Ethiopia commission accuses Oromiya rebels of killing 50 people

Thursday February 16 2023
Ethiopians stage a demonstration against Oromiya rebels

Ethiopians stage a demonstration on November 7, 2021 in support of the government after the advance of the rebels in Oromiya and Amhara. Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has said in a report that a rebel group in Oromiya this month killed at least 50 people. PHOTO | MINASSE WONDIMU HAILU | ANADOLU AGENCY VIA AFP


Addis Ababa

At least 50 people were killed in Ethiopia's Oromiya region this month in an attack by a banned rebel group, the state-appointed human rights commission said on Wednesday.

Oromiya is home to Ethiopia's largest ethnic group and has experienced unrest for many years, rooted in grievances about political marginalisation and neglect by the central government.

The killings on February 2 mainly targeted internally displaced persons in the town of Ano, about 380 kilometres west of the capital Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said in a report.

The report, which cited families of the victims, witnesses and government bodies, blamed the attack on the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), without providing a reason for the alleged attack.

The OLA did not respond to a request for comment.


Outlawed splinter group

The OLA is an outlawed splinter group of the Oromo Liberation Front, a formerly banned opposition party that returned from exile after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018.

Ethiopia government spokesman Legesse Tulu also did not respond to a request for comment.

The violence in Oromiya is separate from the two-year conflict between the federal government and forces in the northern Tigray region, which ended in November following a peace agreement between the government and Tigray forces