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War Crimes of Tigrayan Forces during Invasion and Occupation of Raya Alamata Woreda

(Amhara Region, Ethiopia)




Summary of Findings


The main focus of this investigation was to identify civil and human rights violations committed by Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) or Tigrayan forces during their recent 16-month invasion and occupation of Raya Alamata Woreda and surrounding areas. Below is a summary of the atrocities the Amhara Association of America (AAA) investigators were able to confirm:


  • At least 113 Amhara civilians were killed in Alamata town and Raya Alamata Woreda of which 77 are identified by name. The TPLF killed civilians in indiscriminate heavy artillery shelling, in executions after holding them in detention centers, residents were prevented from seeking medical care which caused many to die, and were used as human shields. Many victims were buried in mass grave sites.

  • At least 63 young girls and women were raped and 19 of them were exposed to unwanted pregnancies.

  • There are records of more than 28 cases of torture, severe and minor bodily injuries, and dehumanization.

  • At least 545 residential homes and businesses have been destroyed.

  • At least 32,265 Amhara residents were displaced from their homes in Raya Alamata and the surrounding areas.

  • About 75,000 Amhara residents were subject to different levels of looting and destruction of property by the Tigrayan forces. The financial loss from looting and destruction is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of ETB.

  • The use of the Amharic language was prohibited. Residents found speaking Amharic were tortured or killed.


Introduction


Raya Alamata is a district of the historic Wollo Province (present-day Amhara Region) of Ethiopia. Prior to 1991, Raya Alamata was administered as Raya-Kobo Awraja centered in Alamata town within the Wollo Province, as part of traditional lands of the Amhara people. In 1991, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition took control of the country. The EPRDF was dominated and led by a separationist group, the TPLF. Shortly after a significant portion of the former Raya-Kobo Awraja including the center (Alamata town) was arbitrarily annexed to the newly demarcated Tigray Regional State. The forceful annexation of the area was followed by direct and structural violence from the TPLF administration and militia. The TPLF sought to change the ethnic demography of the area and for more than three decades Amhara residents of Raya Alamata have endured extra-judicial killings, torture, forced disappearances, and ethnic cleansing.