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Ethiopian military to train 10,000 militiamen to stem deadly violence in western region

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The Ethiopian army will train around 10,000 militiamen in the coming days to help stem violence in the country’s western Benishangul-Gumuz regional state, a military officer said on Monday.

Lt.-Gen. Asrat Denero, chief of Metekel zone task force in Benishangul-Gumuz regional state, said the first round of training for new militia recruits will start soon, Ethiopia News Agency (ENA) reported.

The training is part of a broader strategy to curb militant violence in Metekel, Denero said.

In January, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen said the government had decided to recruit militias from people displaced from the Metekel zone to create a structure to “sustainably” protect civilians from attacks.

The government will undertake reconciliation programs to help those displaced return home, Mekonen said.

In recent months, inter-communal violence in Metekel, of Benishangul-Gumuz regional state, has left thousands of civilians dead and more than 100,000 others displaced.

In one especially deadly incident, 207 people were killed in Bekoji, a village in Metekel zone. Enditem

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