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More than 100,000 arrested in Ethiopia as cracks down on ” Fano” Civil Rights Movement Freedom Fighters

— Demekech (@Etiozion) August 13, 2023

Ethiopia has launched a sweeping crackdown against an influential armed militia in its Amhara region that has led to the arrest of more than 4,000 people, including journalists, activists and a former general.

The militia group, known as the Fano, played a key role alongside the federal military in beating back November’s southward advance through the Amhara region by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is fighting an 18-month-long civil war against the government and its allies.


Since then, the TPLF has retreated to its northern home region of Tigray, and the government has made attempts to disarm and demobilise the Fano militia, leading to a series of clashes with regional security forces.

An Amhara state security official announced the arrests last week, telling local media that 200 paramilitaries had been detained on suspicion of carrying out killings and engaging in other “illegal activities”.

In a statement, the federal government said it was “taking a wide range [of] measures in [the] Amhara region against groups involved in the illegal arms trade, looting and destroying property of individuals, killings, and creating conflict among the public”.

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