Escalation in Ethiopia

Featured image: Map of Ethiopia, Source: EPO

At least one hundred have been killed in the last weeks in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Amhara region.

After peace-talks between the Oromo Liberation Army and the Ethiopian government having failed tensions are escalating in the Oromia region. On November 22, according to the supposedly Oromo Liberation Army affiliated ‘Arraata Biyyoolessa Oromiyaa‘ at least 25 civilians have been slaughtered in a government aerial drone strike, in Chawaka districts of the Buno Bedelle zone. This incident took place only two days after a fierce battle between the OLA and governmental troops in the Sulula Fincha district of the Horro Guduru Wollega zone.

On 24th of November, 9 people were killed in Gidami district of the Kellem Wollega zone. The victims were are affiliates of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. It is reported that unidentified armed men shot the people dead. Pictures of the pilled up deceased have been widely spread on social media. While the government as well as the Church remain silent, allegations that government forces committed the killing went viral.

In Shirka district of Arsi zone a total of 36 people were killed by unidentified armed men during attacks on 23rd and 27th of November. The victims were reportedly Orthodox Christians. Children and elderly women were among the killed. Officials blamed the OLA for the massacre, calling it a retaliation-action against an offensive of the old State in the Chawaka district of Buno Bedele zone. The OLA, via Spokesperson Odaa Tarbii, vehemently denied the accusations, stating that the government is scapegoating the OLA.

On November 30, a drone attack against an ambulance carrying crucial medical supplies caused five deaths in the town of Wegeltena, located in the Delanta district of the South Wollo zone. The United Nations Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights reported on drone strikes by Ethiopian government forces in the Amhara region including on a school and a bus station, which resulted in the deaths of at least 20 civilians. Battles between Fano militia and the armed forces of the old State continued in Amhara region, with combat-actions reported in North Shewa, North Wello, and West Gojam zones.

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