Rebel attacks on villages kill 37 in Ethiopia

Published June 27, 2019
Three officials, including the region’s president, were killed in that attack. — AFP
Three officials, including the region’s president, were killed in that attack. — AFP

ADDIS ABABA: Thirty-seven people were killed in an attack on Sunday in Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz region, the governor said on Wednesday.

Benishangul-Gumuz borders the Amhara region, where authorities foiled a deadly attempt to oust the regional government on Saturday.

Three officials, including the region’s president, were killed in that attack.

Ashadli Hassen, governor of Benishangul-Gumuz, said that the attack on villages in Metakal zone was carried out by armed men believed to be followers of the army general who attempted a coup in Amhara, Ashadli Hassen, governor of Benishangul-Gumuz, said.

The attackers returned to Amhara after the assault in which 18 others were wounded, he said.An internet shutdown remains in force following Saturday’s violence, which included the assassination of the national army chief by his bodyguard in the capital, Addis Ababa.

The militia attacked the police headquarters, ruling party headquarters and president’s office — where they executed three top officials — in Amhara’s regional capital of Bahir Dar on Saturday, Asemahagh Aseres said on the sidelines of a state burial for the officials who were killed.

The militia was a recently formed unit of the region’s security services. It had appealed for others to join its take-over were rebuffed, Asemahagh said.

Another report said that men in camouflage uniforms killed more than 50 people and injured 23 others in the Metakal zone of the Benishangul-Gumuz region early on Monday, the region’s peace and security bureau head Abera Bayeta said.

“They are part of our police. They are not independent,” he said. “(But) most of the forces were not with them. They defended (us) very well.” The fact that the militia were state forces rather than independent raises the stakes for the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has rolled out a package of economic and political reforms since taking office in April last year.

He has lifted a ban on political parties, released journalists, rebels and prisoners, and prosecuted officials accused of abuses.

But his shake-up of the military and intelligence services has earned him powerful enemies.

His government is also struggling to contain discontent from Ethiopia’s myriad ethnic groups fighting the federal government and each other for greater influence and resources. Outbreaks of ethnic violence have displaced around 2.4 million people, according to the United Nations.

The spokesman said the militia had detained him when it took over a guesthouse for government officials and also tried and failed to take over the region’s state media.

He said the militia were then chased out of the city.Details of more deaths in a separate but possibly linked attack in a neighbouring state also emerged on Wednesday.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2019

Opinion

Sub judice rule
18 Sep 2021

Sub judice rule

It is time this objection, sub judice, is laid to rest.
The Black Caps folly
Updated 18 Sep 2021

The Black Caps folly

There is so much wrong — and worrying — about the entire sorry episode of New Zealand backing out of Pakistan tour.
CT NAP revisited
Updated 18 Sep 2021

CT NAP revisited

A policy of appeasement towards extremists has undermined the state’s writ.
Pathways for reform
Updated 17 Sep 2021

Pathways for reform

Even now the government has said they are listening, but they have not said how they are listening.

Editorial

Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...
TTP amnesty?
Updated 17 Sep 2021

TTP amnesty?

An amnesty should be for some individuals, not the entire outfit.
17 Sep 2021

Media regulation

THE needless controversy over media regulation may finally be heading for a resolution. In a meeting with ...
17 Sep 2021

Refusing audit

THE continuous resistance put up by several public-sector organisations to submitting their accounts for audit by ...