Rebels on Tuesday killed at least 60 civilians and set fire to homes in a “horrendous” ethnic based attack in Dibate district of Metekel Zone in Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz Region, survivors have said.
Survivors of the attack told local media that members of the rebels-Benishangul Gumuz People’s Democratic Unity Front (BGPLF) and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) committed the attacks in joint force against ethnic Amhara and Agew people.
According to the survivors, the attackers rounded Balite locality in Dibate district around 5:00 AM and killed at least 63 innocent people, largely women and children.
Ethnic violence has increased since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in April 2018, loosening controls of the unfolding attacks especially in different districts of Benishangul-Gumuz Region.
One of the survivors told the VOA Amharic service on condition of anonymity that he counted 63 bodies after the attack in which at least 22 other civilians were wounded.
Asked how he established who is behind the killing, one of the survivors said members of the OLF Shene and BGPLF were captured after Ethiopian Defense Forces wounded them.
The government claimed that the security situation in the region was improving after the deployment of a federal force in the region following the massacre of more than 200 civilians in the same zone.
Between September 2020 and now, at least 400 innocent civilians have been killed. PM Abiy Ahmed’s government has been badly criticized for failing to protect the lives of citizens.