Ethiopian Army Chief Confirms Continuation of Drone Attacks in Amhara

In an exclusive interview with the state-owned national television, Field Marshal Birhanu Jula, the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces, provided insights into the ongoing conflict in the Amhara region, Ethiopia’s national defense, negotiations with militants, and the overall security situation in the country.

The interview addressed the current state of peace in Ethiopia, with Field Marshal Birhanu highlighting the challenges faced by the nation.

Following the attack on the North Command, a two-year war ensued, leading to security concerns in Gambella, Amhara, Tigray, Afar, Benishangul, and Oromia regions.

The Chief of Staff pointed out that Ethiopia’s security situation had worsened, attributing it to the Oromo Liberation Army’s attempts to exploit the chaos.

Birhanu noted a positive change in Ethiopia’s security landscape, emphasizing the defeat of extremist forces attempting to destabilize the Amhara region. He mentioned the relocation of these forces to the forest and desert areas.

The interview also touched upon the situation in Oromia, where the national defense successfully defeated the main force of the Oromo Liberation Army. Field Marshal Birhanu affirmed the army’s commitment to its regular mission of safeguarding the country.

Addressing the current sentiment in the Amhara region, Birhanu stated, “The people of the Amhara region have growing support for the army.” He mentioned citizens from areas without a military presence expressing the need for defense forces in their regions, underscoring the ground reality.

Field Marshal Birhanu asserted that all conflicts in Ethiopia were reconcilable through negotiation, discouraging armed struggle.

He highlighted the importance of addressing issues like constitutional amendments and boundary questions through peaceful means.

Regarding the drone attacks in the Amhara region, Birhanu clarified, “Drones are made for combat. When we find the best target, we will keep using it and hit the target.”

He assured that the drone attacks would continue, emphasizing their strategic use to minimize harm to civilians.

Several global organizations and countries reports that, citing civilian casualties and damage to public facilities in the Amhara region due to drone attacks.

United States, Britain, and the European Union have collectively expressed their concerns to the Ethiopian government, urging an end to drone attacks in Amhara region and recommending the resolution of differences through dialogue. Additionally, they have called upon the federal government to initiate a genuine national dialogue

The Commander-in-Chief dismissed al-Shabaab as a threat to Ethiopia, outlining the military’s focus on Ethiopia’s growing population and technological advancements.

Birhanu mentioned increasing interest from foreign countries to collaborate with the Ethiopian Defense Forces.

Birhanu criticized the government’s ban on peaceful demonstrations calling for the return of the National Defense Forces to their camps, stating that it was not the right decision. He suggested that allowing such demonstrations in cities might facilitate the entry of extremist forces.

He also expressed his expectations regarding the continuation of the third round of negotiations between the federal government and the Oromo Liberation Army.

The two warring parties engaged in serious discussions in Tanzania, but unfortunately, the last two rounds of negotiations concluded without reaching an agreement.”

The army chief conveyed his hopeful anticipation for the ongoing talks between the federal government and the Oromo Liberation Army, emphasizing the importance of reaching a resolution.


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