NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said Wednesday it has received information that over 80 civilians were killed early Tuesday in the latest massacre in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region.
“These harrowing killings have to stop,” senior adviser Aaron Maasho said. “For the umpteenth time, we call on authorities at the federal and regional level to enhance coordination among themselves and strengthen their security presence in the area.”
The Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the killings occurred in the region’s Metekel zone, Dibate county. It spoke to witnesses who said “women and children fell victim in great numbers.”
The report cited witnesses as saying more than 100 civilians were killed and some bodies have still not been collected from the scene.
Ethnic violence poses a major challenge to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as he tries to promote national unity in a country with more than 80 ethnic groups.
More than 100 people were killed in a massacre in the Metekel zone last month, a day after Abiy visited the region and spoke about the need to end such massacres.
The attacks are separate from the deadly conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, where Ethiopian forces and allied regional forces began fighting Tigray regional forces in early November.