Reports indicate that more than 50 members of the ethnic Amhara community have been massacred in the Sero Michael locality of Sherka district, located in the Arsi zone of Ethiopia’s Oromia region.
The attacks occurred as isolated incidents within the locality over the past week. In one instance, around 28 unarmed Amhara farming community members were brutally killed. 22 other civilians were killed in separate attacks at different times – last week.
Disturbing video footage purportedly depicting the massacre has circulated widely among Ethiopians on social media platforms.
Survivors from Sherka district, fearing for their safety, provided reports of the massacre to Ethiopian news outlets on the condition of anonymity.
Efforts to get remarks from government authorities regarding the incident, as reported by the Ethiopian Media Service (a U.S.-based Ethiopian news outlet), have been unsuccessful. The Ethiopian government has yet to comment on the situation, and Ethiopian Human Rights Organizations have not released any statements.
It has been reported that the ‘Oromo Liberation Army,’ a militant ethnic Oromo nationalist group, is allegedly responsible for the massacre. Incidents targeting Amhara communities in the Oromia region have escalated significantly over the last five years. Tens of thousands of Amharas have been victims of such attacks since the arrival of the radical group in Ethiopia in 2018, invited by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for a “peaceful struggle.” Prior to this, the militant group operated in Eritrea and parts of Kenya.
Despite recent peace talks between the militant group and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration, no agreement was reached. Initially kept confidential by Abiy Ahmed’s government, information about the second round of negotiations was disclosed only after criticism from five Ethiopian opposition parties. Details of the negotiation points remain undisclosed to the public. Both the government and the ‘OLA’ have exchanged accusations regarding the talks’ failure.
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