South Sudanese Gunmen Raid Western Ethiopia

Ordinary women and children were among those killed in the attack. Ordinary women and children were among those killed in the attack. © Melese Awoke/WFP

18 April 2016
Death toll rises to 208 people, with another 108 children kidnapped after South Sudanese gunmen raided western Ethiopia.

On Friday, 15 April 2016, South Sudanese gunmen raided Western Ethiopia’s Gambela region, which hosts more than 284,000 South Sudanese refugees. By Sunday, the raid had risen the death toll to 208 people, with 75 people wounded, and 108 children kidnapped by assailants, along with 2000 livestock.

The cross-border raid had no government link, and it was not the first time it occurred. Western Ethiopia has been raided in the past, often by Murle tribesmen from South Sudan’s Jonglei and Upper Nile regions, that have attacked to take cattle. This however, has been the largest attack of its kind, killing women and children in the raid. The attackers are said to have no relation to South Sudan’s army or rebel forces, said the government communications office.

“The conflict in South Sudan has resulted in refugees moving into Ethiopia. Rebel groups can also move across Gambela region. It is not surprising that there are occasional local outbreaks of violence in this area,” said David Shinn, a professor of International Relations at George Washington University and former US ambassador to Ethiopia.


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