Kigali, Rwanda – An Ethiopian rebel group on Sunday massacred more than 200 members of the Amhara ethnic group, the latest atrocity in the civil war that has left Africa’s second-largest population, according to officials and news reports. The country is in danger of falling apart.
Eyewitnesses and officials told The Associated Press that at least 230 people were killed when members of the Oromo Liberation Army attacked a mob in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region.
The Oromo Liberation Army, a rebel group known as the OLA, which the Ethiopian government has designated as a terrorist organization, has denied carrying out the killings, saying they were carried out by Prime Minister Abi Ahmed. The militia affiliated with the pro-IS government has done so.
The attack was one of the worst racial violence in the country since November 2020, when the government and its allies began trying to quell an uprising in the northern region of Tigre.
The Tigrayans, an ethnic minority that has long held political power in the country, revolted against Mr Abe’s efforts to end the country’s ethnic federal system.
The conflict soon erupted into civil war, which divided the country along ethnic lines, killing and injuring thousands and leaving millions hungry and homeless. Fighters on both sides of the conflict have committed war crimes, including genocide, genocide and sexual violence.
As the war continues, human rights groups have documented various rebellions – including extrajudicial killings and attacks on refugees – both by government forces and Tiger People’s Liberation Front.
“The Abe government is once again blaming the OLA for the atrocities committed by its own retreating fighters,” Oda Turbi, the rebels’ international spokesman, said in a statement. Statement released on Twitter. OLA, Joe Joined forces It has been against the government with the Tigris before. Accused Targeting civilians and government officials.
The Oromia regional government also blamed OLA in a statement, saying the group “killed people and destroyed property” because it “could not cope with the operations launched against it by security forces.” . ”
Ethiopian government in late March Announced A “humanitarian war” in Tigray, a few weeks after the end of the state of emergency. Catch the Tigrayan people. But in a landlocked country of 115 million people, some concrete steps have been taken to end the conflict.
Mr Abe has also faced challenges to consolidating power among various ethnic groups. This is especially true of the Amharis, the country’s second largest ethnic group. In recent weeks, authorities have arrested thousands of people in the Amhara area, including members of the organization. Fanu militia Who played a key role in helping Mr. Abby fight the war in Tugra.
At least 13 journalists have also been arrested in the Amhara area, leading a committee to protect journalists. To warn The government is “intimidating and censoring journalists who have seen many of their colleagues behind bars in recent weeks.”
Last week, Mr Abe announced the formation of a committee to negotiate peace with the Tigris. Among the issues that are likely to be discussed is the question of the Western Tigers, an area that both the Amhars and the Tigris claim.
But as the committee considers what needs to be negotiated, concerns remain about growing inter-ethnic animosity.
On Sunday, Daniel Bekel, chief commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, urged authorities. Post on Twitter To take all “necessary steps” to protect citizens. “All law enforcement operations must take the utmost care so that civilians are not directly or indirectly targeted,” he said.
A New York Times employee contributed reporting from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.