More Than 100 People Killed in Western Ethiopia in Latest Attack

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More than 100 people have been killed in Benishangul Gumuz, Western Ethiopia, in an overnight attack by unknown gunmen, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said.

“Armed forces attacked residents in their sleep setting fire and shooting that killed over 100 people,” the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said in an emailed statement.

The attacks that happened between 4 am to midday on Wednesday followed the withdrawal of security forces, the commission said. Victims and survivors of the attacks speaking to the Amhara Mass Media Agency said the attacks were identity based, attacks on ethnic Amhara.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission called for an immediate investigation and prosecution of those including responsible for preventing attacks or otherwise perpetrators. It also called for provision of medical and humanitarian assistance to the victims, adding that ‘human rights protection in the region is weakening.’ Another 36 people were receiving medical care in hospitals from gun and arrow wounds, the Commission said.

The attacks come just one day after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited Metekel, in Benishangul Gumuz, on Tuesday and affirmed his plans to stop the recurring attacks in the region.

Ethiopia has been rocked by conflict since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed began opening up the country’s once tightly regulated political space after coming to power in April 2018. His unbanning of opposition and rebel groups has stoked political fragmentation and long-suppressed rivalries among ethnic communities.

The latest attacks in Benishangul Gumuz come on the hills of a deadly seven-week old conflict in the Tigray region that has displaced thousands of people and killed an unknown number of people. In June, violence that followed the killing of prominent singer Hachalu Hundessa led to the death of about 200 people, mainly in Oromia.

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