A family relation of a slain mother, Ansha Seid whose newborn baby was found alive next to her corpse has confirmed the incident to press men in Oromia.
Seid – a 25-year-old mother of three, was killed in a wave of recent mass killings in Ethiopia’s Oromia. Seid was killed just two weeks after birthing a girl. “She was lying next to her 15-day-old daughter. She was shot in the back, but I had no idea the baby was still alive. We found her breathing, which was surprising. It was a miracle,” the unnamed relative said.
Her other children remain traumatised after hiding away in a maize farm during the raid.
Seid’s younger sister also died while her elder sister survived with multiple injuries. The military onslaught was carried out on June 18 in five communities in the Gimbi district, western Ethiopia. Those targeted were mostly Amhara ethnic minority living in the region.
Most of those who lost their lives were women and children– including newborn babies.
Mohammed Yesuf, a 64-year-old survivor, lost more than 12 children and grandchildren. “I buried 33 family members and relatives, including 22 of my children and grandchildren…I wish I had died,” he said, sobbing.
The rebel Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) has been accused of carrying out the deadly attacks, but the group has denied the recent allegation, claiming that it was committed by a government-backed militia group.
Ms Ansha’s relatives said their men were in the field when the rebels invaded the villages and opened fire that Saturday morning.
“The insurgents killed people door to door. They were dragged from their home in one area and shot together in the bush”
Ms Ansha was among those gunned in the bush, along with other women and children.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office said a total of 338 people were killed and investigations were ongoing. Ahmed described the violence as “unacceptable”.
Some estimates indicate the deaths could be higher.
The Amhara Association in America has identified 455 victims by name and estimates that death toll could be more than 600.
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