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Ethiopia unrest: Sudden arrest of 4,000 spells fear in Amhara

thiopia's government has launched a crackdown against a powerful and increasingly autonomous regional security force, in a bold, and potentially risky move to extend central control over a fractious nation.

The clampdown against armed groups in the giant Amhara region has seen the arrest of more than 4,000 people in recent days, including militia members, politicians, journalists, and a key military leader.

There have also been attempts to restrict gun ownership.

These new measures by Ethiopia's prime minister are designed to clip the wings of an increasingly strident nationalist movement in Amhara, and come months after a humanitarian ceasefire was declared in the war-torn Tigray region next door.

But it is not yet clear whether the crackdown in Amhara will bring greater stability to a turbulent Ethiopia, or further enflame ethnic tensions in a nation already struggling to contain powerful centrifugal forces.

The hugely destructive Tigray conflict has shaken up a complex patchwork of internal and external political alliances - including Ethiopia's recent rapprochement with neighbouring Eritrea, whose forces intervened aggressively in Tigray and may yet seek to do so again.


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