Brief overviews of key actors in the ACLED-EPO dataset.

Click through the drop-down menu below for profiles providing background information on each actor as well as historical and geographical trends. This page will be regularly updated with new information and actors.

AKA: Liyu Hayil (Special Force) 

The term “Liyu Hayil” is an Amharic word that translates to special force. Some news outlets refer to these forces as “Liyu Militias,” “Liyu Police,” “Special Force,” or simply “Liyu.” Each region has its own Liyu Hayil. For example, there are the Oromia Regional State Special Forces, Amhara Regional State Special Forces, and Somali Regional State Special Forces. 

The Ethiopian constitution allows each regional state the power to “establish and administer a state police force, and to maintain public order and peace within the State” (Article 52, Ethiopian Constitution). Hence, Regional Special Forces are trained and equipped for counter-insurgency operations within their respective regions. Their existence, however, has led to significant security issues as they constitute an ethnically exclusive armed force in Ethiopia’s ethno-federalist system. These forces are often deployed by local administrators into areas of contested territory and are accused of perpetrating some of the most serious violence in the state. 

The Somali Regional Special Police were involved in attacks on civilians that resulted in hundreds of fatalities along the Somali/Oromo regional borders in 2017 and 2018 (AP, 27 August 2018). The role of the Amhara Regional Special Force in the ongoing operations against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in Western Tigray is also highly contentious, with some accusing the troops of displacing thousands of ethnic Tigrayans (Reuters, 29 March 2021). From 2 to 7 April 2021, Afar and Somali special forces were involved in clashes along disputed territory that led to at least 100 fatalities (Reuters, 7 April 2021). 

AKA: Amhara Special Forces/Ye-Amhara Liyu Hayil) 

The Amhara regional Special Forces are trained and equipped for counter-insurgency operations within the Amhara region. They report to the Amhara regional government. The size of the special forces is not known. It is led by Deputy Commissioner Biset Getahun (Amhara Media Corporation, 29 April 2021). Currently, the special forces are active both in Amhara and Tigray region and are in primary control of security in the Western Tigray region. The Amhara regional state special forces are primarily involved in armed clashes with Qemant militias, Oromo militias, and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and its affiliated groups in the Amhara and Tigray regions. The regional forces have also clashed with the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) at the border of Ethiopia and Sudan.

AKA: Oromia Regional State Special Forces (Oromia Special Forces/Ye-Oromia Liyu Hayil) 

The Oromo Regional Special Forces are trained and equipped for counter-insurgency operations within the Oromia region. They are led by Commissioner General Ararsa Merdasa (OBN, 9 May 2021) and report to the Oromia regional government. The size of the special forces is not known. Currently, this force is primarily involved in armed clashes with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – Shane, also known as the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), in different parts of the Oromia region.

AKA: Somali Regional State Special Forces (Somali Special Forces/Somali Liyu Hayil) 

The Somali Regional Special Forces are a police unit trained and equipped for counter-insurgency operations within the Somali region. It reports to the Somali regional government. The size of the group is not known. They frequently clash with the Afar militia and Afar Special Forces at the border of the two regions.

Alias: Afar Regional State Special Forces (Afar Special Forces/Afar Liyu Hayil) 

The Afar Regional Special Forces are a police unit trained and equipped for counter-insurgency operations within the Afar region. It reports to the Afar regional government. The size of the group is not known. They frequently clash with Somali Special Forces at the border of the two regions.

AKA: Fano (Amhara militias) 

Fano youth can be loosely defined as an ethno-nationalist youth movement with roots in the 2010-2018 anti-Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) protest era. Although Fano is hailed for being instrumental in bringing about the fall of the TPLF through both non-violent and violent struggles, their current status and organizational structure are unclear. 

The territorial integrity of the Amhara ethnic ‘homeland’ has been a key issue for the Fano youth. Protests led by Fano in 2017-2018 were often centered around the issue of Western Tigray and the ethnic Amhara who lived there. As the purported ‘protectors’ of Amhara society, the Fano have engaged in violent conflicts throughout the state in the name of neutralizing perceived threats to the Amhara people and, by extension, Amhara nationalism.  

Fano has become aligned with –and, in many instances, absorbed by — the Amhara Regional Special Forces. Fano is deeply involved in the conflict against TPLF-associated forces in Western Tigray and in operations against militants associated with the Kemant Democratic Party in areas of Chilga. In this respect, their future is aligned with the Amhara regional special forces and by extension Amhara regional ethno-nationalist ambitions. 

When interviewed, Fano youth declare themselves “protectors of Ethiopia” – demonstrating the rhetoric that “Amhara nationalism is Ethiopianism” – a clear contrast to Qeerroo movements in Oromia that simply advocate for the Oromo ethnic group. 

Some Fano youth recognize the leadership of Solomon Atanaw (Ezega, 28 March 2020). 

AKA: Ethiopian Federal Police (EFP) 

When referred to without a region or special force title, Ethiopia’s police forces fall under the category of the Ethiopian federal police under the command of the federal government. It was established in 1995 (African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum) and is led by the Federal Police Commission which, since 2018, reports to the Ministry of Peace. Police Commissioner-General Demelash Gebremichael heads the Commission (AP News, 8 November 2021). The force is responsible for preventing and investigating any crimes against the constitutional order and crimes which fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government. The police force also has an obligation to secure borders, airports, railway lines and terminals, mining areas, and federal institutions (Ethiopian Federal Police Commission Establishment Proclamation No. 720/2011). The government deploys the EFP to ‘hotspot’ locations when security incidents overwhelm the local and regional security forces. In such a situation, upon the invitation of the regional government, the EFP is involved in de-escalating the situation and maintaining order. As of 2016, it was estimated that the EFP comprised around 30,000 personnel (Erwin van Veen, September 2016).

AKA: Samri – ሳምሪ

Samri is an informal Tigrayan youth group in Maikadra named after an area in Maikadra which is inhabited by mostly ethnic Tigray. One Samri group typically consists of 20 to 30 ethnic Tigray youth (Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, 24 November 2021). This youth group is believed to have been actively involved in the November 2020 massacre in Maikadra. 

AKA: Weyane

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is also known as Weyane (ወያኔ) and was established in 1974 by ethnic Tigrayan students at Addis Ababa University under an association known as Mahber Gesgesti Behere Tigray (MAGEBT- Associations of Progressive Tigray People’s movement) (The Manifesto of TPLF, 1976; Paulos Milkias, 2003; Aregawi Berhe, 2004). The group was inspired by Marxist-Leninism. Later, when the struggle shifted to the countryside in Tigray, the name was changed to TPLF. In the beginning, the group’s objective was to secede and establish an independent Tigray (The Manifesto of TPLF, 1976). The TPLF mobilized Tigrayans to join its forces and fight the central government: the Derg regime. In 1989, the TPLF and two other groups which were established by TPLF — the Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (EPDM) and the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) — created a coalition party called the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF – የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች አብዮታዊ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ግንባር). After 16 years of civil war, EPRDF took control of the central government in 1991 and formed a transitional government that developed a new constitution and implemented ethnic federalism. In 1994, the Southern Ethiopia People’s Democratic Front (SEPDF) was established and joined the EPRDF coalition (Lovise Aalen, 2002). EPRDF won the general election in 1995 and became Ethiopia’s ruling party. Until EPRDF was dissolved and replaced by the Prosperity Party on 1 December 2019, the TPLF dominated EPRDF and the central government. In 2019, the TPLF decided not to join the Prosperity Party and continued to govern the Tigray region until a new conflict erupted on 4 November 2020. Currently, the TPLF actively fights the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), the Amhara Special Forces, and the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF) in the Tigray region. TPLF is led by Debretsion Gebremichael. In November 2020, it was estimated that the TPLF comprised around 250,000 fighters (Crisis Group, 5 November 2020). Those numbers have likely declined significantly throughout the course of the conflict. 

AKA: Tigray Militias 

The Tigray Ethnic Militias referred to in ACLED’s dataset are made up of ethnic Tigrayans, organized at a local level, who are operating in the Tigray region. Before the violent conflict between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the federal government began in 2020, the militias were the official security force operating at the kebele level of the region. The primary purpose of kebele militias is to provide security in localities in coordination with the local and federal police. After the conflict between the TPLF and the federal government erupted on 4 November 2020, the Tigray militias have fought alongside the TPLF against the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), the Amhara Special Forces, and the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF). Tigray militias are mostly active in the Tigray region, although militias sometimes clash with the Amhara Special Forces in the Amhara region (Waghimra Communication, 27 April 2021; DW Amharic, 27 April 2021).

With the dissolution of the TPLF, some Tigray Regional Special Force police officers have joined local ethnic militias and participate in fighting against the military forces of Ethiopia and Eritrea under the umbrella term ‘Tigray Militias.’

AKA: Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF)/The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Defense Force

The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) is the national military of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. ENDF consists of four parts: the ground force, the air force, the navy (since January 2020), and the Republican Guard (established in 2018). The Republican Guard is a unit of the military that protects senior government officials (CIA World Factbook-Ethiopia, 2021). It is estimated that ENDF has around 162,000 active personnel (Global Fire Power, 3 March 2021). The Commander-in-Chief of the force is Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, while the Minister of Defense is Kenea Yadeta and the Chief of General Staff is General Birhanu Jula. ENDF is currently active in Tigray, Benshangul/Gumuz, Oromia, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), and Amhara regions. In the Tigray region, ENDF is clashing with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and its affiliated militia group, the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF). In Benshangul/Gumuz, the military is taking action against the Gumuz People’s Democratic Movement. The force is part of a command post that is re-establishing security in the Metekel zone of the region (The Ethiopian Herald, 25 December 2020). ENDF is also actively fighting with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – Shane, also known as the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), in the Oromia region. ENDF is active in several areas of SNNPR, such as the Amaro area, Wolayita, Konso, and Bench-Maji zone. In the Amhara region, the military is taking part in two command posts, which were established due to frequent violent conflicts in the Central Gondar zone and in the North Shewa/Oromia Special zone area  (FDRE Defense Force, 18 April 2021; Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, 29 April 2021). 

AKA: Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF)

The Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF) is the national military of Eritrea. It comprises the ground force, the air force, and the navy. It is estimated that EDF has around 200,000 active personnel and 500,000 reserve personnel (Global Fire Power, 3 March 2021). EDF is active in the Tigray region and frequently clashes with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and its affiliated militia group, the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF). EDF also attacks civilians in different parts of the Tigray region. It sometimes clashes with the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) (Reuters, 14 April 2021).

AKA: Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) 

The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF)are the armed forces of the Republic of Sudan. It is estimated that the SAF has 105,000 active personnel, 85,000 reserve personnel, and 20,000 paramilitaries (Global Fire Power, 3 March 2021). Since November 2020, SAF has clashed with the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and Amhara Region Special Forces in Al Fashaga Triangle. The Commander-in-Chief of SAF is Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the Minister of Defence is Yassin Ibrahim Yassin, and the Chief of Staff of SAF is Lieutenant General Mohammad Othman al-Hussein.

The EPRDF is a coalition of four political parties: the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM – which was renamed Amhara Democratic Party(ADP) in 2018), the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO – which was renamed Oromo Democratic Party(ODP) in 2018), and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM). The group was established in 1989 as a coalition of ethnic-based opposition movements aimed at overthrowing the Derg regime. In 1989, the TPLF and the Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (EPDM), which later became the ANDM, agreed to establish EPRDF. EPDM was founded by former members of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP – known in Ethiopia as EHAPA – የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝባዊ አብዮታዊ ፓርቲ). In 1990, the TPLF established the OPDO, which consisted of former Oromo soldiers of the Derg regime who were captured by the TPLF (John Young, 1997, p.166). The Southern Ethiopia People’s Democratic Front (SEPDF – which, in 2002, was renamed the Southern Ethiopia People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM)) was established and integrated as one of the political parties of the EPRDF coalition in 1994 (Lovise Aalen, 2002).  EPRDF was the incumbent party from 1991 to December 2019. The coalition was dominated by the TPLF (Lovise Aalen, 2002). EPRDF was dissolved and replaced by the Prosperity Party on 1 December 2019. The TPLF decided not to join the Prosperity Party. From 1989 to 2019, EPRDF had three leaders. From 1989 to August 2012, EPRDF was led by Meles Zenawi. After the death of Meles Zenawi, Hailemariam Desalegn served as the chairman from September 2012 until he resigned in March 2018 (DW Amharic, 15 February 2018; BBC, 21 August 2012). Abiy Ahmed became the chairman of EPRDF on 28 March 2018 and led the coalition until December 2019 (BBC Amharic, 28 March 2018). 

AKA: Biltsigena – ብልጽግና

The Prosperity Party is the ruling party that replaced the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) on 1 December 2019. The party was established by three parties within the EPRDF coalition and five other former sister parties of EPRDF (Borkena, 1 December 2019). The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the founder of EPRDF, strongly opposed PP and decided not to join the party, while the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) dissolved to join the PP (Ethiopian Monitor, 5 January 2020; 22 November 2019). Other parties which dissolved and merged with PP are the Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP), the Benshangul-Gumuz People’s Democratic Unity Front (BGPDUF), the Ethiopian Somali People’s Democratic Party (ESPDP), the Gambella People’s Democratic Movement (GPDM), and the Harari National League (HNL). The chairman of PP is Abiy Ahmed. The party’s factions are identified as the Amhara PP (የአማራ ብልጽግና ፓርቲ), the Oromo PP (የኦሮሚያ ብልጽግና ፓርቲ), the Tigray PP (የትግራይ ብልጽግና ፓርቲ), the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ PP (የደቡብ ብልጽግና ፓርቲ), Sidama PP (የሲዳማ ብልጽግና ፓርቲ), the Afar PP (የአፋር ብልጽግና ፓርቲ), Benshangul/Gumuz PP (የቤኒሻንጉል ጉሙዝ ብልጽግና ፓርቲ), the Somali PP (የሶማሊ ብልጽግና ፓርቲ), the Gambella PP (የጋምቤላ ብልጽግና ፓርቲ) and Harari PP (የሀረሪ ብልጽግና ፓርቲ). It is estimated that the Party has 10 million members (Borkena, 15 January 2021).

AKA: OPP, የኦሮሚያ ብልጽግና ፓርቲ 

The Oromo Prosperity Party (OPP) is one of the 10 factions of the ruling Prosperity Party. It is governing the Oromia regional state of Ethiopia.

The Amhara Prosperity Party is one of the 10 factions of the ruling Prosperity Party. It is governing the Amhara regional state of Ethiopia.

The Gambella People’s Democratic Movement is currently the ruling party of the Gambella region. The GPDM was established in 2003 as a coalition of three ethnic-based political parties: (1) the Nuer People’s Democratic Organization, which represents the Nuer and Opo ethnic groups, (2) the Anywaa People’s Democratic Organization, which represents the Anywaa and Komo ethnic groups; and (3) the Majanger People’s Democratic Organization, which represents the Majangir. On 1 December 2019, the party dissolved itself and joined the Prosperity Party. Since December 2019, the party has been identified as the Gambella faction of the Prosperity Party.

The Western Somali Liberation Front was established in the 1960s (Abdi Ismail Samatar, 2004). The main objective of WSLF was to form an independent Somalia state supporting the ideology of creating ‘greater Somalia’ by re-uniting the Ethiopian Somali region with Somalia. In 1975, Siyaad Barre, the president of Somalia, “reorganized” WSLF to wage war against the government of Ethiopia and control the Somali region of Ethiopia (David D. Laitin, 1979). Between 1977 to 1978, the group controlled the Somali region and Dire Dawa city of Ethiopia. After Ethiopia regained  the Somali region, the WSLF retreated to Somalia. It remained active in Somalia until the collapse of the Siyaad Barre regime in 1991 (Abdirahman A. Muhumed & Mohamed A. Siraj, 2017). In 1984, the WSLF had split, and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) was founded to establish an independent Ogaden. 

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) was established in 1984 after Somalian President Siyaad Barre’s attempt to form ‘greater Somalia’ failed. ONLF was created by a group that split from the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF). WSLF raised arms to establish an independent Somalia state supporting the ideology of creating a ‘greater Somalia’ by re-uniting all members of the Somali ethnic group. ONLF is a splinter group of WSLF, and its objective is to establish an independent Ogaden. However, it is not clear whether ONLF wants secession from Ethiopia or autonomy within Ethiopia (Tobaias Hagmann, 2014).  The group’s major support comes from the Ogaadeeni clan. When EPRDF took power in 1991, ONLF ruled the Somali regional state. However, when there was a lack of regional autonomy, ONLF leaders wanted to hold a referendum on the self-determination of the region. Hence, the federal security forces intervened, arrested ONLF leaders, and closed their office. After 1994, some ONLF members raised arms to fight the federal government. Following Prime Minister Abiy’s invitation to various armed opposition groups to return to Ethiopia and participate in the democratization process peacefully, the ONLF returned to the Somali region in December 2018 and demobilized its fighters after 24 years of armed struggle. In 2019, ONLF registered as a political party to participate in Ethiopia’s upcoming sixth general election. Since November 2019, ONLF has been led by Abdirahman Mahdi (Jama Farah, 12 November 2019).

The Somali People’s Democratic Party of Ethiopia, which was renamed the Somali Democratic Party in April 2019, was established in June 1998 (Abdi Ismail Samatar, 2004). SDP dissolved itself and merged with the Prosperity Party on 1 December 2019. Now it is considered the Somali faction of the Prosperity Party. The Somali faction of the party is led by Ahmed Shide.

The Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) was established in 2012 when two parties, the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) and the Oromo People’s Congress (OPC), merged to form OFC (Addis Standard, 16 May 2015). The stated goals of the group are to advance the rights and freedoms of the Oromo people (Oromo Federalist Congress). Popular Oromo activist and former director of the Oromo Media Network, Jawar Mohammed, joined the OFC in January 2020 (Africa News, 2 January 2020). The Chairman of the OFC is Dr. Merera Gudina.

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was established in 1973 (Oromo Liberation Front). OLF campaigns for the self-determination of the Oromo people. In May 1991, OLF, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) signed an agreement to establish a transitional government in Ethiopia (Alex de Waal, 1992). However, because of intimidation and irregularities, OLF boycotted the regional election in 1992, withdrew from the Transitional Government of Ethiopia, and launched an armed insurrection (Jan Abbink, 2007; John Young, 2010). Following Prime Minister Abiy’s invitation to various armed opposition groups to return to Ethiopia and participate in the democratization process peacefully, OLF leaders returned to Ethiopia in September 2018 (Reuters, 15 September 2018). After a month-long standoff, around 800-1,000 OLF fighters disarmed, while the military wing of OLF, which is known as the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), or OLF-Shane, split from the party in April 2019 (The Reporter, 6 April 2019). The OLF did not manage to register as a party for the sixth general election of Ethiopia due to an internal struggle among the leaders (The Reporter, 15 August 2021; The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, 28 March 2021). Dawud Ibsa, chairman of the OLF, claims that his organization was forced to boycott the election due to intimidation by the government (DW Amharic, 19 February 2021). The OLF’s vice chairman, Ararso Bikila, now leads a splinter faction of the party that is recognized by the ruling government (DW Amharic, 29 March 2021). 

AKA: Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) – Waraana Bilisummaa Oromoo (WBO) የኦሮሞ ነጻነት ሠራዊት

The Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) was originally the military wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and split from the OLF in April 2019 due to disagreement over disarming its fighters (The Reporter, 6 April 2019). OLF-Shane is led by a committee of army commanders (The Reporter, 6 April 2019). The main objective of the group is to establish an independent Oromia. In 2018, it was estimated that OLF-Shane had around 2,800 fighters (Xinhua, 11 October 2018), although it is likely this number has increased substantially since 2020. The group is mainly active in the Oromia region and conducts regular attacks against government officials, military forces, and police. The group has an urban ‘hit squad’ labeled “Abbaa Torbee,” which is often involved in violent operations in cities. 

The OLF-Shane has been blamed for a significant number of attacks against ethnic Amharas living in the Oromia region. The official spokesperson for the group denies such accusations and insists that they are not responsible. There are also reports that OLF-Shane clashed with Amhara Regional Special Forces in North Shewa and Oromia zones of Amhara region, again an accusation the group denies (VOA, 16 April 2021; Amhara Media Corporation, 17 April 2021; Reporter, 18 April 2021).

OLF-Shane is most active in West Wolega, Guji, North Shewa, and Horo Guduro Wolega zones of the Oromia region. 

AKA: Qeerroo Youth Militia, Qeerroo Youth Organization, Qeerroo fi Qarree

Qeerroo in Oromiffa refers to a social class of young unmarried men. But, since 2014, it broadly signifies a social movement for political freedom and democracy in the Oromia region. Although Qeerroo does not have a formal administrative structure, each Qeerroo network is led by local coordinators. Many Qeerroo refer to Jawar Mohammed, former director of the Oromia Media Network, as their leader. The exact number of adherents to the Qeerroo movement is not known. Each district of the Qeerroo network has 20 members with a leader (The Guardian 13 March 2018). This network is responsible for spreading information to the community about upcoming labor strikes. From 2014 to 2018, the Qeerroo networks were behind multiple strikes, protests, and riots in different parts of Oromia.

The Qeerroo are currently split into multiple groups and claim allegiance to different members of Ethiopia’s political elite. Furthermore, due to heavy state repression,  Qeerroo-sponsored protests have not been able to occur and some Qeerroo have chosen to support the efforts of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)-Shane (Oromo Liberation Army (OLA)), instead. Others remain aligned with the government, while others still have chosen to disengage from politics entirely. 

The National Movement of Amhara is an Amhara nationalist party founded in June 2018 (Borkena, 10 June 2018). The party is chaired by Belete Molla (Borkena, 24 February 2020). It is primarily active in the Amhara region but has registered candidates for the sixth general election in different regions of Ethiopia. The supporters of this party are exclusively from the Amhara ethnic group. 

The stated political goal of NaMA is to champion the defense of the Amhara people inside and outside of the Amhara region. For this reason, continued attacks on Amhara civilians throughout Ethiopia have played well into NaMA’s campaign, and the group has high support in the Amhara region, especially among the youth.

The Welayta People’s Democratic Front (WPDF) was established in the 1990s (Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada). The party is led by Gobeze Goa (ዎላይታ ሕዝብ ዴሞክራሲያዊ ግንባር, 9 January 2021). The party’s support base is the Wolyita ethnic group, and it is active in the Wolyita zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR). The party’s stated objective is to strengthen federalism by asserting the right to self-determination and supporting the federal government (ዎላይታ ሕዝብ ዴሞክራሲያዊ ግንባር, 2 January 2020).

The Issa militia is a clan-based militia force that is associated with ethnic Issa in the Somali region. This group frequently clashed with the Afar Region Special Forces and Afar militias in Zone 3 of the Afar region.

The Agew-Qemant militias are ethnic militia forces affiliated with the Agaw and Qemant ethnic groups. These militias are active in Central Gondar in the Amhara region and frequently clash with the Amhara Regional Special Forces and federal troops. Some Agew-Qemant militias are referred to as ‘Shifta’ – an Amharic term for ‘banditry’ that is common in areas where ethnic Qemant militias operate; especially in areas near the Sudan border.

Oromo ethnic militias are groups of armed individuals that are affiliated with the Oromo ethnic group. These militia groups are active in the Oromia region and Oromia zone of the Amhara region. ‘Oromo ethnic militias’ may occasionally refer to the official security forces of the kebele administrative division (sometimes called kebele militia or simply ‘militia’), although it typically represents an informal structure of armed members of ethnic Oromo communities.