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Arrest Campaign Targeting Amhara Residents in Gurage Zone Following Visit by Prime Minister Abiy

Arrest Campaign Targeting Amhara Residents in Gurage Zone Following Visit by Prime Minister Abiy

Updated May 21st, 2024

The Amhara Association of America (AAA) has verified that following a visit to Wolkite town by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on April 20th, 2024, arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions of Amhara residents have followed in Wolkite town and surrounding areas of Gurage Zone of Central Ethiopia Region. Among the targets of the arrest campaign are politically active young adult men, public officials and civil servants of Amhara ethnic identity including individuals with ties to the National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) party. The arrests have been carried out at night and the victims’ whereabouts are not known at the time of compiling this report. However, the victims’ due procedural rights have been violated as they have not been brought before a court of law, the location of their suspected detention has not been made clear, and they are not receiving visits from family members. It has been known that some of the detained individuals have been taken to a small town called Gunchire in Enmor Woreda of the same zone, located 100-km from Wolkite town. The far distance has also been prohibitive to visits from family members. AAA’s investigators were able to identify names of nine Amhara individuals detained by government security forces in Wolkite town since April 20th, 2024. The names of the detained victims and their occupations are provided in the table below.


Victim Name



Menelik Haile

Head of NaMA’s Gurage Zone Branch Office


Dessalegn Worku

Professional Auditor, Abeshige Woreda Cooperatives Union


Gashaw Antenayehu

Ambulance Driver


Zemete Ayfokru

Abeshige Woreda Vice-Administrator


Girma Haylegnaw



Sintayehu Molla

Owner of a Mobile Centre


Worku (last name unknown)

 Contractor and Trader


Tsegaye Misganaw

ENDF Veteran


Ashagrie (last name unknown)


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