Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:
The National Human Rights Association said on Sunday that gunmen killed at least 34 people in a “horrific” attack on a passenger bus in western Ethiopia, which recently saw a group of deadly attacks on civilians.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said in a statement that “the estimated number of victims, currently at 34, is likely to increase” since the attack on Saturday evening in the Benisungul-Gumuz region.
A spokesperson for the commission, an independent government body, confirmed that the victims were all dead.
The EHRC statement said the bus attack occurred in the administrative area of debate and similar attacks were reported “in three other areas,” as well as “those who fled to demand the asylum”.
Prime Minister Abi Ahmed’s government recently provided information on the violence in Benikhangul-Gamuz, where the debate is taking place.
In October, 12 people were killed in an attack in the area, while 15 died in a similar attack in late September.
Speaking to lawmakers in October, Abi said the fighters responsible for the killings were receiving training and shelter in neighboring Sudan and help from Khartoum was needed to stabilize the region.
There is no known link between Benishangul-Gamuz and the violence in military operations in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, which has killed hundreds and sent more than 20,000 people fleeing the border to the Sudan.
Opposition politicians called the violence in Benishangul-Gumuz ethnically motivated.
In particular, they state that the Ethics is a targeted campaign against the Amhara and Agave by the Gumuz ethnic militia living in Metacale.
The incredible speed of attacks on civilians in Benishungul-Gamuz calls for greater vigilance and more coordinated action between regional and federal security forces, EHRC chief commissioner Daniel Bekele said on Sunday.
“We urge federal and regional security and judicial authorities to work together, and in consultation with the local community, to redefine a regional security strategy that could put a definitive end to these attacks.”
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)