54 authorities and individuals are arrested in Benishangul Gumuz region in connection with last week’s ethnic-based violence targeting ethnic Amhara and Oromos from the region, state media Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation reported today citing president of the region – Ashadli Hassen.
The violence in the region’s capital, Assossa, that rather seems to be orchestrated by a third party caused the death of at least 14 civilians and more than 70 are wounded. Last week, it was reported that some of the victims were shot dead by members of the police force.
Reports by government-affiliated media indicate that 11 of the arrestee are members of the police force. The source further added that investigation is already underway.
Apart from shooting at protestors, law enforcement units in Assossa are believed to have created security gaps for the violence to happen and for failing to put in under control.
Abdela Shehadi, the region’s police commissioner, is suspended while the commander of the region’s special force, Ferede Boji, and his deputy, Rajib Ismail, are terminated. As well, Justice and Security Administration head, Dinsa Beyene, is suspended from his position.
The region experienced recurrent ethnic-based violence. In the last six months alone, hundreds of ethnic Amahra who lived in the region for many decades were attacked, their possessions and looted which compelled members of ethnic Amhara to leave the region and seek refuge in a church in Bahir Dar City.
There seems to be a tendency among Ethiopians to believe that ethnic-based violence observed in different parts of the country in the last two or so months are instigated by political forces who are standing to lose from the reform measures of prime minister Abiy Ahmed.
Yesterday, the prime minister called on Ethiopians to stay vigilant in their region not to give a chance for forces that are planning to bring about ethnic-based violence.
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