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Preliminary report on the latest genocidal invasion by state-backed OLA militants in North Shewa

According to preliminary findings,state-backed Oromo Liberation Army militants and security personnel from the Oromo Special Zone launched a series of attacks on Amhara civilians and security personnel in neighboring districts of the North Shewa Zone of Amhara Region.

Executive Summary

According to preliminary investigations undertake by the Amhara Association of America (AAA) ethnic Amhara civilians and security personnel in the North Shewa Zone of the Amhara Regional State bore the brunt of yet another round of ethnic-based violence perpetrated by the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), along with Qeerro (ultra-nationalist Oromo youth) and the Oromo Special Zone administration security personnel. The attack, which began on Saturday, January 21st and lasted for days before returning to normalcy on the morning of Thursday, January 26, 2023, targeted several areas in the North Shewa Zone of the Amhara Region, including Efratana Gidim and Kewet Woredas (district), as well as Ataye town, and caused hundreds of casualties. The attackers destroyed public and private property, and over a hundred thousand residents fled to neighboring areas such as Mehal Meda and Debre Birhan. This occurred while the Amhara Region has hosted over one million IDPs displaced from attacks in the Oromia Region. In the last few years, the North Shewa Zone in particular has been a sight of frequent attacks by OLA and allied forces. The preliminary investigation has determined that between Saturday, January 21st and the morning of Thursday, January 26th, 2023, a series of attacks by OLA militants which descended from the Oromo Special Zone to neighboring districts in the North Shewa Zone of Amhara Region resulted in:

  • at least 45 civilians killed and 8 injured in Jewuha, Zuti Kebele, Addisalem-Negeso Kebele and Mentekie Sherefa Kebele,

  • in Mehal Meda Hospital alone, there are more than 200 injured victims mainly from Ataye, Majete and neighboring areas. Vulnerable groups were disproportionately represented among victims, including many women, children, farmers and other civilians;

  • at least 81 security personnel killed in Jewuha and Senbete;

  • tens of thousands of civilians displaced from their homes in the Efratana and Gidim Woredas;

  • destruction of at least 170 residential homes in the Zuti Kebele and Addisalem-Negeso Kebeles alone, and widespread destruction and looting of private and public property.

AAA is conducting a detailed investigation into the latest round of attacks in the area and will release a full report as soon as the investigation is completed, but in the interim, findings from the preliminary overview of major events that have occurred in the area since the launch of the new round of attacks on January 21st, 2023 are provided below (see the pdf report).


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