News Alerts

02 Nov 2020 | 05:28 PM UTC

Ethiopia: Armed attack in West Wollega Zone kills dozens November 1

Ethiopia News Alert

Armed attack in West Wollega Zone (Oromia region) kills dozens and displaces hundreds on November 1; further violence possible over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/2/2020, 12:00 AM until 11/4/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Addis_Ababa). COUNTRY/REGION West Wollega Zone (Oromia region)

Event

Armed assailants killed at least 32 people and burnt down 21 houses in an attack in Western Wollega Zone (Oromia region) on Sunday night, November 1. Between 700 and 750 people were also displaced due to the violence near Guliso. Local officials stated that the attack was carried out by members of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), who reportedly targeted members of the Amhara ethnic group after soldiers stationed in the area withdrew for unclear reasons.

Security operations are likely in the area following the incident. Further incidents of ethnic violence are likely in the Oromia region over the near term.

Context

Since 2018, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's political reforms have seen many Ethiopian rebel groups, including the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Ethiopian People's Patriotic Front (EPPF), the Benishangul People's Liberation Movement (BLPM), and Patriot Ginbot 7, removed from a government list of terrorist groups. Most groups have since ceased operations and disarmed in exchange for recognition as legitimate political parties but several, particularly the militant Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) wing of the OLF, have been accused of continuing low-level insurgent violence in remote areas.

Numerous attacks in and around the Oromia region over the last year have been attributed to the OLA, but many have proved difficult to distinguish from outbreaks of communal violence and unrest which have also erupted in the region.

Advice

Those in the Oromia region are advised to monitor local media sources for further updates on the incident and any associated security operations and heed any directives issued by local authorities.

 

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