Gunmen killed at least 34 people in a bus attack in Ethiopia on Sunday. The facts took place in the region of Benishangul-Gumuz, reports the national human rights body. Located in the west of the country, this region is the scene of deadly violence against civilians.
“The estimated number of victims (deceased), currently 34, is likely to increase, ”said the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), an independent public institution that also reports other attacks in the region overnight from Saturday to Sunday.
There is no established link between this violence and the military operations carried out since November 4 by the federal army against the dissident authorities in the Tigray region (northern Ethiopia). These have prompted more than 20,000 people to flee to Sudan.
Already 15 dead in this area at the end of September
The EHRC recalls that it already underlined at the end of September the “particular gravity and repetition of the attacks in the region” of Benishangul-Gumuz. “The latter tragically increases the human toll” in the region, declares the head of the EHRC, Daniel Bekele, who however considers that “the rapid intervention of the security forces to avoid any escalation is encouraging”.
The attack took place in the administrative area of Metekel, where, at the end of September, the EHRC reported the deaths of 15 civilians, in violence described as “targeted killings”. In mid-October, the power-affiliated Fana BC radio-television reported the deaths of 12 civilians in the same area of Metekel.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says militias are being formed in Sudan
The federal government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed did not give much information about the clashes in this region, merely indicating at the end of September that 300 people had been arrested and that the causes of the violence are being investigated. investigation.
In mid-October, Dessalegn Chanie, an opposition politician based in the neighboring region of Amhara, estimated that the attacks target members of the Amhara ethnic group, the second largest in the country. Together with other leaders, they claim that militias of members of the Gumuz ethnic group have started a campaign to drive residents of the Amhara and Agew ethnic groups away from the Metekel area. The prime minister told MPs in October that the attackers are trained and armed in eastern Sudan. He asked the Sudanese power to stabilize this area.
Ethiopia is a mosaic of many peoples united within an “ethnic federalism”. After almost 30 years of iron power, the policy of openness launched since taking office in 2018 by Abiy Ahmed has awakened local territorial ambitions and old community disputes, leading to deadly violence.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr