At Least 14 People Killed in Ambush in Western Ethiopia

By Staff Reporter

Metekel-Benishangul-GumuzJuly 29, 2020 ( -- At least 14 people were killed and six others wounded in an ambush in Benishangul Gumuz regional state of western Ethiopia.

The dead are among ethnic Amhara people who used to live in Sekela locality of the Amhara region, the region’s Communication Affairs Director Gizachew Muluneh told local media.

The director blamed none but “bandits” in the area to assassinate the civilians in the Metekel zone, Guba district, Abujar locality. “The armed men disappeared into the nearby dense forest,” he said.

According to the director, the armed men exchanged fire against members of the national defense forces who were there but none of the “bandits” were apprehended.

The anti-insurgent force within the national defense forces is assessing the jungle in an attempt to apprehend the killers.  

The attack was done in a pre-arranged way by well-armed “bandits” who wish to instigate inter-ethnic violence, the director claimed.

Two years ago, thousands of ethnic Amhara people were subjected to forced displacement from Benishangul Gumuz regional state as armed men torched their houses.

A resident in the area, on condition of anonymity, said about 100 armed men drawn from two localities committed the killing.  

The dead bodies were sent to the victim’s birthplace, Sekela, while the injured received treatment in the nearby hospital. At least 50 residents were displaced from the area due to the attack.

About 11 million ethnic Amhara people are estimated to live out of their region and that made them vulnerable to exacerbating ethnic-based attacks in different parts of Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, the Tigray Region Electoral Commission has begun registration of political parties and individual candidates who will contest in the elections scheduled to take place next month.

The controversial Tigray Electoral Commission requires contesting political parties to present party registration certificates given to them by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE).

The 6th Ethiopian national elections had initially been scheduled for August 29,202, but the House of Federation postponed the elections indefinitely following a recommendation from NEBE which claimed its pre-election activities were hampered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tigray regional government and the central ruling party are accusing each other of violating the constitution as the former is set to hold regional election next August while the latter postponed the election stating the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse.  

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