‘Horrendous’ OLF-Shene Attack massacred ethnic Amhara in West Ethiopia: Government

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Gunmen from the Oromo Liberation Army carried out the attack Sunday in an area known as Wollega, with one survivor saying he counted over 50 corpses.

An armed group in Ethiopia’s restive Oromia region has carried out a “horrendous” attack on civilians, the government said Monday, with one survivor saying dozens had died.

The incident is likely to further ramp up pressure on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, to improve security in a country struggling with grisly ethnic violence.

Gunmen from the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) carried out the attack Sunday in an area of western Ethiopia known as Wollega, according to a statement from the Oromia regional government.

“Peaceful civilians were killed… in a horrendous way,” the statement said, without providing a death toll.

A survivor who spoke by phone to AFP said the violence erupted after soldiers stationed in the area abruptly and inexplicably left, allowing OLA fighters to round up civilians.

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“After collecting us, they opened fire on us, and then afterwards looted cattle and burnt down houses,” said the survivor, who spoke on condition of anonymity for safety reasons.

“I have counted more than 50 corpses, and I know there were others hit by bullets,” the survivor said.

The OLA, believed to number in the low thousands, broke off from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), an opposition party that spent years in exile but was allowed to return to Ethiopia after Abiy took office in 2018.

Abiy’s government has blamed it for a spate of assassinations, bombings, bank robberies, and kidnappings in Oromia.

The National Movement of Amhara (NAMA), an opposition party, said the perpetrators of Sunday’s attack appeared to have targeted members of the Amhara ethnic group, Ethiopia’s second-largest.

Authorities last week barred NAMA from staging demonstrations denouncing violence against the group.

Separate attacks on Amhara civilians have recently been reported in two other regions.

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Dessalegn Chanie, a senior member of NAMA, said Monday that “up to 200 Amharas were ruthlessly murdered” in Sunday’s attack, though he acknowledged the precise toll was difficult to pin down.

“According to survivors from the area whom I talked to earlier today, they are not sure about the count of deaths because they just ran” into the forest, he said.

Oromia regional officials did not respond to multiple requests Monday seeking further comment.

1 Comment

  1. This genocide is inhuman in nature. They are killing their brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers & children’s which is a cruel & devil acts. By sacrificing all the things it has why the government of Ethiopia didn’t take serious measure to vanish them once for all? Those game players who incited and supported behind shall be investigated and has to be sued on International Criminal Court.

    International & local Human Right Organizations have to work on this as it is difficult to stop killing of innocent people and get justice.Let me say in Amharic one thing:

    ኦነግ ሸኔም ሆነ ሌላ እንደው በጭካኔ የሚገደሉት የናንተ የቅርብ ዘመድ፣ ህፃናት፣ ልጅ፣ እናት፣ አባት፣ እህት፣ ወንድም ቢሆኑ ምን ይሰማችኃል? የፖለቲካ ቁማር የማያውቁ፡፡ ከአማራ አባት ወይም እናት ብትወለዱስ? ለነገሩም ያልተዳቀለ ማንስ አለ? ታዳጊ ህፃናትስ ምንድን ነው ከድረጊቱ የሚገነዘቡት? ቀጣይስ ምንድነው የሚማሩት? አረ ይታሰብበት!! ድፍረቱ ካለ ምስኪን ከሚየልቅ ግልፅ ጦርነት በማወጅ ከአንበሳው ጋር መጋፈጥ፡፡ አረ ሰውን የሚያህል ፍጡር ከእንስሳ ያልተሻለ ስራ እስከመቼ?

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