Ethiopian authorities have arrested more than 4,000 people in the northern Amhara region, local state media said Monday, as part of a broader crackdown on militants, critics and the press.
Gizachew Muluneh, spokesman for The Amhara regional government and federal government spokesman Legesse Tulu did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the arrests.
More than 200 of the suspects face charges of murder, Amhara State Security Officer Desalegne Tasew told Amhara Media Corporation, which it accuses of carrying out “illegal activities” on behalf of the paramilitary group Fano. It was not clear why the others were being detained.
Tasew did not provide any evidence to support the murder allegations. Reuters has not been able to independently verify the claims.
Amhara is the second most populous region in Ethiopia and a key constituency for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Amhara forces and the Fano militia backed Abiy’s federal forces against Rebels in northern Tigray when fighting broke out there in 2020, but relations between some senior Amhara officials and the central government have since deteriorated.