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Relations between Ethiopia’s Ethnic Groups are Fraying

Dozens of people were killed in Ethiopia over the weekend, when three villages were assaulted by an armed rebel group, the government and human rights organizations said on Monday, the latest in a spate of attacks that threaten the stability of Africa’s second-most populous nation. The assailants late on Sunday killed at least 54 people from the ethnic Amhara group in the Oromia region, Amnesty International said. The attackers, who authorities said were from the Oromo Liberation Army, a group that broke off from a once-banned political party, attacked three villages in the West Welega Zone. They killed the victims after luring them to a school compound, then plundered what they could from the three villages and set everything else on fire. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, an independent national rights group, said in a statement posted on Twitter that there were up to 60 assailants. The commission, which put the death toll at 32 but said the final number was likely to be higher, said the attack came a day after federal forces had pulled out from the area even though it was susceptible to attacks.