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HomeEthiopian NewsState of Emergency Board to investigate Merawi Massacre 

State of Emergency Board to investigate Merawi Massacre 

Nejat Girma Wakjira – deputy chairperson of the investigative board (Photo : PD/File)


Ethiopia’s State of Emergency Investigative Board has announced it will investigate civilian killings in Merawi, Amhara region of Ethiopia.  

Nejat Girma (PhD), deputy chairperson of the board, has reportedly confirmed  to BBC Amharic news that the Board will undertake an investigation. 

The decision came just a few days after Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) released a preliminary report about extrajudicial killings government forces carried out in Merawi on January 29, 2024. The report indicated that government forces executed 45 civilians in Merawi town but the number could rise when the investigation is completed. Local news outlets in Ethiopia who claim to have sources from the town have been reporting that more than 158 civilians have been executed on the same day in the streets of the town after government forces went house-to-house and dragged civilians to the streets. Women, children and elderly people are reportedly among the victims. BBC Amharic has confirmed that one of the victims was a pregnant woman. The tragic executions of civilians happened hours after fighting between Fano and government forces in the town. 

The deputy chairperson of the Board is cited as saying that “the board had a meeting and will be heading to Merawi town for an investigation.” However, she did not reveal when it was heading to the area. The source indicated that the security situation on the ground could determine when they can start the investigation. The term for the investigation board was extended after the Ethiopian Parliament extended the state of emergency by four more months. 

In its report, BBC Amharic highlighted that eyewitnesses confirm that the number of people executed could be higher. In addition to those who were dragged from house-to-house searches, civilians in the streets were shot dead. This week, a graphic video footage purportedly recorded hours after the incidents shows bodies in civilian clothes littered on the streets. Hospital sources from the town have reportedly said that the faces of many of the victims were disfigured as they were shot in a very close range. Worse, residents were not allowed to collect bodies to prepare for burial and bodies were left out in the street overnight. 

The Ethiopian gov’t has not yet released an official statement regarding the incident. However, in an interview with DW Amharic, Legesse Tulu, Minister for gov’t communication services, denied that government soldiers executed civilians. He said they were targeting only armed groups. 

The United States and European Union have released a statement calling for an impartial investigation of the executions in Merawi town. 

Meanwhile, reports from local Ethiopian news providers suggest that the fighting between Government forces and Fano  continued in different parts of the Amhara region.


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  1. We, all Ethiopians, are firmly in favor of the State of Emergency Board investigating the Merawi Massacre. It should be impossible for anyone, regardless of political or ethnic background, to escape legal consequences for taking the lives of defenseless, non-provoking, and innocent people.

    ———-Stop Amhara genocide and bring Abiy Ahmed to ICC———


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