At Least 20 People Dead in Ethnic Violence in Benshangul Gumuz Regional State

By Staff Reporter

Benshangul-Gumuz-EthiopiaOctober 1, 2018 - At least 20 people have been killed and hundreds injured due in the unfolding ethnic-based attacks in different places of Benishangul Gumuz regional state of western Ethiopia, senior officials disclosed on Monday.

Oromia Communication Affairs Burea Head Dr. Negere Lencho said the attack has been perpetrating against ethnic Oromo and Amhara nationals mainly living in Kemashi zone of the regional state where at least 70,000 affected people have left to different places mainly to neighboring Oromia regional state.

“In the attacks carried out in Kamashi zone bordering east and west Wellega of Oromia regional state, more than 20 people were killed. The death toll could be higher as we have not obtained sufficient information on the number of people killed in rural areas of Kemashi zone where the attack is unfolding and severe,” Negere said

The communication bureau head said he did not mention any names about who was behind or committing these attacks.

Government Communication Affairs Bureau Head of the Benishangul Gumuz regional state Zelalem Jaleta said the violence which began last Wednesday (September 26,2018) is still going on and has claimed dozens of lives have been lost. According to communication head, his office is gathering information on the number of people killed and the damages to properties.

Recently four senior officials of the Benishangul Gumuz regional state were killed in an ambush last Thursday on their way to attend the 13th organizational conference of the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF). Nothing is known if there is a link between this and the latest attacks.

Two vehicles were burnt down and unspecified houses have been destroyed by fire since the violence broke out last Wednesday, Zelalem said

Though members of the national defence force have been deployed in the conflict hit areas, the violence cannot be put under control due to its greater magnitude, Negere said

According to Oromia Communication office, the attacks were committed using different weapons, largely traditional ones, in rural areas of the Benishangul Gumuz regional state.

The people who are displaced by the violence are being given assistance in Nekemet and Gimbi cities as well as in east Wellega and other districts of Oromia regional state, Negere added.

Ezega

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