Ethiopian Authorities Bring an End to Fano Militias While Situation Persists

Ethiopian Authorities Bring An End To Fano Militias While Situation Persists

Girma Tsehay

ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia’s relentless efforts to quell the resistance of the FANO militia in integrating regional forces into the Ethiopian Army have yielded significant progress. The Amhara militia, historically independent from central government authority, has long posed a challenge to Ethiopia’s goal of a unified national military structure.

In recent developments, the group has escalated its opposition, engaging in armed conflict with government forces and capturing two important cities.

In response to mounting tensions, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called a crucial meeting of the Council of Ministers to address the crisis in the Amhara region. Discussions focused on the increasing activities of the local vigilante group FANO, which aims to overthrow the Federal Government and establish dominance nationwide.

The concerns over stability prompted a swift decision to declare a State of Emergency in order to maintain law and order. In a strategic move, the Council of Ministers appointed the Chief of Intelligence Temesgen Tiruneh to lead an operation aimed at restoring stability in the region. This choice underscored the severity of the situation and the government’s determination to end the vigilante group’s power grab.

These recent developments in the Amhara region are particularly concerning due to its historical significance, as tensions between FANO and government forces have intensified in recent weeks.

In a decisive response, Ethiopian government troops successfully recaptured the cities of Gondar and Lallibela, which are crucial strongholds for the militias.

The successful takeover of these key locations marks a significant turning point in the ongoing efforts to consolidate the country’s armed forces.

According to analysts, the latest military advances also highlight a remarkable shift in the balance of power, favoring federal officials. This shift is expected to pave the way for federal authorities to exert firm control over these influential militias.

This shift not only signifies a potential end to years of discord but also sets the stage for enhanced cooperation and synchronization within Ethiopia’s military structure.

For years, Ethiopia has grappled with internal conflicts driven by power struggles among influential regional forces that often operated independently, bypassing federal oversight.

The challenges posed by the regional states have long been a major concern for the nation’s leadership. The culmination of these issues came with the devastating two-year conflict between Federal Government troops and the regional forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the northern region.

The bloody conflict, resulting in numerous casualties and the displacement of millions, highlighted the substantial power held by regional forces and the threat they posed to the federal government.

In a recent televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Abiy stated that the transition towards a centralized army will not only strengthen the country’s ability to counter security threats but also reaffirm their commitment to national unity and coherence.

However, the announcement has sparked intense debates and raised concerns from various quarters, with some regional officials arguing that this shift could erode regional autonomy and escalate tensions in ethnically diverse regions.

They contend that regional forces play an important role in managing localized security issues and maintaining harmony within specific communities. However, a government spokesperson responded to these concerns, stating that the government’s intention is not to undermine regional security, but rather to create a more coordinated and efficient national security structure.


For years, Ethiopia has struggled with the destabilizing consequences of these powerful regional entities, whose assertive actions have not only tested the limits of constitutional autonomy but have also served as a constant source of tension, hindering unity and fragmented development efforts.

The dynamics between the regional power centers and the central government have impeded the nation’s progress, hindering both economic growth and efforts to establish lasting security.

The enduring struggle for control and influence has created a tense environment, pitting the ambitions of regional forces against the cohesive policies of the federal government.

Beyond these concerns, a deeper issue of ethnic superiority mindsets and disregard for the federal administration’s legitimacy has complicated matters.

The ongoing power struggle between regional forces and the central government has hindered Ethiopia’s advancement for an extended period.

The regional states have frequently acted as independent power centers, consistently undermining the power of the central authority.

According to federal officials, this not only threatens the country’s unity but also hampers cohesive efforts towards progress and safety.

One notable consequence of the existence of regional forces is the promotion of ethnic superiority ideologies. Instead of granting autonomy to various ethnic groups, their structure has unintentionally fostered division.

Accusations suggest that these forces propagate an “us versus them” mentality, exacerbating inter-ethnic tensions and hindering the nation’s harmonious development.

Furthermore, the persistent defiance of regional forces against directives from the federal government has further impeded Ethiopia’s national security aspirations.

Their refusal to acknowledge central authority has perpetuated instability, obstructing the government’s efforts to implement unified policies beneficial to all citizens.

According to federal government officials, disbanding regional forces and integrating them into a united national army presents a practical path towards Ethiopia’s brighter future. They argue that this approach will not only address subversive elements but also promote enduring stability and advancement for the nation.


In Ethiopia’s intricate political and security landscape, the call for unity and coherence cannot be overstated. Dissolving regional forces and integrating them into the national army is a crucial step towards achieving lasting stability and progress, according to government representatives.

Regional forces have played a key role in fueling tension and discord within the country. Their presence often leads to resistance against federal authority, breeding uncertainty and division.

To confront this crisis and foster a sense of national solidarity, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed insists on the dissolution of these regional units, redirecting their efforts towards a centralized national defense strategy.

Ethiopian army officials argue that the unconstitutional independence displayed by regional forces has eroded the very foundation of Ethiopia’s democratic framework.

By undermining federal directives and pursuing their own agendas, these forces have disrupted the smooth functioning of the nation’s governance structure.

Although the ongoing conflict is seen as another blow to Ethiopia’s stability, experts argue that it could serve as the final impetus for the current government to dismantle regional security agencies and establish unified control across the nation.

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