Addis Ababa: A terrorist attack on a passenger bus in West Ethiopia has claimed the lives of 34 people. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. In the past two weeks, in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray province, rebels have opened conflict with the government, the effects of which have been felt in neighbouring Eritrea. Analysts have warned that if the clashes between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray rebels is not brought under control, a civil war may spark off in the country.
In Ethiopian province of Benishangul-Gumuz, terrorists opened fire on a passenger bus. According to human rights groups, 34 people have died and expressed fears over death toll rising in the next few days. The incident is the third terrorist attack in the past three months. The Saturday attacks were fierce in comparison to those that occurred in September and October, the human rights group said. In the past, President Abiy Ahmed has held Sudan responsible for the attacks in Ethiopia. Ahmed had claimed that the rebels in Ethiopia were receiving training and refuge in Sudan.
However, Ethiopian agencies claim there are no direct links between the terrorist attack on a bus in Benishangul-Gumuz and the conflict ongoing in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray. Tigray rebel leader Debretsion Gebremichael has declared a coup against the Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed. The clashes between the Ethiopian government and Tigray rebels have forced more than 12,000 people to flee their homes and move to Sudan.
The conflict, which had remained restricted within Ethiopia so far, has now spread to neighbouring Eritrea. The Tigray rebels launched rocket attacks on Eritrea’s international airport. The details of the extent of damages caused due to the attacks have not been disclosed. Nevertheless, Tigray rebel leader Gebremichael has accused the Eritrean government of providing military assistance to the Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed against them. Gebremichael has also cited it as the reason for striking Eritrea.
In the past few months, the rebels and ethnic groups are engaged in conflicts for power and control over natural resources. Among these, the one in Benishangul-Gumuz has claimed the lives of hundreds while thousands have been displaced. Amid that, Tigray rebels have called on a coup, in which some Ethiopian military personnel and soldiers have participated as well. Analysts have warned that if the war the Tigray rebels have waged against the Ethiopian government as also the various other rebel groups are not curbed in time, a civil war will flare up in another country in Africa and result in the partition of the country.