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Abiy Ahmed’s Military Forces Rampage in Jiga City, Leaving 18 Dead in Amhara Region

June 19, 2024

The Habesha

In the city of Jiga, situated in the West Gojam Zone within Ethiopia’s Amhara Region, it has been reported that government security forces have tragically ended the lives of a number of individuals. Among the victims were bank workers, educators, and even a woman suffering from mental illness, as recounted by local residents.

The ongoing investigation into the incident has been confirmed by the Ethiopian National Human Rights Commission (EHRC), as they have recently been informed about the matter. The unfortunate event took place on the evening of Sunday, June 16, 2024, according to witnesses. Detailed accounts from eyewitnesses reveal that at approximately 5:00 PM, a convoy consisting of three patrol vehicles, transporting defense force personnel, entered Jiga City.

Reportedly, individuals belonging to the Fano militia in the region launched an assault on the front vehicle before making a quick escape. Subsequently, the defense forces proceeded to load their deceased colleagues onto their vehicles and proceeded towards the city.

Soon after, law enforcement authorities from the government made their way to the city center and purportedly began shooting, resulting in the deaths of multiple individuals who were in the vicinity, as per eyewitnesses.

According to a report by Ethiopia Insider, individuals were reportedly executed by security forces, who were dressed in uniforms of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), at the Goh Hotel. The victims, which included bank employees and Bajaj drivers who were engaged in playing pool and games at the hotel, were forced onto the main road and lined up before being killed. Despite the efforts of the waitresses at the hotel to identify the individuals to the security forces, their attempts were unsuccessful in preventing the tragic killings.

According to Mr. Abebaw Dessalew, a representative of the Jiga Constituency in the House of Representatives, a tragic incident occurred where 13 individuals lost their lives and two others sustained injuries. This unfortunate event unfolded as a result of a clash between the defense forces and Fano militants. Mr. Dessalew further verified that the national defense forces had apprehended bank employees, a woman suffering from mental illness, a teacher, and other residents of the city from a hotel. Shockingly, these innocent individuals were then taken to the roadside and subjected to gunfire.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) has released a recent report indicating that the majority of human rights violations in Ethiopia’s Amhara and Oromia regions were perpetrated by government security forces.

According to the report, government drone attacks between August and December of the previous year resulted in the deaths of 248 civilians and the destruction of public infrastructure, including schools and hospitals.

A total of 594 instances of human rights violations were documented in Ethiopia, with government forces being responsible for 70% of the reported cases and conflict participants accounting for 22%.  The situation in the Amhara region intensified following the federal government’s decision to “reorganize” the special forces operating in the area a year ago.

Following the confrontations between government security forces and Fano militants, a state of emergency was proclaimed in August 2023, lasting for six months and subsequently extended for an additional four months.

Despite the official conclusion of the state of emergency a fortnight ago, the area continues to be subjected to increased security precautions.

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