750 Civilians Killed In Amhara And Afar Region In 6 Months 

Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has revealed that at least 750 civilians were killed between July and December 2021 in the Amhara and Afar regions of the country.

EHRC, an independent body with affiliations with the Ethiopian government said investigations were conducted in both regions, as they’ve both felt the bitter taste of the conflict in Tigray.

In a statement, the commission said it verified that at least 403 civilians have died and 309 have been injured (…) as a result of heavy artillery fire, air raids and drone attacks”. It also said “at least 346 civilians have been victims of unlawful and extrajudicial killings by parties to the conflict – mainly by Tigrayan forces”

Tigrayan rebels according to the report engaged in cruel, gender-based violence including the gang rape of innocent locals. 

The report said the Tigrayan rebels engaged in “widespread, cruel and systematic sexual and gender-based violence, including gang rape against women of different ages, including girls and elderly women, in parts of the Amhara and Afar regions under their control,”

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There were also allegations of war crimes against the rebels as the EHRC accused them of abductions and enforced disappearances of locals. 

The latest report is a follow-up to the joint EHRC/Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report covering from 3 November 2020 to 28 June 2021.

Some parts of the report also revealed the extent of the violence perpetrated by the Tigrayan rebels.

“The findings show parties to the conflict carried out indiscriminate attacks on civilians who are vulnerable in particular women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons. These attacks on civilians and civilian objects were committed in violation of the principles of distinction, necessity, precaution, and proportionality. By using civilians as human shields, conducting military operations from civilian homes and in urban areas, the parties have caused civilian deaths, physical injuries, and property destruction. Without including the extrajudicial killings, at least 403 civilians have died and 309 have suffered minor to serious physical injuries as a result of acts of violence in the context of the conflict.

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“In parts of Afar and Amhara Regions covered by this investigation, at least 346 civilians have been subjected to unlawful and extra-judicial killing by parties to the conflict – mainly by Tigray Forces. In areas which were under their control, OLF-Shane also committed targeted killings of government officials and their family members, and civilians they accused of supporting the government, ” the report said.

The Ethiopian National Defence Force, Amhara Special Forces and other pro-government forces were also accused of committing physical injuries and extrajudicial killings.

“ENDF, Amhara Special Forces, Fano and other militia also committed unlawful and extrajudicial killing of and caused physical injuries to civilians they suspected of supporting Tigray Forces or OLF-Shane,”

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In both the Afar and Amhara regions, there have been attacks by the rebels as they also continue to launch offensives in Tigray, the main war theatre.

Fuel shortages in the regions have limited the supplies of aid to the people as the 16-month old war continues to rage on amid great human losses and economic devastation. 


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