Dozens Die in Ethnic Massacre in Troubled Ethiopian Region

Another horrific massacre has left dozens dead in #BenishangulGumuz. #Ethiopia 🇪🇹 continues to descent into what now seems to be an inevitable ethnic war

Dozens Die in Ethnic Massacre in Troubled Ethiopian Region Photo

More than 80 civilians, including children as young as two years old, have been killed in the latest attack to afflict western Ethiopia, the country’s national human rights commission said on Wednesday.

Aaron Maasho, spokesman and senior adviser for the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), told Al Jazeera the massacre took place on Tuesday between 5am and 7am in the region of Benishangul-Gumuz, which borders Sudan and South Sudan.

There was no claim of responsibility and no immediate information about the identity of the attackers. “We can confirm that the perpetrators of the attack have not been apprehended by the authorities yet,” Maasho said.

The attack took place in an area called Daletti, in the Metekel zone of Benishangul-Gumuz, which has been plagued by recurring violence in recent months that has left hundreds of people dead.

“We call on the federal and regional authorities to strengthen the coordination and measures, including at the district level, to prevent similar attacks against civilians,” added the spokesman of the EHRC, a government-affiliated but independent body.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has struggled to impose order in Metekel or explain what is driving the violence, despite visiting the area in December and empowering a command post to take charge of security there.

Opposition politicians have described the violence in Metekel as ethnically motivated, alleging a targeted campaign by ethnic Gumuz armed groups against members of other ethnic groups in the area, including the Amhara, Ethiopia’s second-largest group.

Worke Ahmed, 60, told Reuters news agency by telephone that men involved in Tuesday’s attack were armed and that he saw more than 100 of them. Some wore uniforms that he could not identify, he said.

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