Senior Regional Official Gunned Down in W. Ethiopia

ADDIS ABEBA – A senior regional official of Benishangul-Gumuz regional state has been killed in western Ethiopia, the region’s communication bureau has said.

Abdulahi Sojar, Chairman of Urban Development, Trade and Finance affairs standing committee of the region’s council, was killed after the car he was traveling in attacked by gunmen.

According to the bureau, he was traveling to Nekmpt Town of the neighboring Oromia region when the assault occurred today around 7:30 am.

The official died instantly while two other officials sustained serious injuries but survived the attack, said Meles Beyene, head of the communication bureau of Benishangul-Gumuz Region, in in a press briefing.

Authorities blamed Oromo Liberation Front or OLF’s militants named ‘Shene’ for the attack. Police are trying to apprehend the gunmen and make them face justice, said Meles.

The border areas of Benishangul Gumuz and Oromia regional states have been experiencing a spate of ethnically and politically motivated clashes since September 2018.

On 26 September 2018, four senior officials from the Benishangul Gumuz region were killed in an ambush in Gimbi, West Wollega of the Oromo region, allegedly by the same armed group.

The attack led to a deadly ethnically charged clash that displaced 70,000 people, according the UN. Since then, the government established a command post to deal with the crisis along the common border of the two regions.

OLF ‘Shene’ armed group claim to fight for the rights of ethnic Oromos and reportedly has an estimated 2,800 fighters based mainly in the western and southern parts of Oromia regional state.

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[Map BBC]

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