Ethiopia: More Than 100 Massacred, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission Confirms
This is the latest string of massacre in Benisahngul Gumuz region of Ethiopia. Came a day after PM Abiy Ahmed visited the place
December 23, 2020
Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) confirmed on Wednesday that more than 100 people have been killed in Bulen district Bekuji locality of Metekel Zone in Benishangul Gumuz region. Other sources say the number of people killed in the recent attack is 160. The scene of the tragedy is 90 kilometers away from Bullen town and settled by Shinasha, Amhara and Oromo, according to EHRC. Several others are injured.
The Commission said that it has verified that 36 victims are in hospital at a time when it was fact-checking on the ground.
Furthermore, It said that no police force or security was assigned to the place where the attack happened — perhaps an indication that it was a coordinated attack with government authorities — as was the case in the past.
Members of the Ethiopian Defense Force who were deployed to the region were removed under the guise of escorting a federal and two regional authorities.
The attack was launched following the withdrawal of the defense forces, according to EHRC which also said that most of the victims are from Shinasha ethnic groups in the area.
It is also established that the massacre happened around 4 a.m. when residents were sleeping. Some were killed when they were shot at from armed groups. Others were killed when their houses were set on fire when they were sleeping.
It is disclosed that EHRC has received graphic images showing the level of attack.
Apart from casualties, there was destruction of properties including crops that were said to be ready for harvest. Houses have been burning Chelanko and Doshe kebeles. Residents in the Debate district who feared for their lives had been displaced, according to the commission’s report. EHRC has called on the government to make humanitarian and medical support for those displaced and hurt during the attack.
“It shows that the human rights protection in the region is weakening,” said the report by EHRC.
It is a government duty to ensure the safety of citizens, said a statement by Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.
Regarding the identities of the perpetrators of the latest incident, EHRC cited survivors to report that the residents of Bekuji locality whom survivors know by face took part in the massacre. Most of the killings before were by armed groups operating in the jungles in the area.
Perpetrators of the attack have not declared as to what their motives are unleashing periodic mass massacre. Activists and some political leaders say the motive is ethnic cleansing of Amhara and Agaw from the region.
The latest string of massacre in the region came barely a day after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed paid a visit to the zone to engage residents about the security problem in the zone, as he calls it.