Brutal Ethnic Attack in Ethiopia…
On Saturday, June 18th, in the Western region of Oromia, witnesses claimed to have seen a mass shooting in six small farming villages mainly targeting the ethnic group Amhara.
According to the residents, the shootings began at 09:00 am Saturday, June 18th, and carried on until 1:00 pm. Although the district authorities were notified of the attack by the residents when it began, they only arrived around 5:00 pm, many hours later.
The residents felt helpless at the hands of the heavily armed men that conducted the ethnic attack on the Amhara people.
Abdul-seid Tahir, who resides in Gimbi County, mentioned to the Associated Press News Agency that he had personally counted a minimum of 230 deceased bodies, including his sister-in-law and his brother. He said he feared this was the most life-threatening attack he had ever seen.
They had to bury the deceased in mass graves due to a lack of space and resources. They waited until after the Federal Army had arrived as many feared the killings would continue.
Witnesses to the attack are begging the government to relocate the few survivors of the ethnic attack saying that the armed men that conducted the attack have threatened to return.
Abdu Hassen, a witness who lives nearby, told the DPA news agency by phone, “My entire family is killed. No one was spared.”
The remaining Amhara community is now in great need of fleeing their community as they fear that there may be a second round of mass killing in their community.
Although the Amhara people had been living in the Oromia region for the past 30 years without being bothered by rebellious groups, their lives have now been interrupted and directly uprooted, with rebels threatening them due to territorial demands.
Still on Ethnic Attack in Ethiopia…
A community member told AFP that he “personally helped bury 61 bodies on Sunday, with the total number of buried bodies on Sunday being 351 in total, the intention of all these attacks is to force us to leave.”
The Amhara Association of America has stated that 503 citizens of the villages attacked were killed. The Ethiopian government has yet to release its official numbers.
The eyewitnesses are holding the Oromo rebels/OLA (Oromo Liberation Army) accountable for this attack stating that the rebellious group attacked “after being unable to resist the operations launched by (federal) security forces.”
Adaa Tarbii, an OLA spokesperson, dismissed the claims against them. Tarbii said, “The attack you are referring to was committed by the regime’s military and local militia as they retreated from their camp in Gimbi following our recent offensive.”
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed went onto social media to state that his government had “zero tolerance for horrific acts claiming lives and attacks on innocent civilians and destruction of livelihoods by illegal and irregular forces is unacceptable.” He also declared that “restoring peace and security in affected communities remains our key priority.”
Ethnic Attack in Ethiopia Contd…
Ethiopia, which is Africa’s second-most populous country, is battling extensive ethnic tensions in a few of its regions and it is based on historical and political pressures.
The Amhara people have been targeted frequently in regions like Oromia and anti-Amhara rhetoric has been spread for over 50 years across the nation.
Muluken Tesfaw, an activist, stated, “Ethnic Amharas who live outside of their region do not have legal and political representation, which results in no protection. There were even speeches by Oromia region government officials that seek to reduce Amharic-speaking people.”
Ethiopia has been plagued with ethnic tensions and fatal conflicts across the nation. Though Prime Minister Ahmed has stated that “Ethiopia is on a path of prosperity,” the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has implored the Ethiopian government to investigate the mass murder and bring justice to those who have lost family members.