by Amhara Association of America (AAA)
April 25, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – At least 491 ethnic Amhara civilians were killed in targeted massacres across Ethiopia between January and March of 2021, according to a new investigative report by the Amhara Association of America (AAA).
Compiled through in-person and phone interviews of survivors, their relatives, and eyewitnesses, AAA’s quarterly report paints a grim picture of explicit and systemic human rights violations against the Amhara people. Articles and statements by Ethiopian human rights organizations and media outlets support AAA’s ground investigations.
In addition to the hundreds of Amhara civilians killed and wounded in attacks by non-state actors and regional security forces, the report documents:
- The kidnapping of at least 12 Amhara civilians in the Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz Regions;
- The arbitrary detention of at least 60 Amhara civilians in the Oromia Region by local security forces;
- The forced eviction of 1,517 Amhara civilians of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, on the basis of their ethnicity; and
- The internal displacement of nearly 500,000 Amhara civilians due to the massacres, according to the Amhara Regional Government.
The full report can be accessed here.
Targeted violence against Amhara civilians and other ethnic groups has been a reoccurring issue in Ethiopia over the past thirty years. However, under the current administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his Prosperity Party, massacres have increased in both frequency and intensity.
AAA estimates that since July 2020, more than 1,700 Amharas have been killed and 800,000 displaced from ethnically targeted massacres across the country. This includes additional massacres of Amharas that took place across Ethiopia in April, which AAA will detail in its second quarter report later this year.
AAA’s report identifies the Oromo Liberation Army and ethnic Gumuz militias as the main perpetrators of the massacres within the Oromia Region and Benishangul-Gumuz Region, respectively. Additional killings in Oromia and the Amhara Region were carried out by local Oromo militias, Oromia Region Special Forces, and militias tied to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
Unfortunately, the Ethiopian Government has yet to acknowledge and comprehensively respond to the growing Amhara massacre crisis. In addition, domestic and international human rights organizations have not conducted comprehensive investigations into the massacres, leading to scant attention by international media or policymakers.
AAA’s quarterly report comes in the wake of mass demonstrations across the Amhara Region against Prime Minister Abiy and his government. Amhara protesters accuse the federal and regional governments of ignoring the violence, not ensuring the protection of Amhara civilians, and taking no steps to prosecute regional officials who have admitted complicity in some of the massacres.
“As shown in our report, massacres of Amharas have become a frequent occurrence in Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz, and now even the Amhara Region itself isn’t safe” said Tewodrose (Ted) Tirfe, Chairman of AAA.
“The Amhara people’s pleas for safety and justice have been ignored by the Ethiopian government, and sadly, the international community as well. The occasional vague statement about ‘intercommunal conflict’ or ‘ethnic violence’ fails to capture the systemic slaughter of Amhara civilians by militias and regional security forces” Tirfe continued.
AAA implores American policymakers and legislators to explicitly condemn the targeted massacres of Amhara civilians. AAA also calls upon human rights organizations, media outlets that report on Ethiopia, and the United Nations to conduct investigations of the massacres in order to hold the perpetrators accountable and bring justice to the victims.
Tewodrose (Ted) Tirfe, Chairman, Amhara Association of America
About AAA: The Amhara Association of America (AAA) is a nonprofit organization that represents the Ethiopian Amhara diaspora in the United States. Visit www.amharaamerica.org for more information.
Link to the Full Report:
Link to the PDF Press Statement: