183 killed in clashes in Ethiopia’s Amhara, says UN

A man passes by a destroyed tank on the main street of Edaga Hamus, in the Tigray region, in Ethiopia, on June 5, 2021. [Photo: Wikimedia/ Yan Boechat/VOA]

Since July, clashes in Ethiopia’s Amhara region have led to the deaths of at least 183 individuals, as stated by the United Nations on Tuesday.

The UN has made an appeal to halt the violence, killings, and human rights violations occurring in the area, AFP reported.

The situation in the northern region escalated following the conclusion of a devastating conflict in the neighboring Tigray region. This war also involved fighters from the Amhara region, contributing to heightened tensions.

Marta Hurtado, the spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office, expressed deep concern about the deteriorating human rights conditions in certain parts of Ethiopia during a press briefing in Geneva.

In April, the national government announced its intention to disband regional forces throughout the country. This decision sparked protests from Amhara nationalists who believed it would undermine their region’s strength.

Hostilities broke out in early July between the national army and local fighters referred to as Fano. Consequently, on August 4, authorities in Addis Ababa declared a six-month state of emergency, granting them extensive powers such as warrantless arrests, curfew implementation, and the prohibition of public gatherings, as outlined by Hurtado.

Reports indicate that over 1,000 individuals have been detained across Ethiopia under this legislation. A significant number of those apprehended, particularly young people of Amhara ethnicity suspected of supporting Fano, have been affected. Mass door-to-door searches have reportedly been conducted since early August.

The UN spokesperson urged the authorities to discontinue mass detentions, guarantee judicial review for any instances of deprivation of liberty, and release those detained without proper justification.

Furthermore, Hurtado emphasized the need for all parties involved to cease killings, as well as other violations and abuses.

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