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Update on Developments in Ethiopia - May 14, 2023

Amhara Protests, Mass Arrests and Ongoing Crimes of OLA

The Amhara Association of America (AAA) has verified that as of May 14th, 2023, the Abiy regime and the Oromo-led Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) has continued its attack on various towns in Amhara Region. On May 14th, 2023, anti-government protests were held in Alamata and Lalibela towns. Federal and regional security forces have continued mass arrests of Amharas in Addis Ababa, Amhara Region and Oromia Region. Lastly, the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) has perpetrated abductions and property destruction in Oromia and Amhara Regions. Updates based on AAA’s independent investigations and assorted reports from independent media outlets are compiled below.

  • According to multiple media reports, anti-government protests were held on May 14th, 2023 in Alamata and Lalibela cities (North Wollo Zone, Amhara Region). In Alamata (Raya Alamata Woreda, North Wollo Zone) large-scale protests were held calling for immediate recognition of recognition of the Amhara identity of residents of Raya, an area which was occupied by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) for many years and which experienced countless large-scale atrocities against ethnic Amhara residents both historically and during the war in Northern Ethiopia which began in November 2020.1 Similar protests were held in the Raya area in recent weeks/months.2 Anti-government protests were also held in Lalibela town (Last Woreda, North Wollo Zone) on May 14th, following attempts by Prosperity Party agents to intimidate and blackmail residents to participate in a pro-government rally.

  • According to multiple media reports, public health specialist and social media activist Ermias Mekuriya was abducted by security forces in Addis Ababa city on May 12th, 2023.4 Ermias was reportedly on his way to the Merkato area to purchase supplies for IDPs in Debre Birhan (North Shewa Zone, Amhara Region) who survived genocidal massacres and ethnic cleansing in western Oromia Region.

  • According to media reports, Awoke Senshaw was abducted from his home in the Lideta sub-city of Addis Ababa.5 Awoke had been missing for 9 days since the date of the media report (May 12th, 2023). Awoke worked at the Ethiopian Commercial Bank and was an executive of the bank workers’ association, and he did not have any political involvement. Mekonnen Ayele was abducted from the Arada sub-city of Addis Ababa.6 At the time of the report, Mekonnen had been missing for 15 days.

  • AAA has verified that on May 5th, 2023, civilians travelling from Sire Woreda to Nekemte town in East Wollega Zone were abducted by OLA militants. Originally, six people were abducted including 4 men and 2 women.


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