On Wednesday, December 23rd, one day after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s visit to the region, gunmen killed more than 100 people.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke the day prior about bringing those responsible for the attacks to justice and has tried to promote ethnic unity in the country.
Such attacks are not new to Ethiopia, but in fact, are quite the norm. A rebel attack on November 1st in the far western Oromia region killed approximately 54 people, as reported by Amnesty International.
One attack in the Benishangul-Gumuz region in early October killed 14 civilians, as stated by National Guards and Security Officials. A couple of deadly attacks in September also displaced over 300 people.
At the time after the attack, it was not immediately clear who the attackers were.
However, Belete Molla the Head of The National Movement of Amhara political party has asserted that they were ‘Gumuz’ militia members.
The ruling party in the region, the Benishangul-Gumuz Prosperity Party, said in a statement that “armed bandits” had committed a “horrifying crime.”
The Amhara Mass Media Agency, affiliated with the country’s Amhara region, in a separate report cited independent witnesses who said that the attack occurred early Wednesday in the Metekel zone of the Benishangul-Gumuz region.
As the country of 80 different ethnic groups struggles repeatedly with armed conflict and deadly attacks, only time will tell what lies in store for the future of Ethiopia.