NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Witnesses in Ethiopia mentioned Sunday that greater than 200 folks, largely ethnic Amhara, have been killed in an assault within the nation’s Oromia area and are blaming a insurgent group, which denies it.
It is among the deadliest such assaults in latest reminiscence as ethnic tensions proceed in Africa’s second most populous nation.
“I’ve counted 230 our bodies. I’m afraid that is the deadliest assault towards civilians we’ve got seen in our lifetime,” Abdul-Seid Tahir, a resident of Gimbi county, informed The Related Press after barely escaping the assault on Saturday. “We’re burying them in mass graves, and we’re nonetheless accumulating our bodies. Federal military items have now arrived, however we worry that the assaults might proceed in the event that they go away.”
One other witness, who gave solely his first title, Shambel over fears for his security, mentioned the native Amhara neighborhood is now desperately searching for to be relocated someplace else “earlier than one other spherical of mass killings occur.” He mentioned ethnic Amhara that settled within the space about 30 years in the past in resettlement applications are actually being “killed like chickens.”
Each witnesses blamed the Oromo Liberation Military for the assaults. In a press release, the Oromia regional authorities additionally blamed the OLA, saying the rebels attacked “after being unable to withstand the operations launched by (federal) safety forces.”
An OLA spokesman, Odaa Tarbii, denied the allegations.
“The assault you’re referring to was dedicated by the regime’s navy and native militia as they retreated from their camp in Gimbi following our latest offensive,” he mentioned in a message to the AP. “They escaped to an space referred to as Tole, the place they attacked the native inhabitants and destroyed their property as retaliation for his or her perceived help for the OLA. Our fighters had not even reached that space when the assaults occurred.”
Ethiopia is experiencing widespread ethnic tensions in a number of areas, most of them over historic grievances and political tensions. The Amhara folks, the second-largest ethnic group amongst Ethiopia’s greater than 110 million inhabitants, have been focused steadily in areas like Oromia.
The federal government-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Fee on Sunday referred to as on the federal authorities discover a “lasting resolution” to the killing of civilians and defend them from such assaults.