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State-Sanctioned Ethnic Cleansing of Oromos Has Continued in Benishangul Gumuz

(OLF-OLA Press Release)

The state-sponsored ethnic cleansing by Abiy Ahmed and extremist Amhara forces on the Oromo people has continued in full swing. Benishangul Gumuz region is particularly becoming a staging ground for state terrorist forces comprising the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), Amhara Special Forces, and organized Amhara bandits called Fanno. These forces have long turned this region into a burial ground for innocent Oromos, Tigrayans, and the people native to the Benishangul Gumuz region. We have repeatedly reported that Amhara Special Forces and Fanno militia have massacred civilians and looted the properties of their victims in the region. This state terrorism has continued unabated.

On Tuesday, 22 March 2022, Amhara forces extrajudicially executed Amsalu Amante, an Oromo Qeerroo, and looted property in Dibate Woreda of Benishangul Gumuz. In another clear attempt to ethnically cleanse Oromos from Benishangul Gumuz, they also burned down about 50 houses to the ground. Only a few bodies have been identified so far from the ashes. These genocidal forces operate in coordination with the state officials by organizing themselves and attacking in groups of around 200-400 soldiers.

It is to be recalled that, on Tuesday, 15 March 2022, Birhane Ragasa, a pregnant Oromo woman and mother of seven, was brutally beheaded in another round of Stone Age savagery which is becoming a signature accompanying atrocities being committed by Amhara forces. And, only two days later, in the morning hours of 17 March 2022, Amhara forces operating in the Benishangul Gumuz region had also debussed and abducted eighteen Oromo students in Dibate Woreda of Benishangul at a place known to locals as Bishan Adi. The fate of these twelve students (Kolte Fayyisa, Tarekegn Argata, Dabala Siyoum, Ragasa Bagonjo, Jabesa Teshome, Gexe Kabada, Ayantu Gamachu, Haile Bese, Imebet Garoma, Kefyalew Wakjira, Jalane Gamachu, Fayisa Mekonnen) and six other unidentified persons remains unknown.

It is also to be recalled that Abiy Ahmed’s security forces and the associated Amhara vigilante group had killed scores of natives in Benishangul and burned ethnic Tigrayans alive in the Benishangul Gumuz region before they turned to yet another tortured version of their barbarism.

We continue to call upon the international community to designate the actions of Amhara security forces and associated vigilante groups as well as Abiy Ahmed’s security forces as acts of state terrorism. The international community, mindful of its responsibility to protect civilians from mass atrocity crimes, ought to do its part to constrain the regime's capacity to unleash terror on innocent civilians. At the very least, OLF-OLA expects the regime's international partners to disable the regime’s financial capacity to carry out these terrorist acts on our citizens. We call on the regime's international partners and the wider international community to impose sanctions that can effectively limits its military capabilities and the financial wherwithals thereof. Accordingly, the regime's partners ought to suspend their support for security forces. In the same vein, they ought to suspend the sale or transfer of weapons to Abiy Ahmed and his associates including the Eritrean regime.

We reiterate to our people that such a brutal affront on the humanity and dignity of our people will not remain unanswered. The OLF-OLA will continue to do everything in its power to hold the perpetrators accountable and to see justice done.

Victory to the Oromo and all oppressed peoples! OLF-OLA High Command March 28th, 2022

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