Addis Ababa: More than 80 people have been feared dead in Ethiopia’s ethnic genocide in Benishangul-Gumuz province. The Human Rights Commission said that armed gangs had carried out a brutal attack while civilians in the Daletti area were asleep on Tuesday morning. Although the army has launched a special search operation in the wake of the killings, it has not yet been able to arrest the attackers, sources said. The incident is the fifth major attack in Benishangul-Gumuz province in the last six months.
Between 6 and 7 am on Tuesday, more than 100 assailants attacked homes in Daletti with guns and knives. Large-scale arson was also carried out during this time. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said the victims ranged in age from two-year-old children to 45 years old adults. Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, local political leaders have blamed the Gumuz militia.
There are more than 80 ethnic groups in Ethiopia, with Oromo and Amhara being the main ones. The province of Benishangul-Gumuz is connected to a region dominated by the Amhara people. Locals have claimed that the ethnic Amhara have started infiltrating into the Benishangul-Gumuz province in the last few years. The local Gumuz people were opposed to the incursion, which is believed to have sparked the series of attacks.
Prior to this, more than 200 people were killed in an attack in December while over 54 were killed in the November attacks. Prime Minister Aby Ahmed had even paid a visit to the area after the attacks. After that, additional security was deployed in Metekel, which is a part of Benishangul-Gumuz province. The massacre, however, occurred despite the deployment and caused a commotion in the region.
Two and a half years ago, Prime Minister Ahmed took over the reins of Ethiopia. He achieved success in ending the conflict with neighbouring Eritrea and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Nevertheless, the prime minister, who established peace with neighbouring countries, has not been able to end Ethiopia’s ethnic conflict. In November, Ahmed launched a decisive military operation against the rebels in Tigray province. Even though the government claims to have been successful, the violence in Tigray has not abated.
At the same time, tensions with Sudan and Egypt are also showing signs of worsening. Sudan is said to have launched an operation and taken control of a large part of the border area a few days ago. On the other hand, Egypt had warned Ethiopia over the dam on the River Nile.