Kamashi Zone of Benshangul regional state was in tension following the killings of four authorities from the region in Oromo regional state.
At least five people are reportedly dead, and several others wounded this past week in Kamash zone of Benshangul region of Ethiopia. The violence has also led to destruction of property, according to a report by Fana Broadcasting Corporation this week.
The violence affected parts of the region adjacent to Oromo regional state of Ethiopia.
There has been a recurrent ethnic based violence in the region for many months now that affected ethnic Amhara and Oromo. However, the latest tension in the region is of retaliatory measure and is targeting ethnic Oromos. Authorities say that thousands of ethnic Oromo have been displaced to districts in Oromo region of Ethiopia that are close Benshangul regional state.
Zelalem Jaleta, Benshangul Region Communication Head, reportedly confirmed the tension in the region and said that ethnic Gumuz have left behind their houses and flocked to the jungle while ethnic Oromos crossed to adjacent districts in Oromo regional state.
What caused the violence this time?
On September 26, gunmen killed four senior security authorities of Kamash zone near Ghimbi in Wellega as they were heading back to Benhangul region after a consultative meeting with Oromo regional state security officials.
And there has been conflicting information about the identities of the gunmen. Initially, it was reported as “unidentified gunmen.”
Later, Oromo regional state officials confirmed that claimed that the gunmen carried out the attack “in the name of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)” which is known to have armed fighters in the region.
The authorities tend to avoid, as per political analysts, to implicate OLF directly seemingly not to come in a collision course with the radical Oromo ethno-nationalist organization which is believed to have considerable support base among radicalized youth in the region.
And that seem to have become a pattern for Oromo regional security authorities and in some cases at the level of the Federal government. When the Federal prosecutor charged fives persons this week over the attempted assassination of prime minister Abiy Ahmed when grenade was exploded during a support rally in Addis Ababa on June 23, it linked them to OLF in a way not to implicate the organization in the crime.
The massacre on ethnic Gamos in Burayu is not yet clearly identified and government uses the expression “forces who organized themselves to incite violence between different ethnic groups in a way to damage the unity of Ethiopians and revers the ongoing reform” without naming names as to who are really behind the massacre.
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