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Mai-Kadra death toll rises

Mai-Kadra death toll rises

The death toll in the Mai-Kadra massacre rose to 766 as 166 additional bodies were discovered on Wednesday and Friday. 

A day after the investigative findings by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) that put the death toll in the Mai-Kadra massacre at 600 were released, another 74 bodies were recovered from a mass grave in two separate places on the outskirts of Mai-Kadra.  

In a shocking footage aired on Amhara TV [under the Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA)], the regional broadcaster reported that the bodies were recovered from two places; Abnet and central Mewucha localities. It was indicated that the latest recovery was successful in part due to the cooperation of residents of Mai-Kadra who had survived the mass killings.

In light of the latest findings reported by the regional broadcaster, The Reporter contacted EHRC Officials asking if they had verified the latest reports.

In his response to The Reporter, Aaron Maasho, Senior Advisor and Spokesperson to the commission indicated that the commission is monitoring activities to verify the reports and further action will be ongoing.

“The report we released from our probe into the massacre in Mai-Kadra is only preliminary. We continue to monitor developments and carry out further research, meaning there will be further input incorporated into our final report that will be released upon completion,” Aaron said.

In latest developments, the search team on Friday reported the recovery of additional 92 bodies dumped in three separate places on the outskirts of Mai-Kadra town.

The interim administration of Mai-Kadra town has reportedly arrested at least 60 suspects in connection with the November 9 massacre. Of the stated total arrests, 17 of them allegedly have direct involvement in the massacre of civilians. 

EHRC’s report stated that the group targeted ethnic Amhara’s and Welkait men, “beating them, stabbing them with knives, machetes and strangling them with ropes.”

The commission accused an informal youth group known as Samri of carrying out the attacks, with the support of Tigrayan Special forces and Militia.

The commission suggested the death toll could be much higher because some bodies could be in the vast farm fields surrounding the town.