News: Two local gov’t officials killed in a series of assassinations in Amhara region this week

The late Milishu Bekele, the head of Kowet district administration in the North Shewa Zone (Photo: Social Media)

Addis Abeba – Two local government officials in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, specifically within the North Shewa Zone, have reportedly been killed this week.

On June 6, 2024, the Kewot district administration announced that Milishu Bekele, the head of the North Shewa Zone’s Kowet district administration office, was killed by armed men while moving within the city.

According to a statement issued by the administration, Milishu, who was pregnant at the time, was fatally shot by “extremist elements.”

The administration condemned the killing, stating, “The group expressed the edge of terrorism by shooting and killing a woman who was carrying motherhood with pregnancy.”

The administration vowed that legal efforts “to maintain peace and justice against such extremist elements will persist.”

Milishu’s death comes just days after Alebes Adefrash, head of Efratana Gidem district, was killed in a late-night attack at his residence on Saturday.

The district administration’s condolence message stated that an “extremist militant” was responsible for the attack.

These incidents are the latest in a series of attacks targeting officials in the Amhara region.

In May 2024, Getachew Mellise, the governor of Lasta district, and Million Afewarqi, the head of the district health office, were shot dead near Lalibela while returning from a meeting in Waldiya, the capital of North Wallo.

In July 2023, Abdu Hussein, head of the security department for the North Shewa Zone’s Shewa Robit city administration, was fatally shot by unidentified individuals. Within 24 hours of Abdu’s death, two senior security officials in the East Gojam Zone’s Dejen district, Inspector Zewdu Tadele and Deputy Inspector Worku Shimelus, were killed while monitoring eighth-grade exams.

Earlier, the city of Shewa Robit has lost its mayor Wubshet Ayalew On 01 September 2022 after he was shot and killed by unidentified assailants.

Two months later, on 23 November, Tsion Tegegn, an official of Shewa Robit City Administration Revenue Department, was also shot and killed by unknown assailants while she was on a bus to visit her family.

But the killing in late April 2023 of Girma Yeshitila, head of the Amhara region’s ruling Prosperity Party, was gunned down along with five others while traveling from Mehal Meda to Debre Berihan in the north Showa zone is widely considered as a turning point that plunged the region into the current crisis.

Girma’s killing as prompted the Ethiopian Joint Security and Intelligence Task Force to ramp up preparations to “take decisive measures” against “extremist forces” that it accused of “trying to take control of regional state power by destroying the constitutional system in the Amhara regional state.” The regional state has since been engulfed in militarized conflict between government forces and armed elements of the Fano non-state militia. AS

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