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Unidentified Gunmen Kill 12 Civilians in Southern Ethiopia

By Staff Reporter

Gura-Ferda-EthiopiaOctober 21, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- At least 12 civilians have been killed and others wounded when unidentified gunmen attacked farming villages in southern Ethiopia, according to local officials.

The attackers killed 12 farmers and wounded five others in a surprise attack in Shubi locality- Gura Ferda district in Bench Sheko zone, Commander of the Gura Ferda District Police Bekele Beyene told local media.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which took place in an area over 400km south of the capital Addis Ababa.

The farmers were killed while they had social gathering and currently members of the federal security forces are chasing the attackers, Fikre Aman- administrator of the Bench Sheko zone has said

Hundreds of people have fled the area to neighboring zone but the security forces are trying to get them back to their villages as humanitarian support are delivered.

The Bench Sheko zone has been administered by a command post since two years now due to ethnic conflict over land ownership.

Ethnic Bench, Sheko and Minit people and other nationalities who were moved there during military administration in the resettlement program live Bench Sheka zone.

When the former Bench Maji zone was divided into Bench Sheko and western Omo zones, the Gura Ferda district was included none of the two zones.

Deputy administrator of the South Nations Nationalities and People Region (SNNPR) Restu Yirdaw vowed to bring the perpetrators before  justice shortly.

Meanwhile, the Communication Affairs office of the Benishangul Gumuz regional state on Tuesday said that recruitment of over three thousand militia men is completed.

Head of the office, Melese Beyene, said that they will be deployed in all districts of the Metekel Zone of the region to maintain peace, as reported by DW Amharic.  

The Federal government deployed members of the Ethiopian Defense Force to the region after string of attacks claimed the lives of over 150 residents and a Command Post was administering the region.

Reports emerging from government sources indicated that at least two members of the defense force were killed sometime last week during the latest operation in Metekel zone of the volatile region.

Critics say the militiamen would not resolve the region’s security challenges which were not put under-control by the Ethiopian Defense Force that was deployed to the region.

Recently, the government fired over 45 regional, zonal, and district-level authorities who were allegedly facilitated the attacks against civilians targeting ethnic Amhara, Agew and Shinasha people in Metekel zone.

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