Ethiopian police have arrested 171 people on suspicion of having links to the violence in the western part of the country where at least 50 people were killed and more than 100,000 others displaced in ethnic based attacks in September 2018, an official said on Wednesday, January 9th.
Last year, armed gangsters killed innocent people in different parts of Benishangul Gumuz state, mainly in the Kamashi zone, bordering the Oromia region of the country.
The suspects also are accused of torching over 2000 homes in an attempt to permanently displace members of the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups which make up about 60% of the Ethiopian population.
Colonel Getnet Adane, Indoctrination and Public Relations Director of the National Defence Force’s Western Division, said the additional suspects were arrested by the newly established command post on suspicion of inciting the violence that led to the loss of lives and damage to property.
In an address to the national parliament in October 2018, Ethiopian Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed said more than 100 suspects were detained on involvement of the three-day attack in the regional state.
The newly established command post further announced the seizure of 49 Kalashnikov assault rifles, ammunition, and cash amounting to 1.9 million Ethiopian birr and $12,000.
“The command Post seized seven anti-personnel mines and 215 arrows as well as recovering 9 ambulances, 4 Isuzu and 3 Toyota pickup trucks stolen by the armed group from government institutions and individuals,” the director said.
The suspects include those government officials who were working in different capacities in public enterprises.