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Authorities called for dialogue to end insurgency in Amhara, violence in Oromia remained rampant, and Amhara-Tigray tensions persisted despite federal efforts to tackle territorial dispute.

Peace conference took place in Amhara region amid continued hostilities. Violence between federal forces and Amhara nationalist militias known as Fano persisted, with clashes reported in West Gojjam, North Gojjam, East Gojjam, Central Gondar, South Wollo, North Wollo and North Shewa zones. State of emergency declared in Aug 2023 expired 3 June, though military command posts remained operational amid fierce battles and Fano militants’ targeting of local officials and civilians. Security forces throughout month reportedly killed dozens of civilians suspected of Fano ties, including in West Gojjam and North Shewa zones. Regional, federal and military leaders 24-25 June gathered in regional capital Bahir Dar for peace conference, resulting in formation of 15-member Regional Peace Council, comprised of prominent figures from Amhara and backed by federal govt, to facilitate talks with Fano militias.

Oromia region remained wracked by insecurity. Fano militants conducted attacks in Oromia-Amhara borderlands and deeper within Oromia, threatening to heighten inter-ethnic tensions. Notably, alleged Fano militants 15 June fought with Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) in Dera Woreda (North Shewa Zone), marking first direct clash reported between the two groups, and which left four civilians dead; suspected Fano militiamen 15 June killed dozens of civilians in Nono woreda (West Shewa Zone). Meanwhile, federal-OLA fighting continued, with OLA 8 June claiming they had killed “thousands of regime combatants”. Resumption of peace talks appeared increasingly unlikely. 

Tigray-Amhara tensions persisted. Tigray-Amhara tensions simmered amid implementation of Addis Ababa’s plan to tackle their territorial dispute (which entails dismantling Amhara-established administrations in Western and Southern Tigray and resettling displaced Tigrayans). Notably, BBC 15 June spoke with residents in Tselemt woreda (Western Tigray), who claimed that Tigray forces had killed local leaders and attempted to dismantle Amhara administration themselves, before federal forces intervened. Meanwhile, federal parliament 4 June allowed Tigray People’s Liberation Front to re-register as political party.

Relations with Mogadishu remained tense. Somalia's ambassador to UN 24 June accused Ethiopian troops of illegal cross-border incursion that led to confrontations with local security forces (see Somalia). 



Govt’s plan to address Tigray-Amhara territorial dispute continued to fuel tensions in Western Tigray; federal forces pursued efforts to stem insurgencies in Amhara and Oromia regions.

Tensions lingered over Tigray-Amhara territorial dispute in Western Tigray. Implementation of Addis Ababa’s plan to address Tigray-Amhara territorial dispute continued, with Tigray’s interim VP Tadesse Worede 2 May saying dissolution of local Amhara administrations and resettlement of displaced Tigrayans in Southern and Western zones would be completed by late June. Plan fuelled more violence, however; notably, skirmishes 3 May broke out between Ethiopian military and Amhara nationalist militias known as Fano on outskirts of Maksegno Gebeya town in Western Tigray Zone after Fano militants previous day briefly entered town. Tigray’s interim President Getachew Reda 24 May announced withdrawal of Tigray’s forces from two villages near Alamata town (Southern Tigray Zone), in move designed to ease tensions with Amhara administrations and facilitate return of Tigrayans.

Fighting continued between federal forces and Fano militias in Amhara. After easing of hostilities early May between federal forces and Fano militias, fighting picked up toward end of month, with clashes reported in North Shewa, East Gojjam, West Gojjam, North Gojjam, North Gondar, South Wollo and North Wollo zones. PM Abiy 12 May visited Amhara capital Bahir Dar, called on insurgents to lay down arms and reintegrate into civilian life. Adding to region’s instability, thousands of Sudanese refugees late April-early May fled Kumer and Awlala camps in West Gondar Zone after kidnappings for ransom and armed robberies late April left at least one person injured.

Army intensified counter-insurgency operations in Oromia. Federal forces conducted operations against Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) in East Wollega, West Wollega, Horo Guduru Wollega, West Shewa, Arsi, West Arsi and East Borena zones. Notably, regional broadcaster 2 May reported joint operation by federal and regional security forces in East Borena; Addis Ababa claimed to have inflicted heavy OLA casualties. In rare visit to rebel stronghold of western Oromia, PM Abiy 8 May attended pro-govt rally in Nekemte town, East Wollega, in attempt to shore up Oromo support amid deepening unpopularity and OLA insurgency. 



Hostilities escalated between Tigray and Amhara forces over disputed territories, displacing thousands; insurgencies in Amhara and Oromia regions continued.

Tigray-Amhara clashes over disputed territories displaced thousands. As govt began implementing plan to address Tigray-Amhara territorial dispute (which paves way for return of displaced Tigrayans), hostilities escalated in disputed areas. Tigray forces and Amhara militants 13-15 April clashed in Alamata town and Raya Alamata, Zata and Olfa woredas of Southern Tigray Zone, displacing almost 50,000. Tigray interim President Getachew Reda 16 April blamed “anti-Pretoria deal elements”, while Amhara authorities next day accused Tigray region’s ruling party Tigray People’s Liberation Front of launching “full-scale war” against Amhara. Calm returned to area, though violence could resurge should federal govt proceed with plans to resettle people displaced from Southern or Western Tigray regions.

Security forces and Fano militants clashed in capital Addis Ababa. Security forces and Fano militants 12 April clashed in Addis Ababa, marking first such incident in capital, killing civilian and two militants; authorities accused Fano of planning “terrorist attack”. Meanwhile, violence continued in Amhara as authorities struggled to suppress Fano, who are scattered across region and enjoy considerable local support. Notably, grenade attack on school in Finote Selam town, West Gojjam Zone, 4 April injured at least 27; grenade 6 April targeted market in Finote Selam; three hand grenade attacks 22 April occurred in regional capital Bahir Dar. 

Insurgency in Oromia continued. Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) militants 4 April attacked Amaye Woreda, West Shewa Zone, killing twelve Amhara civilians. Govt forces same day killed twenty civilians in Tole Woreda, South West Shewa Zone, accusing them of links to OLA. Govt attempted to weaken OLA by: calling on fighters to surrender and reintegrate; attempting to exploit alleged divisions in OLA leadership; and training local militias. 

In other important developments. Donor conference 16 April raised $630mn for emergency relief in Ethiopia. Somalia 4 April announced expulsion of Ethiopian ambassador, ordered closure of two Ethiopian consulates in Somaliland and Puntland and recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia over Addis’ plans to build naval base in Somaliland (see Somalia).



Hostilities in Amhara intensified, insurgency continued in Oromia region, and tensions simmered between govt and Tigray leaders over slow implementation of peace process.

Army struggled to contain Amhara nationalist militias amid worsening insecurity. Fighting between federal forces and Amhara nationalist militias known as Fano reached major towns for first time since hostilities intensified in Aug 2023; notably, Fano 29 Feb-1 March attacked regional capital Bahir Dar. Fano members 3 March killed four security officers, including Shewa Robit town’s police commander and head of Peace and Security Office, in North Shewa Zone. Fano 5 March confirmed kidnapping 270 youths from South Ethiopia People’s Region allegedly affiliated with govt forces. Conflict spilled into Oromia, raising fears of interethnic conflict; notably, Fano 7 March reportedly killed at least nine civilians in Oromia’s Dera woreda, North Shewa Zone. Clashes between Oromo and Amhara ethnic militias 9-21 March in Amhara’s Oromo Special Zone and North Shewa Zone killed 27. Deteriorating security crippled economic activity.

Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) made gains as govt shifted attention to Amhara. Govt-insurgent clashes continued in Oromia region. OLA 4 March reportedly made gains in Gelana district, West Guji Zone, forcing hundreds to flee to South Ethiopia People’s Region. In significant shift, govt reportedly planned to redeploy troops from Oromia to Amhara, suggesting it views latter conflict as more pressing.

Situation in Tigray region remained fragile amid halting progress on peace deal. Govt and Tigray regional leaders 11 March expressed commitment to 2022 Pretoria peace agreement during deal’s first Strategic Review, held under AU auspices in capital Addis Ababa. Region’s ruling party Tigray People’s Liberation Front 13 March raised concern about growing trust deficit, however, due to slow implementation of deal, including resolution of disputed territories and removal of Eritrean and Amhara troops from region. Tigray Interim Administration 25 March accused Amhara of incorporating “Tigray land” (referring to disputed territories) “into its educational curriculum and regional map” and called for its reversal. Clashes same day occurred in Amhara-controlled Raya Alamata town, South Tigray Zone; Amhara and Tigray authorities traded blame for violence. 



Authorities extended state of emergency in Amhara region amid ongoing violence, insurgency continued in Oromia, and tensions between Tigray authorities and federal govt rose over peace process.

Federal govt extended state of emergency in Amhara. Clashes between federal forces and Amhara nationalist militias known as Fano persisted, prompting govt 2 Feb to extend state of emergency by four months. Human Rights Commission 5 Feb said federal forces late Jan killed at least 45 civilians in Merawi town, North Gondar; govt 6 Feb denied targeting civilians. Federal drone 19 Feb reportedly killed at least 30 near North Shewa’s Sasit town. Fano 24 Feb briefly took control of Merawi town, sparking heavy fighting. Fano forces 29 Feb reportedly entered regional capital Bahir Dar city.

Fighting in Oromia region persisted. Counterinsurgency operation against Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) that was launched late Jan continued, with federal forces 10 Feb claiming to have killed 70 OLA members in Oromia’s West Shewa zone; 20 Feb reportedly killed around 50 fighters, including four leaders, in North Shewa zone. Meanwhile, security forces 22 Feb arrested French journalist for allegedly conspiring with OLA and Fano to incite unrest in capital Addis Ababa, released him 29 Feb.

Tigray leaders met with PM Abiy amid rising tensions over peace process. Tigray leaders 9 Feb met with PM Abiy to discuss peace process and humanitarian crisis. Key sticking points of peace process, including lack of progress on disputed territories, Tigray People’s Liberation Front party’s unregistered status and delayed demobilisation, demilitarisation and reintegration process, have heightened federal-Tigray tensions and cast doubts on holding local elections as per agreement. Interim Tigray President Getachew Reda 10 Feb acknowledged lingering mistrust between Addis and his administration. Tigray administration 29 Feb said it would only engage with federal govt on peace process through African Union.

Relations with Somalia remained tense. Somali President Mohamud 17 Feb again condemned 1 Jan Ethiopia-Somaliland deal, which grants Addis access to Somaliland coastline and potentially paves way for Ethiopia’s recognition of Somaliland’s independence; Mohamud accused Ethiopia of attempting to annex Somali territory and alleged Ethiopian security forces blocked his entry to African Union summit in Addis Ababa, which Ethiopia denied.



Govt struck deal with Somaliland to secure Red Sea access, ratcheting up regional tensions; violence in Amhara and Oromia persisted; and Tigray’s humanitarian crisis mounted.

Tensions with Somalia spiked over Ethiopia-Somaliland deal. Ethiopia and Somaliland 1 Jan signed memorandum of understanding that would allow Ethiopia to develop naval base along Somaliland’s coast; Hargeisa said deal includes recognition of Somaliland’s independence, though Addis Ababa’s commitment to this step appears tentative. Announcement fuelled regional tensions. Mogadishu, which views Somaliland as part of Somalia’s territory, 2 Jan called agreement an “act of aggression” and rallied regional allies (see Somalia). African Union Peace and Security Council 17 Jan held emergency session, agreed to dispatch envoy to mediate. Regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) 18 Jan called extraordinary meeting, Ethiopia did not attend but in leaked letter dated 22 Jan requested IGAD summit to discuss issue. Despite backlash, ruling Prosperity Party 26 Jan pledged to press ahead with deal.

Violence in Amhara region persisted. Military continued battling Amhara nationalist militias known as Fano. Notably, Fano militants 3 Jan entered North Shewa Zone’s administrative capital, Debre Berhan, assassinated head of zonal peace and security office before military next day ejected them. Fano 6 Jan attacked Gondar city, disrupting transport and business for two days. Ethiopian Air Force 12 Jan conducted drone strikes on Fano units near school in Merhabete Woreda (North Shewa Zone), killing two. State of emergency due to expire early Feb, even as military struggles to suppress rebellion.

Oromia insurgency continued. Insurgency in Oromia region pitting govt forces against Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) continued. Notably, security forces 12 Jan conducted drone strike in Horo Guduru Wollega Zone, killing four. OLA 28 Jan declared twenty-day ban on transport and business throughout region.

Humanitarian situation in Tigray region deteriorated further. Tigray interim administration’s (IRA) emergency task force 10 Jan said about 4.5mn people are at risk of famine, wrought by war-related economic destruction, drought and inadequate relief efforts; IRA 29 Jan said region is on brink of humanitarian catastrophe not seen since “infamous” 1984-1985 famine. Meanwhile, internally displaced persons in regional capital Mekelle 24 Jan protested slow implementation of Pretoria peace agreement. 



Hostilities in Amhara and Oromia regions continued unabated; Tigray region faced prospect of large-scale famine.

Amhara rebellion persisted amid human rights abuses. Clashes between federal forces and Amhara nationalist militia known as Fano continued, with govt stepping up airstrikes. Notably, Ethiopian Air Force early Dec conducted drone strikes in North Wollo and North Shewa zones, killing fifteen; drone attacks in South Wollo Zone 10 Dec killed around 40. Civilians suspected of Fano ties faced extrajudicial killings; notably, BBC 12 Dec reported that Ethiopian soldiers killed around 30 people allegedly providing Fano with resources. Rebels, meanwhile, targeted local officials, notably claiming 7 Dec assassination of ruling party head in Sayint Woreda (South Wollo).

Violence in Oromia intensified. Hostilities escalated in Oromia region following collapse of negotiations between govt and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) in Nov. Notably, govt-insurgent clashes erupted in Kombolcha district late Dec, with drone strike 25 Dec killing eight. Meanwhile, Oromo-Amhara tensions triggered more attacks on civilians. Notably, suspected Fano militants 12 Dec attacked civilians in Horo Guduru Wollega Zone, killing at least thirteen; Oromo militants, possibly OLA, 24 Nov-4 Dec attacked Orthodox Christians and mostly Amhara civilians in Arsi Zone, killing around 40.

Tigray truce held despite unresolved issues, threat of famine loomed. African Union’s monitoring team, established to oversee implementation of Tigray peace process, 1 Dec met with federal and Tigray leaders in capital Addis Ababa; sides extended team’s mandate until Dec 2024 and committed to talks within two months to address outstanding issues, including demobilisation of Tigray combatants, disputed territories and Eritrean troop presence. Meanwhile, interim administration 29 Dec appealed to federal govt and international partners, warning that over 90% of Tigray’s population are on brink of starvation due to drought, exacerbated by war’s destruction of agricultural systems.

In other important developments. Authorities 12 Dec arrested State Minister of Peace and former ally of PM Abiy, Taye Dendea, who days before criticised govt’s failure to end conflicts and tackle corruption. Latest round of talks on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam failed (see Nile Waters). Ethiopia-Eritrea relations remained strained (see Eritrea).



Hostilities continued to intensify in Amhara region, talks between govt and Oromo Liberation Army ended without agreement, and frictions within Tigray’s leadership simmered.

Fano-federal violence continued in Amhara, with heavy clashes in Lalibela town. Hostilities between federal forces and Amhara militias known as Fano intensified in Amhara region. Notably, fierce clashes 8 Nov erupted around Lalibela (North Wollo Zone), with Fano militants briefly taking control of town before withdrawing 9 Nov amid heavy artillery and drones. Fano fighters 25 Nov reportedly entered strategic Addis Zemen town (South Gondar Zone). Meanwhile, news agency Reuters 7 Nov reported that skirmishes between armed Amhara and Oromo militia in Oromia Special Zone killed 30 civilians.

Talks to end Oromia insurgency broke down. Govt and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) early Nov resumed high-level talks in Tanzania, facilitated by Intergovernmental Authority on Development, U.S. and Norway; talks 21 Nov ended without agreement, sides traded blame for breakdown; previous talks failed due to disputes on key political issues, such as OLA demands for greater political role in Oromia. Meanwhile, govt-insurgent fighting continued. Notably, radio network VOA Amharic 1 Nov reported that shootouts in North Shewa Zone left at least twelve civilians dead and displaced unknown number.

Tigray’s interim administration dismissed four top officials. Tigray region’s Interim Regional Administration (IRA) 8 Nov announced it had 28 Oct removed four high-ranking officials for failing to adequately perform their duties; IRA had dismissed six others late Oct. Move comes amid simmering power struggle between IRA and disgruntled senior faction of region’s ruling party, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Another high-level meeting between IRA, TPLF leadership and Tigray military leaders began 12 Nov to address disagreement.

In other important developments. After PM Abiy’s Oct remarks on securing access to seaport raised concerns in region, Abiy 14 Nov reiterated he has no intention of using military force; still, he underscored importance of seaport access for Ethiopia’s development and warned failure to resolve issue now could trigger future conflict. U.S. development agency 14 Nov announced resumption of food assistance to Ethiopia, suspended in May due to aid diversion and theft.



Violence in Amhara and Oromia regions remained rampant, and PM Abiy’s calls for sea access rattled Ethiopia’s neighbours amid deteriorating relations with Eritrea.

Fano-federal fighting continued in Amhara region. Clashes between federal forces and Amhara nationalist militia known as Fano occurred in rural areas and small towns of Amhara’s North Wollo, South Wollo, West Gojjam, East Gojjam and North Shewa zones, as well as Oromia region’s North Shewa Zone. Indications mid Oct surfaced that military is planning final offensive to “eliminate” Fano, though rebellion’s decentralised structure will likely complicate efforts. Ethiopian Human Rights Commission 30 Oct warned of high civilian casualties.

Hostilities in Oromia persisted amid rising risk of intercommunal violence. Clashes between govt forces and Oromo Liberation Army continued throughout Oct. Govt drone strikes 7-8 Oct in Horo Guduru Wollega Zone killed at least twelve. In North Shewa’s Dera Woreda (home to significant number of Amharas), federal forces fought OLA and Fano; with both insurgencies operating in area, risk of ethnically motivated attacks on Amhara and Oromo civilians is high. Kidnappings-for-ransom continued to rise. Notably, suspected OLA militants 3 Oct abducted nine civilians from Sululta city, demanding 300,000 birr (approx $5,500) per victim; 19 Oct abducted unknown number of Chinese nationals.

Abiy’s calls for talks on sea access laid bare deteriorating relations with Eritrea. In audio released 13 Oct, PM Abiy pronounced that securing direct access to sea (Ethiopia has been landlocked since 1993 Eritrean independence) is vital for Ethiopia’s development and stressed historic links to Red Sea; he called for open discussions with neighbours and warned that Ethiopia’s lack of access was potential source of future conflict. Eritrea 16 Oct said “discourses” on water and sea access had become “excessive” and emphasised that Asmara will not “be drawn into such alleys”; response revealed deteriorating relations between Addis and Asmara (see Eritrea). Somalia and Djibouti 17, 19 Oct respectively rejected Abiy’s appeal for talks.

In other important developments. Situation in Tigray region remained static. UN humanitarian agency 9 Oct warned that “drought-like conditions” in parts of Amhara, Tigray, Somali and Afar regions have increased food insecurity. Third round of talks on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam 24 Oct concluded without breakthrough (see Nile Waters).



Violence in Amhara exacted heavy toll on civilians, Tigray’s interim administration faced opposition amid rising crime levels, and govt-insurgent fighting continued in Oromia.

Civilians bore brunt of ongoing hostilities in Amhara region. Fighting primarily between federal forces and nationalist militia known as Fano continued, with latter’s scattered presence and lack of cohesion rendering rebellion difficult to combat. Though most clashes occurred in rural areas, Fano militants 24 Sept managed to enter Gondar city, leading to deadly skirmishes with federal forces. Fano militants same day attacked Debre Markos city (East Gojjam), killing mayor. Conflict exacted heavy toll on civilians. Notably, federal forces late Aug-early Sept reportedly killed at least 70 in northeast Majete town for alleged ties to Fano; drone strikes early Sept in East Gojam, West Gojam and North Shewa zones reportedly killed at least 50; and strike in West Gojjam’s Dembecha and Quarit districts 17 Sept killed at least 48. Fano militants also crossed into Oromia region, 9 Sept attacking civilians in West Shewa and North Shewa zones; alleged Fano militants 15-16 Sept killed around 30 in East Wollega Zone.

Tigray peace process faced new challenges. Tigray region’s interim president Getachew Reda 6 Sept claimed federal govt had agreed to dismantle Amhara’s “illegal administration” in disputed Western and Southern Tigray, though Amhara unrest, in part driven by fears govt will return disputed territories to Tigray, risks complicating issue. Getachew also warned of mounting crime and rising political tensions; opposition-led protesters next day gathered in regional capital Mekelle to denounce administration’s failure to improve security; authorities violently dispersed protesters and arrested scores, including opposition leaders. Meanwhile, UN rights commission 18 Sept warned of “ongoing atrocities” in Tigray, perpetrated by “Eritrean troops and Amhara militia members” (see Eritrea).

Fighting in Oromia region persisted. Hostilities between Oromo Liberation Army and federal forces continued, notably in East Wollega, Horo Guduru Wollega and North Shewa zones. Oromia President Shimelis Abdissa 11 Sept said govt was committed to “silencing guns… through peaceful means”, though no talks have occurred since first round of negotiations ended early May.

In another important development. Final filling of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam completed 10 Sept (see Nile Waters).

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