At least 102 killed in massacre in western Ethiopia after Abiy visit

Witnesses report knife and gun attacks and children shot by armed men after PM warning over continuing ethnic conflicts,

More than 100 people have been killed in Ethiopia’s western region of Benishangul-Gumuz, in the latest massacre along ethnic lines in the country.

Witnesses and officials said that at least 102 people were killed in the attack early on Wednesday in the Metekel zone.

The attack occurred a day after the prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, visited the region and spoke about the need to bring to justice those responsible for the recent attacks.

The attacks are separate from the deadly conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region where Ethiopian forces and allied regional forces began fighting Tigray regional forces early November.

Federal troops deployed in other regions of Africa’s second-most populous nation were deployed to fight in that conflict, raising fears of a security vacuum.

Even before the Tigray war erupted last month, Abiy’s government had been grappling with rising insecurity in many parts of the country. Violence between groups fighting over land and other resources has forced many hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes following Abiy taking office in 2018, according to UN estimates.

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Ethnic tensions are a big challenge as Abiy tries to promote national unity in a country with more than 80 ethnic groups.

Belay Wajera, a farmer in the western town of Bulen, told Reuters he counted 82 bodies in a field near his home after the dawn attack on Wednesday. He and his family awoke to the sound of gunshots and ran out of their home as men shouted “catch them”, he said. His wife and five of his children were shot dead; he was shot in the buttocks, while four other children escaped and are now missing.

Another resident of the town, Hassen Yimama, said armed men stormed the area at about 6am (0300 GMT). He told Reuters that he counted 20 bodies in a different location. He grabbed his own weapon but assailants shot him in the stomach.

A local medic said he and colleagues had treated 38 injured people, most suffering from gunshot wounds. Patients had told him of relatives killed with knives, and gunmen who set houses on fire and shot at people trying to escape, he said.


The attack came the day after the prime minister and the military’s chief of staff, Birhanu Jula, and other senior federal officials, visited the region to urge calm after a number of deadly incidents between rival ethnic groups in recent months. The most recent previous attack in the area was on 14 November, when gunmen targeted a bus and killed 34 people.

“The desire by enemies to divide Ethiopia along ethnic and religious lines still exists. This desire will remain unfulfilled,” Abiy tweeted on Tuesday along with photographs of his meetings that day in the town of Metekel. He said residents voiced a wish for peace and that the sentiment “outweighs any divisive agenda”.

The prime minister’s spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the attack on Wednesday.


  1. Ethiopian government must made official who the innocent murderers are! The whole world must know that Egypt is behind this horrific and tragic massacre followed by TPLF criminals. The US must be asked to stop giving Billions of Dollar to Egypt junta regime that is using it to disturb peace in Ethiopia and the whole horn of Africa!! US tax payers money should not be spent by Egypt leader Al-Sisi and to help TPLF junta criminals to instigate ethnic cleansing and conflict in Ethiopia.
    Egypt is plotting against Ethiopia by financing and arming barbaric criminals known as TPLF, OLF and Benishangul Gumuz boys.

  2. This gruesome Genocide against Amhara has the footprint TPLF/Samri criminals of Mai Kadra tragedy. Except the area is Benishangul Gumuz. This incidence explains to have been done by the same TPLF/Samri criminals who have come from Sudan in collaboration with Gumuz TPLF paid criminals. Again this is another evidence that Egypt is helping and hiding Genocidal criminal TPLFs in Sudan.
    Ethiopian Americans must ask the US government and thier representatives to hold Egypt accountable for this gruesome Genocide against Amhara in Ethiopia and to stop giving taxpayers Billions of Dollar to Egypt junta that is disturbing peace in Ethiopia and the horn of Africa.

  3. Who is the source of this new? Zehabesha or others it should be mentioned.

    What a mess & tragedy is following? Though some officials involved and ignited the genocide are being arrested not enough, still more have been arrested, starting state government higher officials. No way, why not Amhara militias allow to take action just in supporting state government of Beneshangule though reluctant on it.

    Egypt and others who involved behind the curtain has to take care and be liable on committing crime and they have to be sued on International Criminal Court. Ethiopian Human Right & International Human Right Organizations have to investigate the cases and collect data in order to sue Egypt, genocide murders and those criminals.

    Egyptian we advise you not to waste your time and disperse million of dollars for igniting crime since Ethiopia is more united and strong enough to finish the Nile dam. It is an icon & blood of Million of people. Just stop for your trash foreign policy.

    Long Live to Ethiopia, Dawn, dawn to fascists.

  4. ላለመቀማት ሲል የሰላም ኖቤል ሽልማት
    አማራን አስቀላ ሀገርን ዳርጎ ለውድቀት
    ሽንፈት ቢከናነቡም የተደመሩ ለመንግስት
    ዙፉኑን ሙጭጭ አሉበት

    አብይማ በተዘዋዋሪ አብሮ ከአማራ ጠላት
    አስገደለ አማራን ያለ መራራት
    አማራ እየታደነ በያለበት
    ምን ፈየዱ እነ ሙፈሪያት?
    የት ክልል ይሆን ጁንታ የሌለበት?
    አማራ ከጄኖሳይድ የሚተርፍበት
    ወደ ሱዳን መርጥዋል ስደት
    አማራ ክልል ውስጥም ቢያርዱት
    እየጨፈጨፉ አማራን ለቆጣሪ እስኪያታክት
    እጁ የተሰበረ የአማራ ክልል አስተዳዳሪ አስቀምጠውለት
    አማራ ኑሮውም ሞቱም ሆንዋል እንደ ከብት
    ስጋው እየታኘከ በሰው መሰል አራዊት
    ጄኖሳይድ የለም እያሉ በሙሉ ባለስልጣናት

    እልፍ አእላፍ ደርስዋል ስጋው ተግጦ በሌሊት ጣና ሀይቅ እየተጣለ ያለ የአማራ ሬሳ ብዛት
    በማይካድራ፣ቤኒሻንጉል፣አዲስ እበባ፣ድሬደዋ፣ሀረሪ፣ኦሮሚያ፣ጋምቤላ፣በደቡብ….ከሚታረዱት
    በቻይና እየተቸበቸበ የአማራ ኩላሊት

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