At Least 89 People Killed in Targeted Attacks in Western of Ethiopia

By Staff Reporter

Benishangul-GumuzSeptember 18, 2020 ( -- At least 89 ethnic Amhara, Agew and Shinasha people were killed in targeted attacks in Benishangul-Gumuz Region of Ethiopia.

Eyewitnesses told that the civilians were killed by ethnic Gumuz militia in arranged attacks starting from September 4, 2020.

“The attacks were carried out in three localities of the Bulen district, Metekel Zone, by a militia composed of ethnic Gumuz which comprise about 34 percent of the population in Bulen,” the eyewitnesses said.

The militias seized the victims from their homes during the night in three localities namely Eipare, Koshe Gonjie and Moji and took them to Eipare primary school. The militias handcuffed the victims, took them one by one to a shed they built nearby, and then shot them execution-style. Some were apparently killed in other locations for refusing to be taken to the school.

The 89 victims across Bulen District include 5 Shinasha (largest ethnic group in Bulen) who opposed the Gumuz militia’s actions. Another 20 people were wounded and are being treated in a hospital in Bulen, while an additional 80 people are “unaccounted for” by the local government.

The Amhara Association of America (AAA) said approximately 1,200 people across 239 households have been displaced in these districts and are currently sheltered in a meeting hall in Bulen Township (capital of the district).

AAA the victims were displaced from their homes in these localities in March 2020 by unknown assailants but were resettled back to their homes in June by the government.

The Gumez militia told their victims in this attack that they are being killed for not respecting their order to leave “their (Benishangul) region”.

AAA accused the regional government responded first to this attack by censoring information by limiting data and cellular services but has now deployed the federal army after information started spreading beyond the Region.

This latest attack follows similar attacks against Amharas in Metekel zone of Benishangul in July by Gumez militiamen who killed 14 Amharas and wounded six in Jadia Kebele, Guba District of Metekel Zone.

On July 31st, armed Gumez militia mounted an attack in Alemhal Kebele of Guba district, Metekel Since the attacks were made during the day the targeted ethnic Amhara managed to save their lives but their houses and properties were set ablaze and more than ethnic 2500 Amhara in the area (Alemhal, Kota, Mankush ) flee for their life.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned by the security events unfolding in the Benishangul Gumuz region.

The commission said it has received disturbing reports from the region’s Metekel Zone Bulen wereda Apar Kebele. The regional government has confirmed that at least two instances of violence occurred on September 4, 2020 and between 7-13 2020.

“An official source on the ground has informed the commission that there have been at least two rounds of killings of civilians and hundreds of civilians have been displaced,” the commission said

The commission categorically condemns the attacks, killings and displacement of civilians and vowed to investigate the attacks.

It is not clear why the federal and the Amhara regional government could not rescue the victims during the unfolding attacks.

About 11 million ethnic Amhara people are estimated to reside out of the Amhara regional state.

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