By Walter Sanchez Silva

Catholic News Agency

April 13, 2023

Two Catholic Relief Services (CRS) workers were shot and killed April 9, Easter Sunday, while riding in a CRS vehicle in the Amhara region of Ethiopia on their way back from an assignment in Addis Ababa.

In an April 10 statement, CRS, the international Catholic humanitarian aid agency that serves those most in need in more than 100 countries, said it was “devastated to report the loss” of two of its staff workers, Chuol Tongyik, 37, a security manager, and Amare Kindeya, 43, a driver.

“The details of the murder are still unknown,” the statement said.

“The depth of our shock and sorrow is difficult to measure, and we are saddened over this senseless violence,” said Zemede Zewdie, a CRS representative in Ethiopia.

“We express our deepest condolences to Chuol’s and Amare’s families and hope they find strength in this tragic time. CRS reiterates [its] commitment to continue working in support of the people in Ethiopia,” Zewdie said.

According to Reuters, the murders took place during violent anti-government protests in the Amhara region of the country that followed the federal government’s decision to disband regional special forces units.

The special forces units in the 11 Ethiopian regions must be integrated into the police or the federal army, the decision stated, a move that a large part of the population opposes.

Opponents say disbanding Amhara’s special forces would leave the region vulnerable to attacks by neighboring regions, including Tigray, whose leaders agreed to a truce with the federal government in November 2022 to end a two-year war that killed tens of thousands.

Amhara forces fought alongside the federal army in that conflict, Reuters reported.


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