Statement submitted 136th session Human Rights Committee (10 Oct 2022 – 04 Nov 2022)

on Ethiopia Incidents targeting the Amhara community in 2022

136 session Human Rights Committee CAP LC submission Japan
  1. Ethnic killings of Amharas in Horo Guduru Wellega Zone, West Wellega Zone and in Kellem Wellega Zone Oromia June-September 2022

  • Amhara survivors of the latest round of ethnically-targeted killings in Wellega, in Oromia region are under siege and afraid for their lives. OLF-Shene regained control of Jardega Jarte Wereda on September 24, 2022; 60 Amhara civilians were burnt alive, 200-500 were killed and more than 20,000 have been displaced.

  • OLF-Shene attacks on ethnic Amhara civilians also spread to Amuru Wereda on 25 September 2022.

  • Close to 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 Oromo Prosperity Party- led Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali’s Ethiopian government disconnected the network, including telephone data, in Jardega Jarte Wereda, prior to the start of the massacre.
  • Prior to the massacre, government security forces also left the area without explanation.
  • Roads were blocked to prevent Amhara residents from leaving the area. There was no communication between Wellega and Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.
  • The deadliest massacre of ethnic Amharas took place in Tole Kebele, Gimbi Wereda of West Wellega Zone, on 18 June 2022 which took the lives of more than 1500 Amhara civilians.

  • The massacre of 400 Amhara civilians in Hawa Gelan Wereda, in Kellem Wellega Zone took place on July 4, 2022.

  • For the past three years, civilians have been victims of attacks by the OLF-Shene and government allied militias in all Wellega areas – East Wellega, West Wellega, and Horo Guduru Wollega Zones. These three zones host large communities of ethnic Amharas.

  • The Ethiopian government has fallen in its responsibility to protect these citizens; in fact the government intentionally failed to eliminate these threats. Government officials are openly involved in these murderous scheme by turning a blind eye to the killings.

  • Tensions between the government and Amhara communities are rising due to the failure of the government to protect civilians in these areas and to address their call for rescue.

  • Amharas who survived the attack, were denied services in private or government facilities including those who had fallen sick, women who had just given birth and their infants.

The following articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were violated
(Part 1 article 1, 2, 3); (Part 2 Article 2.1, 2.3.a, 2.3.b, 2.c); (Part 3 Article 6.1, 6.3);( Part 3 Article 7) ; (Part 3 Article 7) (Part 3 Article 12.); (Part 3 Article 25.c) (Part 3 Article 26); (Part 3 Article 27)

  1. Amhara people are repeatedly attacked and their livelihoods are destroyed in Northern Shewa and South Wello by the Oromo Mercenary group of Abiy Ahmed’s government.

  • Tuesday, March 29, 2022, armed groups in government vehicles, including in a land cruiser ambulance and an ISUZU delivery truck, attacked Minjar Shenkora, North Shewa.

  • The shooting targeted local farming families and the government forces refused to protect civilians saying that they didn’t receive the order from their superiors to intervene. 

  • Farmers in that area had to fight back to save their families. As they succeeded in pushing back the invaders, they discovered through the identity cards the attackers were carrying that these were Oromia Government Forces disguised as the Mercenary Group known as OLF-Shene. As that information was posted in photos on social media and other media, the Ethiopian government made a piece of false news and misinformation as if the attack had happened in the Oromia region of Shewa. This also shows that the government has a part in the attacks on Amhara civilians using a different technique, and as the truth surfaces, they come to cover up instead of enforcing justice in the country.
  • As Amhara civilians from other villages organized themselves to rescue their people in Minjar Shenkora, government officials sent elders to beg them to stay still promising that government forces would intervene.

  • However, a week later, the same Oromo Mercenary Forces went further into the Shewa Robit area armed with heavy weapons that can only be obtained by government entities. They attacked the civilians who were preparing to go to the rescue of the victims in Minjar Shenkora. There was no intervention whatsoever from the government side while these Oromo Mercenaries attacked the Amhara civilians.

  • Before every attack, Abiy Ahmed’s government disarms Amhara farmers so that they are unable to defend themselves. (Amhara culturally always keep private weapons for protection).
  • The weapons used by the Oromo Mercenary group are modern and sophisticated and are imported by the administration of Abiy Ahmed. One of the Commanders of the Mercenary group Jal Golcha Denge was seen with higher Oromo Regional government officials and has recently joined the ruling Prosperity Party. 
  • These attacks have happened repeatedly in Ataye (8 times), Shewa Robit (3 times), Jewuha, Karakore, and the Southern part of Wello. Ataye and Southern Wello area were attacked very often to force the Amharas to leave these areas as the Oromo extremists within the Abiy Ahmed regime want to annex by force these areas and put them under the control of the Oromia region.

The following articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were violated

(Part 1 Article 2 3); (Part 2 Article 4.1); (Part 3 Article 6.1, 6.3) ;(Part 3 Article 7)(Part 3 Article 12.1)

  1. Segregation, marginalisation and human rights abuse of Amharas

  • 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 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 has been illegally taken back to prison for the fifth time now after the court’s decision to grant bail was denied by authorities.

(Part 3 Article 7); (Part 3 Article 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5); (Part 3 Article 10 1, 10.2.a), (Part 3 Article 14.3.a, 14.3.c, 14.3.f, 14.3.g); (Part 3 Article 17.1) ; (Part 3 Article 19.1, 19.2)

  • Deliberate and systematic demographic change has been reported in Addis Ababa and surrounding areas within the public service and public agencies like the mass media agencies.

  • 86 Amhara employees of Addis Media Network in Addis Abeba were fired

  • Complaints were made to the Public Service Bureau, the City Council’s Media Sector Standing Committee, and the Board of the Institute but they were warned to keep quiet; some have even received death threats.

(Part 1 Article 1.1, 1.3)

  • 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 City.

  • 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.

(Part 3 Article 8.ii)

The following articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were violated

(Part 1 Article 1.1, 1.3) ; (Part 2 Article 1, 2, 3a ,3b, 3c) ; (Part 3 Article 7); (Part 3 Article 8.ii)

(Part 3 Article 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5); (Part 3 Article 10 1, 10.2.a), (Part 3 Article 14.3.a, 14.3.c, 14.3.f, 14.3.g); (Part 3 Article 17.1) ; (Part 3 (Article 19.1, 19.2),

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