Ethiopian Group ‘Deeply Concerned’ About Violence In Country’s West

The Human Rights Commission in Ethiopia has expressed worries over violence in the western part of the country.

The group said on Thursday it was “deeply concerned” about two recent waves of ethnic violence in Benishangul Gumuz regional state in the west of the country.

It’s called on the government to set up an independent investigation.

The group, in a statement on Twitter on Thursday, said: “The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned by security events unfolding in Benishangul-Gumuz Region.

“The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has received disturbing reports from Benishangul-Gumuz’s Metekel Zone, Bulen Woreda, Apar Kebele, and Wonbera Woreda, Melkan Kebele. The regional govt has confirmed that at least two instances of violence occurred on 6 Sept 2020 and between 7 – 13 Sept 2020.

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“An official source on the ground has informed us that there have been at least two rounds of killings of civilians, and hundreds of civilians have also been displaced.

“Ethiopian Human Rights Commission categorically condemns killings, & displacement of civilians, & urges regional authorities to carry out impartial, prompt, effective investigations into circumstances that led to killings.”

An official in charge of security in the region denied local media reports that more than 80 people had died in the attacks, but did not give casualty figures.

He blamed opposition parties for the violence.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a tweet that trouble in different parts of the country was being “perpetrated by groups aimed at overturning the reforms journey”.

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The UN says there are now more than 1.2 million internally displaced people who have fled their homes as a result of conflict in Ethiopia.

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