Killing of Aid Worker in Ethiopia Prompts Calls for Investigation 

May 28, 2024 – Last Friday an aid worker was killed and an unknown number of workers were injured near Gondar. The incident prompted a response from UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov who expressed his sadness and expressed condolences to the family of the aid worker and called for perpetrators to be brought to justice. Dr. Ramiz was joined by UN Under Secretary General and Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa Hanna Tetteh who responded expressing her condolences and welcomed ongoing investigations. The incident also prompted responses from the Embassies of the UK and Canada

On Sunday, Amhara Fano in Gondar issued a press statement expressing condolences to the family and loved ones of the aid worker killed near Gondar. The statement continued by saying aid workers have been crucial in providing support to the community since the Ethiopian government launched a genocidal war against the Amhara people a year ago. The Fano outlined that the incident occurred in an area of Gondar under control of federal forces, and pointed to the federal forces’ track record of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity with impunity, suggesting their culpability in this event. 

Preliminary investigations by the Fano indicate the involvement of government militias in the aid worker’s death. The Fano expressed their readiness to cooperate with all concerned bodies in further investigating the incident. They reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the safety and security of international aid workers to facilitate the distribution of life-saving humanitarian assistance to those in need. Last Friday, Fano groups from across Amhara Region had also announced their commitment to cooperating with humanitarian organizations to deliver humanitarian assistance in a joint statement responding to a recent policy address from US Ambassador to Ethiopia Ervin J. Massinga. 

Neither the Federal Government or the Amhara Region Government responded regarding the incident. 

This is far from the first incident involving state militias impersonating Fano. These forces were previously accused of being used to commit extrajudicial killings, looting, and instigating intracommunal clashes on the basis of religious identity. 

It has been more than 12 months since the government joint security taskforce announced its military operation in Amhara Region following the death of a senior Prosperity Party official. 

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