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Ethiopia: Army Attacks Health Care in Amhara Conflict

The conflict between the Ethiopian military and the Amhara militia, known as Fano, in Ethiopia's Amhara region, which began in August 2023, has resulted in widespread attacks on healthcare facilities, medical professionals, and patients that amount to war crimes, according to various reports from human rights organizations and international bodies.

The Amhara region is located in the northern part of Ethiopia and is home to one of the country's largest ethnic groups. The conflict between the Ethiopian military and Fano militia has led to widespread violence and displacement, with civilians bearing the brunt of the fighting.

According to Amnesty International, Ethiopian security forces have deliberately targeted hospitals and health centers in the Amhara region, looting and damaging medical facilities and forcing doctors and nurses to flee or abandon their patients. In some cases, medical personnel have been arrested, detained, or even killed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that at least 37 health facilities have been damaged or destroyed since the conflict began, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without access to essential healthcare services. The WHO also reported that at least 35 healthcare workers have been killed and over 300 have been forced to flee their homes due to the violence.

The attacks on healthcare facilities and medical personnel are not only a violation of international humanitarian law but also endanger the lives of civilians who rely on these services for their survival. The United Nations (UN) and other international organizations have called for an end to these attacks and for those responsible to be held accountable.

Ethiopia's international partners, including donor countries and international organizations, have also urged the Ethiopian government to take action to protect healthcare facilities and personnel and to ensure that civilians are not caught up in the conflict. The UN Human Rights Council has launched an investigation into the human rights situation in Ethiopia and has called for an end to the violence and abuses against civilians.

Despite these calls for action, the conflict in the Amhara region continues, with reports of ongoing violence and displacement. The international community must continue to pressure the Ethiopian government to take steps to protect civilians and ensure that those responsible for attacks on healthcare facilities and personnel are held accountable.

In addition, it is important for international organizations and donor countries to continue providing humanitarian aid and support to those affected by the conflict and to work with the Ethiopian government to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. The long-term solution will require political dialogue and reconciliation efforts between the different ethnic groups and political factions in Ethiopia.

Published 18 days ago

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