Accounts of the severity and scale of the violence that wreaked havoc in the Amhara regional state’s Oromo Special Zone and North Shewa Zone are emerging, painting a picture of a violence that claimed many lives. The Jile Timuga woreda coordination bureau, for example, released a statement on April 7, 2021 that was addressed to local and foreign media reporting in Ethiopia, demanding urgent media attention and describing the severity of the conflict. 65 people were killed, 114 others were wounded, 813 homes were burnt down, and 40,000 people were displaced as a result of the attack.”
According to witnesses on the film, a burned-down school and pictures of a torched health center, both in Wossen Qorqor kebele, were torched during the violence. The school, which offered Afaan Oromo curriculum, was torched during the violence, according to the coordination bureau.
On Friday, March 19, 2021, violence erupted in the Oromo Special and North Shewa Zones after an Imam was killed in front of a Mosque in Ataye city, resulting in escalation amid elders’ attempts to settle the conflict. According to eyewitnesses interviewed by Addis Standard, the fighting was between Amhara residents backed by Amhara Special Forces and Oromo residents in the region.
The ruling Prosperity Party (PP) regional state chapters in Oromia and Amhara participated in a war of words, accusing each other of fomenting unrest in the region as part of a policy of contradictory narratives and fragmentation of the conflict.
On April 4, 2021, a gruesome video was released depicting a crowd attack on an ambulance in which the attackers pulled wounded people out of the ambulance, beat and stabbed them to death. The attack took place in Shewa Robit, North Shewa Zone, Amhara Regional State, and Addis Standard was able to obtain contact information for the victims’ families.
“One of the deceased is my cousin,” Aliye Mohammed, a relative of one of the victims, said over the phone to Addis Norm. It all started in Ataye when fighting broke out and my brother and I were injured; we were taken to a health center in a nearby town called Senbete, but the doctors there treated us badly,” he continued, “At one point my cousin passed out, so I requested that we be transferred to a larger hospital, and because my injury was not serious, they took my cousin after referring him to a hospital in Shew,” he said.“The wounded were brought in two ambulances as we reached the hospital, they were confronted by a crowd of people and soldiers who belonged to the Amhara Special Forces who instantly assaulted and helped attackers who attacked the two ambulances and the injured they were carrying,” Aliye was left at Senbete health center, but later learned of the incident from a survivor. “The mob, under the watchful eye of Amhara Special Forces, used all they had on the wounded, and as a result, 12 people died,” he said.
“When we learnt about the bombings, we decided to go and recover the bodies of our relatives,” Mohammed Ahmed, a relative of one of the victims, said. “Their bodies were left there, and we had to beg officials to carry them back so we could pay them proper Islamic burials and conduct funeral prayers,” Mohammed, who had lost a child, continued to hold back his tears (Janaza). Days after the incident, they took the corpses to us, and we buried them.” Aliye backed up Mohammed’s claims of gathering the remains of the dead.