June 29, 2023
To: UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), UNHRC Member States, and Delegation of the EU to the UN and Other International Organizations in Geneva
Subject: Urgent Action to Protect the Amhara People of Ethiopia Against Ethnic Violence and Genocide
We, the undersigned organizations of Ethiopians in the Diaspora, write this letter of appeal to request an urgent action by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), UNHRC Member States, and the Delegation of the EU to the UN and Other International Organizations in Geneva to stop the ongoing human rights violations and genocide against the Amhara people of Ethiopia.
In addition, we request the prolongation of the terms of the members of the Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia — whose activities hitherto have been impeded by the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed — and ask that the government be held accountable to ensure the Commission executes its tasks freely in the country.
As widely reported, the Amhara population has been subjected to oppression and ethnic cleansing for the past five years by the Oromo extremist forces, including the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF,) the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA,) the Oromo Special Forces (OSF) and Queero (Oromo Youth Group), with the full support and intervention of the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
- Over 100,000 Amhara individuals residing in Wellega, Benishangul-Gumuz, and North Shewa have lost their lives, with millions forced to flee their homes.
- Numerous Amhara civilians have been killed, and over 111,000 houses have been destroyed in the Oromia environs of the capital, Addis Ababa, leading to the displacement of over 500,000
- Countless individuals who spoke out against the violence, including journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers and students, have been imprisoned, harassed or forced to flee the country.
Presently, the government of Prime Minister Abiy is waging a multi-pronged, all-out assault against the Amhara people, in coordination with internal extremist forces and external actors. More specifically:
- The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) — which has undergone significant restructuring, with Oromo and OLF supporters appointed to leadership positions while other ethnic groups, especially the Amharas, have been purged or completely marginalized — has invariably refused to protect the Amhara people against extremist forces. Alarmingly, Abiy Ahmed has made outrageously irresponsible remarks in which he repeatedly stated that he would not instruct the people of Begemeder (Gondar) how to defend themselves. Consequently, the Amhara people have resorted to self-defense, relying on local militias, armed residents (Fano) and the Amhara Special Forces to combat.
- With the explicit goal of incapacitating and subjugating the Amhara people, a relentless campaign is now underway to exterminate and dismantle the Fano militias, upon which the Amhara people rely for self-defense.
- The ENDF is currently conducting bombing campaigns in the Amhara region, resulting in numerous casualties, and destruction of properties and cultural and religious establishments. The recent attack for six days on Sellassie monastery of Debre Elias Woreda, in East Gojam starting on May 27, 2023, serves as a distressing example of the ongoing violence. The government forces deliberately targeted the monastery during an alleged operation to arrest Eskinder Nega, a prominent peace advocate. The attack resulted in the death, injury, or dispersal of approximately 95% of the estimated 1000 individuals residing in the monastery.
- Using as a pretext the Pretoria Peace Accord, at which they were denied legitimate seats, the Amharas are also under attack to withdraw from their ancestral lands of Wolkait, Raya and other regions that had been forcibly occupied by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in 1995
- Further, the government of Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed has continued to systematically target Amhara intellectuals, business owners and farmers, withholding their funds, harassing officials, denying farmers much-needed access to fertilizers, and demolishing residences of innocent civilian.
We are outraged by the government’s continued support and perpetration of the Amhara genocide without any intervention by the international community, despite the availability of reliable information regarding these atrocities from diplomatic and other credible sources.
We believe the UNHRC and related organizations have the responsibility of safeguarding human rights and investigating allegations of crimes against humanity.
We, therefore, call upon the UNHRC and member countries of the European Union to:
- Promptly respond to the calls from the Amhara community and its supporters, and establish an independent Commission of Inquiry, investigate the reported crimes committed against the Amhara people, and bring the perpetrators to justice.
- Stop the ongoing violence immediately, ensure the safety and security of the Amhara people, and facilitate access to much-needed relief aid.
- Prolong the terms of the members of the Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia whose activities have been impeded by the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
The international community must act now and with utmost urgency to stop the ongoing human rights violations and genocidal violence against the Amhara people of Ethiopia!
- Abba Bahrey Forum
- Adwa Great African Victory Association (AGAVA)
- All Shewa Ethiopian People Multipurpose International Association
- Amhara Association in Queensland, Australia
- Amhara Blood is Our Blood Association (የአማራ ደም ደማችን ነው ማህበር)
- Amhara Dimtse Serechit
- APF Support Task Force in the Diaspora (የአማራ ሕዝባዊ ግንባር የውጭ ድጋፍ ሰጭ ግብረ ኃይል)
- Amhara Wellbeing and Development Association
- Balderas Support Group in North America
- Bay Area Save Life
- Bay Area Ethiopian Community Association
- Communities of Ethiopians in Finland
- Concerned Amharas in the Diaspora
- Congress of Ethiopian Civic Organizations (CECO)
- DC Joint Task Force (የዲ.ሲ. ጋራ ግብረኃይል)
- DC Task Force (የዲሲ ግብረኃይል)
- Embilta Forum
- International Ethiopian Women Organization (ዓለም አቀፍ የኢትዮጵያ ሴቶች ድርጅት)
- Ethiopian American Development Council (EADC)
- Ethiopian Community Association of Greater Cincinnati (ECAGC)
- Ethiopian Dialogue Forum (EDF)
- Freedom and Justice for Telemt Amhara
- Gasha Amhara (ጋሻ አማራ)
- Genocide Prevention in Ethiopia (GPE)
- Global Alliance for Justice – The Ethiopian Cause
- Global Amhara Coalition (GAC)
- Gonder Hibret for Ethiopian Unity
- Hiber Radio (ህብር ሬዲዮ)
- Hope for Ethiopia (H4E)
- Major Lemma Woldetsadik Memorial Foundation
- Moresh Wegenie Amhara Organization (ሞረሽ ወገኔ የዐማራ ድርጅት)
- Network of Ethiopian Scholars (NES)
- Radio Yenesew Ethiopia
- Selassie Stand Up,
- Stop Amhara Genocide Global Movement (SAGGM)
- Stop Amhara Genocide Global Movement – Task Forces (SAGGM-TF)
- Stop Amhara Genocide (SAG)
- The Ethiopian Broadcast Group
- United Ethiopian Muslims Movement (UEMM)
- Vision Ethiopia (VE)
- Voice of the Victim’s Organization (VVO – ልሳነ ግፉዓን)
- Welkait, Tegede, Telemt, Setit Humera Global Amhara Unity Association
- Worldwide Ethiopian Civic Associations Network (WE-CAN)
CAP LC statements at the United Nations Human Rights Council
HRC 53 ITEM 3 ID with Special Adviser on prevention of genocide ITEM 3 Presentation of reports 4 July 2023
52nd Human Rights Council : Arbitrary arrest and detention journalists and activists reporting on the persecution of Amharas
52nd regular session of the Human Rights Council Item 4: Interactive dialogue with the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on the situation of human rights in Ethiopia
HRC 51st Session : About the 18 June 2022 mass massacres of Amharas at Gimbi (Western part of Ethiopia)
HRC 51 : Oral statement at the UN 51 Human Rights Council Session Massacres of and attacks against Amharas
HRC 50 : Item 4 Interactive dialogue on the oral briefing of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia
HRC 50 : Incidents targeting the Amhara community
HRC 49 : ETHIOPIA: Massacres of Amhara civilians in war and non-war zones
HRC 48 Item 2: Enhanced interactive dialogue on the oral update by the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in the Tigray region of Ethiopia
Statement delivered 136th session Human Rights Committee (10 Oct 2022 – 04 Nov 2022) on Ethiopia Incidents targeting the Amhara community in 2022
Statement submitted 136th session Human Rights Committee (10 Oct 2022 – 04 Nov 2022) on Ethiopia Incidents targeting the Amhara community in 2022