Ethiopia: Gunmen killed at least 34 people in a cruel attack on a passenger bus in western Ethiopia, that has recently seen a series of deadly attacks on civilians, the national human rights body said. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission stated that “the estimated number of casualties, currently at 34, is likely to rise” from the assault which happened Saturday night in the Benishangul-Gumuz region.
A spokesman for the commission confirmed that the casualties were all deaths. The EHRC statement said the bus attack happened in the Debate administrative area, and that “there are accounts of similar attacks” in three other areas, as well as “of persons who have fled to seek shelter”.Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has delivered a sparse report on recent violence in Benishangul-Gumuz, particularly in the Metekel zone, where Debate is encountered.
Twelve people were killed in an attack in the zone in October, while 15 died in a similar attack in September. Abiy said that fighters answerable for the killings were acquiring practice and shelter in neighboring Sudan and that Khartoum’s help was required to stabilize the region. There is no known connection between the violence in Benishangul-Gumuz and military operations in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, which have killed hundreds and transmitted more than 20,000 people escaping over the border into Sudan. Opposition politicians have expressed the violence in Benishangul-Gumuz as ethnically motivated.
Precisely, they say there is a targeted movement by ethnic Gumuz militias against ethnical Amhara and Agew living in Merkel.”The unrelenting pace of attacks on civilians in Benishangul-Gumuz calls for higher vigilance and more coordinated action between regional and federal security forces,” EHRC chief commissioner Daniel Bekele said Sunday.