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Mager News Update – Friday, July 15, 2022 (Hamle 8, 2014 EC)

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Today’s news updates are as follows:

  • Amhara residents displaced from West Wollega say the government is denying them sufficient aid;
  • Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) members in Metekel have been released from custody;
  • Progress on families of heroes receiving support from the Amhara Emergency Fund (AEF) in partnership with the Amhara Students Association (ASA) and
  • A decision is pending on the matter of the identity of Welkait and Raya.

Amhara residents displaced from West Wollega are complaining they have been denied sufficient aid from the government

Following the state-backed ethnic-based massacre of Amharas on Saturday, June 18, 2022 (Sene 11, 2014 EC) in Tole Kebele (ward) [Gimbi Woreda (district), West Wollega Zone, Oromia Region], survivors of the massacre said the West Wollega Zone Administration has not provided sufficient aid.

After the massacre occurred, many Amhara residents were displaced to the neighboring Arjo Gudetu town (East Wollega Zone, Oromia Region) where they faced troublesome conditions according to IDPs (some of which were forced to return) and are not receiving sufficient aid.

Yesterday, the West Wollega Zone Administration informed VOA Amharic that following the June 18, 2022 ethnic-based massacre of Amharas in Tole Kebele, citizens who were displaced to Arjo Gudetu town have been completely returned to their homes and those who lost their homes were provided shelters, and that aid was being provided to the IDPs but residents told Mager Media that the administration was disseminating this news to create a false sense of security for the locals and that sufficient aid was not being provided.

On the June 18, 2022 attack in Gimbi Woreda, West Wollega Zone, the OLF army and the local Qerro structure attacked 11 kebeles in the state-backed massacre of more than 1,600 Amharas and displacement of more than 6,000 Amhara residents to neighboring kebeles. In the past week, survivors of the massacre faced an infectious disease outbreak and Amharas were selectively denied medical attention as previously reported by Mager Media.

Detained Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) members in Metekel have been freed

Over 78 Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) members detained in Dubtie and Bulen Woredas of Metekel Zone for attacking innocent civilians have been freed according to Mager Media’s sources. The OLF members were detained following massacres against Amhara civilians two months prior however according to sources, the suspects are being freed on orders of Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) top officials.

There was ample evidence to incriminate the OLF members but they were transported a week prior to the Gilgil Beles Correctional Facility where under the order of ENDF top officials, force was used in Parzeyt Kebele to return them to Galessa Kebele where they were freed from custody according to sources.

At this time, the individuals who testified against and provided incriminating information against the OLF members are concerned for their safety. The sources report that this approach is highly concerning and that the group which has perpetrated serious crimes against humanity should be held accountable by the law, however the ENDF inserting itself into the legal structure to exert biased influence will cause us to pay a heavy price.

On another front, on June 26, 2022 (Sene 19, 2014 EC) in Gambella Region, more than 70 Amhara civilians abducted by members of the OLF army have still not been returned according to Mager Media’s sources from the area.

On June 26, 2022, institutions belonging to Amhara business people and their property was destroyed and looted by the OLF army in Itango Woreda, Gambella Region, and more than 70 Amhara workers who were employed at the organizations were abducted and have not been freed yet.

The region’s security office appears to be ignoring the issue according to sources and reported that the OLF forces who abducted the workers are asking for high ransoms.

Family members of veterans/fallen heroes who benefited from the project to help their families have extended their gratitude

The Amhara Emergency Fund (AEF) and the Amhara Students Association (ASA) are working together on a project to help family members of veterans/fallen heroes and family members have extended their gratitude to all those who helped them.

Yesterday, on Thursday, July 14, 2022 (Hamle 7, 2014 EC) the organizing committee informed Mager Media that over 4,000 ETB was provided to 170 families of martyred heroes in Debark town (North Gonder Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia).

The support was provided to families of veterans/heroes which extended their gratitude. The AEF, Wonfel and ASA have worked together to help children who were orphaned as a result of the war as well as families of veterans/heroes. In this effort, over 350 children will receive support to continue their education/studies over the next 18 years and are supporting 3,012 family members/dependents of veterans, providing 4,000 ETB in support to each of them, according to what organizers told Mager Media.

A decision on the matter of the identity of the people of Welkait Tegede will be made

The Federal Council’s Identity and Administration Committee are expected to brief the council on the matter of the identity of the people of Welkait Tegede and Raya based on their concluded evaluation, according to a report provided to the council.

The Identity and Administrative Boundaries and Peace Building Committee are working to provide an answer to the question of identity of the people of Welkait Tegede and Raya and the committee is working through the stances established during the 2014 EC budget year to address matters of administrative boundaries and self-administration brought forth through investigation. The matters brought before the council involved questions of recognition of rightful identity, regional administration, self-administration and boundaries, for which the necessary review of documentation has concluded. The committee took an agenda of resolving the dispute around Welkait Tegede through discussion, has outlined approaches and has finalized outstanding work ahead of the decision to be made to the council.

The matters of the identity of the people of Welkait Tegede and Raya for the past several years were addressed through restoration committees and various entities however in these areas where questions of identity have arisen, budgets have not been allotted and development has not commenced which has caused grievances.

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