Deadly Airstrike Claims Lives of Civilians in Ethiopia’s Amhara Region

Afaf Fahchouch
Afaf Fahchouch
3 Min Read
Deadly Airstrike Claims Lives of Civilians in Ethiopia's Amhara Region

In a tragic turn of events, an airstrike in Ethiopia’s Amhara region has resulted in the loss of lives, with reports indicating that at least 15 civilians, including children and elderly individuals, have been killed. The strike occurred earlier this week, targeting a truck carrying passengers to a village, as confirmed by three residents who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisals.

The incident took place approximately 24 kilometers away from where Ethiopian troops were engaged in clashes with militiamen, according to the residents. Among the victims were individuals fleeing the ongoing conflict, while others were returning from a baptism ceremony.

Despite repeated attempts to obtain official comments, spokespersons for Ethiopia’s government, military, and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office have remained silent on the matter.

The airstrike comes amid a protracted conflict between Ethiopian troops and fighters from the Fano militia, which has been ongoing since last July. United Nations reports from last year indicate that the conflict has already claimed the lives of over 200 people.

Describing the aftermath of the strike, witnesses recounted scenes of devastation, with one resident describing the task of collecting dismembered bodies scattered by the explosion. The casualties included women, children, and the elderly.

One witness, who lost multiple family members in the attack, alleged that a small drone was spotted in the vicinity just before the explosion, raising questions about the nature of the airstrike.

The use of drones by the Ethiopian military has been noted by the state-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which has documented numerous civilian casualties resulting from drone strikes and extrajudicial killings by government forces.

Despite mounting evidence of civilian casualties, the federal government has largely remained unresponsive to allegations of abuses by its military. However, it has maintained that its actions in Amhara are aimed at restoring law and order and protecting the rights of citizens.

The recent airstrike adds to the complexities of the conflict in the Amhara region, which erupted following a peace deal in November 2022 to end the civil war in the neighboring Tigray region. The involvement of the Fano militia, once allied with the military against Tigrayan forces, has further exacerbated tensions, with accusations of government interference in Amhara’s security.

As the international community continues to monitor the situation in Ethiopia, concerns persist over the escalating violence and its impact on civilian populations caught in the crossfire of conflict.


Share this Article
Leave a comment