July 14, 2024

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Ethiopian Military Allegedly Kills Over 10 in Amhara

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A report released today from Amnesty International sheds light on disturbing incidents in the Amhara region, where the Ethiopian military is accused of engaging in extrajudicial killings. These alleged actions have been occurring since last year as part of a military operation targeting a group known as Fano Fighters.

The Amhara region has become a focal point of conflict, with the military conducting operations to curb Fano Fighters’ activities. The report points to the gravity of the situation, indicating that the military’s operations have resulted in the extrajudicial killing of approximately a dozen people. These victims are purportedly civilians caught in the crossfire or suspected of supporting Fano Fighters.

The first incident mentioned in the report occurred on the 8th of August last year in Bahir Dar, the regional capital of the Amhara region. In two neighborhoods, Abuna Hara and Lideta, the military allegedly killed six civilians during a house-to-house search operation. The victims were suspected of supporting Fano Fighters, and after their arrest, they were reportedly shot dead. The second incident happened on the 10th and 11th of October last year when the Ethiopian military killed six civilians in the Sabatamit neighborhood of Bahir Dar, according to Amnesty’s report.

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A similar incident took place in Merawi town of Amhara region a few weeks ago, where, during another house-to-house search operation, civilians were killed under similar circumstances. The report highlights a disturbing pattern where clashes between Fano Fighters and the military precede retaliatory actions by the military against civilians suspected of supporting the opposition group.

Amnesty International, the organization behind the report, conducted remote interviews to compile information since the Amhara region remains inaccessible to media outlets, journalists, and human rights workers. The lack of on-the-ground access poses a significant challenge in independently verifying the reported human rights abuses.

As these allegations come to light, calls are made for the Ethiopian government to conduct a thorough investigation into the reported incidents and to take measures to halt the alleged extrajudicial killings by the military. It is essential to note that the Ethiopian government has historically rejected such reports from international organizations, often criticizing the methodology and maintaining that they aim to undermine the government’s efforts to restore peace and stability in the region.

The situation in the Amhara region raises concerns about the broader issue of human rights violations and the challenges faced by organizations seeking to document and address these violations when access to conflict zones is restricted. As events unfold, scrutiny of these allegations and calls for accountability will likely intensify, bringing attention to the complex dynamics of the ongoing conflicts in Ethiopia.