The Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRC) has urged the Amhara regional government to pay close attention to continued armed group assaults on civilians in Ataye and its surrounding areas in the Oromo Special Zone and North Shewa Zone.
The Oromo Nation’s Special Zone and the North Showa Zone are home to the cities of Ataye, Jewha, Shewarobit, Majete, Antiochia Gemza, Kemise, and Sanbate. The Council emphasized that residents of Ataye City and the surrounding area are particularly at risk of death, injury, property destruction, and displacement as a result of the regular attacks by armed forces.
In a statement, the Council said that the attacks have made the city unsafe, put people at risk, and forced them to leave their homes. The problem is getting worse and spreading to nearby communities since neither the Amhara regional government nor the federal government is giving it the attention it deserves, the Council stated.
It urged the Amhara regional government to pay attention to the frequent attacks by armed groups and fulfill its responsibility to safeguard the community from attacks and defend the people’s safety. The Council pledged to do additional field investigations and produce a complete report based on the security situation in the area.
The EHRCO insisted on regional authorities investigating and prosecuting armed groups accountable for assaults on civilians.
The Amhara Regional state government said in a statement released on January 25, 2023, that the violence erupted after “anti-peace forces” operating in the area attacked members of Amhara Special Forces and federal police forces stationed in Jawa kebele of Efiratana Gidim district of North Shewa zone on Sunday 21 January at around 3PM.
The region stated the federal army, federal police, and regional troops were working to bring the situation under control.
In April 2021, a horrific violence engulfed the same area, killing hundreds and displacing at least 358,000 people. According to a UN report, “the whole population has been displaced and the town has been burnt down” in Ataye town, which was the epicenter of the conflict.