Addis Abeba – According to a recent statement by the United Nations Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), drone strikes by Ethiopian government forces in the Amhara region have resulted in the deaths of at least 20 civilians.
The attacks targeted a school and a bus station over the past week, raising concerns about human rights abuses amidst ongoing clashes in Amhara. These airstrikes took place amidst escalating tensions between the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and allied militias on one side and the ethnic Amhara militias, known as Fano, on the other.
Investigations reveal that some of the deadliest incidents occurred in early November. On 09 November, a drone strike hit a bus station in the town of Waber, claiming the lives of 13 civilians who were waiting to depart. In the vicinity, Fano militiamen were reportedly carrying out attacks on nearby ENDF encampments.
Earlier, on 06 November, a drone allegedly operated by the government bombed a primary school in the Wadera district, resulting in the deaths of seven people, including three teachers. Reports suggest that Fano members had occupied parts of the school premises before the airstrike.
Another incident on 04 November occurred when government forces shelled residential areas in Chuahit town, located in the central Gondar zone, resulting in the deaths of six people and injuring 14 others. Many of the victims were inside their homes when the shelling occurred.
Furthermore, on 09 and 28 October, two separate attacks carried out by the Fano militia resulted in the deaths of 21 people, including government and ruling party officials, in Alem Ber (South Gondar) and the Jibayt district (Awi zone), respectively.
The UN Human Rights Office has expressed concern over the devastating impact of drone strikes and other acts of violence on the population in the Amhara region.
As clashes persist between the ENDF and its allies, including the ethnic Amhara militia Fano, the UN agency emphasizes the importance of all parties involved refraining from unlawful attacks and taking necessary measures to protect civilians. Furthermore, it said the security operations conducted by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and its allies should fully comply with Ethiopia’s human rights obligations. AS
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