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Targeted attacks raise concerns in Ethiopia

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High level Ethiopian officials on Saturday, 19 September 2020, paid a visit to the country’s Benishangul Gumuz state, where several people were killed in targeted attacks.

The government officials, led by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, promised that all the perpetrators of the killings will be brought to book. After the visit to Bulen and Wunbra districts, Metekel Zone of the regional state, where the killings occurred, the Deputy Prime Minister vowed that the government will take the “strongest measures” possible to punish perpetrators of the latest killings in the region.

Reports reveal that at least 89 ethnic Amhara, Agew and Shinasha people were killed in targeted attacks in the region, located in western Ethiopia. The latest string of attacks was not covered by state media. More than a week after what is said to be a horrifying ethnic-based attack, as described by state media in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, the number of people killed in the attack is still unknown.

Major General Mohammed Tessema, Ethiopia’s Defense Force Head of Indoctrination, spoke about it on Friday, 18 September 2020. For him, the attacks were not ethnic-based, moreover, he believes that they are perpetrated by “disenchanted youth.”

Tessema said the significant numbers of the perpetrators were killed in joint operations by the national defence force and the region’s security forces. The civilians were killed by ethnic Gumuz militia in multiple arranged attacks which started on Friday, 4 September 2020, according to the reports.

The militias seized the victims from their homes during the night in three localities, namely, Eipare, Koshe Gonjie and Moji, and took them to Eipare Primary School. The militias handcuffed the victims, took them one by one to a shed they built nearby, and then shot them execution-style. Some were apparently killed in other locations for refusing to be taken to the school, the reports said.

Another 20 people were wounded and are being treated in a hospital in Bulen district.



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