Dozens of people killed by an Ethiopian ethnic group: the survivors


Militia members of Ethiopia’s second largest ethnic group killed dozens and burned and looted homes in an attack on a town in the restive Oromia region, survivors told AFP.

The attack took place on Monday morning in Agamsa in Oromia, the largest and most populated region of Ethiopia, regularly rocked by clashes between the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups.

“The assailants attacked (…) from three directions using gunfire and continued their attacks until around 2:00 p.m.,” a survivor who fled Agamsa told AFP.

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“They killed around 100 residents, burned many houses and shops and looted food warehouses using rickshaws, cars and motorbikes. I saw the attack with my own eyes, but managed to escape unscathed.

Another survivor said the attackers stole cattle and killed more than 100 people.

Both said the men were members of a militia based in the nearby Amhara region.

The Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), designated a terrorist organization by Addis Ababa, said the Amhara Fano militia staged the attack and killed at least 62 people in Agamsa.

Neither the regional nor federal governments responded to AFP’s requests for confirmation.

Residents said the attack took place after rotating regional troops left the area on Sunday, but were not replaced.

A resident, who fled Agamsa but returned, said: “I am still in Agamsa town but there is no presence of government security forces. We are afraid that the attackers will return.

In August last year, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said more than 210 people had been killed in a week of ethnic attacks in Gida-Kirimu, near Agamsa.

In June, hundreds of mostly Amhara civilians were killed in a troubled area in the far west of the country.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed blamed the Oromo Liberation Army, saying it was “inflicting damage” on the population as its fighters fled an offensive by security forces in western Oromia.

Officials blamed the OLA for a number of massacres targeting Amharas, although the rebels denied responsibility.

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