More details are emerging about an unprecedented mass execution in Merawi, Gojam, last Monday which reportedly happened shortly after Fano Forces withdrew from the town – which is only 35 kilometers from Bahir Dar.
Hospital sources have confirmed that a six months pregnant woman was shot to death in Merawi. BBC Amharic cited a staff of the primary hospital in the town, apparently the source spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying “twenty five wounded people were brought to the hospital. One of them was six months pregnant. ‘None of them survived’ .”
Another eyewitness who declined to disclose his name told BBC Amharic that his younger brother was killed. He said his brother was told to hand over his kid to his wife, taken out to the street and executed.
The number of people executed on Monday in Merawi is between 50 and 100. Some residents tend to think that number could be higher
Government troops intimidated residents at gunpoint as they attempted to remove bodies from the street to prepare them for burial. In fact, there are sources reported that there were cases where residents were shot and killed as they attempted to remove the bodies. For that reason, the bodies were left in the street for days. Many of the victims were reportedly shot in the forehead and identifying faces of the bodies were difficult, according to reports.
What residents who spoke to different sources confirmed is that Ethiopian government forces started to drag people out of their homes as they conducted a house to house search, took them to the street and executed them. Those executed were not Fano fighters or related to them. Elders and women were among the victims.
The government forces took what they think is intimidating military and retaliatory measures after Fano forces carried out a military operation in the town.
In an interview with Ethiopian Media Service (EMS), London based Ethiopian Military analyst, Major Mamo Mezemer, said what unfolded in Merawi constitutes a war crime.
Bahir Dar Branch Office of Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has confirmed that it has received information about the extrajudicial killings in Merai and that it is investigating them.
There does not seem to be an end to the conflict in the Amhara region. It appears Abiy Ahmed’s government is now pursuing a strategy of making the conflict protracted with the hope of denying the Fano forces a support base in the region. What was planned as a two weeks military operation could not attain its objective after six months.
On Friday, Abiy Ahmed’s government used the rubber stamp parliament to extend the state of emergency by four months. From what has been experienced so far, it may mean that the massacre of civilians in the region could continue. Some analysts say that the motive of Abiy Ahmed is to entirely weaken the region and fragment it. In February 2023, during a meeting with his cabinet ministers and party officials on the issue of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Abiy Ahmed said that forceful measures his government will take would be far worse than what the military government of colonel Mengistu did – it means more killings.
Currently, much of the Amhara region – especially the rural parts – is said to be under the control of Fano forces and government structures are not functioning.
Join the conversation. Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) @zborkena to get the latest Ethiopian News updates regularly. Subscribe to YouTube channel To share information or for submission, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org