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Benishangul: At least 60 civilians mostly women, children killed

Command Post deployed in Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia confirmed the latest killings but did not give details about causality or as to who is behind the attack

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January 12, 2021 

At least 60 innocent civilians are reportedly killed  in Debate district, Balite kebele, of Benishangul Gumuz region in the early morning of Thursday.  22 others are said to be wounded. 

Houses were also torched on fire. The attack happened around 5 : 00 in the morning. 

A member of the Command Post operating in the region whose name is undisclosed has confirmed the news to VOA Amharic service but did not give details about casualties. 

Most of the victims are women and children

An eyewitness  who spoke to VOA Amharic on condition of anonymity said “we are not collecting bodies and loading them to a car. It is OLF-Shane [Oromo Liberation Front militant group] and Buadin [it is said to be Gumuz Liberation Front] gunmen are behind the killings.” 

Asked how he established as to who is behind the killing, the eyewitness said that there were some who were wounded by the Ethiopian Defense Force, and that it is proven the attackers of OLF Shane and Buadin. 

Another eyewitness, also spoke on condition of anonymity, told VOA Amharic reporter that residents are fearing for their lives as security authorities are not protecting them.  He also said that the victims are mostly women and children from ethnic Amhara and ethnic Agaw communities in the region. 

A report by DW Amharic on Tuesday said eleven people were killed in Guban district on Tuesday

Ethiopian state media has not reported about the latest massacre at this writing. This week, the government was claiming that the security situation in the region has improved after the deployment of a force under Let. General Asrat Deneiro, and that the operation is under the direct command of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. 

Benishangul Gumuz regional state did not release information on the latest massage too. 

Likewise, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) did not issue a statement at this writing.

It is to be recalled that a brutal massacre happened in the region just a day after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited the Metekel zone of the region on December 23, 2020. At least 100 civilians were massacred in that attack. 

Between September 2020 and now, at least 400 innocent civilians have been killed.  

PM Abiy Ahmed’s government has been vehemently criticized over failure to protect the lives of citizens. 

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