Saturday, December 26, 2020

Ethiopia : Metekel Massacre Death Toll Reaches Over 207, Fresh Attack Reported

Humanitarian help has not yet reached to those displaced from displaced due to the massacre in Metekel 

The region’s peace and security building office confirmed that there was another attack on Friday in Debate District, Siren kebele. 


December 25, 2020 

Death tolls from the December 23 massacre of innocent civilians in Bulun district of Metekel, Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia, reportedly reached over 207. 

The victims were buried in a mass grave — in a very dehumanizing condition something that is drawing a serious criticism against the Ethiopian government.  A picture purportedly showing the funeral was circulating on social media since Friday morning. 

Apart from those killed in the massacre, dozens are said to be in hospital getting medical attention for serious injuries. 

The survivors who managed to escape the area unharmed are living a different challenge. More than 35,000 people are displaced due to the attack in Bullen, and they are not getting any form of humanitarian assistance. State media, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, reported about it on Friday. 

Ethiopian Ombudsman office confirmed that the massacre were ethnic based. Ethnic Amhara, Oromoa and Shinasha were targeted in the attack according to Ethiopian Human Rights Commission report.  

The brutal attack happened less than 24 hours after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited Metekel zone to engage concerns of residents on security matters. 

The regional government claimed on Thursday that 42 anti-peace forces who are said to be involved in the massacre are killed, as reported by state media. An unspecified number of firearms had been seized. 

According to a state media report on Thursday, seven senior government officials from the region are arrested in connection with the massacre.  They are believed to have facilitated the attack directly or indirectly. 

There are also reports Chief of Staff of the Defense Force, General Berhanu Jula, and Commander of Raya Front during the law enforcement campaign against TPLF criminals, Let. General Bacha Debelle, travelled to Benishangul Gumuz region. It has something to do with security operations in the region but the Defense Force did not confirm it. 

Unconfirmed citizen report  says that the president of the region, Ashadly Hassan, is under house arrest. His guards are dissolved. Head of the Metekel zone and leader of Command Post, Colonel Ayalew, are also detained — all yet to be confirmed. There had been a widespread criticism that the region’s president did little to control the recurring ethnic-based massacres in the region. Several regional states including, Afar, Somali and Harari — among others — condemned the attack against innocent civilians in the Benishangul Gumuz region. 

Massacre of civilians is not entirely stopped. The Amharic Service of the Voice of America reported a fresh attack on Siren locality of Debate district which happened on December 25. The region’s peace and Security office has confirmed the attack. However, the extent of casualties is unspecified yet. “It is under investigation,” the office was cited as saying.  

Houses have been burned and there was gunfire, Gashu Dugas, head of the region’s Peace and Security Office, told VOA Amharic.  The attackers are said to be Gumuz gunmen. 

There are still speculations that the massacres in the region are coordinated with external forces hostile to the existence of Ethiopia. 

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