Benishangul Ethiopia: Over 100 Reportedly Massacred in Latest Ethnic Cleansing Attack
Ethiopian government is yet to recognize that there is incessant ethnic cleansing attacks underway in Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia against ethnic Amhara and ethnic Agaw. The Latest attack came as Sudanese Forces invaded Ethiopian territory in the north-west direction which the government did not disclose publicly for diplomatic reasons.
December 23, 2020
A day after Abiy Ahmed flew to Metekel Zone of Benishangul Gumuz region in a helicopter, and with tight security arrangement, to engage residents regarding what he called “security problem” in the region, well over 100 ethnic Amhara and ethnic Agaw are reportedly massacred on Wednesday.
It happened in Bulen district of Metekel zone Bekuji locality. Survivors told Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA) their account of the incident. “From about 2:00 in the morning there had been a sound from moving vehicles in the area. Around 5:00 a.m, the attackers opened fire to unleash ethnic-based massacre,” they told AMMA anonymously. Survivors from the attack have already vacated the area.
The sources added that the attackers used heavy weaponry.
Furthermore, residents said that there has been a meeting recently and participants to it were selected based on ethnicity.
Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia has been under the Command Post for over a year now due to the prevalent and incessant massacres against ethnic Amhara and ethnic Agaws who had been living for many generations. The Command Post is mainly a military body instituted to ensure peace and security in regions where killings of citizens recurrent and their security is at risk. However, the one established in Benishangul Gumuz region does not seem to work so far as there have been recurring killings in the area.
Benishangul Gumuz regional administration or the Federal Police did not remark on the latest incident or disclose the extent of the damage at this writing.
AMMA said it had contacted Colonel Ayalew Beyene, Chairperson of the Command Post in the region, and quoted him as saying that “he knows that there was a killing but does not know as to who is behind the attack and how many people were killed in the attack.”
During a meeting with residents on Tuesday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that his government found it difficult to stop recurring killings in the region as multiples of actors are behind it. It is presumed that the actors are both internal and external.
His government has already admitted repeatedly that there are also actors within the government structures, including the security apparatus, in Benishangul Gumuz region were involved in facilitating the massacre. In October of this year, dozens were even arrested.
There are speculations that radical elements in the Oromo regional state structure have teamed up with Benishangul Gumuz region administration, including the region’s president Ashadly Hassan, to intensify attacks against ethnic Amhara and ethnic Agaw.
Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was among the actors implicated in the attack. At this point, TPLF has lost the war but the leaders are not still captured. Exploiting the end to communication blackout in Tigray region Spokesperson for the organization, Getachew Reda, tweeted this week that he is alive.
He said : “Apparently, according to PP media grapevine, I am either dead or in Sudan or some such.People are extremely surprised to see me alive, and in Tigray. As I write this, enemy forces are being routed in Zana, had already lost hundreds of soldiers in Adet and Tsimbla.”
His party claims that the war is still underway, and even claimed that his forces have shot air force gunship in Betemera – which is not verified by independent sources.