An opposition figure stated on Thursday, September 17, that armed militias killed over 30 people in attacks in the Metekel area (Benishangul-Gumuz region) between September 6 and Sunday, September 13. In one incident, the attackers reportedly kidnapped local farmers and their families and took them to a school where they were executed. The attacks are being investigated by the government; however, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed later claimed that the hostages, numbering 29 people, had been released.
Similar attacks in Benishangul-Gumuz region are possible in the near term.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has stated that attacks occurring within the region have involved at least two occasions of the killings of civilians and have resulted in the displacement of hundreds. In June 2019, unidentified attackers killed over 50 people and injured 23 others in the area. The government has blamed September's attacks on groups opposed to the government's reform program.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor the situation, remain vigilant for security operations and militant activity, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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