Ethiopian Human Rights Group Condemns the Massacre of over 100 Civilians

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, January 4, 2021 / — Reuters and the BBC reported that unknown gunmen murdered over 100 men, women, and children in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia. The Benishangul-Gumuz region is inhabited by mostly the Gumuz, Berta, Shinasha, Mao, and Bambasi ethnic groups. Yet, as reported by Reuters, “farmers and businessmen from the neighboring Amhara region have begun moving into the area, prompting some Gumuz to complain that fertile land has been taken.” According to Reuters, “some Amhara leaders are now saying that some of the land in the region – especially in the Metekel zone – rightfully belongs to them, claims that have angered Gumuz people.” The drums of war are sounding louder and louder as each day passes in Ethiopia.

Since the Ethiopian federal government’s abandonment of democratic norms and the postponement of national elections by the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, violence in many parts of Ethiopia has drastically increased. The murder of Hacaaluu Hundessa, the Ethiopian-Oromo musician and human rights activist who sang for freedom, the arrest of Jawar Mohammed, the Ethiopian-Oromo politician who was arrested after he questioned the Ethiopian government’s postponement of federal elections, and the invasion of the Ethiopian Tigrai region by Ethiopian federal troops has further exacerbated the social and political issues facing Ethiopia.

The members of the Oromo Legacy Leadership & Advocacy Association (OLLAA) are concerned about the many killings taking place all over Ethiopia, especially in the Oromia region, where Amnesty International has documented the extrajudicial killings of entire families by Ethiopian government security forces. OLLAA condemns all the murders and violence against civilians in Ethiopia and calls upon the newly sworn-in US Congress, the Trump Administration, and the incoming Biden Administration to act to protect lives and prevent the possibility of all-out civil war in Ethiopia. OLLAA also calls on the African Union, the European Union, and the United Nations to immediately intervene to stop the spiraling out of control conflicts in Ethiopia and direct humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the ongoing violence.

SOURCE Von Batten-Montague-York