17 Ethiopians arrested for suspected involvement in deadly communal violence


Security forces in western Ethiopian have arrested 17 Ethiopians suspected of involvement in deadly communal violence, state media outlet Ethiopia News Agency (ENA) reported on Monday.

The 17 suspects are accused of attacking civilians in the Metekel zone of the western regional state of Benishangul-Gumuz in recent weeks that left scores dead, the ENA reported. According to the report, 290 arrows were confiscated from the 17 suspects.

In December 2020, an armed attack by suspected ethnic Gumuz militants in the village of Bekoji, Metekel zone, left at least 207 people dead.

Among the victims were 133 adult men, 35 adult women, some 20 elderly persons as well as 17 children, one of them a six-month-old baby, according to a statement published by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, a rights group established by the Ethiopian parliament.

Ethnic violence between various ethnic groups in Benishangul-Gumuz regional state in recent months has left hundreds dead and thousands of others displaced. The clashes were mainly over access to power and land resources.

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