The latest massacre has killed more than 100 people in Ethiopia’s western region of Benishangul-Gamuz, which took place on ethnic lines in the country.
Witnesses and officials said at least 102 people were killed in the Metekeel zone in the early hours of Wednesday.
The day after the attack, Prime Minister Abi Ahmed visited the region and talked about the need to bring justice to those responsible for the recent attacks.
The attacks are different from the deadly conflict in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia where the Ethiopian Army and the Allied Territorial Army began fighting Tigre Territorial forces in early November.
Confederate troops stationed in other areas of Africa’s second most populous country were deployed to fight in the conflict, raising fears that security would be zero.
Even before the Tigre War began last month, Abi’s government was struggling with growing insecurity in many parts of the country. According to UN estimates, violence between groups fighting land and other resources after taking Abi in 2018 has forced many hundreds of people to flee their homes.
Ethnic tensions are a major challenge as Abi tries to promote national unity in a country with more than 80 ethnic groups.
Belle Vajera, a farmer in the western city of Bullen, told Reuters that she counted 82 dead bodies in a field near her home after the dawn attack on Wednesday. He and his family awoke people with gunshots and ran out of their homes as the men shouted “hold them”, he said. His wife and their five children were shot and killed; He was shot in the buttocks, while four other children escaped and are now missing.
Another resident of the city, Hasin Yamama, said that the armed men stormed the area around 6 am (0300 GMT). He told Reuters that he counted 20 dead bodies at a different location. He grabbed his weapon but the attackers shot him in the stomach.
A local medic said he and his colleagues treated 38 injured people, mostly suffering from gunshot wounds. The patients told them of the relatives killed by the knives, and the gunmen, who opened fire on the houses and opened fire on those trying to escape, he said.
“We were not prepared for this and we are out of medicine,” a nurse at the same facility told Reuters, noting that a five-year-old child had died while being transferred to the clinic.
The attack was carried out by the Prime Minister and the chief of the military staff, Birhanu Jula and other senior federal officials, in recent months to urge calm after several fatal incidents between rival ethnic groups. The most recent attack in the area occurred on 14 November, when gunmen targeted a bus and killed 34 people.
“There is still a desire by enemies to divide Ethiopia into ethnic and religious lines. This wish will remain unfulfilled, ”Abi tweeted on Tuesday in Metcalle City with photos of her meetings for that day. He said that the residents wished for peace and said that this sentiment “advances any divisive agenda”.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the attack on Wednesday.