Armed Group Kill 15 civilians in Western Ethiopia, Rights Agency Says

ASSOSSA – The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) says it is deeply alarmed by the surge in attacks against civilians in Benishangul-Gumuz Region, after armed group killed at least 15 people on Friday.

The Commission reported armed assailants killed thr civilians in Benishangul-Gumuz Region’s Metekel Zone in a pre-dawn attack, the latest in a spate of targeted killings of civilians over the month of September.

The attack took place in a riverside village near Manbuk, in Metekel Zone’s Dangur Woreda, EHRC said qouting regional security sources.

Four of the victims were women. One other person sustained non-life threatening wounds.

“Civilians are being subjected to repeated attacks with unmitigated cruelty in Benishangul-Gumuz. Federal and regional authorities should take the required steps to enforce the rule of law and bring perpetrators to account,” said Daniel Bekele, EHRC’s chief commissioner.

Security sources said a shootout ensued between the gunmen and members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, until soldiers restored calm by the afternoon. Four woredas, including Dangur, were placed under a command post on September 24 for a period of two months.

Friday’s attacks followed at least two instances of violence in the same zone on September 6 and September 7-13 that resulted in the killings of civilians and displacement of over 300 people.