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An attack on Amhara villagers by Oromia Special Forces, the Oromo Liberation Army and Qeerro

( in Tenkara Kebele, Mizhga Woreda, Kemashi Zone in Ethiopian’s Benishangul-Gumuz Region)



Executive summary


The Amhara Association of America (AAA) has verified from survivors that a coalition of Oromia Special Forces (OSF) and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) militants have attacked Amhara villagers after invading into Mender (village) 42 in Tenkara Kebele (ward), Mizhga Woreda (district), Kemashi Zone (Benishangul-Gumuz Region, Ethiopia) on December 10th, 2022. An extremist ethnic-based youth group, Qeerro also joined the militants primarily by destroying and looting their property in the village. The joint OSF-OLA forces killed at least thirteen Amhara civilians, injured five more so far, and forced over 800 households (an estimated 2,000 people) of the village to flee out of it. The joint OSF-OLA forces also engaged in widespread looting and destruction of property. Most of the houses (over 500) in the village were deliberately burned and over 3,000 farm animals (mostly cattle) were looted.


The Perpetrators


On the day of the attack (December 10th, 2022) beginning from 11:00 a.m. the joint OSF OLA forces attacked the village using various types of firearms including heavy machineguns which overwhelmed the local farmers who tried to protect the village. The joint OSF-OLA forces were also joined by Qeerro particularly for the property loss. A survivor (withheld their name out fear of reprisal) now in refuge told AAA’s investigators:


“Yes I saw them (the assailants) - some had their hair plaited and some of the rest are not but wore special police (OSF) uniforms. There were both Special Forces and Shene (OLA) united to eliminate Amharas. There were also countless Qeerro flooding to the villages and holding machetes, axes, knives, and spears.”

A 31-year-old injured survivor by the name Getachew (name changed) also spoke to AAA and said the following about the identity of the perpetrators:


“They were the Oromia Special Forces (OSF) and Shene (OLA). I tried to look at a few of them who died in fighting. I myself confirmed that two of them had OSF identity cards and wore the OSF uniform.”

Killings and Injuries


After a few hours of exchange of fire between the joint OSF-OLA perpetrators and under armed ethnic Amhara farmers, the perpetrators took control of the village at around 4:00 p.m. and began committing ethnic-based attacks which left at least thirteen Amhara civilians killed and an additional five injured.