November 29, 2018: Sectarian shootings in Ethiopia

On November 29, 2018 at least 15 police officers and civilians were killed in western Ethiopia by Oromo Liberation Front terrorists

BENISHANGUL-GUMUZ, ETHIOPIA – Differences in ethnicity often lead to violence, it is sad to say.

It is sad how we humans allow very tiny differences to divide us. As it has often been said, once you get below the skin we are more or less the same beings. But we never seem to be able to do that.

Take the civil war in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. Serbs, Croats and Bosnians, all of whom lived under the Communist regime for decades went for each others’ throats once the county broke up. Mass executions, rape camps, targeting civilians with mortars, the conflict was a particularly nasty one.

You say potato, I say potahto, now I will kill you (Photo: rosaluxemburg on flickr CC BY-ND 2.0)

Another nation with a multiplicity of ethnicities is Ethiopia. There are an estimated 80 groups in the east African land: the Tigrayans, the Oromo and the Amharas are the largest of all. And they seldom get along. At times this animosity turns to serious violence.

On this day in 2018

At least 15 police officers and civilians were killed near Benishangul-Gumuz in western Ethiopia. The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a designated terrorist group until 2018 in Ethiopia, was believed to be responsible for the attacks. The OLF has been fighting for Oromo self-determination since 1973.

The Oromo dream to deprive our people of their land is not fair and just, and as long as they attack our people I assure you that they will be confronted strongly.

Ethiopian activist in Australia

If you have been following the news of late, the violence in Ethiopia is ramping up and there are fears the capital, Addis Ababa, may fall to Tigrayan terrorists. It seems no one in that land wants to see beyond the surface differences.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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