By Assefa Negash, M. D. SHINE – Amsterdam (Holland) – September 20, 1993

September 11 is a new year’s day in Ethiopia. September heralds the end of the cloudy, often gloomy rainy season and beginning of a bright new year. In September, Ethiopia’s valleys, mountains and fields are covered by flower. Nature is at its best in Ethiopia in the month of September. In Ethiopia September projects hope on the horizon and it is a month in which people exchange messages of good wishes; families, friends and relatives come together to celebrate the new year.

For the inhabitants of Gondar city, however, September 6, 1993 proved to be a month of gloom, sorrow and mourning. On September 6, 1993, hell was loose on the city of Gondar when an armed contingent of the Tigrean EPRDF regime, in full combat gear, surrounded a church congregation of more than 5000 people and opened fire on the congregated men, women, and children. According to sources closely monitoring developments in the area, more than 65 people were killed and more than 300 others wounded as a result of this barbaric action of the Tigrean regime of the EPRDF which now rules the country. The All Amhara People’s Organization (AAPO), in a statement issued on 6 September 1993 has stated that”armed soldiers of the Transitional Government, in utter violation of the rule of law, have opened fire on a peaceful church congregation inflicting death and injuries on many civilians in an attack that lasted from 1 p.m to 4.30 p.m “. The KEFAGN Patriotic Front (an opposition movement operating in the Gondar region) in a statement issued on September 5, 1993 added that following the massacre of people in the Adebabay Eyesus church, “many inhabitants of Gondar city have fled to the countryside and those who were not able to flee to the countryside have been picked up and arrested by the EPREFEFIF soldiers”. According to the statement issued on 9 September 1993 by the Gondar Development and Cooperation Organization (GDCO), “among the imprisoned are prominent elders of Gondar city”.