At least 11 ethnic Amhara farming community members are reportedly killed in the latest string of killing in the Oromo region of Ethiopia.
It happened near Ambo town, which is only about100 kilometres west of Addis Ababa, on December 20 around 6 p.m. local time in the Degelle Garati locality.
According to a report by Addis Maleda, which cited eyewitnesses, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, children are among the victims. Seven of the victims are adults.
The source added that it has learned the victims were killed because of their ethnic identity. All the victims are Amhara.
A week before the killing, gunmen operating in the area took 40 community members out of their houses and asked them to hand over the firearms they did not have.
“If you do not have any weapons, you have to pay 200,000 Ethiopian Birr each or you will be killed when we return in a week’s time,” was the command the threat residents were given.
Residents brought the security concern to the attention of local authorities but they were told “It is beyond our capacity to protect you.”
They were also asked if they were willing to be armed by the government.
At this writing, government media outlets have not covered the story.
The armed wing of the Oromo Liberation Front, government calls them Shane, is behind the latest killing, as has been the case in the killings in Wollega and Guji areas of the region. The armed group has contested the name Shane and has declared itself to be the Oromo Liberation Army.
The government has been claiming for over two years now that it has weakened the OLF capability to carry out attacks on civilians and pose a threat to the security situation in the region.
The reality on the ground is that the OLF military wing continues to unleash killings against innocent civilians, and most of the time the targets are ethnic Amhara communities living in the region.
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