March 4, 2013
At least 20 people died this weekend in an outburst of violent ethnic clashes on the border of the Benishangul region and the region of Wallagaa, Oromia, in West of Ethiopia: armed militia of the Gumuz ethnic group have been attacking and killing unarmed Oromo civilians. Although the Ethiopian government has deployed its police forces, they remain witness to the raging killings, instead of stopping the killers.
The ongoing armed attacks started last Monday night in the Manasibu district, according to different independent sources in the field. Conflicts have been reported in Odaa, Daleti, Fadun Fardosi, Gunfi, and Badessa, forcing thousands of Oromo families to flee their homes.
Almost five years ago, in May 2008, another outburst of ethnic violence claimed the lives of more than 400 Oromo people. The Gumuz militia attack on the unarmed civilian Oromos caused the death of hundreds and many more injuries and displacement of hundreds to people, and destruction of houses and properties. Hundreds of Oromos were subjected to horrific and barbaric killings. The militia is said to be so heavily armed that the local police themselves had to flee along with the civilians. The relevant government body and armed forces were bystanders watching the massacre of the unarmed and defenseless Oromos.
The Oromo and Gumuz peoples have lived together as good neighbours for centuries. They are culturally intermingled and share valuable social, political and economic set-ups. But ever since it came to power, the TPLF/EPRDF regime has applied the outdated ‘divide and rule’ policy to weaken peoples’ struggles for freedom and justice by sowing seeds of disharmony among friendly neighbouring peoples. The TPLF regime’s track record of the past 22 years of rule is full of such intrigues that instigated bloody conflicts among peoples in Ethiopia . As a result of TPLF’s machinations Oromo and Sidama, Oromo and Somali, Oromo and Gedao, Anywak and Nuer, Oromo and Amhara, Oromo and Oromo, now Oromo and Gumuz and several other people have clashed. As a result thousands of innocent lives were lost, tens of thousands of people were displaced and their houses and properties were destroyed in the past 22 years..