Mager Media News Update – Tuesday, August 9, 2022 (Nehase 3, 2014 EC)
Today’s Mager Media news updates are as follows:
- Oromo Regional Forces murder Amhara community elders in Horo Guduru Wollega (Oromia Region, Ethiopia);
- The court appearance of prisoners of conscience and
- Worker strike and protests held across Welkite and other towns of Gurage Zone.
Oromo Regional Forces brutally murder Amhara community elders in Horo Guduru Wollega (Oromia Region, Ethiopia)
Today, Tuesday, August 9, 2022 (Nehase 3, 2014 EC), members of the Oromia Special Forces (OSF) & Oromo militia abducted local Amhara community elders and brutally killed them, in Bolele town of Tombe Dinga Kebele, Amuru Woreda (Horo Guduru Wollega Zone, Oromia Region).
Residents revealed the Oromo militias were brought in under the pretense of dialogue but were found to be affiliated to the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and proceeded to abduct Amhara community elders and brutally murder them, scattering their remains in the area.
On Sunday, August 7, 2022 (Nehase 1, 2014 EC), the OSF bombarded Tombe Dinga Kebele with heavy artillery fire which made it impossible for residents to recover bodies of the deceased and therefore the true extent of the death toll is unknown.
Residents report there is ongoing gunfire in the area (neighboring kebeles) and that defense forces have yet to arrive while federal police forces are attacking them alongside the OSF.
On the same day (August 7, 2022), local Amhara militias were called for a meeting & OSF tried to confiscate their arms to which they demanded to know how they were possibly expected to give up their arms during this time when they are surrounded. When they refused to disarm, the OSF opened fire on the Amharas. Though some escaped into the forestry, the OSF opened fire on Amhara civilians in the villages using heavy artillery fire.
Similarly, the OLA opened fire on Amhara residents in Mender 24 of Bosetu Woreda, East Shewa Zone (borders Minjar, North Shewa Zone, Amhara Region) killing scores of civilians on August 7 and 8, 2022 (Nehase 1 and 2, 2014 EC).
The OLA expanded their massacre rampage from an area known as 55 and close to Minjar towards Nura Hayra, Deri and a place called prisoner’s camp as reported by Ethio News.
Previously, OLA forces used Bosetu Woreda as a base of operations to invade kebeles in the Minjar area (Amhara Region).
In related news, abductions, theft and killings are being reported on roads between Nekemte (capital of East Wollega Zone) to Anger Guten towns in East Wollega Zone (Oromia Region) which has led to transportation service providers suspending services in protest.
The line between Nekemete to Anger is under the control of OLA while defense forces have been made to leave the area rendering which triggered the work strike from transportation service providers.
Journalist and historian Tadios Tantu has been given an alternate court date
Journalist and historian Tadios Tantu has been given an alternate court date of Wednesday, August 17, 2022 (Nehase 11, 2014 EC).
Journalist Tadios Tantu appeared yesterday, August 8, 2022 (Nehase 2, 2014 EC) in the Federal Higher Court Lideta Branch 3rd Antiterrorism and Constitutional Matters Criminal Court facing five terrorism charges. Mr. Tadios issued his appeal to which the federal supreme prosecutor called for an alternate court date of August 17, 2022 for him to make his appeal further.
In related court news, Balderas Organizational Affairs and Executive Mr. Sintayehu Chekol was granted bail of 100,000 ETB by the Arada Branch Primary Courthouse. The court also ruled for Mr. Sintayehu to submit two photographs to the Immigration Bureau as he may not leave the country.
Work strike is underway in Welkite and neighboring towns
Today, work strikes were held across Welkite town (capital of Gurage Zone) and neighboring Gubre Gunchire and Imidibir towns to demand Gurage region status.
Across these cities, banks, various work buildings, commercial and transport services stopped operations.
The zone’s residents have long demanded region status and have demanded a lawful response to their lawful question. To realize a Gurage Region, the people have asked using various means including now a work strike.
Business people have staged this demonstration in protest of the government’s negative sentiments in response to the question of region status. The Gurage people also rejected the concept of a cluster region and instead opted for an independent region which also prompted this latest wave of protest which is expected to have great implications if it spreads to Addis Ababa.
At this time, defense forces, federal forces and regional special forces have been deployed to Welkite town in large numbers however there has not yet been any security disturbances although today, public and private sector workers did not go to work, according to sources on the ground.
Previously, various special woredas and zones in the Southern Region were divided to form two new regions and the decision was passed on to the federal parliament however the Gurage Zone was not among these areas.
The ruling Prosperity government has expressed it is difficult to reorganize the zone into a region and has suggested combining it with neighboring zones and special woredas to form a new region.