Ethiopia Drone Strikes Hit Amhara: Bus and School Hit
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reports on fresh attacks by the Ethiopian government against the people of Amhara.
The OHCHR website reports, “On 6 November, a drone allegedly launched by Government forces struck a primary school in the Wadera district, killing seven people, including three teachers. Reports also suggest Fano militias had occupied some parts of the campus.”
OHCHR continues, “Another drone attack hit a bus station in Waber town on 9 November, killing 13 people who were waiting to board a bus. Fano militias were reportedly active in the area and attacking ENDF camps in Debre Markos and other smaller towns in East and West Gojjam zones, when the drone struck. Such attacks amount to arbitrary deprivation of life under international human rights law.”
Ethiopia faces many internal issues. This notably concerns ethnicity, politics, and religion (central forces versus federalism – and independence). Henceforth, after an agreement was reached between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (a conflict involving other ethnic groups, including the Amhara), events have now spiraled in the region of Amhara concerning the power concentration policies of the Ethiopian government.
The Amhara helped Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia against the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) when Addis Ababa seemed threatened.
This loyalty resulted in ethnic massacres against the Ahmara during the conflict. However, the leader of Ethiopia ignored this loyalty and the demands of the Amhara people. Instead, Abiy refocused his power concentration policies against this ethnic group.
The Wilson Center (Adane Tadesse) reports, “Less than ten months after the November 2022 signing of the Pretoria Agreement that ended the two-year-long Tigray crisis, the second-largest region—the Amhara region—in the country is in turmoil as a result of the outbreak of a military confrontation between the Federal Army and the Fano armed groups since August 2023. As such, there is growing fear that Ethiopia is once again sliding into a protracted civil war. The state of emergency declared in the Amhara region has also further exacerbated insecurity with mass arrests, extrajudicial killings, internet blockages, and disruptions to basic services being the order of the day. As the conflict escalates, several local and international actors (including the United States) have expressed concern and called for peace.”
Earlier this month, six civilians died in – or near – their homes after central forces bombed the Central Gondar Zone. Attacks like this will further spread fear throughout Amhara.
The leader of Ethiopia is intent on enforcing power concentration throughout the land by force. In the short term, this might work. However, each civilian death and all non-addressed grievances entail future conflicts.
Regional grievances in Amhara and fears need to be addressed by the central government – rather than dictating to regions by military power concentration methods and ethnic massacres.