Amhara Region Accuses Benishangul-Gumuz of Collaborating with Armed Men

By Staff Reporter

Benishangul-GumuzOctober 15, 2020 ( -- Ethiopia’s Amhara region has accused officials of neighboring Benishangul Gumuz region of collaborating with armed men over the massacre of ethnic Amhara, Agew, and Shinasha people.

The allegation comes after gunmen launched a fresh attack in the Mandura district of the Benishangul Gumuz region on the night of October 11 and killed at least 12 innocent ethnic Amhara and Agew people.

Benishangul Gumuz region’s Security Bureau Head Gashu Dugaz told local media that the attack was triggered by personal conflict which resulted in the death of an individual. "11 others were killed in revenge."

The Benishangul Gumuz regional government announced that it has arrested the gunman who killed the civilians.

Over a hundred ethnic Amhara, Agew and Shinasha people had been killed in Benishangul Gumuz since the eve of the Ethiopian new year (September 10, 2020) in three separate attacks.

The Amhara region’s Security Bureau Head Sisay Damte said the officials of the Benishangul Gumuz collaborated with the gunmen who according to him were armed by Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) and the rebel Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

Sisay said the latest attack was a pre-arranged one. He dismissed a statement released by Benishangul Gumuz Security Bureau as “false and unacceptable.”

Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen called the attack “outraging,” and was communicating with members of the Command Force officials from the region.

Demeke proposed that people in the region must be armed to help them defend themselves from the recurring attacks.

Last year, Ethiopia’s parliament passed a new gun control law amid rising deadly violence across the country.

The Firearm Administration and Control proclamation was seen as a key tool to combat insecurity in the country.

Under the new law an individual can own only one gun and the selling and transferring of a weapon to a third party is prohibited.

It is not clear if the government is considering arming  people who are susceptible to similar attacks while living outside their region. About 11 million ethnic Amhara people are believed to live out of the Amhara regional state.

The Federal government and Benishangul Gumuz regional government last month sacked 45 officials of the region for alleged involvement in the massacre of ethnic Amhara civilians. At least ten of them are said to appear before the court to face charges for facilitation of the recurring attacks.

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