Ethiopia: more clashes and a new massacre in Amhara

Featured image: map with Bahir Dar, Amhara’s regional capital. Source: Researchgate

Recently multiple armed clashes have been reported between militiamen and troops of the Ethiopian Old State in many locations of Amhara, despite that the Ethiopian government informs that the situation is calmed or in “relative peace”. In recent weeks there have been clashes in Gojjam West and North, North Shewa, North Wollo, and in these places the roads have been blocked. Additionally intense battles have been reported in Gondar, Merawi, Dega Damot, Shewa Robit, Antsokiyana Gemza and Lalibela. Also during the last weekend and the first days of this week there have been new and intense clashes. Movement has also been forbidden in some areas of Amhara.

The Ethiopian State has been trying to solve its problems with the Amharic resistance with intense repression, including the establishment of States of Emergency and carrying out numerous massacres against the people. Local academics and sources have warned that all of these measures have not been effective to calm the resistance in Amhara, but strengthen it. Also these ones have even questioned the legality of the Ethiopian State’s measures, such as declaring the States of Emergency or other measures carried out to try to dismantle the Fano militias and the political opposition in general.

From the beginning of the year several massacres have been known in the Amhara region, perpetrated by the old State. The last one, on which we reported, recently happened in North Shewa. Recently, human rights organizations have denounced a new massacre, which happened shortly after the beginning of the conflict between the Fano militias and the Ethiopian State. This massacre was committed in the capital of Amhara, Bahir Dar, specifically in the neighborhoods of Abune Hara, Lideta and Saba Tamit, and at least 17 civilians is reported to have been murdered.

The different associations and journalists who denounce the crimes of the Ethiopian State in Amhara and in other areas of the State, also denounce severe difficulties to report about these events, since the Ethiopian authorities have made numerous prohibitions and limitations of access to communications, especially the access to Internet. These difficulties include numerous detentions and other ways of harassment and repression against them. Regarding this, the media of the imperialist countries have shown their hypocrisy during the last days, when they cried against the arrest of the French journalist Antoine Galindo, journalist of the news website Africa Intelligence, based in Paris. But also they have not been denouncing the numerous arrests of local activists and journalists, who have been especially persecuted and repressed in Amhara.

Local sources have denounced numerous arrests of journalists who have reported about the uprising in Amhara and these local sources demand the release of the imprisoned ones. Some of these journalists have been imprisoned since April 2023 for having reported about the struggle in Amhara and for having denounced the abuses committed by the bureaucratic-big landlord government led by Abiy Ahmed. Additionally these journalists report having suffered other forms of attacks against them such as assaults on their informative headquarters, robberies of their work materials, etc. This not only happening with journalists linked to Amhara, but also to journalists from other regions such as from the Somali region, have made a formal appeal for the immediate release of Mohudin Mohamed, who was arrested on 13th of February of 2024. This young journalist has been very active on internet reporting on the recent uprisings that occurred in the regional capital, Jijiga, before an official visit done by Abiy Ahmed. It has been revealed that Mohudin Mohamed has been arrested for seven days without formal accusation and he has been isolated at jail. It also has been reported that a year ago another partner of his media was already arrested after the State’s decision to forbid numerous regional media.

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