Epiphany Day Massacre of Amharas in Woldia, Ethiopia (pdf)
January 21 2018
Amhara Association of America condemns in the strongest possible terms the massacre of over 25 Amhara Christians in Woldia, Wollo, Ethiopia. The 25 killed and over 250 wounded occurred while Amhara Christians were celebrating the Holy Day of Epiphany. This act of horror was committed by TPLF Agazi special forces.
While leading the prayer procession, the Church Holy Fathers who were carrying the Holy Tabot (replica of the Ark of Covenant) with members of the choir were deliberately tear gassed in order to initiate the shooting of people who were part of the procession. The deaths occurred during the procession and in the peaceful protests that followed.
Amhara Association of America expresses our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of this horrific act by Ethiopian Government special forces. In addition, we extend our condolences to all Amharas and peace loving Ethiopians who are mourning and grieving at this moment. It is shocking that special forces would even be stationed in the vicinity of a religious festival. Even more shocking those soldiers would open live fire into hundreds of people during prayer and at peaceful protesters. This tragedy resulting in the death of innocence should never have occurred.
Just this month, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) led regime released a statement announcing the release of “political prisoners” in the hopes of opening political dialogue with the opposition and all Ethiopians. With this news still in the backdrop, TPLF soldiers shot and killed unarmed Christian Amharas while praying and celebrating Epiphany. Instead of this holy event being celebrated as the Feast commemorating the Baptism of Christ and the divine revelation of the Holy Trinity where Holy Water is received by the masses to purify themselves, it will be remembered as a day when innocent Amhara Christians were massacred. It is difficult for Amharas and all Ethiopians to take seriously the statement of opening political dialogue while major Amhara cities are still under military occupation. Unfortunately, the Ethiopian people and donor countries have become too accustomed to empty statements that do not result in policies that improve human rights or open political space for opposition parties.
Amhara Association of America calls on all human right organizations, United Nations, and the U.S. Government to stand shoulder to shoulder with Amharas in Woldia and condemn this barbaric act.
Amhara Association of America calls on the TPLF led regime to remove all its military personal from Woldia so the families and the city can properly mourn the dead, care for the wounded, and live freely without fear.
Amhara Association of America calls on all Amhara organizations to speak with one voice in condemning this barbaric act and work together to free our people from 27-years of systemic genocide and oppression. It is during this time of horror and frustration that we must come together to support our Amhara brothers and sisters facing a brutal regime with no sense of humanity.
Amhara Association of America calls on all Ethiopians to offer prayers of healing and support to the families of the victims.
Today, we stand and remember Woldia!!!!
Amhara Association of America