Benishangul Gumuz Requests More Federal Troops as Death Toll Reaches 44
By Staff Reporter
October 2, 2018 - Armed gangsters have continued to attack innocent people in different parts of Benishangul Gumuz regional state of Ethiopia, so far killing at least 44 people and displacing tens of thousands, a senior Ethiopian official said on Tuesday.
Government Communication Affairs Bureau Head of the regional state Zelalem Jaleta in a presser said the attacks and violence have become beyond the control of members of the national defence forces deployed by the federal government on September 26, 2018.
The regional government calls on the federal government to deploy additional troops including members from the federal police before the attacks and violence that are happening here and there and in remote areas become out of control, he said.
According to the local government, the attacks are coming from across the border from Oromia regional state.
“The armed convoys crossing into the regional state from districts of neighboring Oromia regional state have inflicted human and property damages and so far have claimed 44 lives,16 of whom were killed in different districts of Kemashi zone and 28 others were murdered in group in Sasinga district in the locality of Lumecha Butili Gotae area,” the communication head said.
According to Zelalem, the attackers have caused serious damages in Anger Miti, Anger Shenkora, Saidalicha, Tenkara and Kutameri localities of Ganfoy and Yaso district of Kemashi zone of the regional state bordering Oromia state.
The gangsters have razed 1560 houses of farmers by fire in these specific places and caused at least 20,000 residents to flee into towns. The communication head said the number of displaced people could be much higher including those people largely ethnic Gumuz who fled into jungles.
According to the communication head, ethnic Amhara and Oromo have been the main targets of the attacks being carried out by youth gangsters armed with knives and modern firearms.
The attacks and violence erupted after four senior officials of the Benishangul Gumuz regional state were gunned down in ambush last Thursday in Oromia regional state, the official claimed.
“As I am speaking, many armed youth or gangsters are still crossing into Agalo Miti District of the regional state from neighboring Oromia regional state,” Zelalem said adding humanitarian assistance have become impossible as all roads leading into and out of the regional state are blocked.
Badly wounded people cannot be reached due to rainy weather condition and it is not possible to refer injured people to higher hospitals in towns as roads linking those towns are blocked by the gangsters.
The communication head said transportation services have totally been disrupted except by plane whose fare is unaffordable to the majority of the residents in the regional state.