136th session, Human Rights Committee (10 Oct 2022 – 4 Nov 2022)
on Ethiopia

Since we submitted our report on the ethnic killings of Amharas in Ethiopia, the situation is getting worse, and there are new elements we believe the Committee should urgently consider.

We would like to report numerous violations of articles of the ICCPR.

We are very concerned about the ethnic killings of Amharas in Horo Guduru Wellega Zone, West Wellega Zone and in Kellem Wellega Zone Oromia from June to September 2022:

  • Amhara survivors of the latest round of ethnically-targeted killings in Wellega are under siege and afraid for their lives. 60 Amhara civilians were burnt alive, 200 to 500 were killed and more than 20,000 have been displaced.

  • 100 Amhara civilians who were previously imprisoned by government forces for defending themselves from OLF-Shene were executed.

  • For the past couple of weeks, the government disconnected the network, including telephone data, in Jardega Jarte Wereda, prior to the start of the massacre and government security forces also left the area.

  • Roads were blocked to prevent Amhara residents from leaving.

  • Amharas who survived the attack, were denied medical treatment including maternity care.

Amhara people are repeatedly attacked and their livelihoods are destroyed in Northern Shewa and South Wello by the Oromo Mercenary group :

The shooting targeted local farming families and the government forces refused to protect civilians.

Farmers had to fight back to save their families. the identity cards found on the fallen invaders shows that they are part of the Oromia Government Forces disguised OLF-Shene.

These attacks have happened repeatedly to force the Amharas to leave these areas in order to annex the lands and to put them under the control of the Oromia region.

  • Mass arrests and detentions of ethnic Amharas including sweep and unlawful detentions of journalists reporting on the human rights abuse on Amharas, often without charge. Prisoners are physically and psychologically abused in prison and often denied access to health care. Some of the prisoners were also transferred to Oromia region without any rational reason.

  • Although families have paid the bail money sometimes three or four times, the police disregards court orders and the prisoners remain in custody. As an example, Sintayehu Chekol of Balderas was illegally taken back to prison for the fifth time after the court’s decision to grant bail was denied by the authorities. His family/friends had paid 155 000Birr for bail in total so far. Ato Sintayehu was released on 14th of October 2022, two hours after someone from our team posted on social media that his case would be raised in this hearing.

  • Mr. Tadios Tantu, a 77 years old historian and journalist who is known for his open criticism of Abiy Ahmed’s administration was imprisoned since May this years without being presented before a judge.

  • Journalists Temesgen Desalegn and Gobeze Sisay are 2 proeminent journalists who are still in custody despite the decision of the judge to set them free on bail. The police kept them in prison after their bail was paid in full.

  • 86 Amhara employees of Addis Media Network were fired. Complaints were made to the concerned autorithies but they were warned to keep quiet; some have even received death threats.

  • Amharas were prevented from entering Addis Abeba by Government Security Forces who singled out Amharas through their Identify Cards. They were physically and verbally harassed by the Oromo Security Forces at the borders of Addis Abeba.

  • Oromia region forces are massively deployed around Addis Abeba, East Shewa, and Adama City, creating a lot of distress to the city dwellers. The troops are feared to be the OLF-Shene army disguised in ENDF uniforms creating anxiety that these forces would be deployed to cleanse Amharas from these cities.

  • Forced conscription of Amhara youth is underway in Amhara region where the youth are abducted from the streets and shelters where Amhara IDPs who escaped the Wellega massacres are seeking refuge. Government authorities have offered 3000 Birrs for individuals who manage to abduct and forcefully conscript 5 Amhara youth.

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