journalists are facing limited access to Amhara, and the ability to verify the situation on the ground independently is currently constrained.

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