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Ethiopian rights group says at least 500 killed, over 100,000 displaced

Ethiopian Human Rights Council calls on activists to put pressure on the government to stop the massacre

Human Rights _ metekel
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January 14, 2021 

Ethiopian Human Rights Council on Wednesday released an urgent statement regarding the massacre in the Metekel Zone, Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia. 

“Ethiopian Human Rights Council is very concerned that the massacre of innocent civilians in Bulen, Dibate and Dangul districts of Metekel zone of Benishangul Gumuz region,” said the statement. 

The statement said that over 500 civilians have been killed and more than 100,000 people displaced in a span of five months. 

The massacre happened since early September 2020 and there does not seem to be a sign that it will stop.

The latest string of massacre against ethnic Amahara, ethnic Agaw and ethnic Shinasha took place in the early morning of Tuesday this week when gunmen who are believed to be Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Gumuz Liberation forces opened fire in Daletti Kebele of Detabte district, Metekel zone.

The Oromo Liberation Front, which is said to have a clandestine political and security network within Abiy Ahmed’s government especially in the Oromo region of Ethiopia and Benishangul Gumuz region, has not yet released a statement about the incident. 

According to reports from other sources, more than 110 people ( mostly women and children) were killed and 24 others wounded. Hundreds of houses in the locality were burned to the ground and thousands displaced. 

Ethiopian Human Rights Council called on rights groups , activists, media, religious organizations, elders and members of the civil society to put pressure on the Ethiopian government to stop what it called the non-stop massacre of innocent civilians. 

Public opinion is now swinging to the view that the massacre in Benishangul Gumuz region was orchestrated by people in power mostly targeting ethnic Amhara and ethnic Agaw. 

Opposition party leaders are also demanding an answer why Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government failed to stop the massacre of innocent civilians in the region. 

Belete Molla, who is the leader of National Movement of Amhara, said “I have a short and clear question to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Your government destroyed a force that was armed with a rocket in northern Ethiopia. How come you lack power to protect citizens in Wollega and Metekel?” he asked.  

The sentiment among many activists is that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’ government is lacking a will to stop the massacre. 

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