Police Arrest Two More Officials linked with In Metekel Killings

ADDIS ABEBA – Two more senior officials of Benishangl-Gumuz Regional State have been arrested a week after the massacre in Metekel Zone.

Gunmen killed more than 200 people in a dawn attack in the village of Bekuji, of the region on December 23, according to Ethiopian human rights commission.

Since then, security forces seized bows, arrows and other weapons in the raid while officials who are suspected of having a link with the attack are being arrested.

Security officials of the region confirmed the arrest of two officials on Tesuday. These are Metekel Zone Chief Administrator Atinkut Shitu and regional police Deputy Commissioner Inspector Misgana Engifeta.

Both are detained for alleged involvement in the recent security problem witnessed in Metekel Zone, said Mussa Hamid, the deputy head of the Regional Peace Building and Security Bureau.

The hunting down officials involved in the massacre will continue until peace is restored in the zone, Mussa added.

The arrest of the two officials has increased the number of government officials currently detained to eight. At least 6 senior officials were arrested in connection to the crime in Metekel Zone last week.

Immunity lifted

On Tuesday, Benishangul-Gumuz Regional Council has held its extraordinary session to lift the legal immunity of its members, who are suspected of involvement in the deadly attack, from prosecution.

The officials include Adigo Amsaya, Shiferaw Chelibo, Girma Meni and Arega Balbid. The council has decided to lift the immunity of these members unanimously.

This came a week after the deadly attack occurred in Metekel Zone, Bulen Woreda, Bekuji Kebele on December 23, 2020. At least 207 people have lost their lives while many more left their houses to seek refugees in Bulen town.

“While Bulen residents and volunteers are seeing to their basic needs for the time being, there is an urgent need for a more sustainable humanitarian assistance,” rights commission said last Saturday.