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Report: Amhara Civilians Attacked by Oromo Militants February 19th-23rd, 2024

Update on attacks on Amhara civilians by Oromo militants between February 19th and 23rd, 2024 in North Shewa and Oromo Special Zones of Amhara Region, Ethiopia

The Amhara Association of America (AAA) has verified that between February 19th and 29th, 2024, the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and Oromo militants attacked Amhara residents in separate incidents leaving at least 28 Amhara civilians killed overall and 52 abducted of which 5 were killed, 42 were released, 2 managed to escaped (one with injuries) and 3 remain missing in the North Shewa and Oromo Special Zones of Amhara Region, Ethiopia.

The first incident began on February 19th, 2024 when Oromo militants abducted seven civilians on their way from Ataye town to Yemlo. Five of the victims including one woman were killed by having their throats slit open. Two of the abducted victims escaped including one that escaped safely while the second escaped with an injury to his hand. AAA investigators identified names of four of the killed victims as follows: (1) Abraham Yehuala, (2) Zinaw Kefelu, (3) Atir (last name unknown) who is female, and (4) Tekle (last name unknown). The assailants shared a video demonstrating the victims’ nude dead bodies being dragged on the ground to further humiliate the victims and terrorize the rest of the Amhara population. In response, local farmers launched a self-defense effort to resist the attack and the ENDF intervened, attacking the local farmers with heavy artillery instead of pursuing the invading militants. The Oromo militants in turn ambushed a public transport bus that was transporting Amhara travelers from Addis Ababa city to Woldia town (North Wollo Zone, Amhara Region) via Chefa Robit town (Oromo Special Zone, Amhara Region). After abducting 45 of the travelers, the militants released the women (17) while retaining the men (28). The following day, 25 abductees were released while the fate of the remaining 3 is not yet known.

In a separate incident on February 22nd, 2024 the Oromo militants killed two Amhara civilians in a place called Gerbi in Jile Timuga Woreda (Oromo Special Zone, Amhara Region). The victims were selected among passengers on a minibus. In another incident on February 23rd, 2024, Oromo militants killed six Amhara civilians in a place called Arawacha near Chefa Robit town (Oromo Special Zone, Amhara Region) as they were traveling from Dessie to Shewa Robit town (North Shewa Zone, Amhara Region).

On February 24th, 2024, inter-communal conflict began in areas bordering Dawa Chefa (Oromo Special Zone) and Efratana Gidim Woreda (North Shewa Zone) before the ENDF intervened but tensions have persisted. On February 29th, 2024, the conflict restarted between Amhara farmers and Oromo militias, and the ENDF sided with the Oromo militias and killed at least 15 Amhara farmers.


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