According to witnesses, more than 200 people, mostly ethnic Amhara, have been killed in an attack in Oromia region, Egypt.
This unfortunate incident is said to be one of the deadliest attacks in recent memory as ethnic tensions become more prevalent in the country.
A resident of Gimbi county said: “I have counted 230 bodies. I am afraid this is the deadliest attack against civilians we have seen in our lifetime. We are burying them in mass graves, and we are still collecting bodies. Federal army units have now arrived, but we fear that the attacks could continue if they leave.”
Another witness disclosed that the local Amhara community is now desperately seeking to be relocated somewhere else “before another round of mass killings happen.” He added that ethnic Amhara settled in the area about 30 years ago in resettlement programs and they are now being “killed like chickens.”
Both witnesses blamed the Oromo Liberation Army for the attacks. Meanwhile, in a statement, the Oromia regional government also blamed the OLA, saying the rebels attacked “after being unable to resist the operations launched by [federal] security forces.”
An OLA spokesman, Odaa Tarbii, denied the allegations, stating that:
“The attack you are referring to was committed by the regime’s military and local militia as they retreated from their camp in Gimbi following our recent offensive,” he said in a message to the AP. “They escaped to an area called Tole, where they attacked the local population and destroyed their property as retaliation for their perceived support for the OLA. Our fighters had not even reached that area when the attacks took place.”
On Sunday, the government-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission urged the federal government to find a “lasting solution” to the killing of civilians and protect them from such attacks.