Witnesses say dozens killed in new ethnic attack in Ethiopia

Sep 1, 2022, 10:39 PM | Updated: Sep 2, 2022, 10:40 am

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Residents in Ethiopia’s largest federal state, Oromia, say dozens of civilians were killed in an attack by an armed group on Monday, the latest mass violence along ethnic lines that challenges one of Africa’s most populous countries.

Two residents of the restive Wollega region’s Horo Guduru area said an armed group from the ethnic Amhara community, known as Fano, targeted ethnic Oromos indiscriminately.

“Those Fano militia came in full force and killed everyone they found,” one witness told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. He said he saw six fresh bodies in a graveyard. The fighters burned houses, looted cattle and threatened to come back and “finish us all,” he said.

Another witness said he saw around 20 bodies on Tuesday and said he believed that “many other bodies remain to be discovered.”

Both witnesses said the attack occurred a day after Oromia regional forces withdrew from the area. A spokesman for Ethiopia’s federal government, Legesse Tulu, hung up without answering questions. Oromia’s police chief did not respond.

On Thursday, Ethiopia’s Media Authority issued a warning to private media outlet Finfinnee Integrated Broadcast for reporting the killings and accused it of disseminating “fake and unconfirmed reports.”

Ethiopia has experienced widespread ethnic rivalry and conflict since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018.

The Fano militia was a major actor in Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict that erupted in the northern part of the country in November 2020. Fighting alongside Ethiopia’s military, they were implicated in some of the worst atrocities committed against ethnic Tigrayans.

But when that conflict calmed in recent months, many of the Fano’s leaders and members were targeted by Ethiopian authorities after the prime minister referred to them as an “irregular force.”

Previously, ethnic Amahras were targeted in the Wollega area where Monday’s killings occurred. In June, hundreds of ethnic Amharas were killed and local authorities blamed the Oromo Liberation Army. The armed group denied it and blamed government forces instead.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Image: The field at Sun Devil Stadium bears a Pac-12 logo during a game between Arizona State and K...

Associated Press

Oregon State, Washington State control of Pac-12 on hold

The Washington state Supreme Court on Tuesday granted a request by the University of Washington and the Pac-12 to put on hold a lower court’s ruling that gave Oregon State and Washington State control of the conference until the high court can make a full review.

16 hours ago

A woman gathers possessions to take before a homeless encampment was cleaned up in San Francisco, T...

Associated Press

Cities crack down on homeless encampments. Advocates say that’s not the answer

Tossing tent poles, blankets and a duffel bag into a shopping cart and three wagons, Will Taylor spent a summer morning helping friends tear down what had been their home and that of about a dozen others. It wasn't the first time and wouldn't be the last.

19 hours ago

The Longshot, an air-launched unmanned aircraft that General Atomics is developing with the Defense...

Associated Press

Pentagon steps on AI accelerator as age of lethal autonomy looms

Artificial intelligence employed by the U.S. military has piloted pint-sized surveillance drones in special operations forces’ missions and helped Ukraine in its war against Russia. It tracks soldiers’ fitness, predicts when Air Force planes need maintenance and helps keep tabs on rivals in space.

23 hours ago

FILE - An Amazon company logo marks the facade of a company's building in Schoenefeld near Berlin, ...

Associated Press

EU regulators say Amazon’s acquisition of vacuum maker iRobot may harm competition

European regulators said Monday that Amazon’s proposed acquisition of robot vacuum maker iRobot may harm competition.

2 days ago

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 29:  In this photo illustration a cantaloupe is seen sliced open on September...

Associated Press

FDA expands cantaloupe recall after salmonella infections double

U.S. health officials recalled three more brands of whole and pre-cut cantaloupes Friday as the number of people sickened by salmonella more than doubled this week.

2 days ago

Families and friends of about 240 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza call for Israeli Prime Minister Be...

Associated Press

Bus carrying newly released Palestinian prisoners arrives in West Bank city

Israel and Hamas agreed to extend their cease-fire for two more days past Monday, the Qatari government said

2 days ago

Witnesses say dozens killed in new ethnic attack in Ethiopia