(The Southern African Times) – More than 100 people were killed in a recent armed attack in west Ethiopia, the country’s federal rights group confirmed late Wednesday.
The bloodshed took place in the village of Bekoji, Metekel zone in the western regional state of Benishangul-Gumuz at around 10:00 pm local time (1900 GMT) on Tuesday and was carried out by armed men who set fires and shot at residents while they were asleep, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), a federal rights group established by the Ethiopian parliament, told Xinhua in a statement.
The incident revealed “the ever deteriorating human rights protection in the region,” the commission warned, adding that “attacks have intensified in appearance and scale recently.”
Investigations showed no police or security forces assigned to the vicinity, the commission said, noting that it had been monitoring and investigating the incident in consultation with victims and concerned stakeholders.
Meanwhile, the rights group also called for swift provision of medical and humanitarian assistance to the victims of the attack and displacement, and holding the attackers accountable.
The latest incident occurred a day after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held discussions with state security officials, the Metekel zone regional administrator and residents to explore ways “to stop the recurring peace and security problems in the areas and find lasting solutions.”
The commission said it had been appealing for stronger cooperation and attention from the federal and regional governments to contain similar attacks, particularly the immediate strengthening of the security structures in the region to ensure human safety.