Some 18 people were killed in three days of clashes that corrupted in various localities of Metekel zone in Benishangul Gumuz regional state, Colonel Alebel Amare, deputy head of security bureau of Amhara regional state, told Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA) today.
The clashes erupted over the Ethiopian Easter weekend following private altercations between a truck driver and a customer over prices of services the former provided the later. The truck driver then called in a federal police officer who then physically assaulted the customer, who is from the Sinasha community. The beating of the man by the security officer has set off revenge attacks against members of Amhara community by members of Sinasha and Gumuz communities, according to Colonel Alebel. Some 20 houses were also burned.
There are 30 kebeles in Metekel zone and the clashes, which started in Dangur wereda, were quickly spreading through all the Kebeles, but due to efforts by the Amhara and Benishangul Gumuz regional states and the involvement of additional federal security forces, the clashes were contained before further damage. A joint command post between the two regional states and federal security forces was formed and is currently stationed in Pawe special wereda to monitor the security.
Colonel Alebel further said that the clashes were under control and talks were held between the presidents of the two regional state on mapping opt further actions to maintain the peace and security.
According to Asemahegn Asres, communication bureau head of Amhara regional state, eleven of the victims were from Amhara community in the area while six were from the Gumuz community. According to him, the number of casualties were 17 while 25 houses were burned.
Both Colonel Alebel and Asemahegn the clashes have stopped since mid day yesterday.