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Protests in Ethiopia’s Amhara region as two villages destroyed in ethnic violence

PROTESTS were held in Ethiopia’s Amhara region today demanding an end to mass killings after two towns were destroyed and thousands of people displaced in ethnic attacks.

Violence started last Wednesday in the eastern part of the region, where an Amhara majority live alongside a minority of Oromo people.

At least four districts were targeted, with attacks on the Amhara community. According to local sources at least 20 people were killed, though government officials say the death toll is much higher.

Regional government sources blamed an Oromo Liberation Front splinter group, Shane, for the killings, but it has denied the accusations.

The country has been plunged into instability following a government military offensive against the northern Tigray region in November. Despite claiming to be targeting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which led the regional government there, Ethiopian forces have been accused of a string of war crimes, including rape.

More than two million people have been internally displaced in Tigray, local government officials say. About 4.5 million people stand in need of humanitarian assistance according to the United Nations.

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