Ethiopia’s Amhara Region Under Siege: Abiy Ahmed’s Forces Kill Over 20

June 18, 2024: Residents and eyewitnesses told the BBC that more than 20 people were killed in the Western and Eastern Gojjam zones of the Amhara Region in two separate incidents over the past week.

According to the residents, the brutal attacks occurred on June 13 and 16 in the towns of Keranyo and Jiga.

On Sunday, June 16, in the town of Jiga, Jabitehna Woreda, Western Gojjam Zone, teachers and bank staff were among those killed in the attack, according to two eyewitnesses and Abebaw Desalew, a member of parliament for the area.

An eyewitness near the scene of the killings said, “At Goh Hotel, 12 people, including youths, government employees, bank staff, and teachers, were taken out and executed in front of the public.”

Another local resident confirmed that those executed at Goh Hotel included bank employees and teachers who had gone there for dinner. Both eyewitnesses confirmed seeing Abiy Ahmed’s forces executed 12 people, including a mentally ill woman, and reported that a total of 23 people were executed.

In addition, residents reported that two others were beaten.

Abebaw Desalew, a member of parliament from Jiga town, confirmed to the BBC that “So far, we have identified 13 of the executed by name and occupation, and two others that were beaten.”

The member of parliament added, “We expect more names of the executed to be reported. As of now, we have confirmed the names of 13 dead and two beaten.”

In another incident, on June 14, in Enezez Woreda, Eastern Gojjam Zone, seven people were executed, and two others were beaten by Abiy Ahmed’s forces, according to eyewitnesses.

An eyewitness, a priest, said the brutal attack happened near the Debre Keranyo Medhane Alem Church compound while residents were digging a grave for a recently deceased nun.

Another resident reported that five people died instantly, one died at the hospital, and a church student was killed near the church.

The local resident described the attack as a massacre and said the community gathered at the church compound to mourn the loss of their loved ones.” Five people have been killed. The sixth person died later. He was shot on the head. Therefore, we prioritized him and tried to save his life,” they said.

A healthcare professional confirmed to the BBC that three people were taken to Keranyo Health Center for treatment. The patient who had been struck on the head passed away an hour later.

“Two were hit on their hands, and one was struck on the head. When the injured was referred to Mota, he passed away upon arrival,” a source from the medical facility said.

On February 6, 2024, residents of Merawi town in Ethiopia’s North Gojjam zone remain anxious after alleged government forces killed at least 50 people in what locals described as “executions.” Following door-to-door searches for suspected Fano fighters, more than 100 civilians, including children and women aged 14 to 96, were reportedly shot dead.

Approximately 50 bodies were buried at Merawi St. Mary Church, with other victims interred in various local churches. Daily death reports persist, causing residents to fear leaving their homes. One returning resident recounted seeing over 50 lifeless bodies in the streets.

In November 2023, government drone strikes killed at least 20 civilians, targeting a school and bus station. On November 9, another drone attack at a bus station in Waber killed 13 civilians. Fano militiamen were reportedly attacking nearby ENDF encampments at the time.

December saw renewed artillery and drone strikes across multiple districts in Amhara, resulting in further civilian casualties and infrastructure destruction. Witnesses reported widespread devastation to homes and infrastructure, highlighting the ongoing crisis in the region.

EAR- Editorial Note

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