October 24, 2017
Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE) writes to bring to your attention that another wave of ethnic violence is hitting Ethiopia, this time reportedly in Illu Aba Bora (Illibabur) and Jima zones of the Oromia regional state, and has claimed lives of unconfirmed number of lives. Sources say that the incident in Illu Aba Bora originally started during anti-government demonstrations and later turned into an attack against civilians, many of whom Amharas. Properties of Amharas were also burnt, and many fled to nearby forest and churches for refuge, according to media reports. They have reported that they are in grave danger and in need of urgent intervention from responsible bodies. Ethnic Amharas and Tigreans were largely relocated in different parts of Southern Ethiopia following the 1984 famine that hit the country.
Head of the Oromia regional state communication affairs bureau Mr. Addisu Arega Kitessa, wrote in his Facebook and later told the national television that, the incident was an attempt by some groups to deliberately instigate violence between the two brotherly ethnic groups (Amhara and Oromos) who have for years lived together in peace and love. Head of Amhara Regional State, Mr. Nigussu Tilahun, shared similar sentiments in his Facebook post. Mr. Addisu later also reported that the regional government, local elders and residents are currently taking the situation under control. The federal government to date has not released any statement as to who is behind the violence, which, judging from the past incidents and its minimal culture of communicating with the public, is not uncommon. [Read more…]