A fresh round of attacks against an ethnic group in western Ethiopia has resulted in what Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has called a “massacre”. Villages inhabited by members of the Amhara community were targeted, witnesses have told the BBC. Ethiopia has seen a rise in ethnic violence in recent years and it seems things are worsening. There is no official death toll yet but there are fears it could be high. Similar attacks just over a fortnight ago in Gimbi district, around 110km north-east of Hawa Gelan, resulted in 338 deaths, according official figures. Activists said the real death toll was even higher. Officials also blamed the OLA for that violence. It denied responsibility and instead pointed the finger at government soldiers. The prime minister has faced strong criticism – including protests that led to clashes with security forces – following the killings in Gimbi. And similar reactions are expected this time. Monday’s violence is going to further exacerbate an already fragile security situation in the country’s west. The OLA is opposed to the federal government led by Mr Abiy. Its fighters have been clashing with Ethiopian forces in the west of Oromia in recent months.
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