Two or three months infants have been killed with their mothers, say eyewitnesses who escaped from the latest string of massacres in the hands of radical ethnic Oromo nationalists in Western Ethiopia
Infants as old as three months were among the victims of the latest round of massacre against Amhara in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, according to eyewitnesses who spoke to BBC Amharic Service.
The massacre started on Monday, July 4, 2022, around 6 a.m. local time and ended around 10 a.m. – in Kellem Wollega, Hawa Gelan district.
Ethnic Amhara community members living in the area were targets of the massacre. The military wing of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which calls itself the “Oromo Liberation Army”, is behind the massacre, as was the case before.
By Tuesday, as many as 150 dead bodies had been collected but there are still many more bodies to be recovered, according to eyewitness accounts from the area.
The Federal government has not yet disclosed the number of victims from the latest massacre. From previous experience, disclosure about the number of victims comes late, and usually, the numbers are smaller than the number of victims reported by other media outlets.
The massacre in Tolle Kebele of Gimbi district of West Wollega, the one that happened before the latest Kellem Wollega massacre, claimed more than 1000 lives, according to local sources. However, the Federal government reported only 338 deaths.
The massacre in Kellem Wollega came exactly two weeks after the massacre in Tolle Kebele. It was Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who broke the news about it when he wrote, on Monday, on his social media page.
He framed his message in a way to convey that the militant group that has been causing recurrent massacres in the Oromo region of Ethiopia is “defeated” and “retreating.”
However, both the federal government and Oromia government have been claiming for over two years now that the radical ethnic Oromo nationalist group, they call “Shane,” is not in a position to launch further attacks or cause any security problems in the region.
There had been calls from rights groups and opposition parties, soon after the massacre in Gimbi, for the deployment of an adequate number of security forces to avert a further massacre. But that was not implemented by the government.
Today, government communication minister, Legesse Tulu, said, as reported by BBC Amharic news, Federal forces took control of many districts in West Wollega where there had been a recurrent massacre.
Apart from the death of hundreds of civilians, including children and women, as many as 70 homes were burned.
More than 45 civilians are said to be in the hospital. Some with life-threatening situations.
Perpetrators of the attack used AK 47 automatic rifles, machine guns, and hand grenades during the massacre. Shocking images that purport to show the latest massacre are circulating on social media platforms.
The radical ethnic nationalists who perpetrated the recurring massacres in the Oromo religion are said to have collaborators within the government structure. It is something that the Federal and Oromia regional state authorities admitted.
However, there has been no accountability so far. No authority is brought before the law in connection with these recurring massacres.
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