The UN human rights office says more than 1,000 people, most of which are youngsters, have been arrested across Ethiopia and in the Amhara region as a result of the ongoing conflict.
The UN human rights office announced on Tuesday that at least 183 people have been killed as a result of the ongoing fighting between Ethiopia’s military and insurgents in the Amhara region.
The UN statement also noted that over 1,000 people have been arrested across the country, underscoring that the majority are youngsters.
“With federal forces reasserting their presence in certain towns and Fano militias reportedly retreating into rural areas, we call on all actors to stop killings, other violations and abuses,” the UN statement said.
Earlier in August, the Ethiopian government announced the liberation of significant urban centers within the Amhara region, following a period of conflict between army forces and militants.
Significantly, in early July, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised to remove all paramilitary organizations in the country, calling the growth of these unlawful groups a “significant risk” to national unity.
In April, the government launched a surprise operation to disarm and dissolve the several state-based “special forces” formations that operate in Africa’s second-most populous country outside the national army and the rule of law.
The endeavor to incorporate paramilitary fighters into the national army or state police has been met with fierce opposition and violent protests in Amhara, with Addis Ababa accused of attempting to weaken the region.
Before a surprise truce in November last year, the two-year war in Ethiopia killed untold numbers of civilians and forced about two million people from their homes.
Tigrayan forces began surrendering heavy weapons in January, and the process is still ongoing. However, forces from the neighboring Amhara region continue to control the western part of Tigray.
On July 27, the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray confirmed that more than 50,000 of its fighters have been demobilized under a peace deal it signed with the federal government that ended a bloody two-year war.
Media close to both sides had announced on May 26 that demobilization had begun among rebel forces. The number of Tigrayan combatants is not fully known.
On July 19, the official Ethiopian news agency ENA reported that around 50,000 former Tigrayan rebel fighters would be incorporated into the regular army this year