At least 54 killed in school yard massacre in Ethiopia

At least 54 people have been massacred in a school yard in western Ethiopia, survivors have claimed.

Amnesty International said the attack targeted an ethnic minority and was carried out by a rebel group. The rights organisation added that federal soldiers had left the area hours before attackers moved in and gunned down ethnic Amharas.

Survivors say they have counted bodies in the school yard in the far western part of Oromia, and that it is the latest attack on ethnic minorities.

An armed group gathered 200 people for a meeting around 5pm and then started shooting at them, Amhara region’s affiliated broadcaster, Amhara Mass Media Agency, quoted one survivor as saying. The survivor said a school and 120 houses were burned.

Survivors of the attack in the Guliso District of West Wellega Zone told Amnesty International that federal troops had withdrawn unexpectedly and the rebels arrived hours later, identifying themselves as the OLA and announcing that they controlled the area. The area is close to the border with South Sudan and a few hundred miles from the capital, Addis Ababa.

In a statement, the rights group said: ‘Militants gathered people who did not manage to flee, mainly women, children and the elderly, and killed them.’

Prime minister Abiy Ahmed, who last year won a Nobel Peace Prize, denounced the killings, adding that security forces had been deployed to the area and ‘started taking measures’.

In a Facebook post, he wrote: ‘Ethiopia’s enemies are vowing either to rule the country or ruin it, and they are doing everything they can to achieve this.

‘One of their tactics is to arm civilians and carry out barbaric attacks based on identity. (For me) this is heartbreaking.’

This is a breaking story – more to follow.

Source: Read Full Article