At least 34 people have been killed in a bus attack in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of western Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), said in a statement that it expects the number of dead to increase. Africa News reports that the area had recently seen deadly violence against civilians, with still other attacks having been reported on Saturday night and Sunday.
According to Africa News no links have, however, been established between the incident and the military operations by the federal army in the Tigray region. The operation against dissident authorities in Tigray state has resulted in more than 20 000 Ethiopians fleeing to Sudan.
The EHRC said that at the end of September it had already emphasized the seriousness and recurrence of attacks in the Benishangul-Gumuz region. The attack took place in Metekel, where by the end of September, the EHRC had reported the death of 15 civilians in “targeted killings”. Meanwhile, the deaths of 12 civilians in the same area of Metekel was reported in mid-October.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s federal government said 300 people have been arrested in relation to the attacks.
Dessalegn Chanie, an opposition politician, said the attacks were directed at members of the Amhara ethnic group. Africa News reports that other Amhara leaders have been claiming for several weeks that Gumuz ethnic group militias have begun a campaign to drive Amhara and Agew ethnic group members out of Metekel.
Ethiopia has many ethnic groups, that had been, up until recently, united in an “ethnic federalism”.
Umm Muhammed Umar