Addis Standard has received reports from members of the Amhara and Oromo community in Kiramu Woreda in the East Woolga Zone. Testimony from members of both communities and a community leader show that on Sunday, October 10th, violence broke out, claiming many lives and forcing people to flee. Sources told Addis Standard that the violence began at noon and continued well into the day.
Dawit (name changed for security reasons), an Oromo ethnic resident of woreda, said that the rush took place between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. According to him, the offensive resulted in the death, injury and displacement of many, including his own families. He claims that Amhara militias launched an hour-long attack on civilians.
The eyewitness accused the Amhara militias of migrating to the Oromia region and of rallying the Amhara community in the city to induce violence. He insists that the attacks are “deliberate and organized”. Dawit told Addis Standard that three of his family members, his father, mother and 12 -Year-old brother were killed in their home. He said, “It is a deliberate attack on Oromo civilians,” adding, “We cannot even bury the dead.”
According to him, more than 25 ethnic Oromo were killed in the Attack. He said: “They drove many people out of the city and killed them, and they also tortured those who did not kill them.” He related the events: “They came in large numbers, armed with heavy artillery. They arbitrarily killed, looted what they could and burned what they could not carry. ”
Another woreda resident and ethnic Amhara, Jemal (name changed for security reasons) said from: “The attacks were not only directed against the ethnic Oromo, it is rather a conflict between the inhabitants of the Oromo and Amhara”. He claims “the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) operating in the region may be behind the attack.” Jemal told of the incident from where he was hiding: “We hid the children and women and those of us who were armed fled into the forest. I have heard that about seven ethnic Amharas died and others were injured. ”However, Dawit refutes Jemals claim, claiming that the OLA is not active in the area. “This attack was carried out by the Amhara militia,” he said, and asked, “If there were armed Oromos in the area, would they leave us here for dead?”
An elderly one and A community leader of an Amhara origin described how the attack went. He recalled the withdrawal of the Oromia Special Forces from the area on Wednesday, four days before the attack. “We asked the authorities to stop the withdrawal of special forces from the area, but they did,” he added. “Gunfire followed shortly afterwards, killing many civilians, most of whom were Oromos.” the victim came from the Oromo community. I’m not sure of the exact number, but I’ve seen a lot of bodies. Eight ethnic Amhara were killed. “He regretted the withdrawal of the government security forces:” We suspected this might happen, so we asked the government security forces not to leave the area. “
The Recurring violence in the East Wollega zone continues to claim civilian lives. This attack comes weeks after the Ethiopian Commission on Human Rights (EHRC) raised concerns about the security situation of civilians in Kiramu Woreda in the East Welega zone of the Oromia regional state, after the Commission took note of the situation of residents of Kiramu Woreda on the 17th fled to neighboring Kebeles and towns to seek humanitarian aid.
Addis Standard asked Kiramu Woreda’s administrator Desta Tiki for comments, to which he responded by saying: ” I cannot comment unless I receive an order from the government to comment on a particular media organization. ” Oromia Police Commissioner Ararsa Mardasa has refused to comment unless he is contacted personally. In addition, several attempts to reach the administrator of the East Woolga Zone Alemayehu Tesfa and the head of the zone’s peace and security office were unsuccessful.