– Amhara special forces have been sent to Bulan Woreda in the Metekel zone in the regional state of Benishangul Gumuz, the communications office Bulan Woreda announced on September 12th.
The communications office announced that the special forces from the neighboring Amhara State “were” “welcomed” by the residents of the city of Bulan, in the Metekel zone, 1 km outside the city. The local community expects the Amhara Special Forces to work in a spirit of patriotism to restore lasting peace to the region and to exterminate “messengers of the junta” and “remnants of the TPLF who run around with their ideology and school of thought”. . ”
On September 9, the Benishangul Gumuz State Security Bureau accused Gumuz armed rebels of killing five security guards and a Chinese citizen in the recent attack in the Metekel zone.
In early August, an armed group accused by the regional government of belonging to the Gumuz community killed five members of local militias in Bulan Woreda. The woreda has been the site of recurring violence that has resulted in the death and displacement of hundreds of civilians.
The regional government and Integrated Command Post of the Metekel Zone recently announced the completion of preparations for definitive and decisive action against. known “TPLF agents” operating in the Metekel and Kamashi zones. The warning came after the regional government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in May this year with an unnamed “armed group” with incentives to integrate members of the armed group into local administration in order to bring about a permanent solution to the security crisis of the region. The regional government appointed 25 former members of the unidentified armed group to two regional, three zonal and 16 woreda level leadership positions in July.
The news of the Amhara Special Forces deployment comes in the background of constant tension between the groups Authorities of the two regional states peculiarity about the ownership status of the Metekel zone itself, to which Amhara officials sometimes make claims.
The tension between the two regional states was especially after the murder of at least 18 members of the Amhara community in April 2019 at various locations in the Metekel zone. In a retaliatory offensive by armed militias from the Amhara region, “several dozen” members of the communities of Gumuz and Sinasha were killed in just two days in three kebeles (localities) in Jawi Wereda, on the border with the regional state of Banishagul Gumuz. in the first week of May 2019.
Because of this claim to ownership of the Metekel zone itself, officials from the two regional states often swapped guilt, but neither was able to contain the violence. especially in the Metekel zone, where civilians continued to die.
Tensions between officials of the two regional states increased in December last year after the late Abere Adamu, former Commissioner of the Amhara Regional State Police Commission, announced that the police in the region are calling on the federal government to “either transfer responsibility or intervene” in the state of Benishangul Gumuz in order to stabilize the growing security crisis, located in the region’s Metekel zone and ensuring the safety of the civilian population. < / p>
Gembir Betish, a resident of Bulan Woreda, told Addis Standard that two days after the Amhara Special Forces deployment, the community has yet to say the results. He added, however, that things were “so far so good”.