Ethiopian Human Rights Commission finding indicates that Oromo Liberation Army gunmen went house to house targeting ethnic Amhara in pars of Ano town
Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on Wednesday said at least 50 civilians are killed in an attack in Seyo district of the East Wollega zone in Oromia region.
The report from EHRC indicates that the armed group that calls itself “Oromo Liberation Army” , OLF-Shane as the government calls it, is behind the attack.
This time the attack targeted an internally displaced center. It happened between February 2 -4 2023.
EHRC said it spoke to eyewitnesses, government authorities in the region and families of the victims to establish the number of casualties from the attack – which is the latest one of an endless attack on civilians at least four years now.
In the early hours of February 2 starting at 6 a.m., several “Oromo Liberation Army” gunmen dressed in military fatigue entered Ano town from three directions.
They opened gunfire soon after their entry into the town killing civilians, looting and destroying property.
According to EHRC, as many as 10,800 people displaced from thirteen kebeles, apparently due to the relentless attack by the radical ethnic Oromo nationalist group, live in the area. Some of them live in designated shelters in Ano town and some live mingled with residents of the town.
Among those killed in the latest attack is an unspecified regional government authority along with his driver, a policeman in the town and some militia forces.
About 42 of the victims are displaced people and people whom the armed group identified as government supporters. Women and children are among the victims; three children and three women were killed.
Another finding from EHRC investigation is that the Oromo Liberation Army gunmen went house to house in the Segno Gebeya area of the town mainly targeting ethnic Amhara civilians. They were killed because of ethnic identity.
The attack on the Shelter targeted men who were on the premises of the shelter and were unable to escape. Some of the bodies were burned.
Residents of the town buried some of the bodies on the same day and the day after the massacre.
Commercial Bank of Ethiopia branches in the town, private stores and public offices have been looted.
A spokesperson of the militant Oromo nationalist group told VOA Amharic that the forces carried out the attack but made claims that the targets were “Amhara forces who were in military training, not civilians.”
The EHRCO report indicated that government forces based in the town attempted to halt the attack but the militant group outnumbered them.
Defense Force members posted in the Nekemte area arrived in the town after 12 P.M., – which is seen as an indication that the attack was planned ahead of time.
Eight people who have reportedly collaborated with the militant group are killed after the defense force entered the town.
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