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“They Stole Our Tears” - The Agamsa Massacre of Amharas: Victims branded Victimizers

Introduction


The Amhara Association of America (AAA) tasked its team of human rights investigators

to conduct an investigation into the massacre reported in Agamsa town, AmuruWoreda

(district), Horo Guduru Wollega Zone in Ethiopia’s Oromia Region, an area where ethnic based massacres targetting Amhara residents has been carried out widely. AAA’s team of

investigators collected 33 first-hand accounts from survivors, victims’ families, and eyewitnesses of the Agamsa massacre between Monday, August 29 and Thursday, September 8, 2022. This report presents a summary of human rights violations, identities of victims, perpetrators, and details of the attack which transpired in and around Agamsa town.


Major Findings of the Investigation

  • According to the findings of the investigation conducted by AAA, the town of Agamsa in AmuruWoreda of Horo GuduruWollega Zone (Oromia Region, Ethiopia) was under the control of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) [also known as Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) Shene] on Monday, August 29, 2022 during which it perpetrated an ethnic-based massacre of Amhara civilians. During this period, the OLA were supported by local Qeerro (extremist Oromo youth) and some ethnic Oromo militiamen who went door-to-door seeking out ethnic Amhara residents and conducted a campaign of systematic killing using various means and weapons. As a result of the killing spree by OLA and its collaborators, at least 50 Amhara residents were killed and an additional 20 Amharas were abducted from Agamsa town on Monday, August 29, 2022 and an additional 11 Amharas were killed in neighboring areas for a total of 61 Amharas killed.

  • Following the OLA occupation and reports of ethnic-based killings, residents of nearby towns scrambled to find help from the Oromia Regional Government and the Ethiopian Federal Government. When their pleas fell on deaf ears, farmers from neighbouring towns with relatives in Agamsa quickly organized to respond to the cries for help. They approached the town of Agamsa in the early morning on Tuesday, August 30, 2022. At this time, the OLA was already aware of their approach and opened fire. The OLA was accompanied by Qeerro and a few armed Oromia Regional Government officials. The exchange of gunfire persisted for hours and both sides sustained heavy losses and injuries. In addition, no more than 10 Oromo noncombatants were struck and killed by stray bullets.