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Forces of the Abiy Regime Massacred at Least 18 People and Injured 5 Others in Yedoha Town and the Surrounding Areas of Shebele-Berenta Woreda of East Gojjam Zone in Amhara Region of Ethiopia

Forces of the Abiy regime massacred at least 18 people and injured 5 others in Yedoha town and the surrounding areas of Shebele-Berenta Woreda of East Gojjam Zone in Amhara Region of Ethiopia

Updated June 26th, 2024

Incident Overview

The Amhara Association of America (AAA) has conducted a human rights investigation into a massacre which occurred on May 29th, 2024 and in the days following in Yedoha town and surrounding areas of Shebel-Berenta Woreda in East Gojjam Zone (Amhara Region, Ethiopia). According to AAA’s investigation, during armed conflict with Amhara Fano freedom fighters (Fano) on May 29th, Prosperity Party regime soldiers (Abiy regime forces) committed multiple violations including the killing of at least 18 unarmed civilians, injury of at least five others, and looting and destruction of private property.

Description of Incident

On May 29th, intense fighting erupted in Yedoha town and surrounding rural kebeles in Shebel Berenta Woreda. Sources report that the day began with a burst of intensity as Fano forces, rallying from adjacent areas, launched a barrage of gunfire on the regime’s encampment in Yedoha town around 8:00 am in the morning. The ensuing clash persisted throughout the day, inflicting significant losses on regime forces. During the clashes, regime forces reportedly used heavy weaponry, compelling residents to remain indoors for safety.

Assessing the exact casualty toll proved challenging due to the regime’s swift removal of dead bodies and injured individuals under the cover of heavy artillery fire. However, the aftermath of the incident revealed clear signs of devastation: numerous dead bodies were seen being transported away in at least four vehicles, while the camp and the nearby road were stained with blood, highlighting the scale of the regime’s losses. On the Fano side, reports indicated there were four fatalities and two wounded combatants as a result of the skirmish.

Following this significant defeat in the clash with Fano forces, regime forces launched a retaliatory attack on civilian residents, resulting in the deaths of over 16 civilians and injury of five others. This was carried out through door-to-door executions, indiscriminate shootings of people encountered on the street, and arbitrary shelling. Witnesses recounted scenes of chaos and horror as soldiers went from house to house, dragging people out and shooting them in the streets. Among the victims were students from elementary school, high school, and university. For instance, one of the killed victims was a 10th grade student named Shambel Abebe who was forcibly removed from his home by regime soldiers and shot dead on the street. Another victim, Andarge Mose, an elementary school student, was killed by mortar shelling. Reports also indicated that two other university students were among the victims. Among those killed in the massacre that day, two were survived by children. Geta Aleka, who is estimated to be 48-years-old, was a father of five children. Another victim, identified as Getinet Belay, a businessman estimated to be 45-years-old, is survived by three children. AAA sources reported that many of the deceased, particularly those who were residents of Yedoha, were buried at the St. Kidane-Mihret Church cemetery in the town.

The regime’s attacks on civilians continued even in the days following the May 29th massacre. AAA sources confirmed that on May 30th and June 4th, 2024, regime soldiers killed two civilians in Qutquat Kebele of Shebel-Berenta Woreda. On May 30th, regime soldiers fatally shot and killed a man identified as Yesgat Teshome in Qutquat Kebele. Ato Yesgat, a farmer in his 40s and a father of three, encountered the soldiers during their search for Fano militants. On June 4th, another civilian was killed by regime forces in the same locality. The identity of this victim has not yet been confirmed.

In addition to human losses, the use of heavy weapons, including machine guns and mortars, resulted in property destruction. AAA’s investigation revealed that regime soldiers were involved in looting and deliberate destruction of property belonging to residents.

Despite the severity of the atrocities committed, including extrajudicial killings of innocent civilians and widespread property destruction, there has been a significant lack of attention and coverage from both mainstream medias and social media outlets. This neglect is expected to affect coverage by human rights organizations, as none have reported or condemned the violations thus far.

Below is a partial list of victims killed on May 29th and 30th, 2024 in Shebel-Berenta Woreda of East Gojjam Zone in Amhara Region of Ethiopia.

Below is a list of victims whose properties were looted and destroyed.


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