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Friday, January 22, 2021

More Than 80 Civilians Killed in Western Ethiopia Attack

More than 80 civilians were killed in the latest attack in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, the country’s human rights commission said on Wednesday, as fears and unrest continued to intensify amid recurring violence in the area due to unresolved ethnic tensions.

More than 80 civilians were killed in the latest attack in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, the country’s human rights commission said on Wednesday, as fears and unrest continued to intensify amid recurring violence in the area due to unresolved ethnic tensions.

Aaron Maasho, an advisor and spokesman for the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, said they received intel saying that “over 80 civilians were killed on January 12 in an area called Daletti” in the Benishangul-Gumuz region.

The Daletti village is located in the zone of Metekel. Authorities said that the village has been plagued with violence since at least September last year.

According to Ahmed Yimam, a survivor of the attack, the perpetrators attacked the civilians using knives, arrows and guns. He said that 82 people were killed and 22 others were wounded during the assault.

“The attack was carried out mostly using knives, although arrows and firearms were also used,” Yimam said. “I fear more attacks as the perpetrators aren’t receiving punishment, and there is no functioning government at local and regional level.”

Maasho said the attack occurred between 5 and 7 a.m. on Tuesday. The victims were aging from two to 45 years old.

He said the EHRC, a state-appointed and independent commission, is currently looking for “further details about the perpetrators” and how the victims got killed.

The Benishangul-Gumuz region has been home to several ethnic groups of the country.

In recent years, other people – including the ones from Ethiopia’s second-largest ethnic tribe of Amhara – were migrating into the area of Benishangul-Gumuz.

Experts said that because of this, the ethnic Gumuz militias started instigating violence in the area, accusing the settlers from neighboring regions of invading and taking away their fertile land.

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