The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and witnesses said on Wednesday that on Tuesday, unidentified gunmen burst into a village in western Ethiopia, killing at least 80 people.
The massacre in the Benisangur-Gummuz region bordering Sudan is the latest challenge to the regime of Prime Minister Abi Ahmed. Prime Minister Abi Ahmed came to power in 2018, promising to unite Ethiopia, but has been working hard to contain the increasing wave of ethnic violence.
As Mr. Abi has been involved in the escalating conflict in the northern Tigray region, these attacks have further threatened the stability of Africa’s second most populous country. Mr. Abi launched a major military operation in the area on November 4, which he said was to capture provocative local leaders.
In the latest episode, witnesses said that the Gumuz, armed with a rifle and sword, rushed into the village of Daletti in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Photos after the attack provided by local activists showed that the bodies of women and children bleeding on the ground were scattered on the ground, and many wounds were seriously injured. They said that many of the victims were Amharic and Argus, and they were a minority in the area.
“A group of Gumuz came to our village and shouted’Leave our land’,” Sebsibie Ibrahim, a 36-year-old shop owner in the Metekel area, said by phone. “They shot and used swords to attack anyone they met, including women, children, and the elderly.”
Mr. Sebibi said that in the ensuing chaos, the house was burned down and an old man was beheaded. He said: “Blood flooded his neck.”
On December 22, Mr. Abiy took the time to participate in the Tigray election campaign to visit Benishangul-Gumuz and ease the tension in the area. However, human rights groups said that a day later, armed men attacked a village, killing at least 100 people.
Aaron Maasho, a spokesperson for the government-funded Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, reported on the killings on Wednesday. He urged Abiy to send additional security forces to ensure peace in the troubled area.
He said: “On countless occasions, we call on the federal and regional authorities to expand Metekl’s security,” he said, referring to the Benisangur-Gumuz area where the murder occurred.
After taking office in 2018, Abiy decided to open up Ethiopian politics, release political prisoners and allow exiles to return. This decision was widely praised. But it also released easing ethnic tensions.
For example, Benishangul-Gumuz (Benishangul-Gumuz) is home to five major ethnic groups, mainly from the Berta and Gumuz ethnic groups. But the area is still home to the minorities Amharas, Oromos, Tigrayans and Agaws-tensions continue to escalate.
Prime Minister Abiy’s spokeswoman, Benene Seyoum, did not respond to questions about violence.
Dessalegn Chanie, an opposition politician in Amhara, said that in recent days there have been signs that armed men of the Oromo and Gumuz are launching attacks, especially in federal security services. Few areas.
He said: “These attacks were premeditated and well prepared.”
Although Mr. Abiy declared his victory in Tigray last month, UN officials said the fighting is still going on.
Ethiopia said on Wednesday that its military killed three senior members of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the former ruling party of Tigray, including the former Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin.