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Massacres of Ethnic Amharas in Ethiopia Continued Unabated in 2021

At least 3,308 ethnic Amhara civilians were killed in targeted massacres across Ethiopia between January 1st and December 31st of 2021, according to a new investigative report by the Amhara Association of America (AAA). More than 7,259 cases of human rights violations against Amharas, excluding millions of Amharas who have been displaced or whose property rights have been violated, are documented in the report. These include 3,308 killings; 1,252 injuries; 1,009 cases of rape; 111 arbitrary arrests; 62 cases of abduction and forced evictions that impacted at least 1,517 people.


Compiled through in-person and phone interviews of survivors, their relatives, and eyewitnesses, AAA’s annual report paints a grim picture of explicit and systemic human rights violations against the Amhara people. Articles and statements by Ethiopian human rights organizations and media outlets support AAA’s ground investigations.



Rebel and armed groups fighting the Ethiopian government were responsible for majority of the civilian casualties (4,320 civilian casualties including 3,133 killed and 1,165 injured). Of these, militias of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) were responsible for 2,490 killings, the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) was responsible for 1,688 of the casualties, Gumuz militias for 101, and Sheko militias for 19 causalities. In addition to the thousands of Amhara civilians killed and wounded in attacks by non-state actors and regional security forces, the report documents:


  • Government forces were responsible for 86 of the civilian casualties: 37 by the Oromia Special Forces, 46 by the Amhara region security forces, two by ENDF, and one by Benishangul-Gumuz region security forces. Government forces were responsible for at least 111 arbitrary and unlawful arrest cases during the reporting period: the large majority (107) in the Oromia region and four in the Amhara region.

  • The Addis Ababa City Administration forcibly and violently evicted more than 1,517 ethnic Amhara residents from their homes in Addis Ababa in brazen disregard of the appropriate legal and procedural safeguards, including prior and adequate consultation, adequate notice, and the provision of compensation and/or alternative housing.

  • All documented rapes (1,009) were committed by TPLF militias in the Amhara region.

  • OLA accounted for all documented abduction cases (62) recorded in the Oromia (61) and Benishangul Gumuz regions (1).

  • The remaining casualties were attributed to the Sudan Defense Forces (13), local Oromo youth (3), and unidentified militias (160).

  • AAA estimates that at least five million Amharas were forced to flee their homes due to violence throughout 2021 amidst the COVID-19 threat

The full report can be accessed here.