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Violence in Benishangul-Amhara Boarder towns

Violence in Benishangul-Amhara Border towns

In an emergency meeting held last week, Benishangul Gumz regional party condemned the recent killings of hundreds of civilians in neighboring towns of Jawi Woreda of the Amhara Regional State, The Reporter has learnt.

In the statements issued by the party, it was indicated that civilians who are ethnically Gumuz and Sinasha who lives in the two Kebelles of Jawi Wereda were brutally killed by an armed group including kids, elders and mothers.

The tragic incident is against the values of our people as well as the unity of the country, said the party. The party also called for those groups and individuals who were involved in the killings as well as involved in agitating the people using social media to be held accountable. 

The party didn’t indicate how many were killed during the incident; however, vice president of the region, Adego Amesya told The Reporter that no less than 200 civilians might have lost their lives in Jawi Woreda incident.

The body of those who were killed was found in mass graves, Adego told The Reporter.

The incident in Beinshangul begun a week ago, following a minor clash between an unnamed driver and a user of public transport in Metekel Zone, Beinshangul region, at a place called Dangur Woreda. Later, the disagreement between the two changed into a more serious fight leading to Federal Police being deployed to the area.

“When the federal police were trying to intervene, there were some who tried to take their gun from the members of the police by force, leading the police to take action,” Abera Bayeta, head of Beinshangul Security Bureau told The Reporter, a week ago.

The minor clash then spread into more areas in the region and resulting in the loss of life of more than of dozen civilians in the region.

Later on, the conflict also spread into the neighboring Amhara regional state, Awi Zone, Jawi Woreda.

During his interview with Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA), Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen indicated that the killings in Jawi were made in “retaliation”.

Following the tragic incident, a team from both federal government as well as the two regions was sent to the area where the incident occurred in order to launch an investigation.

In related news two civilians in Dembi Dollo, Wollega of the Oromia Regional State, were killed following a bomb attack targeting members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, The Reporter has learnt. The incident occurred on May 9, 2019 around 10:30 am.

In addition to the two civilians who were killed one was also injured and referred to hospital, according to source from the area.

It can be recalled that just a week ago the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was forced to briefly suspend its operation in Gambella Regional State due to security concerns in the area.

According to eyewitnesses in the area, public transports particularly from Gambella to Dembi Dollo have been stopped for weeks and it became challenging for locals in the area to move around.