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News: Ethiopia Human Rights Council report says seventeen killed during four month crackdown by security forces in various places in north Wello

Liyat Fekade

Addis Abeba, Aug.09/2018 –  The 145th Special Report, another long awaited report by the independent Human Rights Council Ethiopia (HRCO), presented a detailed report of the death of seventeen civilians in various weredas of North Wello zone of the Amhara regional state during a four month period of security crackdown. The report covered the period starting from November 2017 to February 2018, during which security crackdown intensified. It included the tragic death Gebremeskel Getachew. His brother Kidane Getachew, spoke of finding the body of his brother “riddled with five bullets.” He also said his brother was on his way home after the religious festival on Saturday, on January 20, when he was shot by security forces in an area locally known as Mebrat Hail. HRCO’s report corroborates the account.


The report included details of the January 2018 crackdown in the city of Weldiya, 510 km north of the capital Addis Abeba, in north Wello zone of the Amhara regional state, when security forces opened fire at festival goers of the Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahedo Church.  An eye witness told Addis Standard at the time that the killing occurred in the second day of the annual celebrations of Timket, (Epiphany), an outdoor festival involving several activities by followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Twahido church throughout the country. “After sending off the St. Michael Tabot (The replica of Tablet of the Law) to its Church in early afternoon, the youth have continued singing and dancing while marching through the town; at some point the songs have changed into anti-government protest songs.”

The report includes details of the January 2018 killing of civilians in Mersa town, some 27 km before Weldiya, in north Wello zone of the Amhara regional state, during which it was reported that at least “eleven people “possibly more” were killed and several people were wounded and a local court, a police station, residences and a local administrative office were burned down.”

The report also detailed the names and circumstances of 20 people who were wounded as a result of crackdown by security forces. The 22 pages of report also contains the names and addresses of five civilians who were wounded by security forces in Weldiya during a protest rally to denounce the killing at the Timket Festival.

This is the second report in a week that HRCO has released.Last week, it released a 55 pages report detailing staggering number of death, displacement and property destruction as a result of the Ethio Somali and Oromia border violence involving the Liyu police of the Somali regional state and the Oromia police force of Oromia regional state. AS


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