Mager Media News Update – Monday, August 8, 2022 (Nehase 2, 2014 EC)
Today’s Mager Media News Updates are as follows:
- Members of the Oromia Special Forces (OSF) are shooting and killing Amhara residents with heavy weaponry in Horo Guduru Wollega Zone (Oromia Region, Ethiopia);
- Candlelight vigil was held by youth in Bahir Dar to commemorate the youth massacred on August 7, 2022 (Nehase 1, 2008 EC);
- The Amhara Students Association (ASA) issued a statement regarding targeting of Amhara students in Dire Dawa University and
- EHRC investigating the issue of targeting against travellers from Amhara Region going to Addis Ababa.
Members of the Oromia Special Forces (OSF) are shooting and killing Amhara residents with heavy weaponry in Horo Guduru Wollega Zone (Oromia Region, Ethiopia)
Mager Media has learned that yesterday on August 7, 2022 (Nehase 1, 2014 EC), Oromia Special Forces (OSF) members have opened fire on Amhara residents of Dinga and Irgete Kebeles in Amuru Woreda (Horo Guduru Wollega Zone, Oromia Region, Ethiopia).
Yesterday, OSF called members of the local Amhara militia to a meeting and demanded they relinquish their firearms to which the militias questioned how they could possibly be expected to give up their arms at a time when hostile forces were operating in the area. In response, the OSF opened fire on them according to residents of the area and the militias fled into the nearby woods, and in following the OSF proceeded to bombard the local villages with heavy artillery. At the time of this report, the exact death toll from the attack is unknown however it is known that scores were killed.
Residents told Mager Media that at this time heavy fire is still being heard in the kebele, mothers and children are being killed, and residential homes are being burned down.
Residents reported that after their arms were confiscated, they were surrounded as the security forces are collaborating with the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) to perpetrate another massacre against them, and the alliance includes members of federal police forces who also fired on them.
Residents reported that a great number of Amhara residents from the area have already fled into the nearby forestry while the rest were trapped due to the suddenness of the attack and are in confrontation with the OSF.
Amhara residents in various zones of Wollega, Oromia Region, have faced horrific massacres over the past 4 years. Mager Media previously reported how more than 2,000 Amhara civilians were killed in horrific manner in Gimbi Woreda of West Wollega Zone and Hawa Gelan Woreda of Qelem Wollega Zone, Oromia Region.
A Candlelight Vigil was held in Bahir Dar city to commemorate victims of the August 7, 2022 (Nehase 1, 2016 EC) massacre of Amhara youth
A candlelight vigil was held for the memorial proceeding of the Amhara youth massacred in broad daylight by snipers 6 years ago by Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) under the direction of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)-led Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition.
The Amhara Youth Association in Bahir Dar in collaboration with the Amhara Students Association (ASA) organized a candlelight vigil and prayer ceremony to remember the Amhara youth massacred on August 7, 2016 during peaceful demonstrations in Bahir Dar city by the TPLF-led EPRDF regime
The candlelight vigil proceeding remembered those massacred on August 7, 2016 and included messages like follows: those who perished left an enduring historical trace for future generations, paid a sacrifice with spilled blood and broken bones as part of the greater Amhara resistance and struggle which may have not been fully achieved but served to propel the movement further.
The candlelight vigil, prayer and march program had been held in previous years although this year’s version did not include the march as authorities prohibited it and also harassed residents.
The Nehase 1, 2008 EC massacre committed by ADP and the TPLF-led EPRDF against Amhara demonstrators who wanted justice for the people of Welkait and Raya took the lives of 66 Amhara youth.
The Amhara Students Association issued a statement regarding targeting of students in Dire Dawa University
The Amhara Students Association (ASA) issued a statement calling for arrests and harassment against Amhara students who voiced concerns over rights abuses in Dire Dawa University to stop. An english translation of the statement is provided below:
The Amhara Students Association (ASA) has issued the following statement for immediate release regarding ongoing harassment, arrests & disruptions of schooling against Amhara students in Dire Dawa University.
Amhara students studying in Dire Dawa University have faced harassment & arrests in recent months & especially since July 31, 2022 (Hamle 24, 2014 EC). Since the beginning of the school year when the university accepted new students there have been attacks against students including against those which were completely removed from the issue.
Recently another attempt to attack the Amhara students was made & 13 Amhara students were selectively targeted & arrested. The detained students also informed peers who visited them that they have been denied food. In relation, on July 26, 2022 (Hamle 19, 2014 EC), an Amhara student by the name of Amlewerk Awoke lost her life & suspected of being poisoned which prompted some students to request the matter be investigated but these students were arrested. The student, Amlework had reached a clinic at the time but health professionals had refused to treat her, demanding identification, & she lost her life as a result. In addition to innocent students being arrested, the university ruled that the 3 students would be suspended indefinitely & an additional 11 students would be suspended for two years, for a total of 14 students who faced this unjust decision.
Names of arrested students are listed as follows:
- Yonatan Zelalem
- Zerubabel Eniyew
- Zemenu Yenealem
- Mulusew Belay
- Temesgen Fentahun
- Genet Alayu
- Abayneh Bayu
- Yigirmal Tewabe
- Meseret Sitotaw
- Abunu Adane
- Yosef Wassihun
- Tenaw Misganaw
- Tewodrose Adane
We demand that the students are released immediately without preconditions & are made to resume their studies.
In conclusion, we express our deep condolences over the death of student Amlework to her family & relatives.
ASA: An institution of the Amhara generation
August 8, 2022 (Nehase 2, 2014 EC)
EHRC investigating the issue of targeting against travellers from Amhara Region going to Addis Ababa
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has announced it is investigating the matter of Amhara people being identified (by identification) and selectively prevented from entering Addis Ababa from Amhara Region via Debre Birhan.
According to The Reporter magazine, the EHRC has deployed a team of investigators to the area where the human rights violations were reported and the team will issue a statement after concluding their investigation.
Regarding the matter, human rights advocates who provided their views on the matter asserted although government offices have related the matter to the ongoing security situation, no matter how it is seen, citizens have freedom to travel from one area to another in their country and any obstruction of this would be a breach of the constitution, and in addition to being a violation of their right to live and move freely, it is a violation of international law treaties signed by Ethiopia. And even if the ongoing security situation is factored into the decision, any searches must be carried out in a lawful manner that respects citizens’ rights.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) Director Mr. Yared Hailemariam told The Reporter magazine looking at identification and turning back citizens, and decisions based on identity contradicts the government’s excuse that the matter is related to “security threats” and makes the practice unlawful.
The director asked – How can women, children and the elderly traveling from Dessie possibly be a national security threat? And added that the EHRCO recognized this as a major abuse of human rights and that government officials especially from the Oromia Regional Government must stop this practice.
The director elaborated, the matter brings two kinds of issues, firstly, selectively targeting people traveling from Amhara Region based on identification while using the excuse that it is for security shows the act is wrongful, and secondly, this would be a reason for people to feel sentiments of misery and isolation in their own country. This could then drive citizens into further unnecessary conflict and political opposition.
Mr. Yared continued saying something like this has never happened before, that security forces should not be given this level of authority, that this practice constitutes an abuse of human rights and the regional perpetrators should be held accountable.
In addition, human rights defender and Ethiopian Civil Society Organizations (CEHRO) Director Mr. Musud Gebeyehu said citizens carrying identification expressing their identity and if their departure and arrival location is known, harassing them is illegal, and peaceful travelers being turned back to where they came from is a wrongful policy on the government’s side and is an illegal action from the government.
In connection, Balderas for True Democracy (Balderas) Party issued a statement saying travelers going from Amhara Region to Addis Ababa on autobuses are being stopped by Oromia Special Forces (OSF) especially after reaching Debre Birhan and those with identification from Amhara Region are being forced made to dismount and turn back, and the ruling government must stop this apartheid practice as citizens should have their human rights respected and should be allowed freedom of movement frome one area to another.
Amhara people traveling from Amhara Region, especially from the North Wollo and South Wollo areas, through the Debre Birhan side to Addis Ababa are having their identification inspected by OSF and those who are Amhara are being prevented from continuing to Addis Ababa and told they will not go into the city, according to previous reports from Mager Media.
The Oromia Region and OPDO (Oromo People’s Democratic Organization)-led Prosperity regime has attempted to associate the policy with ongoing security issues, however the act is being done deliberately to prevent Amharas from entering Addis Ababa city as those with Oromo identification are selectively boarded on another vehicle to enter the city, according to eyewitnesses.