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Gunmen killed more than 200 people in Ethiopia’s Oromia region this week as the country continues to grapple with rising ethnic tensions, the Associated Press reported.
Witnesses counted about 230 bodies, saying most of them were members of the ethnic Amhara community that moved to the region about three decades ago as the result of a resettlement program
Following the attack, the community is now trying to relocate “before another round of mass killings happen,” according to witnesses.
Officials and witnesses blamed the Oromo Liberation Army for the slaughter but the rebel group denied the allegations. It countered that Ethiopian soldiers and local militias conducted the attacks on the local population “as retaliation for their perceived support for the OLA.”
The recent massacre comes as Africa’s second-most populous country faces rising ethnic tensions mainly fueled by historical grudges and political tensions. The Amhara people, Ethiopia’s second-largest ethnic group, have been targeted frequently in regions like Oromia.
On Sunday, the government-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission urged the federal government to find a “lasting solution” to the killing of civilians and to safeguard them from such attacks.