Ethiopian Human Rights Commission says 45 civilians killed by government forces in Amhara region News
AMISOM Public Information, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Ethiopian Human Rights Commission says 45 civilians killed by government forces in Amhara region

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) claimed on Tuesday that federal security forces have killed at least 45 civilians in Ethiopia’s Amhara region. The independent state body also alleged that the civilians had been killed for being supposedly affiliated with the ethnic Amhara armed group known as Fano.

The commission stressed that the damage done to civilian lives “outside the law” by government officials could be greater than the numbers stated. It also stated that the commission has commenced its investigation into the matter. However, the commission says that a lack of a response from the involved parties is creating difficulties in completing the investigation.

Fano emerged as a resistance group in 2015, claiming to fight against the alleged genocide happening against the Amhara people. The group became a vital ally of Ethiopia’s federal forces, known as the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), during the war against the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF). After the end of the civil war with TPLF, the government headed by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed failed to continue their alliance with Fano.

Fano was not accommodated during the peace treaty negotiations after the end of the civil war in 2022, which troubled the paramilitary group, along with subsequent federal actions taken against Fano affiliates. The official order by Ahmed in April 2023 to include every regional military group in the federal military led to the beginning of the ongoing conflict, as Fano saw their positions weakened.

Human Rights Watch had called for the international community and the UN to “maintain pressure” on the Ethiopian government to “ensure justice to the victims of conflict” in the ongoing strife. The US also called for an investigation into the alleged murder of civilians in the Amhara region on Friday.