from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – POLITICAL violence has left 4 471 people dead in Ethiopia in the past year.
Among those dead for the period July 15, 2022 to July 21, in 2023 are 1 940 civilians.
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) documented the fatalities, including 84 people it reported had been killed since July 15, this year.
The think tank noted violence involving ethnic militias intensified in Gambela region last week, while the targeted assassination of local officials continued in Amhara region.
In Gambela region, violence escalated, with multiple clashes reported between Anyuak and Nuer ethnic militias in Itang special woreda as well as in Gambela town.
According to ACLED data, the clashes resulted in at least 70 reported fatalities last week.
“Fatality counts are likely to rise as more detailed information becomes available,” the organisation warned.
In an effort to stem the violence, the Gambela regional state declared a night-time curfew on July 19.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission reported that in addition to Anyuak and Nuer ethnic militias, gunmen from South Sudan, now living in refugee camps, were also likely involved.
Recently, Murle ethnic militiamen from South Sudan crossed the border and killed 12 civilians near Gambela town.
In Amhara, fighting has continued between security forces and Fano militias.
In Benshangul/Gumuz region, members of the Gumuz People’s Democratic Movement, who had previously agreed to disarm, changed their minds and left disarmament camps in Gilgel Belles.
Ethnic differences are rife in Ethiopia, which coincidentally is home to the African Union (AU).
It is also the second most populous, with 126 million people.
Ethiopia suffered civil strife in the northern Tigray region, from late 2021.
– CAJ News