Ethiopia village attacked

This item appears on page 5 of the February 2021 issue.

In western Ethiopia on Dec. 23, a group of armed men attacked a village in the region of Benishangul-Gumuz, killing more than 100 people and injuring more than 30. The identities of the attackers were unknown at press time.

In a subsequent military action, the Ethiopian armed forces killed at least 40 people thought to be involved in the attack. The Ethiopian government had not identified what group was targeted in the counterattack or how they were identified. Additionally, five people, including at least one government official, were arrested in connection with the attack.

Benishangul-Gumuz is the historic home of the Gumuz people, one of Ethiopia’s recognized ethnic groups. It also is home to a large Amhara population, and the two groups have come into conflict multiple times in the last few years. According to Amnesty International, the victims of the attack were mostly of the Amhara and Oromo ethnic groups.

Ethiopia is currently fighting insurgent militias in the eastern Tigray region, with thousands having been killed and nearly 1 million people displaced, as well as dealing with incursions of al-Shabaab militants from Somalia.