Amhara Massacre

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At least 54 people belonging to the Amhara ethnic group in Ethiopia were massacred in the West Wollega Zone of the country’s Oromia region. According to the New York Times [1] and Amnesty International, [2]Amhara villagers were lured to come to a school yard, where they were massacred by militants from the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), the armed wing of the once banned Oromo Liberation Front [3]. The massacre victims were mostly women, children and the elderly who had been unable to escape. The attack took place on November 01, 2020, one day after government troops pulled out from West Wollega Zone. After the massacre, the OLA looted cattle and belongings of Amharas and set fire to their homes and villages. There is speculation that there was coordination between the government security forces and the OLF militants to carry out the attack [4].

This was not the first time ethnic Amharas were targeted by Oromo extremists. Starting June 30, 2020 for seven consecutive days [5] , in the town of Shashamane located 150 miles south of Addis Ababa, gangs of Oromo men went home to home checking identity cards and attacking Amharas with machetes [6] . The ethnically motivated violence was carried out in the name of an outrage following the killing of Hachalu Hundesa, a famous Oromo singer [7]. However, the overwhelming majority of Oromos are peaceful and do not endorse these violent actions by the radicals.

On December 22, 2020, more than 100 Amharas were massacred in another attack in Benishangul-Gumuz region of west Ethiopia [8]. The attack occurred a day after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited the region and held talks with the region's president Ashadly Ahmed [9]. The attackers were armed groups that are linked with the Gumuz militia members and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). A similar deadly attack in Benishangul-Gumuz region targeting Amharas in early October of 2020 killed 14 civilians. This followed another similar attack in September 2000 that displaced over 300 people.

On February 25, 2021, in Boka and Nechlu of west Wollega zone, at least 12 Amharas including a 7 year old were hacked to death in a brutal attack. 42 Amharas were also killed in two separate attacks on March 6 and 9, 2021 [10].

On March 31, 2021, gunmen forced Amhara residents in West Wollega zone to gather in groups and shot them. At least 30 civilians were killed and 15 wounded. Local authorities blamed the attack on Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). However, the OLA denied the allegations [11].

Ethnic violence in Ethiopia exploded after Dr. Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in April 2018.


  1. Dahir, Abdi Latif (2020-11-03). "Dozens Killed in Ethiopia in Schoolyard Massacre". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-14.
  2. "Armed group attacked village killing ethnic Amharas, destroying homes". Retrieved 2021-04-14.

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