Two employees of the humanitarian organization Catholic Relief Services (CRS) were shot dead over the weekend in Amhara, a region in northern Ethiopia that has been plagued by unrest for several days, the NGO announced Tuesday.
Demonstrations and road blockades in Amhara have been reported since Thursday, after the federal government began the process of disarming and reassigning members of military units under regional authority to the federal army or the police. Called “special forces” in Ethiopia, these units have been established outside of any legal framework for the past 15 years by some regional states.
“Chuol Tongyik, a security official, and Amare Kindeya, a driver, were shot dead in a SRC vehicle in the Amhara region on their way back to Addis Ababa after a mission,” SRC says. “The circumstances of their killing, which occurred on Sunday, “are unknown,” the U.S.-based Catholic NGO said.
According to its website, CRS has been working in Ethiopia for nearly 60 years. The situation is difficult to assess in Amhara, which is closed to the press “for security reasons.
On Monday, restrictions – including night-time traffic and meetings – were imposed on three of Amhara’s main cities – Gondar, Dessie and Debre Birhan. These rules were issued by the military “command post” in each of the towns, suggesting that the federal army is now in charge of their security.