UN reveals death toll from clashes in Ethiopia

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Since July, at least 183 individuals have been murdered in battles between the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and local Fano militia members in the Amhara area, according to the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR).

The UN claimed more than 1,000 people had been jailed nationwide, including three journalists, after the government outlawed public meetings under a state of emergency rule enacted in reaction to the violence earlier this month.

“Detainees have reportedly been placed in improvised detention centers that lack basic amenities,” stated the organization in a statement, expressing alarm over the “deteriorating human rights situation in some regions of Ethiopia.”

The OHCHR also claimed to have received reports that at least 250 ethnic Tigrayans had been held in the disputed province of Western Tigray, where the federal government promised to dissolve all unlawful administrations last week.

Fighting erupted earlier this month in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region, following months of tensions caused by a government decree requiring regional security personnel to be absorbed into the federal police or army.

Yilkal Kefale, the president of Amhara state, resigned from his position last Friday, citing problems such as the region’s “complex” political battle and a lack of an acceptable conflict-resolution plan.

He claimed that the turmoil had gotten worse and that peace talks to address the mounting security problem had failed.

There have already been claims of officials conducting large arrests in the Amhara area and even in Addis Abeba, the capital. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission reported widespread incarceration of ethnic Amharas on August 14, demanding federal authorities to stop the arrests.

Federal forces are claimed to have retaken major towns and cities previously held by Fano militants in the region, although combat continues.

The United Nations urged the conflicting parties to “stop killings, other violations, and abuses,” emphasizing that “grievances must be addressed through dialogue and political process.”