EHRC: “another round of killings” in Benishangul-Gumuz Region

Gumuz civilians living in the border area between Benishangul and Oromia Gumuz civilians living in the border area between Benishangul and Oromia Ethiopia Observer

26 September 2020

Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) statement on surge in attacks against civilians in the western Ethiopia

 On September 25, armed assailants killed at least 15 civilians in a pre-dawn attack in Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz Region. According to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), four of the victims were women and one person sustained non-life-threatening wounds. All of the victims were of the Amhara ethic group. Daniel Bekele, the head of the EHRC, emphasised in a statement published on 26 September that “Federal and regional authorities should take the required steps to enforce the rule of law and bring perpetrators to account.”

Since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018, conflict has flared in many parts of the country. Earlier this month in the same region, there were two other instances of violence resulting in the killing of at least 140 civilians and forced displacement of at least 300 civilians. In June, protests over the assination of a prominent singer of the Oromo ethnic group, Hachalu Hundessa, led to the killing of at least 239 people. Officials have attributed the deaths to a combination of lethal force by security officers and interethnic violence.

Amnesty International is critical about the EHRC’s work. In a report published in 2019, the organisation found extensive evidence for bias towards the Amhara ethic group whilst ignoring and undervaluing the ongoing conflict against the Oromo ethnic group.


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Author: Catherine Gregoire

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