A regional administrator revealed that gunmen have killed 32 people and burnt over 20 houses in a raid in the western region of Ethiopia.
Administrator Elias Umeta stated that the killings were carried out by an armed group called OLF Shane in the Western Wollega Zone of the Oromiya region.
“We buried today 32 of them. About 700 to 750 people were also displaced from the area,” he explained.
Recall that OLF Shane separated from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), an opposition party that spent years in exile but was allowed to return to Ethiopia after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018. Sporadic violence has rocked Ethiopia since then.
“OLF Shane posited said it is fighting for the right of the Oromos, the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia. But there was no immediate known motive for the killings.
“They were executed after they were told by the armed group they want to have a meeting with them,” Elias said.
The state-run Ethiopian Human Rights Commission in a statement said the attack had targeted people from the ethnic Amharic group.
“They were dragged from their homes and taken to a school, where they were killed,” Daniel Bekele, the commission’s chief commissioner, stated, adding that the death toll could be higher.
“These gruesome killings of civilians are unconscionable and flout basic principles of humanity.”
Various incident of violence have erupted in different parts of Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, last week clashes between two Ethiopian states – Somali and Afar – that have long disputed their border killed at least 27 people.