Ethiopia: Suspected Air Strike kills two dozen people in Amhara Region


In a devastating turn of events, a suspected air strike in Ethiopia’s Amhara region has resulted in the deaths of at least 26 individuals, according to a hospital official.

This tragic incident comes amidst a backdrop of widespread violence and civilian killings in the area since the outbreak of fighting earlier this month.

While federal forces successfully removed Fano militiamen from most major towns in Amhara last week, clashes have continued in other parts of the northern region, as reported by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. Responding to the escalating violence, the federal government declared a state of emergency on August 4.

The current conflict, fueled by accusations from Fano that the federal government is attempting to weaken Amhara’s defenses, represents Ethiopia’s most significant security crisis since the conclusion of a two-year civil war in the neighboring Tigray region in November. However, the government has consistently denied these allegations. Despite repeated requests for comment from Reuters, spokespersons for the government, the military, and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed remained silent regarding the suspected air strike and EHRC’s statement.

According to the hospital official, the alleged strike targeted the town center of Finote Selam on Sunday. Regrettably, four individuals lost their lives at the hospital, while another 22 perished at the scene or while en route to medical care. Currently, 55 individuals are receiving treatment for injuries sustained in the explosion.

The loss of innocent lives is a cause for great concern and sorrow. The international community must take notice of the growing violence in Ethiopia, particularly in the Amhara region. A comprehensive and impartial investigation should be conducted into the alleged air strike, and those responsible for this tragic incident must be held accountable.

Efforts must also be made to deescalate tensions between the federal government and Fano militiamen. Dialogue and open communication channels are essential in finding a peaceful resolution to the underlying issues and grievances fueling the conflict. Both sides must prioritize the safety and wellbeing of the Amhara region’s residents, putting an end to the cycle of violence that threatens their lives and livelihoods.

Ethiopia: Suspected Air Strike kills two dozen people in Amhara Region
Ethiopia: Suspected Air Strike kills two dozen people in Amhara Region.

According to an official statement released on Monday, tragic events unfolded resulting in loss of life and injuries. At the hospital, four individuals lost their lives, while 22 others tragically passed away either at the scene or during transportation to the hospital. Presently, 55 individuals are undergoing treatment for injuries sustained in the explosion.

Tikikil Kumlachew, a university teacher who happened to be visiting a relative at the hospital unrelated to the incident, reported witnessing 14 bodies and being informed by a medical worker that another 12 had also perished.

Eyewitness accounts describe a city shaken by the explosion, with uncertainty as to whether it was caused by a drone or some other unknown factor that fell from above.

In its official statement issued on Monday, the EHRC (Ethiopian Human Rights Commission) disclosed receiving credible reports detailing strikes and shelling in Finote Selam and other towns which led to civilian casualties. However, specific dates for these incidents were not provided.

The EHRC’s statement further outlined various documented incidents throughout the conflict. These include instances of protesters being killed while blocking roads, as well as reports of arms and ammunition being looted from police stations and prisons. Additionally highlighted were targeted attacks against officials from Amhara regional administration.

The capital city of Amhara region, Bahir Dar, witnessed civilian fatalities occurring both on public streets and outside private residences. Furthermore, Gondar – Amhara’s second largest city – reportedly experienced significant civilian casualties. The EHRC has also received information pertaining to extrajudicial killings carried out by security forces in Shewa Robit.

It is important to note that authorities in Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa have apprehended numerous individuals of ethnic Amhara origin.

These distressing events serve as a stark reminder of ongoing tensions and challenges faced within Ethiopia.

Ericson Mangoli
Ericson Mangoli is the founder and Managing Editor of Who Owns Africa, a platform for African journalism that focuses on politics, governance, and business. With a passion for truth and a dedication to highlighting pressing issues in Africa, Mangoli has become a significant voice in the field. He embarked on this journey after graduating with a degree in communications and realizing his true calling was in investigative reporting and shedding light on untold stories.  Who Owns Africa provides thought-provoking articles, in-depth analyses, and incisive commentary to help people understand the complexities of the region. Mangoli is committed to impartiality and ethical reporting, setting high standards for his team. His vision for the platform is to foster critical thinking and promote informed discussions that have a positive impact on African society. Mangoli is known for his eloquent and insightful writing which tackles pressing issues in Africa. His articles cover a range of topics including political corruption, economic development, fostering international partnerships, and African governance. He sheds light on the complexities of these subjects and empowers readers to engage in conversations for positive change. Mangoli's coverage of African politics analyzes the factors that drive change and hinder progress, while his reporting on governance advocates for stronger institutions and policies. Additionally, he explores the challenges and opportunities facing African businesses and inspires readers to contribute to Africa's economic growth.


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