– At least 21 civilians were killed in two separate attacks. 15 passengers were killed by armed men on a bus traveling from the town of Bure in the West Gojam zone in the Amhara regional state to Nekemte in the East Wollega zone in the Oromia regional state.
Similarly, six civilians ” brutally “killed
Both murders took place on April 30th
Good Friday holiday for Ethiopian Christians.
According to Commander Birhanu Yebase, police chief in the Horo Gudru zone, who spoke to the national broadcaster, the armed group he said was a member of “OLF / Shene “. The attack on the transport bus going from Bure to Nekemte began when it reached Amuru wereda shortly after the bus “crossed the Abay River.” The attackers rerouted the bus towards Abay Gorge before forcing passengers off the bus, killing 15 of them. He said there were injured passengers believed to have left the area. Commander Birhanu said the victims were members of the Amhara and Oromo communities in the area, but added that security had been increased to protect the Amhara community.
This youngest one The attack came shortly after at least 20 civilians were killed in an attack last week in the Jimma zone, Limmu Kosa Kebelle of the regional state of Oromia. Getachew Balcha, spokesman for the regional state, blamed the attack on “OLF / Shene”, a name used by government officials to refer to the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), a rebel army currently involved in armed conflict with government forces in the regional state of Oromia / p>
However, the OLA repeatedly denies the allegations and calls for independent investigations into all attacks on civilians in the area. She also accuses these attacks of parallel militiamen armed by the government itself.
In a similar development, in an attack by the “illegal armed group” on the same day, six civilians were “brutally” killed in Danchu Kebelle by the Bench Sheko Zone in SNNPRS. The victims included civilians who were burned alive in their home. At a meeting of the local authorities with the community in Danchu Kebelle, members of the community spoke bitterly about the lack of protection of the government’s security forces when they had been subjected to repeated attacks in recent months.
Last September The Councils from five zones and a special Wereda had approved the integration into a new regional state in SNNPRS. These are: Bench-Shako-Zone, Kaffa-Zone, Dawro-Zone, Sheka-Zone, West-Omo-Zone and Konta Special Woreda. The decision was approved by the House of Federation (HoF) and then paved the way for a referendum for the new region state called “Southwest Ethiopia”.
In October 2020 were in Gura Farda Wereda in the Bench Sheko Zone 12 civilians killed and five injured by an “unidentified armed group” followed by another similar attack in March this year in the same Wereda that killed at least ten civilians.
However, it is not clear whether this is related to the rise in these attacks on civilians by armed groups that have yet to be identified by the authorities
According to the National Electoral Committee of Ethiopia (NEBE), the Southwest Referendum will take place on June 5th , on the same day as the 6th day of the general election.