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Sounding the Alarm on the Amhara Genocide at the UN

Photo : courtesy of Thierry Valle

By Thierry Valle

The Amhara people of Ethiopia are facing an unprecedented crisis of genocide, characterized by widespread ethnic-based violence, mass killings, and systematic discrimination that threaten to obliterate their existence. Despite enduring immense suffering and persecution, the plight of the Amhara population has largely gone unnoticed by the international community, with their cries for help falling on deaf ears. The atrocities committed against the Amhara people, from the horrific attacks in Welega and Metekel to the recent drone strikes targeting civilians in the Amhara Region, such as the devastating assault in Merawi, Northern Shewa, and the appalling door-to-door exclusion tactics witnessed in Merawi, demand immediate investigation and intervention. This is a catastrophe we can ill afford to ignore, as the very survival of the Amhara people hangs in the balance, and urgent action is needed to prevent further atrocities and ensure justice for the victims.

It is in this context that the Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience (CAP LC), Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF), a human rights organizations, alerted by Stop Amhara Genocide, has taken up the cause of the Amhara people. 

Deeply troubled by the escalating humanitarian crisis and grave violations of human rights targeting the Amhara, this NGOs coalition has made it a priority to bring this issue to the forefront at the United Nations. Through tireless advocacy and appeals for urgent action, CAPL has sought to shine a spotlight on the Amhara’s suffering and compel the international community to respond.

This article will detail our efforts to amplify the voices of the Amhara people and hold the perpetrators of these atrocities accountable. It is a testament to the organization’s unwavering commitment to defending human rights and ensuring that the plight of marginalized communities is heard on the global stage.

Our efforts began in September 2021, when we delivered an oral statement at the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council, drawing attention to the “ethnic cleansing and genocide” taking place in the Tigray region, which has disproportionately targeted the Amhara population. We called on the Council to establish an independent international investigation into the human rights violations and to ensure accountability for the perpetrators.

Photo : courtesy of Thierry Valle

In the months that followed, we continued to sound the alarm, submitting written statements to the 49th, 50th, and 51st sessions of the Human Rights Council. These statements documented the massacres of Amhara civilians in both war and non-war zones, the arbitrary arrests and detention of Amhara journalists and activists, and the escalating humanitarian crisis in the Amhara region.

Our collaboration with Yodith Gideon and Stop Amhara Genocide has been crucial in gathering the evidence and testimonies needed to substantiate our claims. Together, we have meticulously documented the atrocities, including the June 2022 massacre of over 300 Amhara civilians in the Gimbi region. We have also worked closely with other human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Without Frontiers, to ensure that our reports and submissions to the UN carry the weight of multiple credible sources.

In March 2022, we took our advocacy to the 49th session of the Human Rights Council, delivering a statement that painted a harrowing picture of the ongoing “massacres of Amhara civilians in war and non-war zones.” We urged the Council to take immediate action to protect the Amhara people and to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are held accountable.

Our efforts continued unabated throughout 2023, as the situation in Ethiopia only grew more dire. In April, we submitted a written statement to the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council, highlighting the arbitrary arrest and detention of journalists and activists who were reporting on the persecution of the Amhara community. We called on the Council to take concrete steps to address this alarming trend and to ensure the protection of human rights defenders.

In June 2023, we issued a desperate “Appeal for Urgent Action to Stop the Ongoing Violence, Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide Against the Amhara People of Ethiopia.” This appeal, co-signed by Yodith Gideon and other human rights organizations, painted a bleak picture of the situation on the ground, with the Amhara people facing systematic attacks, displacement, and the destruction of their homes and livelihoods.

Our efforts at the UN continued unabated throughout the year, with statements and appeals delivered at the 53rd, 54th, and 55th sessions of the Human Rights Council. In September 2023, our written statement to the 54th session made a “Urgent Appeal to Address Escalating Human Rights Violations and Crisis in Amhara, Ethiopia,” calling for immediate action to protect the Amhara people and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the affected regions.

Most recently, in March 2024, we delivered an oral statement at the 55th session of the Human Rights Council, drawing attention to the “Drone Attacks on Amhara and Escalating Humanitarian Crisis.” We urged the Council to take immediate action to investigate these attacks and to ensure the protection of civilian lives.

Throughout this entire process, we have worked closely with Stop Amhara Genocide, and Human Rights Without Frontiers to ensure that the international community is fully aware of the unfolding genocide and the urgent need for intervention. Our collaboration has been crucial in amplifying the voices of the Amhara people and in keeping the spotlight on this devastating crisis.

As we approach the 47th session of the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council in November 2024, we are once again preparing to make our voices heard. We will be submitting a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in Ethiopia, with a particular focus on the ongoing genocide against the Amhara people. We will be calling on the international community to take immediate and concrete action to stop the violence, protect the Amhara population, and ensure accountability for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

In response to the targeted attacks on Ethiopian Orthodox churches, our initiatives to address them are actively ongoing. We are engaged in efforts to address this grave concern in collaboration with the international community, particularly those working on promoting religious freedom. Moreover, as part of our commitment to these efforts, we are actively supporting the report submitted by the Jubilee Campaign to the Universal Periodic Review, shedding light on the alarming trend of church attacks, and advocating for meaningful action to protect religious sites and communities. Furthermore, as we speak, we are carrying out other initiatives aimed at addressing this issue comprehensively, with the aim of safeguarding the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and preserving the rich cultural and religious heritage of the Amhara people and all Ethiopians.

The road ahead is long and the challenges are daunting, but we remain steadfast in our commitment to justice and the protection of human rights. We will continue to work tirelessly, in collaboration with our partners, to ensure that the world does not turn a blind eye to the unfolding tragedy in Ethiopia. The Amhara people deserve nothing less than our unwavering support and our relentless pursuit of the truth.

Thierry Valle is President of the Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience

Source :

April 2024 47th session of the Universal Periodic Session
Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review 47th session (4 – 15 Nov 2024) Universal Periodic Review of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
https://freedomofconscience.eu/human-rights-council-universal-periodic-review-47th-session-4-15-nov-2024-universal-periodic-review-of-the-federal-democratic-republic-of-ethiopia/

March 2024 Human Rights Council 55th session
HRC 55 Oral Statement Item 3 Attention Required: Drone Attacks on Amhara and Escalating Humanitarian Crisis
https://freedomofconscience.eu/hrc-55-oral-statement-item-3-attention-required-drone-attacks-on-amhara-and-escalating-humanitarian-crisis/

HRC 55 Written Statement : Racial and Ethnic-based violence and discrimination against Ethiopia’s Amhara
https://freedomofconscience.eu/racial-and-ethnic-based-violence-and-discrimination-against-ethiopias-amhara/

Immediate Attention Required: Drone Attacks on Amhara Region and Escalating Humanitarian Crisis
https://freedomofconscience.eu/immediate-attention-required-drone-attacks-on-amhara-region-and-escalating-humanitarian-crisis/

September 2023 Human Rights Council 54th session
HRC 54 written statement : Urgent Appeal to Address Escalating Human Rights Violations and Crisis in Amhara, Ethiopia
https://freedomofconscience.eu/hrc-54-written-statement-urgent-appeal-to-address-escalating-human-rights-violations-and-crisis-in-amhara-ethiopia/

Item 4: Interactive dialogue with the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia
https://freedomofconscience.eu/item-4-interactive-dialogue-with-the-international-commission-of-human-rights-experts-on-ethiopia-interactive-dialogue/

July 2023 Human Rights Council 53th session
HRC 53 ITEM 3 ID with Special Adviser on prevention of genocide ITEM 3 Presentation of reports 4 July 2023
https://freedomofconscience.eu/hrc-53-item-3-id-with-special-adviser-on-prevention-of-genocide-item-3-presentation-of-reports-4-july-2023/

June 2023
Appeal for Urgent Action to Stop the Ongoing Violence, Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide Against the Amhara People of Ethiopia
https://freedomofconscience.eu/appeal-for-urgent-action-to-stop-the-ongoing-violence-ethnic-cleansing-and-genocide-against-the-amhara-people-of-ethiopia/

April 2023 Human Rights Council 52th session
52nd Human Rights Council : Arbitrary arrest and detention journalists and activists reporting on the persecution of Amharas
https://freedomofconscience.eu/52nd-human-rights-council-arbitrary-arrest-and-detention-journalists-and-activists-reporting-on-the-persecution-of-amharas/

52nd regular session of the Human Rights Council Item 4: Interactive dialogue with the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on the situation of human rights in Ethiopia
https://freedomofconscience.eu/52nd-regular-session-of-the-human-rights-council-item-4-interactive-dialogue-with-the-international-commission-of-human-rights-experts-on-the-situation-of-human-rights-in-ethiopia/

October 2022 ICCPR 136th of the Committee of Human Rights Geneva session on Ethiopia
Statement delivered 136th session Human Rights Committee (10 Oct 2022 – 04 Nov 2022) on Ethiopia Incidents targeting the Amhara community in 2022
https://freedomofconscience.eu/statement-delivered-136th-session-human-rights-committee-10-oct-2022-04-nov-2022-on-ethiopia-incidents-targeting-the-amhara-community-in-2022/

Statement submitted 136th session Human Rights Committee (10 Oct 2022 – 04 Nov 2022) on Ethiopia Incidents targeting the Amhara community in 2022
https://freedomofconscience.eu/statement-submitted-136th-session-human-rights-committee-10-oct-2022-04-nov-2022-on-ethiopia-incidents-targeting-the-amhara-community-in-2022/

October 2022 Human Rights Council 51th session
Oral statement at the UN 51 Human Rights Council Session Massacres of and attacks against Amharas
https://freedomofconscience.eu/oral-statement-at-the-un-51-human-rights-council-session-massacres-of-and-attacks-against-amharas/

HRC 51st Session : About the 18 June 2022 mass massacres of Amharas at Gimbi (Western part of Ethiopia)
https://freedomofconscience.eu/hrc-51st-session-about-the-18-june-2022-mass-massacres-of-amharas-at-gimbi-western-part-of-ethiopia/

August 2022
Call for submissions International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia
https://freedomofconscience.eu/call-for-submissions-international-commission-of-human-rights-experts-on-ethiopia/

June 2022 Human Rights Council 50th session
HRC 50 : Incidents targeting the Amhara community
https://freedomofconscience.eu/hrc-50-incidents-targeting-the-amhara-community/

HRC 50 : Item 4 Interactive dialogue on the oral briefing of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia
https://freedomofconscience.eu/hrc-50-item-4-interactive-dialogue-on-the-oral-briefing-of-the-international-commission-of-human-rights-experts-on-ethiopia/

March 2022 Human Rights Council 49th session
ETHIOPIA: Massacres of Amhara civilians in war and non-war zones
https://freedomofconscience.eu/ethiopia-massacres-of-amhara-civilians-in-war-and-non-war-zones/

September 2021 Human Rights Council 48th session
Item 2: Enhanced interactive dialogue on the oral update by the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in the Tigray region of Ethiopia
https://freedomofconscience.eu/item-2-enhanced-interactive-dialogue-on-the-oral-update-by-the-high-commissioner-on-the-situation-of-human-rights-in-the-tigray-region-of-ethiopia/

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of borkena.com

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