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Aid group says two workers shot dead in Ethiopia’s Amhara region

Catholic Relief Services workers were killed amid unrest due to the government’s decision to disband regional security forces.

Two aid workers with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) have been killed in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, the charity said, amid civil unrest triggered by a federal government decision to disband regional special forces units.

Chuol Tongyik, a security manager, and Amare Kindeya, a driver, were “shot and killed” while returning to the capital Addis Ababa from Amhara on Sunday, CRS said in a statement on Monday.

CRS director of communications Kim Pozniak said that the incident occurred in the town of Kobo, where residents reported heavy artillery fire on Sunday between the federal military and Amhara regional forces, but did not say whether the shootings were linked to the unrest.

“Details of the murder are still unknown,” CRS said in a statement.

Protests and gun battles gripped several towns in Amhara over the weekend and in some places continued through Monday, according to residents. The unrest came after the government announced its intention to dissolve the federal states’ security forces it said pose a threat to the country’s security and to “build a strong centralised army”.

“The depth of our shock and sorrow is difficult to measure and we are angered over this senseless violence,” said Zemede Zewdie, CRS country representative in Ethiopia. “CRS is a humanitarian agency dedicated to serving the most vulnerable people in Ethiopia.”

Amhara’s regional government said on Monday that it had banned protests in Gondar, which has seen some of the largest demonstrations, imposed restrictions on the circulation of three-wheeled vehicles there and ordered bars to close by 9pm.

Elsewhere in Amhara, demonstrators blocked roads and burned tyres in the streets, paralysing much of the region, Ethiopia’s second largest. In response, the government imposed a curfew and shut off internet service in several areas.

Amhara politicians and activists have condemned the government order that requires special forces from each of Ethiopia’s 11 regions – which enjoy a degree of autonomy – to integrate into the police or the federal army.

They say disbanding Amhara’s special forces would leave the region vulnerable to attacks by neighbouring regions, including Tigray, whose leaders agreed to a truce with the federal government in November to end a two-year war that killed tens of thousands.

Amhara forces fought alongside the federal army in that conflict.

Many Amharas feel betrayed by the federal government’s inability to prevent the war from spilling into their region in 2021 and by its failure to stop attacks against ethnic Amharas by gunmen in Oromia, Ethiopia’s biggest region. They say they will be left unprotected if their regional force is dismantled.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says the integration of the regional special forces is needed to ensure national unity in a country with a long history of interethnic conflict.

“Appropriate law enforcement measures will be taken against those who deliberately play a destructive role,” he said.

Ethiopia’s constitution gives federal states the right to run a police force to maintain law and order. However, several states have also built up powerful regional security forces.

What’s behind the recent ethnic violence in Ethiopia? | Inside St

2 thoughts on “Aid group says two workers shot dead in Ethiopia’s Amhara region”

  1. QUOTE: ” What’s behind the recent ethnic violence in Ethiopia? |” UNQUOTE

    Humble Opinion, 13 April 2023
    The above quotation is a cardinal question.
    It must be answered with daring sincerity
    Are Ethiopians inharmony with each other, regardless of their weight, height, colour of their skin, the multiple language they use (in Alphabetical order Amharic, Gurage, Oromo, Somalian, Tigrinya, >>> help me with the rest.

    So, a) What is the MYSTERIOUS obstacle to keep Ethiopia ‘uncomfortable’
    with each other ?!
    b) Is it possible that the present government of Ethiopia, unconsciously
    triggered the multiple racial issue ?!
    c) Is it also possible that “external element, or elements” are culprit
    behind ‘iron curtain’, disturbing the noble characteristic of Ethiopians
    >>> OR is that image WRONG?!
    d) Finally, as the saying goes ( I believe ) in our entire Black Africa, a
    CURSE may have been blown over Ethiopia for some mysterious
    reason or reasons. It is then Ethiopia’s duty to cleanse itself by
    confessing its wrong doing (what ever it is) and pray for the salvation.

  2. This is just a senseless and repugnant act. That is what happens when things go awry and law and order breaks down completely. It had happens before going back to the 1980’s when members of a charity group were taken prisoners and murdered by a TPLF contingent. That one is still in the terrorism database. This one is also nothing but an act of terrorism. There should not be any excuses or justifications for it. The ICC at The Hague should take down names for this one. This qualifies for crimes against humanity. This is upsetting and disturbing.

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