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Ethiopian gov.t blamed for killings, looting in Ataye

Residents of Ataye _ Ethiopian gov.t
Photo credit : Asrat Media

April 10,2019

Residents of Ataye town, which is along the Addis Ababa-Mekelle Road, blame the Federal government and Amhara regional state for the killings and plunder in their town on April 6, 2019, according to a report by The Ethiopian Reporter on Wednesday.

They cite two reasons for blaming the government. According to The Ethiopian Reporter, residents say that they have informed Amhara regional state over a month ago about an ongoing military training in the countryside surrounding the region where the attack took place. They also have tipped the same authority about the possibility of an attack in their town following security problems in Kemise town a week before the attack Saturday attack in Ataye.

Residents have another reason to blame the government. The damage, in terms of human life and property, could have been minimized had the defense force acted in a timely manner even after the armed group started its attack. What rather happened, according to residents, is that the defense force refused to defend residents on grounds that “it did not receive an order from authorities.”

The killing and looting in the town are unprecedented in the history of the town in the past 27 years, said residents as reported by The Reporter.

The attack by an organized and well-armed group, whose identity is not yet disclosed by the Federal government although residents and some zone level government officials say that the armed that launched the attack was Oromo Liberation Front, left at least two dozens of residents dead.

One employee of Dashen Bank Ataye Branch, name not yet disclosed, is among those who are killed and Deputy Manager of the Branch is wounded.

As well, unspecified numbers of residents are taken as captives the group and the whereabouts of those who are not released is unknown but the group has released women who were taken captive.

Based on what residents say the attack rather seem to be planned and well coordinated. Mulualem Feyisa is a resident of Ataye. She told The Reporter, “Saturday in the afternoon [on April 6, 2019], armed men in a group of three were sitting on either side of the Road. A little later, they suddenly started to fire in the air. Shocked with what they have seen, some got into their homes and others run towards 02 Kebele.”

On April 8, 2018, Ethiopian National Security Council issued a statement ordering the defense force to take “appropriate measure” against armed group.

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