https://www.polity.org.za
Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
Home / News / All News RSS ← Back
Power|SECURITY
Power|SECURITY
power|security
Close

Email this article

separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses

Sponsored by

Close

Article Enquiry

Ethiopia, rebel group trade blame over mass killing in west

Close

Embed Video

Ethiopia, rebel group trade blame over mass killing in west

5th July 2022

By: Reuters

SAVE THIS ARTICLE      EMAIL THIS ARTICLE

Font size: -+

Ethiopia's prime minister and a rebel group have traded blame for a mass killing in Oromiya, the country's most populous region, where hundreds of people have died in recent months in escalating violence between rival ethnic groups.

The latest killings took place on Monday in two villages in Kellem Wollega zone, around 400 km west of the capital Addis Ababa, the state-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said.

Advertisement

Both the EHRC and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed blamed the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), a banned splinter group of an opposition party, for the killings, which Abiy called a "massacre".

OLA spokesperson Odaa Tarbii rejected the accusations, saying government-allied militias were responsible for the slaughter, while federal troops recently deployed in the area did nothing to stop it.

Advertisement

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the claims of either side, with most communications to the affected area apparently down on Tuesday.

Oromiya's regional administration spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment and government spokesperson Legesse Tulu did not provide details on casualties.

Oromiya, which accounts for more than a third of Ethiopia's population of around 110-million, has experienced spasms of ethnic violence for many years, often rooted in grievances about political marginalisation and neglect by the central government.

Violence has escalated since the OLA formed an alliance last year with the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which has been fighting government forces in the north of the country since November, 2020.

While Abiy and forces loyal to him say they want to end the fighting in Tigray, recent bloodshed in Oromiya is a reminder that ethnic rivalries across the country threaten to undermine attempts to end civil conflict.

Since Abiy came to power in 2018 after nearly three decades of firm rule by a TPLF-led government, political reforms have encouraged regional powerbrokers to seek to build ethnic power bases.

The government announced a military crackdown in the region after around 340 people were killed there last month.

The EHRC called for government security forces in Oromiya to be reinforced in light of the latest attacks.

The region is home to the Oromo, the country's largest ethnic group, whose members include Abiy. Members of other communities, including the Amhara, Ethiopia's second biggest ethnic group, also live there.

The EHRC said that the villages caught up in Monday's violence were mainly populated by Amhara, and that government security forces had reached the area.

EMAIL THIS ARTICLE      SAVE THIS ARTICLE

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here

Comment Guidelines

About

Polity.org.za is a product of Creamer Media.
www.creamermedia.co.za

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Engineering News
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa

Read more

Subscriptions

We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store

Advertise

Advertising on Polity.org.za is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email advertising@creamermedia.co.za

View options
Free daily email newsletter Register Now