About 18 civilians are reportedly killed in a span of less than two weeks in the Gurage region of Ethiopia.
The incident happened in the East Meskan district of the Gurage zone due to renewed violence.
A statement from GOGOT for Gurage, an ethnic Guraghe opposition party, on Sunday, in the statement of condolences, said the relative peace in the Meskanena Mareko area gave rise to a renewed clash in the past few days resulting in property damage and loss of life.
On July 19 four people were killed, including two students, in Beche Kebele. A day after that two people were killed in Anseno Kebele in the locality of Garero. And two more killed on July 21 and July 23.
This past Saturday, July 29, gunmen opened fire on passengers who were traveling to a market place in Dida kebele; eight civilians were killed.
Gogot said the number of casualties from recent attacks in the areas has reached 18.
Gogot expressed concern that the reconciliation that ended years of violence in the area is slipping away since recent weeks as armed killings are on the rise. It further said that it is worrisome that the situation could lead to outright ethnic violence (between Guraghe and Silte)
South Ethiopia Region administration or the administrations in the two Guraghe zones did not seem to bother about the situation and that is more concerning, Gogot said in its statement.
The party called on government bodies to give an explanation as to what the cause of the clash in East Masekaena Mareko zone and if there are any actions on the part of the government to end it.
It also called for administrative/legal actions on security and administration heads in the zone whose primary responsibility is, to protect the security of civilians, for failure to avert the death of civilians and destruction of properties.
Deploying independent security forces to the region before the situation worsens and holding perpetrators of the attack accountable are other key issues that GOGOT is demanding from Ethiopia.
The ethnic Gurage party, which has been demanding for ethnic Guraghe State, did not specify who is behind the recent killings in Mesekana Mareko region.
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