Explosive violence in EthiopiaAOAV: all our reportsExplosive violence by the Ethiopian armed forces

At least 20 civilians killed and dozens injured by air strike in Oromia, 09 Nov

On Wednesday 09 Nov, a drone strike hit an Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) vehicle in the OLA-controlled town of Mendi, but according to a resident, most of those killed were civilians. Based on local eye-witness statements, the strike killed at least 20 civilians. 

The OLA claims four drone strikes hit markets and bus stops, putting the civilian death toll at 30.

The conflict in Ethiopia continues to unroll within a media blackout, but the University of Ghent has been compiling a database which illustrates the scale of the explosive violence which is impacting civilian lives in Tigray and beyond.

Since the beginning of the conflict, in November 2020, AOAV has recorded 1,655 civilian casualties of explosive weapon use (828 killed, 827 injured). Due to the media blackout, it is likely the true numbers are much higher.

Since AOAV started recording, in 2010, 1,962 civilian casualties of explosive weapon use have been recorded in Ethiopia – that means 84% of those casualties have occurred since November 2020.

The vast majority of civilian casualties of explosive weapon use in Ethiopia since November 2020, 77%, have been caused by air-launched weapons, specifically air strikes. 

87% of recorded incidents took place in populated areas, where 97% of civilian casualties occurred. 

State actors are the reported perpetrators of 80% of civilian casualties, especially Ethiopia (945 civilian casualties), and Eritrea (45). 

Non-state actors caused 20% of civilian casualties, in particular the OLA (300 civilian casualties), and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (16).

The majority of civilian casualties, 28%, happened in villages, followed by 25% in markets, 15% in encampments, 13% in urban residential areas, and 5% in schools. 

AOAV’s casualty figures represent the lowest of estimations in terms of the number of people killed and injured by explosive weapon use. In an effort to quantify the explicit harm caused by specific explosive weapons, AOAV solely records incident-specific casualty figures, as reported in English-language media.

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. All actors should stop using explosive weapons with wide-area effects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.