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25 Aug, 2023 18:37

Ethiopia's Amhara region president resigns

Yilkal Kefale claimed the complexities of the region's political struggle made his job difficult, local media reported
Ethiopia's Amhara region president resigns

The president of Ethiopia's northern Amhara region, Yilkal Kefale, has resigned from his position, citing social, health, and family issues as the reasons for his decision, local media reported on Friday.

Yilkal resigned at a regional council emergency meeting in the capital, Bahir Dar, that was held to discuss the recent violent clashes between local militias and the army, according to the Ethiopian Reporter.

“I know the pain of coming into power during a crisis and letting go of responsibility during a crisis, but I have given everything I can,” he is quoted by the outlet as saying.

The Ethiopian authorities declared a six-month state of emergency in the Amhara region in response to the deadly conflict between the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and local Fano militia fighters that broke out earlier this month.

The unrest reportedly stems from the federal government’s order in April to integrate regional security forces into the federal police or army, which protesters say will leave Amhara vulnerable to attack from neighboring regions.

Yilkal is said to be in charge of implementing a peace motion approved by the council to address the rising security crisis in the region.

However, in his resignation speech, he told the council that the peace "efforts failed," adding that "within just a few days, the conflict was out of control."

He claimed that the complexity of the political struggle among residents, as well as a lack of a common goal and an adequate strategy, made his role as the region's leader difficult, the Addis Standard reported.

Yilkal held the regional presidential post for nearly two years.

The council has named Arega Kebede, a former head of the Amhara regional militia bureau, an official security force that operates under the authority of the regional government, as the incoming president.