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Rebels surrender in Benishangul Gumuz region, Western Ethiopia

Over hundreds surrendered but unclear as to the number of rebels who are yet to surrender to the task force whose existence was needed to restore peace and security in Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia

A defense force officer who is also part of the Task force making speeches to the rebels who surrendered

February 12, 2021 

About 120 rebels who are part of the armed group that has been undertaking an ethnic-based massacres in the Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia surrendered to the Task Force organized to restore peace and security in the region, the state media, Ethiopian News Agency reported. 

They surrendered in Metekel Zone, Mandurah district, of the region – which is where more than five hundred innocent civilians have been massacred in a span of six months, as confirmed by Ethiopian Human Rights Council. 

The task force is composed of Ethiopian Defense Force commanders from the Western Command. 

Colonel Fasil Yigzaw, head of Western command operations, told words of encouragement for those who surrendered. “it is commendable that you opted to surrender peacefully after you learned that the choices you made were wrong. And now you need to play your part in the effort for peace and development in the zone, ” he is cited as saying. 

Elders in the region, intelligence department of the Ethiopian Defense Force and National Information and Intelligence Services (NISS) collaborated in the work to beseech the rebels. 

Two of the rebel leaders who surrendered, Lakew Dereje and Addisu Fetene, are said to have confessed that they were trained by TPLF in Mekelle and deployed back to the Benishangul Gumuz region. 

TPLF was implicated in coordinating and financing massacres and mayhem in different parts of the country. 

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